Are you a teacher who's starting a business? Or a new-ish entrepreneur? Here are 4 of the MOST common misconceptions I hear from new-ish business owners, especially the former teachers, and how you can AVOID them (and by avoid I mean skip entirely so you can make more money sooner without it being so PAINFUL all the time!)
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Welcome to Episode 70 of Teachers in Business. I am Sara Torpey. And I am your host, I am honored to get to share this with you today. Today we are going to talk about the four most common misconceptions of teachers who are starting businesses. This is for my teacher, people, I see you, if you are starting a business, this is these are four common things that you are more than likely going to do or at least consider doing that you should skip. And these don't just apply to teachers, these are certainly applicable for most new are entrepreneurs. But I find that teachers in particular are more common than just the average entrepreneur who may have come out of corporate or went to business school, or what have you to run into these than others. Simply because you know, some of these lessons or things they teach you in business school. And as a teacher, I didn't go to business school. So today we're gonna run through these four, and how to avoid them in by avoiding them, I mean, like skip them entirely, so that you can make more money faster, so that you can have everything be simpler to get started. And so it doesn't have to be so painful all the time. Because honestly, these are mistakes and misconceptions teachers have about what they have to do to get started about the way it's supposed to work that cause frustration, and they cause you to wait on making money and they cause all kinds of drama that just aren't necessary. So before I get started, if you are not a member of my Facebook group, which is also called Teachers in Business, please come join us, you are welcome. We would love to have you as a part of what we do. And even if you don't have a teaching degree, and your title has never been teacher, odds are if you own a business, you are trying to teach someone something out in the world. And you are welcome. Not everyone in the group is a former teacher, not everyone has a current teacher, there are plenty of people who are just teachers out in the world of business trying to grow human beings effectively. The other thing I want you to know is that these common misconceptions that I wrote down and for this episode today all come out of coaching people, I am a business coach, I work one on one in small groups with clients. These are all topics that have come out of direct experience with clients and my own businesses. And right now I am in the process of accepting applications for my small group coaching program, which is called Charting Business Success. If you are looking to start having a coach having someone in your business and in your work, this version of small group coaching is the best possible version that I can think of. It is truly small group, it is always a maximum of four people, we run for 16 weeks, which is just four months, basically a little more than four months usually. And there is one on one attention and support and community and collegiality and people that get you and speak teacher and speak business. And everybody gets to learn together. And nobody gets to hide it is the best possible version of getting started with coaching. If you know one on one isn't what you're looking for, if you're looking for community, my small group coaching coaching program, which is called Charting Business Success really is a phenomenal investment. It is one of the most powerful programs I've ever gotten to be a part of. I'm super proud of it. I'm super proud of what it is doing with the people currently in it, and of how they're changing in the work. They're doing. Like I had a client in one of my groups this week, tell me that all of a sudden, she realized that she's been consistent all along, like her biggest hang up has been that she is not consistent that she's not growing. And she was like, You know what, I realized this week that part of what is happening here is I tell myself I'm not consistent in it makes me inconsistent, when in fact, I can just believe that I am because I am and that has made her money. She has made that career investment she is a part of. She's growing her business in a new way and she's getting ready to, you know, launch a new version of recourse over the summer. It's all amazing. So if you are interested in small group coaching, or even one on one coaching if you'd rather not work with a group of people, and you'd rather get me all to yourself, and put my brain directly in your business working for you. I promise coaching makes all the difference in the world and you are welcome. You can send me an email. You can book directly on my calendar for a time to chat either about charting business success or about one on one coaching, I will link both of those in the transcripts. And then come join the Facebook group send me a Facebook message, whatever, but reach out. So four misconceptions reading Misconception number one. This is my least favorite it is that when I leave teaching and start a business or when I start a business, outside of teaching, I am starting from scratch. I hear this from people constantly. Like Well, I'm a newbie, I'm starting from scratch. No, no, no, no, hell no, no, no, no. So many ways. No. Here's the problem with it. What you do when you tell yourself you're starting from scratch is you discount the years upon years of experience in life, and in teaching that you have already had, or in whatever other role you've been in, what you say is my experience is irrelevant, because it is not exactly this. And I liken this all the time to driving a car. Like I know how to drive a car. Currently, I drive a Kia. I like my car is happy. It is wonderful. But if somebody came up to me tomorrow, and was like, Hey, I would like to give you this convertible Lamborghini, I would not look at them and then go like, Oh, gosh, I'm new at driving. I don't know how to do this. I would take the car, what do you take the car, because I know how to drive a car. I just don't know how to drive that specific car. That doesn't mean I'm unqualified to drive the car, doesn't mean