entrepreneurship

Why Your Business Should Have A Membership Program

I don’t think there is anyone in the world that wants to do the same thing forever. I’m sure that at some point, Beyonce is going to stop dropping records and stop going on tour. 

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Think about it. If you look at everything you’re doing as of today, do you see yourself doing that in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years? The whole concept of working until retirement is insane because who said that I wanted to do this for 20+ years. I barely want to do it for 2 lol 

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With that said, what would you say if I told you there was a way to make money in your business by putting it on autopilot? 

You’d probably tell me to exit stage left but hear me out. I want to introduce you to the idea of implementing a membership program in your business. For the sake of this blog, we’ll define membership as a recurring fee (usually monthly) someone pays to access a particular service/product. And note, I will be using membership and subscription synonymously throughout this post. 

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Membership programs allow business owners to better predict or project their revenue. If you have a membership where you charge people $5/month to access your offer and you have a goal of grossing $1,000/month from that membership, then you know you need to have at least 200 subscribers per month to hit that target. This business model requires less labor than having to continually attract and convert new customers because the focus is on how to retain current customers. 

According to McKinsey & Company, 15% of Americans have signed up for one or more subscriptions to receive products on a recurring basis. It is projected that the subscription eCommerce market is expected to reach $473 billion by 2025. Yes, you read that correctly – $473 billion. That is a 2,389.47% increase from 2019’s $15 billion revenue. The biggest consumer benefit of enrolling in membership is convenience.

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That monthly gym membership you pay for so you can get access to top-tier athletic equipment to reach your body goals, you do that because it’s convenient. You do not have to build your own home gym by purchasing expensive equipment. That Amazon Prime subscription you pay for to ensure you get your deliveries in 1-2 days and occasionally, even on the same day, you do that because it’s convenient. You can order a dress on Wednesday and get it by Friday for that wedding you’re attending Saturday without leaving your house or having to deal with traffic and long lines at the register. The point is, we will pay for convenience. So ask yourself, what do you (or can you) offer your customers that would make them interested in paying a recurring fee for convenience? 

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I was working with a client that was launching a body sculpting business. Her business model requires her clients to see her often to ensure quality results. As we’re discussing her pricelist, I suggested she implement a “sample platter” membership where she meshes in different services that allow people to get a small sample of the services she offers. These clients are not able to come in often but they are willing to come in and get the experience, so they opt-in for a monthly “self-care” day.  

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I was working with a fashion designer that was looking for ways to bring in more passive income in her industry. I suggested she start a “lookbook” subscription where she curates different looks every month or season based on trends and her expertise. She would promote it to fashion enthusiasts, especially content creators because they will be the ones to take her subscription ideas and bring them to life. When others inquire about how they came up with those looks, they would reference her subscription which would increase enrollment.

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I share those two examples to show you that no matter what industry you are in, you can start a membership program. The beauty of this process is that it does not have to be perfect to start. Look at how many times Netflix has changed up its subscription model. When it started, you were only allowed to get a limited number of physical DVDs per month and now, we have streaming access to over 17,000+ titles at our fingertips. Learn as you grow.

I’ll be doing another write-up to specifically highlight all the benefits of implementing a membership but in the meantime, if you need assistance with developing a quality membership offer, let’s set up a time for me to brainstorm with you

Until Next Time,

LOLATHEMANAGER

entrepreneurship

Why You Should Share Your Price List

So the topic of transparency in pricing was the subject of EntrepreneurGram a few weeks ago and now that Al Gore’s internet has had some time to breathe, I want to share my take on it. 

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I remember when I started my entrepreneurship journey back in 2019 with no blueprint and simply gleaning from the so-called gurus on social media. I saw that everyone, or what felt like everyone, who was providing the same services as I did never put their price out there. You had to set up a meeting to share your vision and they will create a price specifically for you. It really bothered me because as a consumer, comparing price lists is how I determine who I can work with.

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For instance, for my birthday party last year, I was trying to find a caterer and I appreciated everyone that had their rates available so I could compare accordingly. I do not like wasting my time so I would rather go on your website and see that this is not a relationship we can have right now than set up a meeting only to find out within the first few minutes that you’re out of my league. And as a business owner, you just wasted your time too.

