Getting A College Degree While Running A Business
Running a business can be a difficult and stressful endeavor for those focusing on their entrepreneurial pursuits full time. For individuals attempting to get a degree and run a business at the same time, however, it can be even more challenging. Understanding the various obstacles for entrepreneurs attempting to run a business while obtaining a degree can give one a deeper and more nuanced perspective on entrepreneurship and the sacrifices that have to be made to bring a business vision to fruition.
Struggles Of Earning A Degree And Running A Business Simultaneously
1. Having Virtually No Free Time
Studies have shown that the majority of entrepreneurs work well over 40 hours a week when starting out. Couple this with trying to earn a degree, and what you get is a complete lack of free time and barely enough hours in the week to get an adequate amount of sleep. Given that long working hours are one of the most significant negative psychological factors of entrepreneurship and owning a business, it makes sense that this stressor is exacerbated by trying to complete a university-level curriculum at the same time.
This marked lack of time is one of the key challenges for college students trying to run a business. Though one may have high levels of motivation and determination, these admirable qualities, unfortunately, don’t translate into having more time in the day.
2. Increased Levels Of Stress
When it comes to running a business, worrying about sales, costs of operations, growing sustainably, and keeping customers happy is enough to turn anyone into a nervous wreck. Unfortunately, taking on a college program as well doesn’t help the situation.
Getting a college degree can be an overwhelming and stressful pursuit even for those who are supported financially during their college career. For those running their own businesses, it is a recipe for a significant amount of stress and anxiety, with very few moments of respite from these feelings.
Given the immense amount of stress that one will have to undergo when running a business and earning a degree in tandem, one should determine that they are mentally ready to undergo the challenge before starting. Those who aren’t great at regulating difficult emotions and handling stress will likely experience significant harm to their mental health as a result of attempting entrepreneurial pursuits while earning a degree at the same time.
3. Negatively Impacting Relationships
For entrepreneurs who are committed to getting their businesses off the ground, finding time for friends and family will typically take a back seat to work. While this dedication of time may result in a successful business, it can also inadvertently harm one’s relationships with others. Add a college curriculum to this situation, and this problem is exacerbated even more. Significant others, friends, and close relatives may feel unimportant, since one spends little to no time with them as a result of one’s other responsibilities.
Before running a business and earning a degree at the same time, one will have to determine if possibly harming relationships is worth it. For those who don’t feel like they want to sacrifice their relationships, it may be wise to choose to do one thing at a time, rather than both together.
Ways To Overcome The Struggles Of Being A Student And Entrepreneur
While it is far from easy, it’s not impossible to run a business whilst earning a college degree. Having some tips about working and attending school at the same time can help prepare one to overcome the challenges that come with the process. Here are some ways to mitigate the struggles of being a student and entrepreneur:
1. Communicate With Professors
As someone running a business, there will likely be occasions that arise in which one’s business takes time away from studying and coursework. This can result in failing tests or turning in assignments late.
While not all professors will be willing to work with one, some may be empathetic to the fact that one is running a business. By communicating clearly with professors and explaining that one’s business takes a good amount of one’s time and energy, professors may allow one to have some leeway that makes it easier to complete courses.
2. Opt For Online Or Asynchronous Courses
One of the most difficult aspects of running a business while earning a degree is scheduling. Urgent business matters may arise as a class is beginning, forcing one to have to choose between their degree program and their business.
To circumvent this obstacle, business owners attending a degree program should opt for online or asynchronous classes whenever possible. By doing so, entrepreneurs can go about putting time and effort into their business, whilst fitting in time for studying and coursework when it’s conducive.
The more spent, worn out, and stressed one is, the less good one’s work will be. This means that failing to properly engage in self-care can negatively impact both one’s business and one’s college career.
To ensure that this doesn’t happen, it’s vital to engage in effective self-care practices and make sure that both one’s physical and mental health needs are met. The better care one takes of oneself, the higher the chances are that one will be able to successfully run a business while earning a college degree.
Earning A College Degree While Running A Business Is Difficult
Though it’s possible, the challenging nature of earning a college degree while running a business can’t be understated. From having no free time to dealing with an immense amount of stress, the process definitely isn’t for everyone. However, those who do choose to go this route can persevere and find success, if they diligently commit to their goals and maintain some key practices throughout the process.