Most of the articles I read detail how people made millions in absurdly fast periods of time. I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of tired of the “get rich quick” stories. They don’t fit my experience in the slightest.
I figure it’s time for more honest articles that show the reality of entrepreneurship (or as I call it, edupreneurship for people building business in the education space). So here is my story… How I made a whopping $25 over the course of 6 months.
My first real business opportunity came with the creation of Academic Mindset. My wife and I were suddenly faced with a real opportunity… We were charged with the direction of a new branch of a successful company!
Coming from the teaching world, this was an intimidating but exciting endeavor. We dove headfirst into this new challenge with dreams of success and quick accomplishment.
In three grueling months of effort, we had the foundation of a brand new curriculum. The curriculum boasted over 50 activities, all practical and easy to access yet developed through years of prior research. Our hearts and souls were poured into this tool.
And nobody bought it.
(At least not at the beginning)
We were teachers. We hadn’t learned about marketing or sales or even had a clue about branding. It was a new world and we were strangers. So what to do? We leaned into our strengths. We were content building superstars and we could build a better product!
Another 3 months of sweat equity, late nights, and sacrifice led us to our next product. It was an e-book that captured the main research and practice points of our curriculum, designed for teachers. At the time, we called it “Academic Mindset Pedagogy.” Check out this beautiful cover!
Here we were, 6 months into this business transition and we were ready for our big release of this sure-fire product. The moment of truth was here. We were growing our social media accounts in any way we could and marketing with our best efforts. The day came to put it on sale, aaaaaaaaand.
We got two sales. One sale was from my wonderfully supportive mother-in-law. The other was from a teacher… A real teacher! And someone we haven’t met.
If you are reading this, you might be thinking this was an awful launch. But it was EXACTLY what we needed. There were 2 things that had to happen for us to begin our path to success.
- We had to learn the importance of executing a business strategy, above and beyond just having good content.
- We needed hope. It was vital that we saw that our products had the potential to sell to anybody.
So it was only a $25 profit for us after 6 months of work. But that was the first $25 that we made off of our own creativity, hard work, and entrepreneurship. It wasn’t guaranteed or paid on a decided hourly rate. We created it and made it happen.
If you are in the beginning stages of a side hustle or a new business, I hope this message reaches you. People will not throw their money at you easily, even if they are telling you that they will! Every sale and every dollar is earned. But the money you will earn from your own work will be more rewarding than any other dollar that has come your way.
Do not fear if a product you make does not sell right away or doesn’t have the audience you hoped for. Ask questions, learn more, and continue to grow. That same product might blow up a year or two later with a refined strategy. New entrepreneurs, you can do this!
Oh, and when you do make it… Don’t forget your failure stories that led to your success. People will want to hear your narrative and know your REAL experience, not just your wins. Be real and authentic as you make this journey to financial freedom.