Working or studying (or both), is already a challenge for some – let alone starting a business. Below are five tips on how to build a business, while balancing work/study.
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Starting a business whilst working a job or studying can be the two hardest things in life to juggle.
I know, because I did it.
But here’s the good news: if I could do it, I know YOU can as well.
That’s why today, I want to share with you 5 tips that allowed me to balance both work and my business hustle – plus other areas of life – without killing yourself in the process.
But first, let me share with you my experience…
My first ever successful store and online business revolved around the Nintendo DS video game system. I used to buy second hand games for it and resell them.
The way it worked was: I’d build up connections with a lot of suppliers in the USA for Nintendo DS games. I’d buy this game for $25, import it into New Zealand and resell it for $50.
This was basically a very advanced form of international arbitrage. And it worked FANTASTICALLY well and I made lots of money doing this.
And I, naively, announced to my friends and family that I was NEVER going to get a job.
That was until Nintendo, who of course makes these, decided to no longer make Nintendo DS systems, and decided to make a new system: Nintendo 3DS.
To outsiders they probably sound like almost the same thing but trust me they AREN’T.
And because of this – my business died overnight. Literally.
In the past with the Nintendo DS, you could buy one of these in New Zealand and still play USA games you imported on it…
But for their next version – the 3DS – Nintendo made it so that if you had bought one of these New Zealand, only local games would work on it. So basically: I could no longer import super cheap games and resell them in New Zealand. This is called region locking and it basically killed my business.
So guess what I had to do?
I got a job.
When Nintendo killed my business, I was no longer 16. I had adult bills to pay, so I had to go out there and find work.
I swore it would be temporary. It was just a bump in the road. I’ll just rebuild my business on the side in a few months when I’m not at work, right?
Well, funnily enough, I quickly realized once I was working that it wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought it would be.
By the time I woke up in the morning…
…made the commute to work each day…
…got through all of the work that I had to do…
…then finally make the commute back home…
All I wanted was to do in the evenings was nothing: I just wanted to watch YouTube. And I definitely didn’t want to work on my store. I was too tired. And so for months I languished. And I did nothing.
Luckily, I already had a taste of success. And I knew I wanted to get rich. And the only true way to get rich if you’re not born into wealth, is to build a business.
You see, here’s the thing…
Jobs have income caps. You only have a finite amount of time to exchange for money every day. But with a business, you can hire other people and use their time to make you money. And so unlike jobs, businesses don’t have income caps.
If I wanted to get rich, I had no choice. So I sucked it up and found the willpower to build my business up on the side. If you’re working full time or studying full-time or doing a mixture of both that is full-time, then I understand how hard it is to start a business in that midst of that.
I created this blog post to share with you the techniques I used to stay focused and motivated – and what mistakes I made, and what mistakes I see others make.
Let’s get started.
Tip #1: DON’T Fall for Shiny Object Syndrome
A lot of people are susceptible to Shiny Object Syndrome.
They start a Dropshipping business. A week later, they move onto Amazon FBA. When that doesn’t work after two weeks, it’s now onto affiliate marketing…
When you start a business, stick with it. The more businesses you start, the less time and energy you’ll have to work on one.
There’s only so many hours in the day. No, seriously: there’s only 24 hours in one day. And if we dig deep and do the math, you’ll realize how much little time you really have…
With 24 hours in one day, you have 8 hours for sleep… 8 for work… and extra 1 hour for commuting to and from work.
This leaves you with 7 hours remaining for the rest of the day. With those 7 hours, you need to cook, clean, exercise and manage your life.
For most people, realistically, they’ll have about 1-2 hours a day on weekdays to set aside for their business. So that’s 5-10 hours a week.
Of course weekends are a prime time to work: so maybe you are VERY disciplined and you work 8 hours each of those days – so that’s 16 hours on the weekend.
In total, you might have around 20 to 26 hours each week to work on your new side hustle.
What would be wiser: to dedicate this limited time to 3 or 4 side hustles – or dedicate your time to ONE hustle?
Of course, the latter make more sense and you will achieve success a lot faster. Plus, if you think about it: most people have just enough time to focus on just 1 business or 1 store. It’s not realistic to try and start 2, or 3, or 4 or 5 at once. Focus on ONE and do it WELL.
Tip #2: Wake Up Early & Invest In YOU, NOT Your Boss
After a long 8 hour day at work, finding the energy to hustle on your business is the last thing you’d be excited to do.
Instead, you’d rather spend the rest of your evenings RELAXING from work, watching Netflix or YouTube…
…and pretending as if your side hustle doesn’t exist.
Well, what if you flipped the script?
