10 Tips for Aspiring Student Entrepreneurs

1.      Find your motivation

Danielle Jeffers, founder of Dough 4 Degrees

Danielle Jeffers, founder of Dough 4 Degrees

Entrepreneurship requires a person to fight constantly for themselves and their ideas. It’s difficult to stay in the fight when it seems like the world is beating you down.

Finding your motivation to stay in the game is the key to fighting back. Danielle Jeffers, founder of Dough 4 Degrees and a student at Virginia Tech, shares that her family remains her motivation. “I have four younger cousins that I want to inspire them to be their best selves and explore life without any hesitation,” stated Jeffers.


2. Surround yourself with like-minded people

Most entrepreneurs forget that staying focused on their goals is half the battle. It makes a difference when you’re constantly having conversations about your goals and progress with individuals that share the same ones.

Ideas can come from anywhere when you’re surrounded by people as driven as you.


3. Don’t be afraid to fail

Failing is the reason why most people don’t pursue their dreams. However, true entrepreneurs know that failing is not bad! Every successful business and entrepreneur has failed and failed and failed.

Every failure leads to a new idea and concept. The main goal with failure is to fail often, and fail fast so it won’t hinder your success. Dane Atkinson, CEO of SumAll, states, “Saying ‘no’ to great ideas is necessary to get to the brilliant ones.”


4. Use your connections

As student entrepreneurs, you receive four years of connections that can give you more than just friendships. Professors, students, staff, and alumni are there to support you in every endeavor that you want to complete.

Take advantage of the people you meet. You never know where they can lead.

5. Listen

An important life skill is listening. It may seem simple but most people forget how influential listening can be for your decisions. In an entrepreneurial sense, listening gives you the opportunity to learn.

Listen to ideas of others, listen to fails, listen to advice, and listen to the world around you. You then get to you the information you’ve heard to either implement it or ignore it.


6. Write down your goals

I know this sounds useless since you probably already know your goals. However, Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at the Dominican University in California, conducted a study on goal setting and found that you become 42% more likely to achieve your goals and dreams simply by writing them down on a regular basis.

It doesn’t hurt to see your goals in front of you on a daily basis. It could be that little boost you need to make them a reality!

7. Don’t give up

Your first initial plan will almost never work out like you planned. Don’t give up! This is the best opportunity to pivot yourself to new things. There are always new perspectives to take on everything so don’t let failure stop you from achieving great things.

Mark Cuban, investor and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, stated, “Do the work. Out-work. Out-think. Out-sell your expectations. There are no shortcuts. You’ll succeed if you do that.”


8. Read

The best resource in the world is the knowledge from reading. Read everything you can find so you can learn from every perspective.

The more you know, the better you’ll understand how to work as an entrepreneur.

9. Take risks every day

David Hall and Jordan Klein, co-founders of Park & Diamond

David Hall and Jordan Klein, co-founders of Park & Diamond

I’m sure you’ve heard this many times, however it’s true. Big risk, big reward. Don’t be afraid to take a leap for something you care about.

David Hall, co-founder of Park & Diamond and Virginia Tech student, states, “My advice to young entrepreneurs is to change your mindset from, ‘I have a great idea but I haven’t been taught…’, to, ‘I have a great idea idea and I’m going to become an expert at making that idea a reality.’”


10. Invest in your brand

If you aren’t completely committed to your brand, then subsequently no one else will either. Find what works for you and fully invest into your brand.

Show the world how your brand is important and why it will succeed. You are the image of your future brand!