The clues of what you can be teaching the world are in your life experiences.
Today a shared a post on Facebook which originally was supposed to just be a brief snapshot of how I help people create their own online courses and how I got there, but it turned into a little more than that (don’t you just love the creative process?).
I have put the original post below, and I’d love your thoughts and comments. If you don’t have Facebook, I have copy-pasted the text from that post underneath.
I hope that this post inspires you to think about what you do, why you do it and if you could be contributing to the world further by sharing what life has taught you with the world in the form of your own courses, books, workshops and videos.
EVERYONE HAS SOMETHING TO TEACH
It was back in 2008 (11 years ago) that I was facing redundancy in a job I absolutely loved as a Training Manager and educator in the ‘welfare to work’ sector in the UK.
Working between designing and teaching various training and education programs in an all-male prison, single-parenting programs, drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs and back-to-work training for the long term unemployed; I was in my element and knew that I had found what I was crafted into human form to do. Teach.
I got the honour of entering into people’s lives, learning all about them and helping people who had completely given up on themselves to see that *actually* they were absolutely overflowing with the most unique life experiences, lessons, skills and resiliencies that most people could never know in their lifetimes – unless somebody was to teach them – unless THEY were to teach what they had learned in the ‘school of hard knocks’.
TEACHING COMES IN MANY FORMS
I helped prisoners pass their life lessons onto their children by re-framing them into fictional children’s stories;
I helped mothers who blamed their unhappy circumstances on ‘not having had a role model in their lives’, to discover their skills, lift their confidence and step into being the super-parent example (and inadvertently teach) that which they wished they’d had from their own parents;
I helped those who had had their dreams, voices and potential bashed out of them from abuse and neglect, to discover their gift, speak up, stand up and use their pain, scars and lessons as a way to correct that which they deemed so wrong in the world.
What I ultimately did, was helped people better their own lives, by teaching them how to teach what their lives had taught them.
THE BEST LEARNERS ARE THE BEST TEACHERS
Paradoxically, we experience the highest form of transformational LEARNING, when we are TEACHING.
In fact, Edgar Dale’s 1969 ‘Cone of Learning’ theory (as backed up by endless studies since), that if we only sit and ‘observe’ ‘lessons’, we will only benefit from 5% of its potential value.
However, if we stand up, speak up and TEACH that which we are trying to learn ourselves, we experience AND retain over 90% of its potential value.
Teaching IS learning, and learning is teaching.
And the best bit?
ANYONE CAN DO IT.
It’s simply a skill that you can learn; just like you did with walking, talking, reading, writing, making a sandwich.
You don’t have to be a professor to share your knowledge, expertise, life lessons and information with the world – you just have to care about something, or want to help somebody get through something that you’ve experienced; or stop anybody from having to go through what you did at all; or help somebody to achieve something that you have achieved; or share something that you found helpful to learn about yourself…. That’s it.
We’ve all got one of those.
[AND SO IT CAME TO BE – THAT I BECAME AN EDUPRENEUR
After being the first female in my Gypsy family to buck a centuries-old tradition by getting my ass to school; I successfully completed my Degree in Education, my Postgraduate Degree in Education, a specialized Diploma in Adult Education, and, added my first 5 years experience as an education sector leader to my resume; there I was. Now with the perfect combination of academic expertise and practical experience and a healthy dashing of confidence – facing my redundancy.
My heart sank. I cried. I drank an excessive amount of red wine which exasperated a severe health condition I’d been suffering and wondered how I’d ever be happy again if I had to go back to my cleaning job.
Then I realized something.
I didn’t need to have a boss, or a job, to keep doing what I was doing!
I didn’t need to drive to an office and ‘clock in’, to teach.
I cleared a corner of the kitchen table, pulled open my notebook and started handwriting letters to the local council offices, job centres, rehab centres, businesses and corporates across my region.
Within a couple of months I had a 6 figure education company, had hired my university lecturer as my first employee, and somehow experienced a miraculous turn of fate by getting a promotion at work instead of a redundancy, all at the same time.
I took my business to Malta, where I quickly gained contracts as the primary training provider to a national bank, 5-star international hotel chains and even the European Local Governments.
At this point, I now had an ‘international’ company and I was just 23 years old.
A few years later I fell in love with my childhood classmate, we got married within a couple of months of our first kiss and eloped to Western Australia where my world changed again.
I started my education company up in Australia with nothing more than some lessons from what I’d learned so far and a bag of passion.
