Getting started during university life

Many would agree that the best years in life are actually during our University life. Therefore, it would be a waste if one were to sail through the 4 years of university life in a mundane way.

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1. Do something. Anything.

So if you are still in University, do something, anything. Seth Godin too puts it in his recent interview that you have to pick yourself:  “You want publish a book, publish it. You want to sing a song, sing it. You want to start a movement, start it.”  Mark Twain has my favourite quotes of all time, which I always remind myself:  “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

2. Get out of your comfort zone and meet more people

Most of us are preprogrammed to be in our comfort zone because we are brought up that way. When we are in university, it is common for us to stick with a bunch of friends where we are comfortable with from our year 1 till our final year. What a lot of people don’t realize is that once you explore beyond your own social circle, there is a higher possibility to cross path with someone that shares the same ambition as you. Also, when you meet new people, you could share with them your ideas and get real customer validation. It is this spirit of stepping out of your comfort zone and meeting new people that will help kick start your business ideas.

3. Get a good Mentor

Another tip to getting started is to find a good mentor.  The role of the mentor is to give you advices from his own experiences as well as pointing you at the correct direction. Your mentor could also open up a few doors for you and introduce you to some key individuals in the community. With a mentor, mistakes that could be detrimental can be avoided. Of course, the question is, how do you find these mentors? One way is to go for events and talk to them. Don’t be afraid to approach these prospective mentors because they, like yourself, are usually comfortable in talking to people.

4. Just do it

Bravery is needed to have contrary opinions and to take unexpected paths. If you’re not courageous, you’re going to be hanging around the water cooler, talking about the guy who actually is. A lot of times its not because things are difficult that we dare not, it’s because we dare not that things are difficult. So if there is something that you want to do but you are held back, you should go ahead with it because there is really nothing to lose.

5. Read a lot

With the advancement of technology as well as the ease of information sharing on the web, it is crucial for us to get updated with what is happening around the web and around the world. This facilitates learning as well as sharing of information, leveraging on the wisdom of the crowd to know what works and what does not work. Reading a lot can also help identify trends and new business ideas and models which could be used to refine your startup idea.  Other than just reading, one should cultivate the habit of reading everyday because there are too much content on the web nowadays, and if you stop for one day, you would miss out quite a lot that is happening in the local community as well as the global community.

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