If you’re in college or the early phases of your career, you may think there’s no way to prepare yourself to be an entrepreneur and be your own boss. You may think it’s just something that happens, or you have some sort of innate talent for it, but that’s not necessarily the case. There are ways you can elevate your thinking to be more like an entrepreneur no matter where you are in your career, and there are also specific things you can do to prepare to be a leader and a creative thinker.
The following tips are something to keep in mind if your ultimate goal is to be an entrepreneur, even if you’re not yet sure what your specific path might look like.
Choose Your Major Accordingly
If you’re already in school or you’re planning to go to school, you may wonder what course of study is going to most prepare you to be an entrepreneur. The short answer is that it can depend, but you have quite a few options available to you. One of the more obvious answers is to study business administration. You can do that at the undergraduate or graduate level.
Beyond that, psychology can be a good route to follow because it helps you gain a greater understanding of people, how they think, and what their motivations are, which can be useful for entrepreneurs.
Another option is to study marketing because at the core of every successful business is a good marketing plan. Communications can work well for entrepreneurs, or if you hope to head up a tech startup, think about computer science.
Some would-be entrepreneurs may think they don’t need a degree, and while it’s true some successful entrepreneurs don’t have one, certain benefits can come from education. For example, getting an education gives you a foundation of knowledge so that you can reduce the chances that you fail or so that you can mitigate the fallout of possible failures. It also gives you knowledge that you can apply in different areas of your business. For example, it may help you hire better professionals to bring into your team.
Train Yourself to Learn from Failures
A big part of being successful as an entrepreneur depends on having the right mindset. Entrepreneurs face tremendous obstacles, and they fail often before they find success. Wherever you are in your life right now, try to start learning how to accept failure and learn from it. One of the biggest pitfalls you’ll face is an unwillingness to accept and respect failure or an inability to move past it, so proactively work on avoiding those issues.
Explore Your Curiosities
Most entrepreneurs who are successful at building their businesses might have known they were going to be their own boss, but they probably didn’t know how to do it. Typically, people who create startups almost stumble across the idea, but to do that, you have to curious and indulging your curiosity and exploring different things in life that pique your interest. If you’re interested in creative writing, take a course, if you want to learn more about a specific topic, research it. Not everything is going to lead you toward a good business idea, but if you’re lucky, something might.
A big part of what entrepreneurs do is networking and meeting people. They might need to find talent, seek investors, or generate buzz around a project they’re working on. Start building your network early on—it’s never too soon to network. When you develop your networking skills not only are you putting yourself in contact with people who can help you down the road but it’s also a good way to stay motivated by surrounding yourself with energetic, engaged and interesting people.
Networking can be a good way to make yourself more comfortable with talking to people which is an essential skill to have as an entrepreneur as well.
Finally, while your ultimate goal might be to be your own boss, that doesn’t mean work experience and hands-on experience won’t be incredibly valuable. If you were to start your own business, but you had no idea about how to deal with teamwork or collaboration, for example, it would be challenging.
Hands-on experience lets you not just learn skills, but learn how the world works. It helps you learn about collaboration and problem solving, and you gain experience that can reduce the time it takes you to get your own business up and running in the future.
For more great business tips, check out the other blogs on Career Geek.