Thursday, July 23, 2015

How I Got Started - The Business Side

How did I get started selling products on Teachers Pay Teachers? - I thought this would be a good place to start my new Business Side Series.

I'm not sure how to answer in a simple, short, and concise journey has been a personal one.

First, a little background.  After graduating with my Bachelor's degree from SUNY Brockport I was immediately hired to teach 4th grade.  I completed my Master's degree at St. John Fisher while teaching for my first year.  By then I had gained 4 teaching Early Childhood, Childhood, Health, and Literacy.

I got married and moved into a cute little ranch halfway between our jobs.  I started driving an hour to work.

Not being the "sit back and relax" kind of person, I wanted more.

So I pursued National Board Certification and achieved it the first time around.

And then....we decided to start a family.

But....after a year of trying.....there was no baby.

At our first appointment to find out "why" I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes....MAJOR SURPRISE.  I thought only kids had that.

I started using an Omnipod Insulin Pump and a Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitor.  They saved my life and my sanity.

I was told to hold off on starting a family.

Frustrated, confused, and annoyed I wanted to do something.  In a desperate search for inspiration I came across an amazing website....Teachers Pay Teachers.  And I thought to myself, "I could do that!"

That night I signed up, uploaded my first free product, and began creating.  Joining Teachers Pay Teachers as a seller forced me to look at my worksheets, lessons, and teaching materials with a more critical eye.

It has opened me up to the possibilities, inspired my creativity, and enhanced my collaboration.  I have met teachers across the globe, exchanged resources with them, and received oodles of great feedback to better myself as a teacher.  Overall, creating products and collaborating with amazing teachers from the site has been one of the best professional development moves that I have ever tried.  It forces me to stay current, to constantly rethink and reflect on my teaching, and to be the best I can be.

Selling products on Teachers Pay Teachers was also a wonderful distraction from the stress Type 1 Diabetes brought and the frustration of having to put off starting a family.

Sure enough, as my happiness increased and my stress level reduced, my blood sugar levels got back on track and we were able to welcome my sweet daughter Natalie into the world.

Balancing teaching, a family, and a small business is no easy feat, but it has all been worth it.

The benefits are endless.

What do I do with my Teachers Pay Teachers income?  

I put it back into the business and my classroom.

The fonts and clipart that I use in my products require special licenses that (although you can often find for free) I usually pay for.  I can create most products for my classroom for free, but in order to make them "sell-able" on Teachers Pay Teachers, I like to invest.

Plus, there is ink, paper, software, and all the other secretarial expenses that come along with selling products.

I invest money into my classroom as well.

I want my students to have the best of the best.

I want the classroom to look friendly, colorful, and inviting.

Teachers Pay Teachers provides me with the income to make my dreams a reality.

Lastly, I spend my money on sweet baby Natalie.  Money to move us into a bigger house (with office space and a home classroom), money to afford quality daycare when I can no be home, and money for her to have the best of the best.

When do I find the time to create?

I want to make one thing very clear, I never create products at school.

I only create products at home and in my free time.

I only create products on my own computer.

I only print my rough drafts with my own paper and ink that I purchased myself.

I work while Natalie naps (she is a great napper) and I work while my husband sleeps (he goes to bed an hour earlier than I do over the summer.

Some how, it works out and here I am today.  Joining Teachers Pay Teachers as a seller was one of the best decisions I could have ever made.

Are you considering joining?  Use my referral link here.

Tune in next Thursday to learn how much money you can make selling products on TPT.

Have a question about selling on Teachers Pay Teachers, blogging, or running a small business?  Comment below and I will try to answer all of your questions over the next few weeks!

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