78 - From Teacher to Social Media Strategist with Allison Springer
social media strategist Allison Springer

78 – From Teacher to Social Media Strategist with Allison Springer

TeacherCareerCoach

Allison Springer is a teacher turned social media strategist who helps support mission-driven businesses with TikTok and Reels. She is mentor who helps others learn to earn an income online with social media management, creating more freedom and opportunity in their lives.

Listen to the episode in the podcast player below, or find it on Apple Podcast or Spotify.

From Teacher to Social Media Strategist, Transcript:

Daphne Gomez:
Hey, Allison. Thanks so much for being here today.

Allison Springer:
Yes, I’m so excited.

Daphne Gomez:
We’ve had quite a few conversations prior to you coming on the podcast, just because I’ve been impressed with your social media. You’ve been doing social media marketing, and TikTok for businesses, TikTok for social media entrepreneurs, for a while.

Daphne Gomez:
For anybody who has not met you yet though, I’d love to start back with your history as a teacher. How long were you in the classroom for? Just share a little bit about your journey into education.

Allison Springer:
Yeah. So I was a teacher for five years in Arkansas. I taught for three years at the high school level and then I transitioned to junior high. To be honest, I really loved teaching. I was an art teacher; I taught visual art. But I was never sure it was the thing that I wanted to do for my entire life. And I had so many other different passions, that I think there’s this misconception that everybody that wants to leave the teacher field is suffering from burnout and hating their job. But really, I just wanted something different and I just wanted a different lifestyle.

Allison Springer:
And yeah, the burnout and the horribleness that happened with the pandemic was a little bit of a push out the door. But for the most part, I was just really excited to try new things and pursue something different, knowing that I could go back if I wanted. So, that’s a little bit of the background.

Allison’s Journey to Becoming a Social Media Strategist

Daphne Gomez:
I know that, from conversations we’ve had, you actually started your journey on social media with your own teacher TikTok. Is that correct?

Allison Springer:
Yeah. So I had a teacher ‘Gram and a teacher TikTok, where I would just post things for fun. And sometimes it would be posting … like it was me dancing in my classroom or it was me calling out some really uncool thing in the education system. And really just using it as a creative outlet and talking about how teachers need to prioritize themselves and set boundaries and be other humans outside of teaching.

Allison Springer:
And then, through that process, I fell in love with social media and the growth opportunities and all it had to offer. But that was my introduction to it, was teacher ‘Gram and teacher ‘Tok. Which is hilarious, because I tell people that’s how I started. And they’re like, “What is teacher ‘Gram?” And I’m like, “Wait. What? Not everybody knows what a teacher ‘Gram is?” But, yeah.

Daphne Gomez:
I think I was exposed to it, I don’t know, six years ago. But when I was actually in the classroom I don’t think I followed any like teacher ‘Gram people myself. So it was after I left I started meeting educational consultants, when I was working as an educational consultant. And we were following each other and I was like, “Oh, this is a thing that I had no idea even existed.”

Turning her Passion into a Full-Time Job

Daphne Gomez:
What steps did you take to actually make this your full-time job? Because I know that there are probably so many missing pieces between point A and where you are now.

Allison Springer:
Yeah. If you’re on TikTok, you might know that you just learn about all the random things. And I was seeing different people on TikTok earning money online and earning money doing virtual assisting. And I had really loved … not teaching from home during the pandemic, but I really loved working from home. And I was doing all these personal development things on the side; reading books and thinking about what skills I had, and, if I wanted to leave the classroom, what skills or what things would I be good at? And I’m very organized. I’m very type A. So I was like, maybe it’s a virtual assistant.

Allison Springer:
I took like a small virtual assistant class just to get my business started. I did virtual assisting for a couple months. But then, as a virtual assistant, you do all these different tasks for business owners. And I just loved the social media tasks. So then, two months in, I became a social media manager.

Allison Springer:
But truthfully, what’s now a business literally started is me starting as a virtual assistant. I looked for clients in May. I hustled to get as many as I could to try to make up my teachers salary. And I did it in month one. And that’s really how it started. And then, from then, it’s just been like, okay, now I have to figure out: is this sustainable? How do I get better? How do I make this a business? How do I feel good and secure in this so that I feel like this is what I’m going to do and that I don’t necessarily have to go back if I don’t want to? And I had the summer to figure that out, which is pretty cool.

