Real Life Isn't as Scary as it Seems

When you're in college, everyone will tell you to relish the years that you have. They will remind you to enjoy waking up late, appreciate weekend library sessions with your classmates, and eat up that "free" cafeteria food. They will say, "make the most of those four years because when you graduate, you will never have that kind of freedom again!"

In some ways, they will be right. You may put in some stressful years establishing yourself and working for the man. You might even need to set an alarm in order to wake up in time for work. You might have to do things you don't want to do, hit deadlines that seem unfair, and (gasp!) cook yourself dinner. When you graduate, you will miss the friends you made in college because, as everyone knows, they are the best friends you will probably ever have.

But, in many ways, they will be wrong. In college, there is always something hanging over you, whether it's that final you could be studying for, that paper that's due on Tuesday, or that pop quiz that could come up at any time. While you have the ability to craft your own flexible schedule in school, I would argue that you have that same ability in the real world. Time management is a skill that you develop throughout your life, and it only gets easier with time and experience. In the real world, you may be expected to work 40 hours a week (or 50 or 60 or, if you're my good friend Tim, 70) but with the right time management you can manipulate those hours to accomplish everything you need to do.

I, for one, am someone who thrives off of being able to set my own schedule, make my own work plan, and create my own to-do lists. In college, I did that with my startup, but felt stifled by the requirements of school. After graduation, I was surprised to find that the real world actually encourages me to be my own planner and my own advocate.When you head home at the end of the day, you have the ability to ensure that there is nothing hanging over you. You have made your to-do list for the next day, which you vow not to look at until the morning, and you are truly done.

No tests, no papers to receive an arbitrary grade on, and no pop quizzes. When you get home, you don't feel guilty putting in that long workout, cooking yourself a healthy dinner, and snuggling into bed with a good book or your favorite TV show.

For those of you who enjoy the flexibility of college, know that there is happiness in the real world too. When it comes down to it, real life isn't as scary as it seems.

Entrepreneurship and Endurance Sports

When I was 15, I tore out a beginner’s triathlon training guide from one of my mom’s fitness magazines, signed up for a race in Luray, VA, bought a bike, and jumped in the pool. It was the summer before my junior year of high school, and my friends had all left for the summer to study marine biology in Florida. I was lonely, bored, and didn’t really like my job as a research assistant in a lab. I still didn’t really know what entrepreneurship was, although I had dabbled in child-level businesses for a few years. For one reason or another, though, I was drawn to the idea of accomplishing a race that required such diverse skills and such a high level of commitment and intensity. It was a challenge I couldn’t pass up. My first race was incredibly satisfying – I took 1st in my age group and felt very accomplished when I crossed the finish line. The feeling was addictive. Over the next few years I continued to keep up my training and to compete about once a year.

During my senior year of college, I competed in the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards, which occurs in conjunction with a conference for regional entrepreneurs. I had the opportunity to attend several seminars and lectures given by successful entrepreneurs. I got to hear their stories, listen to their advice, and absorb their management style. Through their talks, they would always share a portion of their personal journey that accompanied their professional success. It was shocking to me how many of these successful, busy entrepreneurs were also Ironmen, or some type of endurance athlete.

But it was through this experience that I realized that at our core, all entrepreneurs are the same type of people operating on the same values; that we prime ourselves to be these durable, enduring beings – not for the sake of vanity but for the sake of success. To some degree, I believe that we all believe the fitter we are, the more productive we are. And the stronger we are, the more confident we become in our ability to lead, and the closer to success our team becomes with us to look up to.

Diving into Personal Branding

Welcome to SarahHaselkorn.com and thank you for taking a look at my site! I will be using this as a forum for sharing my thoughts on entrepreneurship, startups, and early-stage investments - my first foray into the world of personal branding. I've been involved in entrepreneurial endeavors since I was a kid - selling lemonade, crafts, and anything I could think of out of the back driveway. I really hit the ground running with startups during my sophomore year of college when I left school to work with the two cofounders of a mobile analytics company in Boston called Media Armor. Eric and Liz taught me what it meant to show passion through business, and that really fueled my entrepreneurship.

When I left Boston, I began to raise money to open a fast-casual restaurant near campus in St. Louis. That fall I launched Green Bean, a sustainable salad shop that became the first true venture that I founded. For two years I learned the ins and outs of running a brick-and-mortar business, and dealt with the struggles that come up in that industry.

In May, I graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in Systems Science and a minor in Entrepreneurship, and began a rotational management program at Anheuser-Busch InBev. I've been traveling around the country training and doing projects within every part of the business, from supply to sales to IT support. The corporate perspective has certainly increased and enhanced my business knowledge.

Please feel free to contact me through the contact form on the Connect tab, and to connect with me via social media. Thank you again for visiting my site!