Failure is your friend

Photo courtesy of Conrad Kimball

This Entrepreneurial Life

Thoughts, Lessons and Interviews

When you decide to start a business as a student, you have to realize one important thing – you don’t know anything.

The truth is, most students will never take a “how to start a business 101” class because we’re all busy trying to pass our regular classes. If you are interested in starting a business, especially if you’re planning on starting a business in college, the best advice I can give you is to realize that you are probably going to fail.

Entrepreneurship, no matter what anyone tells you, is about persistence. If you are willing to work through an idea and stay focused enough to see that idea through, you will be successful, even if the final product wasn’t your original idea.

Persistence will lead you to the right answer over time and bring opportunities that were never in the original business plan.

Life, and the business, will have peaks and valleys as you try to figure out how to navigate the real world while continuing to improve your work processes and output for your customers or clients.

As an entrepreneur, especially a student entrepreneur, you can’t possibly know all the aspects about running a business. The sooner you realize that fact, the sooner you’ll start looking for help from mentors and strategic partners – a key to business success.

I started my business, UNICO Marketing LLC, on the idea that businesses hadn’t started to realize how effective Snapchat could be for their business. My first idea was to upload a Snapchat filter over a business and then go out and promote the filter directly to the customers.

This means that for the first client we had, I created signs, graphics, flyers, digital creatives and posters all trying to get customers to use our Snapchat filter. We had 14 people use our Snapchat filter that day.

When you start a business, there are registration and filing fees, graphics and printing fees, website hosting fees and the list goes on. At that point, I had put in everything I had from my bank account into the business. If no one used the Snapchat filters, essentially, I had put all my money into a marketing business that didn’t market.

Luckily, my client stuck with me, and he was willing to pay for an annual filter over his location, which means that the Snapchat filter would be over his location an entire year. That was five months ago, and he is still our client to this day.

I encourage everyone who is looking to become an entrepreneur to fail hard and fast, because once you fail, you will be one step closer to the right solution.

“The fastest way to succeed is to double your failure rate,” said Thomas J. Watson Sr., founder of IBM.

If you’re interested in entrepreneurship, come join the Entrepreneurship Club! All majors welcome. You can find us on Facebook: @CEOfresnostate

You can send me questions here: @FS_entrepreneur

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