In this episode of The Learning Network's Community & Family Studies Podcast, we're talking about how you can have the freedom and flexibility, both in the life that you create for yourself and inside your own business!

No matter where you're at in life, what your life looks like or where it's going, you have to create that magic by working out what's going to work for you, your family, your happiness and your wellbeing!

Throughout the episode I share my journey into entrepreneurship as an educator. I chat about how I started and the challenges that I face, but also the freedom and flexibility that I now have inside my business.

Ready to dive right in to your business? Check out Educator to Entrepreneur Membership below to see how I can use my expertise to help guide and support you!


Show Notes 

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The Learning Network

Since 2004 I have been teaching PDHPE and Community & Family Studies. I love learning. It lights me up. I am so passionate about supporting you to be the best educator you can be.

My Purpose
To grow a lively and connected community, where Community & Family Studies teachers can network, learn and share with each other.

My Mission
To build on the knowledge, understanding and skills of Community & Family Studies teachers to set their students up for success with confidence.



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Show Transcription


Episode intro:

Huge Welcome back to the Learning Network Podcast is episode number 43. And we're talking about how you can have the freedom and flexibility. And look, this conversation is really important around having the freedom and flexibility inside your own business and also inside the life that you create for yourself, it doesn't matter what it looks like, and what it's going to be, you have to create that magic and you have to work out what's going to work for you what's going to work for your family, what's going to work for your happiness, your well being, all those sorts of things. So I'm sharing my journey into entrepreneurship as an educator and and how I started and the challenges that I face, but also now the freedom and flexibility that I do have inside my business. And you'll love the conversation I have with you. Also the analogy Daniel shared with me today about you know, some people don't start at the deep end, they don't start, you know, doing an ocean swim, they start out dipping their toe in the water in the shallow end, and then they kind of you know, move up to the next level and then move up to doing a 50 metre swim moving up to you know, doing all sorts of things. So I love that analogy for educators, if you want to dip your toe in and test it out, and maybe have something happening while you're still in the classroom. Or if you're doubling, or you're transitioning out of the classroom, and you know that you want the flexibility and freedom that having your own business affords. Then this podcast episode will unpack what I've done for me for myself and my family. But also, you know, it's not all it looks on the outside really good. But sometimes there are lots of challenges, but that's what life is and it makes us more resilient and also pushes us and pushes our boundaries. So enjoy this one guys.

Podcast Intro:

Hey, I'm Kelly Bell. Welcome to the Learning Network Podcast. I'm dedicated to helping Community and Family Studies teachers like you, both newbies and experienced, through best practice to improve knowledge, increase empowerment and alleviate stress. To help you and your students make meaningful connections across the course, I will share strategic and purposeful application from my 16 years experience in the classroom that I adopted to increased student motivation, enjoyment, engagement and results. Early on, it was just me the syllabus and a textbook, I had no idea what I was doing, trust me. Fast forward to now, I support thousands of Community and Family Studies teachers and students inside The Learning Network through my membership, coaching and mentoring, online courses and masterclasses. My dream to help Community and Family Studies teachers full time has become a reality. Together, we'll grow and transform your Community and Family Studies crew to the next level without impacting your sleep and more being in the process. If you are ready to take your Community and Family Studies crew to the next level, you're in the right place. To join my free "How to Improve Writing and Fast Track Results" webinar head to ready to get started. The Learning Network Podcast is your shortcut to simplify strategies to set your Community and Family Studies students up for success. So jump in, get inspired and let's connect, learn and grow together.


Hey, hey, huge welcome to another podcast episode I can't wait to share with you today about the freedom and flexibility I now have now this is me two and a half years down the track. So if you haven't followed my story before, I left the classroom in July of 2020. So it was probably about around week six, I went on stress leave for three weeks. And like I've mentioned, I had no idea what I was going to do. I didn't want to go back into the classroom, I could have probably not I'm not going to be known myself. But I could have chosen a fair few schools on the coast to kind of go okay, here's me. I'm ready to do some work. But I was I think I was still protecting myself, if that makes sense. Anyway, so when I did leave the classroom, at first, I had no idea like I said, but two and a half years later, I feel so blessed to have what I have. And you know, a lot of you probably see on the outside, you know, you see maybe a polished photo that you see on Instagram or you see a reel or you see an email from me that's you know, taken me 45 minutes to write or to put together with my brand colours, all that sort of stuff, but you don't see what happens in the background. You don't see behind the curtains, or behind the scenes. And look, I'm not that sort of person to take a photo of every single thing that happens to me, I would have never taken a photo of me on the lounge crying like that's not I'm not going to do that. I didn't take a photo of myself, you know, or on a call with Gabby Stroud you know me randomly reaching out to her, you know, I have a lot of respect for her. I read both of her books, and I knew her story. I thought I'm gonna reach out to her and I didn't think she would reply honestly. I classify Gab as like a teacher celebrity. But now that we've connected you know, I did reach out to her, you know, there was no photos of that, there was no photos of me working till all hours of the evening on my business or spending months on my website and and having no bloody idea what I was doing. and spending so much money and time on things in the background, you guys get to see the polished product, you get to see the final cut, I suppose.

