Learn how Jen Regan has taken her knowledge and experience from teaching to create an online business developing resources for teachers.
If you’re an educator today, you’ve probably wrestled with the idea of spreading your own learning discoveries and resources to help other teachers.
Owning and running a business, even a small and virtual one, might not have been part of your plans. But, we’d like to challenge you to keep doing your research on it and even step into the role of teacherpreneur.
You’ll discover that, as a teacher, you have a lot to offer other educators.
Many gaps need to be filled in terms of providing effective and efficient resources for teachers. And, the more technology evolves so will education have to constantly readjust and grow.
Fourth-grade teacher Jen Regan, for example, found herself lacking not only resources in her classroom.
When Jen decided to change her classroom’s state of mind, she changed also!
Jen is a mom to three children and is expecting her fourth child very soon. After having her son in January of 2016, she took an extended maternity leave and was able to focus on creating materials on Teachers Pay Teachers and blogging on her own website. Jen began selling her self-made materials on Teachers Pay Teachers.
With some sound teaching principles paired with belief and optimism, Jen really delved into entrepreneurship and now makes changes in countless other classrooms besides her own.
Jen Regan’s Success Online
While Jen Regan has a great array of products that can be effectively used in the classroom, they all had their beginning when Jen discovered and applied the “Growth Mindset” with her own students.
Over 30 years ago, Dr. Carol Dweck researched people’s underlying beliefs about learning and intelligence and so developed what is called The Growth Mindset.
Brains and talent are just starting points for learning. Dedication and commitment are what you truly need to grow. #Growth Mindset
The basic foundation of this mindset is that brains and talent are merely starting points for development. In other words, basic abilities in the classroom can be developed and will grow through dedication and commitment.
“After introducing [the] growth mindset to my students a few years ago, I saw a big difference in the dynamic of our classroom and the student’s attitudes towards learning.”
Now, as an entrepreneur, Jen’s best-selling product is her Growth Mindset pack. This pack is made up of ten lessons and activities that help to introduce the growth mindset in the classroom. What’s great about this product is that it’s actually quite versatile being used across grade levels.
Jen also has the Close Reading bundle which includes the reading passages of high-interest topics. This helps teachers save time when preparing class material for close readings and responses.
“Close reading always seemed overwhelming to me, and I felt I did not have enough time to complete repeated readings along with the in-depth responses that came with the text.”
These activity packs can be bought on a monthly basis or in its entirety as a yearly pack. Jen has been receiving great feedback from other teachers about their students who now love doing close readings.
Jen has also been studying standards to develop writing units that help teachers, like herself, in the upper elementary grade levels that might not be given a writing curriculum. She has always loved teaching writing, but when you do not have a program set in your school, it is difficult to find materials that follow the standards.
3 Tips on How to Help More Teachers Through Your Online Platform
Every teacherpreneur has their way of spreading their message and moving their business forward. Here are some of the things Jen valued strongly in the beginning stages of her business:
Find a Niche and Create Quality Products
Finding your niche may not be as simple as you’d initially guess. The word niche in itself insinuates originality, specificity, and expertise. Not intimidating at all, right?
But, when trying to discover your niche, remember that, as a teacher, there are a couple of things that you know you do really well over others. Think about what those things might be and see if you can fill a need in the market with it.
“When considering what to create for your own products, try to think about what you need in your own classroom. Many times the thing that you need will be what someone else needs as well.”
Don’t cut corners, especially if you are a new or part-time entrepreneur. Make sure you do things well so that you can guarantee a quality product. If you don’t give it your fullest potential, you’ll likely create something mediocre that would then get lost among all the other products out there.
Connect with Other Teacherpreneurs
Making honest and genuine connections is more and more recognized as a crucial building block in business today.
Most of us branching out into the online business world are new to it. That being said, the ability to reach out to other folks in your community as well as mentors can be the difference in attaining or missing the opportunity for massive outreach.
“Making connections has helped me learn and grow immensely.”
While making connections is important, business is not all about who you know, and you shouldn’t build relationships purely for getting ahead.
What kind of bonds are you making and connections are you creating? Jen can attest to the fact that some of her greatest teacherpreneur friendships were made through social media.
“No one else can understand the hard work and time that you put into creating resources like another teacher-author!”
Join Facebook Groups and Find Local Teacherpreneurs
Another great way to make connections is through joining Facebook groups. You’ll discover that there are more teacherpreneurs in your area that you wouldn’t have met otherwise.
Teacherpreneurs are just about the most supportive, creative, and helpful group of entrepreneurs out there. After all, growth, learning, and sharing are a part of a teacher’s core values.
Effective Strategies for Driving Traffic to Your Site/Content
Working for yourself is by no means simple or easy. Until you get an effective and profitable system up and running, you are pretty much responsible for everything: content creation, marketing, etc.
“A lot goes into creating a resource.”
Since this is the case, you want to make sure you give your resource as much exposure as possible so that people can find it easily and quickly.
Jen suggests being present on social media, of course, but Pinterest in particular. This platform is a place for teachers to search for the latest in education, exchange ideas, and even grab any available resources. You can easily showcase your product and it’s a great way for teachers to begin interacting with your resources.
Don’t simply rely on the effectiveness of your product. You can give prospective clients an introduction to your brand. Invest some time and effort into what could be your first impression.
Jen also has Facebook and Instagram accounts to get the word out about her resources. Your options for online advertising are practically endless.
The Resources Jen Regan Relies On
All successful entrepreneurs have resources that they rely on to help them grow as well-rounded people and mentors. Teacher-entrepreneurs are no different.
Jen is a lover of podcasts and she also follows a couple of blogs.
She listens to podcasts from Donald Miller, Michael Stelzner, Brandon Gaille, Amy Porterfield, and the Flipped Lifestyle. She also reads content from blogger Melissa Griffin as well as the Brilliant Business Moms blog. Jen has also taken business courses offered by Kelli Alaina and Tabitha Carro that cater to the needs of teacherpreneurs.
Entrepreneurship is not easy but it can be simple and quite fun, especially if you have the right mentors and support group to keep you pushing forward. Your success in anything, as you well know, begins with belief.
Jen was able to help other educators by providing them with solutions to the problems she herself was having. What you have to share can impact a lot of people.
Why not develop your own growth mindset, and share your talents and passion with the world like Jen does?
Want to learn how to automate, delegate, be more productive, enjoy life and boost your profit? Check out our high-level mastermind for educators.