Posted on November 6, 2013 · Posted in General

Today, schools, universities and trade schools are all adding degree programs to help train and educate students who choose to follow the entrepreneur path upon graduation.


In or out of school, there are a number of jobs you can take to help you train for being an entrepreneur.  One of the most basic is nearly any type of sales job.  The core of success for any business is sales of one type or another, whether you are selling a product, service, or a concept.   As an entrepreneur, you’ll have to be the lead sales person, the evangelist for your company, and acquiring sales training prior to starting your business can be invaluable to the success of your enterprise.

Fast food

You’re skeptical?  What can you take away from the take-away business that will help you with your start-up?   Probably the most important aspect you can learn is that fast food chains have years and years of instituting and refining systems and procedures, for operations, hiring, training, retaining personnel. Being exposed to these systems of organization, which have been developed over decades at a cost of millions and millions of dollars is a great education.

Customer service

A complementary skill to sales, customer service is essential for any business.  Keeping the customer happy after the sale – in order to keep the customer is the rule.  As in the point about the fast food industry, established customer service companies have spent years and a ton of money perfecting their systems and methods to assure their success.  There are aspects to customer service that you will learn working in the field that you will be able to apply to your own start-up.

Manual labor

Manual labor teaches you two things: that you can work harder than you ever imagined and that every single worker in a company, no matter where they are perched in the company’s hierarchy, deserves the respect of management and supervisors.

Working for another start-up

Learn from someone already on the path of success.  Learn about what it’s like to wear “all the hats” in a growing company, and perhaps most importantly, learn about problem solving.  Every single start-up has a unique set of problems that occur on a regular basis and have to be solved.   Sometimes they are problems that can be easily solved by money, but the typical start-up doesn’t have any cash to spare, so creative problem solving comes into play.

Local retailers

Spending a year at a local retailer will underscore all of the previously mentioned skills: sales, customer service, problem solving, changing roles.  Pick a retailer you have a passion for; if you’re not into sports, you’re not going to be very happy working at a big box sporting goods store, and if you’re not happy, you’re not going to be very open to learning and experiencing new things.

Public relations or advertising

Working at an established PR firm or advertising agency can teach you two valuable entrepreneurial skills.  Advertising and marketing of course. You’ll need to have a basic understanding of this business segment for your own start-up.  Perhaps more importantly, you’ll learn all about teamwork, as there are several different disciplines that go into creating a successful ad campaign, calling on, and coordinating, many different employees at an advertising agency.