I hope that the life lessons I’ve learned since creating a multi-million dollar teacher membership can somehow help you on your online journey as a teacher. Some of them are profound (and took me years to find the answers to, while others seem simple they still took years to develop) and find. Although this isn’t my typical content, it’s one that I have enjoyed thinking through (and remembering) the process.
Before we get into the lessons I learned creating a multi-million dollar membership for teachers, I want to say the most important part of this entire process has been my support system. When things got tough (or when they will get tough again) I am always able to fall back on the people that matter most to me.
My husband is the peacemaker of our family and we truly couldn’t have this business without him. He thinks I am limitless and that is all that matters at the end of the day.
My mom who took the reigns and became our bookkeeper when life got bigger than I ever expected, thank you for teaching me about finances even back when we didn’t use the dryer and watched the meter outside. You are my best friend and I love you.
To Allie – the girl who saw me on my worst day and picked up all the pieces. You are the reason this business is thriving and I know that the CEO Teacher® wouldn’t be where it is today without your guidance, reassurance, tenacity, and kindness.
To Tina, a student turned amazing keyboard queen and master coach – I cannot believe what you have accomplished in such a short amount of time.
To Jen, our young and always on the go graphic designer who likes to think fast and furious like I do!
To Kiara – the customer service lead with a teaching heart to back it, thank you for the sweetest smile and sweet spirit.
And to Sam, the man we didn’t know we needed until you! You keep the podcast rocking and you too embody the goodness and kindness that we look for here at Team CEO Teacher®.
And to the many many more people involved in this process, thank you! To every student who gave me $.01 and said “I trust you.” To every teacher that thought for just a second, they deserved a dream. This is more than I could have ever imagined. Thank God for this life.
And finally, my mother-in-law who is the hero behind the scenes… is always willing and able to grab a kid for cooking lessons in her kitchen or walks around the pond. Although we never speak of it, I know that she is a huge part of this company too, because she steps in to love on my kids when this job demands more hours than I imagined.
But what did we learn in the process? Whew, a lot. We learned a lot! But I want you to know this – unless we are in launch thickness (which is about 4 weeks a year) we live an easy-going, carefree, fun-filled job/life. We have found the potion to put a trance on the workforce. Our team functions like a well-oiled machine: working 4 days a week and getting tons of vacation time.
But it hasn’t always looked like this. In fact, when I first hired a team, I was miserable. I cried nearly every day. When my business skyrocketed, I was the loneliest I had ever been, but as I mentioned before, we had a catastrophic and unprecedented turn of events in 2020 that left Allie and I to figure out this business (and it was at an UGLY point) alone. We could sink or swim and instead, we began to fly.
TpT Seller makes a course called Transform Your Resources and sells it for $397 and makes over 6 figures in a week. I was scared to death and worked 90 hours a week trying to please everyone. Some of those students are still with us today (God bless you all) and some said “this chick is all over the place” and they weren’t wrong. From there we decided to launch The CEO Teacher® Academy which was additional coaching for $99 a month that answered questions outside of TpT because a lot of our students wanted to go beyond that. Then, we decided because someone in the industry told me to charge $1500 for a program that we’d make it a course.
Long long story short, I couldn’t breathe at night taking that much money from a teacher and wanted a more affordable way to give teachers the best business advice in the world at an affordable option and that’s where our 2 memberships came into play.
It was broken, and it was ugly. I wanted to fix it but had employees (at the time) that didn’t want to do the hard work and answer the tough questions and get in the trenches with me so I kept taking action to take baby steps to fix it.
Then Allie said, no – we are going to put on our big girl pants and fix it. If people are mad, it will take a while to get them over the hump but I’m ready if you are.
So over the last 18 months, we took this broken ugly thing and we fixed it. It got rough for a while, I went live once and tried to explain why it was broken – and a crew of my not so much ride or dies decided to start in on me in the comments section on a Facebook live. It wasn’t pretty. I didn’t know what to do or say and felt like a fraud. I could have thrown in the towel then, but instead, Allie said, “ok you aren’t the best live when things get tough. You waiver too much on what you say. You try to please everyone and become a yes woman. You make promises we can’t keep. Let’s do this instead…” and from that day forward I stopped rambling live and started fixing it. And we freakin’ fixed it. Do I still ramble? Yes. Do I make promises I don’t keep anymore? Heck no.
In life, in business, and in faith. If your friends don’t talk you up, find new ones. If you are stuck in a toxic school environment, find a new school. If you are looking for new ways to be better in your faith, find a new church. If you are feeling like life isn’t what you need it to be, look at the people you are hanging around.
When I first heard the saying, I didn’t really know if it carried much weight but as I get older I see it more and more. I even see it in business, when teachers or entrepreneurs depend on each other to create big events or collaborate with certain people – it seems great from the outside but I’ve been on the inside and it’s not pretty. In fact, it’s usually filled with a lot of negativity and that’s when I realized I wanted to have a circle that lifted me up and wanted to be better.
Y’all when I began to trust the process and lean into not only my own gifts but also those of the team, I was blown away. Allowing them to shine in their roles as they help grow the CEO teacher® programs has allowed me to do what I do best. I am a visionary, and that is where I shine. But in trying to control all the pieces I realized that this program wasn’t going to grow and take on a life of its own. Become a teacher movement of sorts. Not until I let those in my inner circle offer and add their value to make this teacher membership the best it could possibly be.
They being everyone else in the world. I like to remind my students (and myself) to keep my eyes on the prize, not the competition!
When working with teachers, you need to have a heart of a teacher. Because they are the first ones to call you out when it gets confusing. Now my mission is to serve educators and help them grow the business of their dreams and the life they have always wanted to live. Is the money nice? Yes. But it isn’t the driving force in my business anymore.
I like to say this idea only stops working if you do. So when things get muddled it's time to go back to the drawing board (or mind-mapping stage, IYKYK) and take action to gain clarity!
2021 was the year of slowing down in the business. Rerecording lessons. Getting clear on offers. Stopping the overwhelm. Listening to our students. And in 2022 the program we are providing is like NONE OTHER!
This is literally the business vision, mission, and number one rule! We live it, breathe it and show it to our students day in and day out!
Like I said before the money is nice. But the relationships? Those are what motivate me and keep me moving forward. Making an impact on the world of education. That’s my purpose in life.
That’s it! You know what you want to do in this life. How you want to treat people. And the influence and impact you want to leave. So do that. Whatever else comes your way, if it isn't a heck yes then politely decline and trust your gut to show you the way.
So now you've read all the good the bad and the ugly, and you still want to create your own teacher membership. And to that my friend I say, go for it! But Kayse, there is so much info out there that it's just all too overwhelming to try and navigate. I'm looking for the TLDR version.
I can honestly tell you now after years of research and development our teacher membership is like no other on the planet for teacher businesses. It's designed for teachers, by teachers. Did I mention the team members are all former educators or still in the classroom? And my husband. The support and rock behind it all? He's a school principal, which means he gets teachers too!
If you want to get started creating your own teacher membership. Whether you are thinking of a support system for high school math teachers. Or maybe a homeschool parent co-op online and everything in between. You can get started by downloading my Teacher's Map of Online Business Secrets here. And get started bringing your ideas to life. I am here to support you making a bigger impact and income than you ever thought possible. Just by leaning into your unique teaching magic and sharing it with the world.
“You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.”
― Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass