In today's podcast episode, I chat to you about a few little things I did when I first started my Educator to Entrepreneur journey.
I will chat about how I started, how I dove straight in head first and what I did to make the most of what I had to offer and the skills in my back pocket!
After leaving the classroom, I went from three weeks of sitting on the lounge feeling very down to saying "You know what, I'm not going to be impacted by this, this is going to add fuel to my fire to actually make a bigger impact on education." And now, 2.5 years later, I have made a successful business out of doing just that.
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Hey everyone, and welcome to episode number 42 of The Learning Network Podcast. In today's podcast episode, I chat to you about a few little things that I started with when I first started my educated entrepreneur journey. So if you'd like to hear a bit about how I started, how I dove straight in head, feet, or feet first, I'm not sure. But what I did to really use what was in my back pocket, and to get me going from sitting on the lounge for three weeks to actually going, You know what, I'm not going to be impacted by this, this is going to add fuel to my fire to actually make a bigger impact on education. Now, I didn't want to go back into a school. And to be honest, I was really scared. I think that was really deep down, you know, two and a half years later thinking about it is that's why I didn't even go for another job here on the central coast because I was scared. I was scared of being burnt out again. I was scared of that toxicity and that unhealthy environment that so many of us are still sitting in, in our schools. And it's the people honestly, it's the people. If I could create magic in my classroom if I could, I don't even care about the marketing side of it. Parent Teacher night programming, I love that sort of stuff. All of it. Assessments are love. That's part of teaching. It's the people that really got to me. So in today's podcast episode, you hear a little bit about how I went from really being burnt out but not broken. And I share with you four things that you can consider if you are thinking about starting a side business or dabbling, or if you have already transitioned into your own business, so I can't wait for you to hear a bit about my own journey.
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.
I literally had a pain in my neck and had no idea what I was going to do. I spent the best part of three weeks on my lounge at home trying to work out what I was going to to actually do. So I feel very blessed to be able to share my journey around that. So it has been a little while. And now I've been able to build a business that I absolutely love. I have a very small niche here in New South Wales, Australia about 1200 Teachers teach our course our HSC course, which is like our final exam for, you know, going to university, that type of thing. So I feel very blessed to be able to do what I do. But at that point, back in 2020. We all know what it was like COVID online spaces, I was working at a large senior school on the central coast here in New South Wales. And I was really the head teacher then that position. I was moved from that position for lots of different reasons, mainly political things that happened within schools. I came into the school with all my experience and expertise. And then I was only temporary at the time and a new member was coming back to the school after being overseas. He came into my position after me building our faculty up. And then I pretty much got shafted from that leadership position. I then was doing some instructional leadership stuff with our school. So getting a formative assessment up and running a quality teaching framework. If you're a New South Wales would know what that looks like. Here in Australia, we have that framework in New South Wales to do some checks and stuff and give teachers feedback on what they're teaching.
So I was running that at school I was running out professional learning in was another guy. And then we went online. And you know, you guys know what it was like when we were online. No matter where we were where you are from all across the globe. It was an absolute crazy time. I know some of you have retired and didn't get to experience that but trust me it was probably the worst To experience as an educator, because there was so much happening, you know, if you had family, at home, young kids trying to juggle your load at home, and then have your children, you know, at home as well trying to teach them was a bit of a struggle. And for me, I had five, five HSC classes. So I was trying to help support, you know, five, five classes to then moving into getting prepared for the HSC, all that sort of stuff, I had three year live in three tutorials. So it was really crazy. But then I was also supporting our faculty to build that up, to help them with the classes and then to help the whole school get online.
So part of my role, kind of self self appointed myself in this role, I'm not sure about you. And if you've done this before, let me know because I think sometimes educators we do put our hands up for things that we probably shouldn't put our hands up for, because our buckets full anyway. And when it starts to, you know, spill over the sides, and we start to kind of find that we're not keeping up with everything, the demands of you know, family life and home and our leaders and our classes, our you know, our own children, and then every other responsibility on top of that, it does put a lot of pressure on us. So for me, it was I was I had five HSC classes, I had the faculty to help, I also had our school to help with professional learning. And then I decided to help our school get us online during COVID. So I was scraping together every professional learning opportunity for them. I was, you know, do DIY and stuff, I was helping them one on one in my class, you know, on zoom on the phone. It was madness, absolute madness. And I know that many of you guys who have joined us in this new community as an educated entrepreneur that you may be experiencing, that you may have experienced the same thing.
That was very stressful at that time. So that was what was happening, obviously COVID happen. And then we kind of went back to school in about May 2020. And coming back to school, I felt like I didn't have a break, obviously, because COVID was quite crazy with our own children at home, trying to teach them they were in the four in kindergarten, at the time. Got it feels like forever ago, are you one maybe anyway, so helping helping our girls at home and also having this HSC classes, the faculty, the school, it was no wonder that when I went back to school, I was feeling the pinch literally in the form of in my neck, a little pinch my neck. The colleagues that I was working with weren't very supportive of me either. I was very giving of my time. And you know, if you're an educator, we are the givers aren't my wave, we work really hard to support people to I don't know, to give our love of education. So that was happening for me. And yeah, the support, I really wasn't receiving much support from my school leadership, obviously from from from the top. Some of the deputies were amazing. But the leaders that I had, at the time, weren't supportive.
So I was working in a really toxic faculty who really undermined everything I did was was throwing me under the bus. So I would, you know, I would try to implement things within the faculty within our school. And then I was, you know, having comments like, I just don't feel supported by you anymore. And I was like, Well, okay, I'm not the head teacher anymore. That position has been taken away from me. So what can I do to support you? I'm very limited in my support. So that was a bit of a crazy time during COVID. And it probably did also, you know, it wasn't just one thing, I know that if you have left the classroom, or if you're thinking of dabbling into your own business, there's just something inside of you that goes, I just want to make a bigger impact, or I just want to get that time and that flexibility, that freedom back a little bit. To support yourself, you know, your time, your energy and your well being. So when that was happening for me during COVID, and when when we came back from COVID.
In May, I was like, I don't know if I can keep doing this anymore. And I did I did for quite a few weeks. People were still throwing me under the bus and undermining what I was doing. And then it all came to a head during a few things that are our schools trying to implement. And I think that's part of the issue of why teachers feel so burnt out. Because there are so many things that are outside of our control that that are you know, being forced on us and look, you know, we have to follow the system like if you're no matter where you are, if you're in Australia, if you're in New Zealand, if you're in UK, if you're in America, if you're in you know Asia, wherever you are in across the globe, you have to you know, there are systems there are rules that you have to go with. Within your teaching. You have to do that but I think When there are things that are implemented, especially from the top, when there's no real reason for it, or no real purpose for it, of course, educators are going to become burnt out. And I think that's, again part of the issue. You know, conversations I've had with someone like Gabby Stroud, here in Australia, he's around that demoralisation and having things implemented in our schools that don't really need to happen. Or in that way, it's, yeah, it becomes really difficult.
So anyway, that's kind of a bit of a backstory to that. But after COVID, it was pretty crazy. And I was coming home really stress crying, because of the pressure I was feeling within myself, but also the pressure that I was feeling from my leader from my, my, from my boss, but also the people I was working with. So I don't know, I don't know, if I think I spent, you know, a lot of time wondering what I was going to do. And I didn't know I didn't have a plan of attack. And if you are feeling like this, in your school, I'd really recommend you reach out to someone, get some support, get some help, and have a chat to someone who is there to help you. Because it's really important that you do have your say, and you do express how you feel, if you are feeling like that, because it's not fair for you to feel like that anymore. Anyway, so for me, it was a matter of, I went on sick leave for three and a half weeks, and I had no idea what I was going to do. I sat in our lounge and probably cried my eyes out for about three weeks, I literally had no idea. And at that point, I had no intention of going back to school. I love teaching, I'm a really good teacher, I love education, no Now obviously, have used my expertise to build a business with you know, my experience. But back then I literally had no idea I thought maybe I could do something couldn't teach well, being really timely, of course, you know, during COVID supporting people, as we came back in July, but it kind of came towards the end of about week six or seven, I thought I can't keep doing this.
