Life After USC – Advice for Entrepreneurial Graduates

Over the next few months thousands of ambitious graduates will walk out the halls of the University of Southern California and into the real world. In amongst this generation of graduates will be a select few who have their eyes set on innovation and entrepreneurship. Of these, there will be those who have a well-thought-out business plan and those who have their head in the clouds with an idea ear and no path to get there just yet.

Whether you fall into the first or second category, there are some important things that you need to remember. We recently caught up with the entrepreneurial USC alumni to find out some of the lessons they have learnt along the way to success.

Success is Never Linear

Like anything in life, the road to success is not a straight path. in order to succeed and start a successful business, you must first put in hours and hours of thankless work. Resilience and persistence are two key character traits that you will need in order to be successful as an entrepreneur.

In order to be successful, you need to have a level of resilience and grit that others will not have. Those who are successful as entrepreneurs are not the most talented or even the smartest, however, they are always the most persistent.

According to Liam Edwards from Safari Digital SEO Agency, the key to success is the ability to turn your mistakes into lessons. "After graduating from University, I expected things to come easily, however, as anyone who has tried their hand at entrepreneurship will know — the path to success is never linear." 

Follow Your Passion

Doing work that has a level of meaning to you will provide the motivation needed to get you through the rough patches along your journey. it doesn't matter where you find your passion, only that you follow it implicitly and never lose sight of the reason why you started along the entrepreneurial path that you did. 

According to Marc Tobias, a successful USC alumnus who found his true calling as an entrepreneur by creating seamless communication portals online, passion is the key factor that will separate those who get 90% of the way, and those who make it. "Do what you love, and you will have a career that fulfils you. That doesn't mean that you will love and enjoy each step of the process, however, it does mean that you will find meaning at the times when you don't want to do something."

For entrepreneurs, the importance of following a path that brings you for filament and joy cannot be overstated. Passion is the key to pushing through the times when things look bleak and get tough. 

Learn from Those in the Know

Almost every successful entrepreneur has worked in their field before breaking away and finding their own path. Working for someone else can provide valuable insights that would otherwise take years to learn. 

According to Brian Crosby, there are industry-specific functions that you will not be taught in school and I can only really learn once you're on the job. instead of making those mistakes when your livelihood is on the line. Working for someone else can give you the opportunity to learn from your mistakes without the same level of consequence. 

In addition to gaining valuable experience and learning from those who have been successful in the field, learning to work collaboratively in a work environment will help you to refine your own ideas about what you want to accomplish and how you want to run your business.


Ultimately, the road to success is never a straight road. There are countless lessons that you will learn along the way. For USC alumni who have their sights set on a life of entrepreneurship; make your goals clear, be persistent and never be afraid to learn from someone with more experience.