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Here is an underlying problem to why many teaching services fail:

Inflexibility to changes or to make changes

  • Are teachers set in their ways? Unable to go beyond their comfort zone (teaching)? Learn the ropes of running a viable teaching business?
  • Why do so many of them put up with their ‘lot’ and accept they can’t make changes when in fact, they can?

Why Choose to Toss the Coin and Fail?

A coin has two sides: face and tails. Tossing a coin reduces the choices to two. In the Batman film, the evil lawyer (Harvey Dent) tosses a coin to decide the fate of his victim. Would it surprise you to know most freelance teachers do the same with their teaching business?

The coin that Harvey Dent (Two-Face) flipped in the film, was a 1922 Liberty Dollar type coin. The coin has the Liberty Head on both sides. On one side it is shiny and perfect but on the other side it is Dirty and Scratched.

The coin that Harvey Dent (Two-Face) flipped in the film, was a 1922 Liberty Dollar type coin. The coin has the Liberty Head on both sides. On one side it is shiny and perfect but on the other side it is Dirty and Scratched.

A freelance teacher can toss a coin and let fate decide the future of his teaching service. Face = Freelance Teacher Tails (scarred Face) = Teaching Service

The Dark Knight’s Two-Face Coin

It’s a conundrum that the teacher is his teaching service. Just like the doubled-faced coin the evil lawyer threw, the choice to survive remains with the thrower. That’s you.

Do you toss or make your own qualified decision?

You’re one small fish in a big ocean of schools, universities, colleges, or any other kind of educational institute. And let’s not forget our freelancing teacher colleagues and friends! Money (and success) doesn’t grow on trees as we like to inform our children!

Choosing to toss a coin cause many freelance teachers to go under – fade away and die – because they treat their profession as a hobby; they make business related mistakes as they find and teach their students and customers, rather than learn how to run their teaching service professionally. Inevitably they give up.

Fed up with a life on the poverty line.
Fed up with the hours intruding on family and free time.
Fed up with being unappreciated and unrecognised for an honourable profession.

It doesn’t have to be. You can do it your way.

Relying on how a coin falls isn’t reliable and isn’t good for maintaining a successful teaching career. Real reliability comes from one source – and that is You.

Toss The Coin Or Do It Your Way

Teachers have to invest the time and work to prepare their business path. I’m no different from many teachers. I’ve done it all before and still fight my demons today. It’s hard work. It needs self-faith. It’s doable. It requires a deliberate decision to act.

I know most of us want to do things our way – think of Frank Sinatra and his song ‘I Did It My Way’. We are aware of but don’t like to recall times of too much or too little work. One reason is that we believe in ourselves as teachers with a social standing representing knowledgeable, honest, and reputable work. (coin = Face) We just don’t have time or want to be concerned with things like marketing, pricing strategies, or student/customer recruitment, etc. These things will happen automatically or by chance. (coin = Tails)

But we have to. Or we’re tossing the Dark Knight’s Two-Faced Coin.

The Weight Of Change

There are tons of resources to do things right, but the truth is most of us are too occupied with our jobs – teaching. That’s the Face-side of the coin. The other truth (coin = Tails) is:

  • inactivity
  • excuses
  • resistance to change

Inactivity: You’ve all heard the saying: Where’s there is a will, there is a way. Passivity, idleness, inertia, even dreaminess, will kill your teaching service before it starts.

Excuses: There are teachers who make excuses. And there are teachers who are successful and don’t (and won’t) make excuses. Yes, life does get in the way but it shouldn’t get the upper hand. It’s very easy to blame the weather, your parents, the system, the economy, and yes even your students. Anything to deflect you from blame and give the excuse you need. You can completely screw up your life with excuses.

Resistance to Change: it’s always worked before, hasn’t it? Why change? In the IT world, computer users say: Why change a functioning system? Hmmm… But what if the system isn’t all that great?

A spin off to ‘change resistance’ is the Curse of Knowledge. But more about that in another article! 🙂

Tossed Into The Deadly 3-Year Fade-Out Trap

In short, most experienced freelance teachers pave their own way into oblivion. They toss a coin and often as not it’s as jinxed as the double-sided coin of the Two-Face evil lawyer.

It’s true most teachers believe their work offered to the public market has real value: a wisdom value and not to forget the monetary value. It gives a heightened sense of self-importance and an almost spiritual and persistent belief in your own invincibility as a knowledgeable teacher.

It’s insane because it’s also responsible for the inflexible attitude that ultimately ends in the three-year fade out trap of your teaching business.

You are the teacher – you are not the student. You’ve learnt to learn and pass on your knowledge to your students until years of learning with the aim to teach has become dominant in your life; unfortunately, along the way many of us have unlearnt what it takes to learn as a student.

It’s insane not to breakdown a psychological rigid attitude towards keeping your teaching service work open, flexible, alive and healthy.

Take Home Points

Some of you will get lucky and students will actually find and buy your teaching service. But many, a whole lot of teachers branching out into independency and freelancing, will meet failure.

If you want to be successful and support yourself and your family rather than be yet another unappreciated and underpaid teacher on the market, then the solution is to stop digging your own grave and start getting practical about your teaching service business. You’ll have to spend time learning to become an entrepreneur, and learn know how to market and sell your work. You’re in a business. Don’t treat it as a hobby.

You are your teaching service business in person and you have to think and act like the businessperson you’ve become.

In fact, you have to think like an entrepreneurial freelance teacher.

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