How To Do Business With School And Fail! (Or The Qualities You Need As A Student Entrepreneur)

By James Arikpo

In other news, Talisman, a.k.a Tali, is a self-proclaimed business tycoon and the “CEO” of Mantex Empire, a fashion shop. Whenever people talk about business and business exploits, Tali has this to brag about. When people are connecting, he too must connect, after all, no be only him waka come. Now, back to reality, who is Tali? Tali is a UIte, a 200-level student at the Department of Communications and Language Arts, whose CGPA is nose-diving. 

Well, he performed well in the first semester of his 100 level and was academically dedicated, until he bumped into one seminar that changed his orientation about life. Based on what he interpreted from the seminar, life is not about academics alone; the CGPA only counts when there are no men with skills. These and more gave Tali a nail to chew. He thought through it for a whole week what he would do with his life because indeed, he has been meeting people who often are CEOs of one brand or another, e con be like say nah only him remain. So, Tali gathered all he got and learned sewing. Tali now spends most of his time attending business seminars and watching YouTube videos, only to get two customers in a month, meanwhile his CGPA, the reason he came to school, is nose-diving. In fact, if you add 2 points to Tali’s CGPA, Tali won’t still make a first-class grade. However, he is comfortable with the fact that he can introduce himself as a brand CEO whenever he meets new people; a CEO without board members.

Tali’s case is the same with many student entrepreneurs. They pursue passion without sound knowledge and in the end, they lose in academics and lose in the business sphere. Maybe business is not for students who are serious-minded with their academics, or is it?

What It Takes To Pursue An Excellent Business Life And Still Do Well Academically.

One could interpret the story above as a discouragement to not do business in school, however, the story only informs of misplaced priorities. In fact, we should all do business. There is the product aspect of business – like selling crochet materials – and there is the service aspect – an example is offering content creation services. Doing business rightly does not just give us an edge of experience in the line, it also exposes us to personal development, to skills one’s academics won’t teach. I am convinced of this because I know Teni, a student like Tali, who sells skincare products excellently and still does well academically. In an interactive session with her, she confessed that she began performing better in her academics after she started doing business. She came to understand what priorities demanded from her and applied it even in her academics. 

Therefore, here are valuable qualities you need as a student entrepreneur to excel in both your business and your studies:

Good time management: Running a degree in UI is demanding on its own. Combining this with something that’s outside the scope of study then requires a little extra from you. Your time is one of the most precious assets you’ve got. To be successful in both business and academics requires you to drop some other things that consume your time. Don’t take up too many things a time.

Relevance of your products or services in the market: It is very important not to just jump into business because it’s the colour of the day, if not, you’ll miss it. If you are not convinced, wait for your mindset to catch-up with the wave. Starting a business on the right ground influences how deep you’ll go. It helps you create a sustainable brand. Your brand is more important than the product or services you provide; you are your brand! It pushes you to ask the right questions, to know the right methods, and pursue a scope that can solve the needs of people. If people don’t need your product, you don’t have a business! It is most beneficial to base your plan on your market so that you’ll establish confidently what is needed.

Be ICT-inclined: Information, communication and digitalisation severely impact how people make and spend money nowadays. Getting adequate information about your brand is very pivotal to your success. As an entrepreneur, you should read books and journals about people who have been and succeeded in the field before or closely related field. Watch videos and attend seminars with specific goals in mind. Nonetheless, note that it’s the effectiveness that counts, not the number. It is when you know adequately what you are into that you’ll be able to draw your market to yourself with communication. 

Let your product excite you; this does a lot to how deeply you’ll delve and the density of crowd you’ll be able to draw. Communication is key; it works like magic and can make you be like the only person doing it. 

Lastly, digitalisation implies more than just making flyers and making broadcast messages for patronage. It pushes you to learn useful digital skills that are profitable to your business. Going digital could imply creating a LinkedIn profile, getting connected to a community that are business-minded as you, using modern technology to innovate, learning tools that affords you take good statistics, amidst others. The ability to take accurate statistics that enable you project beyond now is topnotch. It helps you identify opportunities and position yourself for it. You don’t want to be a local man if you want your brand to go places.

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