So today I'm going to share with you the highs and the lows of transitioning out of the classroom. But also the freedom and flexibility I now do have. So remember, I'm going to talk to you about what I now have. But at first, I didn't have that I was working really hard. Not all hours of the night, I'm going to be really honest with you. I didn't spend, you know, till midnight every night, again, a self protection strategy. I haven't worked like that. I reckon in the last two and a half years I've done to midnight shifts to big night. But before I left the classroom, I was doing that every single night, getting five hours of sleep every night, backing up and running the next day, going to the gym, and trying to do it all. That's why I became burnt out. So if you're in that position, if you're going to bed, anywhere between 12 and one in the morning, it is not. It's not fair in your body, it's not fair on your system, your immunity is going to drop. And that's what happened to me my first year here on the central coast. So 2018, I've got shingles. If you haven't heard that part of it, I did get shingles before I left. In my first year, in a leadership position, I was doing too many things. I had three leadership positions in New South Wales. I also was relieving head teacher of wellbeing in PDHPE, new faculty, new school, new area, new house, our dog died, it was all happening. You know, really crazy. But anyway, when I did get sick again, in the June, I knew that I was about to get shingles. And I did a lot of self protection to prevent that from happening. I went on stress leave. on mental health leave, no one knew that. That's why I was on leave, I was on leave for three weeks. And I literally felt the pinch in my neck, I knew that if I kept going how I was going, I was going to end up having shingles again. And if not something worse than that, because I could just feel it in my body, I could feel it in my neck, I could feel it everywhere. And look, you know, I know that this time of us.

For some of us, it's December 7, this recording, some of us are feeling the pinch, literally. And I did I felt the pinch. You don't have to keep doing this, you don't have to keep working in a school that you're not happy in. You don't have to keep working in a system that doesn't support you. However, you can get support. And for me, it was kind of too little too late kind of thing. I didn't get the support I needed I should have had support, I should have stopped stood up for myself, I should have advocated for myself, I should have put lots of strategies in place to protect myself. I'm a sort of put person and you probably say this by now it lots of things I've done. I put every single, you know, part of myself into that. So I did that in teaching and I wasn't getting the support that I needed from my from my leaders. And I wasn't also getting the support from my faculty. And they absolutely they burnt me. And it was so toxic being in that environment that I had to get out. I had to save myself from getting sick. And having, you know, obviously, worse things happening to me.

Anyway, so, you know, when I did leave I like I said I didn't want to go back into a classroom. So I was scared. Like, I'm going to really honest, I was scared of that happening again. So I thought well, what what is something that's going to give me the freedom flexibility that I craved? When I came into teaching, I started teaching 2004. So a really long time ago, early 2000s I loved being a teacher and I still classify myself and teacher, once a teacher always a teacher. But I do miss the classroom a lot. I do miss the kids that energy like this time of year Christmas. Kids are excited. Even big kids like I taught seniors for for ages. You know, I've had two senior classes for most of my career. And then you know what did a senior school for two and a half years. So, look, everyone loves Christmas? Actually not everyone, some people don't. But most people like Christmas. So I do miss that kind of that sort of thing in the community and all those events like Duke of Edinburgh and you know, camps, dancers, discos, all those sorts of things. But I don't miss the people.

To be honest, I don't miss being in that toxic environment. I don't miss the competitiveness of HSC. Like, I know that I teach Community and Family Studies teachers about this but I don't miss that. Working in a faculty. Now I get to have the freedom and flexibility that I always craved when I did start teaching to be able to be more present with my family to be able to, you know go to the kids school things like I think this year. And I'm lucky I suppose we're lucky that the girls are quite sporty that I reckon it's probably about 12 days till Friday is mainly that I've been able to to go to their sporting event, so Luke's had her carnival last week. We've done footsore we've done. What else we've done lots of different athletics, things cross country zone, like it's been amazing to have that flexibility now. And, you know, I know when I was in the classroom, I literally hightailed across the Central Coast for 20 minutes to watch cast and a nipple gala day, because my principal wouldn't give me the time off to actually spend the whole day there. Now I get to have that, I also get to support my Community and Family Studies teachers across New South Wales.

