- Using your strengths and skills as an educator to start an entrepreneurial journey.
- Finding your passion, planning, building a team, forgetting perfection, reflecting and adapting, and committing are 6 simple steps you can take to become an edupreneur.
I’ve been saying it for quite a while now: educators make awesome entrepreneurs. You’re built for it. You’re passionate, driven, educated, and used to adjusting on the fly every day. So what if you’re an educator who has figured out that you DO want to start your entrepreneurial journey? What steps should you be taking? What’s next?
The truth is, we could write hundreds of articles on the steps you should take, how to find and utilize tools, and what you should focus on as an edupreneur, but for today, I simply wanted to focus on 6 simple steps you can take to start your edupreneur journey.
Start Your Edupreneur Journey Step One: Find your passion.
One of the most common questions I get from teachers that have an urge to start a side hustle is, “what should I do?” They know they have the entrepreneurial bug, but they’re just not quite sure what that side hustle might be for them. There are so many ways for people to make extra money these days, so people shouldn’t be too worried if they haven’t found the right method for them yet. Maybe some people could consider looking into something like gambling. That could leave the individual with some impressive winnings, especially if they’re good at casino games. By visiting Best-casino.net, for example, those interested can find some of the best online casino websites. Hopefully, that should make people some money that can be put into another entrepreneurial venture.
Some people start off with different investment methods such as learning how to buy stock in amazon, Google, and many other companies, to see what it is like to juggle multiple investment projects. Furthermore, it earns them more money for them to focus and put back into their entrepreneurial journey.
However there is also a simple exercise that can be done to help with this side hustle task. This is a simple exercise that I have used to help many people find a starting point. You can do this as many times as you’d like. You may have dozens of answers to each of these. That’s awesome! Figure out as many sweet spots you might have, and then pick one and go for it!Remember, you are built for this. You do this every day in your classrooms and schools. You look at what worked, what didn't, and how you can change to be better. Click To Tweet
Ask yourself the following questions (with potential answers):
- What am I really good at? (I am really good at creating engaging art projects for kids.)
- What am I passionate about? (Helping other educators be better for their students.)
- What problem(s) can I help solve? (A lack of resources for art teachers who have been forced to transition to a virtual classroom.)
What’s the sweet spot? Something connected to creating content that other art teachers can share with their students to complement a project, inspire creativity, or understand a concept. This might lead this teacher to determine that she/he should start a YouTube channel that features videos that other art teachers can share with their students to complement a project, inspire creativity, or understand a concept.
Start Your Edupreneur Journey Step Two: Plan.
Once you have an idea for what your business could be, you need to start planning. Again, this post is about the steps to take. This is not a deep dive into business planning, legal structures, or a breakdown of how to determine your target audience. By finding your target audience and using marketing segmentation strategies, you will be able to add personalization to your marketing as well as ensure you’re only marketing towards people who are interested in your services. All I’m looking to do right now is to lay out a couple important pieces of your planning.
- Determine your target audience.
- Establish systems and routines.
- Create a marketing strategy.
- Protect yourself by incorporating, purchasing domain names, and ensuring your accounting and taxes are in order.
Start Your Edupreneur Journey Step Three: Build a team.
You may have no desire to build something that requires anyone more than you to participate in the business, and that is 100% okay. You can absolutely find success without employees. But you still need to build a team. A support team. This may be friends and family that can support you, your virtual PLN for brainstorming, or a mentor or coach that can help guide you.
The bottom line is: Building something is hard. You need people. You may not need people to do the work with you, but you will need them for support. Your spouse or significant other needs to be on board, or the tough days will be even tougher. You need people you can turn to when you get overwhelmed or disengaged, and this will happen, I promise. Trying to go it alone is not a good idea.
Start Your Edupreneur Journey Step Four: Forget perfection.
I see it all the time; someone has an awesome idea for a business, but they never even launch because they are so concerned with things being perfect. I have some very important news for you: It’s never going to be perfect. I guarantee it. Your plan won’t be perfect, your marketing won’t be perfect, your execution won’t be perfect, your ideas won’t be perfect.
Here’s the best part, though: They don’t need to be perfect. Perfect is the enemy of done. Published is better than perfect. A business that is launched is better than one that is not. So, make sure to get started and stop worrying. One of the first things a business owner should do is look into creating a business website that properly represents the brand. A good website will draw people over to the site, hopefully increasing clients and sales. It’s always better to give it a go, otherwise, you’ll never know.
So stop worrying and just go for it!
Start Your Edupreneur Journey Step Five: Reflect and adapt.
One of the most important pieces of running a business, whether a massive corporation or a part-time side hustle, is being able to reflect on what has worked and not worked, and making adjustments. Remember, you are built for this. You do this every day in your classrooms and schools. You look at what worked, what didn’t, and how you can change to be better. Every day, every hour, possibly every minute, you adapt to the needs of your students, staff, or community.
One of the worst things you can do is to assume the first plans you come up with will be the right ones for the entire journey. This is simply not true. Things change. You grow, you learn, and you make mistakes. Use all of it to reflect and adapt to be better.[scroll down to keep reading]
Start Your Edupreneur Journey Step Six: Love it or leave it.
If you don’t love what you’re doing, there’s a good chance your edupreneur journey is not going to go well. This is not an easy journey. Your passion for what you’re doing is what will push you through the challenges you will absolutely face. Before you ever start something like this, you need to make one very important commitment. Make this commitment to yourself, or risk having this exciting idea becoming detrimental to your health and wellness.
The commitment: If you find yourself no longer loving it…QUIT.
Now, let me be clear here; I am not saying that if you have a bad day you should give up. Not at all. I love what I do, but I still have bad days. I still get stressed, overwhelmed, and even angry with my work sometimes. But I love what I do and why I do it. That love, that passion, is what helps me through those days. And it is what will get you through yours. So if you get to a point where you cannot find that love anymore, you need to leave it. This doesn’t mean you failed. In fact, it’s the opposite. Realizing something is not good for your mental health, and stepping away, is a massive success, in my opinion.
Like I said earlier, we could go into many other things, and go so much deeper on all things related to your edupreneur journey, but these 6 steps are a good starting point for you. The most important thing to remember is that you CAN do this. As an educator, you are better prepared for this journey than most. You’ve got this. Now, find your passion and go get it!
About Jeff Gargas
Jeff Gargas is the COO and co-founder of the Teach Better Team, and co-author of the Teach Better book. Prior to co-founding Teach Better Team, Jeff was the owner of ENI Multimedia, an online marketing firm, where he worked with entrepreneurs and small businesses, assisting them with web design, social media, content marketing, and brand awareness.
Prior to all of this, Jeff was an adjunctive professor at Kent State University and spent 10+ years in the music industry. He has spoken at conferences around the country, and has successfully promoted more than 500 events and launched 7 businesses in a variety of industries.
Jeff is passionate about music, and enjoys spending time with his family as often as possible. He is also a member of the Teach Better Speakers Network.