The battle between educational and business goals
In a recent discussion in The Swiss Entrepreneurs Club under a Wins & Wants post, Alex Bacarella who generously helps entrepreneurs proposed Instagram as the next big lead gen tool and so a discussion followed. As I had used IG for personal and for sharing media content in the classroom Alex prompted me to think if I could adapt and leverage IG for business as well. However, I couldn’t help but ask if there was an inherent conflict of interest in being an educational service-provider and a business-owner at the same time?
Business vs educational policies
So I dug deep into past observations. I know many private schools and universities combine the two; some models have sometimes worked but not always. In the first example, the bottom line might be profitability, but emphasis is placed on the learning. Procurement of physical and human resources is planned well in advance and financing of such is made known and openly discussed with all stakeholders. On the other end of the spectrum there is either no discussion, no meetings, no funding, or under-staffing with the goodwill of teachers being stretched to cover the reality of an under-invested school.
I am, therefore, conscious of finding a good balance between the service I offer to the community and developing a sound business model, and believe that in order to achieve this goal one needs to strive for authenticity, transparency and create an organic approach to growth. It was my daughter Justyna, Yogalyptus founder who said, word of mouth in business is precious and transfers beautifully into the social media medium, Mum. Be yourself, keep creating and posting, slow and steady wins the race. It was also Elaine France of Flow In Action who first said, you have sought-after skills, skills that everyone wants to learn, build a brand, it takes courage but keep creating, keep sharing.
Doing what you love, walking the talk
So, in knowing that my business model is a balance between providing a roof over one’s head and a service to the community, I created both a FB page and a group. The page is to host events and a space for others to decide for themselves if the service on offer is of benefit to them. The mission of the group on the other hand is to generate conversations on learning, to listen to voices from educational stakeholders on the changes currently happening in the world as a result of the 4IR. What is the state of education today, its strengths, where there are rooms for improvement and how to practically implement these. In which direction is education headed and where we want it to be. I believe we each have the power to make a difference, and collectively even more so.
And as for IG, I have learnt that especially as a productivity image and video sharing platform it is a great place for sharing outcomes, and collaborating. In this space we can desire to be inspired as well as be inspiring individuals. Nothing makes me more happy than being able to create thought-provoking environments of learning. Seeing pennies drop, ‘aha moments’ and the development of productive outcomes are priceless.
If business leads follow as a result, they make us happy but do they make us happier?