The Path to Entrepreneurship: Different Roads to Take After Graduation

As a recent college graduate, you may feel excited and ready to start your empire as an entrepreneur, but you aren’t sure what to do first. There are several paths you may choose to take as a budding entrepreneur. Knowing that you want to start and run a business and knowing you have the drive to do what you are going to need to do to succeed is the first step, which you have accomplished. 

While you learn a lot about business in college, there is a lot you have to learn by doing. The first path many recent graduates chose is by getting a job within the industry you plan to work in. Choose a company or individual that you are eager to learn from and pursue them as an employer.

Entrepreneurs are understandably proud of their accomplishments and get fulfillment from teaching others from their experience. If you reach out to a business owner that you want to learn from and let them know that is why you are pursuing the position, they may be willing to take you under their wing. If your first attempt does not work, keep trying. Put together a whole list of entrepreneurs you want to learn from and start reaching out. As an entrepreneur, you will experience a lot of failure, rejection, and setbacks.

While working, you will have the time to save money, develop your idea of the type of business you plan to start and work on your business plan. You can also continue learning from the people that have accomplished what you are pursuing. There is a wide range of books, podcasts, websites, seminars, and workshops you can attend to continue preparing yourself for the future.

Another path you may choose is to start your business and figure out what you’re doing as you do it. Wanting to be an entrepreneur is always a risk, and this may be the riskier option. However, riskier does not equal bad or shortsighted. While you may face more challenges being less prepared, if you surround yourself with people that support your efforts and are knowledgeable in the areas you still need to learn, you will have a good shot at being successful.

For example, Charutha Bandara started his company Creston Solutions the summer before he began college and grew the business while attending Indiana University. Creston Solutions provided marketing and technology consultation to small businesses, so it allowed him to work his business around his classes and other obligations. Bandara found a way to use his strengths and work around his weaknesses to achieve both his education and business aspirations. 

While you can pursue investors to start this business, that can be time-consuming and difficult. Another option is to start a business or seek an investment that you are confident you can become successful in a short period with the intent of selling it quickly. You can then use the money to start your dream business.

An example of a short-term investment is an investment property. You can buy an investment property that needs work and is selling at under market value due to the condition. You can fix the house up and resell it for a profit. Depending on how much money you need to start your business, flipping a small number of homes can provide you with the start-up money you need. 

There are a few things you need to get in order before flipping houses. First off, you’ll need to do some research on your local real estate market to know where there is the most activity. Sourcing deals can be one of the most challenging parts of flipping houses, so you will need to determine upfront the best way to find deals. Aside from that, you will need to have financing and contractors lined up for when you’re ready to pull the trigger on a house and fix it up. If you work on these things before buying your first house, you’ll be set up for success as a house flipper!

If choosing to work with real estate or investors, you need to understand FINRA regulations and how they relate to what you are trying to accomplish. As an inexperienced entrepreneur, you may be targeted by less than reputable people, and you may find yourself needing a FINRA lawyer to represent you. 

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