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How To: Balancing School + Running A Business

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It’s Back-To-School time, which means for teen entrepreneurs, it’s back to balancing running a business and running around trying to keep up with homework, sports, extracurriculars, and a social life.

Teens who run businesses struggle with the pull of working on something they care about (their business) and working on homework (something they couldn’t care less about). They’ve got one foot in the “real world” and one foot in the world that is their reality … high school and homework.

So, how are they managing it? I reached out to teens via the @dowitpodcast instagram to get tips directly from teen entrepreneurs.

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Structure + Schedule
Nora, who runs both @shakesparians and @envision, found that she would get easily distracted when a business email would come through while working on her homework. So, she decided that Monday-Friday afternoons would be dedicated solely to working on homework and her weekends would be dedicated to business tasks. But business ideas and issues still came up during the week. That’s when Nora started using the todolist app. “Now when I remember a task I have to do for my business while I’m doing my homework, I can use the app to schedule a task for the weekend instead of stopping my homework and doing that taks immediately (or vice versa)," she explained. The system works great most of the time, but when that extra reading homework gets assigned over the weekend, Nora will use the app speechify, which reads notes or assigned readings out loud. This lets her pack orders and get that test prep or reading homework done, too.

Prioritizing Self-Care
The Executive Director of Dermteens, Ellis, shared that scheduling self-care is a priority. He added, “By putting rest on my schedule, it makes me prioritize it. Some days are hard to manage, so I try to give myself grace.” The team working at Hervolutioninbiz also sets aside time for self-care, which means spending time with friends, watching tv shows, journaling, yoga and just “me time.” For Harish, founder of Guardial, having a routine is a form a self-care, because he has found that “consistency is the single biggest cause of progress.”

Let It Go
Now for my tip ...Let It Go. Running a business and going to school full-time is A LOT and there’s no way you can dedicate the same amount of time on your business like you did during the summer. Sooooooo … let it goooooo. Let go of the unrealistic expectations. Maybe instead of making 5 reels a week, you make 2. Maybe instead of making 20 sales a month, you make 10. Maybe instead of 4 hours on your business each week, it’s 2 hours. It’s in the “letting go” that you make room for new ways of doing things. Just because you can’t dedicate the same amount of time and energy to your business, doesn’t mean the business will suffer. It could be quite the opposite! The new time constraints might mean you end up working smarter and more efficiently. Also, the time spent doing other activities could bring about inspiration for your business.

Would love to hear from other teen entrepreneurs how you are managing your business and school. Feel free to share in the comments.

Also, if you want to support the teen entrepreneurs in this article, go give their instagram accounts a follow!

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