The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.
1. Grow too Fast
While in high school or college, the idea of a big company and a ton of employees sounds great, so it’s easy to grow too fast and bite off more than you can chew. Slow growth is OK. It’s still growth! Finish your first task (school) and then dominate the business field. If your business can survive your schooling, you have a proven concept and can go full force after graduation.
– Kyle Clayton, Jackrabbit Janitorial
2. Fail Out
Taking time off to work on a business that is going somewhere is one thing, but allowing yourself to fail out of your classes is another. It will make you look like you can’t complete things you commit to. Pass every class you sign up for and evaluate what’s going on each semester. If you know you’re going to need extra time for your business, take a lighter class load or defer.
– Thursday Bram, Hyper Modern Consulting
3. Shelter Themselves
High schools and colleges are perfect places to start a business! They have plentiful resources and are amazing markets to test out products. If you keep yourself sheltered, you will be unable to take advantage of all the amazing things being at school can offer.
– Bryan Silverman, Star Toilet Paper
4. Feel Guilty
Don’t feel guilty that you are building a business in school. You will learn far more by building a business than you will sitting in a classroom. That doesn’t mean you should drop out, but it does mean you shouldn’t feel guilty for prioritizing your business over school.
– Adam Lieb, Duxter
5. Drop Out
Don’t drop out. The startup world glamorizes ditching school to follow your dreams. For a small percentage of people, this might be the best option. However, for most entrepreneurs, their first companies are not going to be their home runs. Though they’ll gain a lot of experience pursuing them full time, it’s really hard to get the academic momentum going again once you’ve left school.
– Heidi Allstop, Spill
6. Become the Oddball Out
Go to the football games, school dances or Greek functions regularly! One of the most important skills you foster in high school and college is the ability to interact with others, work together, meet new people and learn to get along. Secluding yourself is detrimental to the development of these skills! In business, your social skills will help carry you no matter how great your startup is.
– Kim Kaupe, ‘ZinePak
7. Assume the Business Will Support Them Forever
Young entrepreneurs should make sure they’re devoting enough time to their studies while growing their businesses. Entrepreneurship is great, but you may one day find yourself in need of that good education. Assuming that your business will support you for the rest of your life is very risky.
– Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance