Genius hour has long been a thing in schools.
It's a tool to help motivate and engage students, and one that helps them build critical thinking, problem solving, and connection skills.
On this episode of the podcast I'm going to make the case for YOU to have genius hour in YOUR business (spoiler alert: it's good for you the same way it's good for students!), and how exactly you might put it into place and create MORE GROWTH as a result.
Welcome, welcome. Welcome to this episode of teachers in business. Today I want to talk to you about one of my very favorite things, which is something I loved in schools and something I have, you know, kept with me since my teaching days. And it is genius hour. I want to make the case today for bringing genius hour with us into our businesses because it is good for business in all of the same ways that it is good for students in a school for workers in a corporation for employees for all the things. So before we get into that, I just want to share two really fun client stories from this week. One is about a client, who stopped me in the middle of our call earlier this week, to tell me that she had made $30,000 this quarter. Listen, first of all, it's amazing, because she made two thirds of that last year, the whole year. But what's really interesting about the money she's made this quarter is she's doing it without, she's busy, for sure. But she was busy before this. And she's making more without like working 24 hours a day, she's not making twice the money and doing twice the work. And it is magical to see how happy she is what we did together and coaching as we shifted the kind of work she's doing to something she loves more. And she's actually working now on like referring out jobs, that sheet that don't fit her. And you know, bringing on new people to help her and expanding in new ways. But she also raised her prices, because she was under charging for. And there was a lot of work that she did through coaching on, you know, feeling good about her rates, and all of that work has paid off. And that's what her second quarter was all about. And I cannot wait to see what the third quarter in the fourth quarter bring her because it her business going to be entirely different a year from now. It's crazy. The second win for this week is with a client who has been consistently building a business for years. And what she and I have been working on is expanding into new directions. And what she came to me this week with was meeting space, she's having some family things going on. She's you know, have a has some big life events scheduled for the fall. There's lots going on there. And what was really nice to see, one of the things we've been working on for her is that she is now in a place in her business, where she can take the time to do these things and nothing is going to go wrong. She can take the time the summer to go on vacation to have these big life events. And it's okay. Like her business is not going to suffer. It's actually not even going to stop growing. And she's to the point as a fully booked business that she gets to say to people like Yes, I'm happy to work with you, I can't wait to work with you. I can't work with you until the fall. And people are going to pay her anyways. And it is amazing. Like she is well on her path to meeting her goals for this year. And then some we're actually working on building her or third income stream, which is madness. And if you had said to her a year ago, or even eight months ago, if this was where she'd be right now, I don't think she would have said she I don't know if she would have believed it. And I it's such a fun thing to see. So today we're going to talk about genius hour, after clients. So genius hour is really one of the things I as a teacher really believed in and believe in as a grown up. If you're not familiar with it, basically it is like a tech thing originally that made its way in the schools. Genius hour is up to an hour, set aside in a week to work on passion projects, or learning new skills driven by the person, the individual. So it is really meant to be full creative play time. And it's a magical thing, right when you do it with students and I've done it with students over the years I've done it with teachers over the years. what it's meant to be is a time to help them re engage with content to engage for for teachers to really understand what they like and what they love to do to help students connect and really build the critical thinking and the problem solving skills that get built when they are engaged with something that They're really passionate about, the more passionate you are about something, you know this, the more likely you are to be like, Oh, no, I'm gonna figure it out, dammit. So genius hour is something that suck kids in, right? That helps re energize them with learning and growing. And it helps them to be like, Oh, wait, this thing that we're doing right now applies to this project that I'm trying to build, like, whoo. And they get new connections. I think that it is. Genius hour is something that we can and should bring into small businesses, even if they're only owned by one human like me, like you. Or maybe there are more people in your business. But genius hour is this magical thing because it is free. Right? It is play projects. So for me, it is something that is in my week. It's not, it's not often a full hour. But it's actually more than an hour. For me, it tends to be three half hours that I get to play over the course of the week, and they are scheduled into my calendar, sometimes they move, but they are scheduled. And they are set aside for whatever goofball, fun project. And you know, like relevant is relative, right? Like I'm working on a workbook right now, that uses a bunch of the charts I've shared on social media and like I have all geeked out over it, it's in Canva, it makes me super excited, like, my I hope to have it out and for people to use and buy and all that. And at the end of August is my plan, we shall see. So like, I actually need to use my genius hour. But it really is a super fun kind of passion project for me. And every time I spend just a half hour in it, I get reconnected to like, Whoa, I can't wait for people to use this. And then I get to carry that energy with me all day. Now, the fight with small business owners and with clients that I've had, Institute, this is always that like I don't, I already don't have enough time in the day. And listen, I already also don't have enough time in the day. But at the same time, this is the way that I used to take projects that like have been sitting on the backburner that I would love to do. But I just don't quote unquote, have time for it helps me sneak them in. And it helps me to, you know, like, I'm never going to have enough time.