Instead of forcing yourself to work on your business after work – when you’re extremely knackered and exhausted from 8 hours of work – what if you woke up 1-2 hours earlier than usual to work on your business in the morning?
Most of us have a lot of energy in the morning. And it’s at that time we have the most willpower to work on a task. So, instead of giving away all your mental energy at work, invest it in your business BEFORE going to work.
The most successful people in the world ALWAYS invest in themselves in the morning.
Whether it’s through morning rituals like reading or exercising, they take their energy to invest in themselves first thing in the morning.
As billionaire investor Warren Buffett once said: “The best investment you can make is in yourself.”
Tip #3: Stay Healthy, DON’T Get Sick
I lost many days to being sick.
In fact, I thought what I was doing was smart. What I did instead was, I just chose to wake up earlier and sleep less. (Genius idea, right?)
I thought, “If I sleep 6 hours instead of 8 hours, that’s 2 extra hours I can work!”
Boy was I wrong.
And as a result, I ended up coming down with a series of mucky flus and colds – which obviously deteriorated my ability to work.
When you’re working or studying full-time, maximising your free time to invest in your business should be priority…
But focusing on your health – that’s an even BIGGER priority.
Why? Your business needs your BEST you. So, if you’re not prioritising your health – doing things like smoking, drinking and sleeping late – you AND your business will both suffer.
There’ll be days where you can’t work because you’re too sick. And as mentioned before, time is our most valuable asset, which you’d be unnecessarily putting to waste as a result of not taking care of yourself properly.
Having bad health is a hefty price you’ll have to pay in the long term. It was a short-term productivity gain that had long-term productivity consequences.
How can you improve your health? Well, for starters:
- Get at least 8 hours of sleep. That is for every night, not just on days where you ‘feel’ like it.
- Make fruits and vegetables the foundation of your diet. I know this has been drummed into your ear since you were 5, yet so many people underestimate or overlook the HUGE benefits this can have in your life
- Drink 2 litres of water per DAY. Or enough water so that your urine is white when you go to the loo.
The people that manage their sleep and health are the tortoise. And those that don’t are the hare. And guess which of these won the race?
Business isn’t a sprint: it’s a marathon.
Tip #4: Sell Something You’re Passionate About
When I look back at how I rebuilt my store, it was a lot easier to stay motivated because it was about something I was passionate about.
Even though I’m not a video game fanatic anymore, back then I was SUPER passionate about them. And this was one of the reasons as to why I successfully rebuilt my store – even faster this time around.
Now, for some people, selling anything – so long as it makes money – isn’t really an issue.
But for the majority, it can get really tedious and boring investing your time into something you are not actually enjoying.
That’s why selling something you’re passionate about helps to keep you motivated when the going gets tough.
When you’re first starting a business, there are SO MANY new skills you need to learn. For example with dropshipping you need to learn how to: build a store, create Facebook ads, handle orders, write good copy – and this is just scratching the surface.
Why not make it as easy for yourself as possible? Pick something to sell that you already know about!
It’s a lot more fun to build a business around something you like. Plus, since it’s fun you’re going to be far less likely to procrastinate on it.
Tip #5: Budget Your Time Like You Budget Money
The same way you budget your money, is the same way you should budget time.
When in debt, you find ways to lower your expenses and control where you are spending your money. The same goes for your time: keep track of where your time is going. You might find that you’re wasting so much time on places like YouTube that you should be instead spending on your new venture.
Apps like Smarter Time is a great way to keep track of how you actually spend your time throughout the day.
The BIGGEST difference between people with a RICH mindset, versus those with a POOR mindset is how they approach TIME.
People with a poor mindset will exchange their time for money any day.
But rich people? They understand that you can make more money: you can build a successful store, or another type of business, and then hire other people to run it for you.
And then you can use that time you gained back to build another successful store, and so-on.
As Jim Rohn once said, “Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.”
Want to learn the blueprint wildly successful dropship stores follow to make six-figures?
Six steps to building a six-figure Dropship store
In it, I’ve included:
- How just one “winning item” can earn $10k/month. Yep. A lot of people don’t realize this… but most stores make the majority of their money from just a handful of items!
- The right way to choose AliExpress suppliers. Picking the right AliExpress dropshipper is crucial to drastically reduce things like refunds. Learn how to pick the right suppliers.
- Why long shipping times DON’T matter. A lot of people are scared to start Dropshipping because of “long” shipping times. You’ll learn why this doesn’t matter inside.
- Why six-figure stores take ONLY 2 hours a day to manage. You’ll learn how they utilize apps like Oberlo to make their stores semi-automated… making managing orders super simple!