You Can't Do It All!

Not enough hours in the day? Join the club. The solution? Prioritize!
Magazine Contributor
3 min read

This story appears in the August 2002 issue of Teen Startups. Subscribe »

(YoungBiz) - As the successful owner of Amy Bauman Communications, Amy Lynn Bauman had the stuff that 'trep dreams are made of. She had traveled across the United States on the success of her Oroville, California-based business.

The multimedia presentations on agriculture she had prepared for a public speaking competition sponsored by the Future Farmers of America (Oroville is a farming community) had made her a speaker in demand. That's when her agriculture communications firm was born.

The business opened doors for Bauman to talk with members of Congress; give a paid speech at a Washington, DC, conference sponsored by the World Health Organization; and address such topics as the multilateral trade agreement and the embargo on avocados. She was also one of the recipients of the National Agri-Entrepreneur Award, an honor that has brought her much attention and success.

When Bauman's business began to take off just as she was set to enter college, she had a tough decision to make. "The business had blossomed too much for me to just drop it," she said. "ABC couldn't exactly be put in a closet, but I couldn't continue the heavy speaking schedule and college, too." To try to do both, she says, would shortchange her customers as well as herself.

After many days of racing through a jam-packed schedule, she made the decision to put her college education first. Says Bauman, "There is a ceiling and, yes, you will bump your head on it."

So Many Choices, So Little Time
Time management is an important skill for students as well as entrepreneurs. Here are seven ways Bauman advises teens to make choices about time:

1. Know your limit. Eventually everyone runs out of hours in a day. When you reach your limit, don't fight it--learn to prioritize.

2. Prioritize. Remember to do what you need to do first, not what others want you to do.

3. Stay active. Don't give up your other pursuits. Make good use of weekends and summers.

4. Find a mentor. Says Bauman, "There's always somebody out there who is willing to support you." Look for that person in your school or community.

5. Know when to ask for help. Develop a support system of friends and family--then delegate tasks.

6. Join groups that support entrepreneurship. There are many opportunities, from FFA to school fairs to your local chamber of commerce. "Use the community resources that are available to you," she says.

7. Take business classes. Bauman suggests everyone take classes on time management, public speaking and introductory business, in addition to those in your field of interest.

Today, at age 20, Bauman makes her college work at Texas A&M University her top priority, while continuing her business during the weekends and summer months. Whether it's getting her shoes dirty in the farmyard or speaking to Congress, you'll find Bauman using her valuable time to the fullest and setting priorities for the future.

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