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10 min 18 sec

Continuing Education Directory Earns Six Figures

An Australian woman leaves her marketing agency to launch a directory for architects in need of professional development credits.
Education High Profit International Niche Ideas Service

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What It's About

A profitable directory for architects in need of professional development credits.

Business Model
Service
Skills Required
Communication & Teaching
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
High

Words of Wisdom

Janelle’s advice for anyone wanting to build a similar platform is to build relationships within the industry you want to work in, and from there create a database of contacts and emails. She also recommends building a sequence of emails upfront so that it can all be automated. It will save you time and energy later on.

Fun Fact

Continuing education is a huge market, and there is so much to be done with this. If you can offer continuing education credits, there’s money to be made—especially if you can do it in a way that’s easier or more attractive than the traditional methods of taking days and days to go sit in a conference room. Nobody wants that!

Notes from Chris

Episode 798
In 1993, the film Groundhog Day made its debut. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s the story of a weatherman who relives the same day over and over again. He feels doomed to spend the rest of his life in the same place, doing the same thing every single day.

For Janelle Sultan in Sydney, Australia, this is what her reality felt like. She spent 15 years of her life as the Director of a marketing agency. Each day felt the same—clients, tedious meetings, and a whole lot of stress. Something needed to change.

After much deliberation, she knew it was time to move on. She wasn’t sure what she was moving on to, but she knew she didn’t want to spend the rest of her life stuck on repeat. So she began taking the steps towards disbanding her marketing agency.

As part of that, she contacted each of her clients to let them know she was transitioning to something new. Some were upset and not so supportive of this leap, while others cheered her on and wished her well. This is typically how a leap goes ... some people will cheer you on, while others will make you feel as if you’re making the worst decision.

Janelle was approached by a couple of her clients asking for help with one last task—assisting with bookings for their Continual Professional Development or “CPD” sessions for architects. You see, Architects (and many other professions) require a certain amount of continuing education hours or “formal points” to keep their license. The objective of CPD is to maintain and enhance professional knowledge and skills of architects to better the community and profession.

At this point, Janelle was fairly checked out of her marketing agency job at this point but agreed to assist on a temporary basis. This then gave her the idea to check with a few other clients to see if they wanted to continue on and offer similar CPD sessions.

It wasn’t too long after she took on this temporary task that turned into a more intentional one. She quickly learned that there was a big demand for CPD sessions, yet no platform or container out there to organize them all in one place.

She spent time manually booking sessions and knew there had to be a more efficient and less time-consuming way to do this. And that’s when the idea for CPD Box was born. Janelle created an automated website where architects could book their own CPD sessions in one place. She reached out to clients and educators and invited them to list their classes on her site.

Clients pay a fee to list their classes as well as a booking fee to book through her site. The listing fee is charged on a monthly basis or annually with a discount. Booking fees are paid once a booking is completed.

CPD Box is a win-win for both the educators looking to market their classes, seminars, and presentations, and for architects wishing to further their knowledge and continuing education. By making it a one-stop site, it creates more efficiency and ease. And of course, it also creates income for Janelle.

In her first month, Janelle raked in $7,500 Australian Dollars ($5,378.27 USD). And since launching in 2018, Janelle is on track to gross $120,000 Australian Dollars ($86,071.63 USD).

Janelle is happy to report that she is no longer living the Groundhog Day lifestyle. Each day is unique in its own, and keeps her on her toes as she expands her site and learns more. Despite the occasional challenges, she enjoys having a flexible schedule that allows her to drop off and pick up her son from school.

She’s also received lots of positive feedback about CPD Box. In the future, she plans to expand beyond Australia and go worldwide.

 
  MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • CPD Box: Learn more about the work Janelle is doing over on her website!
  SEE ALSO:

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Quote of the Day
"Build relationships within the industry you want to work in and tell people what you plan to do so that you can bounce ideas off them. You'll be amazed who you meet and how connections can help you grow a business."
—Janelle Sultan #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau