When people come to me for help choosing their side hustle, I usually ask them “what are you awesome at?”, or “what are you an expert at?”. Teachers have a hard time identifying themselves as an expert in anything because they put a lot of pressure on the word expert. Today, we are talking about how you can start thinking of yourself as an expert, even if you don’t feel like one yet.
Expert is a big word. We put a lot of meaning behind this one little word. There are so many teachers I know that have amazing skill sets and could do amazing things out there with their side hustle but they won’t take that first step because they wont allow themselves to think they might be an expert.
I am going to take you through a few steps today on how you can start shifting your mindset to start thinking of yourself as the expert that you really are.
I hear a lot of teachers say to me “I’m not an expert, it’s just easy”. The thing is we often don’t see our own super powers, the things we are really great at because they come easily to us. Not that we don’t have to work at them, not that we don’t have to develop that skill, but it is easier for us to do that than other people. Therefore, when we go to program something on a computer, it seems easy to us, whereas someone else might go to do it and want to throw their computer out the window. These things that are easy for you, are actually a good way to start thinking of yourself as, if not an expert, someone one step above. Someone who can help other people with the wealth of the knowledge that you have, get one step further.
You can use this skill in a couple of different ways.
1. You can actually do these things for other people. Because it is easy for you and not for them, so why would they not pay you for it?
2. The other way to go is to use your teaching ability and help other people learn how to do what you do. Even though you think this is just something that is easy for you, there are still ways for you to build a side hustle around this, without calling yourself an expert.
Remember the 10% rule.
The 10% rule says that you don’t have to know all the things. If your side hustle is teaching golf, you don’t have to be Tiger Woods! There are plenty of people who are making a living as golf experts that are not as good as Tiger Woods because, quite frankly, few are. So you only have to be about 10% better than the people you want to help at whatever you want to help them with. The 10% rule is a great rule of thumb when you are first getting started that you don’t have to know all the things. You just have to know a little bit more than the people you are trying to help.
The next thing is to remember, you’re a teacher! You are already a lifelong learner. You can learn as you go. There is nothing that says knowledge and skills when you start your business are all you’re allowed to have. Imagine if we started teaching like that, and the skills that we had as a first year teacher were all we had, never allowed to improve or learn more. What would our classrooms look like? It would be a nightmare! Why would we think the same is true for our business? You can learn as you go. As you figure out what clients and customers want from you, and focus your learning on that topic.
Grow into your role as the expert.
Whether the expert is teaching other people or doing for other people. The last thing I’m going to say is that you don’t have to call yourself an expert. You can let other people do that for you. You will earn the reputation of expert from the people that you help. You are teaching them, you are the bees knees, and they are going to recommend you to other people! It’s not you announcing you’re an expert.
I’m technically a “master teacher”. I’ve got the degree and letters after my name to prove it. But that doesn’t mean I walk into a classroom and say “hello there, I’m Stacey Ogden, master teacher”. That would be a little ridiculous, and a little bit obnoxious. What I do is let my teaching speak for itself. I let my students and parents figure out that I’m a master teacher. You don’t have to go into your business calling yourself an expert. Do the work and let other people call you an expert. You can be the humble, ever-gracious genius behind the scenes.
Don’t feel the need to call yourself an expert. Understand that expert is a big word for teachers. Frankly, there is always something more to learn. When we stop learning, we stop growing. That’s when things get stagnant, boring, and frankly, nobody wants to be around the person who is stagnant and boring. You know what you know, and that can help the people that are 10% behind you.
This is true for all side hustles, if you want to be a virtual assistant, you need to know just a little bit more than the person you’re assisting. Maybe you want to sell resources on Teachers Pay Teachers, but you worry that they aren’t pretty, cool, interactive, or engaging enough. There are people out there that are looking for lessons that you already created and would be grateful for what you can provide for them! Because you have skills or knowledge that they don’t have.
So, my friend, do not fear calling yourself an expert.
You don’t have to. But you do need to know that you have something that people need. And it is not just teaching. You can use your skills, your abilities, whether they’re innate or something you worked really hard to learn, to help support your family in a new way.
The CEO Teacher Academy opens this week, so if you’ve been thinking of selling your teaching resources on Teachers Pay Teachers, now’s the time to get started. Kayse Morris, who was on last week’s show, will walk you through everything you need to know to get started and get found on Teachers Pay Teachers. Learn more here.