With graduate job deadlines fast approaching many could-be-entrepreneurs are debating whether to go straight into starting their own business or gain experience by working for a few years first. Speaking to many people in this situation I have developed my perspective on the question and also offered reasoning behind my own choice to dive straight in at the deep end.
In the influential book The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss, Tim prompts the reader to think of the worst-case scenario if one was to quit their job and start a business. He asks, "How long would it take you to get back to the exact same position in your life if you lost everything?". This was one of those lines in a book that just stands out and really gets stuck in your head. I realised that in my current position, if I started a business then lost absolutely everything I would be pretty much in the same position as I am now. In fact I would more or less still be in the same situation as most other people my age but would have learnt a hell of a lot more. As many of you would have heard Doug Ward advise at this year's first Manchester Entrepreneurs event, "Fail fast, learn fast".
As a student, right now is possibly the best time to start a business. It is unlikely that you will ever be in a position in your life again where you will have no career, no mortgage, no commitments and no family relying on you. Nothing to lose and everything to gain.
On top of this, University happens to be a great launch pad for business. The combination of low living costs and large amounts of flexible free time means that you can create a start-up company whilst still being in the security of the student life. Not only that but as a student you have access to opportunities that might not be available otherwise - everyone loves to help a student. I have managed to get advice and favours off numerous entrepreneurs by playing the "I'm a student" hand.
You will learn more from following through with your ideas than not, so take advantage of the time that you have left at University and remember that if you fail, you are still just another fresh faced graduate.
"Most people will choose unhappiness over uncertainty" - Tim Ferriss
By Richard Edwards - External Relations Director