I'm Still in School

It is not uncommon for entrepreneurs to start their businesses while still in school. In fact some of the most successful entrepreneurs dropped out early in college—Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Bill Gates of Microsoft, and Steve Jobs of Apple to name a few.

However, these are exceptionally driven and talented individuals. Each was notorious for working 80 to 100 hours a week, for months and even years. Very few people have that kind of discipline. Just remember that.

Having said that, there are certain advantages to starting a business while still in school.  That’s probably as free as you will ever be to just try something. It is also an ideal place to great ideas—after all, you are learning new things all the time, and you are with other smart young men and women. And, if you meet someone who shares your idea and passion, then you have co-founder, which typically increases your chance of success due to shared responsibilities, having someone to be accountable to, and someone with whom to brainstorm and work out ideas and solutions. All of these are great advantage.

That’s probably as free as you will ever be to just try something.

However, if you quit school to launch your business, you better succeed. You know what will happen if you don’t—all those people (parents, siblings, friends) who can’t wait to to say to you, “I told you so!”

No, if you are going to quit school to start your business, you better succeed.

So, how do you know you will succeed before you quit?

There are two reliable evidences you can count on to tell you it’s time to quit and do this full-time:

  1. You have a line of customers waiting to pay you for your product and service, and the real problem that is limiting your growth is that you are only doing this part-time. If you are finding yourself looking to hire people and find a bigger place from which to operate, it’s definitely time to do this full time.

  2. You have experienced, successful people with money who are saying to you they want to invest in your business for a piece of the action. No really successful person throws his or her money away. They must have seen something really good. Do your research to make sure you don’t end up giving away your business, but take serious steps to taking the capital and growing your business.

If you are experiencing either one or both of the above, it’s time to quit school and do this full time.

Otherwise, keep working on the idea, but finish school first.

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