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Any advice to a freshman who wants to start his own business after college?

The son of a good friend is very entrepreneurial. They are hosting a dinner next week and would love to give them some killer advice for their son that is about to graduate and launch his own business. Much appreciate your participation.

19 Replies

Wade Eyerly
2
0
Wade Eyerly Entrepreneur
CEO, co-founder at Beacon
Don't wait. Do it now. It'll be as valuable as your coursework. I'd stay in school - but you've got 4 years to screw up, make mistakes, etc. while working a perfectly socially acceptable plan B - and the learning will be intense.
Colleen J.
2
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Colleen J. Entrepreneur
Independent Marketing Consultant | Researcher
Take a basic business plan writing workshop. There are great ones offered by business mentors at SCORE. Do your research, take calculated risks, and network with and maintain solid business relationships - particularly those related to your area of interest. Dreams aren't real until you organize them and write them down (business plan). Find a good mentor! Don't give up! The world is your oyster!
Chuck Bartok
0
0
Chuck Bartok Entrepreneur
Marketing and Sales Manager at MD Building Systems of Florida, Inc
Sounds like he is already laid the plans...
Written, I am sure, and shared with those in his mastermind alliance.
Why is waiting so long?
Louis P. Solomon
1
0
Louis P. Solomon Entrepreneur
President and Founder of SAFE
Carefully think about and discuss your objectives. You have one part of your plan perfectly in your head. But, there are many aspects to running a business, and you are almost certainly unfamiliar with them. Get EXPERTS on those particular issues, and I suggest retired professionals. They don't want money; they want to work a little, and will save you from untold and possibly fatal errors.
Don Rector
1
0
Don Rector Entrepreneur
Managing ground travel for the Business Traveler
I would recommend Founders Institute. It is a three month, very intense, program to teach what founding a company is all about. At the end of the three months, your friend's son will have a business plan, be part of a start-up team, and get the introductions to raise funding. Founders Institute is located all over the world. Take a look at www.fi.co Don Rector Pls excuse my typos this was tapped one character a a time on my iPhone
Chris Dudley
4
0
Chris Dudley Entrepreneur
Customer Success Manager at Distelli
I would suggest he get a job working for an esteemed entrepreneur within his network, or at a startup.

Starting something right out of college can lead to success, but for the most part its foolish. Learn from the mistakes from others, see firsthand what it takes to run and grow a successful venture (or much more likely, how and why companies fail).

Then once he has amassed some knowledge and savings, he can start his own projects on the side that hopefully lead to taking the leap/plunge full-time.

Startups are a risky business, and the risk is highest at square one when knowledge & funds are at ZERO. It's a good way to get demoralized and give up.

Of course if his parents are rich and going to fund a few failures he can learn greatly from, that is a completely different story :)
Temirlan Nugmanov
0
0
Temirlan Nugmanov Entrepreneur
Founder | Student | A Kid With Big Dreams
Tell him to start now. It's the absolute best time to learn so much outside of the classroom and potentially launch something amazing. Often graduates and adults become "shackled" against starting a company. As Noam Wasserman put it in The Founder's Dilemmas (a must read), there are golden shackles (comfortable salary + benefits) and responsibility shackles (family to take care of) that often prevent people from taking the leap. I actually started a company as a first year at NYU taking advantage of many startup competitions, events and mentorship resources. It's been quite a ride but by the end of the year, I won some pre-seed cash and assembled a technical team. Definitely advice him to do it now.



Nofyah Shem Tov
0
0
Nofyah Shem Tov Entrepreneur
Founder BlogMyLunch
Yes, take basic business classes as your minor and learn how to communicate well with people, like public speaking and writing classes. You'll need to understand a profit and loss sheet, and how to communicate fluidly and speak in public with confidence. learning to code won't hurt either, even if you just learn the fundamentals. Nofyah
Arthur Lipper
2
0
Arthur Lipper Entrepreneur
Chairman of British Far East Holdings Ltd.
Seek employment in a company you admire or one which is engaged in an industry you feel strongly about.
Rob Gropper
1
1
Rob Gropper Entrepreneur
Director at PetHero, SPC - Member at Eastside Incubator - Principal at Tuxedo Technologies Group
take Chris Dudley's advice (above). Learn and make the expensive mistakes on someone else's dime while you accumulate some wealth and knowledge and connections to start your own. If you/he choose not to then my best advice is this: sell first, build second. Nothing happens until you sell someone something. too many tech founders want to spend 6 months building it first then struggle to define a customer, prove product/market fit and sell something. then they blame failure on the idea or the sales guy who couldn't sell it. If you can't sell it first either it's a bad idea or you aren't working smart enough or hard enough.
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