Now if you're not quite sure what in *the* heck that means, it's this:
Teacher + Entrepreneur = Teacherpreneur!
Fairly simply, right?
Twenty years ago...business sounded so boring to me! The sound of a business major sounded awful! It was the last thing I ever thought I would do with my life.
Fast-forward to today and I’m obsessed with business. It is so much fun! It lets me be creative! It lets me dream! I know that it’s the thing that propels my passion…it’s what helps me SHARE what I love with the world.
I love being a teacherpreneur because it opens up this side of me that I never knew I had!
I was put on this earth to be a teacher, that I’m convinced of, but I’ll admit (and you probably agree) the ceiling in our classroom is pretty low if you think about it. Just about the only way to level up in this career is to go into administration, and no offense, but...no thanks! I have many friends who are admin and recognize the important jobs that they do, but it is a profession that is NOT for all of us…and it definitely wasn’t for me.
My zone of genius was always creating, planning, and energizing in the classroom. And becoming a teacherpreneur has given me that upward mobility to scale my teaching superpowers…
Watch out world!
So, what does one do as a teacherpreneur? What tasks does this person take on day in and day out?
Well, the official duties of this role involve stretching your level of impact far beyond your four classroom walls by sharing your unique teaching (or non-teaching) talents with the world (and making a lil' dough while you're at it).
I started stepping into this teacherpreneur role as a trainer and facilitator in 2012. That was when the seed was planted in my mind that I could possibly make a living “teaching” outside the classroom.
Since then, I've started my own business, consulted curriculums, facilitated workshops, published a plethora of materials and products, created courses, organized events, spoken on stages, and made an impact in classrooms around the world.
(It has been an amazing ride, and yet if you told me all of this would happen when I originally signed up to be a teacher, I'd have never believed you!)
Now, for me, the teacherpreneurial journey kept the “teacher” term attached to “entrepreneur.”
But for some of you, in exploring this exciting path with me, you may find that you are a teacher TURNED entrepreneur.
The most beautiful thing about the teacherpreneurial journey is that no two paths look alike. If you’re an entrepreneur in general, you’re not SUPPOSED to do your thing like anyone else. You are supposed to stand out! You are supposed to do it your way because you’re the boss. You can paint what that future looks like any way you want.
Pretty exciting stuff!
So just because you want to be a teacherpreneur, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve gotta focus your energy around something teaching-related.
There’s so much possibility which is why I created the Teacher, Rebranded track inside my own business, where I work tirelessly reminding you to chase your passions with fury just as much as you encourage your own students to do.
If you’ve ever caught yourself daydreaming about your own untapped potential…if you've ever felt a stirring to deepen the layers of your own career path, let's just say I went to the Biz School of Hard Knocks so you don't have to!
My main objective is to help you elevate your impact as an educator and your happiness as a human being in these crazy times.
So come join me in Teacher, Rebranded. Let’s walk (and maybe even dance) down this path together! But before we do…
Here are 3 questions I want you to ask yourself...
1. Do you have the time?
Are you willing to set boundaries and commit? As educators, we have a difficult time setting boundaries. We need to get those papers graded, right? We need to get those lesson plans completed. We are in the classroom until 5:30 or 6:00 at night and still find more to do when we get home. For us, setting boundaries is TOUGH!
Teacherpreneurship requires routine, discipline, and organization. You have to set time aside for your students and classroom, but ALSO set aside time for your new entrepreneurial journey.
Now, you might be thinking…Jill, I do NOT have the time. I am already pushed to the max.
I hear you. I understand you, but I also want to challenge that thought. I want you to think back to your early dating days…however far or near those are…and think of someone you were really excited about. When you became excited about that person, you made time for that person! No questions asked! The more excited you got…the more time you made!
I want you to think about your new entrepreneurial passion in the same light. We all get the same 24 hours and if you truly want this new journey to succeed, then you will need to make the time.
Now, let’s not forget Parkinson’s Law, which is the idea that time expands and shrinks based on what we are doing and what our priorities are. If I set aside three days to write a blog post, it will take me the full three days! If I set aside three hours for the same blog post, it will take me three hours. So, you may not need as much time as you think to get started, but the time you do set aside needs to be focused and well-managed.
There are many different resources you can use to help you carve out time for this journey, but for now, I simply want you to ask yourself the question. Are you willing and COMMITTED to make time for yourself and explore this new journey?
