I didn’t always have my own tutoring business.
I started out as a test prep tutor, teacher, and eventual faculty manager for a prominent education company. I climbed the ranks, but it always bothered me that the tutors and teachers doing the actual leg work in the company were only receiving a tiny fraction of what the customers were paying.
Add in the uncertainty of a brick-and-mortar business in an increasingly online world, the inflexibility of location, and the annoying fact of having to give control over my schedule to my boss, and I decided I’d much rather be my own boss!
Hi, I’m Carrie Bach.
I’ve been a proud solopreneur tutor since 2013 and am on a mission to share what I know with other aspiring tutors!
If I can do it, you can too!
But being a successful private tutor had a HUGE learning curve for me. I want to make sure YOUR journey is faster and smoother than mine.
Here are a few of the key lessons I’ve learned:
#1 Don’t run yourself ragged
When I look at my records from my first couple of years, I’m amazed I survived! I was doing in-home private tutoring ALL OVER TOWN. Driving expenses ate up 25% of my income and huge chunks of my time.
And while I like impressing people with my knowledge of the best coffee shop, library, park, or parking lot in every neighborhood in the greater Seattle area, I wish I had learned earlier on how to streamline.
I now run everything 100% online. My commute is just from my bed to my desk, and I even exploit time zone differences to make sure my work with customers happens at a time convenient to me.
#2 Charge what you are worth
Even with nearly 10 year’s tutoring experience, when I first went solo, I thought I needed to price myself low to get students. Not only did that force me to run myself ragged (see above), but it also didn’t show confidence in the skills I knew I had.
I’m still committed to ethical pricing – charging according to the value delivered but not pricing myself above what my ideal student can afford. But I do now make an effort to set rates that mean I’ll avoid burn out and will be able to continue to provide high quality service to my students.
#3 Going solo doesn’t mean not getting help
This has been the hardest lesson for me to learn! Perfectionism and wanting to be in control are two character traits that naturally lead someone to strike out on their own, after all!
The tipping point came when I tried to create my tutoring website. Three. Different. Times. Abandoning each one because it was too slow, too badly designed, too hard to learn, etc.
But I’ve learned that I make faster progress when I lean on and learn from others. I outsourced designing my first tutoring website, found mentors to learn about marketing and the business side of things. I’ve since become a huge fan of leaning on others for emotional support and accountability.
Where I’m at now
I’ve come a long way from where I first started. My tutoring business, Resolution Test Prep, now fully supports my family of three. All of my tutoring is online, which allowed me to continue working with my US students even after our family moved to South Korea in 2021. I work just the hours I want: 6am-noon (early mornings by choice, I might add). And then I’m free to devote the rest of my day to my family, hobbies, and personal projects.
Where I’m at now
Many years ago, I set two goals for my life:
- To be a good grandmother to my granddaughter the way my grandmothers were for me. (Building the foundation for that one by trying to be a good mom to my toddler! And I’m so lucky that my flexible schedule as a tutor gives me so much time with him.)
- To have a “meaningful impact” in my career. (At the time, I was still working on figuring out what exactly I wanted that to mean.)
I’m so fortunate that I can now live out that second goal daily by helping motivated educators start their own tutoring business. I’m already impacting the lives of the students I tutor, but it’s so much more rewarding to impact even more students by helping talented, dedicated tutors kickstart their own businesses.
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