Neeley School and recent grad Tanner Agar get a “thumbs up” from online publication

In December, 22-year-old Tanner Agar wasn’t just writing his graduation thesis — he was also filling a record number of product orders for his specialty food startup, The Chef Shelf. But all that extra work didn’t discourage the former chef and recent Texas Christian University alum.

“To be tired because of all your sales is the best problem ever,” Agar says, adding that seasonality plays a large part in his business. “All the sleep I didn’t get in December I can catch up on in January.”

This December, The Chef Shelf, which ships foods from Texas chefs to consumers across the U.S., had 11 times more sales than the previous year.

It’s difficult to balance entrepreneurship with studies, but many students like Agar are eager to take on the challenge. About 46% of millennials (PDF) said that they’re interested in learning about starting a small business, according to 2014 study by the Independent Community Bankers of America and the Center for Generational Kinetics.

“Balancing it all is really hard,” Agar says. But, he says, it’s well worth it.

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