Kayse Morris helps teachers learn to leverage their teaching skills, existing expertise, and huge hearts so they can build a profitable and purposeful online teacher business.
Shannon Mattern: Welcome to episode 334 of Pep Talks for Side Hustlers. And I am so excited to introduce you to today's guest Kayse Morris, founder of CEO Teacher, host of the CEO Teacher Podcast, creator of the CEO Teacher Academy, who helps teacher-preneurs build their online education empires and Kayse and I are like internet BFFs. So Kayse, thank you so much for being here. Can you share a little bit more with our listeners about you and what you do?
Kayse Morris: Yes. Thank you for that introduction, Shannon. That was so kind of you. I am living my best life day in and day out. I'm a former eighth-grade English and language arts teacher who decided in October of 2013 to start selling her teaching resources online. Back then it was just lesson plans. And, you know, I just wanted to make a few extra dollars to pay my Netflix bill. Fast forward, seven years later, and we've created a multi-million dollar company and we've had the honor and privilege of helping thousands of educators feel the joy and the creative outlet that I felt back in, you know, that October day. So it has been the best thing ever. And I can't wait to kind of go into it today.
Shannon Mattern: Yeah. I love that story. And I want to just kind of go back to the beginning when your like I want to make some extra cash. I want to, you know, pay the Netflix bill. What led you to think, Oh, I'll take these things that I create and then sell them to other teachers? Were other people doing it? Like what was the state of the industry back then?
Kayse Morris: Sure. Well, a little background history about me. I'm a mom currently to almost five kids now. It's crazy. But during that time I had two boys that were 12 months and 11 days apart. And I struggled through postpartum depression for a few years as an educator. And instead of writing my lesson plans and being a great teacher, I was really struggling through day in and day out. So I went to the worldwide web to find someone who had put in that effort for me. And I found the website called Teachers Pay Teachers, which is an online marketplace for teachers to buy and sell lesson plans. So I was a buyer for months and that excitement and joy of teaching started to come back and flood my life again. And I was buying these lesson plans and thinking, wow, this teacher gave the children in my classroom a better education. I had 118 students that year. I was teaching sixth grade English. And I was just amazed at someone that I didn't know could have such a powerful impact on the lives of 118 students. Because statistics say that, you know, a poor educator can really have an impact on a child for years and years to come. So that teacher granted me that amazing gift to help become a better teacher. And one night, while I was watching television with my husband, I just looked at him and said, you know, I've really enjoyed teaching again. And I think I can do this too. Like I think I can sell my lesson plans online. And he was like, sure, you should do it, but I didn't have any huge goals or dreams or aspirations. There really wasn't a desire there besides I wanted to help another teacher as a teacher had helped me, which I think that's how a lot of people get started, you know?
Shannon Mattern: Yeah. I love that story because, you know, I met you, I got immersed in your community of teacher preneurs and I'm seeing from their side of like creating the assets and the entrepreneurship side, but to hear the story of how those resources really impacted you as the consumer of the product. That's the most important part. Right? And sometimes we forget about that when we're building the businesses, like, what are these problems that we're solving for our customers? What are they going through? How is this going to help their life? It's like, yeah, we want to, you know, live our best life and create an online business to make that happen. But like you can have such a huge impact on someone else's life just by sharing what you know, and do best with other people. So I just absolutely love hearing your side of, you know, being so blessed by the resources that other people were creating. And I can relate to that too, because I was self-taught with WordPress. And so I would go online and I would consume content. And like, I was just sitting there thinking like, I'm so grateful for all of these people who are taking their time to write a blogpost, debugging this problem, or spending their time just posting in these forums about, you know, how to fix these issues. Because everything I need to know is right here at my fingertips. And I think it was kind of like this transition of, you know, I've been consuming this content and benefiting from it that I wanted to then turn around and create and kind of like add to the body of knowledge that was out there helping people.
Kayse Morris: Yeah, I agree. And I think that most successful entrepreneurs start with that main goal in mind, you know. We do the flashy money thing and people talk about, you know, Oh, let's earn your teaching salary in a year or less, or let's build a multimillion dollar business. And all of that is great in theory. And it's excitement. It builds us up. Right? But at the end of the day, if your main focus is to help people, the money will flow every single time.
