Teaching is a labor of love. Every teacher goes into the profession knowing that it is not for the money. With low wages, family obligations, and a mountain of student debt, some teachers want to know how to start a side business to supplement their income.
I’ve been supplementing my income for years. With the high cost of raising a family, it was important I add a little cash to my bank account.
How to Start a Side Business (How I Did It)
Creating lessons for teachers was something I've done most of my career. I started taking my love for photography, scrapbooking, and technology to create lessons for all the teachers in my district. I remember walking down the halls and seeing every teacher in the building using my calendar lessons on their SMARTboard. It was such an amazing feeling!
Imagine taking that same feeling and multiplying it times 10,000 or 100,000! That’s what it’s like to sell digital products online. Knowing that you can make an impact on a larger scale for children and teachers around the world is very rewarding.
To be honest, I didn’t know much about how to start my own business. I always looked at it as something that would cost a lot of money, take way too much of my time, and add a lot of stress to my family.
While selling digital products can become a bit of an obsession, there is very little cost upfront to get started. The best part is I can create anywhere I have wifi. So I can make a schedule that fits with my lifestyle.
Maybe you’ve been thinking about creating digital products online but have no idea how to get started. Let me share with you seven strategies to help you start a side business that you love.
Determine Why You Need to Start a Side Business
I always tell people to let their why drive their behavior because starting a business while you still work full-time is demanding. You must learn to be disciplined and do without things like Netflix and sleep.
If your why is big enough, it can keep you focused and motivated. Of course, your why may change over time and that’s ok. It just means you are meeting the goals you set for yourself.
Identify Your Area of Expertise or Interest
Nothing is worse than to start a side business you hate, which is why you should identify your area of expertise or interest. I was an instructional technology facilitator when I started my side business. Most of the products I created were sharing ways to integrate technology with the curriculum.
Over the years, I’ve learned I have more to offer the world than just technology. As a matter of fact, my background is that of a literacy specialist. While I do believe you should start with what you are good at, be sure you don’t lock yourself into one small niche. If possible, start a side business around you and your brand. Learning how to start a side business around you allows you to pivot as your life and interests change.
Not interested in a side business in education?
While education may be your area of expertise, I find many teachers want a break from their demanding job. So you may desire something completely different than creating curriculum online. Here are just a few examples that might be of interest to you:
- Love to bake? Try decorating cakes or cookies
- Do you love jewelry? Make your own and sell it
- Love helping people? Became a wellness coach
- Love fashion? Start an online boutique
- Still, want to do something in education? Try VIPKids
Here are a few questions to think about to help you get started:
- What do you enjoy and do well?
- Is there a topic people always run to you for advice?
- Could you ask your friends or family what they think is your area of expertise?
How to Start a Side Business that Fits With Your Life
Whatever you decide to do I would encourage you to start a side business that allows you to quit trading hours for dollars and learn more about creating passive income. Selling digital products is just one example of how you can create a passive income stream.
Here are some other examples:
- Start a blog
- Sell courses
- Affiliate Marketing
- Network Marketing
- Rental property
- Rent out your home as an Airbnb
Whatever business you decide, do your research and see which business is right for you and your schedule. It's always good to find a mentor. If you are interested in learning more of how I can help you, click here.
Let’s talk about discipline and commitment. Remember, your teaching job comes first. It's your main source of income and you have a room full of kiddos depending on you. It's important you do not work on your side business during the school day.
Since you only have a limited amount of time in the day you need to commit. Be disciplined when allocating your time and resources. You may find you have to give up some things (no more episodes of Real Housewives, sorry).
Now it’s time to take action. I suggest you set realistic daily goals and create routines for success. I offer a monthly wellness challenge you might be interested in joining. Whether you are in the classroom, starting a new business, or both — everyone needs to develop the mindset you need to help you achieve your goals.
Would you like to download my FREE Branding Guide? It’s a checklist to help you think through the type of brand you would like to create as you start a side business. As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. I’d love to help you on your journey.