So I had to go on sick leave. And yeah, I didn't know what I was gonna do.But in that time, it provided me a lot of clarity of what I wanted to do next. And I always kind of had these big dreams of, you know, starting my own professional learning business in supporting teachers in our space here in New South Wales, Australia. And so I use that to then go, Okay, well, if not teacher well being I can use something that's literally in my back pocket, literally in my back pocket to support teachers, using my expertise. So obviously, you know, as an educator, I went to school, I went to uni, I then you know, did education, I was a Teach for 1616 years, of course, I was going to use something in education, and look, all of our skills can be transferred to other industries. There is no doubt about that I know many of us can transfer our skills. And there are so many things that are up our sleeve. So many things that we're you know, we're so good at that it does transfer to lots of other occupations and industries.
But for me, it was like, Well, I have this thing that's in my back pocket. I'm the author of two textbooks I present across New South Wales, our you know, our home state on on my area, I would go to person in that anyway, why not use what's in my back pocket. So that's literally what I did, I use my area of expertise to actually then move into professional learning business. Fast Track two and a half years, I now have a number of different arms of my business. So I have my online courses, which is what where I started with. And if you are thinking about starting somewhere, look online courses, low cost offers, like PDFs, sharing resources, physical products, it can look different things, whatever your area of expertise is, is really important for you to consider. So for me, it now does look very different to what it started with. And I probably won't going to go into that today, because there are lots of different parts of that. But what I'd really love to share with you this afternoon is a few things around what you can do if you are either daydreaming and I know many of you are daydreaming about this. And you've reached out to me and said, What if kill, like what if it looked like this? What if I use my skills to make a bigger impact. And for me, it was about that I could have got a job on the coast here in New South Wales.
I could have used my expertise with another school, but I was doing a bit of self protection, to be honest, because I didn't want to go back into an environment of toxicity and burnout. But I wanted to rise above that. I wanted to make a bigger impact on education using my skills and my expertise. So I'd love to share with you four main ideas around what you can do to start to think about this. If you're dabbling. If you've already you know, maybe you're working a couple of days a week. You're you're you know you've got to you've got you know, foot ceiling teaching but also you want to make a bigger impact. You've started something You know, maybe a business or in America, they kind of call it a side hustle. Here in Australia if you know as a side business or something to supplemental income as a as a teacher, or to have a balance back, so you could be in that stage, you could also be in that transition stage where you, you know that you want to leave, or you have actually completely transitioned out of the space. So I'm gonna share with you four ideas.
The first one is to think about shine bright. So what is something that absolutely lights you up what you absolutely love doing in the space of education? For me, it was teaching community family studies, I absolutely love that course. We teach well being and advocacy and lots of life skills for our kids. So for me, it was that it was like, Okay, this lights me up so much. I love this part of my job. Yeah, I've been a 7 - 12 PDHPE teacher here in New South Wales for 16 years. But this particular course, I love it, I'm obsessed I'm very passionate about so it was kind of going with that. So the first thing I'd love for you to do is have a think about what lights you up, what is something that actually lights you up in education.
The second thing is to think about what skills are in your back pocket already. So what's in your back pocket already, that you could use as a way to make a bigger impact on education. So it seems that in your back pocket, you're already an expert, and you don't have to reinvent the wheel and have to start from scratch. Like, for me, if it was for me, if I went from going to be an expert in in community family studies, to possibly, you know, running the local cafe or running a sports centre, maybe that might be a little bit more aligned. But it has to be something very similar to the skill set that you guys have. So that's the back pocket. Okay, what skills are in your back pocket.
