Student Entrepreneur: How to Balance School and Business

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Being a student entrepreneur needs a demanding lifestyle, so balancing school and your business may sound as a “Mission: Impossible” kind of scenario. Your life seems like no play, no sleep and no time. However, as you are only a student once, you should use the most of it without neglecting school and your business. “I wish the day lasted 48 hours” is the sentence most students and entrepreneurs say every day, but there is definitely a way to balance everything and still manage to become successful in both fields. Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg became successful and recognized while they were still at college, so don’t think that it can’t be done.

See Also: 5 Entrepreneurs Who Became Rich While Still in School 

Even though you are trying to balance school and business, you shouldn’t endanger your social life and health. In order to stay productive and be ready to face your daily challenges, you have to be in a good overall mood, health and feel fresh.  

1. Make a List of Priorities

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Figuring out your priorities is a life lesson that you will face many times over the years, and you won’t be able to effectively organize yourself until you learn what the most important things in your life are. When you are a student entrepreneur, the worst mistake you can make is to change your priorities on a daily basis. One day you decide that your school is the number one priority, and the next day it’s your business. This leads you nowhere and you definitely won’t achieve anything if you keep going back and forth.

Write down the things that you want to achieve, and make a list of priorities according to your main goals. Don’t forget that school is a chance to improve yourself as an entrepreneur. You can come across a lot of opportunities for improving your business while you are at school. On the other hand, a good business opportunity comes once in a lifetime, so if you have a chance to grab it, you can always put your studying on hold. Education is expensive, and if you have a lot of loans, you need to learn how to balance work and school, so don’t neglect the first step – making a list of priorities.  

2. Create a Well-Organized Schedule

Once you have written your long-term goals, you will be able to determine your short-term goals, which will be supported by a weekly schedule or even a daily one. It is always better to have your obligations written down, so that you don’t risk forgetting something. Make sure you write clear points such as “write a draft for a paper”, “make a presentation”, “read first 50 pages”, and not just “study”.

This way you will be able to balance school and business easily, but don’t pile up many obligations unnecessarily. A well-organized schedule will give you a time to rest, have a social life, do business, study and increase your productivity significantly. If you are not sure how to increase your productivity and you think the hours spent at work are wasted, take some productivity tips from successful people whose startup survived the cruel market. There will certainly be days when you will be busy all the time and you won’t be able to change your schedule, so, why exhaust yourself on purpose.

3. Ask Your Professors for Help

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You can never get the answer to your problems, if you don’t ask. If you cannot manage to balance both, but you put in the effort and wish to achieve good results in school as well, your professors will surely understand that and support your entrepreneurial initiative. A teacher’s biggest achievement is when they realize that studying under them turned you into an innovative thinker who actually tries to apply all that knowledge to his/her own projects. Your professors will certainly help you, and even give you some advice. Moreover, your professors may be well-connected, so they can also help you in growing your business by connecting you with the right people.

4. Use University Resources to Your Advantage

In college, you have access to so many different people, and you’ll probably be able to connect with people who can help you in starting or improving your business. Except for professors, there are various influential student organizations, faculty members and students with the same goals as you. They’ll help you improve yourself as a young entrepreneur, and most importantly, finish your studies without neglecting your startup.

Many universities support young entrepreneurs by holding a competition where you are supposed to apply with your business plan. If you are chosen, you usually get a prize and they connect you with investors. On the other hand, if they don’t choose your plan, it doesn’t mean someone hasn’t noticed you.

5. Take Some Classes Related to Your Business

If you are studying programming, you can take up some classes in marketing or economics, which can certainly help you on your journey to success. This way you won’t neglect either your studies or your business. It will certainly help you broaden your knowledge and gain the much needed information about running a successful business.

On the other hand, if your studies are closely related to your business, you can even sign up to a project that will contribute to your improvement. When doing a project, your mentor usually connects you with people in that field, so that you can do thorough research. You will not only learn something more, but also get the advice directly from people who already attained a certain level of success. Also, if they like your idea, you might even find some investors.

6. Maintain an Active Social Life

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Studying and pursuing a career doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a life and spend your hours watching TV shows or hanging out in bars. You may think that it is a waste of time, but trust me it isn’t. By going to bars, you can meet lots of interesting people, and some of them can even help you in growing your business. Moreover, it is always best to make connections in person, than to just click on an add friend, connect or follow button.

Watching TV shows improves your mood and relaxes you, and if you thought you cannot learn anything – you were wrong. You can even get some good career advice from the likes of "Suits" and “Modern Family”, or a business idea from any other film or TV show. Don’t forget that doing nothing isn’t necessarily a waste of time, because your brain is on your side and is subconsciously processing the information regarding everything you do. As you find time to relax and rest, you will increase your productivity, which will help you finish your tasks with less effort. If you try to only work and don’t play, you’ll end up exhausted and won’t be able to put in the effort at work.

See Also: The Best College Majors to Study

In order to be able to balance school and work, you need to figure out your priorities, and make a detailed schedule according to them. Moreover, feel free to ask your professors, as well as influential student organizations, for help. If you want your business to grow and succeed, you need to learn a few things about other fields such as marketing, which is one of the main reasons most successful businesses make it out of the startup phase.

If all you do is sit at home and work, it will negatively affect your health, productivity and, most importantly, your social life, which is a must for every young entrepreneur. Bars and gyms are crawling with people who are successful or can in some way help your startup. Remember that connecting in person is much better than via social media. Also, every good idea was created when the person did something completely different, so rest a bit, and let everything gradually fall into place.