Within 18 months of registering the company name, I had built the business to 7 figures and had 23 employees, each teaching their subjects of expertise on Government-funded programs across Perth and remote WA.
I was qualifying flying instructors with their nationally accredited training qualifications, I was writing curriculum for the Saudi Arabian Military, I was designing the workforce development and training plans for the largest oil, gas and mining projects in Australia, providing professional development training to ASX listed companies and personally brokered and managed over $8million worth of Government-funded workforce development projects that upskilled Australian employees with vocational qualifications.
The phone was off the hook, I couldn’t keep up with my recruitment needs, the projects were pouring in.
Wasn’t I a clever little duck?
Things were going GREAT.
I actually had no idea how great though. I was working so hard, that I didn’t stop to acknowledge just how great I had it.
Until one day in 2014 when the GFC finally grasped it’s hands around the WA economy, put a halt to the major GDP-generating projects in Western Australia and cataclysmically obliterated thousands of jobs and businesses across Australia in one fell swoop.
As the training budgets at the big corporates got slashed, our training and curriculum development contracts began dissipating one by one.
I had to start letting staff go.
And on one fateful Tuesday morning, I received a single phone call that lost me $2.7 million in 11 minutes.
Everything was gone. Everything.
One by one, I had to tell my staff – my work FAMILY – that I could no longer employ them.
I was crippled with guilt, regret, anger, fear, sorrow, self-pity, and not to mention a multi-million dollar debt for redundancy payouts, contract payouts, superannuation bills, PAYG, BAS, GST, income tax and another year’s worth of office rent and operating costs that were all locked in.
I had gone from a millionairess to a million dollars in debt in a day, and I had no idea how to deal with it.
OUR MISTAKES ARE OURS TO OWN JUST LIKE OUR SUCCESSES
Every accountant I spoke to told me the same.
“Sarah, nobody can get out of something like this, your only option is to fold the company. Choose voluntary administration, it’s your only hope”.
But I knew that wasn’t an option at all. (I don’t think anyone who hasn’t faced this has any idea what the life-long consequences of administration actually are).
I knew that it was me and me alone who had got my business into this situation, and thus, I was responsible for getting it out.
I had to own this mess, and I had to clean it up, not sweep it under the carpet.
And more than that, I had learned some serious lessons from this experience- the only way I would be able to pass them on, would be if I survived.
THE QUESTION THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING
So, if you cannot depend on your local economy any longer, there are no jobs available, there is no funding left and all hope appears to be evaporated, what do you do??
You ask yourself: “HOW ELSE CAN I DO THIS?”
If your situation and circumstances change, they do not take your skills and experiences away from you.
They simply demand that you apply them in an alternative way.
How could I teach without a classroom?
How could I write training and help people find their talents to educate others, without any students in front of me?
How could I consult training managers about their people development without any corporate contracts?
And then it came to me…..
AND SO IT CAME TO BE – THAT I BECAME AN EDUPRENEUR
The biggest retail stores such as Amazon, don’t have any shops,
The biggest taxi firms such as Uber, don’t have any cars,
The biggest education companies, such as Udemy, don’t have any courses or teachers….
I didn’t NEED my offices and classrooms and clients IN PERTH – I didn’t NEED to drive to their offices, or shake hands with their CEOs – I just needed to find ANYONE who needed professional development training, teacher training curriculum development services, ANYWHERE.
FROM FACE TO FACE SERVICES TO AN AUTOMATED ONLINE EMPIRE
I turned on my computer, switched on the webcam, and started reciting every single consultation I had ever given with the ‘record’ button on red.
I pulled out all of my classroom materials and filmed every single workshop and course my company had developed into videos.
I even broke down the staff training I gave to my curriculum developers (a service we provided to customers) to create curriculum development training videos – teaching other people to do what we did.
And then, I pressed PUBLISH.
In one swift (38 hours) of uploading some videos (cheers Australian internet); I went from having a local market, to having a GLOBAL market.
By turning what was in my head, in my company desktop files, filing cabinets, bookshelves and resources cupboards into ONLINE COURSES instead of coaching, consulting, workshops, presentations and services, I suddenly had 6 billion potential customers at my fingertips.
I paid a few dollars for some automation software and within 1 year I had grown my business revenue by 60%, reduced my overheads by 90% and was teaching tens of thousands of people from around the world at the same time, without employing a SINGLE trainer or even leaving my house.
