Today, I have another great case study for you. I love sharing case studies, especially profiling my Accelerator coaching students, which is what I’m going to do here today.
I want to share with you the journey of Brittany Hege.
Brittany is a math educator who has worked with students and teachers in both upper elementary and middle school. She’s the founder and CEO of Mix and Math, which is a math education business on a mission to equip upper elementary teachers with the knowledge, resources, and confidence to inspire a generation of empowered math learners.
We’ve been working with Brittany in Accelerator for about seven months. I have seen such amazing growth since she began. She has a membership program in her business as her primary offer.
She was at a point where she was working too many hours on her business. She was doing everything by herself, and needed to stop doing that and get her life back.
We dive into how she has done that, how she’s grown her team to six people, including her, and how she’s gotten her life back.
So, we talk about all of that, how she’s done it, how she’s removed herself as the bottleneck in her business, and how she’s empowered her team to own more of their responsibilities in the business. We break it all down here for you today on the show.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- How to attract people to your membership
- Identifying who makes the best decisions for your business
- Evaluating the internal costs of adding a new feature to your membership
- Why focus and simplicity is so crucial to your success
- How to run a successful business while raising a family
- Mistakes Brittany has made and learned from as a CEO
- How to hire and onboard great team members
Links & Resources:
- Teachers Pay Teachers
- Trey Taylor: A CEO Only Does Three Things
- DM me on Instagram
- Visit my YouTube channel
- The Art of Online Business clips
- The Art of Online Business website
- The Art of Online Business Podcast website
- Check out my Accelerator coaching program
*Disclosure: I only recommend products I use and love and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.
Brittany Hege’s Links:
- Mix and Math
- Mix and Math on Facebook
- Mix and Math on Instagram
- Mix and Math on YouTube
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I know that there are a lot of things in the business I did because I should. One thing I’ve really grown in, since being in Accelerator, is I no longer feel like I have to outsource the big decisions in the business because an expert says that’s what’s best. I know my business best. I have the data. I know my people.
There’s a lot of “shoulds” out there. I’ve learned as an entrepreneur that I used to not check in with myself as much as I should have.
What’s up, my friends. Welcome back to the podcast. Thank you so much, as always, for tuning in today. I have another case study for you. I love sharing case studies, especially profiling my Accelerator coaching students, which is what I’m going to do here today.
I want to share the journey of Brittany Hege.
Brittany is a math educator who has worked with students and teachers in both upper elementary and the middle grades. She’s also the founder and CEO of Mix and Math, which is a math education business on a mission to equip upper elementary teachers with the knowledge, resources, and confidence to inspire a generation of empowered math learners.
I wanted to have Brittany on because we’ve been working with Brittany in Accelerator for about seven months. I have seen such amazing growth over these seven months. She has a membership program in her business that is her main and primary offer. She has a few TPT resources, Teachers Pay Teachers, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the teaching space.
Regardless of whether you’re in the teaching space or not, this is going to be super, super helpful, because a lot of the conversation here is around how she has grown as a CEO of her business. She was at a point, like so many of us at one time, where she was just working so many hours on the business.
She was doing everything by herself, needed to stop doing that and get her life back, as you’re going to hear. We dive into how she has done that, how she is doing that. She’s grown her team out to a total of six people now, including her. She has gotten her life back.
After this interview here, I said, “You know what? I see the energy that you have right now, and I’m just so happy for you!” She has gotten her life back, and she is running a business that makes her happy. A business that’s making an impact in her students’ lives in her teacher students’ lives, and also for her team. She’s built a team where they just love what they do, and the impact that Brittany’s able to have on them is just awesome.
So, we talk about all of that, how she’s done it, how she’s removed herself as the bottleneck in her business, how she has empowered her team to own more of their area of the business.
We also talk about a life event that Brittany went through, and how the team stepped up, and why the team stepped up, and how they did that. We just break it all down here for you today.
So, if you are interested in our Accelerator coaching program, it is for established online course creators, coaches, or teacher entrepreneurs. If you’re looking to take your business to the next level, if you’re looking to become the optimized CEO of your business as we call it, but you’re not quite sure what things that you should be doing to grow your business, to take it to the next level, whatever that next level.
If you’re feeling stuck, if you’re not really sure how to grow your team or optimize your sales and marketing, or what systems and processes or what have you, this is for you. It’s a one-on-one coaching group, coaching and mastermind experience all wrapped up into.
One, we help you increase your profit, create more impact with less hustle. So it’s application only. We are accepting applications ongoing. If you’d like to apply, go to RickMulready.com/Accelerator.
Alright, my friends without further ado, let’s go hang out with Brittany. Hedgie. Brittany welcome to the podcast we have worked through our tech issues is that we, that you have a new Mac book pro and one of the new ones. And you’re like this one doesn’t have a USB on it, USB connector on it. but we got it all worked out. Welcome to the podcast. Thanks for being here.
Thank you so much for having me. This is a bucket list item.
