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  • #974775
    Not4Resale
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    Hi guys,

    I’m young and incredibly new to this scene. I basically had an idea that I thought was pretty bright at the start of the year (to start a tutoring company).

    This idea soon changed it’s focus as I realised that without a unique angle it would be difficult to be scaleable. Fast forward to a meeting with the guru behind the Grad Connection and I end up with a hybrid idea of an educational community that will aim to attract both tutors and students. A social hub if you will…

    As two very broke university students we opted to start small and launched a blog Save My HSC and have been churning out content for this and building a community as we nutted out the features and concepts behind the site.

    A problem I’ve been facing has been balancing time/money commitments, I’ll provide an example.

    At the start of the year I was studying fulltime and realised I needed income and time to make this project work so I cut back to part time study and committed to finding filler work i.e. tutoring and a part time job.

    Unfortunately that part time job ended up being a pretty big commitment (Aus post) and my studies were still stressful. I finally left this job in early June after working with them since late March. The product of working at this place and studying part time definitely put a huge time strain on the web building. I hired a freelancer to do the work in Europe but although her intentions have been good, her motivation isn’t very high. I’m thinking about picking up a local designer and have been liasing with someone in Sydney. The only problem with this is it will cost me a significantly larger sum of money.

    Right now where I’m at is: I’m working fulltime (I had a small amount of debt that I needed to clear so I sold my car and got myself out of it through working/using car funds). I’ve become even more time-poor as I still have the same study load and I don’t have as much time to contribute to the blog/oversee the site construction. I’ve also had to cut tutoring out completely.

    I know I have to quit the job, what I don’t know is whether it’s helpful or detrimental staying at University.

    I’m studying a Masters of Publishing with a heavy focus on digital publishing, the skills I’ve been learning have been helping in the design process and the programs that I’m using are relevant to the business but there are also core units in there that feel like an absolute farse and waste of time.

    I don’t know if I’m on the right track or drowning in over-commitment, some days I feel like I’m being the most productive person in the world and others I feel like I’m losing sight of the dream and getting side-tracked.

    I definitely have a very clear picture of what I want in the long run, I think my problem definitely lies in decisionship, I’m so hesitant to put my studies on hold and I don’t want to be in a situation where I don’t where my money is coming from next week, I’ve done labouring and worked in retail casually. Ideally I think I need a sales related job as the skills learned in this will be invaluable (people related activities are also my greatest skillset) but it can’t be full time as I need to work on getting this business off the ground.

    I realise this may come off as quite muddled and convoluted, this is where I’m at, I’ve come to terms with this. I hope some fingers in the right direction will catapult me into a place that see’s this vision becoming a reality.

    Thanks in advance :)

    #1070228
    Steve_Minshall
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    Hi,

    You have lots of energy and enthusiasm and congratulations on that. Any new venture that is worth pursuing will take an extraordinary amount of effort, sacrifice and time to be successful. Also you are doing a Masters degree which is a big commitment. So I admire what you are trying and congratulations on giving it a good go.

    Now my advise which is purely based on having your sort of enthusiam when I was in my 20s and have now meandered my way to the wrong side of 40:

    Get your study done first. Unless your business overlaps with the study, ie: a course assignment can be incorporated into your business activity, then let it slide for a while. You may think that that you have the newest, greatest business idea. That if you don’t get it done now then someone else will come and steal your fortune. But really, business is not about the ‘big idea’ it is about executing a plan. There will always be ideas and as the web develops the number of different business opportunities just keeps growing and evolving. So even if you kick back for a few years and enjoy your young years while finishing your studies you are not wasting your time. You will come out of it with a marketable qualification and some useful knowledge.

    Life is not a race so there is no need to burn yourself out in your formative years. When I was in my late 20s I spent nearly a year living under tarpaulin, teaching scuba diving on a remote island in Central America. I didn’t get paid, I didn’t get a qualification but I sure look back on it with fondness. I stepped out of western society for a whole year. There is no way I could do that now. So I would have really regretted throwing myself into nothing but study, work and business in my 20s and missing what I believe added immeasurably to my character.

    Now if you really want to be the next Bill Gates, then ditch your study and throw yourself into the business.