The next thing I'd love for you to think about is nailing your niche. So your niche, again, a bit of an American kind of concept, your niche is your target market, or your ideal customer? So maybe like your ideal education customer, I see. I want you to think about who and what is my target market? So for you guys, who is your target market? And what is it so for me, it was Year 11 and 12 Community and Family Studies teachers here in New South Wales, that was my niche, and still is my niche, until now actually moving into this space of supporting educators to entrepreneurs.
The last one is think about your cheer squad, think about who is going to support you on this journey. And I feel very blessed that I have my husband support the whole way through. He, you know, Daniel is very supportive of whatever I was doing. And he always is very supportive of that. But, you know, he said to me, leave, after, you know, after getting shingles the first time because I got shingles during during that time, I, you know, I should have listened to him years ago, but I stayed there for two and a half years, and that in that type of frame, and I should have really listened to him. So he was a very big supporter of me, but also other people in education. So people that you can rely on people that you can bounce ideas around with. For me, back then when I when I did first leave, I didn't have a very big cheer squad. I had my husband, I had family, but I pretty much had maybe one or two educators who had done or we're doing something similar. So for me, I would love for you guys, once you know, we kind of get to know each other and you get to be part of the community building now is for you to feel like there are a whole heap of other group of educators who are in the same space who are your cheer squad who are going to be able to listen to bounce ideas around with share your highs and your lows of this journey. So think about at the moment who is in your cheer squad that can support you making this move. It's really bold move to either continue dabbling in your business to transition, or to actually get something off the ground to go from daydreaming about it to actually making it happen and dreaming it.
So let's quickly recap the four main things I'd love for you to consider as you go from being really burnt out but not broken. So the first thing is to shine bright. So what absolutely lights you up about education, what's in your back pocket? What skills are in your back pocket that you can use straight away. And it won't be like a it'll be like a nice smooth transition and what what are you interested in now your niche so well who and what is your target market? What are you going who are going to serve essentially, and your cheer squad? Think about your cheer squad and who can you go to for extra support. Now, if you if this sounds amazing, and this framework sounds really good. And you'd like more of this. If you haven't seen already. I have started a brand new community of educators to entrepreneurs, and I have a membership starting next year. So you I'd love 10 educators to dive in. For this term. If you dive in before the end of the year, you get access to a free one on one clarity coaching session with me to kind of, you know, really clarify what you're going to do. And maybe you're stuck in that an area, an area of your business already, or if you've got something off the ground, and you're like, kill, I'm not making any money from it, I'm actually losing money on this, can you can you give me some sort of clarity.
So the membership is for 12 months, six month minimum contract, obviously. And then, you know, it is about the community bringing us together from educators to entrepreneurs, who don't want to feel like they're on an island who want that community that they want that support that ongoing support. And that's just the community part of it. But then to have some strategies and business ideas, some clarity, I literally opened my, my doors to what it really looks like to run an educated education business. And I feel very blessed to be able to do what I'd get to do to have the freedom to have the flexibility, both financially and physically, you know, freedom to be able to have this amazing business inside what I've been able to build. So obviously, some of you guys have your dream, you've actually dreamt about it, maybe some of you have started to actually create that dream actually get that momentum happening. And some of you may be in the building stage. So inside community is about really working out where you are, and where you want to take this, whether you want to still double and still work in the classroom or in education, or if you want to, to go big and to make it you know, a really big impact on education in a different sense. So please reach out to me, if you would like to, you know, if you have any questions about the programme about how it works about the membership, and what it's gonna look like, I'm gonna put some, some links in very soon, but you can head over to learn that.com forward slash membership to check it out. And like I said, if if we have the first 10 educators who join this map or this before the end of the month will get access to that one on one clarity coaching session. So, again, thank you so much. Love to hear what you're working on, and how I can support you to get where you are to where you want to be. Okay, thanks team.
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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