How I balance my work life and personal life as a piano teacher – and also as a real estate agent!

I don’t think I have announced this yet, but I am officially a real estate agent. I have been working on this journey to becoming a real estate agent for a couple of months. It happened during Covid when I had a mini crises about what I should do with my life. I know that I must have been acting very dramatic, but I took the plunge into studying for the real estate exam. All of this took place when the lockdown was happening. I am still teaching the piano full time and I’m also taking continuing education classes for real estate. Life has been amazing. I’ve talked about this before, but I feel like so much has changed in my life. I am so grateful for all the blessings that I’ve had over the past couple of months. I can’t wait to continue to work harder, and continue to enjoy life with my husband and my yorkie.

The most important thing I always remember during the week is that I am working hard to make sure my small family has a great life. You have to remember what you are ultimately working hard for. When you have your why, everything just falls into place. My husband and I have goals to move to our dream place. Each day I work hard for 10+ hours, I remember why I do so.

Another important aspect of balancing my work life with my personal life is that I have the weekends to spend with my family. We spend a lot of time together on the weekends. The weekends are when we plan our fun activities. I have something to look forward to every week because I know that the weekends are ours to enjoy.

My biggest piece of advice is to plan things to look forward to. Plan a vacation that you are really excited for. Reward yourself for teaching your milestones and set goals. When you have a purpose, going to work each day becomes so much easier. Continue to work hard every day. It will pay off!

My journey with TakeLessons.com | Is it worth it? Did I get students with it?

When I first began teaching, I received many ads for lesson marketing apps. I initially started using thumbtack because it was the most popular website at the time for freelancers. I wasn’t looking to be a freelancer, but I thought that it would be a great start to garner more students.

I learned that thumbtack takes money from its users to send quotes to potential clients. I only received one client from the app. It was easy to use and the money I put forward to garner the student was paid off 4x more by the lessons I received. The important fact to remember is that you have to invest in your business in order to receive results. Do not be afraid to spend some money in order to make money. I was able to receive a new student without much effort. The quality of the student wasn’t great thought because the app was targeted for people looking for the best deal. They weren’t looking for instructors that taught quality content. It was not something I thought that would suit me. I price my lessons based on the quality of lessons that I can give rather than at a cheaper rate. I’m very good at teaching and it wouldn’t fit what I believe my lessons are worth. I quickly left thumbtack and I began using other sources of advertising for my lessons.

I stumbled upon TakeLessons.com through Facebook ads. I decided to make an account and it was easy to set up a profile as an instructor. I remember setting up my profile a couple years ago when I first began teaching. I didn’t expect much from the service because I thought it was the same as thumbtack. I later discovered that it was not the same and I was thoroughly impressed. I didn’t have to pay to talk to leads. The app allows me to message leads without having to pay anything. This was a huge game changer from how I was accustomed to. I quickly learned that I was able to obtain students without having to spend some money upfront. I’ve obtained about four to five students from this app to date. The more students I keep for a longer period of time, the more TakeLessons.com recommends my lessons. My main takeaway that I hope others take from this post is that TakeLessons.com is a great service to use for upcoming instructors. It is also great to have if you are a veteran teacher. I always believe in having as many sources of advertising as possible. You need to make sure that your business stays afloat. When you outsource your advertising, the apps will continue to look for students for you. I don’t have to do much work to garner new students nowadays, and I am much more able to enjoy spending time with my family instead. I’m going to conduct some more research on other advertising tools. I’ll let everyone know if I find something that is very good for teachers!

How to continue blogging as a full-time teacher: is it possible?

When I began my blog a couple years ago, I was a full-time teacher. I had a teaching assistant that I paid for and I was consistently working on my blog. Over the years, I began to drift away from blogging. My life as a teacher took over most of my time and I wish I hadn’t. Blogging is something that has to remain consistent. If you are not updating your content frequently, readers will not visit your blog as often. I wish I knew how to continue blogging as a full-time teacher. I hope my advice helps other teachers pursue their dream of blogging and that I inspire you to pursue blogging if it is your passion.

The main way that I continue updating my blog frequently is that I post during my free time. I mentioned before in my previous blog post that I control my own schedule as a self-employed teacher. My free time is spent mainly at night when I am at the gym. I spend my most of my time writing during that time. It’s amazing because I am able to exercise and also write. I love writing. I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend my free time. I found that I am more creative and I have more blog post ideas when I am at the gym. Find what works best for you and stick with it!

Another important part of my routine is that I have a big goal of working for myself. Blogging has always been something that I can work on in my free time. When I was teaching two years ago, I remember that I would work on my blog in between lessons. It is and still is my favorite thing to do. I figured that if I still like it after three or more years of doing it, I should probably keep pursuing it. I was so happy to see new readers on my blog during my small breaks in between lessons. Blogging makes my day better. It is a constant reminder of my goals. If you really enjoy doing something, it will continue to be with you for the rest of your life. Blogging has been that joy for me. I wouldn’t have been able to write so many blog posts if I didn’t thoroughly enjoy it. I have a friend that started their blog the same time as me. I remember that we both shared the same dream of having a successful blog. After writing about six blog posts, she stopped posting. I didn’t expect that I would be the one that is still blogging after so many years. I’m proud every day of my accomplishments as a blogger and I will continue to pursue blogging as much as I can. It will always be my priority even as a full-time teacher.

