From Multiple Failed Businesses to Educating the World

From Multiple Failed Businesses to Educating the World

Check out the latest episode below. Mr.Biz Radio provides business owners with the knowledge and insights needed to drive their companies forward.

Mr. Biz Radio: From Multiple Failed Businesses to Educating the World!

Unedited transcription of the show is included below:


Welcome to Mr. Biz Radio! Biz Talk for Biz Owners. During the next half hour, Mr. Biz, Ken Wentworth, a leading business advisor, and two-time best-selling author will cover topics that'll help business owners run their companies more profitably and more efficiently. If you're ready to stop faking the funk and take your business onward and upward. This show is for you. And now here's Mr. Biz, Ken Wentworth.


All right. Welcome to another episode of Mr. Biz Radio with me, Mr. Biz, Ken Wentworth. And this week we're gonna dive right in. We have a guest this week that I've been looking forward to talking to she booked on the show. Gosh, probably man. I wanna say it was like three months ago. Seems like yeah, long, long time ago too long ago. And we're gonna talk through a lot of different things, but one of the unique perspectives is we all, we talk about this on the show. When we talk about it often over the five plus years we've been doing the show is we often learn the best from mistakes, from challenges, from bumps in the road, et cetera. And our guest this week, Joanne Kaminski is gonna show,udemonstrate to us. Talk to us a little bit about some of the bumps in the road and challenges that she has faced in growing her businesses,uplural over the years. Uso without further ado, welcome to the show. Joanne Kaminski. Welcome.


Aw, thank you. I'm so excited to be here.


Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, let's, let's start with, you know, I kind of teased it a little bit there. But let's start with your entrepreneurial journey. Tell, tell us, you know, kind of where you've gone, where you've been, things you've done, et cetera.


Yeah, absolutely. So I actually started as a classroom teacher and so I did not have that business mindset that was just kind of like naturally ingrained in me. I did not go to business school or any of those kinds of things. Right. I was a teacher and I ended up getting sick and had to leave my teaching career. I was in and out of the hospital and it was one of the toughest things I've experienced because my entire identity was actually wrapped around this idea of being a teacher, not a business owner. Right. So I had no idea how my mindset had to shift as I became an entrepreneur starting to businesses. And today I not only help kids that are struggling with reading be able to close the gap of full year with eight to 12 hours of instruction, but I'm also able to help tutors that are they're great teachers, but they just have no idea how to get students.


And they're looking for what are some strategies that I can put into my business so that I can get students and be able to work with people from all over the world. So I have these two sides of my businesses that, you know, have grown over the years. I would say in the beginning, because of all of the, the, the mindset that I had done, I had read these books that, you know, that, you know, like they were all like the secret and, you know, things that like really get your mind like hyped and excited about business. Right. And you're like, oh yeah, all I have to do is like, see it in my mind and it's going to happen. And so I was like all about like positive thought and energy and all of this. And and then I got started and everything was very slow compared to what I thought was going to happen.


And so I think there was a blessing in that, that things were really slow to begin with with my business. Like I was getting one student here and I would get another student here because if I got too many students at one time, I wouldn't have known how to handle it. But you know, it's so funny. Like I finally have gotten to the point that I thought I would've gotten to in my business now, now 12 years later, right. I like I'm, I'm at that, you know, a few hundred thousand dollars I'm making every year point. And I kind of thought like my first year starting out was gonna look like that and it didn't, but you know, I, I think what we really have to do in our, in our journey is really find out like, where is our heart and where do we want to be? And who is it that we want to serve? And so I really got those pieces figured out on who is it that I wanna serve. I, I always tell people, I am passionate about helping kids that are struggling with reading, but my mission is to help tutors that really want to get their business up and going quickly.


Awesome. So, so tell me a little bit more though, about the transition from being a teacher, dealing with the illness and realizing, holy crap, I'm gonna have to pivot. I'm not to figure out something else different here. What, what did that look like? Like, so was there sort of a, an epiphany moment where you're like, man, I, I can't do, you know, in, in, in room class anymore, like I'm gonna have to do something different. What did that look like for you?


You know, it was extremely tough because I had taken a three month leave of absence. And then when I came back to work to, to finish out the school year, I remember just sitting down at my desk and I heard this voice and it said, you are not meant to be here. And it was like this stark realization that not only was I not meant to be there, I wasn't happy there. And I was really frustrated all the time. And I had three little girls at the time at home and I had mama guilt going like through the Wazu crazy cause I always wanted to be a really great mom to, to my kids. And, and I felt like my job was really taking a lot of my time and not allowing me to do that. And so, you know, I really struggled with that and I think it, it caused like the stress and anxiety, which caused the illness inside of my body, but I didn't recognize it as that in the beginning.


And so when I made that realization that I wasn't gonna be coming back to the school system, I remember saying to one of my friends, I'm like, you know what, I'm gonna figure something out so that I can work from home. And they looked at me and they go, oh, is that what they're calling it now? <Laugh> and I'm like, oh, does she think that, I mean, that I'm gonna be a stay at home mom now. Like, no, like I literally am gonna try to figure out a way where I can work from home. <Laugh> like, like on the computer doing something, I had no idea what that was gonna look like at the time. But I just thought that her response was, was, was quite funny. Cause I'm like, oh, she thinks, I'm just saying that like, well, yeah, if I am a stay at home mom, that is a job in and of itself.


Sure. But but no, that's, I wasn't coming up with a new name for it. <Laugh> but then, you know, I had to go through this journey of really trying to figure out what do I wanna do? And, you know, I thought I wanted to kind of lead the teaching world kind of forever. And so I started down some other paths. I started doing some MLM. I ended up trying a selling Usborne books and I tried to do Etsy. So I tried all these other business that I completely failed at and really struggled with really learning those business, you know, strategies. And I just like, almost, almost at the point where I was just like, you know what? I just don't think like starting a business is my thing. Cuz I was failing so much with that.


Yeah. Well, so I can't even imagine so 12 years ago. So, you know, when you think about online learning, online tutoring, et cetera, in 2022 people are probably don't bat an eye at it because especially during a pandemic, when almost all even public schools, you know, everything was online. So people don't even think twice about it, but 12 years ago you had to be kind of really breaking into something new there. People were probably like, eh, she might be a little crazy <laugh>


Yes. Yeah, totally. I, I had so many people who were just like so how do you exactly teach reading online? Like cannot even be a thing. Like I even had people ask me the question, do kids even need that? Like I think that they were thinking I was gonna teach them how to read words, like online, like how to read a website and those kinds of things. And it was like, no, I'm, I'm helping kids that are struggling with learning how to read, but I'm just doing it via the computer. I had, I had to explain myself to so many people. They absolutely thought I was crazy. <Laugh>


Yeah. Like I said, 12 years ago, that was, I mean, it wasn't that there was, there were no on on line platforms, but they were pretty scarce back then, you know, again, fast forward 2020 and everything goes online and it was a requirement. So I can't even imagine, especially coming through, like you said, some of the trials and tribulations that you had gone through, your friend's family were probably like, okay, she tried this, she tried the, and now she's talking about doing what teaching kids to read online. Like I think she's really gone off a rocker this time. So <laugh>, I can't imagine those challenges. So we're gonna, we're gonna hit a break here coming up, but we are going to, there's a good tease, Joanne. When we get into the third segment, like we always do, we're gonna pick her brain a little bit and learn from some of the things she learned from, with some of those challenges. She had trying to build different types of businesses and what she learned from it, how to make sure that we don't fall victim to those. And we stay out of those problems. So come back out to the break


We'll con continue talking easy for me to say with Joanne Kaminski


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All right. Welcome back to the show. And it is time for the Mr. Biz tip of the week in this week's tip


Financial related surprise build a strong balance sheet. And I mentioned this because a lot of business owners think that the balance sheet, that's just a bunch of accounting, God whaty cook, and it kind of is a little bit, but you still have to understand some of the basics of it and building a strong balance sheet. The balance sheet is basically the financial health of, of your business. I know everyone talks about the profit and loss statement and net income statement. Everyone cares about that, right? Sales, revenue, net income money in your pocket. Right? Very important. But really when a lender looks at your business and things like that, they're gonna look at your balance sheet first, even before they get to your income statement. So very important. If you have a strong balance sheet, it shows strong financial health, it shows you're paying attention to things you're gonna sleep better at night because you know, you're in good shape.


For example, pandemic hits depending on the type of business you have. If you have strong cash reserves, you can weather the storm, right? You don't have to worry about things. You're gonna be flexible for opportunities. So let's say again, during the pandemic or during an economic downturn there are opportunities that present themselves, some businesses decide, okay, you know what? It is a downturn. I'm gonna go ahead and sell you. Maybe it'll buy a rival you may able to buy a competitor and boost up your own company. So very important there. And then as I mentioned, lenders like it, and even lastly, but maybe most importantly, depending on what your exit plan is for your business, a potential buyer of your business, that's the first place they're gonna look when I do due diligence for other clients on potentially buying a business. The first thing I wanna see, they, they wanna push the income statement to you.