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And why is that? Why are business owners hiding their price list? I understand you want to get that lead magnet but it’s a useless lead if you are truly not in their budget. My catering budget was $2,000. My party was an upscale lounge vibe so I wanted cocktail hour food – small plates that could fill you up paired with my open bar. So I knew going in that my budget was firm regardless of who provided the service. It was always the ones that did not have a price list that gave me a hard time because they either wanted me to increase my budget or cut back on what I wanted.

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As a business consultant, I feel like it is my duty to let you know that you need to be open with your pricing. Whether you shop at Forever 21 or Neiman Marcus, the price for their products are listed. Now, I know what you’re thinking “my price depends on what they get” and I feel you. I get that. But you should have a minimum price that you are willing to work with and that should be listed. 

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I was working with a client that designs custom evening gowns and when we walked through her customer experience, I had to explain to her that one of the reasons she is not getting the money she wants is because she’s not upfront about her price list. If I want a custom gown and don’t know how much they cost, I probably don’t have a budget in mind. I am willing to set up a consultation with you so I can get some understanding but when we have that meeting and you tell me the gown is going to cost me $800, I am running out the door because my brain cannot process that. I was not ready. 

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However, if you as a designer know that for the basic of basic gowns and labor, your starting rate is $600, now every prospective client that reaches out knows that they need a minimum of $600 to work with you. Both of you benefit from this situation because you are getting the client and the money you desire while they get the gown of their dreams.

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I see way too often business owners that get so excited they finally get a lead that they settle for the short end of the stick. And the reason for this is your lack of systems, procedures, and a solid price list. You should know the base price of what you would charge for all of your services not only so you can justify why you are charging the price you charge but so you can assess how your business is operating. 

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Personally, my favorite people to get serviced by are hairstylists, nail technicians, and make-up artists. Every time I book one, I love looking at their price list because NOTHING catches you by surprise. Everything has a base price and add-on fees. The final price is not the problem for the customer; the problem is when they have to guess what the final price will be because they don’t have anything to work with. 

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Lastly, a friend and I were talking about this and realized many business owners do not know what part of the customer’s journey they want to be part of. If you are a product photographer and you want to work with new business owners, your rates will not be the same if you were interested in working with established businesses that are not new to professional product photography. The latter is willing to pay top dollar because they understand the importance of professional photos and how that can convert to sales. 

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I say all that to say, if you are not someone that is transparent with their price list and/or their base price, I highly recommend you revisit that concept and see how that changes your business clientele and structure. Then come back here and let me know how it went. 

I’ll be doing another write-up with the benefits of sharing your price list but in the meantime, start thinking of your base.

Until Next Time,

LOLATHEMANAGER

entrepreneurship, mental health

Balancing Mental Health & Entrepreneurship

You know what they don’t tell you about entrepreneurship — the hardest part is managing your mental health.

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And yes, I just dived right into the deep end because there’s no reason to sugarcoat it. The entrepreneurship journey is hard AF! I don’t care how social media makes it seem, it is difficult. And honestly, it’s not even the business part that’s difficult, it’s the mental discipline you need to keep going.

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If you are new to entrepreneurship — meaning you don’t have any family and/or friends you’ve witnessed firsthand do this successfully — you are literally starting from ground zero. No one tells you how difficult it is to start from that point. I see why the data shows that 20% of new businesses fail within their first year and 50% won’t even make it to their five-year mark. That means if you and I start a business today, in 5 years, one of our businesses will fail if it didn’t fail within the first. 

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Starting from zero requires you to literally build everything up brick by brick – INCLUDING YOUR MENTAL and that’s extremely difficult when you do not have a blueprint. I wish my parents already had a business in motion where all I needed to do was pick up where they left off. Unfortunately, that’s not how this story goes. 

