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We Are MA: 3 tips for balancing your business whilst studying

‘How do you do it?’ The question that MA Communication Design student Charlotte Johnson regularly has to answer about balancing an MA degree course and running her own business. Here are Charlotte’s 3 tips on striking a balance between studying and managing her client projects and online store. 

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“How do you do it?” is something I often hear when I tell people that I am studying an MA along side managing my brand By Lottie. My response is that I love it!

I launched my brand, named Lottie Illustration at the time, at the end of my third year studying BA (Hons) Illustration. I began with my Etsy shop only selling prints of my work.

I was also lucky enough to be given the opportunity to be a part of a local makers event organised by someone I met at the undergraduate Degree Show (yay networking!).

That experience immediately gave me the market bug which is where I met a lot of my creative community who I am in contact with still to this day!

My top 3 tips for juggling a business and an MA

1. Motivation

This is key as you are technically your own boss. There will be nobody tapping their watch telling you to get a move on or a strict 9 to 5 regime. This is a one person show.

The passion for what you do is the backbone to you succeeding and it’s that same passion which will get you up and out of bed eager to do what you love.

2. Balance

When I say balance I don’t mean take a yoga class… however that is still good for your personal well-being. I mean everything has a time and a place.

In the wider picture there are additional factors of social life and ‘me time’. Good practice is to set yourself a routine, for example: Monday to Friday in the day are reserved for MA studies and business.

Evenings and weekends are for friends, family, and your chill time! (Chill time is very important). Thats right, no sleeping in to midday here, we have goals to achieve.

3. Community

I’m so lucky to have such an amazing community online and in person, everything from Instagram to local maker events. I find it’s good practice to surround yourself with other creatives who inspire and and motivate you everyday. This is good for both your creative mind and motivation.

Find your tribe!

We all have the passion within to create, that is why we are all here. Use that fiery passion to drive yourself, with that you can achieve everything you will set your mind to.

Follow Lottie’s brand on Instagram (opens in a new window)