MY THOUGHTS ON BEING SELF-EMPLOYED – MY FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT WORKING FOR MYSELF

For many years when I was in college, I wasn’t making any money. I feel like many college students can understand my sentiment. I wasn’t the best student, but I had trouble finding my first job. I was working in the hospital as a scribe and I didn’t it at all. I was working swing shift and I was also paid at minimum wage. I didn’t complain, but the work environment didn’t allow me to have a lunch break. I was overworked and tired most of the time. I remember this time as one of the best learning lessons when I was in college. I learned that I didn’t want to work for someone else for the rest of my life. I realized that that kind of life wasn’t cut out for me and I needed to make a change for myself. For many years, my dad told me to begin teaching piano. I didn’t pursue teaching until I was almost done with college. It was tough beginning the journey of self-employment. I am going to share with you my thoughts on being self-employed and why I like it much more than working for someone else.

The most important thing that I like about being self-employed is that I am able to control my own hours. I can change my schedule, reschedule my lessons, and take vacation days whenever I want. Of course I have to let my students know ahead of time, but I can choose whenever to take a vacation day or a sick day. My schedule is entirely flexible to when I want to work. I can choose to end work early if I don’t feel well that day or I can schedule to only work four hours a day. This is the best reason why I love working for myself and I am so grateful that I am able to do so.

The next thing I like about being self-employed is that I never have to worry about being fired. I have worked in this industry long enough to where I have plenty of contacts in every platform. I don’t have to worry about losing my job because I am hired for multiple lessons per week. The amount of business I have is infinite and this is another thing that I am extremely grateful for. My job is secure because I have built multiple pipelines to keep it strong. The exception was during Covid where I had a stagnant period, but I was still able to work nonetheless.

My last thing that I enjoy about being self-employed is that I am able to have a normal life. There are so many things that I enjoy about my job, but I can only list a few. The part about having a normal life is very important to me. I recently got married about half a year ago and I wanted to be able to be with my family on the weekends. I am able to have dinner with them, wake up in the mornings with them, and I spend a large amount of time with them on the weekends. My personal life is important to me and I didn’t want my job to sacrifice that. Teaching has enhanced my life and it has made my personal life much more fulfilling. I have time to myself in the mornings and nights. Being self-employed has changed my life for the better. I am so grateful for this life.

Teacher hacks to getting more stuff done | HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF YOUR TIME

As I’ve mentioned before in my other blog posts, I’ve always been striving to make the most out of my time as a teacher. When I’m in lessons, I focus only on teaching. Consequently, I find that I have less time during the day to keep up with everything else. I don’t think I would be able to get quite as much done if it wasn’t for some of the tactics that I use to get more stuff done during the day.

My first trick is to schedule all of my posts ahead of time. For my real estate business, I have a program that was provided by my broker that posts for me every Thursday. I’ve found that this is the best way for me to update my business page without having to manually do it every time. I also sometimes schedule Instagram and Facebook posts for holidays. I make sure that it appears like I am always updating, but I could possibly just be napping during that time. The flexibility of my schedule allows me to decide how my work days are going to be. I enjoy this lifestyle that I have and I also like the ability to be doing other stuff while my social media is being updated. I also schedule my blog posts to post ahead of time. WordPress allows me to schedule my posts. I take full advantage of it. I highly recommend trying out this feature for yourself.

Another thing that I do to get more stuff done is to wake up early about 20 minutes ahead of time to plan my day. My real estate brokerage calls this method: morning meeting with yourself. I know that this method isn’t going to be groundbreaking for some people, but it has been greatly beneficial for me on my most busy days. Life is hectic and a lot of planning is necessary to ensure a smooth work day for myself.

This next life hack for teachers is something that I created myself. A lot of food restaurants now offer curbside pickup. I take full advantage of these when I have my breakfast or lunch. I park in curbside pickup, order on the app, and then I use the time that I am waiting for my food to respond to work messages. The little bit of time that I am utilizing to work whenever I can is crucial for me because I don’t always have a lot of free time during the week. Try downloading some food apps and see if this hack helps you save more time.

The next hack is to schedule zoom or FaceTime lessons with your students as much as possible. These lessons save me a lot of time each week. I don’t have to drive as much as compared to traveling to my students’ homes. I schedule phone calls and FaceTime conferences in between my in-person lessons. Therefore, I can teach more during the day and I can also maximize my schedule to make more from my lessons.

My last life hack is to use google calendar. When I was starting as a new teacher, I used to manually write a calendar for the week. It was helpful for me, but I eventually switched to using a digital calendar instead. I didn’t like my default apple calendar. I found that google calendar offered more options and customizations to where I can see my full work week schedule on my phone. I’ve been using it for years now ever since I switched from a paper calendar. If you want to have additional projects or side gigs, it is absolutely necessary to use a calendar to schedule your week. I am able to practice real estate and teach piano full time because I have a good calendar system. I also recommend customizing your calendar as much as possible so it is optimized for your wants and needs.

I hope this has been helpful for my fellow teacher friends. I really enjoy sharing all of my knowledge on how to become a better teacher and I am definitely going to be writing more blog posts on these topics. Don’t forget to like and subscribe to my blog for more blog posts!