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What makes it even harder is, that when your peers are not entrepreneurs, they don’t really know how to support you mentally. Even their words of encouragement sound like bombs over Baghdad. “It’ll get better” “You’re going to be just fine” “This is just the beginning”. I know they mean well and I understand the need to see the big picture but I currently live in the present where everything is overwhelming. There are so many moving parts on this journey and getting a hold of your mental health is essential for survival. 

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For all those that are trying to figure out how to get a grip, I challenge you to (1) revisit your why and (2) intentionally do things that help calm your mind. There was a reason you started this journey and if that reason means anything to you, it will always keep you focused on the big picture. In regards to doing things that calm your mind, I know from personal experience that anxiety takes center stage when too many things are trying to make themselves a priority. It starts to feel like there is always so much to do, always so little time, and never enough manpower. So I like doing things that calm my mind and keep me in the present. For me, those things look like working out, going for a walk, a bike ride, a run or a swim, doing puzzles, journaling my thoughts and prayers, and setting up a time to do absolutely nothing. 

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It is perfectly fine to want to quit but it is not okay to not put the effort into trying to take care of yourself. I live by the motto “if you are not at 100%, nothing you do will be at 100%.” So when you get a hold of your mental, you realize that anything is possible and then you can give this journey the energy you need. 

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I will be doing another post about ways you can manage your time to prevent being overwhelmed but in the meantime, let’s focus on learning how to breathe and building our mental discipline.

Until Next Time,

LOLATHEMANAGER

entrepreneurship

Using Groupon To Market My Business

It takes money to make money.

So when I started my 360 Photo Booth business, I was trying to come up with different ways to market it. I knew that I would set up a Google My Business profile as well as position us on Instagram & Facebook to appeal to millennials – our target audience. I was not interested in investing my own money into the business so I needed to come up with a way to get “free” advertising.

I know what you’re thinking “where can you get free advertising”. When I say “FREE”, I mean not having to pay upfront costs. If you have an Etsy shop like I do, you are charged AFTER a customer makes a purchase. The platform takes their fees for “promoting your product” before they release the profit. And now, I found out that Groupon offers something similar.

Let me preface this with the fact that I am an avid Groupon customer. I use the app at least once a week looking for deals in Miami and Atlanta since I pretty much live in both cities. And then one day while I was scrolling, I saw my friend’s business ad on there. He is a personal trainer based in South Florida and he was offering his services at a discounted rate. 

I immediately started searching for 360 Photo Booth services on Groupon in the South Florida and Atlanta areas. I couldn’t find any and the lightbulb went off — this is a good market.

I created a Groupon Merchant (business account), started watching YouTube videos on people’s experience using Groupon Merchant, and created my first campaign. In maybe a day or two after I created the campaign (it has to get approved by Groupon before going live), I received an email telling me that the campaign was rejected. I shrugged and assumed that’s the reason why there were no 360 photo booths on the platform — they were all getting rejected. 

And then maybe a month later, I received a call from someone that worked for Groupon saying they saw I attempted to make a campaign and wanted to know if I was still interested in partnering with them. He told me how Groupon is always looking for new and innovative things to offer and they liked my 360 Photo Booth business. He told me that there’s a certain way to manually work the system and his specific job at Groupon is to find those unique businesses, revamp their campaigns, and get them approved. 

After the call, we went back and forth via email trying to set up the perfect campaign. Groupon has 20+ million active users on its platform and they provide businesses all the marketing they need. However, it comes at a cost. You have to list your product at an appealing sale price and then when you make a sale, Groupon wants 50% of that sale.

For example, let’s say your business offers jet skis. Your regular rate to rent out a jet ski for 30 minutes is $100. You list this service on Groupon at a discounted rate of $60 (40% OFF). This discounted rate is the price a customer will pay at checkout. After the purchase, Groupon will take $30 and give you $30. 

Now, before you fight me, let’s continue to look at that example. Depending on your business overhead (costs of operation), that $30 profit may be a loss. If gas for the jet ski is $10, you have to subtract that from the revenue so your true profit is $20. Other overhead costs may be a dock rental fee, lifeguard salary, and more which can have you seeing more negative than positive. In the context of my current business model, it’s a win because we just want to build exposure and profit enough to pay the employees that have to work these events. We do not use Groupon to pay for our overhead.

