It is truly a delightful part of my job that I get to chat about the question of the hour: how do teachers make extra money? So for this conversation I decided to bring in two amazing students from level one inside of the CEO Teacher® programs. We talked about what life looks like as a classroom teacher and side hustler extraordinaire.
Sarah Takacs is from Virginia and has been teaching for about twenty years. The first six years as a third-grade teacher and after that a special aid while she got her master's degree in library science. Then she became an elementary school librarian. Around the time of Covid, she decided to stay home and try tutoring virtually.
And although she loved her flexibility, she was only making half of what she did as a teacher. That’s when she knew she needed a little bit more income to supplement. So she tried her hand at cheating for TPT and weaving her true love of reading and tutoring. That's where we enter her story…
Let’s meet Liz Puma. She is from the green mountain state of Vermont where fall is in its prime season. And she is soaking up all the goodness before the arctic tundra season sets in. Liz is a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher and has since transitioned to the world of educational technology. It was during her time as a consultant for the company she currently works for when she realized instructional designing is really her passion.
Liz was pretty burned out, to be honest, and that was before Covid. She had actually kind of been planning her exit for a few years. But she never had bad feelings about education in general. Her attitude was more like she put in the time to advance to something else. And now to be able to train teachers, she is just so grateful.
The easiest way to get started is to implement something you're already doing and figure out a way to monetize that online. That's our whole purpose here at team CEO Teacher®. Helping teachers get the money that they are worth while allowing them to have the freedom that they want. And the joy they deserve.
The struggles were real for Sarah at the beginning. Basically, the thought process was that she could simply throw up lessons on TPT and they would sell. And that is not the way it works in 2022. She learned that in order to be successful she really needed a mentor and a support group to make it happen.
Liz actually went another way in the beginning, she started her blog first in 2016. While she was in her master's program. The seminar teacher that she was working with said if you want to become a literacy coach so you should write your master's thesis on something related to literacy. At the time she had an epiphany that there really wasn't that much out there online (in blog form). It was all really thick books and intense lessons about curriculum and nothing easy to digest.
So she started her blog to share info with other literacy specialists. Last year she started on Instagram and then realized if she wanted to take her blogging to the next level and actually make some money she needed a plan. Since she really had no idea what she was doing.
This is one of those things where you might not really know what path this is going to take you down. And a lot of people start with TPT because it's a known platform. But starting with a blog and sharing your heart of service is all part of the journey. Let me be clear- you can make money from your blog but it's a slow burn. So adding additional streams of revenue like TPT kickstarts the process.
Sarah knew she knew had the skill set but she just didn't have the path. So she spent time on Google and YouTube looking up random videos and piecing together as much knowledge as she possibly could. She remembers turning to her husband saying she needed to find something that just had it all in one place. And it was like divine intervention because she then saw a video about the CEO Teacher® programs and thought oh my gosh this is exactly what I need. She couldn't believe how much she was getting for the price when she joined. It blew her away with the content inside the program.
Liz says she saw a few posts about the programs and actually didn't jump on it right away. She let one of the launches pass. But she decided to listen to the podcast and kind of see what we were all about. Not even two weeks later she was kicking herself for not signing up. She knew how much she was missing out on. So she did some stalking to make sure that she could enroll in the next launch. Which was exactly a year ago, last fall. Her favorite part is that it’s really at your own pace. Everything is recorded and on-demand and you can do it at your own pace. Which is really great for Liz working a whole other job full time. She has gotten so much clarity about the order of events and how to do it so that it makes the most sense.
Definitely, a mind-blowing moment for Liz was the search engine optimization. And learning the importance of that term. Where to put keywords and how many times to use them. It's really a whole science and a whole language that is taught inside the CEO Teacher® School (level 1). Plus the live coaching calls really help you get your questions answered every week. Even learning what an optin is and how to use connection marketing so you don’t come off as a sleazy salesperson.
The bonus trainings that are in addition to the lessons is invaluable. There's absolutely no place online where you could go and find all of that information in one place. We knew we wanted to just keep adding value over and over and over again. So we have re-recorded lessons and training to keep up with the times, and make it the best business school for teachers! And to have a whole community of people who support you is emotionally and mentally motivating every day. It’s so good to know that there is a purpose behind your ideas. You’re not totally crazy for thinking that this can be successful and really make some serious side hustle money.
