In this episode of The Learning Network's Community & Family Studies Podcast, I'm sharing a little bit about my educator to entrepreneur journey!
Although lifting the lid off my business is something I'm a bit nervous about, I can't wait to show you the potential inside my business as well as what I've been able to do to support my community of beautiful CAFS teachers!
This episode will dive into my journey from leaving the classroom to jumping head first into creating a business of my own by unlocking the full potential of the skills I had sitting in my back pocket.
I will also be helping you think about what YOU have in your back pocket! What is your area of expertise that can be used to deliver massive value to your community? Where are the gaps in the market?
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Hey everyone and welcome back to another episode of The Learning Network Podcast. I'm so glad that you have joined this is episode number 41. And in this week's podcast episode, I'm sharing a little bit about my educator to entrepreneur journey. Now lifting the lid on my business is something that probably is something that at first may be nervous, but I can't wait to show you the potential inside my business as well as what I've been able to do to support my community of beautiful CAFS teachers here in New South Wales, Australia. When I started back into like 2020, I had no idea what I was doing. I literally dove headfirst feet first into things and that's the sort of person I am and today, I unpack why I started the business in the first place. What I'm doing now, and the potential for you to dream, create and build a business just like mine of your absolute dreams. If you have any questions at all about my journey, about what I've done, what what's worked, what hasn't, I can share with you the highs and the lows and everything in between, head over to Instagram and send me a DM at Kelly Bell dot coach or send me a message on Facebook. And I'd love to chat about what you can do to build a business of your dreams too. If you haven't already heard I have launched a new arm of my business and I am looking for educators who are either daydreaming, dabbling, or transitioning or have transitioned into an education business of their very own. So if you've been thinking about doing something or you have an idea or if you've already started to experiment with things or you feel completely transitioned out of the classroom like I am, I have developed a brand new offer for the Learning Network educators so Educator to Entrepreneur is my membership, my 12 month membership to support you no matter where you are on your business journey. To lift the lid on my own business to show you what you can do in the potential it has to bring massive value to education. So I'm looking for around 10 to 12, 10 to 15 educators who would like to test drive my membership. And we kick start at the end of January after Christmas and after New Year's when you're ready to start to dabble into a few things in the new year. I would love to have the most amazing group of founding members in my membership. So if you'd like to learn more details about it, head over to thelearnnet.com/membership. So if you're either daydreaming doubling or transitioned out of the classroom, let me know how I can support you.
Hey, I'm Kelly Bell. Welcome to The Learning Network Podcast. I guide Community and Family Studies teachers, newbies and experienced, through best practice to improve knowledge, increase empowerment and alleviate stress, to help you and your students to make meaningful connections across the course. I will share strategic and purposeful applications from my 16 years experience in the classroom that I have adopted to increase student motivation, enjoyment, engagement and results. Together, we will grow and transform your CAFS crew to the next level without impacting your sleep and wellbeing process. To join my free how to improve writing and fast track results webinar, head to thelearnnet.com/writing. So tune in, get inspired and let's connect, learn and grow together.
So, if you haven't met me, I am a Community and Family Studies and PDHPE teacher here in New South Wales, Australia. And I have taught those two courses for the best part of 16 years. And then in July 2020, I left the classroom after being completely burnt out. I literally had pain in my neck, and I had some pain in my neck that would follow me around my school. And I was really feeling the pinch and I couldn't keep doing it anymore. I probably spent, I don't know maybe around six months feeling like this. But it was going on for a long time and I really should have pulled the pin a long time ago. But I didn't so fast track to now, two and a half years later, I cannot believe you know everything that I've been able to be part of. I feel so blessed to be able to support me and family studies teachers here in New South Wales, Australia. In a very, very small niche. We have around 1200 Community and Family Studies teachers. I don't know if that's kind of the exact number but around I reckon around that. Look, I've got about 1200 Community and Family Studies teachers on my mailing list about that on Instagram so I'm pretty sure I haven't reached the whole every single Community and Family Studies teacher across New South Wales but I'm pretty sure I'm close to it. But I've had a lot of educators, a lot of teachers, a lot of friends, asked me how I started, what I started and how I am now today, running a really successful online business with a very thriving community of 95 Community and Family Studies teaches you my memberships, I templated this date centrally in my membership, as well as multiple online courses, a huge number of resources for my teachers. So once people started to kind of ask me what I was doing while I was doing it, how I did it, delivering that kind of out free value for people I thought, well, hang on, if these 10 teachers, these 10 educators are asking me the same sort of questions, maybe there are other educators across Australia across the globe that would like to have a bit of an insight into how I built my business today.
So as I said, I left the classroom in July 2020. And for the best part of three weeks, I had no idea what I was going to do. I literally sat in the lounge, and I spent a lot of time crying as you do in a really traumatic time. I second guessed pretty much everything I was ever taught. You know that I've taught it as you know, an educator but also that I taught my own students because we we take you know, up up, you teach kids about wellbeing, you teach kids about resilience, and bouncing back and advocating for yourself and I wasn't living or breathing any of that at all. So I've literally laid in the lounge I thought well, okay, what do I do next? And I was unlucky for that time, I was on sick leave. And I honestly had no idea what my next step was. I did lots of reading, as we do and I read two very instrumental books at that time and it was probably to my detriment. And I've shared these stories, my Community and Family Studies teachers. Before that I read teacher by Gabby Stroud, here in Australia, really great book. If you're a teacher, you'll resonate with every single story, Gabby shares. Gabby was my very first podcast, guest host, as well as my very first keynote speaker and my CAFS Conference is very fitting, I read her books. She also has a book called Dear parents as well. So I read both of those books. I literally bawled my eyes out, and I thought, Shit, I don't know what I'm gonna do. I honestly don't know what I'm gonna do next. And it started to kind of towards, you know, the back end of week three, I thought, well, I could do something well being I could give back to my community, I could actually make a bigger impact with teachers not just in Australia, but all across the world, how to support themselves how to look after themselves. So you will be you know, so well. I taught it. I lived and breathed it for so long with my Community and Family Studies teachers and my HSC students. Why couldn't I teach teachers that and be a presenter, and being an advocate for teachers, you know, especially in Australia, but all across the, across the world.
And then I thought, well, hang on. I've literally got something in my back pocket like in my back pocket that I can use. That is my area of of expertise. You know, I was the go to person in my space. I already had a thriving community of teachers. It wasn't a Facebook group like this. It was literally a Facebook page called the CAFS network. And a huge shout out to all these Community and Family Studies teachers who were part of that for a really long time, we amended our syllabus, I then was doing lots of things to give back to my community sharing resources and links and teaching learning activities. And I was also a presenter across New South Wales presenting professional learning in our state on Community and Family Studies and PDHPE and I was also presenting some stuff around Australia on formative assessment. So I literally had something in my back pocket that I could use as someone who was going to share my experience, I'm going to use my area of expertise that I was known in, you know, two textbooks, no head marker, all those sorts of things. And I thought, well, hang on, I literally have a business in my back pocket. And that's what I did.
So I launched the learning network in July pretty much you know, resigned and then obviously all that paperwork kind of happened. And I went well I'm gonna dive in headfirst or feet first. I don't know which one I kind of use both expressions. And I dove in headfirst and I thought I'm the type of person once you get to know me, you'll kind of realise that I'm the person who jumps right into things. It's, you know, it's right in I've become slightly obsessed, as my husband would say, but I'm so passionate about everything I do. So I literally dove in headfirst and thought, Well, okay, what do my teachers need a mom and as an educator, entrepreneur, if you're listening to this, I would love for you guys to think about what is something that you're known in your known in your space? What is something that is literally in your back pocket that you can use as your area of expertise, and deliver massive value to your community? So on that particular issue, or thing, or what aspect or service or product, where are the gaps in the market? And I really saw that I saw the gaps in the market, you know, as a teacher to an entrepreneur, I started to think about, okay, well, what do my teachers want? What do they need their time, Paul, literally scraping through was during COVID Obviously, launch my business, probably not a wise move. But I feel so blessed because my business has thrived the last two and a half years during a pandemic, and it was probably a blessing in disguise. And I say complete silver lining to COVID.
I say thank you, COVID, for giving me this life, because, you know, I know, was very challenging for many people, traumatic for a lot of people. It changed our world, it literally changed our lives. But for me personally, it changed my life for the better. I feel very blessed to be able to do what I get to do so COVID was a blessing for me. But I've worked out that my teachers were time poor, their energy rich was drained, they weren't supporting their wellbeing. So what I wanted to do inside the Learning Network was give back to them. Initially, I saw them learning network as an umbrella to kind of go well, I don't know where this is gonna take me. I literally had no idea. I had no idea. I didn't have a business plan. I didn't sit down with you know, marketing manager, I literally put it out to the world to see what was going to happen. And magic happened. It created this amazing business using my expertise in my back pocket. So when I brought the living network network out into the world, I said, Well, let's support CAFS teachers in this initially, but I wanted it to have that blanket name so I could actually diversify at some point. And two and a half years later, I'm now at that point next year, we'll see lots of new resources coming out from the learning network for my Community and Family Studies teachers, exploring late childhood SLR child studies, you'll see that rolled out next year, we're behind the scenes working on that. But I feel very excited to be able to bring you a whole new arm to my business to be able to support you where you are right now in your journey to entrepreneurship.
So whether you are dabbling, and you've got a business up and up and running, you might be experimenting with some stationery or some, you know, teacher or being boxes, or affirmation cards or some stickers, you know, some classroom decor, that type of thing. Or you might have an online course that you're trialling or you might even have something that you want to bring to the world like a mentor sheet, or a programme or some coaching with teachers or even some sort of online course. Whether you're at that stage, or whether you've been daydreaming of doing this, and you just want to take that plunge just want to dive in headfirst like I did, and get this off the ground. When I first started. You know, when I first started learning at work, I literally had no support, I had one person, one friend who had done the same. So huge shout out to Dan Jackson, who really supported me from the very beginning. But I had nobody else to bounce ideas off with I had no business friends, I had friends, or family. But they weren't in the online space. They weren't educators who knew the system, and then had you know, transformed or transitioned to the online space to a business.
