Today’s Featured Teacher: Erica Trujillo
Erica is a wife and mom of 3 girls ages 7, 5, and 2. She is a teacher and gym enthusiast and, most recently, an online gift boutique owner. She knows that sometimes teaching is messy, momming is messy, and life can be messy, but what’s most important is being real and being okay with the mess.
Erica tries to radiate positivity and cheer people on as they create their own brand of happiness, whether that be her students or a stranger on the street.
How did you select your side hustle?
This is a brand new company, and I have been approached by people, you know, “Here’s this skincare line and you can have a business, too,” or “The supplement line and you can have a business, too.” So, actually a friend of mine from college, his wife started with our company and I was kind of watching her and I was like, well, that looks like a lot of fun. And I contacted her and said, “Hey, tell me a little bit about what you’re doing with this gifting business. I want to know more.”
And that’s how I got started. That was in June and the company had just launched in May. And that was something else that attracted me to it because it was so new and we’re still, you know, in our infancy. We’ve just been launched for six months now. So it’s a lot of fun and to watch something grow, you know, to start it new and watch it grow and watch it become this, this big, wonderful thing that it’s becoming. We’re already doing so much. I can’t even imagine in two years where we’ll be at.
How do you find time to work on your business while teaching?
I’m a full-time teacher and also a mom of three. So there’s lots of minutes of the day that are already taken up. One of the things that I stopped doing because I do love my business so much and what I’m doing with my business, I’ve kind of stopped watching TV. So instead of at night, zoning out and watching TV, I do something that’s gonna help and build my business.
Then also I get up at 4:30 in the morning and that’s the only time I could get my workout in. So also while I’m working out while I’m getting my cardio in at the gym, I work on my business there, too. It’s just little nooks and crannies all through the day.
So right now I’m a virtual school teacher. I’m teaching at my school building, but I have virtual students. And so we don’t really have lunch together anymore. So on my lunch break, there’s another 30 minutes that I find to work on my business.
So really it’s, you know, being a mom and being a teacher takes up a fair bit of my day. But if you really block out your time and say, well, this time is completely off limits because I’m teaching or I’m with my students, or are we’re at basketball practice, or what have you you’ll see in your calendar when you block out those times that you are doing other things. You’ll see where you have those extra moments in the day that you can work on a side hustle.
What teaching skill has served you most as a side hustler?
Definitely relationship building. You have to build relationships with your students. It’s sometimes those relationships happen immediately and sometimes those take time. And I think that that’s really helped me with my business.
My company is a network marketing company and some people get really put off by that sometimes, but it’s not as scary as it seems. And usually they have a story of why they are put off about it.
So network marketing, I mean, just the word, networking, you know, it’s, it’s all about building relationships and getting those people to trust you. You’re not going to be shoving any kind of products down their throat. You’re going to be shoving any kind of business down their throat. I have found something that I love and I just want to share that. Maybe it’s not for everybody, and that’s okay, but at least I can offer it to people. And then there’s somebody out there that it’s going to help them and, and hopefully change their lives.
How has having a business positively impacted your teaching?
I feel like teaching and having a business is really all about relationships. And then just like with having my business, I feel like the relationships that I have built and I have found through this company have helped me be more cognizant of all situations that are happening. Especially in 2020, you know, like a lot of people and like a lot of students, you know, being on a screen with them, it’s hard to know exactly how they’re feeling. But then you start to meet their grownups that are with them. And then you can start to understand.
So building those new relationships and just talking to lots of different types of people that maybe I would not have ordinarily done without this company has helped me to not just reach my, my kids, but they’re grown ups too.
I have first graders, so they have grown up sitting right next to them. And so I try to not only keep my students engaged, but keep the adults wanting to sit next to them, to see what’s going to be happening next and wanting more, too. All these people through my business and building my conversation skills has really helped me to make connections with my adults. You know, my grownups. I mean, they’re kind of my students, too, because they’re seeing what I’m doing. And then they’re able to like help their kids at home based on what they’ve seen me model for them.
So I think that all just has kind of all meshed together. It’s kind of helped me build that relationship and rapport with the grownups of the students that I’m teaching.
What's your favorite thing about having a side hustle?
It really all just comes back to relationships.
And then with that the personal development that I gotten out of it. I have now seen where this network marketing is more than just saying, “Hey, look at my product.” “Hey girl, look at my products or look at my business. I can help you make money.” It’s way more than that.
There’s so much personal development that I’ve gained out of it and yes, I’m making money. So it’s personal development with a paycheck. And that is one of the things that I was missing out of teaching.
My school district and my school and our coaches, they provide us with so much professional development, but there’s the missing piece for me and what I was craving so much. I didn’t know at the time that I started was that personal development and had 2020 not happened the way that it happened. I would not have built relationships that I’ve built, I wouldn’t have built a business that I’ve built, I wouldn’t have built a skillset that I’ve built… You know, if it wasn’t a hard year.
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