Self-doubt is the ultimate buzzkill for entrepreneurs.
No idea is ever guaranteed to be successful. The product may flop, the business may fail. I may end up right back where I started. You’re certainly not the first to have these thoughts. When it comes to building a freedom-based lifestyle by teaching online, they can be emotionally paralyzing. ‘Do I have what it takes? I’ve never done this before, and don’t know where to start.’
Teacher Indie is here to help you realize your potential and put it into action. Online teaching takes many forms. One of the hardest parts about it figuring out where to begin, and taking the leap to make it happen. ‘Do I have what it takes?’ The answer is yes. Let’s look at why:
What are the best-and-worse-case scenarios if I stay where I am, and if I take the leap?
The craziest thing about deciding whether or not you’re capable of teaching online, or of the digital nomad lifestyle as a whole, is how simple it really is after its all boiled down. If you go camping this weekend, you’ll have one more weekend of camping under your belt and the memories and increased skill set that come along with it. You’ll grow, even if just a little bit. Worse-case scenario? Your car gets stuck and must be towed out, or a rainstorm hits and ends the trip early. Successful trip or total failure, you’re back on the couch where you started when it’s all said and done.
If you’d stayed home, everything within immediate focus would be just fine. Maybe the weekend held a good party or you caught your favorite comedian’s new special on Netflix. But you’d be without that feeling of accomplishment that comes with closing the hatchback and hopping into the driver’s seat following an exciting adventure.
When you look at it that way, the best-case scenario if you stay is on par with the worst-case scenario if you go. The real question is, how adventurous are you feeling?
What is your background?
Don’t constrain yourself to just work experience. Having what it takes to make money teaching online boils down to identifying how you can help others. Peruse your passions, your hobbies, your overall lifestyle. Pick out the highlights and any experiences that might benefit someone else. Then ask yourself these questions:
What am I an expert in?
Everyone is an expert in something. I know, I know: this sounds like something your second grade teacher might say. But to make money teaching online, you’ve got to hone in on what it is that is, or at the very least, what you do better than most people.
The next step is to take that skill set and place it outside of the proverbial ‘box.’ Maybe you played guitar in a rock band. Why not look in to teaching beginner music lessons online? Are your friends and family members always coming to you for advice? Maybe you’re keen on psychoanalyzing people’s situations and drawing a path forward? Becoming an online mentor or lifestyle coach might be a valid option. Here’s a GREAT LIST of websites that can help put that passion into entrepreneurial action.
How can that expertise be monetized?
The sites on the list linked above are a great place to start. But it’s best to think about this as a process. The process begins at this moment, and ends at the point where maintaining a location independent lifestyle by teaching online is a full-time gig. Working through a teaching site or online job board is a great way to get your feet wet. Get some experience and, hopefully, a base of clients.
Next, see how others doing similar things are presenting themselves as a brand and working independently. Always keep your focus on the step right in front of you. Watch what successful online teachers are doing. Go to networking events and chat with people further along than yourself. Try new things. Some will work, others won’t.
How far am I willing to go to make this happen?
Are you willing to sacrifice the security of a salaried gig, or give up that nice apartment in order to cut bills? There will be tough decisions along the way. Making a living on your own terms isn’t as straightforward as maintaining a restaurant job or churning through another week at a 9-5 gig.
You’ll have to get used to learning new things, finding solutions on the fly, and calling all of the shots. But that’s where it gets fun. What you really need to ask yourself is, ‘Am I willing to constantly challenge myself, work through new experiences, and keep focused on the end goal no matter what happens?’
Do I have what it takes? Yes. Yes I do.
Ok, great. That’s why you’ve been attracted to this lifestyle all along, right? This process we’ve been discussing will likely work as a ramp. Along the way, steps will be made that allow you to climb up the ramp towards the ultimate goal.
Once you have a plan for monetization, map out a tentative process for reaching your goal. Include multiple steps along the way that can serve as benchmarks. Maybe that’s stepping down to part time at your day job once your online income reaches its first step of consistency. Maybe that’s asking your boss if you can work from home. You’ll need confidence builders like these to reinforce that you’re making progress.
Building a business frequently leaves you in the dark. You’ll feel like you don’t have the necessary tools, skills, time, or resources to make it happen. When needing a bit of motivation, remember points of unhappiness in your current (or past) situation. Think about what drove you to consider making a lifestyle change in the first place. Note those on the side of your progress map.
Taking the big leap.
Getting to the point where you’re working entirely for yourself is exciting. But how do you know when it’s time? Likely, you won’t be able to realize your full earning potential until after stepping away from your day job. There may be some turbulence once you fully devote yourself to your new pursuits. Having some savings on hand for this step is a good idea.
Plan a date with which to be entirely location independent, or entirely self-sufficient with online teaching. Whatever you end goal is, having a target will help you stay on track, even if it gets pushed back. When you’re 80% ready, take the plunge.
‘Do I have what it takes?’ Yes. Now go do it!
Remember: The best-case scenario if you stay where you are is equal to the worst-case scenario if you take the leap!
Bonus: To help jumpstart your journey, check out this article on how to increase your spending power by 300%.