5 reasons college students should start a business


In this episode I give you 5 reasons college students should start a business. When you’re going to school, or are young you have plenty of time to make mistakes, and learn a ton. Plus you have access to a lot of resources that you can take advantage of. Learn more in this episode!

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Here’s the transcript from the podcast, please excuse typos!

In today’s episode I’m going to give you five reasons why starting a company when you are in college, or just graduated college, or just young is a good idea. The first reason is basically the title, because you are young. And when you’re young and you just graduated school or you’re in school. It is the perfect time to try something new, learn about running a business, build a new platform or create a new product or write a book or make a movie. Basically, anything creative. There’s a lot of music producers who started out really young, and they just kept hustling and hustling and putting out music and eventually their music was hurt. Same goes for a lot of entrepreneurs in college, they’re able to find college grants and college funds that specifically target college kids who have new ideas. But the reason why starting young is the best idea at least in my opinion is because if you fail and you will you’ll make mistakes along the way. At least you’re failing and making mistakes. At a young age. So not only are you going to learn a lot. But you’ll have all the time in the world, literally, to get better at what you do and improve upon your products or whatever it is you want to build.

I remember in my past life when I went to college, I was doing music stuff I was writing books, I was in Technology Building computers and building websites. I was trying so many different things and what I found that worked for me is because I started at such an early age, I was able to learn and pick up a lot of skills. Along the way, that has become very crucial in my business today. So, again, going back to starting young, you need to learn a lot of stuff right and it’s a lot harder to learn things as you get older in your 30s and 40s and 50s. It’s actually scientifically proven that it’s much more difficult for you to, you know, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks basically right you’re setting your ways, you get too tired and frustrated to learn like a new language or learning a new instrument. It’s a lot more difficult to force yourself to sit down and actually learn something new. But when you’re younger, you’re actually your body, your brain, everything is just ready to expand, like a sponge and absorb everything and learn something new a lot easier. So definitely, throw yourself into the gauntlet at an early age.

The second reason why I think it’s a good idea to start with your young is because you’ll have the support of teachers, friends, and family. There’s, like I said there’s investment funds, specifically targeting young people and college students and young entrepreneurs. So I think support is a big thing right there’s a lot of entrepreneurs who are 30s 40s 50s. They have to support their families. They have wives and husbands and partners. Kids houses and mortgages and full time jobs. It’s a lot more difficult for someone who’s older to manage everything because they have to be an adult. And when you’re younger, you’re not really an adult yet you’re still probably living at home with your parents, especially nowadays during the pandemic a lot of young kids are still living at home with their parents, which gives you a nice buffer and gives you a safety net. You know I’m seeing both ends of the spectrum, I have friends who are considered millennials or they’re even younger than that. And they are being creative, they are making movies, they are writing books, they’re doing podcasts like this, they’re making videos. They’re just being creative, they’re trying to build platforms they’re using their time wisely. That is see people in the other side of the fence who are at home, depressed, sad, the pandemic is forcing them to not be able to be sociable and not be able to see their friends and family and they can’t go out and do things and they’re just basically wallowing in misery. I feel like you should be taking the opportunity while you have the support system of your family and friends while you have this extra time on your hands to use it wisely. Even if it just means learning how to code. Okay, learn how to code, learn how to draw prototype design for your product. Hire a company that has a 3d printer to make a design for your new widget, your new gadget that you want to build. Learn something right. Build a WordPress site, make a blog, and do something productive. You have nothing more but time right now. And there’s no sense in wasting it while you’re young.

Now number three is going to be about mistakes. I know that I mentioned that you’re going to make mistakes early on, but this is really important. When you make mistakes. I don’t consider it that you failed right when you made a mistake. I feel as though it’s like Thomas Edison said he just found 10,000 ways that didn’t work. So let’s say you’re building a product. Okay, let’s say you’re building a physical product that you want to sell to people, and you get a 3d printer or you hire someone, or you, you know, go online and get someone to print out something, send it to your house, you try it out and it doesn’t work. Oh man, I made a mistake. I made it too big. Well no, you found out that it was too big, it’s not a mistake, it’s that you have to do trial and error. So you make the new one you send it out, you get it back. Now it’s oh no I made a mistake it’s too small. So, the Goldilocks situation is too big, too small, you’re just right now so you know. Okay. The third try: send it out, get it back. Now it’s the perfect size, the customers are saying oh yeah I will use this gadget it fits my hand well and it works with my phone or whatever it is, right. So, I think that making mistakes is not about failing and not about being frustrated, it’s about learning, right, because every time you make a mistake you actually learn something new, and in the future, especially if you do this at a young age, as you reach 30s 40s, you’ll have made so many mistakes, then you’ll say, Oh, I know what 25 things to avoid because I already made all those mistakes along the way. So when you, you know, for example, when I create something whether it’s a movie or I write a book, or I make a platform for an app or a website. There are so many things that I know how to do because I made the mistakes that the process is seamless, it’s almost like very easy in a way. The work is difficult. The actual work is very difficult and time consuming, but the process. The process is almost like riding a bike, you know like I know how to pedal I know I hit the brakes. I’m not going to fall, I’m not going to crash because I know how to use it. So it’s very similar. Keep that in mind when you make mistakes, write them down. What did you do wrong? What did you learn from that process and apply it to your next business.

