Often, you hear a story about a college graduate who started their own business and made millions the first year out of college, seemingly with little effort. The story seems like an internet myth passed on from social media platform to another. For the most part, a story like that is a myth. Rarely does anyone make millions right out of college with little effort or even with a lot of work. Hearing a story like that makes you think, wow, I will start my own business, not work nine to five and make millions. The truth is, that is the myth.
Way back in college, this week’s guest learned that a friend of his was making money on the internet via Twitter. He thought it would be a great side hustle to make some spending cash. At the time, I am sure he never thought that his business would be pulling in revenue of two million dollars a month upon graduating college. It is true; you do not have to work from 9 am to 5 pm when you own your own business. You have to work from 9 am to 9 am.
A few short years later, Daniel Snow would have a resume of successful startups and acquired companies. I learned a lot from interviewing this dynamic, intelligent, and hardworking entrepreneur. Please have a listen, and I hope his accomplishments will inspire you as they have inspired me.
If you want to own your own business, roll up your sleeves. As we have learned from Dan, when you work for yourself, you work all the time. Here are some takeaways we can put into action today to get a good start tomorrow:
Your network and your reputation are two of the most valuable things you can build. Starting in college, you need to seek out like-minded people and build your network. An easy way to do this is to set small, achievable goals to start building your network. For example, make an effort to get to know a professor or department head each semester or quarter. Keep in contact with them, ask them for advice, and ask for introductions. The minute after you speak with them, make a calendar reminder to follow up with them again.
Dan and I talked about the “safe zone” and how you may not work as diligently at your goals when you know if you fail, it will not be “that bad.” If you are good at something and want to become better, put yourself in an uncomfortable position of not being the best at that thing. Move to a place where all the best people for what you are good at are. You will learn and will be challenging yourself to get better. Lay it all on the line. Work without a net. Put yourself in a position and a mindset that you cannot fail. You may find yourself excelling in areas you never thought you would.
Dan is an excellent example that if you keep your body healthy, you will also have a healthy mind. He has made a lifestyle of getting up each morning and exercising his body to prepare his mind for the day ahead. Doing so helps keep the stress of running a business from sapping his creativity, particularly late in the day. You do not have to run a 5k each morning or lift a ton. You can go for a brisk walk, do bodyweight exercises, or go for a swim—anything to wake your body up and prepare it for the work ahead.
When you have a fire in your belly and passion in your heart, the hours seem to melt away. You get lost in your work, like when you lose track of time reading a good book. When you find that happening, you find out what it is you like to do and what may bring you great satisfaction. Dan started his career trying to earn spending cash and found his entrepreneurial spirit working overtime. If you can find something that brings you even a sliver of what Dan has, you will be on your way to getting a good start.
I appreciate feedback of all kinds, so please email me any questions or feedback to email@example.com. Have a great week, and remember, it doesn’t take a lot to get a good start; you just have to start. Thank you.