And, look, it's really important that you look at where you are. And you don't have to be stuck in that you don't have to keep doing what you're doing, you do have the flexibility you do have, you know, the opportunity to try new things. And if you're in a position that you you can't leave the classroom financially, I do get that completely. Not all of us have the flexibility to do that, or the guts to do that, I suppose. But you can start in lots of different places, you can possibly put some PDFs together, get a PayPal account, and share it in, you know, on your personal Facebook Facebook account. That could be the first step, just literally share with teachers that you know, okay, here's a resource that I've created, or here's some stickers I've I've made, or here's a really cool activity pack I've created or his, you know, a checklist, something like that. Put it on your own Facebook account, you know, get a PayPal account, people can pay into that PayPal account. They're free things that you can do, you don't need any money for that. You can say own Facebook group. You know, when I first started, I had a Facebook page and I didn't have a Facebook group. But I soon realised the power of having a Facebook group and being able to serve my community.

I really love this Australian guy. He His name is Colin Boyd. If you're dabbling or transitioning out of the classroom, go and listen to his stuff. He's got an amazing programme called sell from stage Academy. And something he teaches inside that programme. And I've done all the programmes seriously. So many, so many different things over the over the last two and a half years. He talks about selling being serving. So speaking of selling, so speaking about your programme is selling that offer but also, you know, it's about serving, you know, selling is serving, it's actually serving someone and you're changing, you're exchanging time for money, or money for time, whichever way you kind of put it so someone buying the resources is your saving them between 10 to 12 hours of time. Now if I look back to my Community and Family Studies resources that I've created inside the learning network, for my community, family studies, teachers, each of those resources would have taken a teacher between 12 and 15 hours of work, maybe even more than that, writing it creating it, putting it together, finding images, finding links, testing, the links work, making sure this the sources are reputable. bringing that together thinking about high order thinking thinking about, you know, lots of choice within there. The works. So saving teachers between 12 and 15 hours, they pay $47 for my resource, I then, you know, sell them that resource, they get a digital copy of it, I don't have a printed version, I'm going not going to waste trees like that, they get a digital version of it, they can download and they can save and use forever. Like they can use it until the syllabus changes. And obviously they have to check links are gonna work and all that sort of thing. But they're paying me $47 To save them 15 to 20 hours of work. Now I'm not sure about you. But time is so precious. And having that time back is something that's really, really important. And I think for me, this is like a business thing that my resources have been really well received, both financially. And the thanks that I get for those resources is because it saving my teachers time, that resource doesn't cost me a whole heap of money at all. It cost me some time to put it together and Emerson, who's my awesome Social Media Marketing girl, she does put some of them together. I write them of course and she makes them look really pretty in in Canva, in our in our graphic design software, so you need to think about that, that whatever you're bringing out to the world is going to save your educators, your teachers, your community so much time.

So if you're at the beginning stages, you can dabble you can share some things in a Facebook group. You can set set, share some things on Instagram, and then people are going to buy that resource. You know if you know Teachers Pay Teachers it's a great resource for teachers or website for teachers all across the globe to purchase resources on there for real affordable price. Now there are women and men making 1000s of dollars a month 10s of 1000s of dollars a month on Teachers Pay Teachers from these resources. But we all start somewhere. And the conversation I was just having with Daniel and I actually tried to convince him to come onto my podcast to talk about the freedom and flexibility that I do have. But he I don't know, said Babe, it's just a conversation, we just sit here and talk and there's a microphone that just so happens to be there. But he was having this analogy that, you know, when when you first start out, you're not gonna be, you know, thrown into the ocean, do you know, an ocean swim, you're going to start in the shallow end, you're going to start the beginning and you're going to, you know, move up to the, you know, start at dog paddling, then go into freestyle, and then you know, going a bit further, it's not, you know, when you first start out, it's not going to be, you're not going to be where you're where I am now. It takes hard work, it takes someone to show you and to coach you all the way through.