Come on. seriously
Yes. Oh my gosh. I remember sitting in the car, driving home from north or well to North Carolina from Indiana. I was listening to you on somebody else’s podcast. And I was just mind blown. So to even be on the podcast is just insane.
Well, thank you. I actually had no idea.
Yeah. This was two years ago.
I am pumped to have you here, and I’m pumped to dive into your business. You’re a member of our Accelerator coaching program. you know, we’ll talk more about that, but let’s have you introduce yourself to everybody listening, let people know who you are, what you do, why you do it and how you got to where you are.
Yeah. So my name’s Brittany Heggie. I am the CEO, founder, creator, and math brain behind Mix and Math. I serve fourth and fifth-grade math teachers. I was a upper-elementary math teacher and, we just provide professional development and resources for them to use, to grow their own understanding of teaching.
And then also for. their students And I love it. I’m such a big math nerd and I love teachers. So it is like I do what I love every single day.
That’s amazing. So what kind of, what kind of math is that? What are they doing in fourth and fifth grade?
Lots of fractions.
I was going to say, is that fraction. and stuff
I was going to say it’s all the things that adults fear. So lots of fractions, long division, like and operations with decimals. There are some other things in there, like volume and things like that, but really 50% of is like fractions and operations with whole numbers and decimals.
I love that stuff.
That doesn’t surprise me. because you’re like a data nerd.
I’m in the, I’m in the, minority. I realized, but like, I love. I love math. Like, I, I don’t think I’ve, I think I’ve talked about this maybe once, but in my office here, I have a closet and I’m a top shelf. There’s an algebra one textbook. It’s been a long time since I’ve and I literally bought it.
It was like, oh, this is fun. I’m going to do this. Like, people do crossword puzzles. I’m doing crossword puzzles now, too. But like, oh, I have an algebra textbook that I’ll sit down and do some algebra.
That’s how new.
You may be more of a math nerd than I am, because I’m not sitting here going through math textbooks.
Well, that’s what you do every day. So it’s a little bit different.
W we’ve already my wife and Amy and I have already established, like when Maya gets there. I’ll handle, you know, the math side and the, like the history side. and Amy will handle like the English side and the writing side and a bit of the science and stuff like that.
So we’ve already, I mean, mine’s only three, we’ve already established the roles when when we get there. so serving fourth and fifth-grade teachers, on the math side, what does that look like? a lot of teacher entrepreneurs have. You know, TPT Teachers Pay Teachers resources. What does it look for you in your business?
Yeah. So I started creating TPT resources I did that for like two months and realized I hate creating resources. I just love teaching teachers. So really, I would say the majority of what I do is creating videos for teachers that shows them how to teach the math concepts, because math has changed so much since we were in school and how you teach it.
Teachers get very little training in college on how to teach math. Like they’re generalists in college most of the time. So I get to allow them to be specialists and learn, you know, this is how I teach adding, and subtracting fractions in a hands-on way. with math tools,
Yeah. You use some term recently manipulatives. I was like, what is that?
It’s all of the things behind me and these little containers,
Nice. I love it. I love it. And apparently somebody else, I don’t know if it was you or somebody else told me, like a long division is taught differently now, is that true?
Yeah. the actual algorithm that we as adults know in most states, that is a sixth-grade standard. they don’t even learn that until middle school. So divisions are done completely different in elementary school, which is actually more intuitive.
We’ll talk about it one day,
Yeah, exactly. I’m going to hit you up
Membership and watch the videos.
Exactly. Exactly. you have a membership. What is, what does that, what does that look like?
It is a library of videos and student resources for each concept that a teacher teaches. the plan or the goal is for it to become a regular part of teacher’s planning process. So they’re like, oh, next week, I’m going to teach, you know, multiplying decimals. Let me log into Mix and Math 360, go to that page, watch the video to learn how to teach it and then download the resources for their students.
And be around a community of other teachers and helping each other out and stuff like that. And is this the one you don’t do T you know, you don’t have TPT Teachers Pay Teachers resources anymore. Is the membership the main focus or do you still
Yeah. I never took anything down. I have a small TPT shop. It’s like, I don’t even know maybe 8-7 of our revenue. but it’s there.
Yeah. So, but the membership is the main focus How does that feel for you from a, mindset perspective Alright this is our main, this is the main offer in the business.
I I love it. it’s really always been the main offer, so I’ve never really had multiple offers, but the amount of, I don’t even want to say work, but there’s so much potential. And so many things I can constantly do to improve the membership. I can’t even imagine having another offer in trying to grow that offer as well.
So, yeah, it’s nice. from even a team perspective, to be able to constantly be talking about this one offer
And Nate, you mentioned team there. I definitely want to come back to the team here in just a minute. When did you start? When did you start the online business?
So in 2016, I put a couple of resources on TBT Teachers Pay Teachers and then two months later stopped, went back and got my master’s had a baby, and all of that. then early 2019, I was like, I really want to just talk about math on Instagram that blew up. And then six months later I started the membership. So 2019 is when I feel like I started my business.
And you just gave me a hard time for having an algebra book. You said, I just want to talk about math on Instagram.
Yeah. That’s different than like sitting there filling out things in a
As like a hobby.
Yeah. Okay. So 2019 essentially is the start your businesses. you do really well in the business now.
How was it like, Howard? How do you get people into it? What does the journey look like for people as you attract them into your business?
Obviously the main offer being the membership how do you get them into the membership and so forth.
Yeah, before I started Accelerator, it was just through a live launch one to two times a year. we’re constantly growing the list growing our following and all of that through Instagram, Instagram is just such a powerful tool for us. It’s really through stories. Just being able to connect with teachers there.
Then when we open up, whether it’s a summer or whether it’s January, then they come in, that way we do a webinar, they join and it’s great, but now we’re experimenting with the whole evergreen model and that’s, fun, honestly like it’s more in line with what teachers need for it to be open all the time.
Yeah, because if it’s like, you know, we’re recording this in January and if it’s only open in like whatever, June or July or something like that, teachers are like, wait, I need help with this. Now being January now you’re giving them the opportunity to give them that help
Yeah, that was something that was really hard for me because I thought that keeping it closed was what I was supposed to do. so it always so hard when it was like, I have something that can help you, but we’re closed until June. I feel so much better when a teacher’s like, I’m struggling with this.
And I was like, great. We have so many resources that can help you right now.
Yeah. Do you sell any of the resources that you have inside of the membership individually? Or is it everything in the membership like, Hey, you pay this small fee. You get all this stuff
Yeah, we do not sell anything individually. We do have the few resources that we haven’t in our TPT Teachers Pay Teachers shop in the membership, just because you teachers would ask for it. but yeah, we do not take anything, any of the membership content and sell them anywhere else.
Gotcha. You just mentioned something really interesting. you were like, I, felt like I should be opening and closing enrollment, having launches Is there anything, what other things in the business were you doing? Because you felt like your, you should, or you’re supposed to be doing whatever it might. be
I don’t know. That’s a really hard question, but I know that there. I know that there are a lot of things in the business that I did do, because I should one thing I’ve really grown in since being in Accelerator is I no longer feel like I have to outsource the big decisions in the business. because an expert says that’s what’s best. I know my business, the best I have the data. I know my people, so definitely I would say how we launch, I’ve even gone back and forth with the whole webinar too, because teachers are exhausted right now. And the evergreen webinars is something I feel like I should do, but I’m testing it. But constantly keeping in mind, what is going to be best for teachers right now? I think team too, how I grew my team initially, I think the experts say this is how you’re supposed to grow it. This is what you need to hire first. And I had to think about, I’m in a very different situation.
I have two little kids at home, what do I personally need? So, there’s a lot of shoulds out there. And I think maybe as I’ve learned it as an entrepreneur, I don’t check in with myself or I used to not check in with myself as much as I should have.
Yeah. thank you for being transparent, about that stuff. I think there are so many things that, we hear or that people hear on this podcast. Maybe they’re like, oh, I feel like I should do whatever Rick is saying. you’ve seen inside of Accelerator. People have told me for years, in.
Accelerator don’t you have members right in the past year. They’re like, why don’t you have one specific starting point and you teach one method all the way through to whatever. And my, my point is always that’s doing that. I feel like that’s doing somebody a disservice because there’s never one right way to do something.
There’s a ton of different ways to, do it. There are things that I don’t teach because I don’t really agree with that. But it doesn’t mean that they’re right or wrong, you know, like that’s just how I feel about it, but like that, I think that’s one of the biggest eye-opening things. When people come into Accelerator, it’s like, okay, if you’re doing it this way, my job and the coaches, jobs are like, is it working?
Do some questioning to confirm that this is the right thing for you, for example, okay, is this the right way? If it is, if you feel good and it’s been getting results, okay, are there areas for improvement, that sort of thing. Now, are you open to talking about, you brought up on the call the other day, you said you were thinking about like what you just said, like, like doing webinars and you’re like, I’d really like to do something live, you know, do some sort of live training with a live community aspect to really serve teachers in a different way.
To meet them where they are right now and all the stuff that they’ve been going through. Talk a little bit about that, because that is a department that would be possibly a departure from a web doing a webinar and have to be, but could be. I think it’s really important to be looking at different ways.
To number one, understand your target audience, which I’m always talking about here on the show and in Accelerator, where you’re looking at oh, I understand them. And this is how I feel. I want to serve them right now.
Yeah. So you know, it’s something that we’re thinking about. We’ve obviously never done it. I’m trying to be really mindful about not jumping into something and adding too much to my plate. My team’s plate, and all of that without being really intentional. So yeah, it’s on our question lists, is this something that first off we, as a team can handle and do without burning. us out do right by our teachers. So that it’s a great event. then from there, how can we put this together in a way that would really meet the needs of teachers this summer coming off of the year, where the majority of them are really burnt out. So there’s a lot of thought process that goes into it.
But one thing I really appreciated was, not having anybody tell me yes, you should do it, or no, you shouldn’t, but what’s the purpose of this event? Why are you wanting to do it? giving me the power to think through those questions was really helpful. I don’t know if we’re going to do it or not, but I did present it to my team and I was like, let’s think about what all this would take and can we put this together?
Can we make it happen?
That’s a huge point that you bring up because yes, it’s a great idea. And would it work? Yes, it would. Is it, is it a great idea and maybe something that you don’t do possibly, but you’re looking at it from, you know, a really objective place in that. You think it’d be great to do it. You think it’d be great to serve teachers in this. way But is it something that fits into your goals for the year, your team’s capacity, your capacity. so it’s your filtering process, which I love hearing. You’ve gone to the team and said, this is an option. You know, we can talk about it as we go along here.
Are thereother things in the business that you’ve done that with where you’re like, Ooh, I think I’d love to do this, but yet I’m not sure if it actually fits into. What we’re trying to achieve, on a team perspective, your time, energy, et cetera.
I think as an entrepreneur, we have a million ideas. there are so many things I want to do a course I want to do a mini course and I want to do paid workshops. there are so many things on that list. I think I’ve always been like, Nope. Singularity of focus.
Thanks to you. I literally tell myself that and simplicity scales those two things. I tell myself so often, but this is the first thing where I’ve been like, yes, this is a really good idea. But I’m not going to jump into it. Like I’m going to be very intentional if we proceed with it. So I think that’s an area of growth for me as a CEO is not just jumping into it.
When it’s something that I really do want to do, because I have done that with social media platforms or, you know, new lead-generation strategies or anything like that.
Yeah. how are you generating leads right now?
Honestly, the majority of it is Instagram, Instagram, and our free Facebook group. We have a pretty decent size free Facebook group. And, so that’s where the majority of our leads are coming from. Usually I put a lot more money behind Facebook ads for lead generation. but right now that’s been on pause.
Because life was turned upside down when I had my second child.
Yeah. Well, can we talk about that for a second? Because I know that that, that, you know, you with the life turning upside down, during that time, the business didn’t stop your team continued it going forward.
How did you get to that point right there with the team being able to, you know what I need to take this time and business doesn’t stop, we continue forward. Revenue continues to happen. We continue serving our, students, our members and our clients. Like what, what went into that from a team perspective?
Oh my goodness. Not a lot because, that period of time made me realize. All of the ways where I was the bottleneck of the business. So I would not say it was very intentional and we had prepared them for it. the plan was that my integrator would take over while I took a maternity leave.
Well, she had a baby three weeks after I did. So it was a hot mess the team, stepped up and we survived it. somehow business, with a membership. revenue is steady. It still continued to grow. but we made a lot of changes after that. It was like, okay, we need to figure out ways where everybody can become more independent have more ownership in their role and life doesn’t stop because I, you know, am sick had a baby or we have COVID or whatever. So I wouldn’t say we did a great job preparing everybody, but from that. Mess of a situation. We have grown so, so much.
But I also think like, I want you to, I do want you to take credit for the fact that the team stepping up was because of you and your relationship with the team, et cetera, et cetera, them stepping up is a huge, you know, showing you that, Hey, the team can do this. And obviously it gives you more confidence and so forth.
It’s events like that too. you mentioned, like, oh, this was happening and it made me realize these are some changes that we need to make in the team. This is something that, unfortunately we’ve been seeing a lot in Accelerator where people, you know, there’s life events are happening and they’re like, oh, it’s just adding additional perspective.
Changing priorities, making changes in the businesses to support those things that are happening. And so w with, with that, what were some of the things that you, that you did and decisions that you made that like, I need to, I need to do something things differently when it comes to the.
I think ultimately, I, I had to have a final review of everything Like down I’m somewhat of a well, I am a perfectionist 100%, although my phrase for the years embrace imperfection, but I really am. I look at every single little detail of everything down to like looking at a thumbnail and approving that.
And so we had to switch up our approval process, like what actually matters from. Like does the teacher care? So looking at a YouTube thumbnail, does a teacher care whether it has this background or this background, if it doesn’t impact our teachers, then I don’t need to approve it. I need to empower them to make decisions.
I guess like the ideation, or is that the right word? Generating ideas for blog posts or emails or anything like that? That can’t solely rest on me. So giving them the freedom to create ideas. And we’re still working on that, that takes time. but that was another thing that we changed because in that postpartum season, I just didn’t even have the brain space to come up with all these creative ideas.
Relying on others for that as well.
Was it that experience that was going on for you? Was that the catalyst to realizing that you need to let go of, of. Or was it a different sort of mindset after that? That you’re like, I just, you know, if it’s whatever, empowering them to come up with ideas because yeah, we can’t, it’s, it’s hard being ourselves.
If we’re being are targeting ourselves, if we’re the only one coming up with ideas on everything, that’s a lot of, you know, brain energy and so forth.
