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10 min 22 sec

Texas Couple Turns Test Scores Into Treasure

A couple’s love for helping students succeed turns into a profitable consulting firm.
Education High Profit Service Teacher Hustle Transition Story

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What It's About

Texas teachers help students measure up.

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

Words of Wisdom

Oh, the age-old question: "To expand your service offerings or not?"

Think about your core competency, the thing you are particularly good at. If your expansion is still in that realm, great. If it’s just something you could do, that’s where you should be careful. Either way, it’s OK to pare down as you go—in fact, you should.

Fun Fact

So, which subjects boast the highest demand for tutors?

According to the research, students struggle the most with 4) Math, 3) Chemistry, 2) Foreign Languages, but above all, 1) Physics takes the cake!

Notes from Chris

Episode 940
Shayna and Adam Pond met in grad school at Baylor University while studying science. However, Shayna soon transitioned to education. Both knew they wanted to be leaders. Adam started his career in biotech, while Shayna became an assistant principal after teaching the state-mandated minimum requirement of three years.

On top of her day job, Shayna started operating a tutoring business in the evenings and on weekends. When her first client signed up, Adam called her at work to tell her someone they didn't even know paid for tutoring services through their website. The client even signed the needlessly long contract. Adam was so in shock he checked three times to be sure the sale wasn’t fake.

During the first few years, Adam worked both his full-time job and helping Shayna launch what they called Action Potential Learning. They wanted to recruit a small army of tutors and go into schools across the district and the state. Adam worked on the website with their newborn on his lap while Shayna tutored to put cash into the business.

They wanted to work with struggling schools, with programs geared toward improving student test scores quickly since test scores serve as a measurement of school success. Soon, they began hiring and training people to tutor for them. After a few years, Adam was finally able to quit his biotech job to work full-time on Action Potential Learning, and they added additional services—too many services, it turned out.

The business offered private tutoring, school tutoring, live personal development training for teachers, after-school camps, curriculum development, and more. The Ponds had overstretched themselves. Shayna and Adam had to figure out their company’s strengths in order to be as effective as possible and to keep from burning out.

In short, they needed to focus.

They realized that Action Potential’s biggest strength was partnering with struggling schools in Texas through providing programs that improved student performance quickly. So, three years ago they stopped providing private tutoring and after-school programs. This reduction of services allows them to focus on their passion for helping schools and experience this crazy thing called work-life balance.

Standardizing their processes has been a big part of what allowed them to grow. Adam realized conducting trainings live for each school cost too much. So he began converting some of them to online courses. The new format gave Shayna and Adam side hustle number two, Model Teaching.

In 2018, Action Potential Learning brought in over $700,000, a $300,000 increase over the previous year. This year they are on track to do the same.

Model Teaching is new this year. After adding more courses and refining their brand, it brought in $4,600 just last month. For now, they’re putting the funds back into creating more content that teachers want.

 
  MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Action Potential Learning: If today's episode has you thinking, read up further over on Shayna and Adam's website!
  • Model Teaching: While you're at it, check out Shayna and Adam's other side hustle

SEE ALSO:

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

Yours in the revolution,

cg-sig-newsletter


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Resources

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Quote of the Day
"There were tons of little problems that were so difficult in the moment, but we simply got to working on a solution—even when all we wanted to do was give up. One of the things we always go back to is saying 'what’s the worst that could happen?'. We go through all the scenarios in our head and realize the worst really isn’t that bad.​"
—Shayna & Adam Pond #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau