The other day, I had the great fortune of running into myself relaxing in the living room. Knowing that I would probably not get that chance again, I approached me on the couch and politely asked for an interview. After brushing off some crumbs from my shirt, and readjusting my sweatpants, I agreed. This is the actual interview that took place that afternoon with myself.
Me: So, first question.....What exactly have you done that has brought you to this point in which you are writing business articles for teachers?
Couch Me: Oh, good question. Actually too good. Any more of these zingers and I'm going to have to ask you to leave.
First, I would be remiss if I did not give a shout out to Rachel for letting me bring my posts to her awesome blog. Amazing person,educator, and business owner...all in one!
I've actually been interested in business all my life. At a very early age, you could hear my voice from blocks away bellowing at my "workers" in the neighborhood that they needed to speed up production. Those coloring book pages weren't going to color themselves and there were some pretty tight deadlines from moms who had purchased the artwork. Twelve years later, and about 10 different jobs stronger, I'm in college, and promptly drop out of the advertising program to become a teacher. My reason was that I thought advertising would be too stressful. I believe my other choice was bomb squad captain.
Me: Wow. Your parents must have been proud of you.
Couch Me: I think when you have a daughter that is usually wound up tighter than a cheap watch and needs to release a lot of energy through working, proud may not be the word. Relieved might be a better fit.
Anyway, I became a teacher and because I had an extreme desire to work myself into an exhausted state each night, I started taking second jobs. Just something to support my teaching habit. In 1996, after a weekend slinging fries and happy-hour margaritas, I found out there was a company opening online in which you could sell used items to other people who actually wanted them...and they would not only pay you...they would actually bid up so high that they would pay you a LOT more than the item was actually worth.
I knew I had to do it.
Me: You must have been happy to find something that was a good fit.
Couch Me: Wow. That's amazing...that's exactly how I felt. And so for the next few years, I would spend my summers gathering vintage and secondhand items and selling them. A LOT of them. Enough of them to have earned a spot for me on a hoarding show if that had that been around then. And all the while, I was teaching middle school and elementary school.
Me: I bet that was some pretty good cash.
Couch Me: It took a while, but this was before digital cameras, laptops, and any technology that would take less than 1/2 hour to load each time you used it. It was hard and expensive in the beginning, but I hung in there. And eventually, half of the U.S. became loaded with all kinds of junk from me that they are most likely trying to sell now to someone else.
Me: I'm probably in that half.
Couch Me: Yeah..me too. So cut to 17 years later... and 6 stores, 4 different websites, and over 12,000 sales under my belt. Each site with it's own rules, formats, and customer markets....and a list of ways to mess up on each one....which I definitely did...sometimes more than once....or ten times. All the knowledge just hung out in my head...blocking out various 70's TV jingles and quotes from blockbuster movies.
Me: So then you joined Teachers Pay Teachers?
Couch Me: Yes, I was in bed with a horrible virus and my laptop one weekend. I just happened upon the site and thought I could use both my business and teaching knowledge with it. And after learning the various formats and rules on the site, I started visiting the forums.
Me: And what did you learn?
Couch Me: I learned that there were a LOT of awesome teachers with amazing products and great ideas on the site. But I also noticed a lot were coming fresh from the teaching field with a limited knowledge of online business and sales. So I posted a few business tips,using the knowledge I had learned through the years, in hopes that anyone reading might feel more comfortable being in the business world...because it can be very intimidating. And then the lovely Rachel approached me to post these tips on this blog...and so... here we are.
Me: In your living room, interviewing yourself.
Couch Me: Exactly.
In all seriousness, I look forward to writing these posts and meeting more new teachers on this blog! I hope you'll be able to get a few tips here and there that can help your business be even more successful!