Look, look at all this money we're making. I wanna see the balance sheet. I wanna see how much debt you have. I wanna see how much reserves you have, how many assets you have, et cetera. So very important. Make sure you build a strong balance sheet for not sure how to do that. I might know a guy that could help you with that. So that's a Mr. Biz tip of the week, this week. We'll get back into talking with Joanne. So Joanne tell us a little bit more, let's dive into a little bit more about what you do now. So you, you, you had to leave the classroom, had the sickness illness came back, tried a bunch of different things. We'll talk more about those in the third segment, but now you're doing online tutoring. You've been doing it for quite some time. Now tell us a little bit more about what that looks like, how you've helped folks, et cetera.


Yeah, absolutely. Sir. I work with tutors that are struggling with being able to get students for their business. However, what they don't realize is that there's so much more than just getting students. There's so many different pieces that can help us run our business smoothly and effectively. And there's networking opportunities that we can take advantage of that really will power up your, your business. And so I teach 'em those strategies in a group format. I have coaches on my, my team and I have myself. And what we do is we bring them through this entire process, through a program called the jumpstart, your online tutoring business master class. And we help those tutors get all of the systems in place for their business and set them up so that they can market in an online way effectively without having to watch all of their money, get drained.


So many people wanna just go to Facebook ads or Google ads and just be like, yeah, let me do the easy thing. And what they end up finding is that their money just disappears because they don't know anything about marketing. They were just like me, right? When I was, when I was a teacher, I didn't know anything about marketing. And so now that I've been, been doing this a while, I know a little bit more about marketing, but to, to use those tools, to get students is not the best tool. A lot of other people too, they just think, oh, I'm just gonna watch like all the YouTube videos that are out there. But then what they end up doing is they get overwhelmed with all of the resources and tools and things, and they don't know who to listen to and what should I put in place?


Whereas when they go through our program, what they end up learning is how to put all the pieces in, in, in place, in the right order, at the right time, so that they can run the most effective online tutoring business that they possibly can. And most of the people end up being people that are, are, you know, they're, they're independent freelance tutors like myself. And so they really enjoy that one on one, working with kids or possibly small group. Some of them may have a vision or a dream to have other tutors underneath them, but they're starting vision usually is, Hey, I just wanna be able to replace my income or I want to stop doing in-person tutoring. And I wanna move into online tutoring. And so we, we get them all set up with those pieces so they can be successful and can kind of have a set it and forget it mode to them, but then also teach them what are some other strategies that they could use long term so that they don't always have to be searching for their students when they have a spot that opens up.


Interesting. And I like what you said too. I think it's very important is cause I see this a lot of times, there's so many, depending on the industry niche, you're in, there's so many gurus out there, right? Mm-Hmm <affirmative> and I think that's what happens a lot of times is when people, especially people who are freelancers are starting, you know, left their corporate job, their teaching job as it may be. And they're, they're, they're branching out and they're saying, Hey, I'm gonna start this. They look for what, who are the gurus in my space? And then they end up trying to do what all of them say. Yeah. So as you mentioned, they're, they're following six different people that are the gurus. And as you can imagine, six different people probably have kindest six different ways of doing something, right. There's more, more than one way of skin to cat and you end up trying to do all these different things.


And what I have found with clients and frankly, it happened to me as well, is when you're trying to do six different things, you get nothing done. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> you get a little bit of six, none. All of them are, you know, at 70 or 80%, they never get a hundred percent because it's just impossible to try to, you know, do that in six different ways or whatever. So I think that's very important. And I'm glad you mentioned that to find one, maybe two if they're in kind of disparate different pieces of the business that you're working in or industry to, to follow, because again, it's, it's just impossible to try to follow all the advice all over the place.


Yeah. I find a lot of people too, in the beginning, they're passively listening to everything that everybody says, and then they think that they're taking action on some of the things, but then they're not really taking like the full action as the person's even describing. And then they just think automatically, well, that doesn't work for me instead of thinking, oh, well, how could I take that strategy? And how could I pump it up so that I can actually get results for me cuz every single strategy that we talk about are ways that you can get students. And so if it's not working for you, let's take a look at why is it not working for you?


Yeah. Yeah. Well, and I, I gotta imagine how so how much, how much did the, we only got a couple minutes left here, but with the pandemic, did your business just blow up as people? So I'm imagining again, just intuitively thinking that a lot of teachers that were maybe hesitant to go online or anything like that got forced into it. And all of a sudden said, you know what, this isn't actually a bad way to teach. I kind of dig this mm-hmm <affirmative> maybe I should do this on my own. Did, did that, did you see that that kind of shift happen during the pandemic?


