In this episode, I talk to Kayse Morris. Now, Kayse is a nature-loving mama of five. She’s a former middle school EEL teacher, and now she’s a top ranking business podcast host. We cover a lot of topics in this episode specific to starting a side hustle to earn additional income and just hearing some of Kayse’s story. But a quick trigger warning before we get started, we do touch heavier topics like depression and a brief mention of thoughts of suicide in this episode.
How to Earn Additional Income with Guest, Kayse Morris
Welcome to The Teacher Career Coach Podcast. I’m your host, Daphne Gomez. In this episode, I talk to Kayse Morris. Now, Kayse is a nature loving mama of five. She’s a former middle school EEL teacher, and now she’s a top ranking business podcast host. We cover a lot of topics in this episode specific to starting a side hustle to earn additional income and just hearing some of Kayse’s story. But a quick trigger warning before we get started, we do touch heavier topics like depression and a brief mention of thoughts of suicide in this episode.
If you are struggling and need someone to talk to, please call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988. Now getting into my interview with Kayse Morris. Hey, Kayse, thank you so much for being here,
Daphne, I am so honored to be on your show. Thank you for having me.
This is one of those full circle moments. I’ve talked on the podcast before about my journey of when I actually left teaching, one of the first things that I did is I realized I had this extra time and I started working on supplemental income. I was doing TPT for a little while just to help me build up my retirement funds. One of the first podcasts that I started listening to way back in the day to help me with my Teachers Pay Teachers store and understanding what I needed to do was actually your podcast. I’m very, very excited to have you on this show today. For those of my audience members who have never heard of you before, I’d love of you just shared a little bit about yourself.
Well, thank you for sharing that. I appreciate it. I love that you said back in the day, because I feel like I started podcasting yesterday, but it’s been almost four years now, so it was “back in the day.” But I’m Kayse Morris and I’m a former eighth grade ELA teacher from South Georgia. About nine years ago, I was getting through the hardest days of my entire life. I at that time had three baby boys, two of which were 12 months and 11 days apart. I went through four long years of postpartum depression, where I didn’t know if life was worth living. I no longer felt joy at any moment, not when I was teaching, not at home.
I had the perfect life. I had the husband, the kids, and I was still very much unhappy. I often say that finding somewhere to get my passion going again saved my life. I don’t say that jokingly or just kind of. It really did. Finding Teachers Pay Teachers was about the same time that I asked my doctor for help and my life began to pick up in vibrant color. It’s amazing how I went from living every day in black and white to having a purpose and a passion and getting excited about teaching again and making it just a couple of dollars to pay our Netflix bill. It was a crazy time, but we really needed that money for little extra things like just watching—Well, actually Netflix, that was back in the day when they sent you the DVD to have a date night. I did that for a little while. About four years ago, I left the classroom to see what if. My sales were going really well. I wanted to see what life could look like if I was no longer a teacher and just doing this full-time. While I did that, I was stopped in Walmart a lot and people asked me a question and they said, “Hey, how’d you do it? Are you guys struggling? How are you not teaching anymore? When are you going back?” And I said, well, I’m going to solve the question that people asked me in Walmart and that is how did I do it?
I decided to launch a program that helped teachers learn how to make some extra money, and little did I know that it would turn into a multimillion dollar company. We employ former teachers. We live our best life day in, day out, and I thank God every day that I got chosen to live this life.
I want to go back to something that you said that was a little interesting is just how much it impacted your mental health to find something like this. It sounds surface level for someone who may have never made additional income in their life. It may sound a little silly like, “What is she talking about?” But I feel like it changed me also, especially when I was in a very low place. It helped me build my confidence, and it also helped scratch my creative itch that I wasn’t really feeling in the classroom anymore. I had very rigorous, like you are just stuck teaching to this specific curriculum.
I didn’t have a lot of autonomy in my last year of teaching, and I realized that being able to create something, being able to actually create extra income really changed me and my mental health at least at that point too just once I started to see even small dollar amounts, $25 a month, $50 a month, or something like that. Can you share a little bit more about how it helped you mentally, because that was just really interesting to hear you say that?
Yeah, I think that when I started teaching, I thought it was going to be different. I thought that kind of like when you’re in sports, you perform well, you get more air time. The better you do, the more you are rewarded. That’s kind of how we’ve been treated our whole lives. Whenever you’re in kindergarten, if you are a good girl, then you get this. And then I graduated from high school and I had the degrees, and I had the husband, and I had the kids. I go to school, and I go to work every day, and I work really, really, really, really hard. I am making the same paycheck as the person next to me who sits on their butt and doesn’t teach anything and gives people worksheets.
I think I got really mad and angry about that, even though I didn’t know it at the time. I wasn’t self-aware to realize that’s why I was upset. When I started selling my lesson plans, these things that I had worked really hard to create that no one had ever said, “Great job, or yeah, you got a four on this review,” it was more like, “Here’s what you did wrong and here’s how you fix it.” I’m like, well, my kids and I get along really well. I love the students, but it was everything else that made it really hard for me. When I first made that $50, it was like what I needed of someone saying. “Good job. You did great. I’m so proud of you,” but it was in the form of money.
From someone who doesn’t come from money, my daddy grew up very, very poor and we didn’t have a lot growing up. I remember counting the meter with my mom just to make sure that we had enough money to run the air conditioning for the month. It was really the spark that came alive and was like, I’m getting paid what I’m worth, which is why we say that. We want help teachers to get paid what they’re worth. What you put out is what you bring in, and that’s the way that the world works. Why isn’t that the way that it works in education?
Do you feel like there’s a similar kind of personality that you see in the people that the teachers that you’ve helped build side businesses? Do you see some similarities in their personality? Maybe they’re data driven or they’re competitive with themselves in other areas. I guess just the question is, have you noticed that many of them have that same sort of overachiever, competitive type of personality?
I wanted them to be that. I really did for a while. I thought that all of my students were just like me and they’re not. I would probably say 10% of our students feel probably the way that I feel as far as super competitive and wanting to make more and to challenge themselves. Almost all of our students come and they just want a little bit of extra income. They just want a little bit of security. They just want to be said good job, but not in a sense of they’re competitive and just keep trying, trying, trying. For me, it is like the snowball that’s out of control. I get excited and I find happiness that way. But most of our students will tell us they don’t wish to leave the classroom.
They don’t really want to do this, this, this and this. They would just rather make some extra money to help their daughter. One of them was going to pay for her dance shoes. Those are the answers that I love so much is when I can see here’s exactly what they want and here’s exactly how we can teach them how to get there.
I love that. I know that we talked a little bit Teachers Pay Teachers. Not everybody has a desire to create curriculum. Not everybody has a desire to have their side hustle even immersed in the education space. Many people do go that way because they’re just so in love with what they’ve learned from teaching and they want to use, we have those creative skills that we like as far as decorating or cute teacher influencer things that we do on Instagram. But not everybody wants to do Teachers Pay Teachers. What are your top three favorite ways that teachers can earn additional income while they’re still even in the classroom?
Similarly to what I was saying earlier about how I wanted everyone to feel this way, I wanted everyone to want to sell on TPT I think, because it brought me so much joy. If I have the words to say it saved my life, I’m like, I just want you to do this. And then as I got further in this business, I realized that not everyone wanted that. But I will always recommend it for teachers that are in the classroom as step one, because I think it’s where you find out who you are, who you want to be, and what works at a very cost effective price point. It’s one of just the easiest ways to start building an online presence and an online brand as a teacher.
Now, not every single teacher, like you said, wants to sell their lesson plans in their curriculum. But what we can do when we decide to start selling your TPT store is we can choose your brand name. We can work on your color scheme. We can really hone in on you as a person and as a brand before we spend thousands of dollars on a website, or before we put in a lot of time and effort blogging, and then we realize that kindergarten centers don’t bring us passion. When if we would’ve created some kindergarten centers, we would’ve realized that really quick. I’m saying that about myself, because I thought I was going to be the kindergarten center guru and I hated it.
I hated it so much. If you go to my TPT store, often the advice that I give is different from what you see. I tell my people about Dr. Stephen Covey and how he says the quote, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” I tell them, “If you’re going to be a second grade math teacher, let’s work on really getting your resources out and let people know who you are and who you serve.” They’re like, “But you didn’t do that.” I’m like, I know because I didn’t know what I wanted. I tried a bunch of things. I found out what worked, and then I found a happy medium of what brought me joy and what made money.
That’s the secret sauce to making extra income is that it has to be something you enjoy or you’re not going to keep doing it. But it also has to be something people want. People think sometimes if it’s just what I love, people are going to buy it, or if it’s just what they need, but they can sense the difference between you being in love with what you’re trying to sell. Teachers Pay Teachers is always going to be my number one recommendation for teachers to get started making extra income online because you’ve already done the work. You’ve already created the lesson plans.
I’m going to show you how to make them pretty, and then I’m going to show you how to make them rank, which is the most important part of any online business as we were chatting before we started recording is search engine optimization is, how do you get your stuff in front of the eyes of the people that matter most? Second, if I’m giving tips and tricks on how to make money online is by creating an online course. Teachers were born to teach, most of them have this innate gift that cannot be taught. Some of them were taught how to teach in school, but the best teachers in the world have experience.
If you’ve been in the classroom before, you have to teach every single day that you’re at work. Why not take that idea and that thought and turn it into an online course? People say, “Well, I don’t know what I would teach people.” Well, I could help you figure that out real quick. We’re going to go through all of the different ways to mind map kind of what you love, and then how you can put that into an online course. Our students are selling things fromâ€¦ We have one AP Lang teacher and she created a course for the students specifically and it teaches them about how to write a rhetorical analysis essay for AP Language arts.
She is a master at it. She said most teachers can’t teach it. It’s very difficult. She created a course in her sales skyrocket in the month of March because that’s right before the AP Lang test. Who would’ve thought that that was a business model? But it is. It’s very, very, very successful. Now, let’s say that you’re really good at decodable readers and you do really good in small groups, then you can also create an online course that teaches teachers how to be good at that specific skill. What education is missing right now is people holding their hand and teaching them or saying, good job. Creating an online course is your ticket to be able to do that for parents, for teachers, or for other students.
And then finally, one that we absolutely love, I just recorded a podcast myself on this is we call it the Membership Mastermind. We just talk about how you can take what you’ve already created in your online business, those lesson plans or let’s say you’re coaching or an online course, and you can put it all together in a membership model that’s a very low price and affordable option for other teachers to buy from you or parents or students. It gives you a lot of ability to still teach in the classroom full-time and also still be able to run a membership with monthly recurring revenue, which is my favorite thing in the whole world, MRR, which offers stability in making money.
And that’s something that Teachers Pay Teachers can’t necessarily give you. It’s kind of like a rollercoaster of emotions when it comes to making money. But I live for lifelong customers and bringing customers in and allowing that monthly recurring revenue to build. Depending on where you are, that’s three of the 10 ways that we teach people, but those are just some of the main things that our teachers are using to make extra income right now.
Oh my gosh, so many great points and great ideas. I love what you talked about with courses. For people who are listening, they probably are seeing some overlap. Right now we’re saying sell a digital course and create a digital course, sell a digital course. That is very similar to work that you are doing as an instructional designer. If you are looking to become an instructional designer, or you’re freelancing as an instructional designer, you can build online courses for other people who need them, or you can build one with your own subject matter. I love some of the examples that you gave.