Shannon Mattern: Yeah. And it's just so much more rewarding because, as you know, we hit all kinds of roadblocks and snags and we were just chit chatting before we started recording about internet issues and all of these things. And it's like, of course it's worth fixing all of this stuff for the impact that we're having in the world. And that is to me, you know, the most rewarding thing about running the business. Yes. Paying the bills is nice. I love that. I love the freedom, flexibility, financial independence. But, you know, the rewarding feeling you get from hearing from people that, you know, you changed their lives is amazing. So you told your husband, like, I think I could do this. So what's, how did you get started? Tell me the story of, you know, the path from there to here, really.
Kayse Morris: Sure. So it was definitely a long, slow process. Agonizing, painful. Seems all rainbows and butterflies on the outside now, but I like to get real with people and kind of let them know, you know, where we came from., A story that I've just recently shared that resonated with so many people was that, you know, I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. My mom and dad struggled financially our whole lives. I've seen work and I've seen pinching pennies. My husband and I lived in a one bedroom trailer with a window unit that froze over every day and we had to take a hairdryer to it just to get it to work. So my husband and I were finally off of government assistance. We had to have that to raise our babies because I was a teacher and he was an administrator, but we had no extra money to do things that we wanted to do, like go on a date or, you know, buy our kids clothes from anywhere but Walmart. And I said, you know, I just want to make a few extra dollars because we had cut off our Netflix. You know, when you're saving every dime, you can save you're like, Oh wait, I'm going to cut off Netflix. And I really love Netflix. So I was like, okay, I think I can make like $8 a month and we can keep that and that'll be fun. And so I started Googling all the things, as I'm sure most people do when they're wanting to start something. And there was nothing out there. Literally nothing out there to help me. So I started in all the wrong ways. I started creating my resources in Microsoft word, which is a formatting nightmare. One, that's trying to be an online like creator. So I realized real quickly that that wasn't going to work. But in that first month I worked really hard and I made $50 and nothing could stop me at that point. I was like, Holy cow, $50. I'm being paid for the hard work I'm putting in. And you know, if you do yard sales to make extra money, you work all day long and you might make a hundred bucks. So I thought this has been fun for me and I made $50. Okay, I'm going to see if I can start snowballing this thing and see where we can go from here. And in the first year I made 600 bucks and that money was life-changing for us. We were able to go on dates. We we were able to get a babysitter. And we really liked that freedom. Now we weren't paying off bills or anything like that for the first year or two. We were just having fun. And I was learning as much as I could, but I was falling a lot. There was a lot of fear that surrounded it, you know, for my first bad review to my first mean girl email. We've all had those moments, but it's what you do with those that I think really determines the path for your future. But I was always hit with a question and I really struggled with this as I was trying to grow my business, is that there were a lot of people that had started online before me. This whole idea of selling your resources online really started in about 2006. And I was 19 years old in 2006. So I was like, man, how can I get ahead? These people are so far ahead of me. There's no way I'll ever catch up. And I started thinking I got to work smarter, not harder. So I tried to figure out what makes a resource rank at the very top of Google or any search engine. And I fell into the rabbit hole that was search engine optimization and said, you know, I don't know if teachers know about this. So I'm going to learn all the things, get the book SEO For Dummies, and I'm going to see what I can learn. And, you know, at that year I tripled my teaching salary just in selling my resources alone. And I knew that that was just the beginning for this journey. You know, finding that what I like to call the Ace in the hole is what changed everything for me. Now, little did I know that my excitement and joy would turn into sharing this passion on YouTube back in 2015. And in 2021, when you ask people where they found me, 95% of them will still tell you that they watched a YouTube video a few years back to see my first video, where I was teaching teachers, how to find this joy as well. So that's kind of how it started when it took off. And then, you know, I haven't gone into where it's gone from here, but that's just kind of like the middle of the road of my journey is I found that Ace in the hole or that Willy Wonka golden ticket, that really was the springboard to what it is today.
Shannon Mattern: Ooh, we're going to come back to the golden ticket, to the springboard, but I think this is why we hit it off immediately. You know, when I hear your story, because I can absolutely relate to everything you just said, I grew up the same way. You know, divorced parents, pinching, pennies. Like my mom always saying, we cannot afford that. You know, if you want to do that, you're going to have to figure out a way to pay for it yourself. Like band camp and all of the things that I wanted to do. You know, so I can totally relate to pinching pennies to the first affiliate sale that I got in my Free 5 Day Website Challenge. The first time someone bought my Blue Host hosting, I made $60! And I was like, what? Someone actually used my link? And like I made $60. And I was like, from that moment, I was like hooked. I was like, okay, if one person found this valuable, you know, someone else will find it valuable. I just need to figure out how to get it in front of more people. And then in my first year I made $600.
Kayse Morris: Wow. Look at us.
Shannon Mattern: I know we are kindred spirits. And then yeah, from there it was just, you know, figuring out how to make this thing work. And I think not only what we're doing in the business and making money from the business, then you're like, well, I want to help other people figure out how to do this too. Like I'm having all this success. I'm fascinated by the process. I want to lift up the hood and let people into what this process could look like. I mean, were you thinking like, shoot, if I can do this, other people can do it too?
Kayse Morris: 100%. That was my main thing. I had no idea six years ago when I uploaded my first YouTube video that people that watched that video were going to remember me and that was going to become my brand new business. I had no idea. I literally just said, I've always wanted to do a YouTube video and I want to help people make money online because it's been so much fun for me. I've got a train coming by for your listeners. Our office is right by a train track. So just bear with me.
Shannon Mattern: For your listening pleasure, CEO teacher training. So, 2015, you do your first YouTube video and you're just excited to share, let people in. You had no intention of teaching people how to do this and turning that into a business. Is that correct?
Kayse Morris: Correct. Zero. I wasn't blogging about that idea. I was still blogging about my resources. I kind of just wanted this awareness thing of like, Oh, she sells on TPT. Maybe I'll buy her products. And I felt well, if I help these teachers, then they'll want to buy my products. That was kind of the business mind around it, but more or less, I just really enjoyed talking to people. But those videos are so painful. They are, Oh my gosh. My Southern drawl was the worst. And it was very interesting to see kind of where we started and where we are today.
Shannon Mattern: I love that because I do feel like, and I see this with my people in my community too, they're following me because I'm leading the way and I'm showing them, you know where to go. But they want to be where I'm at six years in from day one. And so I have to constantly remind them like, Hey, go look at where I was, day one. Here's what my website looked like day one. Here's what my videos looks like back in the beginning. Like I did not start off here. So everybody has that journey that you have to go through. What are you experienced with your students
Kayse Morris: I completely relate to that. You can't compare your beginning to someone else's, you know, middle of the road where they are six, seven years down the road. But the great news is that there are people online like myself and you that teach people how to get there faster. So our goal is to accelerate their progress. So they're not wading through the mud for years and years like we did. Some of my students have made their teaching salary in their first year from entering in our programs. And that to me is like mind blowing. And they send me these long messages. Kayse, you are the reason why this could happen. And I'm thinking to myself, but how did you do that in the year? Like, of course you put in the hard work and you decided to take massive action on the knowledge that I gave you, but I know how much hard work you put into it. So I agree. Like you have to always remember where you are in your journey, I'm guilty of the same things. Look, I love the goats more than anybody. I will follow everything Jenna Kutcher does. And I hang on to every word Amy Porterfield says, because success leaves breadcrumbs and thinking about being where they are is always, you know, it's an amazing feeling, but you have to definitely give yourself some grace. And instead of comparing, I think admiring might be a better term, you know, moving yourself forward.
Shannon Mattern: Oh, I love that so much. I love that. And you know, thinking about the people who do, you know, take massive action and they make it happen in one year, it's because, you know, they really go all in on themselves. You know, I've experienced that too in my business where I have someone come in and they're like, okay, just tell me what to do and I'll do it. And they, you know, they have questions, they ask questions, but they just like, kind of put their blinders on and they move forward. And when they get insecure or overwhelmed, they ask for help. And, you know, they don't go off on the probably 5,000 tangents that you and I had to go off on to figure out what was going to work. We just tried 10 things, pick the one and now we're teaching them the one. And so it's really, really fascinating to me to see how quickly people can have success when they trust themselves to take all of that action. So let's go back to your Ace in the hole and you know, how you kind of moved from there to where you are today.
