Why Do Teachers Make Great Entrepreneurs?

Why do teachers make great entrepreneurs? Most haven’t been to business school. They typically are more impassioned to help people than rake in loads of money. But yet, the digital marketplace is abuzz with teachers starting successful online businesses and using their skill sets to continue helping others. All while making a nice chunk of change, in many cases.

If you’re following Teacher Indie, there’s a good chance you are (or are hoping to become) one of those teachers. What is it that got you to where you are? We’ve been in this industry for a while now, and have noticed some strikingly similar traits between the best teachers and top entrepreneurs. Let’s take a look.

They aren’t afraid to think outside the box

Dealing with the needs of specific students is what great teachers do on a regular basis. Every situation is different, and credit isn’t always verbally given.

In the business world, entrepreneurial teachers are incredibly important. Teachers, and only teachers, know what teachers need to succeed. Online instructors and heads of businesses who’ve spent time in a classroom are able to specifically cater successful educational products and resources to the teaching market. When teaching online, instructors are able to use their trained skill set to develop a keen business savvy. This is why the digital marketplace is support so many teacher-preneurs and online instructors. By thinking outside the box, these leaders are creating new ways to pass their knowledge onto students and to craft products that will fill an empty void in the marketplace.

They’re able to make critical decisions on a whim

Entrepreneurs frequently must make tough decisions in a rapid manner.

Guess what? Teachers do the same thing! Whether it’s revamping a lesson plan that isn’t resonating with students, handling an illness or other crisis in the classroom, or taking on an extra class due to a staffing shortage, teachers are born problem solvers. They are used to operating on strict time schedules and tight operating budgets. When mistakes are made, the top teachers are able to rebound and get back on their feet in a hurry.

This is crucial in the world of online business. Being able to improvise and make decisions quickly, based on what little information is in front of them, is an absolute necessity for entrepreneurial success. Online teachers are some of the best freelancers and business owners largely because of their versatility.

Teachers view nothing as impossible.

As a teacher, you’ve seen firsthand the impact that slow and steady progress can have on an individual. When the light suddenly flips on, and you know the student has grasped the concept. Fresh ideas have turned into repetition, and where there once was nothing, there is now something. When I was a kid, Algebra seemed impossible to me. Math came easy enough until the instructor started throwing letters in with the numbers, adding parenthesis, and talking about square roots. I swore I didn’t need to know this, and would never be able to learn it. But with practice, time, and a patient teacher, I ended up with an A- in my first Algebra course.

Every entrepreneur goes through many moments when they are certain their idea is going to fail. That they just don’t have what it takes to get it to the next level, and should just through in the towel. The attitude of a teacher is indescribably valuable in these situations. Slow and steady repetition, trial and error, and the ability to take a fresh look at the problem are how nearly all Fortune 500 companies found success.

Teachers don’t let tight budgets scare them away

Anyone who’s spent time in the education field knows this. We’re thrifty. We stretch our dollars as far as they’ll go. How many times have you had to jerry rig a prop for the classroom? How about throw in a few bucks out of your own pocket to make a lesson happen the way it was envisioned?

Bootstrapping a business is the exact same. Money is tight, budgets are never quite enough. Successful online entrepreneurs do a lot with a little. Having expertise in the ways of dollar management helps an online teacher progress their business and keep going. 

Passion drives everything they do

We all need to make a living. We all want our income to grow to reflect the hard work we’ve invested in our careers. But one advantage that online teachers running their own business have over traditional business owners and CEOs is that their minds dream of more than gold. They are able to obtain satisfaction beyond merely increasing the amount of green they’re taking in each month. When you’re doing something because you love doing it, as so many online teachers and instructors are, the flame of passion burns brighter, longer, and ultimately will bring more satisfaction.

Why do teachers make great entrepreneurs? Teaching online is itself an entrepreneurial venture that requires all of these traits. Let your passion shine through your lesson plans. Use ideas that might not have been done before. And above all else, keep on going. Are you ready?

Ray is the founder and creator of Teacher Indie. He is an award-winning entrepreneur who has created online education businesses that have appeared in publications such as Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc Magazine, Buzzfeed, The Boston Globe and many others. His goal is to help teachers from around the world get online and gain the financial independence they deserve.

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