Last week I wrote a massive guide on self-employment in college and it sort of took off. I’ve gotten a great response from so many college students saying, ‘yes, that is exactly what I want to do.’ A lot of people are really drawn to the idea of self employment because lets be real, self employment is awesome. You set your own hours and your success is entirely up to you and the work that you put into your side hustle. And that is the best thing ever.
But being self-employed is especially difficult in college when you already have so much on your plate. You might be taking on 18 hours of classes, active in different clubs and organizations, and working another job so that you can afford to be there. You have a lot on your plate and striking a balance is hard.
These time management tips are made especially with the college blogger in mind, but really they can be applied to anyone trying to make a bit of money on the side.
Schedule your day.
And when I say schedule, I mean it. When I have a lot going on, my daily schedule is intense. I plan when I’ll wake, when I’ll eat, when I’ll study, and when I’ll work. I have time slots mapped out so that I can get everything done, and I also schedule breaks so I don’t randomly stop and end up distracted for half an hour.
Time Management Tip: In the beginning, self-employment means a lot of sacrifice and the biggest thing you are going to find yourself sacrificing is time (and sleep) so don’t sacrifice even more time by wasting it scrolling mindlessly through social media.
Say no, and say no often.
I have recently gotten a lot better at saying ‘no’ to opportunities that don’t absolutely delight me and my happiness levels have soared because of it. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, but I’m a people pleaser. Telling people no causes me great anxiety and makes me feel a bit sick to my stomach, but I’ve been working on it and despite the initial awkwardness, it’s made me so much happier.
Saying no tip: When you say no, make it sound like you’re doing them the biggest favor in the world. “Sorry, that opportunity doesn’t align with my brand.” is fine and dandy, but it sounds a lot better if you say something like, “Thank you so much for inviting me to participate! Unfortunately my audience has historically had a luke-warm response to similar campaigns at best, but I have a few colleagues who would be a great fit if you want me to send you over their info!” This way you are acknowledging that they are doing you a favor, you are letting them know that their money would be better spent elsewhere, and you are spreading the hustler love and recommending other great creatives for the opportunity.
Raise your prices.
So this isn’t the best advice for everyone, but if you find yourself swarmed with work and overwhelmed it is something that you might want to consider. A few months ago I doubled my prices which cut my opportunities by a bit (but not half!) so I’m working less and making more and that, my friends, is a wonderful arrangement.
Pricing Tip: If you are getting a ton of opportunities then chances are you can afford to raise your prices a bit. I wouldn’t recommend that everyone double their prices like I did, but even tacking on an extra $50 or $100 dollars can allow you to cut back on your workload without sacrificing your income. Talk to super savvy business owners like yourself and get their input on your pricing!