Being a university student can be a daunting experience.
I.e. New town, new home, different circles of friends, the need to perform at a higher level. All of this can be hard at first.
So the moment your mum leaves you fend for yourself and drives back home, it’s time to pull up those pants, straighten out your hair and become an adult… and one of tne of the best ways to do so is to learn new skills – and in the process, develop an entrepreneurial mindset.
You know what an entrepreneur is, right? Mark Zuckerberg is one! He developed THE most popular social networking websites in the world. (Facebook)
But he wasn’t just a geeky kid sat in front of a computer! Far from it! ….he had the mindset of an entrepreneur.
So what is this mindset?
Well it’s the ability to think on your feet, to see opportunity before it arises, to learn and think strategically about any given decision and develop ideas with ease.
Imagine how all of that could help you in university life!
Entrepreneurs primarily develop business ideas, but that’s not all it’s about.
Sure, if you want to do that too then there’s no harm, but you will find it difficult unless you develop this mindset.
Here’s some information on what you’ll need to do and what you’ll need to source in order to progress your entrepreneurial skill set.
- Be responsible for all decisions – good and bad.
Entrepreneurs have an incredible opportunity to create something from nothing, in a way that’s not possible for someone else. It’s about making decisions about what needs to be done, when and how.
Plan ahead, keep a diary, have goals which you set yourself on a daily basis and make sure you complete them. It should never be a chore to do anything – including coursework!
You can’t wait for things to happen, or for someone to tell you what to do, you must make them happen. Those with an entrepreneurial mindset also understand that opportunities may be short lived, and so develop a sense of urgency that helps them achieve their goals.
- You need to hold both short and long term visions simultaneously.
Those with an entrepreneur’s mindset plan ahead and do tasks in order of importance. They also project their mind forward, thinking about potential pitfalls and opportunities which lie around the corner.
This requires you to come to terms with the fact that what you do, (or don’t do) today will have an impact on your future.
Becoming more organised will help you cope with that mountain of work your lecturer just gave you as well.
- Feeling uncomfortable is the new ‘comfort zone’
Ever work in a burger joint or bowling alley? When you were working for them, did you ever feel like you were more used to thinking within a box, being told what to do? Well, with an entrepreneurial mindset, there is no box.
You see what others don’t, test new ideas, seize new territory and take risks.
University gives you an opportunity to re invent yourself so it’s an ideal time to do these kinds of things! It all requires courage, a thick skin and the ability to keep going, giving you more courage and optimism than you’ve ever had before!
Being out of your comfort zone will generally make you feel more confident as a person too… and that’s half the battle at university, isn’t it?
- Entrepreneurs are good with money
This one is probably one of the most important points, because students can generally be terrible with money.
Entrepreneurs plan things, meaning they use spreadsheets to detail costs (incomings and outgoings) and think about what’s practical to buy.
When you go around the supermarket, say to yourself; ‘Is this a necessity or am I just buying this for the sake of it?’.
We’re not saying you can’t enjoy yourself whatsoever, but doing this will ensure you save a lot of money – so you’ll be able to afford that inevitable unplanned night out when it happens.
- Seek out networking events and speak to enterprise coordinators
Most universities will have an enterprise department complete with lecturers, coaches, programmes, society information and events.
Seek this out and attend as many of their events as you can.
You’ll also meet students who represent their local Enactus, which is a fantastic way to learn and enhance your personal, entrepreneurial attributes.
- Test yourself
While at university, test yourself. I.e. put yourself out of your comfort zone, plan finances in Excel spreadsheets, make strategic decisions you wouldn’t normally make, set yourself monthly goals and targets, prioritize tasks, re-invent a more confident persona, network, think outside of the box, and most of all ENJOY YOURSELF.