And look for me, I think I've shared this again, for 18 months, or No, maybe not 12 months of my journey, I didn't have anyone to show me the way. I did have Dan Jackson. So thank you, Dan, if you if you ever listen to this, to show me the way but he was busy, you know, he was doing his own thing as well. So having a business coach, for me, a coach and mentor to show me the way has been the best thing I've ever done for my business. And you know, I can openly say that, you know, my revenue has doubled as a result of being with my business coach for 12 months. So everyone starts somewhere, though, like when I first started, I had no idea I didn't know, I had to start a website from scratch. I bought a WordPress website. So it's like $300, I think, to get your own domain name or that sort of stuff. And WordPress I had that. I was DIY in it, it looked like crap. It wasn't working it. But when I first started, I had my very first programme programme on there. So my strategic approach to that IRP course, and I had 150, teachers sign up, and it blew me away, I thought, holy hill, what have I uncovered that my teachers want and need, it's a need. So when when you're thinking about your business, or you're thinking about dabbling, or thinking about, you know, whether it's going to be for you to either make that move, and make that transition, or just start somewhere with some resources, or a PDF or a tangible physical product that you're making at home, maybe you have to start somewhere and you have to test it out. And something I do share with educated to entrepreneur inside my membership inside my new business 101 course, it is about sending it out to the world and seeing what happens.

So I initially started out with having a three part webinar. So three webinars back to back. I think it might have been in week like maybe 678 of term three. The first one was about connections across the core. So your living tool. The next one was about I think writing like Glossary of key words. You know, if you've, if you're a Community and Family Studies teacher, you've heard me bang on about that. And then the cognitive words cognitive verbs, if you driving questions kind of thing if you're in other parts of Australia and the world. And then I the last thing was really launching what I thought was going to be my, my signature product or my first offer. And I did launch date. And the last webinar launched it, I'm gonna say inverted commas. I did no seeding I did no real selling, I just said, I've got this programme that I'd really love for you guys to start, you know, I can help you do this, this and this. So in one hour, I showed them what a better way. And as a result of that, I then launched my first course my first online course self paced course, I hadn't written it yet. So it was selling something that I hadn't written, which I would not suggest for you to do that. If you're starting out, have something ready, because you're then chasing your tail the whole time. So I had this course I sold it. I had 150 Teachers buy it, I had an early bird offer of like 159 then I jumped really far. And when 159 to 189, that was my very first pricing. And I thought God, that's expensive. Like that's so expensive. Now that same offer is $397. Because I know the value of it. I know how, how much time and energy, it's going to save my teachers.

So everyone literally start somewhere but you have to send stuff out to the world. So that's where I first started but now you know I get to I have multiple self paced courses that is going to save my my teachers time, energy and well being. I have my membership with over 95 Community and Family Studies teachers here in New South Wales, and that's about 10% of our teachers. So that's a fair chunk of teachers across New South Wales who said, I want to be part of something bigger. I want to be part of a community that's going to support me and having a coach and mentor to show me the way and that's my job as a coach and mentor to have my mentees working away and showing them a better way a smarter way to do things. So, again, if you're an educator who is thinking about dabbling, and test it, putting it your big toe in the shallow end and having a bit of a test, you can see what happens you can join us in educated to entrepreneur membership, you can take my business one on one course to start testing the waters and to see what magic that you can create inside your own business. So you get the freedom and flexibility that you can choose to go to the kids carnivals or go into, go to kids masses go and do reading groups go and volunteer at the preschool, go and just have some time to yourself. Go and you know, spend time with your family and your husband and your partner.

You know, for Daniel and I, we've said this year and we haven't kept to this. So I want to get back on track is for us to have Friday's off together. It doesn't mean that we're going to spend every five seconds together. But we say we're going to have lunch and maybe go for a swim together on a Friday. Because you know if you haven't, if you haven't seen where I live, we live in the most amazing place in the Central Coast here at killcare. We're surrounded by the Bush, the bay and the beach. It's at our doorstep, we feel very blessed by that we don't take it for granted at all. We lived in Sydney, Australia prior to moving up here. And you know, Western Sydney was busy. We're on them backing on to the MS seven if you know that part of Western Sydney. And it was crazy. We now have the freedom and flexibility to be up here. Because we choose to be here. But yeah, Daniel and I've said we're going to have Friday's off, go for a swim or have lunch at least. And then he might have a job in the morning or I might have a few little things that I need to do or go the kids school stuff. You know, because we get to we get still get to do that. We're working smarter. We're having systems in place to actually help us with that and look. Daniel's a plumber. I'm not sure if I've shared that with you guys before. But Daniel is a plumber. And he has his own business as well. He's been doing that for about 12 years. I think he started when Community and Family Studies was a newborn because again, he wanted the freedom and flexibility. He didn't want to work for someone, again. So he's worked for himself for the last 15 or 12 years, sorry. And look, we get to choose it. It's like you're not stuck, you don't have to be stuck, you could work you could drop down to two days a week, or three days a week. And then test the waters literally test the waters, put your big toe in and test the waters of what it could really be to have the freedom, flexibility and also financial freedom to actually live the most amazing life because we all have choice in the world.