We started our campaign in early December and have consistently sold at least 2 vouchers per month from January to March 2022. The cool thing about this is, we are able to make more money by upselling additional items since our campaign is bare bones. On our account, we only offer standard 360 Photo Booth services for 3 hours, 5 hours, and 8 hours. All of our customers so far have purchased the 3-hour voucher and when we schedule the event, they almost always want an additional hour (more $$), themed props (more $$), and custom overlay/geofilter (more $$).

For those that do not know what upselling is, it’s when you offer additional services and/or products during a sale. You probably have experienced this while being a customer at your local fast-food restaurant. You order a taco and nachos and the cashier asks “would you like to add a drink with that”. That is upselling. So there are products and services included in our regular rates that we do not offer Groupon customers. We can’t just let you off that easily.

Another benefit of using Groupon to market my 360 Photo Booth business is being able to easily get reviews that you can then use on your company site or social media and it helps your business establish credibility. Just because something is listed on Groupon, doesn’t mean you should give your money to it. Remember, I am an avid Groupon customer so I look at reviews and I leave them. Shoot – I look at and leave Google Reviews. The reviews show that not only is your business legit but it provides good or bad services and products. I will admit, due to poor planning and lack of staffing on our part, we had to cancel our attendance at an event last minute which caused us to get 1 poor review but that won’t stop our show.

All in all, we have seen success in Groupon. The campaign reach and conversion rate has been pretty high for the first 90 days (the partnership is 4 months long with an option to renew) and I just know it will continue to grow. I will say, we do not promote our Groupon listing on our social media or even word of mouth because we don’t want everyone booking through the platform. Like seriously, we have money to make. So we have a limited number of vouchers that can be purchased on Groupon and still promote our regular rates via other online platforms.

I hope this was able to give you insight on potentially using Groupon to build brand awareness and increase traffic to your business. I don’t have all the answers but I thoroughly enjoy sharing my entrepreneurship journey so you can see what it’s like in real-time. 

For those of you interested in starting a 360 Photo Booth business or already started but not getting booked, let’s hop on a call to discuss what’s going on. As always, I love helping people level up in their entrepreneurship journey.

Until Next Time,

LOLATHEMANAGER

Uncategorized

Now Hiring: Luxury Lens 360

Never thought I would see the day when I would be hiring people to work for my business. It’s exciting and scary at the same time. Let’s talk about how I got here.

If you’re an avid follower, you know that I am an advocate for having multiple streams of income. I launched my 360 Photo Booth Business in the South Florida and Atlanta areas back in 2021. Things have been going pretty good since. Actually, it has been so good that now we have more events than we do manpower. Like, we had to cancel an event last minute because we did not have someone to work it.

Anywho, we are looking for people to operate our photo booths at different events in South Florida and Atlanta – ESPECIALLY ATLANTA!! Since South Florida is my hometown, it is easier to get the word out that I am looking to hire because there is always a friend of a friend or a friend of a family member, or even a former student looking for work. However, since I really haven’t sowed enough seeds in Atlanta, my reach is limited.

So I am asking for your help to get the word out there. Share this with everyone you know and post it to your social media. We are trying to build a solid team of quality people in both states so we can continue serving the community.

For A Complete Job Description And To Apply, Click Here.

UNTIL NEXT TIME,

LOLATHEMANAGER

Uncategorized

Dropshipping with Printful

DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links meaning, at no cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase

If you’re reading this, you probably have this amazing idea to start your own online store. Maybe you want to sell clothes or maybe you want to sell mugs. Either way, somehow you found yourself stumbling across the words “dropshipping” and “printful”. Well, I do both and want to share my experience in hopes it provides more clarity for you.

First of all, let’s define some terms.

What is dropshipping?

For the sake of this blog, we’ll define dropshipping as the middleman between a customer and the business owner. Let me elaborate. Dropshipping allows you to sell a product you do not physically have in your presence. You know how people have a warehouse full of inventory they need to sell? Dropshipping companies realized there are people who (1) may not have the means to house inventory or (2) are not even interested in housing inventory. So they came up with this idea to allow you to house your products (or utilize theirs) and they will customize, package, and ship the product to the customer on your behalf.