Was there anything else that led to that? Okay. I need to let go of this control and empower the, the, the members of the team.
Yeah, it was a couple of things. It was, I think there were three things. So one, when I was out seeing the things that they were able to do without me, I was like, okay, I’m not as critical to this process as I think I am. I, I think we think that we’re the only ones who can do things and it’s like, I’ve hired really brilliant, incredible people.
They can do it. So I think that was part of it. And then also just, you know, there was a period where I was extremely overwhelmed with getting asked questions and having to make decisions and all of that right after I had the baby. And I was like, okay, we can’t continue to do this. I’ve got to release some of the decision-making.
But then also I read a book and I think it’s called the CEO only does three things or something like that. And, I think within like the intro, it talked about how important it is as a CEO to protect your decision-making energy. And I was like, oh my gosh, that’s why I don’t have the energy for really big decisions because I’m wasting my mental energy on these tiny decisions every day.
So it was like those three things where I was like, okay, we’ve got to have a really big shift. And, it’s been good. We’ve had some mistakes, which has been really good for me as a leader to see that my team’s going to make mistakes. They’re not business ending and how do we handle that? but they’ve also done some really great things.
What are some, what’s an example of a mistake that was made and how did you react to it?
So I can tell you, because we have one this morning, we are, we don’t really do much with TBT, but I, this was not the best decision, but I, somebody asked me to join like a TBT promotion. I said, yes, from a place of just, I think a scarcity mindset. And I was like, this’ll bring in revenue. So I said, yes, Whatever we’re doing it.
And there were supposed to be a resource that was discounted at midnight last night. And I had an email scheduled to go out this morning. It wasn’t discounted. I woke up to tons of emails saying, why isn’t it discounted? I don’t see it. And so that was a mistake. It was somebody else on the team. And I just, I mean, I just sent them a voice message in slack and said, Hey, this is what happened.
You know, I fixed it because it was early in the morning. And. I was like, what, what process are we going to put in place that this doesn’t happen again? Because it was just an oversight. And so, you know, the person on the team who was responsible for that was great. She owned it and she was like, here’s what I’m going to do next time to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.
That’s it right there. You meant like you nailed it by saying, okay, what process do we need to put in place in order for this not to happen again? And I love that. It says a lot about your team member. They’re number one owner, take responsibility for it, but then like, okay, this is what I’m going to do. In the future to ensure this this sort of thing doesn’t happen again.
Yeah. And it happened on such a small scale promotion. Like if this had happened on a launch, it would have been a much bigger deal. And so I was so thankful that we had this tiny mistake on this little promotion to where it’s like, this will never happen again. I know her and I know she felt so bad and it’s like, she’s got this process in place and I wasn’t mad.
It was, you know, but it was a
So I know that this will be taken care of. You know, from here on out.
Makes me think in year two of my business. So this would have been 2015. I was a business was growing really well doing really well. The business was, and I was introduced to a quote unquote, big name at the time in the online space. And they had asked me to, to, do a JV promotion.
I was like, oh really?
Like, you want to do that with me? Cool. Let’s do it. And, never forget this 15 minutes or no, 20 minutes before the webinar that we were supposed to do. We’re I was using infusion soft at the time as it was called in. And the sales email for some reason got sent out.
Oh, my goodness.
Sales email out if I sent out the post-webinar email 20 minutes before the webinar.
Yeah. And he texted me and he’s like, what the are you doing?
Oh my goodness.
I was like, what are you talking about? And he’s like, you know, he’s talking to him like, and he was so off and. You know, it’s like, yeah, I, you know, I felt like this big at that point.
And I’m like, wait, this is my first partnership with, quote-unquote a big name and the online space, and this is what I did and happens to everybody.
A big lesson at that point, but yeah, the key takeaway there from, from what happened with, you know, with you this morning was like, okay, what’s the process that, you know, is there a process that needs to happen in order to alleviate this sort of thing going forward?
And also trying to like, remind myself that these little things that happen, like they are not make or break, you know,
Promotion that you just talked about. Like, yes, it happened. Yes. It felt awful. But look at where you’re at now, you know,
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Nothing. I that’s a big, point of learning for so many of us CEOs that. we don’t want the team to mess up, but we have to understand that, like we have to let them mess up, like mistakes are going to happen. And it’s not a case of like yelling or getting all mad or anything like that.
It’s more of a. Just exactly how you handled it. It’s like, okay, got it. Let’s, let’s take some ownership here. And what is the process or is there a system that needs to take place or put into place to alleviate this going forward now with your team? I know that you’ve had a lot of growth with your team.
I mean that from, you know, from a mindset perspective for you. you know, stepping more up as the CEO of your business, but also growth, like literal growth. You’ve added more people to the team. So before we talk about adding more people to the team, talk about the mindset that you had and how you were thinking about that.
Because I know there was some fear there. Weren’t really sure what, what roles to hire you were holding off.