We all lift each other up and it's like wow this is a whole entire community of people that work together to better ourselves. Showing up each week to coach has been one of the best parts of this business.
Giving you a vision of what you can actually accomplish helps you consider the dream of being very successful. Having a website and a blog, having an online membership. All those visions for your future that you may not have even known existed. This program is really about giving you the confidence to own the skills you have as a teacher. You've already got all of these skills as a teacher inside of you. You can do this. This world can be a beautiful place full of education and it doesn't have to always be negative. We are put on this earth to make a difference. So why not you?
Liz works full-time in another job too, so it's been a slow burn. But she is noticing growth, especially for the back-to-school season. Which is amazing. This year her focus was email marketing. Really building that side of her business, which has grown 5 times its size since starting the programs. An email list really is the most important part of your business. So I am so excited that Liz’s email list has grown. And she is learning all the things. PLUS, she has three blog posts that are on the first page of Google, ranking for a specific term. This is really a lifelong sustainable business model. And Liz is doing the hard work now so she won't have to do hard work later.
Sarah was a baby beginner at the business aspect when she started. So her original goal was to make $1000 in her first year. And now eight months into year 1, she is just about to hit her goal. So she has begun working on building her email list too. She struggled to understand how to create the optin, and then get it all working together. But she credits the videos in level 1 with helping her see the big picture. Plus all the connection details.
When she first tried her optin it wasn’t hitting the mark. And after a coaching call with Allie from the Team, Sarah got some great advice. She made a new product and started pushing it out to her audience, and got 50 new subscribers to her list in 3 days. She feels like she is on the right track now and says attending the coaching calls are so important.
Getting your niche nailed down, and finding your main thing doesn't always happen overnight. And these ladies are still moving forward and trying new things.
Sarah says in the beginning she might not have been able to log on to live calls, but she would watch the replays. Because someone else would submit a product to be audited. And the coach is there talking through what it should look like. What the description should include. What the thumbnail should look like or the cover. All the nitty-gritty details. And then Sarah could say Oh wait I’m not doing that, or I need to fix that on my own resources. So she never asked for any advice for months. She just came, watched, and soaked it all in. Got all the ideas and then implemented them in her own side hustle.
Liz is someone that likes to see the whole picture and then dive in and take action. So she watched the lessons on building your email list. Then went back and took action on the task or homework for each section. She knows that she might move at a slower pace that way, but she is really digesting and learning. And it works well with her learning style. Sarah says the best part is that it's flexible for everybody's family dynamics. And you can learn in your own unique way. Plus all the videos have subtitles and closed captioning so you can even learn while the sound is off. It really is such a dynamic program. She has never taken a marketing or business class in her life. But after going through the program she can’t imagine any other marketing or business course holding a candle to this membership.
Liz says, set a schedule, and as much as you don't want to hear this because she didn't want to hear it a year ago either. You have to wake up early and get in as many minutes as you can during your downtime each day. Or even put down your phone and stop mindlessly scrolling. Instead put in some intentional time to move the needle forward.
We do teach you how to make systems and templates and processes for your business. So you have already mapped out the two things you need to get done in your 30-minute block. Planning her month has increased her productivity and efficiency. Sarah says making a schedule is really helpful. Nap times or weekends, at the pool in the summer, and in the car during after-school sports practice. Because it's virtual and it's flexible, and the videos are always there, you really have the freedom to find where it fits into your schedule.
When it comes to going all in with the CEO Teacher® programs, Sarah says just do it, you won't regret it the minute you log in. Once you see all the resources that are immediately available to you, you'll know that you've made the right decision. Liz says, absolutely invest in yourself. It's gonna come back twofold and probably even more. Plus all the questions you've had, everything you've been wondering about, the ideas you've always wanted to tackle, the answers are there. Your time is now! And don't wait six months for the next launch, because she doesn't want you to feel six months behind too.
For a very limited time you can get in on all the FREE teacher action and the amazing community that these women talked about! Head to kaysemorris.com/connect and save your spot inside the Total Teacher Transformation! We can't wait to see you on the inside.
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