Student Entrepreneur: How to Succeed in School and Business

By Internationally Acclaimed Entrepreneur: Rachel Ji

It’s a common preconception that you can only start a business when you graduate, but more and more students are proving this stigma wrong. Our generation, Gen Z has proven to be the most tech savvy and entrepreneurial generation this world has ever seen so it’s no surprise they are jumping into business while still in school. How do they manage both?

Prioritize.

It’s truly possible to maintain a 4.0 GPA and profitable business, but it’s incredibly difficult. High School and college can be draining you both mentally and physically, you have to complete assignments on time, study for exams and try to have a social life to. As students, your primary purpose is to learn and become educated, that’s why it’s hard to get support for your side hustles.

I have experienced this first hand; I’m a full time high school student with a rigorous subject load taking an insane 11 exams at the end of this year, in comparison with my peers who sit 4–6 exams. In addition, I’ve also immersed myself by becoming a part-time university student for a semester while I complete a mathematics paper. In contrast to these academia, during the rest of my time I run 2 businesses; youthxco: apparel company aimed at youth empowerment, and thrivo: marketing consultancy agency. And if all of these aren’t enough, I’m also working towards writing my first book!

Some people might think I’m crazy for attempting to excel in such a wide variety of fields but it all comes down to prioritising your time. We all have a limited 24 hours each day, that’s the same amount of days Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg. When you say “I don’t have time”, it really means “I choose not to do this and would rather spend my time on something else”.

Plan Your Day, Week, and Year.

There’s nothing more tragic than being tucked up in bed after a long hard day to sleep when you suddenly remember that you have an assignment due tomorrow. You then debate if it’s worth getting out of bed to complete, or to embrace the consequences.

A good way to avoid these tragic moments it to keep a planner or diary, or if you’re a tech-savvy person just a calendar app such as google calendar or the built in apple calendar! In order to maintain balance you need to be very disciplined with schedules and goals. You need to get used to writing quarterly and annual goals for yourself, and not just new year resolutions — sort of a self-enforced performance review.

By planning your timetable, it’s also important to give yourself breaks and “time-off” Try take some time out to do something meaningful to recharge your batteries. 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 April blog article”, “follow up John’s email”, “finish Assignment 3”, not just “study” or “work”.

Do what you love.

Becoming more self aware allows you to find your true passions, strengths and desires. When you do what you love then it’s hardly working at all.

Fifty years before Steve Jobs told college graduates to ceaselessly search for their true passion, the great Trappist monk Thomas Merton observed, “The world is full of unsuccessful businessmen who still secretly believe they were meant to be artists or writers or actors in the movies.”

Too often I see students taking subjects they hate, dreading their extracurriculars, or doing things for the sake of putting it on their CV. Not only is this bad and unethical, but it’ll also result in unhappiness since you can’t find satisfaction within your life.

Don’t work 24/7

“But being overworked isn’t healthy for anyone: It can lead to a number of health problems, most notably stress-induced issues like insomnia and heart disease. A lack of sleep can also lead to accidents and the inability to function at your best during the day.” according to american express.

Fast food, less sleep, and less exercise might seem like time-savers in the short-term. However over time, these unhealthy habits will make you less effective, less energetic, and less motivated to succeed over time.

Try aim to sleep at least 7 hours per night, and try not to pull all nighters too often. Also don’t forget to exercise! Going for a brisk jog in the morning can give you more energy than the extra hour of sleep in. If you truly cannot handle your workload, another idea is to outsource your workload. My business thrivo, aims to handle CMO tasks so that you outsource with our high quality marketing services and focus more on what you love instead.

Hopefully these tips helps you in order to become more successful in all aspects of your life. The most important thing to do is remember to execute!

Did I miss anything? Tweet me! @rachyji