4 Ways How You Can Become a Well Known Edupreneur

The latter half of the previous century saw the opening of a number of different schools that challenged the way education was perceived. This movement changed the way people thought about education and it promoted a more liberal and free thinking atmosphere. All of this was in line with the zeitgeist of the 60s and 70s, as people were becoming parts of movements and revolutions all over. The counterculture was an important part of this era, and it ended up changing the way a lot of things were done up until the current generation.

The death of this counterculture was inevitable. After all, movements all end up dying out when practicality gets in their way. However, while the specialty schools that had cropped up all ended up fading away, this era still left its mark on the work of schooling. This is because of the fact that homeschooling became considered a viable alternative to mainstream education. There were a lot of reasons why this was the case. First of all, homeschooling allowed education to be personalized according to the needs of the individual. This is in stark contrast to mainstream schools which don’t take into account everyone’s different skills and needs.

Home schooling also flourished because of the fact that it was rooted in the traditional family unit, something that America has always been very passionate about to the point where it drives entire presidential campaigns and ends up deciding the fate of the country in the near future. All of these benefits ended up making it widely popular even to this day. Nowadays it is estimated that over two million children are being home schooled.

All of that being said, the free schools as they were referred to during their heyday in the 60s and 70s with their firm ideologies that were rooted in counterculture all seemed to fade out of memory save for a few radical exceptions.

The reasons for this can be understood fairly well. Counterculture is a response to the mainstream, but it doesn’t exist in its truest and purest form for very long. After a little while it starts to become adopted by the mainstream in order for people to seem like they are part of the truly cool aspect of their culture. Capitalist societies mean that these countercultural elements are then turned into products that are to be sold.

Hence, true followers of the counterculture ended up becoming disinterested in the whole thing. The break up of the counterculture lead to a few radical strains being left here and there, with the purest followers of the countercultural ideology choosing to remain in their own communities and espouse only those values that they deem to be fit.

The few free schools that remained ended up providing a lot of inspiration for the modern edupreneurship movement. One example of this can be found in Massachusetts. The Sudbury Valley School has been active for half a century this year, and it is one of the biggest sources of inspiration for people that are seeking the spoils that only edupreneurship is able to provide. This school inspires current edupreneurs, but initial ones did not look to this particular school for their inspiration. It is no coincidence that they ended up failing. One reason that they did not succeed as much as current edupreneurs was their lack of entrepreneurial spirit.

One can see that this is a problem that is still very prevalent in the world of edupreneurship. Any schools or centers that open up ends up suffering a lot of hardships simply because of the fact that they focus too much on their ideology and fail to realize that they need to run their school like a business if they want it to succeed in the real world. This is the reason the Sudbury Valley School is still operational, and it is why edupreneurs inspired by this school are a lot more successful than edupreneurs that are not.

This is because of the fact that while passion for an idea is a good place to start, indeed some would say that without it you simply won’t be able to start in the first place, it is not at all a finish line. It is only the beginning, there is a lot more work that you will have to do after that point if you want to succeed.

The problem is that a lot of edupreneurs are so enchanted by the idea they are espousing that they want to be above the idea of profit in general. They instead think that a non-profit, charitable approach is the way to go. Revenue has become a bit of an ugly word in modern times, mostly because of the fact that there are so many companies out there that are abusing the concept of maximizing revenue and enacting unethical business practices in order to get the revenue they are looking to achieve.

However, if propagating the idea or ideology is the aim, then the real world needs to be taken into account. You have a service and you are selling it to someone, it’s as simple as that. Not profiting off of your services is going to make your operation unsustainable.

If you are new to the world of edupreneurship, you need all of the help you can get. Here are some tips to help you along the bumpy road that you must now walk before you are finally succeed.

#1 Offer More Than Just an Idea

Ideas are great, but people have them all the time. When you are talking to people about what you are offering, you need to make sure that you discuss more than just the idea or ideology. You need to talk about something that has value in the real world. One way to talk about this is by discussing the things you offer that other people don’t. No matter what you do, you will have competitors angling for your slice of the pie. Talk about what you offer that they cannot match.

No one is going to want to pay for a good idea, at least they won’t be looking to pay a lot of money for said idea. Give them a reason to pay, something that is irrefutable. Is there a need that you are fulfilling? Perhaps a problem that you are solving? Do you work in a niche that is often left ignored? Remember that you are selling value more than anything else.

#2 Keep a Practical Goal

This doesn’t just mean being realistic. Being realistic is different from being practical, because sometimes realistic goals don’t take into account the practical considerations of day to day life. A lot of edupreneurs think that profit is the wrong that to work towards, they even grimace at the very idea of revenue in the first place.

The problem with this as a concept is that it is inherently unsustainable. No matter what you are trying to do and who you are trying to teach, you will have to spend money to get your service up and running. First and foremost you need money coming in in order to keep providing these services because your own money is going to run out. Furthermore you are going to have to look into making some profit because you can’t survive on light and air, and food costs money. You need to earn some money to stay comfortable so that you can run your business.

#3 Adopt an Entrepreneurial Spirit

This is something that goes beyond profit and revenue. Not all entrepreneurs are rich after all, a lot of them consider themselves to be social entrepreneurs. An entrepreneurial spirit means that you are dogged in your pursuits and you are looking to find value in everything that you are doing. No matter what your task or goal is, you will seek to do it in the best way possible so that no one else has to suffer because of the fact that you failed to provide the service you were looking to give people.

You also need to start taking risks and going for opportunities as soon as you see them. Be spontaneous and flexible, don’t be rigid because success only comes to people that adopt properly to the things that are happening around them. Remember that what you are offering is a commodity. You are selling it to people that need it.

#4 Hone The Right Skills

If you want your enterprise to work no matter what your goal is, there are a number of business skills you will have to adopt. Learn how to bargain, and learn how to maximize the amount of work that you are able to do at any given point in time. Learn how to multitask and manage your time. This means taking time out to relax as well. You won’t get very far if you exhaust yourself and find yourself unable to work anymore because you’re burned out.

5 Things to Keep in Mind During The Initial Stages of Edupreneurship

Any startup that is dealing in the world of education will have difficulty during the initial stages. People that want to provide education are often social entrepreneurs, but in order for their enterprise to succeed they will have to start thinking practically like a businessman.

Also, each education startup has a different story because so many of them are trying to tackle diverse issues that a lot of people don’t even know about. Hence, when you establish your startup you might end up facing problems that no one has experienced before. While it can become easy to despair in such situations, especially since there is no one that can give you the advice you need, it is possible to prepare yourself for all scenarios.

One thing you need to realize is that the initial stages are the truly hard part. Things get easier pretty quickly, but you need help weathering your teething pains as it were. Listed below are some tips that you can keep in mind in order to make the process easier for yourself.

#1 Mind Your Customer Support

This is one of the most important things you should think about. You cannot scale without a solid customer support system. People won’t trust you if they are not getting the support they deserve after investing money in your enterprise by acquiring your goods and services. Hiring a top notch customer support team is essential. You should also look into implementing a customer support software such as the one offered by Kayako. This will help you scale your operations considerably because of the fact that it will greatly increase your company’s capacity to handle customer complaints and queries in large volumes. Focusing on customer support should be one of your earliest goals so that you can mitigate future problems that might occur.

#2 Plan For Occasional Business

Education is a field unlike any other. First of all, you are probably not going to get business all year round. Steady business isn’t possible because of the fact that people often take months off from education. Summer holidays are a thing after all. Hence, you need to be in the right place at the right time. Show up to all places where you can acquire leads. You will end up getting most of your business for the year from just one or two good leads that you would follow through with over a two to three month period.

#3 Be Ready For a Marketing Slog

Edutech companies take a long time to succeed. This is because of the fact that marketing is very difficult, even if you have a product or service that no one else is providing and you offer value that is beyond what the market had to offer before your arrival. The only advice that someone can give you here is don’t give up. It is natural for this process to take a long time and if you say at it your labor will bear fruit sooner or later.

#4 Don’t Be Afraid to Get By

A lot of people say that the whole point of capitalism is to scale your business and expand aggressively. While this is true, it is also true that expanding is a risky endeavor because of the fact that failure can result in your business becoming unviable. Sometimes it is better to keep things going steady rather than scaling up. Be careful before scaling. Don’t be afraid to just get by for a little while. In this business it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

#5 Don’t Bite Off More Marketing Than You Can Chew

If you are an edupreneur one of your goals will be becoming a household name, or at least widely recognized. This can be achieved through hard work and dedication but don’t jump the gun. Only start mass marketing when you know that you can afford it, and that it will not impact your profit margin. Marketing to people before you can handle the influx of customers might end up ruining your company and making it sink before it ever even got to be afloat.