You don't have to keep staying where you are. But if you've been thinking about doing something, or making the move or taking the plunge, now is the time if you have any questions at all about what I do, how it works, and I'm gonna be honest, it's not all bells and whistles. It's not all you know rosy all the time. It is hard work. There are times where I you know, have to get up earlier to finish off a newsletter or if I haven't sent something out. But you know what, a lot of it. If it doesn't happen, the world's not going to end. Same for you guys in school, still, the world's not going to end if you don't get your programme in on time. The world's not going to end if you don't respond to those 10 emails before you go to bed. The world's not going to end. If you don't call that parent back straightaway. There is time you can have that time take the time to you know just to step back and go okay, I need to not make all these things urgent. Anyway, I hope that you have taken some things away from this podcast episode if you have any questions about my business, how I went from being a teacher HSC teacher, I loved the classroom I thrived in the classroom I am a good teacher was a good teacher you know, presenter across New South Wales having two textbooks under my belt you know, there are things that people say on the outside but in the classroom, I love to but I get to but I got to do and I still do miss that I still do miss that magic that happens in the classroom, those connections. I can feel myself getting emotional for some reason. But those young people that we get to educate or even older people that we get to educate is pretty awesome.

So if you'd like to pick my brain about maybe an idea that you have bubbling away or if you're just want to chat to me about how you're feeling at this at this point of time, or you have any questions please reach out and head over to Kelly Bell dot coach on Instagram is my favourite place to be so not being the world but being social media so send me a DM over their Facebook message or send me an email and I would love to chat now if you're listening to this live December 7 2022. I am launching a brand new arm of my business so which is pretty exciting. Adding for me because I've been having lots of conversations, lots of questions about what I'm doing and how I got to where I am. I'm not a millionaire, like, hello, I'm still working. I haven't retired yet. But I had the freedom flexibility to do what I absolutely love. So if you would like to join us in our membership educator entrepreneur is for for teachers who have already dabbled, who are transitioning or transitioned out of the classroom. It's not for business startups.

So if you're starting fresh in the beginning, you probably would love to join educated to business 101. I'm a bit of a business one on one course the basics of what you can do to get started, that's where I'd probably send you is 197. To, to test drive that to see what it's like, because I'd love for your feedback. So if that's something that you would like to be part of, you can pop on my website, the Learn forward slash business 101 Is the the link. But if you've dabbled and you're like, okay, cool, you've given me some motivation, you've given me some spark, or if you're transitioning out of the classroom, and you're doing this maybe a couple of days a week, or you know, next year might be taking the year off to actually give this a red hot go, you will absolutely love the membership. Six months, at least with me, six months contract, having the most amazing community, saving you a crapload of money, don't make the mistakes I did making spending 1000s of 1000s of dollars, I can 16 to 20 grand in courses, using all of my profit to become better, like as you do, but I'm having a membership to get someone to get me on tap to answer any of your questions about your business or about what you can do about your ideas, but also having the community so if you would like to be something to help us think like that, you can head over to learn forward slash membership is where you sign up.

And if you test drive my membership between now and the end of the year, so And before January. If you want to jump into that the first 10 teachers to jump in or firsthand educators to jump in. You guys will also get a 30 minute clarity coaching session with me before the end of the year. So if that's something that you're keen to be part of, or if you know someone who has left the classroom, you start their own business or if you've dabbling or if you've transitioned or transitioning, please let me know. But if you are an educator who is still in the classroom, and you love what you what you get to do, then or if you're not feeling the support, you need to get some help and have a chat to someone at school. Because I don't want you to be a statistic. I always say that I don't want you to be a statistic. So anyway, guys, I hope today's episode gave you some insight into my business and my freedom I have the flexibility I have but also the magic that I get to create. Have a great day.




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 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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This land was and always will be the land of the First Nations People.