What are teacher-entrepreneurs?
Teacher + entrepreneur
There is a large overlap of skills that both teachers and entrepreneurs must learn to become successful in their respective fields. Learning from both and leveraging them in parallel can lead to unique results.
I consider myself a teacher-entrepreneur. I was first a tutor, then an entrepreneur, then a teacher, then I combined it all.
In short, a teacher-entrepreneur builds their own business(es). Given enough time, anyone can become a successful teacher-entrepreneur. It’s important to note that having experience in teaching and entrepreneurship will significantly lower the time needed to actually make it worthwhile. There is quite a start-up cost, just like any other business.
There are many routes that one can take to become a teacher-entrepreneur. I can only speak to mine.
At some point in time, I decided that I wanted to stop trading time for money. I flipped my life upside down and skipped town, giving me the chance to build something new from scratch. I started by applying for online teaching jobs and offering tutoring expertise on niche software for enterprise businesses. I worked at iTutor group for a few months and then decided to continue teaching on my own once they let me go. I became an apprentice freelance online English teacher and dropped all my other services. I quickly realized that I won’t make enough money so I had to get creative. I needed to lower my cost of living even more.
In order to have a proper environment for teaching and to lower my cost of living, I created a small coliving space where I find clients through Airbnb. This small business not only lowered my cost of living but it provided me much needed variety in human interactions. As an online teacher, I felt isolated and wasn’t interacting with people enough. Once I had enough good reviews to have a reliable pipeline of clients, I focused all my time again on teaching online. My Airbnb business reached a plateau after about a year.
My first task, and one I continue to do on a daily basis, was establishing an online presence. This meant making profiles on all social media sites and making your own landing page. Having experience in technology, I was able to easily make a landing page and traverse the online world. Luckily I already had some authority on Instagram due to previous entrepreneurship endeavors and found my initial clients through there. Again, having experience in sales, I had almost 100% conversion rate from my first few clients. Of course, I poured my heart and soul into them because they were my first so that is of no surprise.
Then I noticed that I had to source material for teaching. Being a freelancer, you aren’t provided teaching material like you would be if you worked for a big company like iTutorgroup. I haphazardly threw together lessons structured similarly to the style that I grew to become accustomed to. I continued teaching like I used to on iTutorgroup except I had to make my own lessons. At first, I didn’t enjoy making these lessons and even paid freelancers on Upwork to make some for me. Because I didn’t pay much, they were all of terrible quality. It didn’t make financial sense for me to pay so I put my head down and started doing it myself. My first few students were my main source of motivation to keep going. I would make a new lesson just for them. I refused to deliver sub-par lessons and I had trouble sourcing material for this specific style of teaching.
As time passed, I found myself with quite the pool of lessons. They were by-products and had potential to be put to good use. Just like how a chef may re-use dough when making cookies, I re-used my lessons by putting them online for other teachers to buy and use in their lessons. This introduced me to a whole new world of selling digital content online. In response to this, I created a brand; LessonSpeak. At around this time, my teaching services were reaching a plateau just like my Airbnb did before.
Both businesses had constraints that I could not alleviate. My Airbnb only had a certain number of rooms and I only had a certain number of hours I’m willing to work. I needed to transition into something else that did not have the constraints of time or space.
This brings us to the present moment. LessonSpeak was created for people just like me. If you can relate to my story and want to teach as a side hustle, check out LessonSpeak™
LessonSpeak provides resources that make it easy to prepare for a lesson while providing a quality experience for the student. There are over 50 interesting topics to choose from that cater to English learners above an intermediate speaking level. Find free training and resources at LessonSpeak™.