Kayse Morris: So that's when people began, I guess, to know who I was a little bit more, especially in the industry. Back in the day, the website I referenced before Teachers Pay Teachers used to have a weekly, what would you call it, Top 100. So they would share the top resources. And then the top sellers. And I quickly was climbing up the charts. And I mean, you could go to Georgia and see, you know, I was number three in Georgia, you know. You could see and people would say, Oh, well, who is this? Or how did she get here? And so people that were in the business would reach out to me and, you know, would want to be in masterminds and we would collaborate. And I quickly realized that nobody was doing the thing that I was doing. Nobody really understood search engine optimization. And so I kind of kept my head down and worked really hard at understanding how computers talk even more, and algorithms. And it was a lot of fun. I enjoyed it, but in December of 2017, I left the classroom. So I started my journey to do this full-time in January of 2018, because I never wanted to be left with the question "what if I would have gone all in with this?" I was making great money and it was time. It was time for me to either say, I'm going to go all in with this job of selling my resources online, or I'm going to stay in the classroom and I'm going to be satisfied. And I knew that in order to fulfill my happiness as an entrepreneur, the goal that I had was to see how far I could this. And even if it was a year or two, I was just going to try it and see how it worked. And I finally started working on this job, you know, 40 hours a week. I had an office and every day I dropped my kids off at school and I would go to work and I was loving it. And so I realized that every day I had emails in my inbox and every day I get stopped at Walmart and people would say, Hey, Kayse, you know, how's it going? Are you guys struggling? Like small town, Southern talk. People are always all up in your business. And they said, are you all struggling? And I'm like, heck no, we're living our best life. And so then they would say, well, how did you do it? And so I would start having that conversation and I'd be gone at Walmart for hours, you know, talking about all things teacherpreneur. And so I told my husband, I think I'm going to launch a course that teaches teachers everything that I've learned. And I don't know if it's going to work. I honestly thought it would be a flop. Maybe just a few extra thousand dollars for the year on top of, you know, selling my resources. But it turned into my actual real business. I feel like before I was chasing and working and hustling and the harder I worked, the more money I made. And now I get to say that that's not the way that my mind works anymore. I get to help more people and work less and make more than I ever have.
Shannon Mattern: I love that so much. And again, our timelines sync right up. I'm like, Oh, I left my job in December of '17 and went full-time in my business in January of '18. Yes. So I love that. I want to kind of dig more into the mindset of, you know, the harder I hustle, the more I make to the mindset that you're at now. Like the more people I help, the more money I make. So can you tell me, like, can you pinpoint any kind of specific realization or aha moment about that? Or was it something that happened over time? Can you dive a little deeper into that?
Kayse Morris: Yes, I can pinpoint where I was. I used to live about a block or two from my kids' school. And so I had this new freedom of not teaching. And so we had these two little cute puppies. They're not puppies anymore, but I would walk them to pick my kids up from school every day. And I decided to start listening to audio books. That was probably around the time that I had listened to my first few audio books. The first was Stephen Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. And then I read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. And then I read You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. And that was the trifecta for me. I had old school knowledge with new school ways of thinking that helped my mind see the possibilities. I always lived in a scarcity mindset of money is a limited resource. And I have to work really hard because that's what my daddy did. And I have to, you know, try to work for 80 hours a week. And the more I work, the more money I can make. And I was okay with that for a while, but you quickly get burned out. And so I started looking for other ways. And these people are telling me that basically it's everything to do with how I perceive money and how, you know, if I'm good in life then goodness will come my way. And I just kind of switched everything that I was doing. You know, I was in these masterminds with people that were more like a people bashing party. Have you ever been in those groups where people get together and talk bad about other people? And I really felt like it was affecting who I was supposed to be. And so I kind of just cut off all ties and started doing my own thing. And that's when I launched my course. So I highly recommend removing yourself and finding out who you're supposed to become on the inside to really see that next step in growth,
Shannon Mattern: Oh, that like gave me goosebumps when you were sharing that story. And I think, you know, for me, I always also had a scarcity mindset that, you know, the harder I work, the more I'll make. And then on the flip side, like the money can run out. Like it can run out. Like I had a very finite picture of what I have now is all I will have and I must conserve it and hold onto it. And I think I kind of spent 2019, like last year, that was 2020. I spent a lot of time at the beginning of 2019 figuring out why I felt guilty for making so much money. Like I was taking it from other people and they were getting nothing in return and why I was holding onto it so much. I read this book. So I've read the Think and Grow Rich. That one was a really fascinating. I think it kind of like planted the seed, but I still needed to water the seed of my money mindset journey, I guess. I read this book called the Soul of Money and it talked about how like, money is a flow and, you know, you do things to turn the faucet on, but you can also do things to turn the faucet off. And that there's more, there's always more on the way. And I also read Denise Duffield Thomas is Chillpreneur.
Kayse Morris: I'm reading that right now!.
Shannon Mattern: Oh my gosh. So when she talks about like, you know, Beyonce' doesn't have to perform her song a million times to get paid for it. Like she records it once. And like, I know that intellectually, right? Like logically I know that, but I was like, Oh, my intellectual property has value and that doesn't mean I have to price it low and sell it to many people. I can still price it high, you know? And so it was kind of like having just these, all these little mindset shifts all along the way with thinking like, Oh, I don't have to, you know, create the course, and then...,I think the example she used in the book was like, Oh, I wrote a book and then I felt I had to call you and read the book, you know, because you spent money on it. Read the book to you because you spent money on it. So I really had to extract myself from the assets and the intellectual property I created and like pull my time back away from that and figure out different ways to serve the mission without me having to physically be there serving it every day. And that has been like, just life-changing for me.
Kayse Morris: Where were you in 2019? Because that was the hardest year for me. Physically, mentally, you know. I made the most money that I had ever made in the shortest amount of time. And all I did was stress over when it was going to be taken away from me. And that was, you know, I was wrecking relationships because I was just in fear mode and I was like you, every email that came in let me answer it. I'll send them a video response. And I was just burnt out. I was probably working 60 hours a week thinking that. And then I launched my course for the second time and I started to breathe a little bit easier and I said, okay, this wasn't just a fluke. Okay. This is a real thing. Like, I can actually still do this. And so that was a big turning point for me. And then 2020, it was just this year of crazy growth. We had hard times in the beginning, but it was the year of crazy exponential growth. And now I feel like we're sailing. I feel like we are free and I feel, you know, financially stable, but also confident in who I am as a business owner. And that's helped me even grow it further than I ever thought possible.
Shannon Mattern: I think my journey really mirrors yours. You know, I think 2018 probably because we both quit our day jobs at the end of 2017. 2018, for me, it was like survival mode. It was like, hammer down, game on, like just take no time to even be scared. I was like in like go mode in 2018. And then by 2019, I was really at a point where I'm like, this level of work is not sustainable. But I'm also not where I, where I'm like, I didn't have like consistent income coming in without me having to work that hard every single month to make it happen. And so I was really kind of at this crossroads of like, I can't keep this level of work going and that point, my business was 50% courses and affiliate, and it was 50% one-on-one web design work for clients.
Kayse Morris: Nightmare.
Shannon Mattern: And so I had to make the decision in 2019 to stop working one-on-one with clients. Like one side of the business had to go. And it was obvious to me that, you know, I could have more of an impact with the courses and the affiliate than with the one-on-one. And so 2019 was really kind of like going through all of the changes required to then get to 2020 where I feel like 2020 was my best year. A lot of things happened in the world in 2020 that were not great. Obviously. We all know that. But I think it was an opportunity for me to kind of grow into a leader for my community. And I saw that from you too. I mean, you know, leading people through this challenging time. And I think everybody came out better on the other side for it.
Kayse Morris: I agree. And that's why...I don't know how our paths even crossed, because we get so many messages about people wanting to partner and it's never a good fit. And we're just like, Ugh. Oh, I know. My students talked about you in our communities like every day. And so I was like, let me check out who this chick is and see what she's all about and see if we can kind of get her into our community to help because what she could offer, I couldn't offer. And this was a really good partnership that we had never done before. But, you know, yes, 2020 was really hard for a lot of people, but our businesses, this was our year to shine. People were going online, they were on their phones and their computers more than ever. And we got to step into that role of, let me serve you instead of you pay me. We knew people were struggling financially. We just said, how can we serve? And we showed up in a big, bold way and it paid off.
Shannon Mattern: Yeah, absolutely. And I think, you know, also people were looking for some sense of control for their future, you know, where it was like, okay, I realize now that like the control I thought I always had was an illusion. So, you know, working for someone else, and no matter what capacity that is, you know, there's always the risk that that's not going to be there, or that the rules of engagement change on you, you know, like they did. And I think we were really well positioned to step in and serve those people. And I love how we serve them. We can talk about that in a little bit. But, you know, for me, I heard of you because I ask every single person, like, how did you hear about the 5 Day Website Challenge? And I would see Kayse Morris CEO Teacher. Like everybody was like coming from there. So one person in your community must have stumbled upon me. And then just planted that seed. I'd love to like, think that person, whoever that is. Because I kept seeing your name and I was like, well, I keep seeing her name, let me reach out to your team. And I think it's so funny cause I tell this story, because I am all about like marketing through relationships. I think that, you know, you're like SEO queen and I'm like relationships queen and like together we are like unstoppable. I just love this. So I remember I reached out to your team and they were like, it's not a good fit. We, you know, have other things going on and I was like, okay, cool. And, then I think your team replied to that email like months later. And so I always tell my students, I'm like, don't be afraid to reach out. Don't be afraid to plant that seed. Like you literally never know what is going to happen out of just like making an initial outreach to somebody. And here we are, having collaborated to serve your teachers with getting their blogs set up and all of that. And, like you said, providing some education to them that you know that they need, but that is not your area of expertise, setting up the tech of a website. So, go ahead.
Kayse Morris: You know, it's funny you say that because we have like a canned email response because we were so flooded that year and we were like, okay, we can't do any more partnerships. We really didn't do a partnership per se. But we were just on all these podcasts. And we were just like, man with our launches. So that was kind of when someone reached out, we just don't have the, you know, we have to set boundaries. And I was in our Facebook groups every day and I was answering questions and we had a team meeting. I was like, who is Shannon Mattern? And they were like, it's funny you say that she emailed us like a few months ago wanting to partner. And I was like, did she? What she say? And so they pulled the email up and I was like, guys, I've see her name every day. And they said, we do too. And I was like, go ahead and message her back. We got to figure out how we can bring her on. And then I said, but before we do, I want to kind of meet with her, which I highly recommend to people that are listening to this is that I had partnered with, you know, a handful of people before. Very little partnerships. Maybe just like a, I'll bring you into my community and we'll say hello, and we'll see how it goes. But I didn't do the homework and the backwork of how can this serve my audience and your audience? How can this be a mutually beneficial relationship and help both of our students and our people grow. And when I did that with Shannon, I was like, instantly, we knew that it was gonna work. Plus Shannon was willing to put in the hard work that a lot of people aren't willing to put in.
Shannon Mattern: Yeah. I approach collaborations like this. So we did something called the Teacher Blog Blastoff, which was amazing. And you were basically like, Hey, can you just come in and do like a CEO Teacher specific overview of your 5 Day Challenge live for my people over the course of a week to show them how to put their blog together, answer questions, and then we can refer them back to your 5 Day Challenge for like the in depth, click by click thing. And I was like, well, yeah, that sounds amazing. And yes, it was. It was work on my part, but I look at the future. I don't look at the immediate, you know, Oh, what's in it for me right now. I take a long term view of collaborations like that, where, you know, I had already seen so many people coming to my community from yours. So obviously there was a need there, the people I could service and I'm like, how can I show up for you in a way that shows you and your community that like I'm in it for the long-term I'm not just here to like blast your audience with an offer and then go away forever. I don't take my partnerships lightly because I do put the time into them. And I think, for people listening, you know, it's so worth it to really come into those thinking, how can I serve her audience in a way that they are going to walk away just being so glad that they're part of Kayse's community because she brings them these amazing resources
Kayse Morris: And we've partnered with people before. And I've never shared this, but my students are brutally honest. We have a connection where we talk on our direct messages and I'm truly friends with a lot of these people. You know, after the years, and they've messaged me and they're like, Kayse, when you partnered with so-and-so, it just wasn't up to your standards. And I I'll make it up to you. And I would go back in and I would add bonuses and new content to someone else's work to bring it up to my standards. So I realized real quick that I had to inspect what I expected from my people. So whenever Shannon came in and gave this great value, I was like, this is what my students will say. This was worth whatever she wants us to pay her, we're going to just give her the money. And they did and look where it's led us now. You've become bonuses for one of our biggest programs. We're going to be partnering together twice a year. And we even have new ideas that no one's ever seen before that we're going to be able to give to people. And it's just the best feeling ever.