How to Become An Edupreneur with Shelly Sanchez Terrell

On this episode, I Zoom in Shelly Sanchez Terrell, and we chat about the game of edupreneurship.

Shelly Sanchez Terrell is a teacher trainer, elearning specialist, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning Strategies: 10 Ways to Launch EdTech Missions in Your Classroom, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Teaching and Learning to Go: Lesson Ideas for Teaching with Mobile Devices, Cell Phones and BYOT. She has trained teachers and taught language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, the IATEFL YLTSIG, and VenTESOL. She is the instructional designer for American TESOL’s Teaching with Technology certification course, the Instituto Nacional de Tecnologías Educativas y de Formación de Profesorado’s Digital Storytelling for Teachers certification course, ITDI’s Learning to Go course, and eTextbook Teachers. She has been recognized by the ELTon Awards, The New York Times, NPR, and Microsoft’s Heroes for Education as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and webinars. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and recognized by Tech & Learning as one of the Top 10 Most Influential Educator Entrepreneurs for 2015.

Episode 73: Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships with Eric Sheninger

In this episode, Zack & Pete talk with Eric Sheninger about digital pedagogy, students finding answers to their own questions, and how to educate the next generation of creators. Eric Sheninger is a Senior Fellow and Thought Leader on Digital Leadership with the International Center for Leadership in Education. Prior to this, he was the award-winning Principal of New Milford High School. TIME Magazine identified Eric as having one of the 140 Best Twitter Feeds in 2014.

Eric Sheninger on Twitter: @E_Sheninger

Eric Sheninger blog: www.ericsheninger.com

The Edupreneur is a podcast for you, the teacher, student or entrepreneur who innovates, redefines and improves education. Co-host Pete Freeman is a nonprofit founder and Notre Dame student with a passion for education, entrepreneurship, and social welfare. Co-host Zack Baker is an award-winning programmer with a passion for tech and business.

Episode 71: Tony Wagner on the Harvard Innovation Lab, Creative Problem-Solving, and the Most Effective Competitive Advantage

Tony Wagner serves as an Expert In Residence at Harvard University’s new Innovation Lab. Prior to this appointment, Tony was the first Innovation Education Fellow at the Technology & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, and the founder and co-director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education for more than a decade. His previous work experience includes twelve years as a high school teacher, K-8 principal, university professor in teacher education, and founding executive director of Educators for Social Responsibility. Tony is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and a widely published author. His work includes numerous articles and six books. Tony’s latest, Most Likely To Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for The Innovation Era, co-authored by Ted Dintersmith, was just published by Scribner. Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change The World, was published by Scribner in 2012 to rave reviews and has been translated into 12 languages. His 2008 book, The Global Achievement Gap continues to be an international bestseller, with a Second Edition recently released.

Tony Wagner on Twitter: @DrTonyWagner

Tony Wagner’s website: tonywagner.com

The Edupreneur is a podcast for you, the teacher, student or entrepreneur who innovates, redefines and improves education. Co-host Pete Freeman is a nonprofit founder and Notre Dame undergraduate student. Co-host Zack Baker is an award-winning programmer with a passion for tech and business.

Episode 50: Jeff Bradbury on Teachercast, Edu-Podcasting, and Branding

Jeff Bradbury, author of Kidblog: An Introduction to Blogging With Your Students, is the creator of TeacherCast.net, TeacherCast University, and Educational Podcasting Today. He’s an ASCD Emerging Leader, Google Certified Teacher, Google Education Trainer, PBS Learning Media Digital Innovator, and more. He is currently the Coordinator for Technology Integration for the Westwood Regional School District in New Jersey. In 2012, Jeff was recognized as one of top 50 educators using social media at the first ever Bammy Awards and has been nominated twice in the category of Innovator of the Year. Jeff has Keynoted for the Pearson Authentic Learning Conference, EdTechNJ and most recently at Columbia University’s Teacher College.

Jeff Bradbury on Twitter: @TeacherCast
Jeff’s website: www.jeffreybradbury.com

The Edupreneur is a podcast for you, the teacher, student or entrepreneur who innovates, redefines and improves education. Co-host Pete Freeman is a nonprofit founder and Notre Dame student with a passion for education, entrepreneurship, and social welfare. Co-host Zack Baker is an award-winning programmer with a passion for tech and business.