The Two Paths to Becoming an Entrepreneur

Most people understand that there are two ways to get into business in order to become an entrepreneur. The first is the standard academic method; you apply for a school, get a degree, and learn real-world applications before you start your own business. The second method is to start from nothing and try to learn as you go. This works off the concept of failing faster; an idea that the faster you make mistakes, the faster you learn how to overcome them.


There are some critical differences between both of these paths, and we’re going to break them down in order to give you some idea of how they’ll ultimately affect your path in life.



The pros of studying


Firstly, there are thousands of degree choices that relate to business. For instance, a business management online degree program is easy to find and there are several advantages over visiting a traditional school. It’s cheaper, can be done from the comfort of your own home, and you can still receive financial aid to pay for it. The only drawback is that there are still some requirements. For example, if you skipped high school then you might be required to revisit your past studies or take a foundation course to brush up on your skills.


Studying also prepares you for a lot of potential issues in the future. You’ll learn all about failures that real entrepreneurs have made and how they overcame those issues, and you’ll also have plenty of real-world experience to practice with before investing in your own business. Studying also enables you to network with figureheads in the industry. Since you’ll be in a class with others, you’ll also have colleagues (or potential rivals) to start businesses with as partners.


The cons of studying


One of the major drawbacks is the cost. Studying is expensive and unless you’re able to secure financial aid or have a lot of savings, expect to save up a lot of money or even work while you study to obtain your degree.


Business is also an ever-changing landscape; you can’t conquer it with a textbook that’s a decade old and you can’t plan for future situations that you don’t know. Business is all about reacting to trends and understanding how the market flows, which is why it’s important to get real-world experience. Although most degrees offer some kind of experience and real-world practice, it’s ultimately still going to be different from starting up your own business.



The pros of starting early


As mentioned before, the idea of failing faster is one that you can apply to starting up a business without study. As long as you keep a diary or a log of your failures and study them, you can avoid them in the future and create a business off the back of your experiences. This does mean you’ll be spending a little more money on starting up a business and investing into it, but it’s still far cheaper than paying for an education.


Starting a business also means you can play with different ideas and react to market trends. If you see an opportunity while you’re studying, it’ll be difficult to invest in starting up a business to take advantage of it. However, if you’re just waiting for an opportunity, then it’s much easier to react if you aren’t already invested in something. Starting a business early also allows you more freedom to do what you want and network with people who are relevant to your industry. Because of this, you can pursue a career in an industry you personally enjoy instead of being funneled into something you’ve learned during your study.


The cons of starting early


Simply put, you still need to study but it’s going to be unguided study. You’ll have to look around on websites and read articles and blog posts to get your bearings, and there’s no telling what kind of outdated information is out there. Due to this, it’s hard to actually get started and you’ll also need some funds to start up a company and invest in things like equipment, employees or even just a website.


Without proper guidance, it can be difficult to learn from your mistakes as well. You might realize that you’re not getting enough customers, but do you know why? Probably not. It takes a lot of experience and some analytical skill in order to examine the problems in your business, so make sure you’re prepared to fail and make sure you’re ready to study in your own time.

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