It could be anything. Your course could be education specific. It’s just filling a need of something, a problem that people have. If you know how to garden really well, you have a great vegetable garden and you can teach someone everything that they need to know from gardening from scratch, there is probably a need for that. I think Pat Flynn, who’s huge in the passive income creating your own business model, one of the first courses that he actually created, I think it was like an architect test prep. One of those tests that you need to take to become an architect. He passed it. He did really well, and then he created a test program for other people who are trying to do it.
It could have been architect or engineer. Teachers are so well equipped to create those types of technical test prep programs that people would pay money for to help them make sure that they’re prepared when they have to take those types of assessments for whatever it is. Even if it’s helping teachers become past their own teaching test prep, there’s just so many different great ideas there. One thing that I also wanted to point out was you are telling people baby steps, start with Teachers Pay Teachers. I want to 100% agree that it’s so much lower of a lift. The search engine optimization is right there.
The community members insight or people who are actually going to Teachers Pay Teachers to purchase products, they go to the website, they find your products naturally instead of you trying to find the audience on your own. It seemed like you also kind of put that in the order with Teachers Pay Teachers to course to memberships of how time consuming it would be. I wanted to talk a little bit about that is, for someone who’s thinking of doing a membership model, what would they need to know about the time commitment of something like that?
It can be as overwhelming or underwhelming as you want it to be. It depends, of course, on your price point. I always say start small and let’s build from there. There’s a lot of different types of memberships out there. There’s a product-based membership. There’s a community based membership. There are a hybrid of sorts, a coaching-based model, a teaching-based model. I mean, I can go into a whole lot of detail about that if you want. But one of the main things that I tell our students is that you are a full-time classroom teacher, which means you are already devoting 40 hours of your life. When I started, I had three kids.
I had to find the gaps in my day to be able to make this life a possibility. I now work 40 hours a week doing this full-time and I have a team of four former teachers who also work full-time and do this as well. What you see me create is not what we’re looking to do right now. We’re going to start small, and then we’re going to build big. If you’re talking about time when it comes to a membership model, I don’t want you to reinvent the wheel. I just want you to work smarter, not harder. If you’re already taking the time out of your day to build your lesson plans, let’s look at a product-based membership just to get started.
That means you’re going to put those products into a library of sorts. People are going to pay you a very small monthly fee and they’re going to get access to some of those resources every single month. It would be great if you had some sort of pacing guide and you drip them out to them. Some people freak completely out when I say put a lot of the resources already in there and they can download them as needed. The number one thing people say is, “Aren’t people going to come in and download them all and then leave?” Some might, but I believe most people are good and teachers especially are good people.
We have given our students access to everything all at once. Our lifetime value of our customer is eight to 12 months straight out the gate with a lot of them coming back to us if they leave us. Could that happen? Yes. Is it the norm? Absolutely not. But if you’re looking for a time management tip when it comes to creating a membership is let’s work smarter, not harder. Let’s not reinvent the wheel. If you’re already creating lesson plans, let’s do a product-based membership. But if you love teaching or if you love the style of a course, then let’s talk about how we can incorporate little bits and pieces of that and still get that membership rolling for you.
I’m just talking about $9 a month here. It doesn’t have to be anything astronomical. Think about it this way. If you have a thousand people in your $9 a month membership, that’s $9,000 a month straight out the gate. My math skills are really bad. That may not be correct, but I think that’s right.
I love all that. I have to acknowledge something, and I know that you probably have entire podcast episodes about this. It’s a huge question, but for someone who’s just getting started who’s like, “I’m onboard,” this might not be something that’s on their radar. It’s one of the most common business newbie missteps. You just mentioned teachers are good people. They do not want to accidentally make a misstep like this. What are you actually allowed to put on Teachers Pay Teachers, or what are you actually allowed to sell as far as copyright goes? I’m not sure what I’ve created. Is half of one of the textbook’s curriculum copyrighted? I just love to know a little bit more about that.