For the visual learners, here’s the closest thing to a graphic I can provide

  • You want to sell holiday themed pajamas
  • You find a company that makes them 
  • You create a partnership with them where they charge you $10/pajamas to customize, package, and ship to prospective customers
  • You set up an online store promoting the pajamas for $30/pajamas
  • A customer goes on your site and purchases two pajamas for $60
  • You pay the company $20 to fulfill the order
  • You profit $40 from the sale
  • Everybody Wins

And the best part of that scenario is you didn’t even have to lift a finger. 

Now, our next question is – what is Printful?

Simple. Printful is a print-on-demand dropshipping company. That means they make orders as they come in – similar to going to a restaurant. You have to put in a food order and they will cook it for you. Let’s go back to the holiday-themed pajamas. Printful has a warehouse full of generic products to customize. You select the pajama type you like and provide them with the graphic designs you want on them. Printful gives you mockup photos to put on your site to promote to customers. Every time someone purchases pajamas from your site, Printful is notified and they will fulfill that order on your behalf.

And once again, you never had to lift a finger.

So how do I – Lola The Manager – use it?

Well, I have my own online store where I sell entrepreneurial apparel. I use Printful’s dropshipping services to fulfill all orders. I chose this method for several reasons:

  1. I didn’t want to spend money on inventory that may potentially not sell
  2. I didn’t want / nor had the means to house any inventory
  3. I wanted to be hands-off with this business venture
  4. I wanted more passive income
  5. It had $0 startup cost

I have been using Printful for almost 2 years now and my feelings for it in the beginning still remain – I love it. 

Now let me just say this. In order for this to work, you need to sync Printful to an eCommerce platform like Wix, Shopify, or Etsy. Printful is only the back office. They need a front office to tell them what to do. That front office is the eCommerce platform you decide to use. I personally use Wix. So though Printful is free to use (because you are only charged after an order comes in), the eCommerce platform you decide to use will not be free. I know Shopify charges a monthly rate to use their site whereas Wix charges an annual fee. You just have to see which option works best for you.

I hope this provided some clarity for those interested in dropshipping – specifically through Printful. If you would like a tutorial or course on how to set this up, please tell me in the comments or send me a message. You know I am always looking for ways to educate us, fellow entrepreneurs. 

Until Next Time,

LOLA THE MANAGER

Uncategorized

My Airbnb Hosting Experience

If you have been following me on Instagram, you know that I started hosting on Airbnb Fall 2020 and it has been an interesting ride, to say the least. 

Today’s blog is not about how to start an Airbnb business (that will come one day soon) but to highlight how my experience has been and why I even got into it.

For those that do not know, Airbnb is an online marketplace for short-term and vacation rentals. It has been around since 2008 but my first experience with it (as a guest) was in 2016 when I planned my friend’s surprise 30th birthday trip to Puerto Rico. We stayed in this nice condo/apartment unit that we booked through Airbnb. Aside from that experience, I never thought to host on the platform — not until 2020. 

I found myself interested in rental properties around 2019. When I got to the point where I understood the importance of having multiple streams of income, I saw the benefits of having a rental property. However, the idea seemed so far out of reach especially since I did not have much success purchasing a home in 2018. 

At the start of the pandemic in early 2020, I pressed into my entrepreneurship journey. I started learning about an overwhelming amount of ways to make money and one of those ways was Airbnb. My eyes opened because I never thought of hosting on Airbnb and by that time, I had stayed at my fair share of Airbnbs. 

I started doing extensive research on YouTube and read as many blog articles as I could find. From my research, it looked like it would cost anywhere from $5k – $10k to get a property up and running. I knew I didn’t have that type of capital to invest alone so I reached out to my friend to see if she wanted to partner on this and she did. Let it be known, she was already interested in investing in rental properties so it was an easy sell for her.