2. Are you willing to invest in yourself?
This is going to be a tricky one. As teachers, we do so much for free, it is silly. We are typically underpaid for the amount of work we do and yet, we often don’t care, because we do it for the kids, right? But in business, managing our time and our money are two important factors.
Notice, though, I didn’t ask you if are willing to throw down lots of money. I am asking if you are willing to INVEST in yourself? Are you willing to INVEST in your potential?
No matter which business path you pursue, you will have expenses. These vary considerably from business to business. Especially in the beginning, most people waste their money (and time!) on things they don't need right away...me being one of those people. So, you will need to think strategically about the different things you need to invest in to turn a profit, all while leaving some of the shiny, tempting, but unnecessary investments alone. I cover a lot of my mistakes in money management (as well as some of my most important wins) in my Teacher, Rebranded course…but for now…let me share three of the most important things that I have found are worth your investment early on.
First, I would invest in an email service provider. This one brings up a funny memory for me. When I was first getting started, I was running some workshops and was collecting emails ON PAPER. Ha! My fans would basically opt-in on paper into my email list. Then, I would go into my yahoo account and type in HUNDREDS of emails. Eventually, I received an email from Yahoo basically telling me that I couldn’t continue to do this. And I thought to myself, “Well what is a girl to do?”
Let’s just say…eventually, I figured it out. Eventually, I put a little money into an email service provider and holy moly, has it changed my world. An email service provider allows you to reach your email list…your fans, your followers…and continue to stay in front of them. It allows you to share your new ideas with them and receive feedback from them as you move forward.
These days, you can grab a free but limited email service provider or you can spend a little bit of dough and grab yourself a more complex one, but either way…it will be one of the MOST important investments you make for your business.
Second, you will want a platform that allows you to create a landing space for your audience. I am not talking about a website. You DO NOT need a website when you first start; rather, you need a place for your audience to visit to step inside your world! This could be a Facebook group. This could be a market platform like Teachers Pay Teachers or Etsy. Whatever you choose, the goal is to give your audience a place to find you and all you have to offer!
Third, I highly recommend spending the money to make your business official! This could mean that you establish yourself as an LLC or a sole proprietor. I am not going to dive into those terms here…I go over all of this in-depth in Teacher, Rebranded, but the main goal here is to SEPARATE your business and personal life. At a minimum, open a business bank account, because if anything should go wrong legally, you want your assets to be protected.
3. Do you have goals or purpose?
Why do you want to go down this path of teacherpreneur in the first place? What do you want to get out of this? What is your end goal?
Wow! Those are some daunting questions but they are questions that you need to ask yourself before jumping into teacherpreneurship full-force!
Not sure? Let’s brainstorm.
Maybe, you want to…
👉monetize your teaching superpower.
👉pursue a personal passion completely unrelated to education.
👉double your income.
👉offset your Netflix subscription bill.
👉lead without leaving the classroom.
👉run your own (ed-related or not) business full-time…
There are so many different reasons why people jump into this business, but ultimately that purpose…YOUR purpose is going to pave your path. The decisions you make in your new entrepreneurial journey should reflect your goals and purpose.
For example, if you have the simple goal to make an extra $100 dollars a month to offset your Starbucks addiction, maybe you will choose to sell a few resources on TPT. However, if you have a goal to completely replace your income from teaching, you will need to make choices that push you far beyond a few resources on TPT.
Get my drift?
So what are your goals? Where do you see yourself in one year? Two years? Five years? Dare I ask ten?
Close your eyes and really think about it! What do you see? What do the far depths of your mind want you to do with your life? Maybe that obnoxious, loud-mouthed, bodacious dream frolicking around unapologetically in your head while all the other thoughts are saying, 'that'll never happen!'—will determine what you build...IF you're brave enough to put some workboots on those dreams of yours.
So, now what?
Answer my three questions - write them down! Journal about them! Document your thoughts and goals!
Once you are done, I challenge you to START. Start somewhere. Get that LLC established. Create that first product. Attend that first training…
Speaking of which…
Feel free to jump on the Teacher, Rebranded waitlist so that we can walk down this path, hand-in-hand! If you've got a passion to pursue or a biz idea brewing, I want to help you!
I am excited for you and look forward to meeting you soon!
Ready to bust through the ceiling of your writers’ usual, classroom experience and never look back?!
Download this FREE project-based writing activity + get started TODAY!