Yes, and teachers are very black and white. They want to know, what can I do? What can I not do? I’m the same way. I feel exactly the same way. But I’m going to start with this analogy before I tell you what you can and you cannot do. Every single day I get in my car and every single day I probably go over the speed limit at some point, but I don’t get a speeding ticket every day. Actually, I haven’t got a speeding ticket since I was 17 years old. Knock on wood. Hold on. I haven’t. But have I actually gone over the speed limit and deserved one? Yes. It’s an old thing that my mom used to say, it’s the difference between the cult and the uncult.
I’m going to tell you what you should do and I’m going to tell you what the rules are. But if you decide to do them, you might can say, “Well, I’ve been doing that for five years and no one’s ever gotten onto me.” Copyright law is a real thing. We absolutely for no reason at all when I ever put anything Disney oriented inside any resource that you create. Same thing goes for Dr. Seuss. There’s a lot of companies that are very serious about this. I’ve been in trouble for copyright before and it was a complete accident. I was like, I didn’t mean to do this, but I learned from that.
I always tell our students, when you’re putting things out into the world, make sure that you check the trademark database, which we teach our students how to do as well. It’s called TESS, T-E-S-S. Make sure you make sure no one ever has the name of that already trademarked. If they do, you cannot use it in any form. For example, we own the trademark for the CEO Teacher, so the Teacher CEO couldn’t be a thing. Even though it’s different, you flip two words, we own the likeness of that trademark. Think about that as you’re creating resources. You don’t want to put Moana on something that you’re going to sell because Disney owns that trademark.
Now, what about stuff that you create for your classroom? This is a huge gray area right now, but I have two brothers that are attorneys. I have a copyright lawyer myself, not on staff, but that I speak with a lot. People are being told, teachers are being told that if you teach it in your classroom, you cannot sell it online. It belongs to the school system. Some school systems have a clause whenever you sign a contract with them that says anything that you create while you are employed here belongs to the school. That is actually I don’t even think legally something you could require of someone.
But here’s the safe bet, create your lesson plans at home on your own computer. Even if you teach them in your school, you created them on your own time, utilizing your own software, your own programs that you pay for. You showed up and taught them at a school, yes, but they belonged to you. I have never ever heard of one teacher who was unable to prove that to be true. We have had a few students that were very vocal on social media that went in and took pictures of their classrooms and got called in and were said, “Hey, you can’t take pictures of your classroom anymore.” They said, “Well, why not? I’m not using these students’ faces.”
“Well, it’s against our district’s policy.” “Well, let me see the policy.” And then it starts to beâ€¦ You don’t want that. I don’t like confrontations. That would make me nervous. Actually a lot of our students that were doing really well, they just chose to go to another district. Luckily, I never dealt with any of that, but I also never told anyone that I sold resources either. When you’re doing this, just be smart and remember that things do have trademarks and what you create on someone else’s property could actually belong to them. This is a side hustle. This is not how you make money while you’re earning money as a teacher.
And that is really important. It’s not sit here during your planning period and make all of your resources and upload them to Teachers Pay Teachers to sell. This is a true side hustle and should be done on the side.
You are so much better versed in all of that than I am. For me, as far as Teachers Pay Teachers goes, when I was creating the resources, I knew I just created everything uniquely on my own. Did I refer to websites to help me understand what the standards were so I could properly label the different standards that I was teaching? 100%. But when it came to actually creating the worksheets, I just made sure I was doing it and I wasn’t copying and pasting reading materials from any sort of books or anything like that.
I would type out my own unique reading materials, so that if it started to do well, like you said, one year down the line, Teachers Pay Teachers isn’t going to come to me and say, “We’re taking down this product and it’s disappearing.” And after a couple of different times that they do reach out to you, I think your store can get completely deactivated. Three times?
Yeah, three times. Another tip that I give our students is that I was an ELA major before I became an education major, so I get research and how to cite different sources. I love that kind of stuff. A lot of teachers don’t have that background and they really struggle with, “Yeah, I read it off of this website and I copy this, but I didn’t copy it.” It’s not plagiarism to them, right? It’s kind of like when our students plagiarize and you’re trying to tell the, “You can’t use these three lines.” “Well, I only use these three lines. I didn’t use the whole thing.” What I tell my students is, this is how I do research. If I’m going to let’s say write my own reading passages or ask my own questions, I am going to go to 10 different sources.
