We invite you to read the second as well as the last part of the article. In this part, you will read about leaving the comfort zone, three steps of fear overcoming and limiting teaching hours.

The question you have to ask yourselves, first of all, to leave the comfort zone is:

Aren’t you deluding yourselves?

Do you really have to be a teacher to run a language school? Opinions are divided. Sometimes this helps, sometimes on the contrary. Sometimes as a teacher you are not prepared to manage a firm. Unfortunately, nobody teaches teachers how to manage a budget, team, marketing, etc.

The first thing you must absolutely remember is to budget your own salary. Owners of language schools very often fail to pay to themselves any money apart from the fees for the delivered teaching hours. If your salary is not budgeted, it will be very hard for you to resign from teaching. Your salary should not be based on the number of hours spent in the classroom. What if you go for the holidays? Become pregnant? Is that possible if you deliver 35 hours of classes weekly? Your work in your language school should be budgeted. The owner is not a teacher.

It is worthwhile to invoke a quote from the discussion taking place at the Conference:

“The difference between a firm and a self-employed person is that if you run a firm you can leave for 3 months and the firm continues to operate, make money, and develop. Can you afford 3-month holidays if you teach and earn your living as a teacher?”

Remember! You never cease to be the owner but this should require your constant presence in a given place.

You may delude yourself by using so-called self-deception.

This is a thought you reinforce in yourself purposefully but often inadvertently before taking the action towards being the owner and consequently you postpone such action “till later”.

III steps to overcome the fear

I. Self-deception test

Read the statements below and thinks how many of them come to your mind when you think about being a full-time manager of own school:

– “Why would I ever need that? What I have now is not that bad.”

– “Some people exaggerate when saying that managing your school is so important.”

– “Anyway – I don’t know what to start with.”

– “Probably I should plan something, but I don’t know what. I would need to read something on that topic, but I have no time.”

– “So what is it that I really have to do?”

– “I have no guarantees that as a result of those actions I will manage to build a better school and then what is the purpose of that all? I will do a lot of self-work and will not attain my goal anyway.”

– “Do I have to start now? Perhaps after the summer holidays.”

All of the above statements are forms of self-limitation and this the time to think whether you as the owner/teacher do not sabotage your own efficiency. Changes require courage, resolved steps. How to cope with that?

II. Make a plan, itemize the steps

The transformation from a teacher to the boss is a process. Itemize your plan for the coming year. Not just by how many hours you are going to reduce your teaching time, but also to what you will devote the time you are going to gain. And this is where you may show off your management talents. Work in the awareness that the actions you undertake will translate into a firm’s development or lack thereof. What is worthwhile to find time for:

  • talking to customers: inspiration, investigating the needs, understanding the customers, empathy,
  • ideas, and experimentation: fast, without longer deliberation (creative courage),
  •  training and development,
  • reading,
  • market review,
  •  me and my family,

You have to include those in your calendar. Owing to this you will be motivated to attain your goals consistently, step by step, month by month. A big change comes after a series of small steps. It is worthwhile to be guided by Kaizen methodology here and Luiza encourages us to learn about it and read about it. It is exactly a methodology of small steps. Main assumptions:

  1. Problems create new opportunities.
  2. Ask 5 times “Why?” until you get to the source of the problem.
  3. Collect ideas from everyone.
  4. Think about solutions that can be implemented.
  5. Reject the status quo.
  6. Excuses that something cannot be done are redundant.
  7. Select simple solutions instead of waiting for perfect ones.
  8. Correct mistakes on an ongoing basis.
  9. Remember, improvements never end

III. Find yourself a mentor or a coach

It is worthwhile to find a person who is already where you want to find yourselves. Owing to this, you are going to gain loads of information and inspirations you might have not been aware of. You will learn that this road looked like in the case of that person, BUT do not follow their fears. You may start e.g. with an FB group. It may often appear to us that we are alone with our problem, but once you share this at the forum you will swiftly see that there are more people like you. Owing to this, support groups and experience exchange groups, from which you may derive knowledge, are established. Those may be training, webinars, whatever comes to your mind.

It is also worthwhile to think about our approach to OWN mistakes. The situation is completely different if your students make them. We say that mistakes are good and owing to them we can learn, but are your feelings the same towards the mistakes you yourself make? There is the so-called “fast failure technique”, which consists of making as fast as possible the greatest possible number of mistakes. It sounds strange, doesn’t it? In a nutshell, we do not flagellate ourselves for successes. There is not a single person who has not made any mistake. You are constantly in the process of learning so those mistakes are bound to appear. The technique recommended and used by Luiza with her associate is that when they make a mistake they discuss what it protected them against. This always ends in a similar conclusion that although they failed somehow, this protects them against something else. Owing to this you stop blaming yourselves and start drawing conclusions from your own failures.

If you want to dig deep into the topic, Luiza recommends Tom Kelly’s book titled “Creative Confidence”, owing to which we hope you will find even more motivation to act. I on my part cordially thank LuizaWójtowicz-Waga who heads jointly with Anna Popławska the Edunation firm, for the enormous knowledge owing to which today’s article was created. And what are your thoughts on that topic? Please share them with us in the comments below!