5 Ways to Keep the Spirit Alive as an Independent Teacher, Tutor, or Coach

Eric Branner

Nov 7, 2016

May you live as long as you want to, and want to as long as you live” Pete McCoy

I’ve chatted with hundreds of independent teachers about why we teach, how we establish our careers, and how we run our businesses. There are so many common threads between music teachers, english tutors, yoga teachers, and golf coaches!

Many of these commonalities are positive… teachers possess a sincere passion for learning, a desire to share knowledge, and a deep hope to leave the world a better place. We also share concerns and challenges such as difficult students(or parents), lesson policies being ignored, and delinquent payments. These frustrations can sometimes push us to the precipice of looking for another job.

The great thing, most of the major bummers about being an independent instructor are fixable! I’ve collected a bunch of actions, exercises, considerations, and tricks from my own experiences and from interviewing others. You can adopt these ideas to help sustain your love of teaching… for as long as you want to teach.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll explore five ideas to liven up your teaching mojo immediately and permanently.

1. Adopt a Growth Mindset.

We’re going to explore some facts… the world needs great teachers, your community will support you in making a living wage, and there are plenty of students out there for you to teach. These are the seeds of a Growth Mindset.

2. Professionalism.

If you’re going to make your living as an independent teacher, coach, or tutor… You owe it to your clients and yourself to be professional in your conduct and expectations.

3. Learn to Love it All, 90 Percent of the Time.(it’s a job) Your Craft, Your Clients, Your Business.

Enjoy the path. Work hard at improving your own craft, take vacations, create great relationships with your students, be proud of your business savvy. Turn away students who aren’t a great fit for you.

4. Work Hard at Improving Your Business. Even if You Think You Don’t Need to. Marketing and Promotion.

You’re gonna have to work hard if you want to sustain a career as an independent instructor. Think you’re awesome because you have a waiting list? You are! You also need to constantly, and creatively market and promote yourself within your community.

5. Provide an Incredible Customer Experience.

You are running a teaching business, and you have customers. Customer Experience is everything, to every healthy business. Clients who feel good vibes about your program, will tell their friends about those good vibes. They will support your mission to teach and better the world.


Teaching comes with innumerable rewards… the freedom of creating your own business and managing your own time. There’s a unique satisfaction in sharing knowledge and seeing your students develop.

If approached carefully and thoughtfully, teaching can sustain you for the rest of your life. Take care of yourself, your craft, and your community… may you teach for as long as you want to, and want to as long as you teach!

I’ll look forward to hearing your ideas on how you stay engaged in this awesome vocation of teaching.

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