The small business entrepreneur typically comes from all walks of life but our focus here today are the internet entrepreneurs with college educations! Being one myself I naturally assumed my educational background had taught me all I needed to know, WRONG! The fact is much of what I've learned to be effective online involves hands on learning and NOT book knowledge! It seems the damn real world refuses to abide by the basic principles college teaches and that even the most educated must learn by experience! This is NOT a knock against the college educational system but rather a wake up call to recent graduates that your best education results from hands on learning!

Here are 7 things most college students fail to be taught or made aware of concerning their pursuit of the entrepreneurial lifestyle!

Charming Is NOT Always Effective

For many, and I'm not pointing fingers here, being able to 'charm' their way through class or social situations no longer works! Welcome to the 'real world' where you must be able to produce and where you can't assume charm will always get you by! Internet entrepreneurs work in a vast and global environment where the ability to interface others is greatly restricted! This renders any 'charm' you may have almost useless in terms of swaying others to your way of thinking! Worry not however since you still have family and friends that bask in the benefits of your charming personality!

It Doesn't Always Take Genius Just Effort

Although having smarts is a definite plus for internet entrepreneurs, the ultimate key to their success and yours is you must take action on your brilliance! In fact quite often your success is MOSTLY dependent upon the effort you invest and not the knowledge you possess! This pretty much closes the door on dreamers since they tend NOT to put their ideas or plans into action and often consider effort a 4 letter word! College was great for tossing around principles and 'what ifs' but rarely are students exposed to hands on learning which occurs by actually taking action!

Popularity is Earned NOT Granted

The only popularity that counts for internet entrepreneurs is that of their website and product offerings! Obviously when working online you'll need both a steady flow of traffic and products/services that people want and need! Having a ton of friends is great but unfortunately that doesn't pay the bills! Even in college if you're able to get on the good side of your instructors you were likely to have an occasional break tossed your way! Well now nobody cares how popular you may be with your friends and to 'earn' customer favor you must now be consistent and professional as well as likeable!

Intentions Don't Cut It But Results Do

The plans you make or the intentions you have are totally worthless unless you take action on them as mentioned above! It's also very important to note here that not every well thought out plan is going to yield great results and this is where you'll need to learn by experience! From even the most dismal results there will always be a nugget of gold you can take away and this is simply part of the hands on learning process! Yeah I know the school books said your plans will work but that's only on paper, now you're dealing with reality! Sorry!

Take a Long Look At Those Around You

For the most part your relationships from college and even prior years will fade while new and important ones begin to blossom! In fact it's also common to never see some of your 'old buds' again upon graduation! After graduation many of your 'old friends' will disperse to locations all over the country and even the world restricting relationships from growing and thus they tend to fade! On the other hand your life will be filled with opportunities to forge new relationships with others that share your evolving business and social values and interests! Assuming I'd always be in contact with these dear friends and not being told otherwise, for me, was probably a blessing! This revelation would have 'dampened' my spirits and even my outlook at that time, so ignorance was therefore bliss! Here again it's up to the individual to learn by experience that not all friendships last forever!

Priorities Change – Dramatically

Think back to a time where you were virtually unencumbered by responsibilities other than attending school and/or working a part time job! I tended bar and was a lifeguard both jobs of which I could easily walk away from at the end of my shift! My financial and family responsibilities were minimal or even non-existent therefore my priorities were more self-centered and stress-free! Oh to have those days back! Today my most important priorities involve others and focus on things I never gave a thought about while in school! Like in business, you learn by experience what's (really) important and why! The care-free days of a young college student are gone forever, but NEVER forgotten:-)

School in Retrospect: What a Breeze

College was, and no doubt still is, a protective and predictable environment created to help facilitate your education! At the time however it seemed my 'responsibilities' were a heavy burden to carry and involved simply attending classes, maintaining good grades and staying out of trouble! Now cast into a business world filled with unpredictable variables is much like being thrown into ice cold water while you're still sound asleep! If only we could all go back in time and benefit from what we've been able to learn by experience but sadly there are no 'do overs' in life! What I've learned most about college in retrospect is what a breeze those days actually were and how invaluable the experience really was!

In many cases the small business entrepreneur found online posses a college education that did NOT fully prepare them for what to expect! This is not to say their education or mine was useless but rather that what we learned would merely supplement our ongoing education as internet entrepreneurs! Rolling up your sleeves and going to work involves a hell of a lot of hands on learning and if you fail to learn by experience you'll just simply fail! The 7 points reviewed above merely focus on some of the more 'prominent' issues and life changes we all face online and off that school did not cover! In retrospect however college is really meant to 'better' prepare us for these changes and challenges leaving it up to us to manage them as they occur! Although a college education is no doubt valuable, so is the hands on learning you'll experience after your college days are over!

Author's Bio: 

TJ Philpott is an author and Internet entrepreneur based out of North Carolina.
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