Having in mind that college professors are more focused on theory than on application, it is clear why you cannot learn entrepreneurship in college. That is why you need to realize the significance of the personal interaction and street smarts. There is a big gap between academic thought and real-world application, and to be an entrepreneur you have to understand how the real world functions. To help you with that, here are seven skills that you won’t learn in college:
- Experience and reflection
In business, it is all about leveraging your strengths to overcome your weaknesses. And only when you start acting you will get to know your strengths. You have to learn from your experiences and the experiences of those around you. In the today’s world of constant changes and competition, you have to look out for everything around you and then reflect on those experiences. When you have realized what your strengths are, you can use them in your business career.
If you fail on your way to success, try to figure out how to avoid the mistakes that led you to fail in future attempts. This trait can only be learned and not taught. You have to be in the position to fail, in order to capitalize from failure.
- Motivation and advantage
Getting other people on board is done only through empathy, which is a key trait for a businessperson. You need to get others to love the service or product you are launching. Everyone has different desires, and when interacting with them, it is important to look from their perspective so that you can explain to them how your product will benefit them.
In college, they won’t teach you about different characters you are going to meet, or how to read them. And that is a significant thing when you are in the business world. Street smarts allow you to achieve success with what you are given. One way of having an advantage when negotiating is to identify what drives a person. You can use this information to get a yes eventually.
- Ebb and flow
Success in the business world is largely dependent on time. For some ideas, society is not ready yet; so timing can be critical. For instance, Facebook’s success was dependent upon a viral leveraging of college campuses via email addresses. If Elon Musk launched his electric car earlier than he did, his project would have been a disaster. He knew that being environment-friendly is currently trendy with wealthy people and that is what led him to success. Misidentifying or delaying the market entry point could mean failure. Although the timing is mentioned on college, you will have to experience it in real life, because trying to get the timing right without experience can cause a big disaster.
- Commitment and belief
If you want people to follow you, you need to follow your passion and believe in yourself. You will have to be committed and have belief even in the hardest of times. All of this matters also because other will follow your example and believe in themselves.
Passion cannot be taught in college, but it can emerge in a college student. When you find your passion grab it, and let it lead you.
- Perception and reality
Give up on rebel act, present yourself as a professional, and try to leave a strong first impression. A bad first impression can lead to loosing a sale or a partner. Don’t change who you are, just act professionally. Show to people that you can execute on your statements by coming across as effective and mature. People will trust you if you seem confident, and that is crucial in business. The quality of your service or product won’t matter if people don’t find you trustworthy.
You need to balance, being too casual will not get you the chance to give a real pitch and being too stiff can put people off. In order to find the middle ground, you have to experiment with attitudes and looks.
- Risk and reward
Now you need to make most of the chances come your way. The key to becoming a successful entrepreneur is following your passion while taking risks at the same time. To do this, you will need a combination of reading people and timing with a bit of daring. You cannot learn this in college because you need to live in the world where consequences are real to take risks.
- Experience and passion
Every startup will need a different strategy, and unfortunately, no magic trick that can be used to find it. Tutorials, the internet, articles, and books can help you with this, but it is necessary to develop business intuition and be able to combine it with the street smarts.
A college degree is sure helpful, but street smarts, common sense and ability to understand people are crucial to success. And these skills and values won’t be mentioned a lot in college; you will have to acquire them by yourself.