I'm a new driver. It doesn't mean any of those things I've been driving now for almost 30 years. So as a driver, there is nothing new, I would be new to driving a Lamborghini. But that doesn't mean there's anything wrong. And I wouldn't drive I wouldn't walk around going like, oh gosh, I don't know if I can do this. At new at this, I have to start learning driving from scratch. Like that's insane. People would look at me like I'd lost my mind. But when we like change careers, when we shift job, focus, we act like everything we've ever done before. That is irrelevant. And that's just not the case. So for you, if you are new and getting started, stop telling yourself here. Please stop telling yourself, you're a newbie, stop telling yourself, you're starting from scratch, it will do nothing but slow you down. And eventually you'll turn around, you're like, Man, I didn't really need to tell people I was new with this. They believe in you if you believe in you. They believe in their rights. Everybody has a first client, everybody has a first customer, everybody has a 10th customer doesn't mean they're getting any worse service. And if you've been teaching, for example, as a teacher, I went from teaching, to working in a sales organization to working with salespeople and coaching into business and teaching college kids. I have used skills that I have gotten in every job along the way in this business, they have served me and continue to serve me. I'm not new, I just didn't like when I started, I was just in a different position, that title changed. That's the difference. You are not new at this stop telling yourself and other people that you are, they don't need to know you just need to show up with all your expertise because it counts and act like it. Okay. Okay. Misconception Number two, this one also makes me insane. I have to have it all perfect, and finished and ready and perfectly aligned and completely thought out and planned. Before I can start before I can start talking about it before I can share it before any of these things. Friends, I have made this mistake. I did this in my first business with our first website, which is a whole story for another time and actually is a part of what I talked about in my email series, which is called Lessons from the F word when the F word is failure. If you're not on my email list, feel free to reach out and have we add you. But there's we have this idea. And listen, it's a carryover from teaching. It is valid in teaching. If you show up on a Tuesday, with half a lesson plan, you know things are like probably not gonna go real well like underplant is teaching is not awesome. Not having a really solid plan unless you're 10 or 20 years in doesn't work especially if you're in your first couple years of teaching. You have to be planned you have to be over planned honestly for it to work. But as a business owner, and this is not me saying don't plan but as a business owner, we equate like preparing our new thing and getting it ready to lesson planning. When in fact it's more like what you would do it engaging kids.
So like when I was a couple weeks out of doing a new unit with kids I'd say oh you know, a couple of weeks when we start that unit on rocks or whatever we start you know making sand or we start you know growing both because you're we start melting things and I'm unit on matter what have you. That'll be super interesting. We'll talk about it then. They start to get like curious. It's those things that build excitement and anticipation. When you start talking about things before you're ready, before thing is ready before it's done before, it's any of those things, you get to build the insight, excitement and the anticipation. That's a marketing skill. You do it with kids, it also applies to your business, we want to hide things until we're exactly ready. But all that does is slow us down, because it ensures that we're ready before everybody else. Because we haven't told anybody else that it was coming. And when we do that, what it does is mismatch our time. So we are ready when we launch the thing, but nobody else has had a chance to get ready. And then it's going to take them longer. And during the time when it's taking them longer to get ready because we hadn't told them about it. We're freaking out because nobody's buying it. Like it's a disaster. And it kills confidence. But it's really just a timing problem, you didn't start talking about it as you were doing it, you felt like it needed to be perfect. And the message had to be super clear, and all of those things. None of that is true. The only person who thinks your message isn't clear as you and the more you talk about it, the better it will get. So please, please, please stop hiding the good stuff that you're doing that you're building, even when it's not done, start talking about it. Now, the sooner you start telling people what you're doing, the better everything will work, you do not have to have all the ducks in the row, you just have to know that you're going to have ducks in they're going to be in a row at some point to start talking about that. But you don't even have to have possession of the ducks. That's fine. Okay, number three is like a two parter. Three Part A is I have to test my idea by offering it for free first. Part B is I have to offer it initially at a low low cost so that I can make sure it works. So there are cases where I buy into this. But for the most part, I think it's baloney. Here's the thing you are if we go with number one wishes now that you are not a newbie, you are not a newbie, yes, you may be offering coaching, or this service or photography, or organizing or communication support or looking at my clients or tutoring or what have you for the very first official time as a business owner. That doesn't mean you don't know how to do it. And even when it's a first round or something, when it's like a course and you're not, you know, 100% sure that everything's laid out exactly right. People will still learn from it, and happily pay for it. You can beta test, you can give away things for free. But doing so is not a requirement of business. It is not the way it has to be like I've seen lots of coaching programs that are like you have to have 10 clients for free. Before you can start charging people you have to have all this practice you do all this