Can you talk a little bit, a little bit about.
Yeah. I mean, I think when I, I mean, even just a year ago, I just really questioned, like, who am I to have a team? I don’t have the leadership abilities for this. I had hired some people like VA’s and stuff, and it hadn’t worked out and that just really broke my competence. And, but I just kind of like kept pushing through it and worked that leadership muscle and yeah, I mean, for me, it was for time because I again had, this was during COVID, you know, we started the membership middle of 2019, and then COVID hit seven months later. And so I had my oldest at home with me and I was like, I need help just because I can’t manage to do everything on my own.
And so really I kind of went into hiring out of desperation, which I would not recommend because, you know, we didn’t make great hires initially, but that was such a learning experience. We, the reason we have great hires now is because we learn from those initial ones. But yeah, that was kind of initially where I was at.
I of course like questioned my ability to hire if I was going to find the right people. I don’t think I necessarily set them up for success initially, because I was still very much a control freak and didn’t onboard. I didn’t even know what onboarding was. So yeah, that’s kind of where I was at at that point.
I honestly wasn’t even so concerned with how it was going to impact profit because I was like, I just need my life back. Like I can’t work until 2:00 AM. I can’t sit at my laptop all day while I have a four-year-old the. Two or three, you know, begging me to come play with him. Like I need somebody else to come help.
And I knew that ultimately we would reap the F what does it reap the fruit of our labor in some way?
Reap the fruit of our, I think that’s what it is. Reap the benefits of
Reap the benefits.
Something like that. I know what you’re talking
Are know exactly what you’re talking about.
Yes. So, so, Yeah. and that’s kind of where I was at. I was at the, I was so desperate at that point that I was like, I would stop paying myself just to have some time back in my life. and yeah, I ended up getting time and more profit. So it worked out
So what, what kind of roles did you add? To the team. And what are the rules that you have on the team? Right.
Yeah. So, the first thing I hired was a community manager and she was somebody I had known since the day I started the membership. She was just our biggest advocate in the membership really present. So she was the first hire. And that was great because it gave me room to breathe and not feel like I had to be at the Beck and call of our teachers twenty four seven.
So we did that. And then, really the next hire that I made after that was an integrator, or OBM or whatever you want to call it. so she came right after that and I’m actually really glad that that was the next hire because she handled, I mean, just so much. I mean, she was like, she just gave me an immense amount of time back in my life and gave me white space to be able to think about the business and do the things that I needed to do. so that was the next hire. And we also hired a curriculum writer. That’s been a really really tough position for us to hire. We don’t currently have one. so we hired her, we hired a graphic designer. That was another hire. That was, she was more like a, graphic design VA. So she wasn’t exclusively working with us.
And so, you know, we had to let go of two hires and it, so it went back to just being me, the integrator and the community manager, and then 20. I guess it was 20, 21 was a really big hiring year for us. We got a graphic designer. Who’s fantastic. She’s amazing. She’s still with us. and then we have a content specialist who does our blog posts and our weekly emails.
And, she’s kind of like the copywriter for the business, but she’s currently still teaching and she is. Just has so many great ideas. So she kind of jumps in, and then we have somebody who focuses on growth. So like social media, and just anything pertaining to growth. So, responding to like YouTube comments or managing the blog, all of that.
And then we have a customer support person, and she we’re growing her into our like teacher success coordinator. So she manages the community and our, customer support inbox.
So it’s a good size. It’s a good size team.
Yeah. There’s six of us, including myself.
Yeah. I mean, that’s awesome. The content specialist and the graphic designer, the content specialist was, that was one of the ones he recently hired. Correct
Yeah. She came on in September.
In September. Okay. then that is who I’m thinking of what made the difference this time.
Compared to a couple of people that hadn’t didn’t work out previous to them.
You’re super happy with our graphic designer, really happy with the content specialist. What was, you know, what changed with the hiring of them and also did onboarding change or anything like that to make it you’re like oh man, great hire.
Yeah. so, the initial curriculum writer that we hired, goodness, I loved her and it was so hard to go through the process of. you know, ending her contract, but we really should have never hired her in the first place. It really came because I was making that hire out of desperation. I think I overlooked some things that I shouldn’t have as far as like her experience and all of that.
And so, You know, that was kind of why that didn’t work out. And then the graphic design VA, I realized like this person was working for a lot of different businesses and so they didn’t have the same dedication to our business as I wanted them to have, like they weren’t bought in on the vision and the mission and all of that.
So that was kind of where we were at with those two hires. And I learned so much that when we went and hired in 2021, We really led with our mission and our values. And then from there, onboarding was completely different. I mean, we, face people in. So I think initially I think I asked you, I was like you say something about onboarding is 90 days.
We weren’t onboarding in like 24 hours, I was like what could you possibly do for 90 days? And so what I realized, I listened to some podcasts that talked about, I don’t know, we, we broke it up into orientation and onboarding. So we were really just doing orientation with like, let’s get your passwords.
