Tracy Sherriff has always had a side hustle or two and enjoys finding ways to turn her passions into things that create additional monthly revenue. Read more about Tracy's successful side hustles and her challenge with conquering "imposter syndrome".
1. Thanks for taking the time to be interviewed Tracy. Can you tell us where you teach and how long have you been teaching?
I currently teach part-time at a college in Ontario, Canada. I have been teaching in higher education since 2007 but have been a practicing Registered Early Childhood Educator since 1994. My primary focus in early childhood has been supporting children with special needs, their families, and their caregivers. I have also tutored school-aged children and sought both informal and formal teaching opportunities within my community. I currently work in developmental services, leading a team of educators who build caregiver capacity in inclusive practice in licensed child care programs.
2. Can you describe a typical day?
Typically, I start my day checking emails and do some small personal and professional tasks such as interacting on social media or even reviewing assignments. I like to get a jump start on my day to knock a couple to do’s off my list before I head off to my day job which I really love. After a full day leading, coaching, and mentoring, I determine what needs my attention most and focus there. I generally have many balls in the air between my personal responsibilities, my family, my teaching, my own learning and development, volunteering as well as my side hustle.
3. Self-care is so important for educators. What do you do in your spare time to relax?
I enjoy spending time with family and close friends. My husband owns a Harley Davidson and I enjoy weekend rides. I enjoy listening to podcasts for both personal and professional development, binging on Netflix or my favourite soap opera or TV series, and connecting with others over a cup of coffee or dinner out.
4. You took on the tremendous task of starting a side hustle. Can you talk a bit about it?
I have always had a side hustle or two (at times even three) since I was old enough to have a job. I enjoy finding ways to turn my passions into things that create additional monthly revenue. I have always loved teaching and learning and decided I wanted to help online coaches and consultants grow their business by creating courses and group programs that give them the opportunity to gain more flexibility, freedom and finances while making a greater impact on the world. It’s important to me though that they create courses and programs that are student-focused and results-oriented. I saw a real need for support in this area.
Unfortunately, in the online space, I see too many entrepreneurs creating products that fall short of this. Anyone can throw up a video and a worksheet and call it a course, but there is so much more to planning an outcomes-based curriculum that empowers, motivates and inspires students to complete the course to get the results they desire than many realize. Some coaches and consultants either create sub-par products at premium prices, or simply get stuck in the process and need help going from idea to launch.
My Map It| Build It| Launch It consulting package takes content creators through 4 stages of course/program development – decide, design, develop, and deliver all the while working on pre-launching and pre-selling tasks so they can have the most success when putting their product out there. The key to creating a student-centered product that gets results and increases revenue for the creator is taking action on the right things at the right time while building a content rich and engaging experience.
5. Where can we purchase your resources?
Inside my Insider’s Resource Hub are various free resources I have created that people can get access to by subscribing. One of my best freebies is the Online Course Creators Roadmap and companion checklist. I host all my content on MemberVault and once registered, users of the hub will have access to all of my free and paid products. There will be more services, products and learning opportunities to come as I am just getting started and they will all be hosted in this one special space http://bit.ly/TYTOResourceHub
6. How do you promote or market your resources?
Right now, I’m working on a marketing plan but primarily I use social media, specifically Facebook and Twitter. I want to write more blog posts and will be using live streaming and video in general to promote. The content platform I use is fantastic because it offers a one-stop-shop for all my content.
7. Do you have any plans for more resources?
I plan to write a blog post series related to my 4D framework within the Map It| Build It| Launch It Program. I want to put a series of masterclasses together and eventually will run my own group program for service-based coaches and consultants who are ready to create their own course or group program. My other focus is a podcast called the Learning Curve which I hope to launch in 2019. It will focus on interviewing entrepreneurs and edupreneurs who are teaching their tribe in the online space. I want to focus on their challenges, struggles, wins and advice on the art of teaching whether through courses, podcasting, blogging, vlogging, speaking etc.
8. Do you do everything yourself or do you hire people with specific skills to help you?
Right now, I do everything on my own. I am not yet bringing in consistent revenue to hire but look forward to outsourcing at some point.
9. Where can we find you on social media?
10. What skills did you gain from classroom teaching that have allowed you to excel as a teacherpreneur?
I would say planning and organizing content, time management, public speaking skills, and knowledge of learning management systems. I also love technology and embed it into my face to face classrooms and online teaching. But I think most of all is my own personal commitment to lifelong learning that allows me to bring the student and the teacher perspective to everything I create.
11. What have you had to do outside of your comfort zone as a teacherpreneur?
Going public and being visible with my business has been really hard for me. I, like many others, struggle with imposter syndrome. It’s been hard to recognize myself as an important voice in such a huge online space. So, while I can easily speak in front of a class or crowd, being online on video, particularly live has pushed me outside of my comfort zone.
12. I talk to many teachers about their fear or doubt in trying something new or "putting themselves out there". What advice would you give to these teachers?
My advice is to really take the time to get clear on who you serve, why you serve, and what your key messages are. Build your content around that and recognize that even if your message is similar to someone else’s, put it out there anyway. You are your own unique voice. I have wasted a lot of time and money trying things before I really had a clear plan, which is hard to understand considering in so many other things I do (including course creation), I preach that the planning stage is the most important step in successful execution no matter the project or goal.
13. Is there anything that you would like to add?
I can’t think of anything at this time. Thanks for the opportunity to be interviewed.
Thank you Tracy for sharing information about your side hustle.
Interested in learning more about transitioning from a teacher to teacherpreneur but don’t know how to get started? Here are some ways:
1. Read more than 70 inspiring teacherpreneur interviews at www.teacherpreneur.ca/blog
2. Download The Essential Teacher to Teacherpreneur Toolkit - 50 pages packed with information to get you started as a teacherpreneur at http://www.teacherpreneur.ca
3. Download 10 Tips to Transition from Teacher to Teacherpreneur https://www.teacherpreneur.ca/p/10-tips-to-transition-from-teacher-to-teachepreneur
4. Download The Social Media Make-over Checklist for Teacherpreneurs at www.teacherpreneur.ca
5. Connect with other teacherpreneurs by joining my LinkedIn group https://www.linkedin.com/groups/7060976
6. Set up a private coaching call with me https://www.teacherpreneur.ca/pages/book-a-coaching-session-with-me
Connect with me on social media. Teacherpreneurs must be on social media.
My name is Patrice Palmer, M.Ed., M.A., CPP. I have more than 20 years’ experience as an ESL Teacher, TESL Trainer, and Writer. I spent seven amazing years teaching in Hong Kong and have taught students from 8 to 80 years in a variety of programs. I now work as a teacherpreneur doing the things that I love such as writing books, courses and teaching materials; coaching teacherpreneurs, travelling at any time of the year and applying the science of positive psychology to all my work. Contact me at [email protected]
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