All this talk about starting a side business in college, and yet I haven’t addressed one important question: is it even possible to start a side business as a college student?
My answer is yes. If I could do it than I firmly believe that anyone can start some sort of business in college (I already outline why you should start a business in college).
What’s so special about me? Nothing really to be honest. I still went out every weekend, drank lots of beers, and had a blast in college. The only difference is that I was able to make more money than many of my peers in college. As a result of this I was able to graduate from college without any debt. I didn’t do anything special. I just worked long hours and started a side business to help me fund my education.
I wanted to share how it’s possible to be a busy full-time student and still get some sort of business off the ground.
Let’s look at how you can balance full-time studies in college with a side business:
Ignore the distractions.
You need to ditch all of the distractions. I do realize that this is easier said than done because we can all be guilty of getting caught up with the daily grind of college life. Instead of giving out useless tips I wanted to share a few quick tips to help you ignore the distractions:
- Just turn off Facebook when working.
- Remember that you don’t have to respond to every single text right away.
- Don’t take on everyone else problems. You have your own.
Do your work first.
Instead of going out and then doing your work when you get home, I recommend the reverse. If you do your work first, you can reward yourself by going out after or lounging around on Facebook for a few hours chatting about nothing. The key is that you do your most important task first.
How do you balance this with your studies? I firmly believe that your studies should always come first. During exams and when working on final projects, you might not have as much free time. During the rest of the semester, you can easily find time to work on your own projects.
Set aside an hour a day.
To tie in with my previous point, you need to understand that a side business isn’t going to require some extreme 12-hour commitment on a daily basis. All you need is an hour a day to get the ball rolling. I find that we often under-estimate what we can do in a month and over-estimate what we can do in a day. You honestly can’t tell me that you don’t have an hour on most days to work on your projects.
How can you find this extra hour?
- Sleep a bit less.
- Watch less television.
- Do work during down-times (taking the bus, in between classes).
- Stop making excuses to go on Facebook.
Not all of the above ideas are going to be popular for everyone. If you are one of the few college students that are serious about starting a side business, then you’ll be likely thanking me in a few months for opening your eyes.
Imagine life after college.
How do you envision life after college? Do you want to be working a job that you hate just to pay the bills (obviously not)? Do you want something more than just a pay check?
If you’re looking to live life on your own terms, you’re going to want to start a side business because you can focus on it when you’re done with school totally. When you start to think about life after college, you’re going to realize that you want to have a back up plan just in case you don’t find that dream job. A side business is a perfect back up plan. I found that this thought alone motivated me when I was dead tired and didn’t feel like doing anything.
That’s how I managed to find the time to start a profitable blog while still being a full-time student. I by no means got rich in college. However, I was able to have enough money to cover my expenses and to travel a bit.
What’s stopping you from starting a side business in college?