    #1070229
    Rowan@quaotic
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    I second the above post. Get your study done first. I know it is awfully hard to have to put off your great idea for a while but how long have you got to go with your degree? a couple of years? that is really not a long time.
    The last thing you want to do is to burn yourself out and then lose passion for both your study and your dream. Believe me, you will still have your choices and maybe even more options when you graduate.

    I know someone well into her 40s who is going for her second masters while working full time and the more study she does the more options, and career offers, she gets. She is always being headhunted because she is top of her studies. I admire her greatly but can’t understand how she copes with all the work.
    I am no suggesting that you want to look at working for someone else but I know that sometimes study can offer you new directions which will help your dreams in the future. The future will always be waiting for you so there is no need to hurry even though the waiting will be very difficult.

    Just my advice but I’m sure you will do well with all that passion no matter what you choose to do.

    #1070230
    B Cooper
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    Hey there,

    I think you’ll find this advice, interesting. I’ve only just turned 18, and I’ve been in business for one year. Yet I’m now classed as in the top 40 entrepreneurs under the age of 20 in the world by the co-founder of PayPal, I own several businesses, I have TV advertising campaigns in the US, and partnerships with large companies all over the place.

    Yet what the hell allowed me to progress so fast? Well sorry, but it wasn’t my studies. Going to school is great if you want to get ’employed’, but if you actually want to ‘learn’ what you ‘need’ to know as ‘fast’ as possible, there really are much quicker ways outside of school. For example, I’m studying programming, both in school and outside of school teaching myself. I could study programming in school for 5 years and still not learn as much as I could teach myself in 6 months.

    If you love business, if you want that entrepreneur inside of you to flourish, then stick with your idea. Set yourself hard goals, and achieve them. Read lots of books that will help fuel your inspiration so that you’ll never ‘burn out’.

    I’ve got a list of books on my blog here:

    http://smallbusinesstalk.com.au/blog/motivation/list-of-motivational-business-books/

    So my point is, if you really want to progress with your idea, don’t push it aside for later, because it’ll never get done. Set yourself a goal to get it built within a specific time-frame, and achieve it. Do whatever it takes. As said in the posts above, you’re going to have to dedicate yourself and be willing to sacrifice, but in the end, it’ll all be worth it. If you don’t need your studies, don’t study. If you need to learn certain skills, learn them. If you want to work for somebody else, or if you KNOW that your degree is teaching you the utmost essential skills for what you want to achieve, and that there is no faster way of learning those skills, then continue with your studies.

    Just my view. Good luck with everything! :)

    #1070231
    NickHumphries
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    Not gonna reply with a long post, all it comes down to is

    Whats your goal? Is what your doing now helping achieve your goal? If it does, then great, if not well you should think twice.

    #1070232
    Rowan@quaotic
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    I suppose I didn’t say in post all that I should have. I would never advise study for studies sake, or just to get a job working for someone else if you don’t want to, but as someone who left school at 16 as soon as I was legally allowed to I always wished I had some more study behind me just to give more directions and opportunities for the future. It can be hard to get back into study if you stop and once I was working for myself there was never the time or commitment to take up more study.
    A couple more years is no time and if you have a passion to work for yourself it never goes away. If the OP finishes his study he gives his tutoring business more legitimacy in my opinion.
    I know from others experience that study gives more directions and opportunities that you can’t see at the moment. There are a few people who left school early and made it big, but you never hear of the vast majority who worked just as hard but couldn’t get anywhere near their dreams.

    #1070233
    Not4Resale
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    Thanks for the replies people.

    As it turns out I was gifted with a stroke of good luck on Friday afternoon and fired from my job. Something I didn’t highlight enough here was the main problem that I’m faced with.

    The only problem I have with study is it’s lack of relevance at points. Yes it is preparing me to be employable-ish(it’s still a pain in the ass to break into an industry). The steps I’ve taken to combat this has been to drop down to part time study. I would have finished my masters this year but at this rate I’ll finish at the end of next year. Two night classes a week and a few mad rushes to finish assignments is a pain but it’s bearable. My only question here is whether it’s worth holding the line for this if it gives me a bit of limited relevance. I love learning the design stuff, my course is a mix between business and creativity which is expressed in design and writing subjects. All of the skills I learn are definitely marketable but the ones that will directly help me in my business success are much less.

