Over the past two blog posts, I’ve talked to you about my story–the story of an accidental entrepreneur who turned curiosity into a growing business. Today, I provide consulting to individuals and organizations, speak at conferences and at universities, and create professional development products for academics who want to enhance their skills both on and off the tenure track. Most importantly, I live a life that I’ve designed, on my own terms. I’m a full-time entrepreneur. But you don’t have to be. You can experience the same type of fulfillment that I do providing your services part-time.
The Academic Entrepreneur
Through my work, I’ve had the opportunity to coach and train hundreds of academics to greater career success both within and outside of the academy. I’ve also consulted academics who were interested in starting their own full-time businesses. My goal in starting this discussion about entrepreneurial projects, however, is to help you to unearth hidden talents and to normalize the discussion about academics exercising our skills, voices, and selves in new ways, in new places and with new colleagues.
We live in an economy where no one, not even professors, should put all of their earning capacity in one basket. You may want or need additional income or experience at certain moments in your professional path. And, if you’re like me, you have creative gifts, talents, ideas, and projects that you want to bring to life. I know that all of these gifts and talents may not fit neatly under the umbrella of your academic career. (Hint: It’s okay to explore your interests beyond the scope of your research and role in the academy.) But by exploring these interests, you’ll find that you are more efficient at your work within the academy. By taking on new projects that energize you and allow you to express yourself in new ways, you’ll start to prioritize and to make time for the things that are important to you.
I created the course The Academic Entrepreneur: Earn More Money, Expand Your Impact to help you start to identify these unique skills and to successfully leverage them into a part-time business. I’ll teach you how to use your existing skills to expand your influence and to make additional income outside of your academic teaching and research. By the end of this course, you’ll know how to:
- Start your own part-time business
- Structure your business
- Create a set of materials to describe and promote your business
- Know how to have business and money conversations
- Get your first client!
I know that there are lots of questions that come with exploring new ways of self-expression and being, especially when those new ways push you to new arenas. You may be concerned that the role models of academics living and working outside of the traditional academic box are few and far between. Perhaps you’re thinking:
What if this conflicts with my responsibilities as a professor? What if it slows me down from completing?
Will I be considered a sellout if I start my own business?
I would like to have more money to do things for myself and my family but I’m not sure I’m comfortable with charging for my work.
Give yourself permission to want what you want. Only you can know the personal reasons that motivate you to move forward to new arenas and new expressions of yourself as an academic. This is a no judgment zone. Instead, I hope to facilitate a space where academics who think outside the box about themselves and their ability can take ownership and feel comfortable in those spaces.
You don’t have to take a big leap like I did to move into full time entrepreneurship; you can create the space where you gain new experience, leverage existing relationships and expertise, and earn additional income.
To get you started, I’ve created a special, FREE guide complete with tips and tools for aspiring small-business owners. Download your free copy, and register for my course, The Academic Entrepreneur, today. Space is limited; I only have 20 spots available.