Most college students plan to get a degree and find a job. Some dream bigger.
If you’re currently a college student, what’s YOUR dream? Do you want to earn a degree and then find a well-paying job working for someone else (nothing wrong with that), or do you dream of starting your own business? In college is the right place to start considering your choices. Once you’re in the rat race, that choice becomes harder.
Here are brief stories of 5 college students who were bitten by the entrepreneur bug, and started successful businesses.
1. Mark Zukerberg
Who hasn’t heard of Mark Zukerberg? Only the people who live in caves way off the grid. He’s listed as #1 for a reason. In 2004 Mark co-founded Facebook in his dorm room at Harvard and is still the company’s CEO. Anyone who uses a computer or has a cell phone knows about Facebook, and most of us have accounts.
Mark’s current worth is estimated at $71.8 billion dollars. He has been listed in TIME magazine as one of the top 100 wealthiest people in the world since 2010.
2. Have you heard of Bryan Silverman?
Brian and his brother Jordan began a business that printed ads on something everyone uses – toilet paper. Their thinking?
“Everyone reads, creating a captive audience in the bathroom, so why not put advertising here?” Their company, Star Toilet Paper’s slogan: “Don’t rush, look before you flush.”
Star Toilet Paper had a 4-year run before closing down in 2014. In 2012 Bryan was awarded Entrepreneur Magazine’s College Entrepreneur of the year award for 2012.
3. Charlie Dolan
Charlie Dolan thought of a way to help companies reduce the amount of waste that they dispose of daily. As a student at Villanova University Charlie founded Sequoia Waste Solutions. His company helps businesses find more cost-effective methods for trash disposal.
Charlie continues to build his business while attending school and working on his degree. Currently his business, based in Pennsylvania, is active in 11 other states.
4. Ava Anderson
Ava is unique in that she began her business, Ava Anderson Non-Toxic, at the age of 14 while still in high school. By the age of 19 she was a millionaire. Her business markets safe, non-toxic personal care products.
Ava’s business plan uses the “party method” used by other well-known companies such as Tupperware and Pampered Chef. She believes that is the best way to inform her customers about the products and how they are produced.
In late 2016, the company had close to 3000 consultants in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
Apparently Ava’s company has either changed it’s name or merged with another company. When I clicked on Ava Anderson Non-Toxic, I was directed to a website for a company called PURE Haven Essentials.
5. Nam Ho
Sorry, no photo of Nam Ho. Nam Ho began his clothing company, with the clever name of Oh Man! Clothing in 2009. Why is the name clever? Because it’s him name, Nam Ho, spelled backwards!
It was at a summer finance internship where Nam Ho began to form the idea for his own clothing line. He used most of the money he earned from his internship to start his business. He says he has to give up a lot of sleep and work late at night, even until sunrise sometimes, so he can focus on designing his clothing line.
My purpose in giving these brief bios isn’t to highlight the 5 students
It’s to show you that you can do the same. Follow your dream, especially while in college. What better time is there to learn the ups and downs of owning your own business? All budding entrepreneurs will make mistakes and learn from them. Make your mistakes while still in school, not when you have graduated and have “obligations.”
I recently wrote a post for college students about starting an online business, and showed one of the best places to go to gain the knowledge and experience necessary to succeed online. You can find that post HERE.
If you have that entrepreneur spirit, and would like to start a business, my advise is to GO FOR IT! Especially if you are still a student. It might not work, but you will learn from it. If it does work, then you have possibly laid the foundation for your life’s work and financial independence.
Remember, though, that you are in school to get that education. If it reaches the point where your business is interfering with your college work, you should make a choice. Some entrepreneurs can juggle college and business. Some quit college to focus on their businesses full time. Still others postpone the business until after graduation. You’ll have to decide what is best for you. Talk to the important people in your life, like your parents or spouse, if you are married. The final decision is yours.
Good luck in your endeavors!
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Follow your Dreams!