2001: I was 19 in the United States Air Force. The NCOs said I was stuck up, airmen my age thought I was mean, and one person actually told me that my attitude wouldn’t get me far in the real world. Can you imagine how I felt being away from home in a new state trying to figure out life while being told how I NEEDED to act to make other people feel comfortable
2007: I was almost 26, a married mother of 2 honorably discharged from the AF, undergrad completed while on active duty, respected for my work ethic, offered a civil service job to stay in New Jersey but relocated back to Georgia and secured a job with the state. Despite what I had been told, I stayed true to me and checked getting my degreeand getting the G.I.Bill off my list. I didn’t join the military to make friends or travel, I wanted the G.I. Bill money for school
2013: I was six years into teaching and my second year of my doctoral program. Almost 32 and was paying my mortgage on my home that I purchased not too long after my 30 birthday because it was either by a home or get a tummy tuck…LOL! Yet again, the goal was to find a home for my sons and I after my divorce. Even as life happened around me, I stayed focused on my ongoing personal transformation.
2020: I’m 38 with the same attitude, I protect my peace so if that makes me standoffish that’s fine but I’m being true to myself. I keep making a listand pushing myself to answer the call that I put on me and not controlled by anyone else. A few more advanced degrees, ultimately becoming Dr. LaTilya Rashon, edupreneur and mentor. I can show you how I BECAME but you still have to do the work.
I’m still a work in progress. I still want more. I am my business through books , trainings, appareland goal setting kits. My career sustains me in and outside of the schoolhouse. I’m living my life and embracing the season highs and low as they come. You are defined by what you do, not by what others say or think.
What if you had time in your schedule to help people learn a new skill? How would you meet their needs? Would you spend time training them? One on one or small group workshop?
In August I made more money from a single service than I have on any product since starting my venture into edupreneurship. Yes, educator plus entrepreneur to take up space in this digital age.
I didn’t think I was ready to offer such a service because so many people were already doing it. I was wrong, because I got a friendly reminder that even though other people were teaching the same things, they did not bring my approach and style to the same topic. So I went for it and it was the best decision I have ever made for my business.
At some point or another as an entrepreneur we fall into the ebook or course creation trap, but this was one I did not mind falling in to once the ball started rolling. It all started with an idea to get students more interactive as school was gearing up for the 2020-2021 academic year. The Bitmoji Classroom wave took off and so did I with the Bitmoji for Beginners workshop that I conducted.
Working with a business coach we looked at a calendar and developed a plan to advertise, gather registrations, and create an email series to guide the layout of the course. Using getresponse.com which was a different platform that I was used too for email marketing and creating landing pages; once the kinks were worked out, it was easy to gather registrants. You can use a very simple layout that is attractive and will capture your audience’s attention. Your audience is the the people that need the service you are providing and in my case, teachers that wanted a Bitmoji classroom but did not know were to start were my ideal customer.
As the names rolled in the welcome email was sent out and a workflow was established. You will be nervous because looking at the market, the same ideas are presented but being you is your superpower and the right people will find you.
Emails and Workflow
A very simple welcome email was created to thank the participants for signing up with a workflow for reminders set leading into the workshop. You need to tell the audience what to expect in the workshop and what you will cover.
Example of what to send: I’m Dr. Williams and I will be walking you through the basics for setting up your classroom for better student engagement during virtual learning as we return to school. I’m glad that you have taken the time to sign up for this workshop offered to educators that want fun and exciting ways to reach your students.
Now that you’re in, here’s what you can expect:
1. Understanding add-ons for google, specifically Bitmoji
2. Step by Step guide for creating your beginner Bitmoji Classroom using Google Slides
3. Linking your bitmoji classroom to your existing technology resources
The only prerequisite to this workshop is installing/creating your personalized Bitmoji prior to the start of the workshop. You can do so by visiting https://www.bitmoji.com/
Once the foundation is set for what to expect the next step is to talk it up and promote yourself and expertise.
Everyday for the week leading into the workshop I talked to my audience on social media about what virtual learning is and what a Bitmoji classroom is not.
You should repeatedly tell your audience what to expect in your workshop and keep your energy high because that is what is going to draw people in. You have to be excited about your topic and give them snippets of your knowledge. People trust people that know what they are talking about and can address questions spot on and see the value in the service you are providing.
Be consistent with your message, and watch your enrollment numbers increase daily.
