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Balancing college life with starting a new business – Guest Post

This is a guest post from MD of Studenomics. A personal finance blog aimed that 20somethings that deals with entrepreneurship and debt reduction. For more quality articles please consider subscribing to the feed.

As many of you college students read this, odds are that you are either taking a break from your studies or having a lazy day. We all need our breaks and we all need our lazy afternoons. However, how much relaxing can we really do in college? I personally believe that college is the ideal time to start a side business.

But there’s one big question – How do you deal with the stress of exams and running side business?

Start small with your side business

If you plan on opening a tanning salon or buying a franchise then maybe you should hold off until after your college graduation. I decided to start running a blog because I enjoy writing about money and because frankly the overhead charges were minimal. I know friends that offer tutoring services, sell shirts, play at weddings, wholesale textbooks, etc. The bottom line is that I recommend starting small so that there is less stress and less capital involved.

Cut something out

I personally won’t stop watching The Office on Thursday nights or Ultimate Fighter on Wednesday nights. Other than that I’m willing to cut out all television from my life. The trick is that you need to cut out time consuming activities from your life if you want to have enough time to start a side business. I know there are certain things that we can’t give up but there are also many, many facets that we could all quit today and not miss out on anything.

Do something you enjoy

I do NOT like the feel-good quotes of how following your passions will make you lots of money. I do agree that you need to enjoy what you are doing or else you will procrastinate and the quality of your work will suffer. I know that there is good money to be made in many construction fields.

Great, but I don’t want to be outside in the cold and I love talking about money. This is why running a personal finance blog is the best fit for me. I may not make much money at all but it’s the love of the topic that helps me write an article when I know I should be studying for an exam or completing an assignment.

You need the personality to start a side business

You do not have to be a genius. You do not need a brilliant idea. You do not have to work 18 hour days. You DO need a high level of ambition. You definitely need to have an entrepreneurial drive. If you are content with working a steady job for a steady paycheck then that’s cool. If you are more risk adverse and don’t want to rely on someone for a living then now is the time you should get the wheels in motion for a side business.

I have friends tell me all of the time that they are sick of their job and want to quit so that they can from for themselves. First of all, you don’t quit a job just because you hate working. You quit because you want to work harder on other endeavors. Second of all, you must comprehend that all of the responsibility is on YOU. There is blaming Steve in Accounting or Johnny from Storage. The blame is shifted on you.

If you don’t want to deal with all of this new found responsibility then a side business may not be the ideal income generating solution for you.


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike @ Gather Little by Little November 30, 2009 at 12:16 pm

Great post!

When I was in college, I used to run a computer business on the side. We were selling and repairing computers.

This was a great opportunity since every single college student had a computer 😉

It didn’t take much time but it was perfect to make a few extra bucks every week!
.-= Mike @ Gather Little by Little´s last blog ..Money Saving Monday: Coffee =-.

JustAskMoney.com November 30, 2009 at 5:32 pm

I totally agree with you on this. I started a window cleaning business while in college.

It was relatively cheap to start and easy to start. The business built to four employees and I sold the business to a younger business student at my college when I graduated.

Starting a side business helped me learn the lessons that you can’t pick up in the classroom.
.-= JustAskMoney.com´s last blog ..Budgeting for Christmas =-.

Credit Card Chaser December 1, 2009 at 12:03 am

I also very much agree with you on this – especially when you consider that things only get harder when you have a mortgage, kids, and other responsibilities when you get older.
.-= Credit Card Chaser´s last blog ..Win $500 in the 2009 Credit Card Chaser Love/Hate Credit Cards Contest =-.

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