There seems to be a lot of buzz right now that talks about why today's college graduates should start their own business or work for a startup when they graduate. Both of these types of businesses have an element of surprise and excitement that can be attractive and rewarding, especially for the entrepreneurial types. There are positive and negative outcomes to both as well. The positive outcomes typically aren't always in the form of fame or fortune like some may think. The hands-on experience gained from launching a business and getting a product to market is extremely challenging, and rewarding. These skills really cannot be learned in any other work environment. The negatives... well, we tend to see this side more often, which can mean closing up shop. However, just because you closed doesn't mean you failed. It means you tried, experimented and learned something new. Now you can re-tool and try again.
As someone who has experience working for a startup, I can see why college grads are lured to this type of environment. The creative energies and innovative thinking is incredible. Also, the status of being part of a company that's considered disruptive and cool is quite attractive. Let's face it; if you're in your early 20s and you're an integral part of a lean-mean startup machine that has promise, you're probably on top of the world. You've part of an intelligent, formative, nuclear team and you're one of the key people behind launching a new product or landing a new multi-million dollar client. Both are an incredible adrenaline rush that's an experience you will never forget and likely will not experience again unless you are involved in a startup.
Why Is A Startup Good?
One of the most rewarding things about startups is that you can find yourself working with a team that is highly passionate and enthusiastic. This can spark inspiration on every level, leading to truly innovative ideas and developments that can help the business stand out against competitors in the greater industry.
- Adam Arbolino | Techcrunch
Why Is A Startup Not So Good?
Many entrepreneurs today fail to take the actions that research shows actually help businesses survive. Numerous studies have shown that putting in place careful financial controls, emphasizing marketing plans and writing a clear, concise business plan --- that highlights the overall vision --- increases the odds that a new business will survive.
- Dane Atkinson | HuffingtonPost
What About Big Companies?
Businesses with thousands of employees are training grounds that can shape your career. They teach you what you're great at, how you're most productive, and what you want to gain out of work.
- Brian de Haaf | LinkedIn
What I Learned As A Startup Business Owner
Just like every business is different, so is the learning curve each startup business owner faces when they launch their business. When you ask one business owner what the toughest challenges were when they started, their answer will most likely be different than the next startup business owner you ask. That's why business is so challenging. There is no perfect formula for success.
When I decided to take the plunge and start my own business, I didn't have all the answers. In fact, I didn't have enough answers and was yearning for more, but didn't have the time to learn then apply. I realized that I was completely learning on the job. This seems to be the norm, especially for a small startup. As days turned into weeks, then months and even years, I continued to journal my thoughts so that I could reflect on the good and bad times. I wanted to learn from my experience of being a first-time business owner. Here's a look back at some of the a-ha moments I experienced. Wow, they really do make sense. I wish someone had told me about these common misconceptions before I opened the doors for business.
An Experience Unlike Any Other
In my opinion, recent college graduates should take the opportunity to work for a startup or launch their own business. Even though these types of companies are just beginning to carve out their niche, require long hours, a commitment that goes beyond everything else and a relentless pursuit of whatever drives the company forward, this experience is unlike any other. Launching a business can also be a tremendous learning experience for young professionals to learn what they otherwise may never see in another type of company.
Photo Credit: Unsplash - Caleb George