    Work however… Now on the one hand I want to work in the publishing industry to have experience in case this business idea falls flat on it’s face. On the other hand, I think I should just get myself a part time sales job and give myself the time to build. The reality is you need money in the bank every week, it would be nice if I didn’t have bills to pay but I need enough to live on. Working 3 days a week in a sales/people related job won’t kill me. The only problem with this is I’m not furthering my skills in my chosen field (however sales is definitely going to help in business).

    I know a lot of business ventures fail, I’m not too worried about failing. I’ve had quite a large degree of success in personal development so getting back up after getting struck over the head by life is a challenge for me but it does not spell surrender. However, I have a lot of belief in this idea and I want it to succeed.

    I think what I’m looking for is how the successful people built their ability to know exactly what to do each step of the way. The drive won’t die, I just want to know which direction I need to swim.

    #1070234
    Rowan@quaotic
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    *I think what I’m looking for is how the successful people built their ability to know exactly what to do each step of the way. The drive won’t die, I just want to know which direction I need to swim. *

    Sorry but this only comes with experience, yours and learning from others along the way.
    Really, I think you have a good head on your shoulders. Remember that no matter what job you get to pay your bills until you can go it on your own it will teach your things if you are open to the lessons. Often the right opportunity will come along just when you need it so just be open to learning and opportunities. I get the feeling that this advice is not necessary for you but it is easy to forget where you are when you have a lot on your plate.

    I wish I could give better advice but as I said, most is life experience that you have to learn for yourself.
    Is there any business person you know and admire, maybe a friend of the family or family member who could give you some advice or mentoring? It might help you get your thoughts in order.

    Good luck,
    Rowan

    #1070235
    Steve_Minshall
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    Not4Resale, post: 87748 wrote:
    Thanks for the replies people.

    I think what I’m looking for is how the successful people built their ability to know exactly what to do each step of the way. The drive won’t die, I just want to know which direction I need to swim.

    Hi,

    I think you have made a good choice to continue your study part time. If you can get away with 2 evenings and a few weekends then a lot of people commit more time than that to Master Chef so you should be fine. It never hurts to have a masters degree in a business related subject.

    Now there is no answer to what to do each step of the way but my advise would be before you dive in. Learn about money. It is the thing that lots of people over look and think their accountant will look after. They won’t. They will not run your business for you. They could well tell you too late when things have gone wrong. Learn about cash flows, what the real cost of purchases are, how much money you really make from a sale. What is the real cost of running an enterprise? What can a profit and loss statement tell you? How do you prepare a realistic budget that you can actually use to run the business? etc.

    Accounting is not really considered the fun or interesting side of running a business. You will notice on this forum that everyone has an opinion about SEO or marketing for instance but ask a financial question and you can see the virtual tumble weeds blow through as every one says “ask your accountant”.

    So learn about finances so that you at least know what questions to ask your accountant.

    How did I learn? The Managing Director of the last business I worked for beat it in to me. I got incredibly frustrated with him at the time but I am sure glad he did.

    #1070236
    PerfectNotes-Kathy
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    Not4Resale, post: 87748 wrote:
    Thanks for the replies people.

    I think what I’m looking for is how the successful people built their ability to know exactly what to do each step of the way.
    Ok… sorry … but – really!!!!
    No successful person EVER knew exactly what to do each step of the way – sorry – that ain’t anybody’s truth.

    Read Richard Branson’s background… and I doubt that Bill Gates had a much different experience.

    Successful people tried one thing – then another thing – then yet another. More than half of what they did was a ‘mistake’ (yes, I am self-censoring these comments – despite what it feels like!)

    Unfortunately, there is no magic pill – or magic wand – or any other magic. Read about and follow in the footsteps of the ones that seem to make the most sense to you… And – if you think you are really going to strike it rich – get lucky! :-)

    Kathy

    #1070237
    Not4Resale
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    I know I was being a little overzealous to expect that sort of clarity :p

    To be entirely honest the biggest challenges I’ve faced have been knowing what to do in each situation. Part of the reason why I’ve joined here is because I knew that anything that I would be going through would have been experienced by others. Thus, although concrete answers won’t ever be given to me, fingers will probably point in the right direction.

    The comment about money was absolute gold, it’s that little nugget that nobody wants to think about but really is the gremlin in the back of the closet.

    Thanks again for all the replies. :D

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