How Young Entrepreneurs Balance Business And School

28 February 2011 Entrepreneurship


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People always talk about work-life balance. Well, with young entrepreneurs, it’s more of work-school balance. Here’s how some student entrepreneurs were able to balance their school work and the company they were running on the side. It’s more like the the company they were running and classes they were attending to on the side.


1. Be A Morning Person

I’m currently a senior in college and I’ve been running my online business since I was a sophomore. I am a full time student taking 5 classes, while at the same time running an advertising business that promotes a new client each day. By learning how to balance my time, I have effectively been able to manage my hectic schedule. I schedule my classes in the mornings between 8AM-12PM so that I am free for about 8-10 hours the rest of the day to work on AnyLuckyDay.

Giancarlo Massaro, anyluckyday.com

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2. Once A Week 3-hour Class

Juggling entrepreneurship and a college course-load is a arduous task, however, it really helped me by taking the “once a week 3 hour night” type classes. Although I wouldn’t recommend a 12 hour day followed by a 3 hour class, the happiness that owning your own business can bring makes it all worth it.

Elias Zepeda, www.firstclassmarketinggroup.com

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3. Make A Date With The Library

As a student at Michigan State University, I juggled multiple entrepreneurial ventures. I worked my way through college as a campus rep for brands like Mountain Dew and Apple, and founded Michigan State’s student magazine, ing.

Scheduling specific times to study, just like you’d schedule a class or a business meeting, was key. Rather than trying to finish my homework in whatever leftover time I had at the end of each day, I’d schedule a date with myself in the library so I could avoid distractions and concentrate on my studies.

After graduation I was able to translate my success as a student entrepreneur into my own company called Campus Commandos, which helps brands interact with students on campus at the grassroots level.

Adam Grant, www.CampusCommandos.com

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4. Prepare For Week Ahead

I started TattooID (temporary safety tattoos) in high school, and was also working for MuffinMilk (urban apparel) and this really got tough in senior year. I was taking 3 AP classes and also had meetings to go after school, so I wouldn’t get home until it was already dark out. Then, I would stay up until 1 AM finishing all of my homework, and then I would have to cut tattoos for TattooID or have an online marketing meeting for MuffinMilk. I wouldn’t get to sleep until 3AM most nights, and then I would have to get up for school at 6AM. Most weekends I could not even go out as I was always (and still am) preparing for the week ahead.

Steven Gordon, www.thetattooid.com

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5. Prioritize For Week Ahead

Every Monday I strategize and prioritize for the week ahead by asking myself – what’s most important this week with Xtreme Lashes, school, and my social life? I plug those items on my calendar, and if all else fails, the most important things are completed. Before, I would sacrifice friendships in order to work 15-hour days, trying to get every little thing done. But I’ve learned that life is a compilation of experiences; if you’re only enriching the professional area of your life, then you’re really not maximizing your life. Admittedly, it’s hard sometimes for entrepreneurs to follow a schedule, but with a little bit of structure and discipline, you really can have and manage it all.

Noor Daoudi, www.xtremelashes.com

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6. Work While Everyone Parties

In my first year of university, age 19, I ran a window cleaning franchise called ACTION. This responsibility on top of my university commitments like varsity Cross Country Running, high grades to maintain my scholarship, and a part time job to cover start ACTION up costs made balancing my life crucial. I would wake up, go for an intense run, spend the afternoon in class, then go to my job where I stood on my feet for whole shift, then at 8 pm I would climb the stair to my dorm room, while everyone else was running downstairs to party. I would spend the rest of my night cold calling for ACTION then, study until after midnight for my Business Administration courses. I kept up my motivation by reminding myself of personal goals every day, and lots of positive affirmations.

Logan Parker, www.thecollegecupids.com

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7. Social Media At Night

As a 14 year old entrepreneur, I have to balance school and work, but I put school and family as my first priorities. At the end of the night, I spend the remaining hours doing social media consulting with clients, catching up on tweets, e-mails, and networking online. This can make it busy, but I love feeding my wild passion for business!

Lane Sutton, www.LaneSutton.com

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8. Motivation and Determination Does It

When a person can master the art of time management they are ready to set out for success. Time management is a skill that I had to learn at the age of 17, when I was a junior in high school, studying for my SAT, hosting my own radio show, and trying to live a normal teenage lifestyle. When you are dedicated to a goal and surround yourself with motivating and loving people, anyone should be able to prosper. When times get tough and there is a lot to handle at one time it will ultimately make the person stronger. With determination, organization, and strength to push through the hurdles, you will always reach the light at the end of tunnel.

Chelsea Krost, www.ChelseaKrost.com

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9. Smart Multitask

I own two businesses, Every Girlz Dream Jewelry Co. and PavPack Acres which helps me be organized and fit everything into one day!
I do my school work first, then I work on my businesses in the afternoon.
For example, next week I will be speaking at MarketPlace Nebraska promoting youth entrepreneurship and
afterwards I will stop by and re-stock my jewelry at a consignment shop in the same city.
If I can multi-task, it helps me get more done in one day.

