Starting A Business While Studying Full-Time

Posted on: February 9, 2015 Category: Business & Entrepreneurship/ Self Mastery

Hello! I’ve officially graduated!


I get lots of questions about “how I do it” from aspiring coaches and new entrepreneurs (and of course — clients!) who are still studying and desiring to start/run their own business.

Studying while running a coaching business is an experience that I’m incredibly grateful and happy for to have as a chapter in my life. To assist those courageous and adventurous souls who are contemplating running with this idea, go you!!

My intention is that this post will assist you in rocking out every area of your life that’s important to you, no matter what those areas are.

Why I started my own business

I knew myself enough to know that a conventional 9 to 5 job wouldn’t be a good fit for me. I desired freedom, flexibility, and the choice to work from anywhere in the world.

I heard my inner voice contemplate – ‘you could start your own business’.

I took myself into quite a bit of day dreaming, including what that would feel like, how it would look like to me, what else was possible if I had my own business – and the word FREEDOM in neon lights came into my mind’s eye.

And a whole new reality opened up.

My first game changing step

They say when the student is ready, the teacher appears.

For me, my first step towards entrepreneurship was an online programme called BSchool (which I am now a proud partner of).

I’m so glad I jumped on the BSchool train when I first saw it one night while reading through a blog I was following – as you may be now. ;)

After a few days of deep thinking, I knew there was more for me in this program – and promptly got my debit card to sign up before doors closed!

I remember how scary it felt to make an investment in myself – and looking back I am so grateful that I did!

I gained so much from the trainings, and the priceless community that came with it.

(P/S: Watch out for a special BSchool bonus coming your way when you sign up under my link here.) 

Coaching Qualifications

Am I ready to start coaching?!

“Am I qualified enough?” and “Can I really do this?” were among the many questions that popped up in my mind frequently in the beginning.

In the first and third year of university I committed to further developing my coaching skills through obtaining further qualifications as a certified coach. I started coaching in my first year – while still completing my certification.

The answer is ‘Yes – now is the best time to start’.

I knew (logically) the sooner I started coaching, the more experience I would receive and the more advanced I would develop as a coach over time. We all have to start somewhere, the key being we must start.

Wherever you are in your journey – start now. Do everything you can to stretch yourself courageously, whether it’s starting a website and blog to share your ideas, offer pro bono work to people who are interested, guest blogging, building relationships, creating a Facebook page…

Start coaching on what you feel comfortable coaching on, and having started will also assist you immensely in refining your niche, what lights you up, what bores you to tears, your zone of genius. Icing!

The Next Game Changer

Mastery on the business and personal level.

Hiring and receiving private coaching support from life and business coaches has assisted me in adding more zeros to my income – as well as sped up my development in both personal and business mastery.

Being coached by someone who’s been there, done that, (and when their circumstances in the past were very similar to yours currently), has been invaluable in my growth and development. They’ve navigated the waters before, and they will be best equipped to assist you in your breakthroughs and your creation of a successful coaching business.

You’ll also be able to shorten the timeline and quantum leap. Who doesn’t desire that?! ;)

My Personal Tips to Study + Coaching +Living Your Dreams

+ Live around your scheduler 

I schedule everything in my Google Calendar. I had a purple calendar for university where I scheduled everything uni-related including classes, exam dates, times assignments were due, group meetings etc. ; one for business for regular client calls, new client discovery sessions, intensives, copywriting etc. ; and a personal calendar for self-care, social events, me time etc.

+ Outsource what doesn’t light you up

I outsourced tasks that were draining to me – which included housekeeping and cleaning (ha!) and virtual assistance, especially during launches.

+ Continue saying ‘YES’ to your desires

I said ‘YES’ to all my true desires throughout, and continue to do so.

This included investing in high level private coaching for myself (and my business), international trips to Paris, California, Spain, Bali for events, and fun getaway trips to Sydney and Brisbane.


