Facebook, Apple and Microsoft are some of the leading examples of entrepreneurial success. They also share a common denominator: they all were founded by young entrepreneurs and they all focus on hiring fresh faces. The founders of these companies were all under 30 when they started. Since this journey tends to be fraught with many highs and lows, not everyone will find this journey easy to embark on. The Harvard Business Review found that 45 years old is the average age of most successful entrepreneurs. Because of their experience, wealth, and network. However, this doesn’t mean that people in their twenties have no hope, quite the opposite. The ambition that many young people have makes them even better candidates to start their own companies by EJ Dalius.
No matter what pushes them to start their entrepreneurial journeys, these young people have to remind themselves that their zeal and enthusiasm. Don’t make them immune from certain challenges commonly associated with their age group. As they grow, these challenges can still trouble them. If you are studying and planning to launch your company soon, then equip yourself with knowledge from people who came before you. Know how to deal with the ups and downs of the market so that you can ride the waves of success that are sure to follow.
EJ Dalius: How Ambitious Students can Face Entrepreneurial challenges and Find Solutions
Intellectual property (IP) rights
School VS venture
Some schools have very specific intellectual policy policies. If you invent something in school, you need to learn about your rights and obligations first to avoid any ownership issues or disputes. Faculty members and graduate researchers can have formal contracts with an institution, while students pursuing undergraduate or master degrees don’t hold any employment relationship with the university. Still, some unique IP related troubles may occur.
The best way to dodge any possible conflict is to keep yourself informed about your school’s IP rules and regulations. It can come in handy in reducing the chances of a dispute.
If you are inclined towards technological innovation, but the product idea also demands knowledge of the bio-based materials, you may hit a roadblock. This problem is typical of complex science projects.
If you don’t want to stop just as yet, then reach out to your peers, mentors, and PIs for help. They can show you the path ahead.
Also, remember, this situation can happen with other types of entrepreneurial products or services also. So, if you get stuck, you should not shy away from seeking help.
Whether you start your company while going to school or not, you might find yourself with very little time to work on your project. Afterall, everyone deals with busy schedules. This means that you should plan out how you want to start your business. If you do that, then you can manage your time effectively and strike a balance between coming up with new ideas and keeping up with your schoolwork. On some days, you might want to focus heavily on ideation, but on others, you might want to double down on studying. If you make a plan, you can also avoid burnout.
Successful entrepreneurs like Eric J Dalius recommend that you have to learn to prioritize by identifying urgent and non-urgent things. This approach can help you achieve a balance between your school and entrepreneurial life.
Capital or funding
According to Eric Dalius, many people have ideas, but not everyone is prepared to see those ideas through to the end. This is why many businesses fail. One thing that many entrepreneurs fail to do is reach out to professionals who have years of experience working in their field. Do not feel discouraged if you find yourself stuck on a problem—there are many people who can help you solve that problem, you just need to ask them for help. This is why it is important to reach out to other professionals and expand your network.
While experienced entrepreneurs tend to build their network organically when working, you, as a new entrepreneur, will have to go out of your way to achieve this. In this process, you also need to do some due diligence to find out people who can be mutually beneficial. Both parties (you and the partners) should focus on what you can gain from each other. Make sure that any deals you make are fair so that neither party is getting taken advantage of by the other.
To launch a venture, you need to have funds. Oftentimes, the funds you need to start your business will be about 64% of times existing family or personal savings and 16% of times business loans, according to some studies. For student entrepreneurs, finding this initial capital to invest can be one of the most challenging aspects of starting a business. However, like anything, this problem is not without its solutions. Here are some.
- Seek pre-seed funding for your product development
- Attract an angel investor or venture capitalist
If you can prove that your idea has great value, it should not be difficult to find an investor. You should pursue these options as soon as possible so that you can get started as soon as possible.
Some points that successful young entrepreneur vouch for
Look at your startup as an opportunity
Add purpose to your learning
As mentioned already, students have to deal with packed schedules full of lectures, labs, and other classes. On top of that, they also have to attend events and activities outside the classroom. Students never seem to have enough time. However, time is not an excuse for entrepreneurs. Of course, time is definitely an issue, but you cannot let it hold you back from pursuing your dreams. If things do not go well for your startup, blaming the lack of time you had will not suffice. You cannot complain about your workload and responsibility. If you do so, then being an entrepreneur may not be the best path for you.
If you don’t want this to happen to you, be producing and make good use of any free time you have. Even if you’re faced with a difficult deadline, you need to make sure you manage your time effectively. Sometimes this means getting out of your comfort zone and really grinding to get the results you want.
Students can easily comprehend the theoretical concepts they learn, but they struggle when it comes to implementing them in real-world situations. This happens because students are so used to memorizing facts, but they do not have experience using those skills in practical ways. However, every business owner knows that knowing how to implement skills in practical ways is just a part of their job. Something you should work on is applying what you learn in textbooks to real world situations.
So, if you are a student who dreams of becoming an entrepreneur, you need to believe in yourself in order to achieve your goals. You can be just as capable as someone who has years of experience in the field, you just need to prove it to your superiors. You need to keep moving ahead despite challenges you will face when advancing up the corporate ladder.
Eric Dalius is The Executive Chairman of MuzicSwipe, a music and content discovery platform designed to maximize artist discovery and optimize fan relationships. Along with his work at MuzicSwipe, he also interviews groundbreaking entrepreneurs on his weekly podcast, “FULLSPEED.” Eric also founded the “Eric Dalius Foundation” to support US students with four scholarships. Follow his journey on Twitter, Facebook,YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Entrepreneur.com.