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gail@starr.co.za

Can you Teach an old Dog new Tricks?

CAN YOU TEACH AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS?

It’s been 3 years since my last post and I don’t know where the time has gone! My kids have become teenagers and I have a few more, well a lot more than a few grey hairs. Life has been good and time really does fly when you are having fun. I have decided to start writing again as I finally feel like I have something to share that someone may find interesting or inspiring, and hence the title of this post “Can you teach an old dog new tricks?”

Let me give you some context here. I have been out of formal employment since Feb 2002 when I was retrenched shortly after having my first daughter. It was a blessing in disguise as it forced me to find a way of making an income whilst staying at home with my daughter and so Starrfish Swim School was born. In 2005 I purchased a small training business called Vital Life Training and then in 2008 I purchased a Clamber Club franchise. I would call myself a momprenuer-basically a mom who needed to make money from home but who really did not have too much experience with doing so. For the first 10 years of being in business for myself I did not even have a proper accounting system and really relied on the honesty of my clients to pay their invoices. Crazy I know but it was never really that important to me, working and doing something I loved was enough. There does come a stage though where we have to “grow up” as mompreneurs and start doing things properly to take us from work from home moms to business women. It was a steep learning curve for me when I decided to take some business coaching sessions but it was very worthwhile. My businesses went from strength to strength, I decided to focus on the businesses that provided the best return and the ones I felt the most passion for and so I am currently involved in running both Starrfish Swim School and Vital Life Training. Although swimming lessons are always in demand there is not much scope to grow your business unless you open new pools and take on new teachers. It is in the field of training where this possibility is endless especially now that online training is so easily accessible to so many more people. And this is where the fun begins.

For those of you who don’t know what Vital Life Training is or does, we are a company who specializes in training for Domestic Workers in the field of Child Care, Cooking and Cleaning. We hold monthly courses where groups of ladies come together to learn new skills to use in their jobs but also to take home with them into their communities. The prospect of giving access to many more people via the online platform is so exciting to me but this is where the challenge starts.  Can I, a forty something woman, who just missed growing up in the tech age, learn enough to first of all create a course, then learn about online learning platforms, create the course in this online learning platform and then market and sell it online to people all over Africa?  Every part of my brain is telling me that I can’t do it, that I don’t have the skills or the understanding of how the online world works, that I can barely even edit photos from my phone to send to my status let alone create and entire video based course, but my heart is telling me something else. My heart is telling me that if I have enough passion for what I want to do that I can and will make it happen, after all I am wanting to set up online training, should I not then find some online training for myself and learn how to do this. I need to put my money where my mouth is and make a success of learning the very type of training that I would like to give to others and so this is exactly what I have done. I have enrolled in a teaching platform with the intention of learning exactly how to create, market and sell my own online course. Will it be easy? Will it even be possible? I don’t know but I am going to give it a really good try and I will be writing about my experiences as I go along.

So for all you ladies/moms sitting at home trying to decide what to do and being afraid of trying in case you fail, go out there and get started, I often think that this is the biggest challenge we face just to take that first step. Follow this journey with me as we find out if you really can Teach and old dog new tricks 🙂