Hey, I’m Parker.

Creator of music, photography, and (mostly open) software.

Student Entrepreneurs: Don't Over-burden Yourselves

I was reading Teens in Tech's blog post about how student entrepreneurs ought to manage their business while they are at school and in class. I have to disagree a bit with what Ben Paster advised we do.

Ben implicitly encouraged the use of every moment of downtime to answer support tweets and emails and to purchase a smart phone to help do this on-the-go. Though this seems like a great idea on the surface, I would strongly advise against this. For one, you begin to allow these minor issues to follow you around. I opt to keep all of my business emails in a place that is, yes, readily accessible, but also out of sight. While at school, and especially in high school, the distraction of a smartphone certainly means that the student will not be fully absorbing all of the information he or she is being taught. Few students, even those of the entrepreneurial type, have the self-control to keep the phone out of sight, even during class. An entrepreneur may be brilliant and resourceful in his or her area of business, but may not grasp the meaning being extracted from A Raisin' In The Sun or Hamlet during English class if he or she is also trying to answer support queries at the same time. I know from personal experience that a distracted student is usually not a very good one.

I would also argue that the phone would be a distraction not only in class but also out of it. I see it all the time: two friends walking next to each other, one speaking, the other trying to listen and text at the same time. That will certainly put a damper on your relationships with friends. Same goes for the relationships with your family members. Trust me: the smartphone can be used for good, but will often just get in your way.

So my advice to the student entrepreneur: find a way to be able to tuck the constant barrage of information away while enjoying life and learning. They don't need to be instantly answered - take the night off, go see a movie and enjoy being with your friends or family. You deserve it!