In short, there are no days off. Early mornings, long nights, not enough money, and lots of solitude. But it will be worth it.
I’m not gonna bore you with the details, but just in case you’re new, I started this blog to help millennials put their health back into their hands. Now I’m using this to touch on other topics people my age might be clueless on.
Let us proceed to describe a typical day of Blossom the Creativist:
- Depending on my mood or if I feel dirty, shower
- Read (potentially asinine) comments I receive on my Youtube channel
- Look for summer jobs/clients
- Eat again
- Manage my social media (either Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Youtube)
- Network/look for more clients
- Eat again (hopefully)
- Read or go to sleep
Sacrifices I’ve made as a college entrepreneur
Wow, what an interesting (yawn) daily schedule. It’s pretty flexible so far—sometimes I’m so motivated that I skip lunch (and lose out on building muscle). Although it’s flexible, there are some activities and events my schedule and myself cannot tolerate.
- Parties—This includes mainly college parties. I love going to Nigerian parties because I get to pig out and practice my show-stopping dance skills. But these college parties aren’t free and nor do they encourage the type of dancing I enjoy (you can hear about my club experiences in this video)
- Car—I’m 20 years old and have no car. Some people reading this will scoff. “Oh, but I didn’t get my first car till I was 35!” And I know; some people have it worse.
But I mean, c’mon—my 16-year-old BROTHER got a car before me (that’s a story for another time)!
My mom promised me a car as my graduation present for completing high school. I am now a rising junior in college. No car.
My mom chickened out of buying me a car because of all the waha`la (issues) my brother had with his car (spoiler: it doesn’t work anymore) and wants me to finish college before getting a car.
I think not having a car kind of foreshadows all the other shortcomings that I’ve crossed because I’m an entrepreneur. For instance:
- My acting and modeling plans—Last year, I was set on going to Atlanta to land some acting and modeling gigs. But having a car is kind of important as an entertainer. And I don’t trust UBERs that much. People get stolen.
- Hanging out with friends—honestly though, even if I wasn’t an entrepreneur, I probably wouldn’t hang out with my friends that much anyways. My parents are overprotective, no car, and no money. All my friends are trying to go to places that require money when driving a car by itself requires money!
Mistakes as a college entrepreneur
- Undervaluing my skill—in the beginning, I would undercharge INCREDIBLY. I mean, I was a beginner, so that was destined to happen.
- Not taking offers because I was “too good”—and on some days when I know I have bills to pay, I would decline offers because they didn’t fit with my goals. Looking back now, I could have recurrent clients that I could let go of once I found a client that matches my pace and style. But I decided to let money be the only factor.
- Wasting my time—on people, on drama, on EVERYTHING that doesn’t benefit me. I’ve been to pointless events at school and talked to people way longer than I should have.
Inevitable things that happen as a college entrepreneur
- You check your email like clockwork—I’m actually getting better at not checking my email so much, but in the beginning, it was atrocious. I had my email hooked up to my phone, constantly refreshing it. I was a slave to the emailing game.
- You mom thinks you don’t do anything—she really doesn’t. In fact, when I’m spending my days writing/networking/or marketing on the computer, she feels the need to ask me to do something with my life and cook for the family. There are 8 people in my family. And most Nigerian dishes take over 2 hours to cook. Insert rage emoji here.
Speaking of dishes: my family doesn’t like washing dishes. Right when I got back from college, I was hit with, “come wash these dishes.”
No one can imagine the mass confusion on my face. It was as if they spent all these months harboring the dishes and waiting for me to come back and clean them. Like I didn’t have other things to do.
Like I’M the one that dirtied them.
- Frustration—There’s no instant gratification in the entrepreneurial world. In fact, in the earlier stages, you give up more than you gain. You have to put a lot of time and energy into your business. You’ve got to call people. You’ve got to send emails. You’ve got to send follow-up emails (because companies rarely answer the week of you sending the message). You’ve got to still update your website and brand and continue to advertise yourself. And most times, you do this with little to no return. It’s frustrating.
Not to mention all the previously mentioned sacrifices you’ve made to focus on your business. If you have friends that constantly make plans or don’t mind spending money, kiss those friends goodbye because you’ll be far too frustrated to deal with them.
Anyways, it’s hard. Being a college entrepreneur is hard.
Why do I do it?
Even though it’s tedious, time-consuming, and enervating, I am a college entrepreneur because I have big, creative dreams for myself. I don’t have a role model, nor is there any celebrity that I know of that’s living the life I want to live. I’m creating the life I want to live from scratch. I’m creating my own jobs. I’m learning from my mistakes while I still have a roof over my head that I don’t have to pay for. I’m taking the freedom that comes with college-hood and using it to get away from responsibilities I would have to face if I dropped out. I think being an entrepreneur while in college is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
But on that note, I would half to say (do you get it….half note?): college entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone, and I wouldn’t recommend it for people wishing to live a simple life.
However, even though I’ve struggled as a college entrepreneur, I just can’t see myself doing anything else.
Any business owners in the audience? What do you struggle with in your business?