Network > Classwork

Some people perceive college as a four-year long study marathon. Others, a four year long-party. I like to look at is as a four-year long networking event. For four years, you get to meet other people who are interested in. It's ultimately co-founder dating, before you even have your startup idea. This is useful for after college too. Build your network in college. Work it after you graduate.

Also, as a student, you can often get away with things that you can't as an adult. Email the top 10 CEOs in town, tell them you're a student who's looking for advice. I bet you'd get one to meet with you, or at least take a phone call. Someone like me? Nada. It's because people inherently want to help students. They assume that students are clueless so they need their help. This is good for you. Let them underestimate you. Play that card.

Hang Out With Programmers

If you want to break into startups, you're going to be working with technology. You should be meeting programmers as soon as you can and befriending them. These people will be your future co-founders and employees. If you think you'll just outsource your code to an agency in India..or anywhere, you have a lot of work to get up to speed. That's okay. Everyone starts somewhere.

Work on Side Projects

If you're a real entrepreneur, you've already been doing this your whole life. Pretty much work on cool shit that compels you. Do it with all the free time you have. This will help you develop your mindset on how to build products, how to work with a team, and the obstacles that come with that.

Make Money With Those Side Projects

You want a real world MBA? Build a product, sell it, and decide what to do with the profits. You don't need an MBA for this stuff. It's simple. Hard, but simple.

Only Take Advice From People Who've Done It

If you want to build a billion dollar company, only act on advice from people who have done it. Simple as that. Chances are, the people who are outlandishly giving you advice haven't "done it". 
Note, listen to a wide variety of advice, but only TAKE the advice from the practitioners.

Take Advantage of Free Funding

If you're a student at a mid to large size university, I guarantee you there are pools of capital waiting to be allocated to you. This generally goes away once you graduate :(

Grow Your EQ

As a young person, your emotional intelligence is low. This is easily the most valuable thing you can be working on to improve. It affects everything. I know I'm actively working on mine.

Don't Let Them Tell You That You Can't

Let them talk, just put in the work. You can do it. Age literally doesn't matter. What matters of years of experience succeeding in an industry. Most adults haven't broken into startups, and they aren't as technologically savvy as you. Don't let your ego get in the way, then you have the advantage over anyone older than you…even me at the ripe age of 24.

This is just touching the tip. If you want some more tips personalized to you, I'll be writing more on this topic. I'll also be hosting private events for ASU students who want to break into startups. Get on the list below.

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