So like, there's not enough time to do all the things that are never is and that's okay. But it helps me to find a little balance between the things I feel like I have to do. And I actually have reduced the amount of those things really drastically in my business because I'm really ruthless about that kind of stuff.
But the things I feel like I have to do with things that are super fun, this is a way to sort of restore some balance, if it all feels like half to us. And that's sort of one of the things that happens in businesses that are young, particularly where you're in your first year or two or three, there's a lot of half twos. And there's a lot of like work at growing that feels like grinding and plotting and dragging. And so this is a way to productively infuse some fun and some joy and some love and some energy back into what can feel really heavy. Like this is a Leitner rather than a shell and I have to do my genius hour. It's not meant for that at all. Which is why mine is never an hour because I have a 30 minute attention span. And I know this. For me, one of the things I find, and I have seen this, I've seen this with kids in schools, I've seen this with teachers, I've seen this with clients, I see it in myself, when I am consistent, what I regularly take the time to give myself a little space to focus on the joy the things that I think like that. Everything else is easier. I know that sounds nuts, especially if you're in the grind stage of this, but it's not a promise. It is really really useful to, to think to give yourself some love to give yourself some space to do something you really enjoy even for little tiny pockets of time. Because then you get to share something you love. You get to talk about what you're doing. You get to feel lighter for a little while and that lightness carries with you. You get to feel connected to your purpose. Like whenever I work on my Little passion projects, I feel really connected to my purpose in why I do what I do. Which is because I think teachers should run the world. Like, all the tools I build are to help businesses grow more effectively. I think women, I think teachers, I think the more of them who are at the head of all the tables, the better off we all are, quite honestly. So I think when you bring that lightness, and I know for myself, the things I do the rest of my day get easier and more fun, a little bit of fun spreads, it's like pouring honey on your counter. Now that I suggest that but I think it's a regular occurrence here in the Torpey household, somebody puts honey on my current counter, and then it like seeps into all the places, you can take the heaviness and let that seep into anything all over the corners. Or you can take lightness and fun and let it seep into the crevices, and then it sort of touches everything and everything is sticky with joy. Which is a, I can't tell that's a good analogy or a bad one. But I don't know, you'll tell me if it's inappropriate, right. So from that I have looked at, actually went back and looked at my calendar for you know, like a year or so. And when I was getting new clients, and when I was most feeling connected, and when I was feeling like I was most successful when I was making the most money. And what's really interesting to me, is they correlate really clearly to the times where I was most consistent with my genius hour projects. And that is not an accident. It's not like I the work and genius hour projects connects to me building my business more effectively and making more money in my business, the more consistently I'm doing things that are fun for me, and the more people are attracted to that, the more they want to pay to work with me, the more I grow. The same is true for you. This is not me, I am not a unicorn like I trust me, there's no rainbows here. I'm just a regular human that fights her way through just like you do with sticky countertops no less. For truly, this is something to try. So for the second half of 2021, I'd love to offer you the option of trying this out. You don't have to. And it doesn't have to be an hour. But what I think is worth doing is instituting it, or trying to institute it for a set period of time. Like maybe you could commit to it for three months.
I wonder what you'd accomplish. I wonder how much fun it would be. And I wonder what would happen in your business as a result. Like maybe if you had a little more fun. And here's the thing, that email list you're considering adding in the extra platform, the Instagram, the tic tac toe, whatever. Unless you're like all jazzed up about it the way you are about your genius, our project going at it. Use this in trade. Okay, you don't have to add the things like I talked to a prospective client the other day who was like, I feel like I have to do Facebook and I just don't want to and I said don't. And she was like what? Listen, if you hate a platform don't grow on it. Like, I don't understand Instagram, so I don't, and I'm okay with it. I also don't understand clubhouse. So I don't and I'm okay, like, I haven't died, my business hasn't died. I'm not on all the platforms. I am okay. And so are you. So instead of adding the platform, try this. Let me know how it goes. And if you're not sure how to make it work, because you have so many other things going on, that you can't find a half hour, let's talk about it. Like my sweet spot as a coach is helping people narrow down Focus, focus on what really matters, take probably half the things off their plate, so that they can really concentrate on just the stuff that's going to make a difference. Get out of their own way and grow like crazy. As a result I have, I haven't the client results to prove it makes me so excited. So have a great week. Happy testing genius hour and the second half of 2021. And if you come up with a super fun project, I want to hear about it. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or come in my facebook group, which is Teachers in Business and tell me about it or we leave a podcast review. Who knows. But also if you want to leave a podcast review all kinds of game for that. That's how more people hear about this podcast and there are plenty of people who need it. So happy week. Happy genius hour. I will see you all next week.