I’ve gone to school more than most people, and I’ve come to the conclusion that group assignments are the bane of all existence.
Seems there’s always the guy who barely participates, the woman who always has a strong opinion about everything, the overachiever who wants to get the entire assignment done in the first few days…sound familiar?
As painful as these experiences may have been for you, it turns out that working in teams is a microcosm of real life. As I reflect on my major accomplishments I can see that each one was reached with the help of other people. You can create your own job as an entrepreneur in your early to mid-20’s. It is entirely possible. If you want to succeed, however, I hope working in a team is part of your strategic plan.
I research entrepreneurs for a living, and I particularly love the bootstrap start-up that consists of two or three 20-somethings and a dream. I came across just such a team about 6 months ago when I was at a local business incubator. Two people on the team had been out of school for only a couple of years, and team member number three was about to graduate.
Commit to One Another
Point number one. Your team really has to be for one another rather than just being int it for the money. Chances are that this ship will pitch and yaw so much that you all will get seasick before the trip is over. And, it is pretty much a guarantee that this journey will not end the way you want.
Commit to each other, and commit to the long-term view. Imagine yourselves 10, 15, even 20 years down the line still in business together. It will probably be a different business than your current venture, and you will probably be making far more money.
Your current business will be distant memory. But your team can still be together if you commit to one another. Don’t treat this venture as just another group assignment that is over after 2 or 3 weeks of class. Winners win over the long term.
Push for a Larger Team
You may recall that I said I met this start-up trio at a local business incubator. If you don’t know what an incubator is, Google it.
You need this. Some incubators have physical space where you can co-locate with other start-up entrepreneurs. This provides an unparalleled learning opportunity that can dramatically shorten your learning curve, and can keep you keep you from making dangerous missteps. Chances are that your college or university either has access to an incubator or has one on campus.
Move to where the action is.
One of many things that you have going for you at this point in your life is that you are portable. Depending on the type of business you are starting, it may make sense to relocate.
- Move to where the money is.
- Move to where the people are.
- Move to find more support.
Many new incubators are cropping up across the US. Several of which specialize in one type of industry. Blue Ridge Food Ventures, for example, is a kitchen incubator that is dedicated specifically to helping people launch food-related businesses.
The 3 things that can help you create your own job are:
- Commit to one another
- Push for a larger team
- Move to where the action is
****For this fantastic guest post, Campus to Career thanks Jason Owens!****
About the author: Jason Owens researches and encourages entrepreneurs. His thought-provoking blog articles on overcoming entrepreneurial challenges can be found at JasonROwens.com.