The last month has been completely nuts… but in a good way. So much has transpired with my company, and while the moves forward have still been relatively small, they are highly encouraging. The bottom line is that I now have a high level of confidence that I will be able to create a sustainable business. Moreover, I have come up with an awesome idea on how to create a scalable product in the near future that will be really fun to design. You want to know details, right? Details you shall have.
First off, I met with an awesome advisor back in January. He is an expert in the field of test prep, and he gave me a ton of terrific advice regarding my business. The biggest takeaway I had from our meeting was this: I need to refocus my attention on standardized tests. Sure, one-on-one school based tutoring is great, but in his opinion, SAT and ACT test prep are the most lucrative areas for the majority of education services companies. The reason why I was pleased to hear this is because I love standardized tests. Yes, you read that correctly. Seriously. I truly enjoy (1) preparing for them and (2) taking them. Now, I don’t include the bar exam in this bag of goodies because that is a painful exam that requires massive amounts of memorization. I like tests that focus on reasoning and problem solving like the SAT, ACT, and LSAT.
The beauty of standardized tests is that they are standardized. Translation: the exams follow a predictable pattern from year to year. They need to stay consistent so that colleges and graduate programs can objectively evaluate each wave of applicants. What this means for test prep companies is that there exist identifiable patterns within the exams across the board. In essence, the exams are static codes that are potentially breakable.
As I tackle this new angle of the business, I not only plan to provide one-on-one tutoring services, but I want to develop an online solution that helps kids learn from the comfort of their homes. This will be my means of scalability. I won’t go into the details of the tool (as I’d like to keep it private until it is released), but I am extremely excited about this new idea. Not only will it be a blast to develop, but I think it could provide a serious opportunity to expand my company. So, in a nutshell, I’m pretty darn stoked.
Another awesome development is that I have recently partnered with another education services company in the area. This connection was made via a teacher that I had met a few months ago. The teacher and I have kept in contact, and she has been following my various publications regarding math. She recommended that I break bread with her friend, the founder of another test prep company in the area. After a couple of meetings, we decided to team up. Now I’m part of a class that helps kids prepare for the ISEE, a standardized exam that is mandatory for all young students applying to private schools in California. This opportunity will allow me to learn more about this exam while making new inroads in the education community.
Lastly, I now have five students!! I seem to be getting a nice bit of momentum with all of the connections I have made thus far. I recently got a referral from a learning coordinator at one of the most exclusive private schools in Los Angeles. It seems that things are starting to fall into place and it feels incredible. All I have to do now is keep my foot on the gas and continue pushing for better results. I know that I can blow this company up in a good way if I continue to press really hard over the next few months.
The biggest realization I had in the last week was this: I was born to be an entrepreneur. It is exhilarating and empowering beyond words. My life as an attorney, in contrast, was utterly boring and stagnant. It’s funny, but during my first couple years as an attorney, I felt that the job was okay. Not great, but reasonable. Now, however, after tasting the fruit of entrepreneurship, I recognize that the law firm life was a horrendous fit and an absolutely boring life. Watching this creation of mine take form and gain momentum is a magnificent thrill. I’m obsessed with it… in a good way of course. And who would have thought that my profession, my means to make an income, could be one of my greatest sources of fun in life? This venture has turned into an utter passion. Sure, I love teaching, but this is about so much more. This is about building something from the ground up and watching it blossom.
Let me end by saying this: there are no guarantees with this type of work. My client base could dry up tomorrow, and my next big idea could fall flat on its face. But that doesn’t matter. As I’ve said countless times, I know that my success will depend on my ability to bounce back from failure and persevere despite difficulty. I recognize that the ride here on out might not be a smooth one, but I don’t care. It doesn’t scare me in the slightest. Why? Because I now know that I can make this work. I have total faith in my abilities and my will to conquer. And in the end, that’s what it’s all about. In the end, the world belongs to those who yearn for it.