I’m going to read them thoroughly. I might take notes, but they’re going to be very kind of pieced together, and then I’m going to close them out. I’m never going to look at them again, and then I’m going to sleep on it. The next day I’m going to create a resource around what I learned. That way, you’re not writing anything that you just learned. We are chatting about this before too. Nothing is an original idea anymore. Everything someone learned from someone else. The problem is, is that you have to learn how to put your original spin on it.
That’s where people I think kind of mess up a little bit. But if you do the research and you research 10 different things as you create your resource, you’ll be good to go as long as you don’t plagiarize anything.
Yeah, 100%. I’m going to switch gears just a little bit and go into some of the mindset challenges that comes with side hustles, because I think that there is so much overlap here with imposter syndrome or just low confidence that people have of starting a side hustle or switching careers in general. I’d love to hear how you help encourage your audience or your community to overcome some of these mindset challenges.
Yes. I think that one that people don’t realize that they have is that they are afraid of failure, yes, but also afraid of success. I used to say, “No way. No way.” If you succeed and things go right, then all the lies you’ve told yourself for so long are going to look like, “Oh man, maybe this wasn’t true about me.” The fear of failure is a real thing. I don’t want people to see me fall. But what if I succeed? What if I am successful? People haven’t played that part out in their mind. They’ve convinced themselves they’re not going to be successful, which is 90% of the reason why they won’t be. They can play into that narrative because they knew they weren’t going to be successful.
I knew I was going to start doing this, but I told you I wasn’t going to make any money. I did this and this didn’t work. It’s easy to have that conversation with all of your friends and with yourself. It’s like, “I said this was going to happen, but I backed it up with here’s why it my not. Now that it didn’t, it all works out. But oh wait, no, I’m making $100 a month. And then you tell your friends that and then you’re like, “Wait, it’s doing better.” You’re not prepared for, what if this feels good? Am I worthy of this? I cried my eyes out when I sold my first program, hit my knees. I was eating a cookie, seven months pregnant, 7:00 AM or 8:00 AM I think is when cart opened.
I told my husband, “I’m scared to death. I don’t know what to do. I will not sleep. I will make sure that I give these people everything that they deserve. I am not worthy of this. I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know if it’ll help people or if it’s just what I did and it worked. Was I just lucky?” I think that getting over the mindset block of you are worthy of this, this does work, it takes time. I had to see that, oh wait, now some of my students are finding success. This does work. But while I’m going through all of those things, I have a student that says, “What you taught me didn’t work and I need a refund.”
And then I’m back to square one and I say, “Darn! I’m not worthy of this.” I would love to just say that I can help you get over that mindset block, and we’re going to do it today, and you’re worthy of this, and you’re not going to be afraid of failing, and you’re going to be happy when you succeed. But it takes a lot of time and a lot of patience that you have to pour into yourself. Because as a teacher, I don’t believe that the education system builds us up to believe we are worthy, that we deserve more, that we are the best version of ourselves. That’s going to take us a while to get through together. And that’s okay.
It’s not supposed to be overnight. When I got over depression, I used to say that it felt like I had a huge stack of papers, like 150 sheets of paper that were depression. Every day as I got better, I got to wad one of those pieces of paper up and throw it away in the trash can. I didn’t get over depression overnight, but every day I became better than who I was yesterday. If you’re listening to this show, I want you to think of just knowing this information now is one of those pieces of paper that you’re throwing in the trash can.
Gosh, so many great points that I don’t know which one I want to start with, but one thing I really know that I have to acknowledge is there are a lot of ads, misleading marketing practices, especially geared towards people who are teachers trying to leave the profession, that are saying, “Hey, quit your teaching job. You can have supplemental income doing XYZ, building your own course, blah, blah, blah. You can have it in four weeks time.” What I love that I have heard you say time and time again are realistic starting points. Maybe $100 that first month and that it’s going to take some time.
