I love face-to-face tutoring. I always have. I enjoy getting to really know my students on a personal level and seeing their cleverness and personalities shine through our lessons together.
I was never a fan of online lessons. I struggled for so long to find a system for remote tutoring lessons that would be as effective as my in-person ones that I just gave up and decided that virtual tutoring wouldn’t be something I offer.
And either way, my tutoring business was doing fantastic, bringing in a consistent full-time income.
But as much as I disliked the idea of remote teaching, about 2 months ago I took the plunge and applied to be a teacher with VIPKid.
So several people have asked me why I decided to join VIPKid despite a successful tutoring business.
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After all, I even wrote a book on setting up a killer tutoring side hustle! So today, I’d like to let you in on my reasoning, and who knows? Maybe you’ll even decide to give VIPKid a try for yourself!
Table of Contents
Business success was tied to my geographical proximity
My first reason as to why I decided to join VIPKid is that prior to jumping on that remote tutoring bandwagon, I had to be where the students are. It’s as simple as that.
To be fair, this might not be a huge concern for you, but it absolutely is for me! Do you know my tutoring background? You may not, since it’s been a while since I talk about it, so here’s my story…
Before moving to California in 2016, I had about 10 classes booked weekly and a waitlist a mile long. I loved my students and I’d like to think that they loved me back.
But when I moved, I couldn’t see them anymore. It took me a little while to build my client list back up to my personal standards on the west coast, but by the time I had that where I wanted it, I moved back to Miami and lost them again.
And even though the fantastic word of mouth meant that I had some students booked for lessons in Miami before I had even arrived back in the city, I knew that this model wasn’t sustainable for where I want to go in life.
I want the freedom to pick up my stuff and pets and just move. I want the freedom to travel and explore the world. VIPKid gives me that freedom.Click To Tweet
If it takes me weeks or months to build up a full student schedule each time I move, that just isn’t sustainable for me.
The BF is a Marine and if he decides to return to active duty, he would likely be shuffled to incredible and remote places around the world. I want the freedom to be able to visit or move if that’s what we think is best for our relationship.
Aside from losing my caseload every time I moved, I also missed out on the income whenever I went out of town on vacation.
As a matter of fact, during my latest trip to DC, the BF was out in the field for Marine training for part of my first day in town, and so I opened up my schedule and managed to squeeze in 5 lessons before he was dismissed for the day.
That sort of flexibility is not something that was ever available to me as a strictly in-home and in-person tutor, but it’s something incredibly important to me and the life I want to build for myself.
Why I Decided to Join VIPKid: Business success was tied to increased expenses
The more students I added to my tutoring business, the more my expenses and overhead increased. Makeup and clothes to look presentable and professional, car expenses such as gas, wear and tear, and miles on the car.
And let’s not forget the biggest expense of all, the time wasted in traffic commuting from student to student!
It felt like the more successful I was, the less freedom I really had to live life on my own terms. Every hour of my day and dollar coming in was accounted for and while it was comforting to know I had such steady income, it was also stressful.
With VIPKid, my expenses-to-date have been:
- Internet (which I had before anyway…)
- $12 spent on setting up my classroom
Talk about a low overhead and a massive ROI!
I wanted a schedule where I could still run Tutor in Tinseltown and StephanieCristi on my own terms
Beyond just the cost of my time and maintaining my car, I worried that my student schedule would cut into my time for growing Tutor in Tinseltown and StephanieCristi.
Content and product creation
I want to create courses, ebooks, and more for both SC and TiTT and having a full student schedule means that time to spend on content and product creation was basically nonexistent!
When would I:
- Film videos for courses?
- Research and write up lesson materials for courses or bootcamps?
With my morning student from 11am to 3 and my afternoon student from 4pm to 7pm with an hour drive for each commute, this meant that I had 11-hour days!
Sure, I could write at night, and I often did. But I’m not going to sit here lying to you and pretending like those were my best pieces of content. Because they most definitely weren’t.
And filming at night would result in poor lighting, so that was a bust too.
