Chances are, you’re an entrepreneur and haven’t even realized it. I should know; I’ve been one almost my entire life and only just recently started referring to myself by the moniker of ‘entrepreneur.’ It only took starting a business in college and being called ‘boss’ by people who were twice my age to realize it.
What does a young entrepreneur look like?
Being an entrepreneur encompasses a lot of characteristics, but the main one is tenacity. I often think of my entrepreneurial roots as dating back to when I was 10 years old and I opened a lemonade stand in front of my house. The highlight of my summer was when the mayor of my town showed up to see me selling my lemonade.
Really, though, I was an entrepreneur back from the first time I took charge during recess. I was an entrepreneur when I was leader in the group project at school. I was an entrepreneur when I stood up to the children who were bullying Michael. See, being an entrepreneur is a mindset. It is about leadership and being unafraid to stand apart from others.
While you are in college, you are discovering who you will be for the rest of your life. This is when I discovered that I am truly an entrepreneur. I had been freelance writing online starting in high school. Although I used this as income while my classmates had jobs at the mall, I did not think that my lack of a boss qualified me as an entrepreneur. To me, I was just a freelancer. It was not until I started my publishing company GenZ Publishing, that I consciously became an entrepreneur. It wasn't even starting the company that caused me to think of myself as an entrepreneur. It was when one or my writers called me “boss lady.” Then, another writer called me “boss.” And soon, I realized that my position really could only be described as ‘boss’ — that is what sets an entrepreneur apart.
So if you have ever taken charge and embraced your individuality, you are already embracing the entrepreneurship mentality. Being an entrepreneur is more favorable than ever before with the advent of technology and the internet linking so many people and brands. Individuality is encouraged. As a result, we are becoming a growing entrepreneurial nation.
College is the perfect time to start your business.
Businesses are no longer brick and mortar shops either. Being an entrepreneur today could mean tutoring online and locally, starting a blog, selling products on Amazon…the options are endless. To be a successful entrepreneur means working tirelessly, being confident in yourself and your business, and not giving up.
One of my earlier entrepreneurial endeavors (that I would have never thought of as a business at the time) was entering contests. Every Saturday I would enter every contest I could find online and in magazines. I won so many prizes, from iPads to gift cards, but I also lost more contests than I won. Moral of the story, don’t give up. If I had given up when I didn’t win the Hannah Montana concert tickets, I would have never won the HP laptop. It was all thanks to my entrepreneurial mindset to never give up.
Written by Morissa Schwartz. Morissa is a bestselling author and the owner of GenZ Publishing. Visit her website at MorissaSchwartz.com. Her company, GenZPublishing.org, publishes books for young and new authors.