Allison’s Book Recommendations

Daphne Gomez:
Do you mind sharing the names of any of the personal development books that you loved during that time?

Allison Springer:
Yeah. So I love personal development, I geek out on it all the time. Some of my favorites are … I love The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. I love all of her books. I love Untamed by Glennon Doyle. I love Mel Robbins. I love You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. Because I was struggling so much, and I was listening to books and podcasts and just trying to figure out how to … because teaching in-person and virtually was so challenging, I was trying to just figure out how to maintain myself and how to still exist in the world. I really do think that that background of personal development made it feel possible for me to do the things. And High Performance Habits is probably my favorite one.

Allison Springer:
But yeah, they definitely helped me cultivate the mindset. Because, first, before you leave teaching, whether it’s for freelancing or whether it’s to leave for a different career, it’s like you have to have the mindset to believe that it’s possible for you.

Daphne Gomez:
Yeah. 100% agree. I’m actually in the middle of Untamed right now and I love it.

Allison Springer:
I love it.

Daphne Gomez:
Some of the other ones that you mentioned are also my top favorites. But highly recommend Untamed for sure, by Glennon Doyle.

Finding Clients as a VA & Social Media Strategist

Daphne Gomez:
When you were talking about your virtual assistant job, you said that you were actually looking for clients. Where did you find clients? Were you on Upwork? Were you on Fiverr? Were you just randomly DMing people on Instagram?

Allison Springer:
Yeah. So this is the number one question that I get. And it’s one of my favorites because I’ve never, ever gotten a job on Upwork or Fiverr. You have to think, switching from a job that’s a 9:00 to 5:00, where they take your taxes out and they give you benefits and all of these things, to switching to working as a freelancer … which, for those of you that don’t know, the taxes aren’t taken out, you aren’t tied to one specific company, you’re providing services to multiple companies. So you have to actually hold back for taxes and pay in at the end of the year and all these things. And Upwork and Fiverr take a large percentage of what you make. And so if I’m already saving for retirement and taxes, and then I’m giving them part of my money, I’m just like, “Ugh, that just doesn’t feel good.” And it’s fine if I have to do that, but I really don’t want to have to do that.

Allison Springer:
And so the first step, number one, is … especially if you want to get into social media … actually being visible on social media is a great step, and leaning into my network of people that I already knew. So I got my first client by saying, on my Instagram, “I am a teacher. I am leaving the classroom. I want to help support businesses virtually. Does anybody know anyone?” And I got a message that day. And I worked for her for four months.

Allison Springer:
And then besides just being visible and getting opportunities that way, you can still find freelance positions on Indeed and on LinkedIn. So that’s an option. But my main source of finding clients has been Facebook groups. So it’s been going to Facebook groups and joining Facebook groups that I’m interested in; if I’m interested in real estate, or if I’m interested in health, or if I’m interested in coaching or finances. And thinking about where the owners of those businesses hang out and then just going to hang out there and providing free value on social media. And then, every once in a while, people will post jobs. And they’ll post that they’re looking for somebody to do something. And then I’ll connect and we’ll get on a call. The rest is history.

Daphne Gomez:
That’s such a great suggestion. I’m in a couple Facebook groups. I don’t use Facebook as much as I probably should, because I know that there are a lot of strong groups there. But I try to lean off of social media so I have some brain space.

Finding Support for Your Career on Social

Daphne Gomez:
But I’m on Facebook specifically for women in podcasting. There’s a couple groups there. And every once in a while someone says, “I need someone to create my social media strategy for my podcast, or someone to do all the sound editing for my podcast.” And those are skills that freelancers hone in on, they get really good at, and that’s what their specialty is. And so there’s constant threads of, “That’s what we do. We do this, we do this, we do this.” And a lot of different freelancers do hang out in those groups to help support the people who are asking for support.

Allison Springer:
Yeah. And I mean, to be honest, you don’t have to be the 100% number one expert whenever you start anything. When I started virtual assisting they said what they needed done, and I was like, “I can do that, or figure out how to do it.” That’s one of the strengths I think that teachers have so much, is they can figure out what they need to figure out. And so I just believed in myself, that what I didn’t know, I could figure it out. And I just went from there.

Allison Springer:
But the cool thing is … the first few are the hardest, but once you start working for people you get more confidence. It exudes in your social media presence. It exudes in the way that you approach business owners. But, also, you can get referrals from those business owners. And so it really has not been difficult to find people to work for because you have to think about how many businesses there are and how many people don’t know how to use social media, especially when it comes to new platforms like TikTok. I mean, who is an expert on TikTok? I’m a TikTok strategist. But it’s been around for two years, who is going to be more of an expert than me, really? So it’s almost like acting as if, and then skilling up along the way too.

Personality Traits of an Entreprenuer, Freelance VA, and Social Media Strategist

Daphne Gomez:
With a virtual assistant role, what do you think would’ve been one of the most important personality traits or strengths that you brought to be successful in that particular position?

Allison Springer:
So, for me … and this is virtual assisting, social media management, writing, freelance, honestly any job … but I really do think that the growth mindset. Honestly, if I didn’t know how to do something, I said I didn’t know how to do it. I figured it out. I said that I would figure it out. If it was a text something, I read the dang manual, I got online with customer support, I leaned into free resources like podcasts and YouTube videos.

Allison Springer:
So, I mean, I think the thing that I brought and that I actually … now that I work with businesses and I work with their teams, the thing that’s hardest to find is not the expertise in something, it’s the give an ish factor and it’s the want to continue to learn and continue to grow and to do what you need in order to figure it out. That’s what I think I brought to it.

Allison Springer:
But then, also, I think that there are a lot of things in teaching that are just so transferable, as far as being able to work with different types of people, conflict resolution, being able to see the whole picture of something and how different pieces work together. And from a social media standpoint even operating on multiple levels, managing multiple accounts, communicating an idea in a graphic versus a video, versus text. And so, I don’t know, there were a lot of transferable skills. I don’t know that I could have seen it until I got in it, but they definitely were there.

Daphne Gomez:
Yeah. I think the personality traits that you described really accurately describes people who have been really great assets to my team as well. So this is true in startup positions, freelancing positions. But the type of people who are intuitive of, “I can figure this out and I know the steps I can take to figure this out,” and especially in virtual assisting. Because the problem that a company or an entrepreneur has when they hire a virtual assistant is they are very busy and they need someone to take sometimes very small things off of their plate.

Daphne Gomez:
And so if you are a virtual assistant, one of the best traits that you can have is understanding the difference between the times that it might be quicker for you to just, “Hey, really quickly, can you just describe how you do this thing maybe in a quick video? And then I’ll learn from there and I’ll take it over.” Or, “I need to go and I need to go down the Google rabbit hole, and I need to figure that out on my own.”

Daphne Gomez:
And my virtual assistant is really great at … I say I need something done, and before I know it she may have spent one hour on tech support with the email carrier or the platform to figure it out, because she knows I don’t have the answer, and me figuring out the answer, as the business owner, is going to take more time off of my plate.

Daphne Gomez:
So being hungry for those learning opportunities, to continue to grow, and to just help people take things off at their plate, is something that I’ve seen make virtual assistants really stand out, because it is a role that you can go in very entry-level and still get paid fairly.

Allison Springer:
Yeah. And just initiative too. Because, I mean, I’ve had assistants and stuff now at this point too, and I work with some on the different teams that I’m in. Just the initiative to go figure that out is a huge thing.

Allison Springer:
But also, I feel like even reliability is a huge one. I took for granted, I just thought that everybody was like, “Oh, this is my job. I’m going to do the thing. I’m going to meet a deadline. Because it’s a deadline, it’s something that I have to do as part of my work.” And one of the things that I get complimented on the most often, and one of the reasons people pay a higher ticket price to work with me, is because I’m reliable and because I do the things I say I’m going to do. But we’re already doing that. Teachers are already very reliable. That’s just a given for me. But it’s crazy how actually hard that is to find.

Daphne Gomez:
Oh yeah, no, I can completely imagine that.

Daphne Gomez:
And then if you are listening to this podcast episode and you are thinking to yourself that that is not a good fit for you, that is okay too. There are people that really want to get into a new company and they want to be onboarded. They want to have this manual of: when this happens, this is exactly what happens. When this happens, this is exactly what happens. And have a team of four or five people that can support them and walk them through, step-by-step, how to do things. It is okay if this is not your spirit. When people describe that entrepreneur spirit, it is that spirit of figuring it out-ness that some people love and drives them. But not everybody has to have that same sort of passion. So it’s okay if it’s not you as well.

Personal & Professional Growth

Daphne Gomez:
Did you, Allison, find yourself growing, even in your career as a teacher, and always being hungry for more; for more change or to just continue to grow?