And here are our platforms and let’s sign this contract. That was the extent of our onboarding. And now that happens in the first 48 hours, but now it’s like, Let’s almost like the gradual release teachers will know what that means, but we’re easing them into like, let’s master this first. Okay. You got that.
Let’s add this on. so we took it a whole lot slower, which resulted in one teammates being less overwhelmed. And then me being less disappointed initially, because I’ve just thrown everything at them, you know, and they’re already failing and I’m like, well, this wasn’t a good hire.
So at what point were they kind of getting up to speed through that process?
The second process, the like actual good one. yeah, I mean, we really spread it out over 90 days, but I felt like. I felt, I feel like our new team members were getting through it probably in the first, like 45 days. Like they were wanting to move ahead, and move quicker, which I was fine with. It was kind of one of those things.
That’s like, this is where we would like it to be. But if you want to add things on when you’re getting it, like by all means, go for it.
See, that’s where I was getting the 90 days. That’s where I get the 90 days. It’s a process.
Yeah, no, I, no, no, no. I do not disagree with the 90 days, but I had no idea. I was like, what could we possibly do for 90 days? And now I realize, I was like, oh, you can’t just expect him. There’s so much that goes into each thing that they’re doing. And I don’t think I realized that because for so long, I’ve done everything in the business.
So designing a resource, I’m like, here’s how you do it. Go do it. And it’s like, there, there are 40 steps to doing that.
Yeah, I’m about to learn that process right now. And I’ve talked about it here on the podcast. Fairly recently. I’m about to learn that exact process because I’m starting my sister’s. TPT business. She is, a middle school, Spanish teacher. she’d been doing it for years and years and years. and I’ve been wanting to help her for a long time.
She knows nothing about business. I call her pittas her name is Patty Pettis. If you’re listening. Cause she does listen to the show. I either, I love you. And so it’s like, yeah. Curriculum and I don’t know. I mean, you all referred me to, I say you all, we have a lot of teacher entrepreneurs in Accelerator and I’m blanking who you don’t tell me to go?
Maybe Shelly Reese.
Yes, it was Shelly. Yes. ‘cause I knew Shelly and I knew of her and I, I, I talked to her, but anyway, I bought her course to learn this whole process. And I’m going to build out the business side. I told my sister, I said, you take care of the content. I’ll take care of the business side. You know, we’ll start to build a team out.
And I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a lot of fun, I think. And, because you know, as teachers, as you know, as the teachers that you have. Even a small amount of money every month is super helpful, you know, additional to, what, they’re, what they’re doing.
So Where are you now? Well, actually, before I ask that question, how are You spending your time now? You built this amazing team out to get a lot of your time, freedom back, ROI on the hiring and stuff like that. What are you spending your time?
I think there’s still a good portion of my time that is being spent on growing the team, like building their capacity, not growing it. We have no plans to hire. Anybody else except for another curriculum writer. So just building their capacity, there’s a lot that’s, going into that, but I’m able to, like you know, we’re working on an evergreen funnel and So I’m able to, you know, test that out and look at numbers.
I’m able to kind of get back into, you know, my own learning so that I can apply it to the business. we’re like almost at the place of me being able to get back to like creating more videos and things like that I mean, I recorded two videos this week, so that’s, I haven’t been able to do that in so long because it’s like all these little tasks.
So I’m just, now I know we talked about this before. I’m just now at a place where I’m getting my time back. Cause we have helped with the baby. so, getting into this new schedule, but I have so much more. Like white space in my brain to focus on the things that actually matter, which I’ve missed, you know, for several years.
Yeah, this is CEO stuff that you’re doing here and the types of things like, yeah, I’m growing the capacity for the team, helping them do their jobs better. That’s what that’s a role, you know,
For a CEO. So D would you say that that growth that you’ve experienced, do you think that’s been the biggest growth?
I mean, you’ve been in accelerated now for what six, seven months now. and Do you think that’s been sort of the biggest growth that you’ve had as, as a CEO? Or what do you think has been the biggest growth area?
I think I’ve kind of touched on this earlier, but just there is something about the Accelerator that has really just instilled this confidence in me as a business owner that I think I really lacked. I feel one, I was not looking at nearly enough data, which is funny coming from the math business, but.
You know, one being able to look at the numbers and are seeing the importance or the value of looking at the numbers. And from that, I’ve gained a lot of confidence in making those decisions. being able to look at okay, if I make this hire, like this is how it will impact the business. So just overall trusting myself to, to lead the team lead, grow the business.
Yeah, I think that is probably, I just really appreciate, I will say this. I really appreciate one thing I think I thought I wanted was for somebody to tell me, Hey, here’s the roadmap, this is how you do it. And, that really kind of takes the power from us as CEOs when we’re told this is what you should do.
