1. Deal with failure
An inevitable part of the startup experience is tasting failure. Almost all successful entrepreneurs have failed at one point or other. Failure a learning process that can help you make your next venture a success.
But you won’t learn about this in college.After all, colleges want you to succeed. They want you to graduate and become an esteemed alumni who donates money.
Truth is, a failure is not the end of the world. This is something that you will have to discover and cope with when joining the startup world.
2. Raise money
Raising money for a startup is infinitely more complex than paying for college. Investors and banks expect you to present a detailed business plan that describes how a product works and how it will eventually make them a little something extra.
You may have to negotiate with investors and banks if they don’t at first understand your vision (another skillÂ that you mayÂ not have acquired in college).
Being able to understand a profit-and-loss statement or balance sheet is vital. You will have to be able to budget expensesÂ for the next six months, a year or longer –Â Â skills you may not have picked up in a college lecture hall.
4. Pivot if necessary
College students often change majors and transfer to another school. That’s not something widely advertised. But, in fact 61% of students switch their major by the close of sophomore year at the University of Florida, according to The New York Times. And pivoting is something that startups are becoming familiar with.
5. Think outside of the box
Often in school there is a right and wrong answer. But in the startup world, ambiguity rules.
If you are not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original, Author and educator Ken Robinson declared in a TED talk, Schools Kill Creativity, which has been viewed almost 27 million times.
6. Build the right network
No matter how tempting it may be to hire friends, they may not be right for your startup. If you majored in business, though, how often do you cross paths with an awesome programmer? Probably never.
When running a startup, be ready and willing to reach out and engage with the right people, instead of just relying on those who are there. With the right network of people, the possibilities are endless.
7. Become a salesperson
If you want your startup to succeed, then you must sell. You’re going to have to market the company’s product to employees, investors and clients. Being a top-notch salesperson isn’t something that can be taught in a classroom. It’s a skill that must be refined over time through experience and that entails being able to read people well enough to get them hooked on your company’s mission.
8. Mind your health
At a startup, you and your employees will putÂ a lot of hours and hard work. You just canâ€™t call in sick because you have the sniffles.
Since every day at your startup matters, take note thatÂ the Centers for Disease ControlÂ has found that overallÂ healthy employees are more productive and call in sick less often.
9. Become a boss
Some people are natural-born leaders. Others become great leaders in college, like that star quarterback. And still others take business classes that cover all sorts of theories for how to make a better businessperson. But being a boss — that is, actually managing employees — is something else entirely.
While great bosses may also be great leaders, not all leaders make great bosses. When that quarterback leaves college, could he look the father of five directly in the eyes and fire him?
Being a great boss means that you should be able to guide, inspire and even make tough decisions. There isn’t a class for that. It’s just another skill you’ll have to learn in the real world.
10. Manage your time
There is no free time at a startup. You’re going to be working essentially 24/7, no matter how tired you may be. So while your friends are enjoying happy hour, don’t become upset about finishing up a business plan, doing research or having a late-night meeting with employees. That’s just the nature of the beast.