Number four reason why starting a business or learning something new at all when you’re in college. Now I know the pandemic has caused people to learn online, and some colleges are open some classes are open whatnot, but the one thing that stays true to be a college student is you have access to other college students, especially now that everyone is online. So what’s the benefit? The benefit is let’s say you know in my case I’m in Philadelphia. So let’s say Temple University, or Drexel University or you Penn, right, one of these schools, let’s say you go to temple university. Well, you can email all the students in your classes, who you have access to email wise for bulletin boards online. Hey, I had this new idea for a platform or product or. Here’s a new movie I made, whatever the project is. Check it out, let me know what you think, fill out this survey, or do you want to chat Do you want to collaborate right this is this is a time for you to get feedback, right from from beta testers, and with college students you have so many of them, they always want to try something new, especially nowadays, everyone’s probably so bored at home, that they’re, they’re going to be willing to be a part of the project, and something I learned about college students over the years I’ve worked with a lot of them is they love to collaborate. They love to get involved with things right, they don’t always want to focus too much on it as much as it is they just want to give their feedback and they want to kind of be a part of something new, plus you have professors, teachers, assistance departments that are probably willing to point you in the right direction for resources, there’s a ton of free resources online for university students to get, you know, materials and PDF documents explain how to do things, possibly even free courses on how to learn how to do things so just being a college student in general, you have a wealth of beta testers resources, teachers experts, you know so many different ways that you can improve upon your business, just because you are in school or you’re at the age where you have access to college students.

And the number five reason why I believe starting a business or doing something new in your college years is the smartest thing to do, is because let’s just say that you are fortunate enough to succeed. Right, let’s say the product you built you sold a million of them, and you made, you know, five bucks per product, and you made 5 million bucks. Well, you just graduated college with 5 million bucks you don’t need to get a job. Right. You can use your degree, the knowledge that you gained from your business the money that you earn from your business to start more businesses to start creating more products to help others do the same thing as well of course because you always want to pay it forward. When you succeed. Now, if you don’t succeed but you learned a lot. Let’s say you built a website or a mobile app that did work right if you got people to use it 10,000 people say, but you couldn’t quite get it to scale you couldn’t get people to give you revenue, like you couldn’t monetize it right you were able to get free users but not monetizing, but you learned a lot and you were able to get a lot of, you know, interested people to either look at the app, maybe you got some journalists write an article about it. Well, when you do graduate. Employers will see that you were able to do this. So let’s say you’re a programmer or let’s say you’re a business major or a marketing major. They’re gonna say well you know this kid was not only able to build an app, but he was able to get users to come to the app so he must be good at marketing, then they’re going to ask you what what did you do to market your app and you can tell them and they’ll say well we need someone like you in our business in our company. And then they’re going to offer you a decent salary probably more so than the starting salaries of other people who don’t have that story to tell them. So it’s a twofer one, you might succeed, financially, right, you might become this this prodigy app builder or product builder, where you might have made a movie that that did really well or wrote a book that did really well or whatever the businesses, or one of those industries will notice that you did this at an early age, and they’ll want to hire you for their company. So it’s almost a no brainer you should be utilizing the time, especially now. During the pandemic when everyone is at their computers right at their phones, they cannot say to you oh I’m too busy to talk to you. right. So, industry professionals, especially actors, directors, producers, you know publishers, people who put out content corporations companies everybody, they’re all basically on this downtime this Limbo period where they do have time to talk to people. So pick up the phone, write an email, mention them on Twitter and all the other social networks and try to get a hold of these people who can help you get in the door. Do it now while you have the time. And of course don’t forget, when you’re in college, or college, you know college age. They really are the best years of your life. I mean I have so many fond memories of my 20s and my late teens and of course if I could ever go back in time. That’s when I would go back, it was the most fun. You have the best friendships, you know you meet your love interests, and you learn. You learn a lot about life and about different topics in it. For me, I was starting businesses, I was writing books, I was making movies, I was making music, I was starting the web, you know, platforms. So I was actually really doing a lot in my college years and I feel like, you know, you should really be grateful, even though we’re in a pandemic be grateful that you have that time to find yourself find what you’re passionate about, form a lot of relationships and friendships and take chances because this is probably the only time in your life that you can actually take chances, where the consequences are not going to be as dire as they would be in your 30s and 40s and 50s because if you make a mistake when you’re older. It can be cats, it can be catastrophic. Right, you can make a big mistake and lose your house, or you could get divorced because you know your partner wasn’t happy with the decisions you made, but when you’re younger those decisions don’t affect you as much especially when you have a support system. So, going back to something new, have fun while you’re doing it, get involved with people, collaborate and put it out there for the world to see. Hopefully these five tips help you get motivated and inspired and I want to hear what you’re creating so make sure you leave a comment and tell me what you’re working on, and I’ll respond to each comment.



Jason Sherman