So I just really appreciate. Quite like being asked questions to get to the root of things and then really figuring out what works best for me. I don’t know if I explain that correctly or
No, I, I was actually just going to say, I thank you for, for communicating messaging, what you just said, because what you just said is so hard to communicate to people because they’re just. Just tell me what to do and I can tell you, or the coaches can tell you what to do all day long, but how much is that actually benefiting you?
Right. And I think I actually hadn’t thought of it that way as like, if I tell someone what to do, because they’re asking, is it taking their power away as the CEO? I hadn’t thought of it like that. And I think that’s a really interesting way to think about it. Yeah. Like our job. As coaches or what, you know, what have you is to like, I want to empower you.
Right. And so often, and I was actually saying this to my wife, Amy, a few weeks ago, we were in the car and she was at she’s a health coach and she was asking me a question and she started asking the question and then she started to like, talk it out some more. And because she wanted my she’s like, well, you know, my opinion on something.
And she started to talk through Dr. with Tamara. And I asked her one question. I don’t remember what it was, but I asked her one question and then she talked through it some more. She’s like, oh, okay. I’m good. And I’m like, I didn’t do anything except listen to what you were actually asking. feel like I’m very good at asking the right types of questions to help people get.
You know where they’re trying to get to.
And I said to her, I said, isn’t it interesting as it cause she’s a coach too, like as a coach, some of the best work that we can do is just simply by listening and asking the right questions. And that, that right there is so hard to communicate to people because they’re like, no, tell me the ad funnel, or tell
This or that, or tell me what kind of launch I should, you know, whatever.
Yeah. Can I get teachery with you for a second?
This is, this is something I talked to the, you know, the teachers that I serve about, you know, education has shifted and especially math education, I’m only gonna speak for math education, but before it was like, this is how you. Watch me do it. You copy it.
And so with that, like we, that teaches the child that the only way they can learn something new is through that teacher. Like the teacher holds all the knowledge and the shift now is very much like. You create a learning experience where they can build understanding themselves. And you’re constantly questioning them to guide them to, you know, this understanding, but in the end they realize like they have the power to learn something new on their own.
And so it’s the same thing. I think, you know, In the Accelerator or working with you. It’s like, if you had just told me, you know, do this, do this, do this, do this. That’s great. I’ll do it. But eventually, like, you know, you’re not going to be there to guide, you know, guide me. I mean, I’ll stay an Accelerator for as long as I can, but now it’s like, I can trust that.
Like I can make the right decisions. Like I have the power and the knowledge and. The experience to make those decisions. You’re there to kind of almost bring that out of me. So I think that has really been the biggest shift for me since over the last, you know, six, seven months.
Yeah. And just, I don’t know when this episode versus the, I recorded one this morning with a former Accelerator, Karen Carr, who, when she joined Accelerator, she joined in July of 2020. And she was at about 350,000 in revenue. And she sent me an email in December of 2021 saying I just passed the million dollar mark in the business.
And so I interviewed her here for the show and it may have already aired. So if every, sorry to hear that, I apologize. But it really was a lot of it was that it was the confidence in being able to make the proper decisions in the business. And we didn’t change how she, she does live launches. She does live challenge launches.
She really enjoys them. They really work for her and it was more about getting more confidence in what she was doing. And then because of the success, it brings up new challenges of, okay, I need to hire some more people on the team. I need to be doing less of this or whatever. And, you know, it’s that confidence that.
So many people gain, but yet, like I said, it’s hard to communicate that it’s hard to say that that is a big benefit that can come of being in a program like Accelerator. And you do have you there’s, I don’t know the number off the top of my head, but there’s a lot of teacher entrepreneurs in there,
Get to hear other ideas and other businesses and just be like, oh, You know, this person has done that.
I think that’s a good idea. Maybe I could look at doing something like that in, in my business.
Right, exactly, and be able to evaluate is this what’s best for your business, your audience, all of that. That is such a better skill to have.
Constantly be emulating all these other businesses. It’s so easy to do that in the online business space to just copy what people are doing. At some point you have to find your way.
Yeah, exactly. Brittany, thank you for coming on here. I really appreciate it.
Thank you so much for having me.
We can check this one off the bucket list.
A lot of teachers who listen to the podcast have teacher friends that need math help. So, where can people connect?
Yeah. So, I am Mix and Math. It’s basically mix and match, just without the “C.” I thought it was really cute a few years ago when I created it.
I love it.
I am mixing math in all places. YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, email, website, all the places.
Mix and Math. Awesome. I will link everything up on the show notes for the episode here today.
Brittany, thank you again for coming on. Super appreciate it.
Yeah. Thank you so much.
Hey, as always, thank you so much for tuning in and listening to the show. I so appreciate you taking time each and every week to tune into the two episodes that we do here on the show. If you haven’t already, make sure that you subscribe. If you listen on Apple Podcasts, hit that subscribe button so you don’t miss any of the episodes that I put out.
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I think we’re very close to 600 episodes here on the show, and we’re just getting started, my friends. So, thank you for being part of it. I’ll see you next time here on the podcast.
Until then, be well, my friend, and we’ll talk soon.