Oh, absolutely. And we were right there for them, as soon as it happened. I began like even working Saturdays and hosting special webinars that could guide them through the entire process of, you know, especially those people that they were, they were in person tutors, they completely lost their business. If they didn't move online, it was like move online or die pretty much. Sure. So, so that was like a big group of people that we were really servicing. And then we did have some of the teachers like this summer that were just like, you know, I kind of liked it, but I don't like what's going on in the school system anymore. They were done with the politics, just like I was, they were just done with everything that they were being told to do and how they needed to teach. And, and you know, some of them had to be like online while also being in person with their classes and like just the mayhem of, of organizing their day was just absolutely crazy. And, and some have decided wouldn't it be nice to just work with one kid at a time and make more money than what I'm making in the classroom as soon as they start realizing that it is a game changer.


Oh, I'm sure. I'm sure.


Well, again,


This week, guys, we're talking with Joanne Kaminski. You can find out more at make sure I get this right Uh she has a YouTube channel, plenty of great information out there. I might, I may have watched a few videos and show prep. You can find her Joanne Kaminski on YouTube and her Facebook group, Ultimate Support Group for Online Tutors, go out and check her out on Facebook as well


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All right. Welcome back to the show. And we talked a little bit about during the second segment about what Joanne doing now with her business, which obviously has been very successful, but she also alluded to during the first segment in between teaching and, she had some trials and tribulations. She learned a lot of things from those as we, I mentioned that the outset is that's a lot of times when you learn the most and figure it out. And clearly she learned a lot from it because now she's very successful in what she's doing. So I wanted to talk a little bit, Joanne, if you wouldn't mind sharing with us some of those trials and tribulations you faced, and I guess more importantly, we don't have talk about the specifics of those, but more importantly, what did you learn from that? For example, I know you have a pretty extensive YouTube channel. You know, how, how did you learn that that was gonna be an important part of growing your business?


Well, at the YouTube channel, I, I knew that I was just really good on video. I felt very comfortable. I had had some experience when I was in the school system of being on our morning news station every single day. And I loved being in front of camera. So it wasn't something that scared me and it was easy. And then I also found out that search engine optimization is a lot easier with video than it is with blogging or any other method. So I knew that this was gonna be an easier way for me to get in front of people so that they even knew that I existed. <Laugh>


Yeah, well, it's an important thing. I, I learned the same thing and I'm comfortable with the camera as well. Be back in my corporate career, be being up in front of people and speaking in front of people all the time. And I learned the exact same thing. I got kind of talked into it, a ironically enough, a guru that I was following back in, gosh, I wanna say 2018. He was doing a lot of video and just one day here, here I am, I can't wait for his next video and his next video comes up and I, I watch it. And then I watch it again later in the day. And then I might watch it again a couple days later to make sure it all sank in. And I started thinking about it and I'm like, I've never heard of this guy until I started watching his videos.


And after watching, you know, I don't know, six or eight of his videos, typically they're fairly short. I felt like I know the guy mm-hmm <affirmative> right. I feel like he's a buddy of mine and I've only seen whatever six or eight of his videos, but it's such more, it's so much more personal than reading an article that someone's written. And at the end you see by Ken Wentworth. Right. Right. And you forget who, even who the heck wrote it, you might remember some things from the article, but you don't remember, but this personal touch and, and the authenticity of it not making it too perfect. Not making it scripted. And, and I think what I've found at least is people really appreciate that is you don't want it to be too scripted and too perfect. Have you, have you experienced the same sort of thing?


Yeah, absolutely. When it comes to it, people aren't expecting that either, which is really a beautiful thing because if they were expecting everything to be perfect on my YouTube channel they're definitely not my ideal client cause I make lots of mistakes and I'm go. And I always tell people, even when I work with them, like, look, I'm gonna serve you the absolute best that I can. There are gonna be times where I make mistakes and you know what, you know, I apologize for those in advance, but you know what? This is just gonna help you because when you make mistakes, I'm gonna be there to pick you right back up, because this is all part of putting yourself out there. It's not gonna be perfect. It's not gonna be scripted. It is just gonna be you your authentic self.


So is that one of the things you teach is, again, I don't want you to give away the secret sauce, but is that one of the things you teach in with your mastermind is, is having folks get on and do video and, and create a YouTube channel and things like that.


