“So you just decided to start a consulting business?” Is a question I get asked at almost every PD I deliver. It’s usually accompanied by, “I’ve always considered consulting.” Whether you’re on the verge of retirement, but just aren’t done yet or you’re a mom looking to find more balance in your schedule, many passionate educators seem to be intrigued by the idea of consulting. But why? Why leave your classroom or district position for the insecurity of entrepreneurship? Here are the 3 reasons why I decided to take the leap!
#1: Frustration with an inflexible schedule.
Traveling + teaching = stress. You feel guilty about leaving your kids, you have the stress of all the work it takes to prep for your sub, not to mention the worry about what the state of your classroom will be when you return. I was frustrated that I couldn’t take a vacation when I wanted to (or when my family was planning one or when my best friend was getting married), but also frustrated with the day to day inflexibility. The bell schedule dictates your whole life, when to get up, when you can workout, when you can pee, when you can eat, I could go on. I’ve always felt I was a great manager of my time and felt frustrated that I never got to utilize that strength in traditional education settings. I was yearning for some more autonomy of my life.
Now as a consultant I get to set my own schedule. I can say yes to four day weekends with friends and family without any stress. I can take a vacation during a less popular time. I can work from home on days that I’m not facilitating professional development and go grocery shopping at 9:00 or hit the gym at 1:00. Because now I’m responsible for every opportunity that comes my way. It’s up to me to grind and work HARD to get more clients, network, and market myself. The harder I work, the more successful I can be. That kind of autonomy is extremely challenging, but also incredibly satisfying.
#2: My love of working with teachers
In one of my previous positions as an instructional coach and district Math TOSA, I loved my job! I loved feeling like I had an opportunity to help change the larger systems in education. I loved working with teachers to find out how I could serve them and make their lives easier. I loved planning and providing professional development. I loved mentoring new teachers. I loved learning from and being mentored by district level directors and seeing how they cast a vision and implement their plans.
Now as a consultant, I feel like now I get to do all of the best parts of my previous job, but for many different schools and districts. I get to work with schools and districts who are eager to see change in their secondary math classrooms. I get to work with clients to make their math classrooms more equitable and accessible for all students. I get to provide professional development and empower math leadership. It’s a dream!
#3) A desire to continue to impact education.
People become educators because they’re extremely passionate about education. I became a teacher to help struggling high school students be able to get into college and that calling was something I was still deeply passionate when I was considering pursuing independent consulting. I wanted to stay connected to “my why,” I wanted to continue to help students who struggle to learn secondary mathematics (the “gate keeper” subject). I knew I had some really good tools to help teachers who work with students who struggle to learn secondary mathematics and I wanted to share them with the world.
Now as a consultant I get to continue to impact students lives on a massive scale, helping teachers in districts all over the nation! I know I’ve been able to continue to impact education and stay connected to “my why” when I get feedback like, “Trainer poured valuable information into us, and her love for helping students who struggle in math shined through.” Or when I see feedback survey data that 100% of teachers said they were “extremely likely” to use a strategy from my PD session.
The start of the school year can be a time of mixed emotions. Excitement can be coupled with frustration and a longing for something different. If you’ve considered consulting I’d love to know about it! Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or comment below: What are the reasons driving you to consider consulting? I also love helping passionate educators make the switch to becoming profitable entrepreneurs by starting their own education consulting businesses. If you’d like some help making the switch, make sure you download my free guide, 4 Steps to Create a Profitable Education Consulting Business, and check out other resources I have to offer inside of CollaboratEd Academy, the place to be to create an education consulting business and life you love!!