February 27, 2024

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How I Built a Startup in the Midst of My PhD

This is a story of a less-traveled journey, a path where the realms of academia and entrepreneurship converge. It’s about living in two very different worlds at the same time – the tough world of Electrical and Electronics Engineering and the creative world of running a business. My adventure as a full-time PhD student and the creator of Tuan Majlis, a company that makes beautiful digital wedding cards, shows just how much we can achieve when we put our minds to it.

The Spark of an Idea

While I was busy with my studies in electronics and programming, I found a new passion. I loved design and making things personal, and I wanted to bring a fresh, modern touch to traditional wedding invitations. That’s how TuanMajlis came to life, blending my technical skills with my love for art. Juggling a PhD and a new business was like walking a tightrope high above the ground – thrilling, but also a bit scary.

Mastering Time Management

Keeping up with both my studies and my business was like a complex dance. I had to plan every day carefully, making sure I gave enough time to both. Even though it was hard, this careful planning became the key to my success.

Eating Right to Stay Bright

With so much going on, it was important not to forget about taking care of my health. It was tempting to grab fast food, but I knew I needed good food to keep me going through the long days and nights.

The Sleepless Nights

There were many nights when sleep had to wait. I spent hours working on my research and designing digital invitations, getting closer to my goals one step at a time.

Overcoming Obstacles

The road wasn’t easy. There were experiments that didn’t work out, and sometime I have to make last-minute changes, to the experiments and writing. But I learned something from every challenge and became stronger and more flexible.

A Message for My Fellow Students

To all the students reading this, I want to say: your studies are important, but don’t be afraid to follow your passions too. It’s not easy to balance everything, but the rewards are worth it.

Embracing the Entrepreneurial Spirit

Starting my own business while working on my PhD has taught me so much. Success isn’t just about making money; it’s about making something valuable, touching people’s lives, and making a lasting impact.

Wrapping Up

As I continue with my PhD and growing Tuan Majlis, I hope my story can be a guide for those chasing their dreams. Discipline, creativity, and passion are the main ingredients for success. So, to all the dreamers out there, work hard on your studies, but also let your dreams soar. The most beautiful creations come from the courage to dream and the determination to make those dreams come true.

Tips for Excelling in Your PhD While Pursuing Your Passions

  1. Set Clear Goals: Know what you want to achieve in your PhD and in your passion projects. Clear goals will help you stay focused and motivated.
  2. Prioritize Wisely: Not all tasks are created equal. Prioritize tasks based on their importance and deadlines. This will help you stay on top of your PhD while giving you time to pursue your passions.
  3. Create a Schedule: A well-structured schedule is crucial. Allocate specific times for your PhD work, your passion projects, and rest. Stick to this schedule as much as possible.
  4. Stay Organized: Keep your study space and work area organized. A clutter-free environment can enhance focus and efficiency.
  5. Use Technology Wisely: Utilize apps and tools for time management, note-taking, and organizing your tasks. Technology can be a great ally in managing your workload. I recommend to use Notion to organize your tasks and schedule!
  6. Seek Support: Don’t hesitate to seek help from your supervisors, colleagues, or mentors. A strong support system can provide guidance and encouragement.
  7. Take Breaks: Regular breaks are essential to prevent burnout. Take short breaks during study sessions and longer breaks to engage in hobbies or relaxation.
  8. Stay Healthy: Never compromise on your health. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep are crucial for maintaining high performance.
  9. Stay Positive: Keep a positive attitude. PhD research can be daunting, and pursuing passions alongside can add to the stress. A positive mindset will help you overcome challenges.
  10. Reflect and Adjust: Regularly reflect on your progress and be willing to adjust your strategies if needed. Flexibility is key to managing multiple commitments.

Remember, achieving excellence in your PhD while pursuing other passions is a challenging but rewarding journey. With the right strategies and a resilient mindset, you can excel in both and carve a unique path for yourself.

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