You know, not necessarily create a YouTube channel, but I do have them create a welcome video on their website. Okay. Because I do think that it's gonna help them to stand out compared to other tutors out there. Yes. So many tutors, if you look at their website, they try to pretend to be a big business. But one of the best things that we have to offer as independent freelance tutors is the parent gets to choose us. And so we need to shine. Like our website needs to be all about not only our ideal client, but instead of throwing stock photos up there that are just wasting space. And and you know, chin see videos of other things that actually aren't us, why not speak to your IDO client on your website and let them know that you understand exactly where they're coming from, what they're struggling with and how you can be the solution to that problem.


Yeah. And one of the things I really like about what you said was how do you stand out from your competitors, other tutors? So think of, I'm thinking about as a parent, right? I've got three daughters as well. And I'm thinking if I was trying to choose an online tutor and I go out and I'm finding a bunch of websites that are just what you described, stock photos, blah, blah, blah. And then I want running the one where there's a welcome video. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> I actually see the person who's gonna tutor my daughter. I get an idea, at least a little bit of an idea of their personality. I get an idea. Are they, are they very permanent, proper, are they kind of joke around a little less formal to get an idea? Do they, do I think that'll fit best with, you know, my daughter's personality as well? Do I think she'll, you know, take to that person or she'll say, oh my gosh, they're so, you know, whatever. Right. so I think that's really, really important. And I think it's a great distinction for those folks to make is again, to differentiate yourself from some of your competitors.


Yeah. And I always tell 'em, it doesn't have to be perfect. You guys like your first stuff, like don't think about like your first website or the first video that you create as the only one you're ever going to create, you're gonna get better over time. So create one, put it out there. It may stink and that's okay. Because guess what? Stinky websites and stinky flyers still get students. So just put it out there and you can improve it as time goes on.


Yeah, absolutely. So, so what's, what's another thing that we should look for as business owners that you learned from some of your trials and tribulations over the years that we should be on the lookout for what to, and maybe to avoid, or maybe things we should do to be proactive, to avoid them.


I think first, like, just make sure that you're, you're doing what you're doing, cuz you love it. Right? Like have that passion there. When I started doing the, the network marketing, I hated every single call and I'm the kind of person who perseveres through everything. And so I stuck with it for like six months, but I hated every single moment and I knew it from the first call, but I wanted to stick with it and not give up so easily. And you know, I should have left it a lot sooner than I did. But they had me invest a ton of money and all that kind of stuff. So I think one of the biggest things is if people are asking you to pay like a ton of money out of the gate order to get started with something, it's probably not right. There's there, there should be some caution in the wind there.


Right? it's one thing to get coaching and be guided through something, but you know, some of those network marketing companies, they, they are they don't really service the people that are underneath them. They, they are the ones that are making the most money from it. Also be aware for people that, you know, they try to sell your services to you on the phone or in an email and you never contacted them before. So be careful because I find that that's where the SEO kind of scam artists like to, to hang on out. I got a phone call one time where they said, oh, we'll get you on page one of Google. As soon as I took a look at the keywords they told me they wanted me to only use keywords that were location specific. Well guess what?


Nobody was looking up those keywords. So if I use those keywords, yeah, it might look like I'm on page one of Google, but nobody's typing in those keywords. Am I really on page one of Google? No, because nobody's even looking on those pages. So there were things that I learned like right out of the gate do not like answer those kinds of calls. There'll also be people that will say, oh, we'll get you inside of like the sports flyers at, at the school. The, the schools are not gonna call you for you and your business. So that is a scam as well. So just keep your eye open for those kinds of things. So that you are always running your business in a way that feels good to you and you don't feel like you are getting like kind of snookered in all these other scams that are out there.


Yeah. And you know, the, the whole, the, the location specific keywords and everything for certain industries, those work great. Right. If I got a plumbing company in yeah. Poughkeepsie, then I want to be number one, I want to be on the front page or at the first page of Google for plumbers and Poughkeepsie, but for something like what you do and what I do, I'm my I'm location agnostic essentially. So I don't want to just be in Columbus, Ohio, or Poughkeepsie or, you know, whatever where it may be. I wanna be everywhere. Right. Yeah. And so those location specific things don't work. So I agree with that. Here we are. We're out of time already, but Joanne, I really appreciate you coming on sharing your insights. It was great to hear about, Check that out. Joan. Thanks so much for coming on the show.


You're welcome. Thanks for having me.


Yeah, absolutely. Well guys, thanks for watching. Thanks for listening. And as always, don't forget, have a great week and cash flow is king king.


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