Shannon Mattern: It is. And it's just, I don't know. I guess I'm all warm and fuzzy thinking about it. So, you know, if you are listening to this episode and you know a teacher, Kayse is the person that you need to direct them to, you know, because why not know about other opportunities to monetize the intellectual property that you're creating for your students every single day and just learn all about what that can do for you to enrich your life. Because, you heard Kayse's story. I mean, you can make it whatever you want. You can make it Netflix money. You can make it your empire. Yeah. So I just love that. So I want to circle back to the CEO Teacher Academy and like how it blew up, and the success of that. How did you come up with the curriculum? What is included in that? Like how has it evolved since you first launched it?
Kayse Morris: Sure. And you know, CEO Teacher Academy is the evolution of our, you know, steps in our programs. The first step inside of our communities is called the Make Your Mark Membership and that's for any teacher getting started on selling their resources online. And, you know, first that was a course in 2018. And what we realized was that people needed constant hand-holding and helping. And I wanted to be that person without answering 5,000 emails a week and without, you know, sending all kinds of, you know, Oh, here's another, Facebook live we're going to do to answer these questions. And we saw a lot of recurring issues. And so what we decided was that last year in 2020 we were going to transform the course into the membership model where we could coach them, sometimes on a twice a week basis so they felt like they were not being just left out into the woods alone. Because the course is so meaty. So inside of that membership they get the Make Your Mark course in addition to our coaching program. And we coach, like I said, twice a week. Usually myself and now we have a CEO Teacher Master Coach, and we're training one more that is stepping in and helping take over some of the coaching responsibilities for me. It's amazing. And it's given some of my students something to look forward to like, Oh, you can become a CEO Teacher master coach? So this is just the beginning for us still. This has been such a fun ride the last few years. But I see it 10, 20 years from now and the impact that we can have on teachers. But again, once they join the membership and they were mastering selling their resources online, some of them making a hundred thousand dollars a year, we love this question and that is what's next?. And so we wanted to be that for them. And so they said, Kayse, you've sold these courses and these memberships. Help me out. How did you do it? And so that's where the idea of the CEO Teacher Academy came into play. It is, like I said, our most robust form of our programs. You receive Make Your Mark Membership when you purchase the Academy, but you also get to other portions. You get a mindset shift component, which is a course on itself. And then you get another course called Make Your Business, which teaches you how to uplevel your business just from selling your teaching resources online to selling an online course or an online membership. But if you're listening to this thinking, Oh my gosh, I'm not even ready to even think that far ahead, I want you to know you're not alone. Basically less than a third of the people that come to me are ready for that step. Most people are ready to start at step one. And I've got a free book, if you don't mind me sharing, on how to get started. If you go to kaysemorris.com/go. That's K-A-Y-S-E-M-O-R-R-I-S.com/go. I've got a brand spanking new book hot off the press that is called Start or Expand Your Online Teacher Business in 2021. And it has all of the tips and tricks that got me from step one to step 101.
Shannon Mattern: I love that so much. I'm like, because there is, there's step one to step 101. And where are you going to have somebody like break that down for you? So go get your hands on that, everybody. I have a couple more questions for you that I ask everyone that comes on the show and one of them is, you know, when you see an entrepreneur struggling to get traction in their business, what is your best advice for helping them move forward?
