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How to Become a Successful Entrepreneur without an actual Business Degree

Do you really need a degree to become an Entrepreneur?
How to Become a Successful Entrepreneur without an actual Business Degree Starting a new business in a competitive market can be tough. This is especially true for ambitious individuals without academic experience or degrees to back their claims. Investors, clients and job candidates are often reluctant to work with people without higher education.

Is it really impossible to start a business and become an entrepreneur without a business or an equivalent degree? The answer would depend on who you ask since many successful entrepreneurs enjoy their fortune without academia. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some important steps and bits of information that can help you achieve the same business goals.

  1. Set career goals
Future entrepreneurs without college degrees have a much smaller margin for error. A single failed project or an investment call can effectively end the startup then and there.

To that end, it’s important to know exactly what your aspirations are. Where do you see yourself five or eight years down the line in terms of entrepreneurship? Know what your goals are before you start working your way towards them.

  1. Choose a niche you love
It goes double for people without an academic degree that they choose a niche that they feel passionate about. There is nothing worse than digging yourself into a hole by choosing a lucrative niche you don’t really care about.

It’s true that you can “power through it” because of money and status but you will start feeling miserable at some point or another. Choose an industry niche you really care about and focus your efforts in that direction.

  1. Start networking early
You might not have a college degree but that doesn’t matter when networking is concerned. You can visit seminars, conferences and other professional social events in your industry of choice.

Make sure that you let people know about you by smiling and shaking their hands. You never know who you might need tomorrow once your business is up and running – network early and network often.

  1. Volunteering opportunities matter
Volunteering can be a great way to learn about business and entrepreneurship as a whole. Many NGOs focus on marketing, sales and HR management in their structure. You can learn a lot about your future business for free.

All you have to do is dedicate several weeks or months of your time to an NGO or another organization. This is a small price to pay for the knowledge and self-confidence that will stem from it. Not to mention the different skills and references you will be able to add to your proverbial resume.

  1. Look for internships
Once you have acquired some experience in your niche, you can turn your attention to professional internships. Unfortunately, companies often focus on hiring students who they can potentially hire after the internship is concluded. This doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for you to land one however. Many firms specifically look for people with practical aspirations instead of academic ones.

Search for internships around your local area and focus on those that suit your future business’s interests. Even the top translation companies with professional writers are always on the lookout for new recruits. It’s better to learn about industry insights before you make a fatal mistake and bury your startup prematurely. Going through volunteering and internship experiences before starting your business is extremely important.

  1. Define your brand
You don’t have to be a graphic designer or a visual artist to create your brand. All you need is a pen, a notepad and some creative spark. Try to think of the reason as to why you are becoming an entrepreneur? What is it that you have to offer to the market that no one else has done before? Is there a specific product or a service that will be the centerpiece of your new enterprise?

All of these questions can lead you to the right branding for your startup. You can always hire a designer to do the heavy lifting for you but it will mean so much more to you if you do it yourself.

  1. Set startup goals
You may have set personal goals for professional development early on – however, your startup’s goals are quite different. This is where you will start implementing all the experience you’ve accumulated through personal development, seminars and internships. Make sure that you set concrete, measurable goals for your future startup.

What kind of revenue do you plan on making on a yearly basis? How many employees do you want to have optimally? How many investors and corporate clients do you intend to bring onboard? These questions are essential to the healthy growth of your business. Don’t go into it blindly and take some time to reflect on what it is that you really want to accomplish.

  1. Look for colleagues and investors
Don’t ask anyone to follow you blindly without a direction to offer. No job candidate or wealthy investor will let you lead them into unknown waters without some assurances. Your personal and professional goals can serve as a backdrop for any projects you might have come up with in the meantime.

Reassure your future coworkers that you know what you are doing and that your plans are ambitious and worth pursuing. You can look for job candidates by simply posting a job opening or two on popular local and online employment boards.

Investors and corporate partners are another matter entirely and will require you to do some legal homework before approaching them. Make sure that you are a legitimate, legal and able entity that can take on a corporate contract before you sign anything. Finding an investor or someone already established in the industry will help your growth tremendously.

  1. All work – no sleep
Keep in mind that the first contracts you sign will only mark the beginning of your entrepreneurial career. You will have to work tirelessly to achieve your corporate goals and even then, success won’t be guaranteed. If you are a family person or someone with plenty of hobbies and obligations – prepare to make some sacrifices.

Being an independent entrepreneur is a wonderful notion but it comes at a personal cost. Your work hours will be long and you will almost never feel like you’ve achieved something concrete. Once it does happen however, you will quickly be reinvigorated and ready to take on new challenges as the head of a new and promising enterprise.

Theory and practice (Conclusion) 
There is no right answer as to whether or not a business degree is a necessity for entrepreneurs. Some people have failed spectacularly even though they have degrees and professional experience galore. Don’t underestimate your ambition and the willingness to learn as you go. In the end, all you need is energy and patience to see your dreams come to fruition.

Copyrights © 2024 Inspiration Unlimited eMagazine

Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 11th August 2018.
Kristin Savage
Freelancer, translator

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