Teaching for VIPKid, I was able to streamline my commute and student load so that my schedule is now:
- 6-10am VIPKid
- 10-12pm content creation
- 1-4pm my afternoon student
- 5-8 content creation or personal time
And if I really want to blow it out of the water, or save up for a special reason, I can also add on:
- 8:30-10:30 VIPKid
Building up passive income is a priority for me, but passive income really just means that you put in more time up-front. And that was time I didn’t have available to me before I decided to join VIPKid.
And TiTT and SC don’t just require time to spend creating content!
Marketing is a massive time requirement that can’t always be done on your own terms. Social media can’t be fully automated since you need to engage with your audience, and posts you make overnight won’t be as effective as midday posts.
So I needed time during the day to spend on marketing. And with VIPKid peak-peak hours being from 6am to 10am in my time zone, I have the rest of the day to spend on marketing and content creation.
Why I Decided to Join VIPKid: My day job was sucking the life out of me
I haven’t talked much about my recent day job with you, and for good reason. SC is a virtual space where I enjoy bringing hope, inspiration, and positivity into the lives of my readers. Writing on here brings me great joy, and I didn’t want to tarnish my little online haven with talk about my day job.
However, it’s important that these things be said, because blogging and fulltime remote work don’t happen overnight, and avoiding talking about the ugly day jobs just obscures the day-to-day realities of trying to set up your own business. So I’ll share my story with you now.
Up until mid-August, my day job was as a receptionist for a psychologist’s private practice.
It started off as a positive experience, one that allowed me the time to dedicate to SC and TiTT. I helped her with her digital marketing and growing her online presence and developed my SEO and marketing skills for SC as a result.
However, she soon started taking advantage of our working relationship. She would delay my pay and change my hours on a weekly basis, sometimes with just a few hours notice. Whenever she forgot about a patient, the blame inevitably was thrown on me.
I felt unappreciated and given how severely she was underpaying me (on the weeks that she did pay me, though she was inconsistent with that too) I felt like the job was more trouble than it was worth.
Within 2 weeks of starting with VIPKid, I was making more there than I was making at my day job (without the poor treatment or commute!), so I left.
I share this story with you in the hope of inspiring you to seek happiness if your job is a cause of stress or unhappiness in your life.
Oftentimes, I hear baby boomers and older generations saying Millenials are spoiled and lazy, but I think that the more accurate description is that we are unwilling to put up with abusive or unhappy work environments. And should we have to?
Given that a full-time worker spends about a quarter of their week at a job, shouldn’t it be an environment where you are treated well? Or, at the very least, with a minimal amount of respect?
So when it comes down to why I decided to join VIPKid, it was so I could leave my crappy job and boss and never look back.
It supplements my entrepreneurial spirit
VIPKid is structured for its teachers to be independent contractors. Independent contractors in the true sense of the word!
I am (and you would be too, if you join VIPKid) able to:
- Set my own hours and change them at a moments notice.
- Set how often I want to be paid.
- Set up my classroom and buy the props I deem necessary.
- VIPKid pays me to my business account and I am able to manage my business finances as I deem necessary.
I manage my students as I see fit and my work teaching for VIPKid brings me complete happiness.
Why I Decided to Join VIPKid: I can expand my reach and help more people
As I wrote about on my Tutor in Tinseltown About Me, I created TiTT to expand my reach and be able to help more people. After all, TiTT isn’t only for tutoring local students, but for helping English-speaking families all around the world develop healthy family relationships.
And with VIPKid, I am not only tutoring local students and assisting English-speaking families through ebooks and courses but now I’m also making a significant impact by teaching English to Chinese toddlers and children looking to expand their horizons.
So when I’m asked why I decided to join VIPKid despite a successful tutoring business, I can boil my answer down to freedom.
- The freedom to travel.
- The freedom to be my own boss on my own terms.
- The freedom to help families and children across the globe from anywhere with a reliable internet connection.
- The freedom to increase my income while lowering my overhead.
- The freedom to seek and expect happiness and respect from my clients.
Do you have these freedoms in your current job?
What would you do for this level of flexibility in your day-to-day life?
If you’d like to give teaching for VIPKid a try, I’d love to be your referrer so that I can help you throughout the process from the initial interview to teaching your first lesson.
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With all my love,