Many times I wasn’t exactly sure how the money was going to come in (as I required lots of it to fulfil my desires and purpose – as we all do!) and through it all I learnt that leaps of faiths are always supported and rewarded.

+ Practice ultimate self-care

I drank green smoothies (almost) daily, ate very healthily, and took care of myself on every level (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual) through developing my own set of self-care practices. This looked like meditating, journalling, pilates, massages, reading books, farmer market visits, and weekly unscheduled-free-to-do-whatever time.

+ Get crystal clear on your goals (& be realistic)

We’re talking about business, academic, and other goals you may have.

Commit to goals that account for your circumstance – ones that aligns with you and feels good – not just what you think you should be achieving.

I chose to graduate with a grade that felt good to me and would allow me to continue running my business and coaching incredible clients.


My perfectionist tendencies did get in the way at first when I knew that I could get High Distinctions if I had committed to purely study (however my desire was to enjoy every piece Life had to offer me, and graduate with a Distinction grade instead – in hindsight, totally worth it ;).

+ Understand and accept that what you’re doing isn’t the norm

Understanding and living with conscious knowing that what I was doing was something out of the norm is one of the things I wished I did earlier.

This means accepting that YOU will be doing things differently. ;) That could mean regular Friday nights listening to preview calls and writing blog posts instead of hitting the town par-taying, staying back at university on uni days to complete assignments when other classmates are back home watching TV, waking up at 4am to be interviewed by someone in the U.S. …

In general, gift yourself the permission of doing things YOUR way. 

Not everyone is going to understand what you are creating (and they might never). These people may be confused by what you are trying to do – and in their confusion may say things that don’t serve you including “you can’t do that” and/or look at you in disbelief.

That’s normal. Surround yourself with a community of like-minded people.

The moment I stopped feeling the need to prove, convince, and explain to my family and friends what I was doing – I gained more time and energy to focus on serving the clients I am here to serve.

+ Lastly, create packages that light you up

If you only have one/two weekdays (and weekends) to work on your business as you have other days committed to going to school, you will want to consider what your business plan looks like.

For example, you may desire to create high-end packages to assist and over deliver to a small number of clients – or you may choose to create group programs to assist a large number of clients at the same time.

Whatever the case is, create packages and products that you feel excited about delivering! ;)

Ahhh, so here we are! 

If you were in the position I was, KNOW that if I can do it – you can too. 

In the comments below: Let me know what nuggets and insights you may have gained – and how you’re balancing running a business with other important areas of your life, simultaneously!

Love & Success,


P/S: If you’re interested in 1:1 business and life coaching, click here to apply for a free client application session to speak with me.

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  1. Love this!! I so admire what you have been able to achieve!

  2. Margaret says:

    Huge congratulations to you!

  3. Alexia says:

    This post came so timely! :) I was about to ask you how you did it, and here it is! Love xx

  4. I love this. It is so inspirational. I see these tips as great confirmation to me as I apply to grad school and focus on creating my Sacred Writing program :)

  5. This is very inspiring! I loved the part about focusing on self-care. Making sure to add in blocks of time that we can use any way we wish. It’s when your creativity and passion thrives the most. Congratulations on graduating with distinction!

  6. Candice says:

    Was this a nutrition degree?I am thinking of starting an undergraduate degree in food and nutrition and wonder if it’s the right time as I’m working full time and about to launch a group weight loss program. Although I really want to learn more about nutrition and specialise I am not sure if it will take my business anywhere more. Thanks for the post :)

    • Jia Ni Teo says:

      Yes it was a undergrad degree in Nutrition! I loved it – especially how science-based it was. I also did a holistic health coach program during my time at uni to complement it.

      It does take a lot of time and energy as there are lots of assignments, and time needed to understand the course material, but if you are feeling called and you’d like to have really in-depth knowledge to nutrition science, it’s worth taking a look at!

      Good luck! :-)