Unlike most college students, Andrew Kozlovski doesn't leave much time for socializing. He's too busy updating Instagram. Literally.
Kozlovski, 21, has built a business selling nootropic supplements, primarily by marketing on social media.
Kozlovski was finishing up his first year at University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business when he heard about students taking Adderall or other drugs intended for people with ADHD to finish their schoolwork. When he found out how dangerous the drugs were, he realized there could be a market for a safer alternative.
As a star swimmer in high school, Kozlovski had taken all kinds of natural supplements, so he started compiling a list of those said to boost cognitive performance. Then he found a lab near his hometown of Atlanta that was licensed by the Food and Drug Administration and willing to run a small order of pills combining the various supplements; he'd pay using the $500 he had saved up over the year.
While supplements are legal and many people swear by their effects, evidence about their benefits are murky, and US poison-control centers have received about 275,000 reports of people reacting badly to them over the past two decades. The supplements industry, estimated to be worth as much as $37 billion a year, is not regulated by the FDA.
But the burgeoning demand for supplements presented an opportunity for Kozlovski, who has built a social-media following selling a supplement called Brainz Power. Today, he has nearly a dozen accounts — with followers in the hundreds of thousands— where he posts aspirationalcontent for budding entrepreneurs, fitness nuts, fellow students, and people who just like looking at pictures of cool cars and California sunrises.
He told Business Insider that posting and marketing on social media had turned into consistent sales of Brainz Power. He first uses the money to pay his college tuition and living expenses in downtown Los Angeles; everything else goes back into the business.
"I realized that if I wanted to be a successful businessman, I needed to start now," Kozlovski said. "I thought I'll learn a lot more from actually running a business while in business school than waiting four years to get started."
But running a business while attending school isn't easy. Here's what a typical day is like for Kozlovski.
Link to Business Insider feature: http://www.businessinsider.com/student-pays-tuition-instagram-business-2018-2