How long will it take?
- Is this a common question you hear from your students? How long will it take to learn a language? Why does it take that long?
- Most importantly: if it’s going to take long anyway why don’t I do it myself?
I hear it from students and teachers alike, but more so from teachers, which is alarming. Teachers who are supposed to understand that nothing gets done overnight.
Teachers who should know that seeking help means getting to your goal faster or at least knowing for sure that at the end of the year you will get where you want to be instead of wondering if luck or some magic unicorn will take you there.
Why do we need teachers or coaches?
When my students contact me for accent training they know they can’t do it alone.
But not all teachers do. We try some random tactics, spend hours watching somebody else’s videos, reading endless emails, implementing some magic formulas, but the truth of it is, we don’t know if all this work is going to get us anywhere.
Let’s say you want to decide on your niche and you have a headache thinking about it. You spend months (or years) figuring it out. Sometimes you go from a specific niche to no-niche (just so you can get more business – I’ve done that, too).
You tell yourself that it’s going to take long anyway. You’ve got realistic expectations and ready to work hard, but you still live in the world where you’re teaching yourself something you don’t know. Will you get to your goal? The unicorn will know.
A few years ago I decided I wanted to learn Spanish. I’ve got a degree in languages, I’ve already learned two languages, I know where to find the right resources and I can do it by myself.
After some painful searches trying to decide if these websites are actually teaching me anything or fleecing me for money I was set with my “toolbox.”
Then the fun part started.
On the first night learning Spanish I discovered that there’re two “to be” verbs. Wow. OK.
A few hours go by, I keep researching on the 2 “to-be” verbs and the more I learn the more confused I become. I’m sure there’s an easier explanation than this. Maybe it’s a bad day.
But… language learning isn’t a 1-day process, is it? It’s going to take time. That’s my mantra.
I pick it up the next day, and I haven’t made any progress except spent hours wondering where I can get the information on the most basic Grammar unit and whom I can trust to give me some legit Grammar advice. After all, I have to learn “to be” if I want to say anything in any language, right?
Now think about it (especially if you teach Spanish): how long will it take you to explain this to somebody like me? 5 minutes?
Well, but I’m committed to learning Spanish on my own and I really have no time to work with a tutor. So I’m just going to plough through.
I dropped my Spanish studies after a week without resolving the mystery of the dual to-be verbs.
Ask yourself these questions.
As an online teacher you’ve probably been in this boat. You spend hours, days, weeks, and months figuring out your niche, and the deeper you get the more frustrating it becomes.
Yet you keep telling yourself, “It’s going to take time.”
It is. But what if you were to spend that same time actually developing your first product and somebody else helped you narrow down your niche over a much shorter period of time?
Yes, online business is going to take time. A lot of time.
But are we using the time wisely? Are we spending too much time teaching ourselves the stuff that will take others a few minutes to explain?
So if what I wrote here resonated with you, I challenge you to think over the following questions carefully:
- Do you know where you’re going or are you figuring things out a you go?
- Can you easily identify your niche and your ideal client?
- Why are you working online?
- What’s your core message?
- Are you sure that the goals you’re working towards are relevant to where your business is at the moment?
So are you stuck?
If you feel like you’re ready to escape the 1:1 bind, build an outstanding brand and grow it without burning out, check out my workshop called From One to Infinity to get ideas on how you can do that.
The post was updated in April, 2021.