5 Life Lessons You Can Learn from Entrepreneurs

Parents: Want to know if your child is choosing the right extracurriculars?

Our profile analysis tools can tell you if you're on the right track.


Why is entrepreneurship important in the admissions process?

Entrepreneurship is a quality that is very attractive to colleges. Admissions committees like to see that you can think outside the box, be creative, and make opportunities for yourself. It’s a skill that’s particularly relevant right now: Many products and services you use came from startups or from companies that began that way.


Drew Houston, the founder and CEO of Dropbox, learned about sales and management in his fraternity at MIT and met his cofounder, Arash Ferdowsi. It was at MIT where, frustrated by his inability to do work away from his computer, he came up with the idea for Dropbox. Houston is just one example of how having the right attitude and commitment to learning and bettering the world paid off — not just for him, but also for the millions of people who continue to use Dropbox every day.


There are also plenty of startup incubators and institutions or organizations that promote and support entrepreneurship. Just think of Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform that supports bringing creative projects to fruition. Such opportunities will become increasingly important for college students as they develop ideas and put them out into the world.


You can tap into this trend, particularly if you’re smart, creative, and willing to take risks. Entrepreneurship has the potential to change the world by bringing new technologies and innovations to consumers. If you start now, it can kick off a career path that can bring your vision of your future to life. While there are plenty of risks, you have the chance to shape your ideal job and make a difference. If this sounds like you, read on.


Ready to conquer 10th grade?

Our free guide to 10th grade goes in-depth about subjects like how to build a rigorous course load, standardized testing, extracurriculars, and more.


Life Lessons from Entrepreneurs

While everyone has an individual path and route to success, many famous entrepreneurs — from Bill Gates to Mark Zuckerberg to Oprah Winfrey — have reiterated the same basic advice when developing your ideas. Here are five important principles you should follow when you’re trying to get a new entrepreneurial project underway:


Seek Out New Opportunities

Waiting for someone to tell you what to do won’t lead you to success. Sometimes, you need to actively ask. Often, there are more opportunities available than you might initially think, and you just need to take the step of putting yourself out there. Are there local resources out there? Is there someone to mentor you? Maybe no one has thought to do exactly what you’re doing before!


Build a Good Team

It’s important to appreciate the talents of other people. Nobody runs a business alone, and a good entrepreneur will seek out others with particular talents. Look at the people around you — not just your parents and teachers, but also neighbors, friends, and even other entrepreneurs. What special skills do they have that could help you? A good leader also knows how to delegate, which can also help you keep your own talents and limitations in perspective.


Be Creative

Not every creative idea will be feasible, but development in technology and many other sectors is heavily driven by people who are able to think of new ways to do things in an innovative manner. Learn how to stimulate your brain and tap into your new ideas constructively and productively.


Keep Learning

Entrepreneurs must always stay on top of new developments in their fields. Being stuck in one place or not staying up to date on new information and skills will likely mean you’ll be left behind. This learning doesn’t have to be limited to school, either. Do online research, take a course, and make connections with people who are working in these fields.


Don’t be Afraid to Take Risks

Almost every new undertaking involves some degree of risk, and you won’t find success without taking a chance. You can’t protect yourself entirely from the possibility of failure — and often the road to success is paved with failures along the way (just ask Steve Jobs). Failure is essential to learn and prepare yourself for success the next time. So you may as well enjoy the ride!


For More Information

Becoming an entrepreneur won’t just impress colleges — it could change your whole life. To learn more about developing business skills, being innovative, and becoming a leader in high school, check out some of CollegeVine’s posts below:



Looking for help navigating the road to college as a high school student? Check out the CollegeVine Mentorship Program.


Our mentors drive significant personal and professional development for their high school mentees. Combining mentorship with engaging content, insider strategies, and personalized analyses, our program provides students with the tools to succeed. As students learn from successful older peers, they develop confidence, autonomy, and critical thinking skills to help maximize their chances of success in college, business, and life.

Want more tips on improving your academic profile?

We'll send valuable information to help you strengthen your profile and get ready for college admissions.


Can't see the form above? Subscribe to our newsletter here.

Laura Berlinsky-Schine
Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She dreams of having a dog.