The process of finding the right apartment to put on Airbnb was easy because I was already apartment shopping and had a list of my faves so I just selected one of those. The process of getting the apartment was quick but shopping for it took about a week because there were so many moving parts. I was traveling so I wasn’t available to shop much and we were not always on the same page for some purchases. 

Anyways, after we listed the property, we got 3 bookings within the first hour. YES, THE FIRST HOUR!!! I believe Airbnb boosts new listings to get the host excited about their new endeavors. We were getting booked pretty fast and often. But we weren’t getting BOOKED OUT and that was the goal because that was where we would get huge profits. After a year of being on the platform, I can say that I see the benefit in listing a property on Airbnb however, I can’t say that I have seen the insanely high five-figure monthly profits that other hosts say they have. Let it be known, a profit is the remaining balance AFTER expenses are subtracted.

I achieved and maintained Superhost status, I have amazing reviews, the property is beautiful, the experience is great, and so I have been doing research to see what can be done to take the property to the next level to achieve those five-figure monthly profits. 

Instead of jumping into the next investment property, we plan to revamp this property we have together (we have our own individual properties on the platform as well). I am thinking we can add some accent walls and themed decor as well as listing the property on other platforms to see if that helps with increasing bookings during the week because we are always booked on the weekends. 

FUN FACT: I did try renting out my basement and it was good until it was bad. I was already apprehensive about having strangers in my home — even though we do not interact with each other — but that one set of guests (see my Instagram highlights for the story) was the icing on the cake and I refuse to ever rent out my basement again. I won’t even rent out a guest house. If I live on the property, I will not be listing it on Airbnb. For those, I would have a tenant that helps me house hack (which is what I am doing now). 

Would I recommend you list a property on Airbnb? 

YES!!! But only if you’re ready to be in the hospitality and management industry because truth be told, Airbnb has NOTHING to do with real estate and EVERYTHING to do with customer service. You have to create an experience for your guests so they can brag about it (in their reviews) and in turn, attract more guests (with those same reviews). There are systems you need in place to ensure your guest feels like the most important person on the planet. This is what separates your Airbnb from the next. You have to ask yourself “what type of experience do you want to give your guest” and then create an experience even BIGGER than that. It takes a lot of leg work in the beginning but once it gets going, it is sweet.

If you want to know more about my Airbnb hosting experience, I advise you to watch the “stories” and “highlights” on my Instagram page.

And if you ever need an Airbnb in Atlanta, check out my Buckhead property.

Until Next Time,

LOLA THE MANAGER

Uncategorized

My First Project Manager Job

I know people see the word Project Manager and get excited but I honestly didn’t know what that was until one of my tech friends brought it up to me earlier this year.

For those that do not know, a Project Manager is equivalent to a Movie Director. The director takes the script and creates this vision for how it will look on film. The director is also responsible for managing all different aspects of the film like making sure the actors and crew are doing what they need to do to execute the vision. And that last sentence is EXACTLY what a project manager does — make sure everyone is doing what they need to do to execute the vision.

Now that we got that out the way. Let’s talk about how I got my first project manager job. So you guys know that I have been a teacher for the last 5 years and I have an interest in a variety of things — web design, social media, vlogging, blogging, and the like. Well, one of my dearest friends has been pushing me to get more involved in tech because in her exact words “that’s where the money at.” She works in Cybersecurity making well into six figures and just completed her first semester as a Cybersecurity professor at a community college in South Florida. So yes, she is DEFINITELY where the money at.

She started telling me that with my experience and skills, I could probably get into the tech field as a project manager. She started to give me some insight on what the different project managers she has been able to work with have done and then encouraged me to do some research. And I did just that.

So I revamped my resume to make it more “tech-friendly” by using industry language and highlighting all the things I don’t share within my usual teacher resume. That consisted of me going on LinkedIn and looking up people who are currently working as project managers and working in the tech field to see what they are doing so I can pull from there. Funny enough, I did all that and still didn’t apply for any project manager jobs.

Until May 2021. One of the assistant principals at the school I was working at sent out a mass email with a job opening for this STEM program based in California. The position that was being promoted was for a summer “Entrepreneurship” instructor. I figured, since I was currently teaching Economics and introducing my students to entrepreneurship, this could be the perfect transition out of the classroom as I figure out the next moves in my life.

