5 Essential Traits of a Student Entrepreneur

Want to be come a successful student entrepreneur? Are you focused on customer experience, a conscious self-awareness, and the ability to think about the bigger picture?

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Whether you’re studying business, or you’ve stumbled across a great business idea, one thing is for sure – college is one of the best places to try your hand at being an entrepreneur.

With access to a wealth of resources, insight into what the current generation wants and needs and, most importantly, time to explore ideas, students have the perfect conditions in which to grow their businesses.

Ever since Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook from his dorm room, campuses across the world have seen a surge in student startups, with many students seeing the benefits of balancing college work with business.

There are plenty of reasons why millennials should start a business while in college, but it can sometimes feel like a daunting process. After all, starting a business sounds like something people with briefcases do, right?


Student entrepreneurs can be just as successful as their older counterparts. When it comes down to it, the only thing that matters is personality, mindset, and outlook on life.

So, what are the most essential traits for a successful student entrepreneur?

#1. Passion

If there’s going to be one thing that sets your business apart from the rest, it’s the passion you have for it. Sure, earning money is a great side result of running a business, but the primary goal should be that it enables you to do what you love. Potential clients and customers are much more likely to connect with you if they believe that you are prepared to persevere for your passion, so business ideas should always stem from something you feel strongly about.

Building a business takes time, dedication, effort, and determination and it can often mean long hours, late nights, and unpaid work. Having passion is key to turning those challenges into a success.

Read more: Inspiring Social Entrepreneurs to Follow in 2021

#2. Strategy

If you look at a long line of successful entrepreneurs, they tend to have one thing in common – their ability to combine creativity and strategy. Balancing left-brain logic with right-brain creativity leads to a successful focus that enables entrepreneurs to power their ideas to the next level.

This is why many business owners practice logistical thinking through hobbies such as chess or poker to help them develop a strategic and creative approach to solving business issues. In fact, there are so many similarities between strategy games and entrepreneurship that poker player, TED speaker, and author Greg Dinkin has even compiled an eBook on them.

From forward-thinking to knowing when to duck out, playing games could actually be the key to business success.

student entrepreneurs
Student entrepreneurs are much more likely to be found in the café than the bar

#3. Motivation

Any self-employed person will tell you that motivation and self-discipline play a huge part in making a business into a success. While many of your student counterparts will be making the most of their free time, you will need to stay motivated and disciplined enough to stick at it.

After all, there are no managers or colleagues to keep you on-course. The drive to keep going has to come from within you. You are the only one who is going to make it happen, so maintaining enthusiasm and interest is the only way to ensure your business ideas come to life.

#4. Adventure

Successful businesses don’t usually become successful overnight. It can often take years of making mistakes for some businesses to come into their own. The key thing is to be willing to take those risks and trust in the leap.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Staying in one place and being scared to take risks means that the business will never move forward, so to be successful, entrepreneurs need to look at challenges and risks as adventure and opportunity rather than potential problems.

#5. Confidence

Believing in yourself and what you do is one of the most important steps in becoming an entrepreneur. Confidence is a key factor in taking a business from mediocre to successful. This is because if you don’t have confidence in yourself or the business, then you can’t expect other people too.

The good news is that if you don’t feel as though you have ticked all of the boxes, these traits are all easy enough to learn. Just remember us when you’re raking in your first billion!

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About the author

Brian Meiggs
Brian Meiggs is a personal finance expert, and the founder of My Millennial Guide, a personal finance site helping you put more money in your pocket. He helps millennials follow the smart money in order to increase their earning potential and start building wealth for the future. He regularly writes about side hustles, investing, and general personal finance topics aimed to help anyone earn more, pay off debt, and reach financial freedom. He has been quoted as a top personal finance blogger in major publications including Yahoo! Finance, NASDAQ, Discover, MSN Money and more.

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