Allison Springer:
Yes. And I never viewed myself as an entrepreneur at all. Which is funny now, because I so see myself that way. But I never viewed myself that way. I was very type A, very risk-averse. That’s why leaving teaching was so hard for me. Especially doing something like this, it seemed like such a risk. But it is something that, as I continue doing it, it didn’t feel as risky and it felt like I could make it sustainable because I believed in myself there.

Allison Springer:
But it’s far as teaching and the parallels that I see now, I always did want to grow in teaching. I always wanted to learn. I always wanted to bring new things back to the classroom. To be honest, that was one of the things I struggled with in teaching a little bit is … at least in my state and in my school district and things … I was the art teacher. I was the only art teacher. Every school, pretty much in our state, has one to two art teachers. There’s not a head art teacher. And it was either stay in the classroom or go into administration. And I have always felt this hunger to grow and succeed and move to the next step. Not that I didn’t love my students. I loved them so much. They’re one of the only things I miss. But I wanted that growth opportunity and that constant challenge.

Allison Springer:
And so I found myself … even when I was a teacher, I was picking up side hustles and I was doing different things and I was learning different hobbies. And it was to try to fulfill this need that I had to consistently grow.

Daphne Gomez:
I feel like that’s something that’s so relatable for so many people. It’s not necessarily even a dislike for the position. You may have loved your admin. You may have loved the school culture. You may have been somewhere great. But just the being stagnant in your career is something that some people just really struggle with that being there forever career if it feels like there’s a lot of new opportunities to advance and grow. Just some people don’t thrive in that environment.

social media strategist Allison Springer

TikTok, Instagram, and Working as a Social Media Strategist

Daphne Gomez:
I’d love to transition a little bit more and talk about, as a social media manager and while you’re working on TikTok, and for anyone who’s interested in creating their own TikTok resources or doing this for a profession or becoming a freelancer, what tools are your absolute favorites for TikTok and Instagram?

Allison Springer:
Okay. I love this. I would talk about it for hours. I love talking about TikTok and Instagram and all the things. Are you talking about apps or just tech tools? Or are you talking more about how to get started?

Daphne Gomez:
Yeah, apps. Well, both. If you want to share the getting started resources you used as well, feel free to. But I was thinking more apps.

Allison Springer:
Yeah. So, as far as TikTok, I love CapCut and InShot. Those are both video editors. It’s a really easy place to edit outside of the app. And then you can upload to both TikTok and Reels, which is great. I love TrendTok so you can find all the trending sounds.

Allison Springer:
But really, the gold on TikTok for me is that you don’t actually need a lot. I have a ring light sitting two feet to my left. I’ve used it five times. I have a cell phone. I don’t really have anything fancy. And that’s what’s kind of cool about TikTok to me, is because it can be a lot more casual than Instagram. It’s not as curated. And so I do really love that about TikTok.

Allison Springer:
For Instagram, I love Adobe Lightroom to edit photos. I love Canva. Of course, everybody loves Canva. But I also really like the app, Mojo, to make cool Instagram stories.

Allison Springer:
And so I feel like, for social media tools, they’re a dime a dozen. There’s multiple tools that do each thing. But just do whatever thing you’re having fun with, because if it’s something that you hate you’re not going to do it. Complexity is the enemy of execution. But, for the most part, I just like investing into free tools.

Allison Springer:
I’ll always have social media tools in my bio on all my social medias; my favorite ones. But I love Metricool to schedule things out and make sure that … I did a lot of that too when I was still a teacher, I batched content and I was starting to help support people with social media. So I was starting to show up consistently online. And that’s part of how I did that.

Allison Springer:
And then, as far as getting started, the reason I think TikTok is so cool is because you can just do you and you can pick something that you love and you can just start talking about a lot. Whether it’s classroom decor or the outfits that you’re wearing as a teacher, or home decor, or thrifting, or gardening, or literally anything. Guys, there’s a frog that gives therapy advice. Okay? Anything that you’re super into. And just talk about it a lot and provide them with free value, and it will of give you to your people.

Allison Springer:
And then, once that happens, there are opportunities to actually monetize that. But I always went at it as: this is community-first. This is fun-first. But I have a cool link in my bio thing, it’s a creator store. And you don’t even need a website, but you can make little products there. I don’t know, it’s cool because it’s always a really good way to earn a potential side income. And once you grow a following, you can then do influencer deals and things like that.