The Actual Course; Time to Teach
By now you should decide the format and platform for your class. Webinar with playback feature, Zoom, or masterclass on a social media platform.
I chose Zoom because it gave the small classroom feeling and the share screen feature was helpful in walking teachers through the step by step process to create their very own Bitmoji classroom. Teachers knew that it was a beginners workshop because they were clueless about where to start, so everyone’e technology skill level was the same.
You want to make sure you that you are clear about your offer and the flow of your course. You have the knowledge, expertise, years of experience, and skills to teach what you know. So launch a course that you believe in. Be the help that you needed when you got started. Your voice is needed.
Don’t Be Afraid to Try
Now get to work and launch the course that you have been sitting on because you have been too afraid to get started. I had 16 participants for my very first course that I literally brainstormed and created with two weeks from conception to follow through.
Listen to your audience and meet the need that they have especially if it falls into your unique skillset. There is room for everyone to be productive in business and careers that with your help can push them to the next level.
What are your thoughts about this topic? I’d love your feedback!
I asked a question a few weeks ago on my social media about what podcasts do you listen to and I got some really great responses. So I decided that I would compose a short list of people that influence me and a great place to to look for inspiration. I know when I was getting started I was so overwhelmed and was in information overload. I know you may be wondering who to listen to so here you go because it took a minute for me to find what I needed. I was so glad to find encouragement and motivation from these amazing female bosses because they sound like me. Now my list is short but packed full of power because I need the in your face type of energy because they speak hard facts and truth.
(1) I needed a starting point and the first personal branding strategist that I took to was Maya Elious. She is a personal branding strategist helping female entrepreneurs monetize their expertise. I used her Narrow your Niche workbook even when I didn’t have a clue as to what it meant to niche down and purchased her Content Creator Starter Pack that included 150 Blog Post Topics. As a beginner she helped me paint a clearer picture and I still use those resources to this day. Visit her site to subscribe to her newsletter for FREE business advice.
(2) SideHustle Pro is my personal favorite podcast to listen to and is known for being the first and only podcast to spotlight bold, Black women entrepreneurs who have scaled from side hustle to profitable business. The founder of SideHustle Pro (Nicaila Matthews Okome) shares her personal story of trials and triumphs and what she learned when she began to entrepreneurial journey. She interviews other female bosses and share actionable tips on being productive and running a business. Visit her site to subscribe to her newsletter and learn how to grow your business fueled by your passion.
(3) As a teacher that wants to change the trajectory of my career within the next couple of years, I find Jasmine Womack the example. The cool thing about her is that she has worked with Maya Elious who has also appeared on SideHustle Pro. She has managed to turn her experience in teaching and writing her book into a profitable business and she shares her expertise along the way. I actually stumbled across her because a friend of mine tagged me in a post on instagram about the release of her book and I subsequently enrolled in The Author’s Bootcamp when she offered it for free on Facebook. It has been a year of following her and I see so much of my journey that resembles hers. I’m so ready to get into the business behind the book with the self-publishing expertise that she shares. Visit her site to learn how you can work with her and participate in her programs and courses.
(4) When I want a good laugh and sound advice with in your face realness, I turn to Sharon Beason. Now I follow her primarily on instagram and her different entities, @SharonMayBeason, @womeneur, and @InstaGSociety and all of her posts give me life. She is a startup and strategy boss in these instagram streets and she is passionate about helping female entrepreneurs monetize their social media. Her boldness is what draws me in and keeps me checking back daily. I know that when I am on either of those profiles she is sure to have something to meet my needs or inquiry for the day. Visit her business link for all that she has to offer. She is amazing!
(5) Coach Stormy is unabashedly herself and she magnetizing. She is a true product of her product but her “sister talks” and motivational videos she comes through with are also real to core. She does not hide her struggle or past and let’s it be known that you have to hustle and grind hard to get yourself to the next level. She is not telling people what they want to hear. She gives people hard conversations and she is in your face about business and you continuously have to step your game up to survive, Her daily motivation will give you the kick that you need. Hate it or love it, she just keeps it real. Visit her business link for her motivation and coaching.
As a mom first, author and teacher on this entrepreneurial journey I have to feed my mind the things that will help me along the way. These women are my good buddies in my head and I look forward to the jewels they drop each day. Be mindful of what you consume. Everybody ain’t for you.