So I re-edited my resume to make it more “Educator” focused and I applied for the position. When I finished applying, I looked to see what other openings they had and one of them was for a Project Manager. I read the job description and was like, I can actually do this. So I applied with my “Project Manager” resume and received an email THE SAME DAY to schedule an interview. Like, how the position I applied to second hit me up first lol. 

I interviewed with one of the sweetest people ever and was invited to attend a group interview. Please note, all of these interviews AND the position is remote/virtual. I joined the group interview and it was like speed dating. We were asked questions individually and in groups and then we were broken up into breakout rooms to work together and then come back to the main room to present. It was just happening so fast and within a second, it was over.

A week after the interview, I received this email.

I was bummed out because I felt like it would have been a great stepping stone into the industry while still being in education. Now that I was officially done teaching, I told myself that I am going to remove distractions from my life so I can focus on my entrepreneurship journey and figure out how to bring in some money. So I removed myself from social media, put my energy into moving into my new home, and then took it one day at a time.

Then three weeks later, I got an email. 

Yall, I started dancing, screaming, and was in utter shock. I felt like I was told I won a Grammy. What really had me shook was the pay. We were set to get paid weekly and one week’s paycheck would be equivalent to almost two of my teaching paychecks and I got paid twice a month. If you’re a numbers person, I would be getting paid $2k a week ($8k/month) and my teacher salary was $1,700 every two weeks ($3,400/month). I don’t know how much you guys are getting paid but this was LOVELY to me. Like, I was about to get paid more to do less. I think I could live like this.

Anyways, I accepted the offer and the complete contract was for 6 weeks. The first week was staff training. The second week was intern training. The remaining four weeks were the actual project my team of interns had to tackle. In short, we were tasked with creating data visualization boards for a biotech company. In training, we learned about Miro (a digital collaboration platform) and Figma (a collaborative interface design tool). However, when it was time to build the data visualization boards, we realized we would need to use a different design tool so that was another hurdle we had to tackle but we did the damn thing.

I’m not going to lie to you and make it seem like this experience was a breeze. I was overwhelmed starting day one. Everything was moving so fast. There was language being used that I did not understand. And then there was a curriculum — The Design Sprint — that I needed to learn because that was the process my team had to use to execute this project. It just felt like so much was being thrown at me and I just needed to figure it out on my own. I felt like quitting WEEK ONE!! And if you know anything about me, I will leave a job if it is not what I thought it was going to be. 

But I pushed through and I am happy I did. All I remember is my supervisor — the person who sent me those emails — telling me “just breathe and create the experience you feel your interns need to be successful”. Once she said that a lightbulb clicked and I went into my groove. I started creating daily and weekly schedules that outlined everything our team needed for success. All i’s were dotted and all t’s were crossed. So much so, take a look at my performance evaluation.

My supervisor told me that she has never given anyone a perfect score on an evaluation. She told me her management team was not sure if I would do well in this type of project manager position because my teaching background may push me to teach the interns instead of coach the interns. I’m happy to say I exceeded their expectations and I am happy my supervisor took that risk in bringing me on board. 

If there is any advice I can give to someone interested in getting in project manager, I would say this:

  • Ask questions for clarity and repeat what was clarified
    • Seems like a lot but that helps you make sure you understand what is asked of you 
  • Organize the calendar/schedule
    • There are so many moving parts in working on a project and schedule management is essential so everyone can be on the same page
  • Be Flexible
    • Things happen and you need to adjust accordingly
  • Cover Your Ass in emails
    • Emails are receipts and if it wasn’t in an email, the transaction/interaction never happened
  • Take notes in meeting (and record them if you can)
    • We’re human! We forget even when we know. 

And that ladies and gentlemen, was my first project manager job experience. I still plan to do more project manager contracts. I have been actively looking for them but no luck – yet. If you’re a project manager, how has your experience been? 

