Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My World is a 24 Hour University!

How can you cross the divide from a teacher-oriented career into a more business oriented focus with education as a background?  See, I know my product. I know who it is for and I know why it is needed.  However, as someone who spends more time teaching reading, writing and arithmetic I don't normally come into contact with SEO managers, Quality Control experts, or Marketing Gurus.  If I have time during the day to get online, it's usually during my lunch break or morning recess. Since people know that I'm a teacher, they even ask me what am I doing online if I am on there during the day. But I have a business to run so tweeting, uploading, and commenting on videos gets done from 11:30AM-12PM. (Don't pay attention to the facebook timeline, it's way off.)

The fact that people can spend a lot of time on their side hustle while they are at work is impressive. This became very clear to me when I volunteered to write articles for an up and coming online magazine here in Tokyo. I wanted to participate and add valuable content and get my writing chops up to speed. However, when I came home every night there were at least 20 messages in my inbox concerning SEO, article content, etc.  I was completely overwhelmed.  When I scrolled through the emails I could see that the members of the magazine were answering one another almost simultaneously.  I was the only one with a good 5 to 6 hour delay between my responses.  The content of their emails was very informative. However, I couldn't keep up.

Transitioning from teacher mode to business tycoon (yeah, a bit presumptuous, but so what!) has been daunting. Here are some ways that I try and stay motivated:

 1) Read on the train. I used to ride my bike to work, that was 45 minutes both ways, but I lost time.  I needed time to read up on SEO, creating systems, and building a brand.
2) Break off all friendships at work. Be courteous, polite, but keep to yourself. You don't have time to keep chitchatting about why they won't put a water cooler in the teachers lounge.  If someone doesn't get the point, use a scalpel! Don't get bogged down in office gossip! If you do choose to talk to your co-workers longer than 15 minutes make sure it's worth it.
3) Listen to webinars, motivation tapes, videos when you are doing something else. If you ask me what is on my iPod you will find Business at Oxford, Help My Business Sucks, Ted Talks and of course some great education sites. I would recommend Edutopia as a great resource! You won't find any music! I can listen to music when I go out. My world is a 24 hour university! Thanks to the internet it is possible!
4) Networking Groups - I have to say Pink Cow Connections has given me a great value for a small price. I learned how to use storytelling to sell. In my classroom I use storytelling to teach a strategy, now I learned how to turn it into a tool for selling. Maybe that is an obvious connection for most of you, but for me it wasn't.  I learned about some great selling strategies, marketing ideas, and even fitness tips from Chikara Fitness.  I would be remiss if I didn't mention my favorite group of real estate investors The Sequoia Entrepreneur Group.  I have been able to meet people who are willing to talk about how they are building their business in a supportive environment. 
5) Perfecting my mindset! At Pink Cow Connections the importance of my mindset is constantly being reinforced.  At the last meeting I attended Gary Bremermann mentioned how much someone should spend on learning about hiring staff. When he said something to the effect of, "If you are making$50-$80 an hour, then you can afford to spend 8-10 hours a week learning how to hire superstars."  Is that how people think? This comment made me stop. The need to be working on your business and not in your business, as touted by Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth was made very clear. 

My transition is a process, but I know that my work will bring results!

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