Time Freedom Galore For This Former Teacher

Suzanne

A big hello and welcome to all of our educators that are viewing around the world. So happy, so excited that you're here. I am Suzanne Klein, and I'm really thrilled to be introducing my guest as we are talking about Time Freedom.

Today's conversation is going to take you inside her home in Atlanta, Georgia, or should I say one of the many offices that Amanda McNay has. So welcome, Amanda I'm so glad that you're here. 

Amanda

Yeah, Hey, Suzanne, thank you so much for having me. I'm really excited to chat more with you and everyone listening about my journey from being an art educator moving on to being a graphic designer, an artist, and an entrepreneur on my own.

Suzanne

Fantastic ad I know that our viewers will get a lot of benefit from watching this interview. So, we're talking about Time Freedom today, and I'm sure there are so many teachers out there, wishing that they had time freedom right now. I mean, really according to a 2012 survey that said that teachers spend 10 to 11 hours a day, but normally people work eight, or less hours a day, and that was in 2012. So, considering the new obstacles and all the demands that teachers have now, I'm sure it's even more, and so if you're struggling not having Time Freedom, this is definitely a must-hear message from Amanda today. 

So just a quick overview Time Freedom means not being restricted by your employer's work hours and allowing, which allows you to be able to set your own flexible schedule and work whenever you want. 

Amanda, can you tell our audience a little bit about your background and why you left teaching.

Amanda

Definitely, so I was an art education major at Georgia, with a focus on graphic design, so graphic design has always been my focus in art, but I really was excited about teaching art when I left college. I was fortunate enough to teach at one of the best middle schools in Georgia; its a really fantastic school. I loved the kids. I loved lots about it, but after a few years of teaching, I just found myself wanting more freedom in several areas, but time was one of the biggest. I saw my friends and my now husband; they all had these corporate jobs, but really, you know, flexible, fun, innovative companies where they had really flexible PTO and generous work from home days. And I just really felt like I was missing out on what everyone else had it really hit me. My husband was right before I left teaching, and I was already kind of, you know, getting in that mode where I felt like I was going missing now, and my now husband had earned a trip to Hawaii for both of us for free through work.

Unfortunately, it fell the week after my spring break, so I had to take five unpaid days. Of course, I wasn't going to miss out on the trip, but it really hit me when I was like, wow, you know people talk so much about teachers having the summer off and of course, that's a fantastic perk but what people don't realize is we really have no time off during the year.

And I remember one day as well I was, I was not feeling well at work I can't remember what the situation was, but it was during my planning I didn't have any kids, my grading was caught up. I needed to go to the drugstore to pick up some medicine, and I remember having to log 30 minutes of sick leave to go to the drugstore, and I'm like this is insane like I'm an adult, I should be trusted to go do things and be back on time and handle my own things.

I really just felt like I wasn't, you know, trusted with my with that little bit of time I had so I ended up it was a hard decision, but about a little over three years ago, I left education, started my own graphic design business, and honestly never looked back its the best decision ever. 

Suzanne

I didn't know that part of the story about your class and how much you enjoyed them, but I'm really thrilled that you shared that because that was one of the many reasons why teachers don't leave. Its because they feel this guilt in what other professions, do we say to like a doctor who wants to leave after 5, 10, 15 years we don't say oh you shouldn't leave, you know, it feels like it's only teaching where once you get in you feel like you have to stay 30 years and then people are like, Well, why aren't you staying?

I'm really glad that you talked about that, so I think a lot of teachers do have that kind of guilt, and they shouldn't and like you said, you really have to look at what was what and what was most important was you in the equation, and we have to be our best advocates.

Amanda

That's such a great point, so I actually counted recently I'm coming up on my 10th year of 13 planned. The 13th is in October, so there are two more months, I'm sure we'll add something to it, but I love traveling. There's typically you know there are smaller trips there are larger trips, but actually, four of those trips are to California my husband's from the Bay Area, so we have four weddings in California this year.

We're all over the place, I actually got married in St Lucia last May, and we were gone for a full week. That was one trip where I actually didn't take my computer. So for the most part, I take my computer everywhere I go. Obviously, the internet's very accessible everywhere now, and if not, I have unlimited, you know, the internet on my phone and tethered from my phone is actually really fast. So I work from the car if we're going somewhere nearby.

Again, I'm in Atlanta, and there's a little mountain town called Chattanooga, Tennessee, just a couple hours away. So my husband works from home as well, and on Fridays, sometimes we'll just drive up in the morning, and whoever you know has more morning tasks will ride and do their work. We'll get there and finish the day, and it's really great.

I just take my computer everywhere with me. I mean I I try, you know at least once or twice a year to not take my computer. Actually, my wedding was the first time that I fully didn't take it. I think people understood like hey I'm getting married like don't call me. And then last year we went to Italy for a week. I did not take my computer there, as well. I always keep up with an email on my phone, just for the peace of mind to mot get backed up. But otherwise, I always have it with me. That's the hardest part of being an entrepreneur is figuring out how to detach a little bit when you need to.

Suzanne

Yes. No, that is true. I mean, you don't have the nine to five schedule, or whatever you know, the teaching day is for everyone is different. But you, in that sense, you can kind of work anytime, anywhere. I guess it's really truly the laptop lifestyle that you're living; I mean, you can work from anywhere. Like you said, as long as you have an internet connection so fantastic.

As we are coming to an end here, I just want to thank you, Amanda. It's been such a joy and a pleasure I mean; usually, we were only ever connecting via email and WhatsApp text messages, so it's great to see you, virtually, and eyeball to eyeball. Also, be able to help other people, teachers, and educators out there that are listening and being inspired by the leap that you took to make it all happen and truly rewrite your future to what it is now. I am sure that the takeaway for our viewers is that you now have the time of freedom, which has been extremely, extremely helpful to you in living the life of your dreams.

Thank you for watching and stay savvy, my friend.

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