How To Manage A Full Time Job, Master’s Degree & A Business All At Once?

Written By John Sonmez

Sometimes we caught ourselves doing so many things that we can't stop to think if we are even capable of doing everything.

You can caught yourself in the transition having to manage a full-time job, a master's degree and a business all at once.

But… Is it even possible? How are you supposed to do that?

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Full transcript:

John:               Hey, John Sonmez from I got this question from Mo and this is quite an interesting predicament I think. I don’t think I’ve heard this predicament before. Mo says, “Dear John, thank you for all the great content and being an inspiration for us youngsters trying to make it. I wanted to hear your thoughts on my crazy situation. I’m 25 years old and work full time 8 to 5 in upper management position and pursue my masters degree full time 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM 5 times a week.” That’s some dedication right there. That’s good. All right.

“Recently I opened a large fast food restaurant after a long year of hard work while maintaining the above schedule and poured my savings into the business to the point where I can’t manage it any longer due to lack of time, plenty of stress and distance to the staff which I believe led to low revenues although we talk daily and I always pop in when I have time on the weekends but something is missing and I can’t locate it. From your experience, is it even possible to run a business by yourself as a one-man band when you can’t even make time to supervise a business and market the hell out of it and not fall behind at work or school? My superior has noticed that my performance has dropped for these reasons even when I try to hide it. He’s not happy.”

“Currently I am not in debt as I relied on my savings and the place is in a decent location that I can probably sell to someone else and at least get a back a decent percentage of my principal better than losing it all. What should I do, John? The side effects of severe burnout are present and the landlord of the business is on my back for the next 6 months rent. Thank you so much, Mo.”

So Mo, I got to congratulate you. I mean you’re a really—you’re a hard worker I’ve got to say that dude, you are a hard worker, so good on you for that. That’s awesome. But you are doing too much. I don’t say this lightly because I encourage people to hit it hard. The problem is you’re not going to be able to sustain this. You’re really going to have to figure out what your priorities are in this case.

Now, if you want to do the business then what you’re going to have to do is focus on the business and that would mean dropping pretty much everything else. I mean quitting your full time job. I don’t know if you’re going to be able to—I guess you could probably keep the masters degree going and finish that up but like you got to be commit—it’s important to have as close as singular focus as possible. I mean it’s good to spread out and to diversify so you have different options, but when you’re really driving hard at something you can’t have split focus if you’re going to successful for multiple reasons, one of them just splitting the focus just makes it so you don’t have as much energy to devote to one thing. Two that whole burnout problem occurs. You’re doing too much, you’re trying too hard, it’s not going to be sustainable now.

There are certain periods of time in your life where you’ve got to just—you got to work really, really hard and you don’t worry about burnout and you put the pedal to the metal but you can’t run like that forever. That’s where you get into trouble is when you try to do that forever. Believe me, I’ve tried it myself.

So here’s what I would suggest here. I think your best bet from reading your email is probably to get rid of this fast food business. You don’t have the time to run this. Continue what you’re doing working your job and getting your masters degree. If you want to be an entrepreneur then start something smaller on the side but don’t do it while you’re trying to do your masters degree, right? You’ve got a good habit going. You can turn this into a really good situation.

What I would suggest that you do is get that this fast food restaurant sold, try to recoup as much of your investment as possible. You might just have to chalk it up and take a little bit of loss here and hey, you learn from experience. But the key thing is—what you don’t want to do is you don’t want to have everything collapse, right, because you’re in danger right now of the whole bridge collapsing and everything falling into the river, right? You got to take some weight off of this bridge. Get rid of that business, offload that as soon as you can and continue working your 8 to 5 job and continue getting your masters degree.

Once you finish your masters degree, take that time, you said you’re working from 5:30 to 9:30 PM 5 times a week to work on your masters degree, take that and build a side business. That’s where you start doing your entrepreneurship and then you can slowly transition into doing that fulltime if that’s what your goal is, but don’t try to do all 3 of these things at once. It’s just not going to work out. Unless you’re willing to just devote your time to that fast food business by itself and drop everything else I would get rid of it.

And really just to give you another perspective here, don’t do retail, don’t do restaurant and retail. Today like especially with tech skills do something online. Do a much better—you’re never going to be rich running a fast food restaurant, right? These guys that make money in this model they have 10 of them and it’s tough. Unless you really have dreamed of doing this, do something else because this is not—people do not make money in retail. It’s a painful way to go. I’m going to actually recommend a really good book right here called The Millionaire Fastlane. I recommend this quite a bit. In that book, MJ DeMarco, the author, he talks a lot about picking the right business idea and this is something that’s critical. He talks about how different types of businesses scale much better. I definitely recommend you check out that book.

Hopefully you can salvage the situation. I believe you can. Like I said, you’re a hard worker that’s the key thing. Don’t give up. This is all learning experience and I wish you the best. So if you have a question for me, just email me at If you like this podcast and this YouTube channel definitely subscribe. I would appreciate the support. Take care.