Kayse Morris: Uncomplicate everything. We are so complicated as humans. Teachers, especially. We teach kindergarten and we do 47 things in one day with our kids. And you know, that was the best advice that I got. Stu McLaren taught me that really well inside of his tribe course. And he was like, you know, people, they come because they want to learn and they leave because you overwhelm them. And I was constantly overwhelming my people. And I still do, in our upper-level program because I live for it. I really do. Like, I love to push them and challenge them. But we had to uncomplicate everything. I was trying to sell something every month and I was trying to recreate the wheel. And instead I just started to recreate what was working and, you know, Amy Porterfield does that almost better than anyone. Patty Palmer, who is an art teacher. She's done the same thing for like 10 years. And it's amazing. Her membership has grown exponentially. And I decided that instead of chasing every shiny object, I wanted to be really good and known for just a few things. So if you're struggling and you're chasing all of these shiny objects and you're trying to be everything for everyone, you're over-complicating what it means to be an online entrepreneur. And you gotta rethink it to get back on track.
Shannon Mattern: Oh my gosh. I think that you were just talking to me right now, instead of the listeners. Every time we have a conversation about anything, I'm like, she's talking to me too. I was just thinking about this for 2021 because you know, I have Free 5 Day Website Challenge for DIYers. I teach marketing strategies, like the relationships that we were talking about. Today I have my Web Designer Academy where I teach web designers how to, you know, grow their web design businesses. And podcasts, and all the things. And I love all of them. I love all of them. But as I was like looking at 2021 and what's the path forward and what can I do, like how can I show up and serve people really, really well. And can I do that doing all of these things? I'm kind of at this point, we're talking in January of 2021, this is going to come out, you know, later in the spring, but I'm really doing an evaluation personally in my business of like, what are the things that are uncomplicated? What are the things that come so easy and that I don't have to, you know, paddle upstream to make them happen? And so the vision is starting to unfold of what that looks like. And it's becoming more clear, but I'm also kind of challenging myself. Like don't complicate the decision-making. You don't have to decide these things right now. Just kind of hang back and let the smoke clear and, you know, trust yourself. So, yeah, I think the uncomplicate everything is such good advice. Especially, you know me when it comes to tech, I'm like minimum viable website, minimum viable blog, minimum viable pieces talking to each other. Like we need to get you up and running ASAP, so you can start implementing these strategies and start seeing some results and then you can build from there. So yes, I just love that. Thank you for that advice. I'll let you know how that goes. So the final question that I ask everybody that comes on the show is what belief about yourself did you have to change to get where you are today?
Kayse Morris: Mmm, so good! That I am enough. And I struggled with that and allowed other people's thoughts of me to kind of take me off of that path. But I now finally, after years of doing this, have the confidence to say that if I'm not your person, I'm okay with that. But I know that I am enough to my people and that starts at home, right? Knowing that you are enough to your kids or your husband or your spouse and your family, and then having the courage to say, you know, I'm going to educate myself. I'm going to gather knowledge. I'm going to take massive action. And if people want to jump in and come my way and they love it, I'm going to keep rolling with that. Instead of allowing people to say, well, I didn't like this. You know, in the beginning, I got a lot of that. And I don't know if it was because I was allowing myself to receive it, but I never get people send me those types of messages anymore, ever. You know, like, oh, well you should have done this, this, this, and this. And so now I know that I am enough, even if I'm not the right fit for some people. I know that who I am enough for is all that I need. And I don't have to constantly try to change who I am to be something for someone else when it doesn't align with my core values and my integrity.
Shannon Mattern: Ooh, that is the perfect place to wrap up this episode, Kayse, so powerful. Can you share with our listeners where they can learn more about you, the CEO Teacher podcast. What is the best place for them to get all things Kayse Morris, CEO Teacher?
Kayse Morris: You can go to kaysemorris.com. By the time this episode airs, we will have a brand spanking new website as well. And we've just rebranded the podcast. So go to kaysemorris.com. You'll have access to our blogs, our quiz, how to start your CEO Teacher journey. And also our podcast, which is a top ranking business podcast. We've been so blessed and we hope that we can help you. Even if you're not a teacher, everyone knows someone that is because we say all roads lead back to teachers. So share the good news. And I'd love to help you on your business journey.
Shannon Mattern: Thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate it. I'll link up all of those things in the show notes. Everyone go check out Kayse. Even if you're not a teacher. Just like me talking to her, I'm like, yeah, she's helping me with my business. So just go check her out. Spread the word. And Kayse, thank you again for being here.
Kayse Morris: Thanks for having me, Shannon. I can't wait for us to partner again this year.
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