Be Prepared for Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Harvard’s great because it’s sort of like a bubbling, frothing melting pot of ideas, youth and excitement. If you leave no room in your schedule to allow for what my pottery teacher called “happy accidents,” you will be missing out on a lot of cool opportunities.

Happy accidents are sparks of ideas or insight that can happen at dinner, talking to a friend, in lecture — those moments when you go, a ha! what a great idea! The trick is to make those ideas a reality. If you don’t have time in your schedule, you might be letting go a valuable opportunity.

Keep your schedule leaner because chances are, you’ll come across a “happy accident” that could blossom into an amazing entrepreneurial opportunity.

1) Harvard students are perpetual motion machines

You don’t need to give them a push, but yet they keep working and working and working, ’round the clock, day in and day out.

It’s easy to fill up your schedule with lots of hard classes and lots of organizations, but there are a lot of entrepreneurial opportunities out there. was started by two sophomores, and is now known on a national scale. Facebook and Microsoft were also both started by restless Harvard students. A friend of mine launched a catering company that got incorporated into HSA.

This site in fact is a child of a little bit of free time and a fair amount of brooding over other life hacking-esque sites.

In an environment of brillig minds and with the optimism and energy of youth, now is the perfect time to start up a “project” of your own.

2) Chance favors the not overworked mind

You’ve all heard about the discoveries of post it notes and penicillin. Keep your mind open for new opportunities to innovate/create/explore.

You might stumble on an interesting research question while browsing the internet. You might bump into a friend who needs help starting up her own business. You might read an email about a new blog looking for writers (like this one, ahem, comment if interested with your Harvard email address).

However, if you’re overworked and grumpy because of it, you’re not going to be able to reallocate time to a new endeavor — which is a shame, since Harvard is rolling with the cash to help students with new ideas.

3) Don’t force yourself to be entrepreneurial

It’s easy when you know the people who programmed and have their fingers in three or four other web ventures to feel like you HAVE TO start something new too.

Don’t sweat it. Seriously. Don’t force it either, because it’s going to flop if it’s an awkward construction of the mind and not a passion from the heart.

We all come to Harvard with a unique set of skills/perspectives/insights. You’ll find something that will ring true to you here.

This blog was started because of my addiction to life hacking blogs, a basic web design background and a desire to write (and be read) on my own terms on a regular basis. And pooof, this happened. It was completely unexpected. I didn’t plan for it. But once I had the idea, I just went with it and saw it through.

4) Don’t let ideas grow stale

Ideas have expiration dates (just like all the other items on your to do list). The longer you let a fantastic idea that you’re really really really excited about sit and mold in the fridge of your mind, the lamer it’s going to get, and the lamer you’re going to feel about it.

So, if you do come across an A HA! moment, just do it. Execute execute execute. And if you’re at Harvard, you’re good at executing. And if you can’t literally execute it yourself, find someone who can (either at school or on the internet) and pay/partner with them.

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