We asked student entrepreneurs how they handle the balance. These students have competed in the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards, a competition run by the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) that supports student entrepreneurs through mentorship, recognition and connections, to take their businesses to the next level.
Set goals and be persistent
"As an entrepreneur, there really is no time to procrastinate. This means no Netflix marathons, no stalking social media sites, no sleeping until noon, etc. You have to set goals for yourself each morning and stay on track. Short-term goals will help you meet your long-term goals. If your business is a million-dollar business and you want it to be a two-million-dollar business the next year, expectations need to be high and goals need to not only be executed, but exceeded. Businesses face competition, and when a competitor sees you eating up part of the market share that they've enjoyed forever, they're going to answer with all of their resources, and in most cases, with more resources than you have.
"Being a student entrepreneur can be extremely difficult, but persistence will yield success, which makes it all worth it. There will be all-nighters in order to meet client deadlines. You will lose bids on contracts that you invested hours of time and resources fighting for. Your website may crash, limiting your operations until you can restore it. There are a million things that can go wrong, and they do go wrong. A tough mental mindset and never losing vision of the end goal helps me combat any failures, losses or setbacks. Passion triumphs all negativity."
Dan Stanek, University of Chicago
Founder and COO of Castle Party Rentals
Organize and be prepared to sacrifice
"Often times, I am asked how I manage to excel in college while running a business. The answer is organization. Prior to starting any semester, I make it a point to organize my school schedule in my calendar. This includes class periods, assignment due dates and exam dates. Once I have an understanding of my class schedule and responsibilities, I then organize my work calendar around my class schedule in order to minimize any time conflicts.
"Of course, my work life and school life overlap throughout the year. The key is to remain calm and work with what you have. Sometimes I have to make sacrifices, but that is a harsh reality of a student entrepreneur. When you do make a sacrifice and have to miss a class or meeting, make sure to keep notes in order to maintain some form of balance for future decisions."
Connor Masterson, University of Miami
Co-founder and CEO of Jobly