TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CURRENT BUSINESS. WHAT ARE YOU DOING EXACTLY?
My current business, Language with Lucy, is an online language school that I founded in May 2020. I teach English and Spanish to people all over the world who want to “level up” whether that is in their career or personal life. Some of my students want to learn English to fit into the ex-pat community they are a part of, some want to learn English to get a promotion at work, some want to prepare for the IELTS exam, and some want to learn Spanish for fun!
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR BUSINESS IDEA?
I have been a teacher for 5 years, and during the first lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I was teaching from home and feeling like I could make a bigger impact. Thus, I began marketing myself on Facebook mostly to see if anyone would want to learn English, and it took off from there!
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE THIS, AND IS THIS YOUR FIRST BUSINESS?
This is my first business! And, it is actually my side business. I am still a Primary School teacher during the day. Phew! So much teaching.
WHAT SPECIFIC ADVICE WOULD YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG WOMEN WHO WOULD LIKE TO BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR?
I would say that if you have an idea, you are passionate about it, and a confidant to bounce ideas off of doesn’t hurt, GO FOR IT. Why not? Life is short. Do the things that scare you, and do them well. Do the hard stuff, and get through it. It’s better to try than to have never tried at all! You’re going to be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the things you tried.
MY GREATEST OBSTACLE AND HOW DID YOU DEALT WITH IT:
My greatest obstacle (besides not having 40 hours in a day) is myself. I am SO not good at marketing myself, and not good at “putting myself out there” so I have honestly had to get over myself more than anything. Once I felt confident in what I am doing and seeing that I am changing people’s lives, I slowly have been able to get more confident in marketing myself.
MY PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT:
I have two! I have a student who has purchased her fourth consecutive pack of lessons (the most so far!). She can’t get enough! It makes me feel so confident in what I am doing. And my Q1 sales in 2021 have so far equalled all of my sales for 2020.
HOW I BLEND LIFE AND WORK TO CREATE THE LIFE I WANT:
It’s HARD. I am definitely not good at it. I have started to push myself to get up earlier so that I can do a little bit of work before going into school, and that way when I finish my lessons for the evening, I can be work free for a few hours. I also try to completely log off on the weekends (unless it’s an emergency).
I AM INSPIRED BY:
My Mom. She is the boss! She worked SO hard to achieve awesome things in her career and now is a brand marketing strategist for startups/small companies. She embodies hard work, but also the ability to close the computer, log off, and be present with the people she loves.
WHY I CHOSE THIS CAREER:
I actually never thought I would be a teacher, let alone a business owner/entrepreneur. The business part of my job is not my favourite, but I am learning to love it! I chose to teach though because I love to help people. I love to see them grow and achieve their goals, and for me, it is my way to make the world a little bit of a better place.
HOW I PREPARE FOR SUCCESS:
To-do lists. I have a ton of them. I also keep them separate for different parts of my life. I have a personal to-do list, a primary school to-do list, and a business to-do list. This helps me be able to prioritize each section of my life and keep everything on track.
DID YOU WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN? WAS IT AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR YOU?
I did write a business plan. It was effective, but I haven’t looked at it since June 2020. I have more of an ongoing projects plan which has helped me. Now that I think about it, I should probably look at a business plan and make an updated business planning sheet for 2021/2022. Putting it on the to-do list!
ARE THERE SPECIFIC ADVANTAGES, DISADVANTAGES TO BEING A WOMAN BUSINESS OWNER?
I think being a woman business owner definitely has some disadvantages. People don’t take you as seriously, and when I tell you my prices, I think a lot of people are astonished that I charge as much as I do. I hate to think that if I was a man it would be different… but I feel like it very well could be. Advantages though – there are a LOT of empowering women on social media who want to help promote women’s businesses. It definitely feels like a good, supportive community and I love that.
MY FAVOURITE BUSINESS TOOL IS…
Google Sheets. I don’t know what I would do without them. And my good old fashioned agenda planner!
THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I HAVE EVER BEEN GIVEN IS…
People are only going to take you seriously once you take yourself seriously. Be proud of your product, know your worth, and tell the world!!