Rachel Pavelka, www.everygirlzdream.webs.com

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10. Be SMART(Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely)

As a student entrepreneur, you must prove yourself to be a Master of your Time and Resources. By setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely) daily/weekly goals for your business and recording when assignments/tests are due in school, you are being responsible and staying focused on the priorities that matter.

To stay balanced between both, I write everything down in my planner and refer to it frequently to stay ahead of the game. Also, I study with the top students in my class and maintain a positive relationship with my professors, keeping them informed on all my activities. Lastly, I schedule fun activities with my friends and relatives because, “all work and no play is the quickest way to a boring life”.

Ionnie McNeill, www.thebabybillionaire.com

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11. Group Life, Group School, Group Work, Group Family

I group similar activities together from three main areas of my life – school, work and family. For instance, If I will group emails together; so all of the emails I have to get done for work and school are taken care of in one fell swoop. Other activities, such as reading, will also get grouped together. For family time, any errands I have to run for my business, I will take along one of my kiddos, giving them one-on-one time with daddy while possibly stopping for ice cream on the return trip. In the fall, I was able to maintain straight A’s in my MBA program as well as double my business income and found out we were expecting baby #4. Grouping similar activities across the different sections of my life allows me to stay on top of my game while making sure nothing is left unattended

Sal Vilardo, www.prolific-studios.com

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12. Outsource, Outsource, Outsource

I took 26 credit hours in one semester last year while running two companies. I quickly learned the value of outsourcing and how it can save you time but still allow you to be productive. That was what kicked off the formation of my globalized team.

Nathan Latka, assemblyline.lujure.com

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13. 4AM – 12AM

Daily schedule
Wake up at 4am conference call via skype with my developers in russia for about an hour and half
Get ready for work from 8am to 5pm
When done with work drive to school. Start class 545pm to 9 pm
Home at 945pm
Eat shower check the news then do homework till about 12
Am then bed

Josh Okoampa, Face2Country

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14. Radical Time Management

Close to graduation with a degree in Genetics, I decided to start a web consulting company instead of going to graduate school. I just got bitten by the entrepreneurship bug: I knew that I loved to teach, I practically lived on the internet, and the popularity of social media fell in my lap. Consulting is essentially the business version of teaching: I learned what I needed to learn about marketing from reading and trying things out, but an accounting class at my university helped out a bit. The trick was learning radical time management. I was (and still am) taking a full load of graduate-level science courses and working in a research lab while trying to schedule meetings, networking, and writing my blog around all of it. I’m open with my customers, and they don’t seem to mind a busy schedule (because they’re all busy business owners themselves). The key for me was learning to manage days where I had to be in all three positions in the same day.

Nick Rosener, www.technicktips.com

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15. When In Doubt, Ask For Help

A story in which I did well in managing my business and school work was in December 2008. I landed a big interview on the front page of www.etsy.com. The interview brought in a lot of press and I ended up selling about 4500 soaps in 3 days. The interview just happened to be the week of finals. Luckily I had a lot of support from friends and family and everything worked out great!

Leeana Provan, www.LoveLeeSoaps.etsy.com

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16. Homework Starts When Music Ends

Very little sleep…with working in the music industry in Chicago and attending Olivet Nazarene University full time, my homework starts when my music ends. I figure I can sleep later, until then I am going to chase my dream.

Kyle Henning, collisionradio.com

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17. Do It All Before Everyone Wakes Up

Being a full-time entrepreneur and a full-time student, believe it or not, is possible! It is all about time management and taking on activities that you love, which will push you to be self-motivated. Personally, I am an early riser and so I am able to complete all my homework as well as start-up responsibilities by the time my friends wake up. Don’t burn yourself out early in your journey!

Diane Keng, www.myweboo.com

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18. Whenever And Wherever

I am able to manage my business and school by doing work whenever and wherever I can. Since I can get anywhere with my iPhone on my Mac, I am able to edit a website while in the car on a trip or finish a graphic design project in an airport. I like to say there is a fine line between being a workaholic and simply getting things done when you have time, no matter what time of day it happens. I’d like to think I’m the latter!

Chip Lowe, www.cwd.me

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19. Business Expertise For School Assignments

While running my small fiber arts business in college, I used a couple of tricks to keep myself balanced. First of all, I used Google Calendar to make sure I never missed a deadline. I also used my small business expertise when doing assignments for my classes – from sociology to marketing, I managed to work my business into almost every class. Professors loved my real-world examples, and I got to write about something I love!

Jasmine Davis, www.contentfac.com

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What does your schedule look like?

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Created By:

Chief Community Officer at TeenBusinessForum. I believe that successful and ethical entrepreneurs make the world a better place. To make that a reality, I help empower teen entrepreneurs that will be the next generation of business leaders.

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