Allison Springer:
But I see it too, not only … it’s like, “Hey teachers, everybody come and be a social media manager.” But there are so many opportunities on social media for you to utilize a side income. And I wish that I would’ve known about them sooner, because my butt was over there waiting tables on the weekends my second year of teaching. So yeah, that’s my spiel.

Daphne Gomez:
Yeah. I mean, there are so many teachers who are considering going into real estate from listening to one of the former teacher episodes where I interviewed … her name was Caley. And she went into real estate. Real estate agents have Instagrams, sometimes TikTok accounts, to help people follow them and see the houses that they’re either selling, or just have people get to know them so that they know their personality. And they’re able to connect with people, and people start to trust them and want to use them as a real estate agent when they start to buy a house.

Daphne Gomez:
You don’t have to use TikTok or Instagram directly to sell something or sell yourself as an influencer. But to give free value to educate your audience and then your audience naturally wants to work with you if you’re in one of those types of positions. Whether it’s: you’re a freelancer instructional designer, or you are becoming an educational consultant and you want to grow an audience to potentially have them talk to of their districts about implementing whatever program into their district next year, you can have a social media presence to help build that community and help find like-minded people.

Allison Springer:
Well, to be honest, it’s not one of those things where you have to be an expert. I was very much like, “I’m leaving my teaching job. This is my process of doing it. Come along the journey. But then, if you need career advice then you need to go talk to a teacher career coach because I don’t know how to rewrite your resume.”

Allison Springer:
But as far as the social media stuff too, I just started talking about it as I was learning. Like, “Guys, did you know that you could do this cool thing on Canva? And you can do that same thing in the classroom.” But it really has brought me opportunities, so many opportunities outside of monetary opportunities, as far as meeting people. People will find me on social media. And I’ve gotten job offers based off of my social media account. Which is bizarre because I really felt like I had to hide who I was on social media, and in general, when I was in the classroom.

Allison Springer:
Disclaimer, I teach in the South, in a very rural town in a very conservative area. But I felt like I always had to hide myself as a teacher. And now it’s very interesting, because whether businesses want to work with me as a social media manager, or if somebody wants to work with me as an influencer, or if somebody’s trying to recruit me for a marketing position … which is crazy, because I did not go to school for marketing, that that’s happening … they already know who I am, they know my personality. They know that I dance around like an idiot and point at things and I cuss a little. And that is totally okay with them. And that feels really good, to be able to be your authentic self and for that to be able to get you opportunities in the world.

Daphne Gomez:
I was fed the exact same story when I was going into teaching. One of the things that they taught us in our teacher education courses, the college that I went to for my certification, was: if you post a single photo of you with a cocktail, you are done. You will not have your teacher contract. It’s going to be done for you. And the entire time I was filled with fear, because one of the ways that I paid for myself to live on my own and go through school to become a teacher, was I was a bartender. And I kept thinking, “When they find out that I held this role that I don’t feel ashamed about, am I going to lose my job for it?” And I never felt like I was able to authentically be myself. I was always terrified.

Daphne Gomez:
Even when I moved to a new school district, then I realized that the parents were as intense as they were at the very last school district that I was at, which was a very toxic one, I deleted all of my social media accounts. I just did not want them to look at what my boyfriend looked like or look at his page and find out that he held political beliefs that might not align with them, or just anything about it. And I completely removed myself from connecting with friends and family.

Daphne Gomez:
And that’s something that is so weird and common in teaching, is just removing that from yourself. And then being able to reenter a work environment where people like who you are, you’re allowed to, within reason, be yourself. There’s First Amendment. But you can’t go on your social media and say, “I work at this job and this company is so dumb.” Those are the types of things that will continue to get you laid off.

Allison Springer:
Well, I mean, when we’re talking about this … and I think, in the teacher space, we talk about this a lot … it’s like, nobody’s trying to do a keg stand on their teacher TikTok. But, at the same time, you don’t want to have to feel like you’re under a microscope all the time and that you have to be this perfect sacrificial, do it all for the kids, thing.

Allison Springer:
And I’ve really seen that since I’ve been public about transitioning out of teaching, as far as the really toxic expectations of teachers … and I know you’ve seen it too … and how that really comes out, whether you’re in the classroom. I got it when I was still in the classroom. I’ve got it when I’ve left the classroom. And it seems like the only way that teachers can make people happy is to be quiet and to be small. That makes me really sad.