stuff. No, no, no, you don't. And if that feels really, if offering it for free, feels really hard for you because you know, what you have to offer is valuable in in free undervalues, then don't do that. It's not required that you follow that advice. None of the advice of the business world is required that you follow like there's no license, there's no you know, unless you're in a regulated industry, then there are some licenses, but even then they're not going to tell you how to market, you do not have to test things for free, or for low low cost. If you do not want to, if it doesn't feel like a good use of your time and energy, if you don't think you're going to get out of it what you need. Or if you think you're going to have to stalk people for feedback, don't offer it for free. Not required. Honestly, the other problem with this is one of the hardest things to do is sell something that's free to get people to buy into something that's free to get people to really engage with something that's free,
because they haven't put any skin in the game. So a lot of times we offer things for free, and then people kind of like half assed doing them and we don't get what we need out of them, then we don't get what we need. And we get frustrated because we spent all this time offering this thing for free. And no one really did what we needed to because they hadn't bought in because they literally didn't have to spend any money. So if you don't want to do it that way, you don't have to some of my clients do. And we do it in really strategic ways. We keep the container of what's free and what's not very succinct and very small and very specific. We talk about the rules and what we're going to learn and how we're going to get it. We do it like a science experiment. We don't just like offer for free and hopefully it will be You need, that's not how this works. And then a fair number of my clients opt out of this, they don't feel like they need to beta test or do all these things. Maybe their rate that they charge at the beginning is lower than it will be eventually. But honestly, very few clients come to me with a rate that is too high. One of the very first things I do with most of my, what I want in like your clients, is we raise rates because you're undervaluing yourself and the service you offer. So and super common as a teacher, because teachers don't have any expectation of money. I know I haven't, it's taken me a lot of work, to learn to value my time. And to put a price tag on it that is valuable for me, it serves my business and my clients and all the other things. So you don't have to do that. And in fact, you can charge whatever you want for things that are more than you think. It really is possible. Okay. And here's number four. This one is very rarely said out loud, I think in these words, but as often underneath, so many of the things we do, and the reasons we do them and the ways we do them. It is so many teachers come out into business, knowing that they want to help people, but not truly believing that people will pay them for what they're good at. Now think about that. They come into business wanting to help people. But without believing without valuing their skills and expertise. And really, truly believing that there is a market that will pay them like an amount that feels good and valuable for what they do best. This is a misconception. This is a problem, because it's complete and utter garbage. People will pay you for what you're good at. Teachers have skills upon skills upon skills, I have clients that tutor I have clients that coach kids, I have clients that coach grownups, I have clients that build technology platforms, I have clients that start you know, social media companies and communication companies and work with parents and do all kinds of things, right. But they, I have a client who runs a school, I have another that's a financial planner, listen, they all came out of education or whatever other part of the world they were in with mad skills that are valuable, there is a value. But when you think people won't pay you for what you're really good at, they won't. People don't want to buy, maybe they're not able to invest in something that you aren't confident in. The thing is, is that people need your skills, no one is better positioned than you to help people. And what that help is, is value to them. People are happy to pay for things that help them and no one knows how to do that better. The teachers, you know so much in when you say that your skills are not valuable and no one's going to pay for them is you tell people no in advance you do you deny them the chance to learn from and work with you in a way that has them invest in themselves in the learning. You deny them the chance to buy in. I don't think that's actually what you want. But probably. So if you're thinking you are a newbie, and you're starting from scratch, please stop. If you're thinking it's all got to be perfect and an order before you start telling people about it. Please stop. If you feel like you have to offer things for free or super low cost the first time around or the first 10 times. Please stop. And if you think what you have isn't valuable, and you're not sure people are going to pay for it. Please stop. You're not new. Everything you're doing can be shared as you build it. You do not have to offer it for free or low cost because your time and your expertise is valuable period. People will pay for what you have. They will it's a matter of getting the pieces in the right order to make it easy for them to buy and easy for you to sell. That is all this is. growing a business actually is pretty simple. There's not a whole lot of steps, but there's a whole lot of mind drama.
It's not the process that's complicated. It's the people. So if you need help with the process and keeping it simple as a person and you're looking for coaching to help you do that, that is what I do. The process is simple. My job is to help you keep the process simple, so that you can grow and excel and to not let you make the mistakes and hold the misconceptions about your value about where you're starting from, or about what you can or can't do as a business owner, your business your way. If you're ready for help send a message. All the ways to contact me are linked in the transcript. And I will see you all next week.