Business Ideas for Teachers-Part 4

Businesses need to solve their customers’ problems. Google made search better. Amazon simplified online buying and selling. Netflix solved on-demand streaming media. To find your business idea, you need to look to 3 unlikely places within your life experiences to help you.  In this blog, I’m going to teach you the 3 Ps method for coming up with your business idea as a teacher.  And, if you already have a teacher side hustle, keep reading, as this will help you too!

This blog is the fourth part of my free series, “Business Idea Creation 101” wherein each blog I tell you one myth, one truth, and one solution to help you find your business idea.

 If you didn’t read the other 3 previous blogs in this series, don’t worry, as you can always go back and read them after this one. 

Why are business ideas so hard to recognize? This is the question, isn’t it so? Why is it that you can know that you want to start a business — but have a heck of a time figuring out what that business actually is?

This is where the myth comes in.  So, let’s tackle that first so you know exactly what the culprit is that’s blocking you from coming up with that great business idea that’s already inside you, you just need help pulling it out!  

Myth #4: My business idea should just “happen.”

We’re conditioned to believe ideas just “happen.” Like a bolt of lightning, or the apple falling from the tree. The sudden “Eureka!” in the bathtub. Our culture is full of language that, consciously or unconsciously, conditions us to believe that our idea is supposed to come to us, and our job is just to sit back and wait. 

I even had a business coaching client of mine, a teacher, say to me, “Coming up with my business idea is hard. I wish that something would just fall into my lap.”  

I’m sorry my friend, it doesn’t work that way, just like instant business success is also a myth.  It takes time and deep reflection into what it is that you really want, why do you want it, and what do you have that when shared with others will help and serve them?  

That leads me to Truth number 4...

Truth #4: Based on your past, your business idea is already inside you.

We’ve now come to the breadcrumb clue.  There are 3 other breadcrumb clues in the other 3 blogs in this series so do check them out!

Building a business on passion is an important aspect. But, surprisingly enough, your level of passion is not the first thing you should consider when coming up with your business idea.

Think about it for a minute…

Hundreds of thousands of businesses close their physical or virtual doors every day, but they were built totally from a ton of passion.  

I see this happen all of the time where I live.  I’m from Michigan originally, but I’m now so blessed to call Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands my home.  On island, we have a surplus of hair salons and small clothing stores, maybe no different than where you live.  I have no doubt that these business owners started with heaps and heaps of passion, right?  They loved hair or clothes.  And, don’t get me wrong, you do need to start a business you’re passionate about because passion is the fuel to help you be inspired, committed and give you the perseverance when your tank is running on low and you feel like you just want to give up. 

But, #realtalk here!  Passion doesn’t keep a business alive.  Instead, you first need to start with what pain you can solve for your future client, customer.  Let me explain with my business, Rewrite Your Future.

Even when I was still in the classroom, I was helping teachers.  I guess you could call it a divine calling, my passion work. Then, when I left the classroom in 2003 to become a national presenter, guess who my audience was?  Teachers.  Then, when I stopped doing that, and became an education consultant and doing PDs, I was still helping teachers.  And, then in 2007, I started WriteSteps.  Again, who was I helping...yup, you guessed it...teachers!

And, no different with Rewrite Your Future, my company that today helps teachers all over the world, transition out of teaching and into entrepreneurship.  So, clearly, my passion lies in helping teachers...the writing is on the wall!

But, one critical difference from businesses that go under, is that I always started with thinking about a pain or a problem I was having and how others might be too. Therefore, my businesses had passion, but almost more important, I was solving pains and creating pain relievers.  This is what the customer of any business wants.  They want you to make their pain go away.  They need you to pain relieve for them. 

Make sense?  Same thing with Rewrite Your Future, an online, digital business.  Teachers come to me who are stuck and feel like they’re made for more.  They have pain. Not enough freedom, they don’t like teaching, they don’t have enough money for their dreams, there’s a ton of pain, but I’ll stop here, as I’m fully aware that you know these pains and problems first hand. 

So, I know business, and how to create a successful business, and I’m passionate about helping teachers, and I know I can help pain relieve as I do in my Educator 2 Entrepreneur online course and private coaching. 

So, those are two examples from my own experience. It’s first looking at the pains you can solve. But, how do you do this? 

Well, that leads us to my last part, the solution that will have you coming up with your business idea. 

Solution #4: What pains, problems, and pain relievers have you experienced and solved that could benefit others?

Maybe you don’t realize this if you didn’t catch part 2 in this series, but you don’t have to be an expert to share your gifts, talents, and skills with others.  You just need to be two steps ahead of your potential clients to help them.

In fact, we’re past the “Information Age,” people are drowning in information.  What people are starving for is clarity.  And my friend, this is why it’s the perfect time for you to find your business idea, as we’re at a time now where we’re done with people who are just spouting knowledge, the professors, the so-called experts who have the knowledge, but no experience. Nope, that time is over.  We can see it in the boom of the online course market and coaching businesses.  To the tune of billions of dollars every year! 

We seek the help of real people who have solved their problems, solved their pains, and know the pain relievers that they used to do this. 

If you don’t believe me, look at Amazon reviews. Have you ever made your decision to buy something based on the reviews of people who came before you, bought the pain reliever, otherwise known as the solution, and wrote in their product review. Of course!

This is a product example, but the same thing applies to a service-based business.  For example, part of my business is service-based, I do private business coaching.  I’m solving the pains for my clients who want more than a self-study online course.  Don’t get me wrong, Educator 2 Entrepreneur is a fantastic, comprehensive course that in 9 weeks or less will have you ready to launch a business you can start making money in, even if you’re still teaching full time.

But, there are some teachers who are ready to make a larger investment in time, money, and energy, and they want some hand-holding, private assistance to get them further, faster.  They come to me since I know how to get them to launching and maintaining their business.  Because I’m several steps ahead of them, and I’ve solved my own business pains and problems, I can shortcut their process and help them not have to go through the problems I went through.  Or, if they do, I have a way to pain relieve for them.  Do I have an expensive MBA-- a master's degree in business?  Nope, I’m just someone who’s solved many business pains with pain relievers.

So, it’s really a matter of reverse engineering and asking yourself what’s one painful problem I can solve without struggle, that I can help others with?  

We take it for granted that everyone can solve the problems and pains like we can. In fact, what seems easy to us, can be hard for others. This is why it’s important to take 20 minutes with the freebie to help brain dump all that you’ve done to solve your pains and problems. You most likely never thought anything about it, but this is the secret sauce to figuring out what you can teach to help those that are steps behind you and are looking for a solution!

How to Use the 3 P's Cheatsheet to Get Closer to Your Business Idea

Let me give you a breakdown of how the freebie 3 P's cheat sheet can help you get those memories out of your head and onto the paper to help serve as bread crumbs to your new business, a business where people will beg for your solution so that they too can solve their problems and pains!  

This freebie will have 3 columns where you’ll write down the following:

  1. all of the problems/pains you've faced in your life 
  2. how you solved those pain/problems
  3. all of your passions currently or in the past

Lastly, you're going to look for themes that match all 3 columns. Where have you solved problems/pains that are also in an area of passion or interest of yours?

Here’s an example of what I would write in mine for column 1:

Not sure I wanted to be a teacher anymore (as that was a pain for me--not knowing what to do).  

This was at 20 some years ago, so for you, you might start back 20 years or more.  

But do think in terms of pains in various areas of your life, physical pains/problems you’ve overcome, mental, emotional, financial, so on...list them all.  Brain dump.  Don’t worry about spelling or grammar, just get them all down.

Next, in column 2, you’ll list the ways you solved the pain--what I call the pain reliever.

So using this same example in the pain column, since you do want to match up the pains and the pain relievers, I would put all of the things I did to solve my pain feeling like I was made to do more.  So I would list writing speaking proposals--since I wanted to be a PD presenter, going to Toastmasters, and so on…

Next, after I finished all of my pain relievers for each of my pains, I would head over to column 3, where I would start writing out my passions. Again, following this example, I would list, presenting on teaching and writing, and writing lesson plans since that was a passion of mine. 

When I was all done, I would then see where the matches are between pains I’ve had, pain relievers I used, and my passions. When you find a match, I would make a note that this was something I could possibly develop a business into--for me, this was teaching others how I did it, how I solved my pains and problems, the steps I took and was successful at.

So, my friend, that’s it. That’s how you fill out your 3 Ps cheat sheet to help get closer to figuring out your business idea. Remember, people are drowning in information.  What people are starving for is someone to help them solve their pains and problems. Someone just like you, that has come before them and has a solution.

I would love to know! Let me know in the comment below, what pain/problems have you had in a specific area that you can help others solve?

Okay, that’s it for now! Until next time, remember you can Rewrite Your Future, one step at a time!

Stay Savvy and Focused!
~Suzanne Klein 💜

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