Allison Springer:
And so that’s been an interesting thing to see, as a teacher TikToker and then as a former teacher TikToker, and now as a social media manager, how different the teaching niche of that space is, versus other spaces where I feel like people are saying just as controversial things, they’re saying similar things, but maybe the expectations aren’t so high, they aren’t there, and we don’t feel like we have this moral obligation to be blank; whatever that is for you in your district. Right?

Daphne Gomez:
Yeah. This is something you and I have talked about off the mic as well, is just the amount of negative comments that we get. Whether it’s from teachers who are disappointed that people would ever leave the profession, and openly talk about it, or from people who have no teaching experience.

Daphne Gomez:
How do you handle when you start to get negative comments on your social media? What process do you go through on whether or not you even comment on them?

Allison Springer:
Well, this is an important thing for me to note and for me to tell people, because I think so many people struggle to show up online because they’re so terrified of it. And to be honest, the first few times my content went viral, it was this debilitating … I couldn’t pick up my phone. I felt sick. It was just this whole thing, because I didn’t know how to deal with it yet. And then I was scared for it to happen again and so I didn’t want to create things.

Allison Springer:
I think, number one, it’s just a prerequisite. You have to realize that the people that are going to negatively comment are generally people with no content over their own, they’re not further ahead in life than you. I mean, it’s people that are very unhappy. And now I really do have a sense of compassion towards people that do that, for the most part. For the most part. Some people are just terrible.

Allison Springer:
And then I go through a few different processes. So the way in which you react to social media comments very often is a mirror to how you’re reacting to things in your general life. If somebody’s like, “Oh, you’re dumb.” I’m like, “I know I’m not dumb.” So it doesn’t hurt me, doesn’t bother me. If somebody’s like, “Oh, I hate your hair.” I’m like, “I love my hair. Bye” But if somebody’s like, “You left the kids and you’re terrible. How can you be so selfish?” That hurts me because that’s something that I felt a lot of guilt about before I left.

Allison Springer:
So it’s really about making sure that you’re in a good mental space before you go and read social media comments, making sure that you have time blocks on things. Don’t get yourself in a rabbit hole trying to figure out who user 57629 is and everything they have ever commented on in the world.

Allison Springer:
So those are some just basic things. But then also, recently, I’ve been able to distance myself, to the point that maybe if I have a video that goes viral I’ll turn the automatic comments off, to where they have to be approved. And I’ll hand it … now I have an assistant that does it. But I used to just be like, “Husband, go through these. I don’t want to know what they say.” And that’s my own distance between it.

Allison Springer:
But then also, I only respond to anything if I feel like it can be a teaching moment. I can call out terrible commenters all day, every day. But number one, I feel like it makes me look bad. And number two, it’s not helping anybody and it’s only drawing more negativity and drama to my page and to my content. I would really rather only call out those mean comments if I can be like, “Okay, this is actually why teachers don’t earn enough,” and I can use that as a teaching experience, versus a, “Hey, you’re a terrible person,” kind of call out.

Daphne Gomez:
I love that. That is what I strive to do on my page as well. But it’s something that’s not as intuitive, because your gut reaction is to just, “Oh, this person’s saying something yucky about me. I have to defend myself.” Anytime you’re on social media, it is part of that. And especially if you’re talking about something that’s polarizing in any way.

Daphne Gomez:
One thing that I picked up that I love, that you said, was how it only impacts you if it’s something that you’re actually struggling with and you think that they might be speaking about something that you’re insecure with. Because I feel that very hard. There are people who have called out what my voice sounds like, and said that it’s screechy. That hurts because I know that my voice is screechy. It is what it is. This is what I was born with and we’re just dealing with it.

Daphne Gomez:
But then there are also people who try to put me down by saying boss babe. I’m like, “Okay, let me unpack that.” It was a very negative, like, “She gives off this boss babe energy.” But I’m like, okay, I am a CEO, and they said the word babe, so I’m just going to go with that. I’m not against it.

Daphne Gomez:
But those, “You’re abandoning the kids,” comments, the ones that really touch where my guilt really is, are the ones that hurt the most. And they’re the hardest to let go. And I want it to be a teachable moment. I want to use my social media to bring this community together, who’s struggling with the same things. I want to continue to help people. I love that you broke it down into those different categories, because it’s something I never really realized about myself as well.

