Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rachel Cicioni, Founder of MyFrenchU by The Private Practice Teacher, located in Lancaster, PA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I actually have two branches of my business. The first is MyFrenchU, where I teach French. My students range from beginner to advanced and ages 11 and up.
The second is The Private Practice Teacher™️. With this branch, I created a 90-Day Jumpstart Mentorship program to empower other teachers to own their own successful private teaching businesses. In the program, I teach everything I learned in order to make MyFrenchU profitable and scaleable during my first two years in business. The teachers I mentor are innovative educators who are either burned out in the classroom or unhappy with the current state of education but who still want to teach. I also use this branch of my business for teacher advocacy.
Tell us about yourself
I started my French teaching business by doing a favor for a friend who co-founded a local private school. It was September 2020 when she asked me to put together an online French course for two of their students. I agreed and discovered that I'm good at it and enjoy doing it. I put the word out on social media that I'm a state-certified teacher with 10 years of experience offering French lessons. It grew from there, and I had to learn the business aspect as I went along.
Then in March of 2022, I launched The Private Practice Teacher™️ , where I teach other teachers how to create, launch and manage their own private teaching businesses. When I saw how many teachers were leaving the profession completely. I wanted them to know that what I do with MyFrenchU exists and could be a viable option for them.
What motivates me as an entrepreneur in both my businesses is the same thing that motivated me in the classroom- I love helping people achieve their goals and realize their own potential.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment thus far has been figuring out how to create, manage, and scale my businesses in a way that is challenging and joyful for me BUT that also works for my family.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things for me has been working from home. I really struggle with setting good boundaries for myself regarding home and work responsibilities. It's much too easy for me to work all day long at both without giving myself adequate time off.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Create a business plan, but don't be afraid to revise it as you go along.
- Don't get so caught up with creating and researching that you don't launch. Good enough really is good enough - and you're going to be constantly revising and improving as you go anyway.
- Be patient and excited at the same time. Know there's a growing phase, but keep talking about what you're doing. Your own excitement will build up everyone else's.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
You never know until you try, and it's ok to start slowly. There's no one right way to do this.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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