I remember when I first started with Teachers Pay Teachers, and I’ve told this story before on the show, but he was my boyfriend then, he’s my husband now, but I was like, “I learned about this thing and I’m putting in all this time with it.” And he’s like, “Okay, I think you got scammed. You’ve worked 40 hours and you have made $0. What?” He’s like, “I don’t think I like what you’re doing. I’m nervous about this.” I remember maybe two months into it, the first day I made like, “Look, I had a $19 day. That’s extra income. That’s like two hours of work or one hour of extra pay, and that’s going to start really giving me supplemental income.”
And then it did turn into $500 months. It did turn into $1,000 months, but it took, gosh, years, a year of really hardcore dedicated focus. I love that it sounds like you are putting in realistic expectations and you’re not telling people, “Hey, quit your job.” That’s not going to be the easy fix. Do you have people who come in that you do have that conversation with? Or what do you tell your students when you start to give them expectations of how long the process may take before they do start to see income come in from their work?
In the beginning I used to think that creating a good marketing message of like, “In 30 days, I’ll help you make $3,000,” was realistic and it’s totally not realistic. I wanted to put on other people the same expectation that I gave myself. I love this analogy of, if I do a thousand crunches in a day and the next morning I wake up, am I going to have abs? No, you’re not going to have abs. You’re going to be really sore the next day, but you’re not going to have abs. Well, if I do a thousand crunches over the span of a month, am I going to have abs? Probably not. But are you going to feel better? Are you going to look more toned?
Yes, you’re going to start seeing some progress. When you lose weight, I think they say it takes four weeks before you start feeling different and see a difference in yourself. It takes eight weeks before other people can see a difference in you. I’m on a fitness journey since I’ve had our last child and I cannot tell you how much this rings true. People don’t lose weight because it’s hard work. It takes a lot of work. My favorite saying with that is, choose your hard. Yes, losing weight is hard work, but being overweight and not having energy and feeling horrible is also hard work. Choose your hard. Are you going to work hard to get the life that you want, or are you going to stay stagnant and live like you’re living now?
Either way, it’s going to be hard. The same way with making extra money as a teacher. You work 40 hours a week. You have a life. You like to watch Netflix and drink red wine. That was me. I did that every single day and I realized I wasn’t finding joy. But creating resources instead of that glass of wine every night or getting up 30 minutes earlier to plan my day, it wasn’t easy, but we all have the same amount of time in our day. I have five kids. What hard am I going to choose and how long am I going to make this commitment to myself? This is a marathon, not a sprint. Easy quick money is just that.
It leaves just as quickly as it arrives. I can show you how to make $100 in a couple days, no doubt about it, but is this going to be a sustainable life thing that you can carry with you forever? I am no longer in this for making just quick money. I want to build a lifelong brand that my children can be a part of, that provides generational wealth, not just in a money sense, but in a sense of showing my kids that I can find health in my life and I can find freedom in life and time. You can make ll the money your heart desires if you have a heart of service and if you go at it of the perspective of, this is a marathon, I am planning the long haul of this.
If you’re coming to me wanting to make money tomorrow, I’m going to say, “I mean, I could probably show you how to make a few bucks, but that’s not why I do what I do.” But I do have students that come on our coaching calls. I have one in particular that’s doing amazing now, but I remember when she first started with us, she said, “Okay, my contract renews next month for teaching and I don’t want to go back.” I was like okay.” And she said, “So I got to make money before August,” and this was March. I said okay. And she said, “Is it possible?” I said, “Heck, yeah, it’s possible. How hard do you want it? How bad do you want it?”