Daphne Gomez:
What is the biggest challenge that you are personally facing right now in your business? And how are you tackling it?

Allison Springer:
Okay. So there’s a few different things. I would say the biggest challenge in my business is also the biggest challenge in my life. Again, I think that so much of our … especially when you’re an entrepreneur, your business reflects how you are and your mindset. And I think, after leaving the classroom, I’ve really had to … and I try to talk about this publicly because I don’t think it’s talked about enough, is that I’ve really been struggling with my identity, on who I am, what I like to do. Who am I without being a teacher?

Allison Springer:
And so I’ve been struggling a little bit in my business with my messaging. Do I want to talk to former teachers? Do I want to just help business owners? Do I want to just be like, “Bye,” and never talk about and to teachers ever again? But I have this draw to stay in the teacher space because there are so many awesome people in it, that I do still love helping support and still love talking to teachers.

Allison Springer:
But that’s what I would say, is clarity; clarity on exactly what I want to do. I just got diagnosed with ADHD about three weeks ago, which is never something I thought I was. But it’s also like, I have all of these ideas and I want to create a mini TikTok course for business owners that want to do the TikTok themselves and that can’t afford a TikTok manager. And I want to create content for how people can become a social media manager because I know so many people would rock at it. And I want to create a million different freebies and do all the things. And I want to do them like now, yesterday. I want to be on every social media platform.

Allison Springer:
So I think it’s been drawing it down to focus. And then also getting out of the toxic, almost trauma, of workaholism that I got perpetually stuck in, being a teacher that also had part-time jobs for years. So I would teach. I would come home. I would do another job. I would teach. I would come home. I would do another job. On the weekends I would catch up on things, like sleep and laundry. And I really, now, am like, okay, well, how do I relax? Since I work from home, when do I stop working? Because I love what I do and I want to work all the time. How do I recreate that balance that I said I wanted so bad?

Allison Springer:
And I think it’s a struggle because so many of us want to blame things on the job. And, to be honest, the job does make all of those things really hard. But then when it’s taken away, when you’re out of that, do you still have some of the things that you thought were just the job? Like my workaholism and my perfectionism and my inability to keep boundaries and to set balance in my life. And so I think that’s been really hard, because I have to step back and be like, okay, well is this trauma from teaching or is this stuff that I just always struggled with and teaching just exacerbated it?

Daphne Gomez:
I think that that’s something that’s really common for people once they leave. I also have that shiny object syndrome of: there are so many things that I can do now with this unfilled space. And it, in the entrepreneur world, becomes these different projects.

Daphne Gomez:
And one thing that I’ve heard that was really helpful … I think it’s Michael Hyatt from Free to Focus … says something around the lines of, “You can do all these things. You cannot do them all at once. And you just have to pick.” What are the priorities for the next three months? What are the three big projects I’m going to do for the next three months? What is sustainable for me to continue to have work-life balance? And then just checking back in, checking back in. Did I put 10 things on that three list after a week? Did I forget I was only focusing on these three things? And trying to get back to that sense of work-life balance.

Daphne Gomez:
Because there so many of us that I think do leave and start to recreate the environment that we were so eager to leave. And it’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of going to therapy. It’s figuring out the patterns of how you’re bringing that into the next role. I am so grateful that you even were just open and vulnerable when it came to that. It’s definitely something that I’ve seen with other people. It’s something I know with myself as well.

Daphne Gomez:
Allison, this has been such a great conversation that we had.

Allison Springer:
Yeah.

Daphne Gomez:
I always enjoy talking to you.

Daphne Gomez:
Where can any listeners connect with you, find you online? Either for their own learning about TikTok and they want to grow their own audience, or they might want to hire you if they are starting their own side business?

Allison Springer:
Yeah. So I help people a few different ways and I’ll talk about that a little bit. But I am at @al.meets.social on TikTok and Instagram. I’m sure that will be linked somewhere. And I help business owners with TikTok and Reels, primarily. But then I also do consultations for people that just want to grow their accounts and they just want to grow on social media for whatever purpose. And I’m starting to help support others in becoming social media managers and working for businesses in the social media space, if that’s something that they want to do. Because people ask me. So that’s what I’m doing.

Daphne Gomez:
Well, we will have that linked in today’s show notes. So anyone who wants to connect with Allison can find it really easily there. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing your story.

Allison Springer:
You’re welcome. It was great.

Step out of the classroom and into a new career, The Teacher Career Coach Course