Wednesday, 9 February 2011

An Equilibirum

Despite billing the blog as the story of a young businessman and university student I have not really focused much on the latter aspect but I feel this is a mistake because it gives a less holistic view of what it's like to juggle business and university.

In fact university makes quite a significant impact on my business life. It can be very hard to judge which to put first: I need to concentrate at university to obtain a degree, but that degree will be used to make money in the future which is the aim of my business does now. I try to strike a middle ground where possible but I lean towards university whenever I have to make a choice.

For an example, university started up after Christmas in the second week of January. After then until the end of January I had to put a stop to almost anything to do with the business bar the bare necessities such as posting off orders so I could focus on studying for the winter examinations. Since you're left on your own to study you essentially have weeks of free time and it's up to you how you spend it. As such it can be very tempting to forgo revision in favour of the immediate gain of concentrating more on the business aspect and potentially seeing more sales.

However it's also easier to ignore the business side of things because there are few if any 'deadlines' to adhere to which remove the sense of immediacy that coursework or examinations have. Competition is tough however and I'm up against people that do this for a living. Ignoring the business side of things too much (particularly on eBay/Amazon Marketplace) means competition can sneak in and take advantage of my idleness. It's a matter of fact that on quite a few items I sell there are price wars between myself and the competition where we each try to outdo the other by a penny. It sounds petty, but when you see two identical products for sale with a penny difference in price, would you buy the cheaper or more expensive one? If you're not careful and on top of the game you'll soon lose out on sales which means lost money and if you're not making money then you run the risk of losing your business entirely.

It's tough to find the equilibrium - the sweet spot in terms of time spent focused on business/university work to extract the greatest benefit from one while not at the detriment of the other. I don't believe there is a right answer, but whatever it is caffeine is certainly inclusive in it.

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