Until Next Time,

LOLA THE MANAGER

Uncategorized

My Experience Selling On Teachers Pay Teachers

Just about every teacher knows about Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT) but if you don’t, it is an online marketplace for teachers to buy and sell original educational material. My introduction to TPT was in 2015 during my first year teaching. I learned really quickly to work smarter by utilizing already created material instead of making new material.

TPT made my first year as a teacher a breeze. Since I was teaching 2nd grade, I taught multiple subjects — Reading, Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. I would look at the district’s pacing guide each week to see what we should be working on and look for it on TPT. When I tell you every single lesson I needed was on that platform, EVERY SINGLE ONE!

Unfortunately, when I moved on to teaching middle and high school, there were not as many, if any, lesson plans available on TPT for me to use so now I had to start working harder. I was literally making lesson plans and resources every week. With the pandemic forcing schools to go virtual, TPT started to gain more traction because people needed digital resources. 

During the 2020-2021 school year, I had the pleasure of teaching 12th-grade Economics virtually and of course, TPT had nothing for me to work with. The beauty of teaching high school Economics is that it is a half-credit course compared to something like Algebra that is a whole credit. To put this into perspective, a student taking Economics is typically taking it for half a school year (Fall or Spring) whereas a student taking Algebra is taking it for an entire school year (Fall and Spring). 

As the teacher, that means I am teaching one set of students in the Fall and another set of students in the Spring. So in order to make my year smooth, I had to create instructional videos and digital resources for my students during the Fall and then reuse that same content in the Spring. This was definitely the easiest school year I have ever had.

Fast forward to the end of 2020, I was thinking of ways to make money that did not require me to create something new or invest money. I saw people promoting digital courses and I remembered that I literally just created a digital Economics course that I can put on TPT. So I listed my course there.

I got my first sale on 10/15/2020 and that was the only sale in 2020. I will say that I didn’t post all the resources at the time. I was testing the water so I just posted 1 part (unit 1) of the course. Then Spring 2021 came around and I posted another part of the course (unit 2). That led to two sales in March 2021. I was done teaching by the end of April so I posted the rest of the course online and sales picked up in the summer right before the new school year but not much. 

In short, I have not seen much fruit on here and I don’t know if that’s because the quality of the content isn’t great or there isn’t much of a market for it but I will definitely keep my products there. I have no intentions of creating anything new to add on there but I will continue to monitor how things go.

So if you’re an Economics teacher OR you’re studying Economics for a class, I highly recommend you check out my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.

Until Next Time,

LOLA THE MANAGER

Uncategorized

2021 Year in Review

I am a big advocate of reflecting on your past experiences. I feel like we often ask for things and never get the opportunity to actually enjoy them because once we get them, we are focused on trying to get the next thing. This is one of the reasons why I share so much about my entrepreneurship journey because I feel like the journey is more important than the destination. The journey is where you grow so the destination means nothing without that experience. With that said, let’s take a look at my 2021 year in review.

January

February

  • Took a girls trip to Cancun, Mexico and took my first ever COVID test in Mexico

April

May

  • FINALLY experienced a good wax specialist in Atlanta
  • Completed my 1st year teaching in Atlanta and gifted myself a new MacBook Air
  • Started selling my lesson plans on Teachers Pay Teachers

June

  • Moved into my new home
  • Upgraded my vlogging equipment
  • Started my 1st project manager contract with a biotech company

July

  • Made my way back to the personal trainer for the next 3 months (not including my birthday month)
  • Completed my 1st project manager contract with a biotech company
  • Completed a brand photo shoot

August

September

October 

November 

  • Worked my first event with the 360 photo booth
  • Completed my 1st year as an AirBNB Superhost / Property Manager

December

  • Planned for 2022

It looks as if I had a busy year and I’m not going to lie to you guys, it was exhausting. I was tired. I am tired. So in 2022, I want a smooth, relaxing, and fruitful year. I spent a lot of time trying to make money and now I want to focus on making the money flow — like a stream. I feel like I can’t say I have streams of income since they are not flowing. 

Thank you for rocking with me in 2021 and I am excited for what is in store for 2022. Let’s get to it.

Until Next Time,

LOLA THE MANAGER