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Any career advice for a wannabe entrepreneur?

  • 01-12-2021 6:23pm
    Registered Users Posts: 179 ✭✭ ifeelabreeze

    I'm a final year Business student.

    I've only made it this far due to sheer ignorance, don't enjoy the degree at all but everyones been telling me to stick it out so I have, if things go as planned I'll graduate with a 2.1 this summer.

    I've no idea what I want to do after college.

    I just know that I've always wanted to start my own business, always have always will.

    I've had smaller attempts, buying & selling guitars, a few cars, just making a quick bit of cash.

    I feel my best bet is to learn a skill/trade that I enjoy doing that I can eventually start a business from.

    In line with my degree, I'm considering sales, invaluable skill but I don't know if I've actually got the personality/temperament for sales.

    I'm also seriously considering following up my degree with a Digital Marketing masters. I know I've hated the degree but I've always done well in marketing and I feel the mix of the creative and analytical aspects would really suit me, plus there's industry placement, hands on work, plenty of certs and it looks interesting.

    Opposite to that I've reoccurring notions of learning software development, but it's just that - a notion. I've tried and never maintained the interest, but I keep thinking how great it'd be to learn it.

    Part of me also wants to go a more hands on route, I like working with my hands and being physically active.

    I was an apprentice electrician for awhile, hated that.

    But I've also worked with my uncle who's a carpenter and I quite enjoyed doing that (fitting kitchens, wardrobes etc) - I honestly think I'll spend the summer working with him again just because.

    I just know that where I currently stand, I'm useless and I haven't a hope of starting a business. I need to learn a skill/trade, I need to get stuck in, learn the industry and see what I could do better than my competition.

    So for now I'm looking at getting a job where there's a practical skill attached and then I'm keeping the dream/plan in the back of my head for when an opportunity arises.

    As for what interests me? I like being hands on, I've an analytical mind, I like working with my hands - making things, I'm generally quite good with people (actually like working retail) and that's all I can think of, and I'm also full of notions.

    So I don't know where to go from here, should I just pick something and try it?


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    If your interests were more aligned, I'd say sure, try everything. But the areas you're interested in are fairly different, and if you go down one route you're going to need to devote significant time to it before you can really say whether it suits you or not. Myself, it takes me at least a year to settle into a new role, and that's with prior experience.

    You're talking about learning completely new topics, skill sets, starting your own business etc. These are things you'd need to devote a few years to before you truly had the lay of the land. On average new businesses doesn't really make money for the first 2 years.

    My advice would be yes, do pick something and try it, and it's not the end of the world if it doesn't work out, but don't "just" pick something. Pick something with a bit of reasoning and planning behind it. Have a plan B. Take each of your options and figure out which ones you have the most to gain from and the least to lose. What do you need for each option to work, and which options are the easiest to move on from if they don't work out? Write it all down and sleep on it a few times.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,110 ✭✭✭ RedXIV

    I'm gonna try to narrow your focus a bit for you. If you are thinking of setting up your own business, software development will require at very bare minimum 3 years of 100% dedication to learn the trade, and realistically double that to get to the point where you'd be competent enough to be able compete against a pretty saturated market. Since you sound like you like to hack/tinker more than commit wholeheartedly (which is fine), I think this is gonna be something you can use to help for things like website creation/digital marketing etc.

    I think this is a prime example of where your Business degree should be used. Rather than trying to pick something you think you'd like and seeing if you can get it to fly, do some analysis on where you can make a business work. Leverage your network, identify gaps in the market, look for opportunities for multiple income streams and passive incomes.

    I get the desire to have your own business, I've had it in the back of my mind for years but its only in the last couple of years that I think I could actually get something up off the ground, and I put in a full year of full commitment to setting up my own app dev company back before the market was saturated (long story short, I messed it up, didn't understand the amount of work involved and couldn't commit beyond the year mark).

  • Registered Users Posts: 179 ✭✭ ifeelabreeze

    Yeah my interests are and always haven been all over the shop.

    Honestly, I'd say I spend too much time online 'looking into things'.

    The thing is I've always got some form of reasoning behind my decision.. If I was looking at going into IT I could say 'oh it's great I can get in with a business, do my comptia +, Network +, CCNA and all of the above, lots of variety - working with your hands, solving problems, interesting work etc.'

    But then I could go back to software and say 'do ya know what, maybe Software, it's engaging, problem solving, creating things, plenty to learn and keep myself occupied with, better employability, better job progression and just better pay to boot', both sound fairly justified but I could change again just as quickly!

  • Registered Users Posts: 179 ✭✭ ifeelabreeze

    I certainly need to.

    I think I'm going about it the wrong way - I just want to find something I enjoy doing irrespective of entrepreneurial endeavours. But at the same time I've always wanted to work for myself.

    Obviously enough if I had an idea and the funds to boot I'd jump right in, but I'm sure most would.

    The problem is - I've feck all in the way of employable skills beyond 2 years retail experience, I've no insider knowledge, no gap in the market or anything of the sort.

    That's partly why I'm thinking of just going into construction - ideally something where I'm not out in the p*ssing rain day in day out, where I can learn a skill - be that a 4 year apprenticeship or just labouring (fire protection, hanging ceilings I don't know..), ideally in something where there's a bit of an ageing population.

    Learn the trade, get good at it, save some money, go out on my own.

    Again, that's a long hard graft no matter how you look at it.

    I just know I'm at least somewhat intelligent albeit not all that suited to school.. I've always done well but I've never been able to open a book!

    Just on your last point too, I'm fully aware of just how much can go wrong and just how easily you can fail, be it by your own fault or by something out of your control.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,861 ✭✭✭ Flinty997

    I think if you don't know what you want. You should try a bunch of things to see what you do like. The longer you spend agonizing over what to do the less likely you'll do anything.

    If nothing else you'll find what you don't like.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 179 ✭✭ ifeelabreeze

    That's a good point.

    I got a summer job a few years back working in a warehouse. €13 or so an hour, 9-5, paid lunch break, little to do.. Sounds great but I hated it.

    I'm now working part time in a supermarket, minimum wage, terrible hours, unpaid breaks but I prefer the work, I've realised I'm far more sociable than I thought I was. I feel like I've learned an awful lot from a minimum wage job that I didn't even want at the time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,386 ✭✭✭✭ mariaalice

    You sound all over the place, to be honest, if you want your own business why didn't you do carpentry apprenticeship work for a while and start your own business, fitted kitchen, wardrobes etc.

    If you have a business degree and want to stay in construction try some post-grad to become a QS.

  • Registered Users Posts: 27 TuamJ

    You’re so all over the place I’d worry about how you’ll come across in job interviews. If you could get some interview/communication skills I’d be looking at companies than will take a chance on your drive and entrepreneurial spirit. How about Shopify? Exposure to small business, could create your own shop, they’ll train you into a range of departs from coding to marketing and I think the salary is very decent. Have a few mates move over there this year and 2 of them have been promoted already. One lad went from working in Curry’s to a 40K a year + benefits job in a specialised tech support department in 4 months! Was doing lots of self directed learning though

    There’s lots of opportunities out there. Develop your communication skills, build up your confidence/attitude, no putting yourself down and no settling! If you want to run a business or go into marketing then don’t waste your time settling for a job with the uncle unless you’re using your evenings to work on a business or learn a new skill.