It was an absolute revelation.
I wished I’d been hit by the GFC sooner!
Fast forward 4 more years and I have now educated over 20,000 people in 146 countries via my online courses alone.
I paid off every single cent of my debts from that life-changing event, recovered my company and changed thousands of lives – because I didn’t let my circumstances defeat me.
I succeeded because I chose to TEACH the lessons that I had learned to others.
I won multiple awards, published 7 books, hosted a TV show, got invited to speak at conferences around the world – and went on to become the youngest university Director in Australia’s HISTORY as the most senior leader of one of the most remote university campuses in the WORLD.
I never knew that pressing one button on my computer would result in such humongous outcomes.
The world indeed is our oyster – IF we just get out of our protective little shells and show off the pearly wisdom, we each have beneath.
BUT SUCCESS DOESN’T COME WITHOUT NEW CHALLENGES
When you appear to ‘have it all’, many people look on enviously and believe that they are entitled to take what you’ve put on your table.
I’ve had ex-employees and students take all of the company and course IP and set up shop as my competition, I’ve had people pretend to be me to make money from my name (seriously, one psychopath even bought a web domain name in my actual name!!);
I’ve battled brutal trolling, death threats and online harassment from the mentally unhinged and fought to keep a 24-hour business serviced whilst breast-feeding a newborn with post-natal depression.
We all have problems, responsibilities, and challenges, but these are the VERY things that make us even more valuable as educators. They give us more to teach, more to share, more colorful and relatable experiences from which to draw upon and serve others with.
It is precisely our darkest memories, most suffocating experiences and heart-breaking mistakes that provide us with the source of service to others.
Nothing that is great, comes easy, and that’s why success is reserved only for those who are willing to put the time into:
1. Believing that they can, and
2. Doing something about it
YES IT IS SCARY – BUT IT’S WORTH IT
Yes, putting yourself out there can feel ‘weird’, your limiting beliefs will come pouring down on top of you and your monkey mind will try to convince you that ‘you are not worthy to teach’. Tell it to shut up.
And yes again, as soon as you put yourself out there, you *potentially* open yourself up to criticism, ridicule, crazy customers and mangey online trolls; you also *risk* your IP being stolen by those who are desperate and lacking in creative substance – trust me, I’ve experienced it all big time!
But with a TINY bit of that, comes LOT of immeasurable rewards.
Surely changing just ONE person’s life is worth risking somebody calling you a poo-poo head, right?
What is WORSE than being called a shitty name, or having your precious worksheet copied by an actual poo-poo head, is withholding your expertise from the world and taking it all to the grave with you.
AND THIS IS HOW I CAN HELP YOU MAKE YOUR OWN MIRACLES
You know stuff.
You know stuff that other people would pay to know too.
With over 6 billion people on the planet, there are plenty of people who will pay you to change their lives by sharing with them the experiences, lessons, expertise, knowledge, skills and competencies that you have honed or been forced to hone, since the day that you were born.
This is what I do:
1. I help you: Discover what that profitable knowledge and experience is that you could turn into an online course; AND a profitable business
2. Unpack it all out of your brain
3. Organize it all into logical, informative, interesting and exciting educational content
4. Set up your online course platform and tech stuff so that you can press PUBLISH and sell your expertise to the WORLD
5. Help you turn your course into other income-generating products and services such as books, keynotes, workshops and high-ticket transformation programs.
How do I help you do this?
1. I have packed my academic and practical experience of creating and selling hundreds of online courses, into a single online course called “How To Create Your Own Profitable Online Course”. Take this online course at your own pace and have all of the skills you need to create and sell your own online courses by the time you have completed it.
2. Let me help you create your online course and set up your online school for you in my ‘Course Creators One Day Set-Up’ service.
3. Or if you prefer the group learning, immersion experience, come along to one of my ‘Course Creation Bootcamps’ where you will not only learn how to create courses – but will walk away with your online course COMPLETED, filmed, your online school built and LIVE for sales before you leave. (There is ONE last Bootcamp left for 2019 before I go on maternity leave for at least 12 months – so NOW is the time to make it happen!)
Comment below if you’d like the link to the info on any of the course creation options above, or would like me to add you to my email list.
The journey to success is a wibbly, wobbly, uppy, downy, crazy pile of ridiculousness – but every single step gives us more that we can teach.
Change a life tomorrow.
Change the world in your legacy.
Let me know if you want to know where to start.