In 2016 I thought that this mompreneur thing would be easy and my oh my was I wrong. I was just winging it until I realized that my vision was too broad and I had not niched down enough. Yes, I am a teacher but my skills as a mom are what help me organize my day to walk into my classroom more prepared. I need my working women with business aspirations to know that while you are working, raising your children, planning a wedding, or being a wife, you can still chase your dreams. Life happens and even when you survive divorce; knowing your mission and why will carry you farther than the obstacles that you face. Those trials become a part of your story and fuel your purpose. So be clear when you set out to make a difference. Be the problem solver to those that need to hear your voice and don’t give up until you make an impact.
My Mission: I help working moms find balance between their career and home life as they gain clarity in pursuit of their dreams.
Once I sat down and did a business plan and really thought about what I was trying to do and my message, things began to click. Even though I have been trying for a few years now, once I gained clarity, I can better see the direction I’m heading in for 2020.
Branding Myself Properly
I thought that by merely saying, “I am my brand” was enough but I was wrong again. My personality, my quick wit, my authenticity was going to set me aside but I was nobody in the realm of blogging and entrepreneurship. Now don’t get me wrong, I have some faithful followers and listeners but as I aspire for a further reach I realized that I had to do more. I had to figure out I wanted to be recognized. Yes, I’m the tattooed teacher in my building as I teach throughout the day, but that’s not my ideal for my Mom|Author|Teacher (mompreneur) brand that I am working to establish for myself. And guess what, even after I find some comfort in my visibility, branding is ongoing and may even call for a re-brand down the road. So, LaTilya Rashon is my name in real life. So I did not over arch with something off the wall because my approach is to just be real with my message and what I create. Pieces of me will be ingrained in everything that I do. In these internet streets I will show you my dedication, my authenticity, and my perseverance (D.A.P.) through my storytelling. I love acronyms so you’ll see more of those in the future because they are easy to remember. Make sure your brand attracts your tribe. That’s the whole point!
Comparison is the Thief of Joy
Ya’ll there are levels to being in business for yourself. Being a NOVICE, brand new and not knowing what to is the very first level. Your eyes are bigger than your follow through and you are more busy than productive and you just know you are getting things done. I had to tell myself to have several seats plenty of times between 2016 and 2017 because I didn’t have a clue. I was not creating anything of value outside of my first book (My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching). Once those wheels starting turning, you are now in the DEVELOPMENTAL stage of business where you are connecting the dots and things are beginning to make sense and you have a better understanding of what you are trying to do. Your growth is beginning to show. Then ultimately, the EXPERT. We all aspire to be a household name in these internet streets because of our extensive knowledge and expertise. But you have crawl before you walk. Maintain your own lane and know that everybody has different skillsets so processes are not one size fit all and we are all essentially running our own races. Focus on what you are creating and less on others. What you have inside of you is just as needed as to what the people around you are doing. NOTE TO SELF!
Taking on too Much
When you don’t have a vision you will easily take on too much too soon and it will leave you overwhelmed and ready to quit. You need clarity and this can’t be emphasized enough to avoid repeat failure. Now this does not mean that some things won’t launch as successfully as others, it just means that we will eventually get it right. Even if you plan properly it’s a 50/50 chance of things going wrong, so we have to prioritize our tasks as to not give up before we ever get started. What is urgent versus not urgent then go from there. Decide what you can DO now, what you can PLAN to do later, who or what you can DELEGATE, and truly ELIMINATE. We are what holds us back when we are sure, so be intentional.
Failing to Invest in Myself
Listen, you can google until your finger tips hurt but pretty soon you will find that in information overload, everything will start to look the same. I have downloaded so many free worksheets, ebooks, tuned into LIVE training, you name it and none of them gave me the clarity that I needed. Then I started making small investments in resources because I needed to streamline my message and my business. Find someone that speaks to your style and let them coach you. I have following one particular author/coach for the past year and I am ecstatic about my latest investment of myself. You have to do your own research to determine who is best suited for your needs. You can only Free.99 to a certain degree but when you want results, you will begin to make the right investments. Even when you think you don’t have the money, you will find a way.
So with all of that being said… I decided that I no longer wanted to function in mediocrity. I want to scale up my message and visibility so that I can do great things in the months to come. I have set some very intense goals for myself and the steps I’m taking along the way have me very excited. Let’s just say as I’m approaching my 38th birthday, I have for certain two years to make some things shake and that is exactly what I plan to do.