Since I was a junior in high school, I have managed to run somewhat of an online business while going through school. As a junior in high school, I knew that the internet had high potential and I wanted to be part of it. I didn’t fully realize the potential, however, until the end of my junior year. I began looking into the different ways to create useful content, products, and sites online. By the end of my junior year I had solely launched my first big idea. During my senior year of high school, I continued to develop my idea and also look into new ideas. While most students my age were out messing around, I was often brainstorming about my next idea while working on my homework. I’m not sure why this was, but it seemed more interesting to me. Once I graduated from high school, I went on to study Electrical Engineering away from home. While my free time went down, I was forced to balance my life more carefully. I woke, showered, ate, went to school for a few hours, worked through work-study to ensure I could pay my expenses, came home and did homework, and then worked on my online business. That was a typical day. I’d often taok weekends off during the first year or two of college.
During my college years is when I really picked it up and took it seriously, almost as a job (but I loved doing it so I didn’t seem the way most people consider “work”). During my first year of college, I worked in the admissions office as a work-study student to make more money. Second year I switched to doing work-study at home, which paid way more and gave me much more flexibility. Third year I lived in England as a study abroad student. I had much more free time (due to way less contact hours and way less homework – just a different education system there), but I was often out exploring the city or meeting new friends (I wanted to take advantage of my time living abroad). However, even with going out daily, traveling on break, and spending a lot of time away from the computer, I still found lots of time to manage my online business. By this point I was no longer doing work study and I found the investment of my time was best at home (instead of work study working for the university). My online business was furthering developing.
My fourth year of university (back in the US) was busy, but productive. First semester I had a busy class schedule, and was also managing tons of new projects. I often slept 6-7 hours a night to make things work. Second semester my schedule lightened, and I was able to devote more time. However, my schedule was similar to first year, except instead of work study, I was working for myself at home. Typically I woke at 7am (whether I had class early or not), worked for an hour or two, went to class all day, came back and did homework, and then worked when I finished homework. However, keep in mind with all this happening, I often went out with friends and was involved in many school activities. I rarely denied an opportunity to go out and do something with friends.
Since graduating, my business had expanded beyond what I expected at this point. Since going full time, I’ve not only learned a great deal, but have made some tough decisions that have worked out well. I’ve recently just begun a new venuture which will launch in a couple weeks, and I’m excited to begin developing that. My full time schedule is now something like: sleep 8 hours, wake, run, shower, eat, check email/browse for an hour, work for a couple hours, eat lunch, work for a few more hours, eat dinner, and work more. However, I don’t really consider it “work”, since I love doing it. I love setting my own hours and pay, and I love the excitment in the risk and thought that goes into it. I also know that the more time I put in now, the less time I will have to put in later. I’m currently working extra hard because I am leaving to England in 2 weeks for a 2 months trip over there, which I am super excited about.
With this said, it is certainly possible to run a business while attending school full time – and do well in both. The internet is powerful – you can go anywhere at anytime and be doing something. You can also automate almost everything, so you don’t need to be physically there to make things work. I’m excited to begin traveling and working, and explore new people and places around the world. Work hard, have fun, and enjoy what you do. In other words, work hard, party harder.
And if you need some motivation or tips, I’d highly suggest you checkout this video if you haven’t seen it yet.