Lots of people today look at the business that I have created and are astonished and amazed that I was really able to do it. Heck, I even look at what I have created and am completely astonished with what I have created. I would love to tell you that it was easy and that there were not fears or thoughts of self doubt associated with it, but that would be a lie. I have had to overcome many things in order to continue to build my business. Here are some of the lessons that I have learned along the way.
Falling is not failing. You need to take lessons from each fall and figure out what made you fall and try something else. No one has ever started a business absent of hiccups. (More on business myths in another post).
However, if you are aware of your strength and weaknesses, if you find ways to improve your performance, then you have a much higher likelihood of being successful. I think that is what makes us teachers so special. We already value education and we are willing to go to any length to learn what it is that we need to learn so that we can be successful.
Physical pain can set in when you don’t know what you are doing. In the business world, it can turn into actual headaches or anxiety. If you suffer from anxiety I highly suggest that you talk to your doctor, that is a real medical condition that needs to be addressed. However, if your anxiety can be healed through someone just showing you what to put into place for your business, then take the time learn from them. Getting a mentor is essential when starting something new. That is why when we are still in school to become a teacher we do practicum work and student teaching, so that we can learn all of the ins and outs and be that much more successful the first year when we are on our own.
Don’t let physical pains like headaches when you can’t figure something out deter you from your vision and your goal. Your students are waiting for you and they need what you have to provide. As they say in the exercising world, “No pain, no gain.” When you go through these pain spots, they are growing spots and they are stretching you beyond anything that you thought was possible. If you can endure, then you can succeed. Don’t give up. Don’t allow your pains and your fears to be debilitating to you.
Age has nothing to do with starting your business. Regardless if you are 18 or 70, you can learn how to do this. Anything is possible when you put your mind to it. All too often I hear young people say things like, but I am still in college, who would want to hire me? Well, honestly, with that attitude probably no one. I hate to be grim here, but if you don’t believe in yourself, then why should anybody else. Your mindset has everything to do with whether you will be successful at this. If you think you can’t, then you won’t. If you think you can, then you will.
That reminds me of the very first book I ever read, The little engine that Could. I can picture that red engine going up the mountain saying, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” What a valuable lesson, right? Seriously. If you think you can, then anything is possible. Did you know that your thoughts will actually determine your success? People who have negative thoughts in their head most of the time, are unhappy in life, stuck in jobs they don’t like, and complain about anything that other people will listen to. Those people are draining. Nobody ever says, “Oh I really I hope that I can hang out with Negative Nancy all day, it is so much fun listening to her complain all day long.” The good news is that those who are able to break the 50% mark with positive comments, are happier, achieve more, and are socially way more fun to hang around with. They see more success in their life and they are not afraid to take chances.
Persistence is key. Did you know that I tried 5 other business before I tried tutoring online? Yup. I tried selling things on Ebay, making and selling crafts on Etsy, network marketing with Polaris Media Group, selling educational vacations, and selling Usborne books. After trying one I could have quit and just became a stay at home mom, struggling to make ends meet. But, I was determined to be a work at home mom so that I could be more present for my children and bring in an income that would sustain us comfortably.
What is your why? Why do you want to start your own online tutoring business? Is it because you want more freedom and flexibility, do you want to be able to travel, spend more time with your family, get paid what you are worth? Whatever your why is, I would like you to write it down right now on a post it note. Put that post it note where you will see it when you do actions that build your business. This why will keep you motivated when excuses start to seep into your life. People who don’t have a why are that much more willing to give up when the going gets rough. And there will be times when the going will get rough. I am not going to spout off to you that any of this is going to be easy and that tutoring online is easy money. There are many skills that most of us need to learn and whenever we learn something new it takes consistency, patience, perserverance, and hard work. Don’t believe anyone who promises you will be making 6 figures in your first year. People who are able to do that have many more skills under their belt than most of us have.
When fear settles in, make sure you have good support team. Surround yourself with people who believe in you even when you don’t believe in yourself. Many of the tutors that I coach and work with tell me that I am really good for their ego because I am always pumping them up with praise and encouragement. My husband was my support team when I was starting my online tutoring business. When money was an issue he would try to stay positive and give me words of encouragement. This is where a strong mentor can be the best thing you ever invest in. They can see past the point where you are at and they can help you reach your ultimate goal.
Make like Nike and “Just Do It.” When fear tries to stop you in your tracks, I have found that the longer you think about it the harder it is to move forward. Don’t allow your brain to go there with your business. Take the actions that you need to take, learn from your mistakes, and keep going in a forward motion. Even if you zigzag, you will make it to your end destination.
Before you get your first clients, there are all kinds of fears, like what resources will I use, will I be able to really help kids online, will I be able to get clients? How long will it take before I make this a viable business? These are all normal. Your confidence will grow with each new client you get and it will continue on growing as you build your business to the level you would like to grow it to.
It is exhilarating to create a business and have success. In fact it is a high that many people don’t get to experience. To know that you have figured out how to run a business, get success with your students and never have to resort to another job again is amazing. There is no fear of people firing you, dealing with politics, or other people’s egos. You get to put the needs of your students first and give them exactly what they need. It is awesome. Today I can travel when I want, where I want, and as often as I want. I don’t have to worry about vacation time or money. I can put in as many hours or as little hours as I want. I can be present for my kids, volunteer in their classrooms and speak at conventions. (I spent the first half of this week in Austin Texas speaking at the TEAC conference.) I can spend money on the things that I need to without asking someone or trying to figure out a way to get it. I am in complete control of my life and my destiny and this kind of freedom is what motivates me to help as many online tutors and teachers as I possibly can. I want to pass this exhilaration on and not just keep it for myself. I believe that teachers should get paid what they are worth and that they should be respected more. If you haven’t taken advantage of a free strategy session yet, I highly recommend that you do. You can read about some of the benefits that people have highlighted in my pulse post Free strategy Sessions for Online Tutors. Here is a link to sign up for your session today. https://www.timetrade.com/book/QVPQL
More information on this topic was included in my weekly webinar. Here it is
What are some of the fears that you have regarding your online tutoring business?