How Student Entrepreneurs Can Balance School and Business

A college student’s day is pretty busy. Classes, extracurriculars, and an effort to have a social life leave no free time. It’s amazing that some young people are bold enough to add another challenging activity to their schedule. If you’re a representative of this brave, energetic, and ambitious generation, you may face such problems as the lack of time, procrastination, and stress. In fact, you can quickly learn to maintain a healthy life balance. Here’re 5 valuable lessons on how to find the time necessary to pursue your career as an entrepreneur.

Learn and apply time-management tips.

Time Management Training Doesn’t Work

Nick Porfilio is a founder and CEO of, a tech startup that helps online shoppers save money on almost every purchase. He takes classes three days a week: on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Nick spends the rest of the week working on his startup.

If other student entrepreneurs follow a schedule, then you can do it too. You’ve already got a structure, as you have classes to attend. Add other activities to your timetable, and it is ready. It’s useful to have a to-do-list with you all the time. It helps to remember all the tasks you have to do and keep your day organized.

If you think that effective time planning is only about creating to-do-lists, you’re awfully wrong. Discover some of the best time-management tricks:

  • Work according to your biological rhythm: If you’re a morning person, plan your most important or difficult tasks in the first half of the day when you’re on your peak.
  • Avoid multitasking: If you complete your writing assignment while chatting on the phone to your clients, your paper will be full of errors, and your clients will be frustrated by the lack of concentration.
  • Minimize distractions: High focus will help you do your best work.
  • Learn to say “No”: Having too much on your plate can lead to poor performance and stress.
  • Take breaks: It’s not a waste of time. It’s a possibility to refresh your mind.

Choose the right classes.

How to Choose the Right Business School Specialization

In college, you have excess for a wide range of information that can be useful for you as an entrepreneur. I see no reasons why not take advantage of this privilege.

For example, if you’re studying computer science and want to develop an app, a few marketing and economics classes will give you an understanding of marketing and promoting your product. If you can choose the topic of your coursework, pick the one that is relevant to your business idea.

Other students successfully employ this approach to studying and running a business. Stephanie Simpson is one of the founders . “The knowledge I gained at business management class helped me to create an effective promoting campaign. Thanks to my refined writing skills, I could increase the quality of academic essays I wrote for the customers.”

Beat procrastination once and for all.

11 Ways to Overcome Procrastination

Procrastination is the worst enemy of many students. They often put off their assignments until the last minute. When you have business to run, you may have unexpected problems to solve or more order to deliver. What if you have to choose between these two tasks?

You’d better avoid such situations. If you’re assigned to write an essay in a week, that doesn’t mean that you have to wait until the last day. Get ahead of the schedule. Break the process into parts, and work on it every day. For example:

  • Make a research on Monday.
  • Create an outline on Tuesday.
  • Write the first draft on Wednesday.
  • Edit it on Thursday.
  • And proofread it on Friday.

This study approach can help those who struggle with writing assignments. Even more, you can complete any difficult task in this way.

Build a strong support system.

Family and friends can support you in any venture. When it comes to launching a business while studying in college, it’s not only friends who can give you the support you need.

Even if finances aren’t your major, there’re professors who have deep knowledge in this field. Most of them are glad to consult ambitious student who plans to start or already runs their small business.

It is a good idea to make friends with other small business owners, especially students, who have struggled and succeeded. They may share their experience and tell you about possible pitfalls so that you can avoid them.

Your staff, business partners or franchisors can also support and guide you. If you’ve ever been a member of a college band or football team or another group of talented and ambitious people, you know what we mean.

Be strong when it comes to tough choices.

Manage Your Work, Manage Your Life

Whether you’re paying tuition with parent’s help or a student loan, college is a huge investment. It is wise to actively participate in everything it can offer you. Every time you find yourself torn between studying and working on your startup, you should choose the activity that will teach you more.

Comake (a modern file-browser that helps to access and interact with information) co-founder Adler Faulkner thinks that succeeding in business sometimes means putting schoolwork aside. “I actually took last year off to work on this full time and try to dedicate as much of my time to this project as possible,” he says.

If working on your startup becomes a priority, consider taking a leave of absence. Studying in college is too expensive to be done at half pace. You could maybe even earn back some money by refinancing your student loans that you could use for startup capital.

It is important to discuss your “boat burning” target with your co-founders. When will you be ready to leave school and devote your time and energy to the startup? 15,000 active users? $100 million in revenue? Talk about this in advance.

Balancing two full-time endeavors is never easy, but by optimizing your time and making smart decisions will increase the chances to succeed in both studying and entrepreneurship.

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