So when I came up with this idea that that has evolved really over the last three months, it was because I was missing something I was missing the community that I thrived and knew inside my teaching space, but I didn't have that in the business. And so when I you know, this has happened really quickly. So I want to say a huge thank you to those teachers who have spurred me on because I'm hearing from you, as educators, you guys want something like this, you often find it hard, you know, every day trying to work out what you're doing, like, Okay, I want to bring out this new product to my teachers or to my, my community. How do I do that? So I thought, Well, why not connect with each other? Why not have a membership and some, some courses and some coaching that helps educators either move or transition or to still dabble in their business and have a life that they always rent or whether they stay in the classroom and do this part time and you know, look, I wish I had something like this when I was actually doubling but I dabbled in a whole different thing.
I'm not sure if I've shared this openly with many of you guys but I actually had a children's clothing accessory business was called Cassidy's collection. And if you know me, well my daughter My oldest daughter, our or our eldest daughter is called Cassidy so it was literally like headbands and vintage clothing. If you Google it was you can still take some photos of it and I had no idea what I was doing. But again I dove in headfirst because I thought, Okay, I'm not bored at home. I loved being a mom at home with the kids. Our girls are 12 or nine now Now, so they pass that baby stage, but it kept me at home with the girls, if I had something like that, like I have now, I could have literally fast track my business. And I would have heard that the business and the lifestyle of my dreams. If I had done it, then anyway, that's a whole nother story, which I can share with you later. But, you know, moving into this space of supporting you, as an educator, no matter where you are on your journey to business, I cannot wait to share with you what I've got in store, I have some amazing guests experts, they're going to come into our membership to share their experience. I am not a real queen. I'm not a social media guru. But obviously, I've been doing things that have worked for my very small niche. And I want to show you guys what you can do to absolutely blow up what you have right now. Or to actually get that dream that you have, and build it into something that's so amazing to have, you know, for you got to have the the freedom, the flexibility, and to use your expertise to give back to education.
So my membership has launched. And I'm doing, you know, a bit of a closed door membership, I want to have around 10 or 12, teachers, educators who are supporting other educators in our community with his membership. So I don't want to support and I love it all of you as educators, but I want to jump in support someone who wants to open their local cafe, or wants to, I don't know, become a nurse, I'm not at that point, or, you know, or create some other business at a retail store. I would love to support other educators who want to give back to our community, and that is education. So my educator to entrepreneur, membership is going to support other educators who want to make a huge impact on education in their spaces. So if you're an educator, again, like I said he was bringing out stationery or resources or, you know, physical resources, it might be, you know, some toys or some sort of thing happening. You know, in child childcare, or in primary schools a physical resource, you might have a membership or subscription box for its for teachers, you might have some lanyards or wellbeing cards or affirmation cards, that type of thing. If you've got an online course, or some sort of ideas about what's bubbling away, if you're working with, you know, preschools, on certain programmes, or if you're working with graduates, these are some of the teachers I've been speaking with. And I feel very blessed that you guys have reached out to me.
So The Educator to Entrepreneur Membership is, is open now for teachers who would like to join us to go from being an educator to an entrepreneur, and to see where this can take you. So if you'd like any more details about the programme, send me a DM, send me a Facebook message. All the details are at the low net.com Ford slash membership. And look, I literally have the support of such a great family. But also I get to live this amazing life that I only ever dreamed of as an educator as a teacher in the classroom. And it's not about taking teachers away from our system. It's about giving back. So if you're feeling super burnt out, if you're if you're done, if you are on the edge of going, I don't know how I can do this anymore. I have this idea. I'd love for us to chat, so please send me a message please send me a DM I literally have Gabby Stroud teacher, advocate author. That was the only person I kind of connected with and, you know, I randomly messaged her on Instagram, but you know, you do what you do. Because community is so important. I've really realised how how important community is. So if you'd like to join a whole big community of educators like you, come and join us, I would love to have 10 teachers do some testing of this programme for me in the new year. I'm not expecting you guys to sign up now and then to start stuff before we actually kick start, you know, Christmas time. But if you would love to build a business of your dreams, using everything that's in your back pocket as an educator, please send me a DM and I cannot wait to support you guys on this new programme. I feel very excited about it because I get to make a bigger impact again on the education space. So a huge thank you for joining me today. You also sent me live over the next couple of weeks as we lead into Christmas. So thank you again guys, and I can't wait to share this amazing.
Thanks for joining The Learning Network, I'd love to hear what connected with you most about today's episode. Take a screenshot and tag me on Instagram and Facebook, @thelearnnet. If you'd like to know more about my courses, MasterClasses, Coaching and Mentoring and Membership, you can DM me over on Facebook or Instagram or head to thelearnnet.com. Don't forget to stay connected by subscribing to Apple Podcasts or Spotify, and if you love today's episode, I would be so honoured if you could please leave me a review. See you again next week. Let's continue to connect, grow and learn together to make a huge impact on the students we teach.
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