From teacher to entrepreneur - insights with Sorcha Coyle


Here’s a chat that could really add lots of value to you right now if you are planning to teach abroad or if you want to set up your private tutoring business with a focus on early literacy and phonics teaching.


I talked to Sorcha Coyle on her podcast “The Empowering Expat Teachers Podcast” which you can find on Spotify or listen to it here https://www.sorchacoyle.com/podcast.




Sorcha is an expat teacher turned entrepreneur who specializes in professional CV writing for teachers. She gets her clients the best jobs in top schools in the Middle East and Asia. She also coaches teachers who want to optimize their income and finances and she also helps teachers change career. In short, she’s a multitalent and if you are an expat teacher or not, she’s someone all teachers will get real value from following!


Here’s a look at just three of the points we covered. There’s a whole lot more so I really suggest you listen!


1. Marketing. But I’m a teacher, that’s not what I do! It’s not even what I want to do!

Spoiler: you’ve been marketing for years already.


As teachers starting our own businesses, marketing can be a big one that teachers are afraid of. But we actually do marketing all the time. If you think what you do as a teacher, you build a relationship with somebody, you have a chat with them. So you're talking to the parents, students, even colleagues. You find out where they've got difficulties, where they've got problems.


And you find a solution - you do what they need to help solve their problem. And that's exactly what marketing is. It's just a conversation with somebody to find out how you can help them.


And I always thought, oh, marketing … selling. Ooh, that's a big one for me. I can’t do that - I don’t even want to do that. But once you realize it's just really opening conversation, and if you can help them, you will help them.


And I think it's really helpful to remember that people always give you permission to sell to them.

You can't really do the hard sell or the forced sale, because if you've built that relationship and it's just the natural progression. So I think teachers worry about marketing when they really don’t need to.



2. But I’m “just” a teacher! Do I really have the skills to do anything else?

Spoiler - yes, you do! Believe in yourself!


Sorcha shared the story of one of her career-change clients in Dubai. Here it is, in Sorcha’s words:


“This teacher has gone back home, got a really great job, earning more than she did in Dubai, actually back in the UK. And she's working in local government, in a managerial role, and she's gone in and everyone's like, “Wow, you do so much! Like you're able to do so much in so little time. You know, you're like super-dynamic, you know?” And she's like, “this is me as a teacher. This is what I had to do. I had to wear several hats. I had to do a thousand things a day. I had to make snap decisions all the time.”


I don't think as a teacher she realized how amazing she was and how many wonderful skills that she had until she went to this other job where they're like, “how do you do all this?”


I don't think people realize - until they leave teaching - how much they actually do. Teachers just really, really need to believe in themselves.”



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3. Top tip - get help! Do it by moving from an “expense” mindset into an “investment” mindset. When I spoke to Sorcha I admitted that I am the very last person to ask for help. I always think, yeah, I can do that by myself. That's, you know, not a problem. I'll figure that one out.


And I have a coach and I am in a program and it has been completely invaluable. Within two days of starting with my business coach, I realized this will be the making of me. This is exactly what I need. I'm the expert in what I'm the expert in, but you cannot be the expert in everything. You don’t know what you don’t know - and that’s a big way a coach can help.


So I would absolutely say get some support, get some help. That coach, that mentor, when you get a good one - find somebody who's been there, done that - will make all the difference to you.




These are just three of the things we talked about in our podcast. We also talked about dreaming big, the power of networking and why working on mindset isn’t the woo-woo thing we were both once sceptical about. Plus even more!


Find “The Empowering Expat Teachers Podcast” with Sorcha Coyle on Spotify or listen here https://www.sorchacoyle.com/podcast



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Find out more about Sorcha and how you can work with her https://www.sorchacoyle.com/. If you are thinking of teaching abroad next year, now is exactly the time to start your job search and she can help you.


Next week I’ll be looking in-depth at the lessons included in the Tutor Like a Pro! membership and explaining the value of ready-to-go lessons for tutoring beyond the time-saving aspect, so check back next week and subscribe in the box below if you haven’t already!


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