Educators, could you stand to have about $10,000 to $20,000 per year more than you make right now? 

I ask you this question because I help educators start side businesses as well as full-time businesses as academic life coaches, and I’ve talked to hundreds of educators who are ready to either leave education or they want to stay in schools, but they would like to start learning what it’s like to have their own business and have a few clients and a few extra bucks on hand. 

Today I want to break down some basic math so you can better imagine what it would be like to have a few clients and a little extra money while you’re also holding down your job as a teacher. 

The first number we’re going to look at is $2,000; specifically $2,000 a semester. Why? Because in my Rock your Biz course (and my Launch your Biz self-study course), I teach you how to shift from an hourly rate model–many educators charge just $50 to $75 dollars per hour for tutoring–to a package model instead, so you are offering a per semester rate or a per quarter rate (depending on the calendar system in the school where you teach). I suggest a starting package of $2,000 a semester per family.

Some of you may freak out and think, “Oh my god, that’s way too much!” Others of you may think,  “Oh my God, that’s not enough!” 

I’ve been doing this for 15 years, and I’ve been sticking with this number because it’s what I’ve seen many families who want extra support for their students can afford to pay and are willing to pay. Of course, there are always people willing to pay more, but this number is a great one to start with when you’re just starting out.

The next number we need to consider is how many students you might want to have. One great way to look at your weekly schedule and what time you have available for coaching. Maybe you’re willing to take a couple extra hours on a Tuesday after your teaching job, or maybe Saturday you have time for three students in a row. 

As you think through your schedule, first think about your energy and what you might be able to do when. This is key to you not burning out! If you want to enjoy coaching and create a lasting side (or full-time!) business, you don’t want to be meeting with students when you’re already exhausted or stressed because you have competing demands for your time.

Once you know how many hours you have available, you can plan to spend one hour per student to determine how many student clients you can take on.

Let’s say you have an afternoon, and you’re willing to spend two hours coaching. That means you can take on two students at $2,000 per semester for a total income of $4,000 for the semester. By the way, one nice thing about packages is you can ask families to pay for it up front, so you get that full amount at the beginning of the semester. 

Now, there are generally two semesters in a school year, so we’ll double that number for an annual income of $8,000 per school year–and this doesn’t even count what coaching work you might do over the summer. (Though when I was a teacher, I just needed to crash over the summer!) 

You can play with these numbers, adjusting your hours and number of clients to see what your annual income might be. For example, if you have time for three students,  three times $2,000 is $6,000 per semester or $12,000 a year. 

I know your next question might be, “Yeah? How can I plan on more students whenI don’t even know where to find students?”  Or maybe you’re thinking, “It might not be appropriate for me to pull students from my district, so I don’t know where to get them!” Those are great questions, and I’ll address those in another video, but for now, just know you can tweak these numbers and play with them and then come ask me questions about it!

I show up for free office hours every month so you can come ask your questions. Sign up here to get the Zoom link  and submit your question in advance, so you’ll get my answer on the replay if you’re not able to attend live. 

I also have a free email course called Should I Grow My Business as an Academic Life Coach?  When you sign up, you’ll get an email every day for 10 days with videos where I go through some of this math and some of the practicalities of what it’s like to be an academic life coach. I hope you sign up for both of those things.

Have fun playing with the math and then dreaming what you would do if you had a little bit of extra cash in your life!


Educators, do you have the sense that your work is impacted by your students’ explorations into their sexual and gender identity, but you don’t exactly know how to support them? If so, you aren’t alone! Join me and therapist Nick Krieger for a conversation for educators where you can ask your questions about pronouns, the letters in LGBTQIA+, what to do if you’re worried you’ve said the wrong thing to a kiddo, and why does identity even matter when you’re going over math problems? Sign up here! (Note: the meeting will not be recorded or livestreamed.)