She’s like, “I want it real bad.” I was like, “90 hours a week bad?” She was like, “Okay. I was thinking maybe like five or 10.” I said, “It depends on how much money you want to make. You can make $50 a week. Okay? If you want to make your teaching salary, I’m going to need a good 45-, 50- hours a week.” When she realized, “I can have anything I want, it’s just going to require a little bit of effort,” then you can. Then the great part and where this all makes so much more sense, because who wants to work that hard the rest of their life? Nobody. Not me, is that I now work five to six hours a week and it’s easy.
I work less and I make more money than I’ve ever made. But overnight successes aren’t a real thing. I didn’t get this life until I worked really, really hard for it in the very beginning.
For years. Anyone who’s listening, that’s where it’s like not everything is this one size fits all answer. If you want to build a side hustle, but you are exploring career options, my best advice for anyone listening is to explore the side hustle that you can fluff your resume up with and use that to also make your transferable skills even that much stronger. Now you have search engine optimization, or you have copywriting, or you have creating graphic design or instructional design that you can put on your actual resume. And then with the additional free time that you have, once you find a traditional nine-to-five job, you can also continue this side hustle and have more energy and time towards that.
Or if you’re staying in the classroom and you are just looking to scratch that creative itch and earn a little bit of extra income, do it at a timeline that works for you, but not putting additional pressure on yourself that you need money tomorrow, because you need to make sure that you are securing how much you’re going to make per month and it is not something that you can tell overnight when it comes with the side hustle. It takes years and years and years to watch your data to make sure that you know how much is going to be coming in. I just am so grateful for you coming on the show and sharing all of this great wisdom with our audience.
One question that I always ask former teachers, and you are a very successful former teacher, but you’ve gone through a lot of ups and downs, it sounds like, throughout your transition process, what did you learn about yourself along this way?
A lot. I don’t like me very much, and it’s taken a lot to love me. I still get back in these phases. I’m a lot. I was a very bad boss when I first started hiring people. I was a finger pointer and a control freak. I had this hyper responsibility ego. I think as a teacher though, that kind of comes with the territory. We’re responsible for 25 kids. When you go into the real world of business, you think that’s how you treat employees, or you think that that’s how you run a business. When I began to let go and when I began to realize that other people were more capable of the things that I was asking than I was, that’s when my business began to grow exponentially.
When I began to really hone in on, it’s not about me, because I don’t love me very much sometimes. I’m an Enneagram 3. I like to talk about myself, if you didn’t know that. I like to brag on all of my accolades and the things that I do. That’s the worst version of me is when I get into that stage. When I put my students first and I started learning their stories and what made them tick and what made them money and I realized that I was crying myself to sleep every night learning about them paying for cancer treatments or them paying for their daughter’s dance shoes, that’s when things started to change.
I gave my business to our employees, I gave my livelihood to our students, and I said, “Show me your success.” That’s when things started to get better. But I’ve learned the most is that I cannot do this alone and it only works if I get the heck out of the way.
That’s such a hard lesson to share. It’s a hard lesson to learn. It’s a hard lesson to share. I feel like leadership is one of the scariest positions to be in when you come from a broken mindset, imposter syndrome, low self-confidence. It’s something that resonates really strongly with me. Thank you so much for being vulnerable and sharing that. Kayse, for anybody who is like, “Heck yeah! I want to learn more from this beautiful woman,” where can they find you?
You’re so sweet. You can find me anywhere by going to KayseMorris.com or listen to our show. But my name is spelled very weird, thanks mom and dad. It’s K-A-Y-S-E. You can find me on any socials and let’s be friends. Please reach out. I would love to send you a voice message. I am that person that still likes to talk to all of our fans and followers, so please reach out and let’s be friends.
Thank you so much for being here. Wonderful to just learn from you and have you kind of share all of your tips. Thank you so much.
Thank you so much, Daphne.
I want to give a huge thank you to Kayse for coming on and sharing her story and her advice with this audience. All of the resources that we’ve talked about in today’s episode will be actually shared in our podcast notes, so just make sure to click over there if you’re looking for any of those resources. Thank you so much for being a listener of the Teacher Career Coach Podcast. We will see you on the very next episode.