A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of being interviewed by Kiana Porter-Isom of “Edupreneur Today.” We had such a great experience, that we felt a “reverse” interview was needed. Sit back and enjoy this in-depth interview with Kiana on how she balances life, became an “Edupreneur,” her go to books for inspiration, and so much more!
SP: First, tell us about yourself.
KP: As most educators, my journey in education began as a classroom teacher. I taught mathematics at the middle school level for three years prior to being promoted to an instructional coach. I coached elementary and middle school teachers an additional three years before becoming a curriculum specialist and educational consultant. I’ve also held part-time positions as a virtual school teacher, curriculum writer, and professional development specialist. Needless to say, I know a thing or two about navigating the educator career field.
While I served full time in my roles as educator, I pursued entrepreneurial ventures that included tutoring, both face-to-face and online, selling on Amazon, and launching my own company, Edupreneur Today, in October 2015.
SP: We love the fact that you have tried various careers and explored different opportunities. What do you typically tell people when they ask you what you do?
KP: I like to think of myself as a freelance educator and edupreneur. I’m an educator with a true entrepreneurial spirit.
SP: “Being that you are “an educator with a true entrepreneurial spirit,” what does edupreneur mean to you?
KP: Edupreneur means a few different things to me. First, it means flexibility to design my work around my life. My faith and my family are always first, and being an edupreneur allows me the flexibility to put work after both.
Being an edupreneur also means freedom to earn as much as I am willing to work. I learned early in my career in education that by taking a traditional path in teaching, my income is limited to whatever my district says I will earn. I couldn’t earn more even if I worked more than others and produced better results than others. This didn’t sit well with me. It wasn’t long before I decided to pursue life as an edupreneur.
SP: Most people seem to be seeking “flexibility” in their careers and lives these days. How did Edupreneur Today start, and where do you see it going?
KP: Edupreneur Today started with me giving advice to my teacher friends about how they too could earn extra money while in the classroom. I would get asked this question so frequently that I began to blog about. I later added paid consultancy sessions along with digital resources and courses. I see Edupreneur Today evolving into an online one stop shop for teachers who are eager for resources on how they can to earn more income, in a flexible way, doing what they love, either as entrepreneur or more traditional educator.
SP: What do you enjoy most about doing what you do? Is there anything you enjoy more than being an edupreneur?
KP: The one thing I enjoy most about what I do being able to serve teachers. Whether I am on a consulting assignment or having a strategy session with one of my clients, just knowing that I am helping a fellow educator get closer to their goals makes my heart full with joy.
SP: Mother, wife, and edupreneur! What does a day-in-the-life of Kiana look like?
KP: One aspect of my work that I love is how every day is different. Some days I find myself exploring a new city as I plan for an upcoming day of consulting. I love that I am able to travel this beautiful country as a part of the work I do.
Another day I may find myself behind a computer for most of the day batching blog and social media content for Edupreneur Today. I love the creative time days like this afford me.
Many days I am in the classroom teaching side-by-side with teachers. I love these days because I really miss having my own classroom, and days like this fill that void.
Most days I am at home (my favorite place) wearing my most important hats, wife and mommy.
SP: When it seems impossible…where do you draw inspiration from?
KP: I am an avid listener of podcasts. I love that podcasts make learning easy and accessible. Listening to podcasts keeps me motivated and I often call podcast listening my secret sauce to success.
Personally, I am attracted to podcasts that give me nuggets of wisdom I can immediately implement in my life and business. I also love to be inspired to take action when listening to podcasts. Find a list of my favorite podcasts here: www.edupreneurtoday.com/5podcasts
SP: Podcasts have been a great learning tool for us as well. What do you do on a daily basis to grow as an edupreneur?
KP: As previously mentioned, I listen to podcasts almost daily. I also journal daily to track progress towards my goals. Mediation and reciting positive affirmations are staples in my morning routine. I feel this combination of personal development habits is instrumental in my growth an eduprener.
SP: Because everyone loves a good hack or two. What entrepreneurial hacks have you developed to stay focused and productive in your day-to-day?
- Exercise as early in the day as possible as frequently as possible (This helps me with focus and clarity. I get my best ideas while exercising).
- Identify my top 3 most important tasks to complete during the day.
- Do not engage in Social Media until my top 3 tasks are complete.
- End each day by “journaling” 3 things that went well and 1 thing I could have done better. (I use the 5 Minute Journal.)
SP: If you had to reread 5 books…what would they be and why?
KP: I recently shared my top recommended books on my blog. This full post can be found at www.EdupreneurToday.com/leadershipbooks.
The top 5 books I recommend are:
- The Big Leap
- The Compound Effect
- How To Win Friends and Influence People
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
- The 12 Week Year
SP: “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is definitely on our list of top 5 books, and offers great advice on adapting to change, and taking advantage of the opportunities that change creates. If you could offer a first-time Edupreneur one piece of advice, what would it be?
KP: Don’t be afraid to go after exactly what you want. The key is to make a plan and see it through. Read books and listen to podcasts to keep you in a motivated state of mind. Hire a coach to reduce your learning curve if possible. Above all else, believe in yourself.
SP: Who are some of your favorite edupreneurs to follow?
KP: I definitely have my eye on Keon Armstrong and what he is doing with School Papr. I fully believe this company will become a household name for teachers.
I also love Ron Clark and Kim Bearden and the amazing things happening at the Ron Clark Academy.
There are so many more that I may be easier to check out this list of edupreneurs I recently shared on my blog: http://www.edupreneurtoday.com/teacherownedbrands/
SP: The fact you have your eyes on School Papr is a honor. Thank you! Tell us how and where we can find you on social media: