Students, go for it!!! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain from entrepreneurship

Picture of a Lemonade stand

Being an entrepreneur can be as easy as opening up a lemonade stand. Though with your level of higher education, it might be worth aiming a little higher .

There are countless reasons for someone to want to be an entrepreneur and start their own business. You make your own hours, only have to work with the people you want, wear whatever you want around your office (sometimes I don’t even wear pants, much to the dismay of my co-workers), and most importantly you get to do something you’re passionate about.

For me, entrepreneurship is the antithesis of settling for what ever job you might be able to find despite being overqualified and ultimately under appreciated. I believe that entrepreneurship should appeal most to young people. They’re the ones with big ideas in their minds, fire in their eyes, and nothing in their pockets. In other words, with nothing to loose.

Yet, rather than embrace their unique situation, recent university grads often give up finding a job in their field and instead convince themselves to accept a job that will pay the bills “only until a new opportunity arises”; if one ever does. Naturally, there are a few flaws in that logic if someone is expecting their situation to improve by merely doing nothing. Here they are in point form:

  1. You’re no more qualified now than you were six months ago when you decided to stop looking for related work experience.
  2. For all intents and purposes, the job market in your particular industry is the same now as it has always been.
  3. Even if there were a sudden explosion of perfect job opportunities, not only are you competing with those individuals that had the same mentality and postponed searching for a related job, you now also have to compete with the latest generation of graduates and their shiny new degrees as well as with those who, despite being unable to find a job in their field, have chosen to improve their skill sets through entrepreneurial endeavours.

As you can probably infer, the moral of the story is that settling, in all its forms, will never in and of itself lead to meaningful employment. Enter entrepreneurship.

Picture of a kid working in class

When you were a kid I’m all but positive that you didn’t tell people you wanted to grow up and “just pay the bills”.

Entrepreneurship allows recent grads to put to use the skills and information they learned (and paid good money for) in school and turn that into a meaningful career filled with countless opportunities. Although entrepreneurship is fraught with challenges and obstacles, valuable experience and possibilities are bountiful for those who are willing to try, which brings us to the real purpose of this blog.

TRY!!! There are countless resources akin to the Startup Garage whose sole purpose is to see you succeed through the knowledge and skills you’ve gained during your time in university, one need only look for them. There is a community and a network of entrepreneurs and organizations out there that want nothing more than to hear your ideas and direct you to the right people. Invest Ottawa is one of them and as good a place to get started as any.

It may be the case that you need to work less than desirable jobs to sustain yourself, but you should not lose sight of the ultimate goal of meaningful employment. Work part-time if you have to, it may be irresponsible not to, but using your new found degree to buff up your resume in a part-time entrepreneurial enterprise could prove to pay higher dividends than strictly working full-time

With that in mind, turn your art history degree into an art consultancy business aimed at helping those of us that know nothing about art make informed and tasteful art purchases based on their specific wants and needs. Or that BA in anthropology into a niche market research business targeted towards discovering how brands can differentiate themselves within the ever growing gamer demographic. Follow your passion, maybe make a buck.

The possibilities are endless as are the opportunities. Do yourself a favour and find out entrepreneurial resources in your area, you won’t regret it. I for one wouldn’t trade my time in the Startup Garage for all the double Big Mac’s in the world… Well, maybe for ALL of them.

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