Editor's Note: College Treps is a weekly column that puts the spotlight on college and graduate school-based entrepreneurs, as they tackle the tough task of starting up and going to school. Follow their daily struggles and this column on Twitter with the hashtag #CollegeTreps.
With Thanksgiving fast approaching, people across the country will customarily devote some amount of time to remembering what they are thankful for in 2013.
For college entrepreneurs, though, the entire month can also serve as a reminder to cherish the highs and lows of your startup enterprise. As much as you would like your business to resemble a linear path, that is simply an unrealistic expectation.
Regardless of whether you are in the beginning stages of launching your business or a seasoned millennial that has found your niche, it is important to fully embrace each learning experience that you encounter.
Below are five reasons I give thanks this holiday season:
Youthfulness. During the early 20s, the human brain experiences a second growth spurt where it rewires itself for the rest of our lives. How you develop professionally and foster relationships with others becomes fully ingrained into your system.
There is no better time in your life to learn, gain new experiences, take risks and be bold with your actions. As author and psychologist Dr. Meg Jay said, "if you want to seize your youth, I highly suggest you do the same as well."
Freedom. With college entrepreneurs obviously still being young, there is a heightened sense of freedom. Chances are you may have fewer responsibilities than your middle-age counterpart.
As a result, there is nothing, except yourself, holding you back from taking your ideas, refining them and turning them into a small business.
Related: 18 Easy Ways to Say 'Thanks'
Second guessing yourself is a foolproof way to gaining zero traction with any startup. Instead, utilize this open window and dedicate your time and energy to making your entrepreneurial dreams become a reality.
Failures. Yes, I said I was thankful for failures, as it is the only way you can learn and grow.
No matter where you are with your startup, you have failed or will fail at some point. Yet, how you respond and handle your trials and tribulations will essentially dictate how your future will unfold.
With time on your side, treat every setback as a learning opportunity to fine tune that particular aspect of your business.
Social media. Integrating social media into your marketing and business plan to promote your company, build your brand and gain credibility is a must to compete in today’s fast-paced "new world." And for college entrepreneurs, you have been fortunate enough to grow up in the digital age, making this new marketing strategy easier to implement.
Not only do platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook allow you to increase brand awareness but also engage with your target audience in a simple, yet effective way.
Mentorship. For millenials, access to successful entrepreneurs -- both young and old – has never been easier.
From searches on Google or LinkedIn to leaning on connections to make a formal introduction, the ability to connect with potential mentors is at your fingertips.
The challenge is how you keep the conversation alive following an initial phone call or meeting and ensuring your mentor remains engaged with what projects you are working on.
As an entrepreneur, what are you thankful for? Let us know in the comments below.
The author is an Entrepreneur contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.
Mark Burns is a recent graduate from the University of Michigan and is currently a third-year law student at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. He is in the process of forming a sports career coaching and consulting business. Mark was recently named a 2013 "30 Under 30" award recipient by Sports Launch Magazine in addition to being named "A Rising Star In #SportsBiz" by the SportsNetworker.com. In 2013, The Migala Report named Mark a Twitter 'Must Follow' for #SportsBiz Job Advice.