Entrepreneurship is incredibly difficult, but starting a company while you’re still in school may seem practically impossible. You’re already stressed over exams, low on funds thanks to expensive books and materials (not to mention your looming loans), and your friends and family are likely urging you to wait so you can focus on your studies. But the truth is, now is the perfect time for you to start your company, as long as you have the drive – and are able to arm yourself with the right tools.
Here are my 3 favorite tools for student entrepreneurs – or, let’s be real, anyone who is struggling to manage entrepreneurship while also balancing a very busy and demanding life. So next time someone tells you you’re making a mistake, remind them of Zuckerberg, buy them an Insomnia Cookie, and promise to give them a fancy gift from ModCloth if they can do you a few favors to get you on your way.
A major concern your parents and friends will express regarding your decision to start a company is that you may fall behind on school work. This is a natural reaction to any perceived “risk”, but thankfully, there are resources to help you manage your school work while building your business.
Studypool specializes in on-demand Microtutoring, a concept which allows you to narrow in on a specific area of studies with no set price point or time interval so you don’t have to shell out $100 for an hour of unnecessary tutoring. This website is ideal for an aspiring entrepreneur as it allows you to quickly address your homework inquiries so you have more time to focus on your startup. You don’t have to compromise quality either, as Studypool’s tutors come from top tier universities and are trained to answer your questions as concisely and clearly as possible.
CEO Richard Werbe explains, “Consider Studypool an aid that provides tutoring help around the clock, to support your crazy startup schedule.” So, the next time you’re cramped for time studying for an organic chemistry exam and designing marketing collateral for your business, Studypool can help you master your problem set in half the time it would normally take.
Also, if you need some startup money, they’re always hiring tutors! Just submit your transcript and get approved to answer questions for cash.
It may seem counterintuitive to outsiders, but as a busy college student and entrepreneur, you likely just don’t have time to do all that much Tweeting, and thoughts of posting to Facebook and LinkedIn for your business are constantly taking a backburner to much more pressing activities.
That’s where DrumUp comes in – this app helps you discover and share great content. Unlike most other competitors that just let you schedule, or just help you find fresh articles, DrumUp actually combines the two to save even more time and energy. And yes, it’s free to start – just like all good apps – which means you don’t have to start paying for it before it starts to work.
No, this isn’t a new literary-based FPS. This isn’t even an app or a website. It’s a good, old-fashioned journal – but refreshed to suit the needs of the busiest of people.
I swear by bullet journaling, which was officially coined last year by Ryder Carroll, a digital product designer in Brooklyn, NY, who wanted to keep a better handle on his busy life. This incredibly simple system is an analog notation guide for using any notebook, even the $5 one you picked up on a whim from the grocery store because it had a cool cover, as your catch-all planner.
By using a series of dots, circles, dashes and stars, it’s a great way to keep track of upcoming tasks, long term goals, and minute-to-minute changes. It’s also a valid excuse to have some non-screen time that’s still productive. I personally make a habit of updating it every morning and right before bed, both to give my eyes a break and because the feeling of knowing exactly what’s coming up helps calm my nerves.
As you embark on your entrepreneurial experience, I cannot express enough how critical it is that you still make full use of your stay at university. Lucky for you, we’re living in an age of not only endless tools, but also information. To paraphrase our mighty Prince of Bellaire, Will Smith, there is no new problem you could have – with your parents, with school, with a bully, or with entrepreneurship – that someone has not already griped about online, and received an answer to.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.