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Do you feel like a business owner? Do you feel like a CEO?
This interview today from the Money Magnifier Toolkit is full of golden nuggets we talked about Kat Patrick’s tutoring business but I think the value in the conversation about becoming a business owner (hint she never wanted to be a business owner) and the challenges/obstacles we overcome and face as women and as business owners was super valuable! So get ready to listen

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Connect With Kat Patrick

Instagram: @katpatrick_at_dreamingspireshl


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Exploring the Journey of a Homeschooling Business Owner

Aimee Cerka 00:00
Do you feel like a business owner? Do you feel like a CEO?

This interview today from the money magnifier toolkit is full of golden nuggets. We talked about Kat Patrick’s tutoring business, but I think the value in the conversation about becoming a business owner. Hint, she never wanted to be a business owner.

And the challenges obstacles we overcome and face as women and as business owners was super valuable. So get ready to listen. Dr. Kat Patrick has homeschooled her four children for almost two decades now.

Two of whom are at college and two in high school, because she grew up and studied in the US before living most of her adult life in Oxfordshire as a teacher and UK examiner. She has always been passionate about underpinning a child studies with a broad liberal arts education. She founded a tutorial company in 2012 called dreaming spires home learning where she and her nine colleagues offer parents a range of delight directed options, supporting teens with their passions while ticking all the right boxes for admission to competitive colleges.

This is the Your Money Your Life podcast where ambitious women come together to have clarity prosperity and confidence with their money without sacrificing precious time. And well-deserved fun. So let’s do this!

Aimee Cerka 01:36
Welcome to the Your Money Your Life podcast. I’m your host, Aimee Cerka.

After my husband and I faced three major financial roadblocks in the last six years. I felt like I wasn’t doing all that I could and I had let my family down. It always felt like life was a struggle, like I had to work harder than everyone else. It just came easy to them. And I didn’t feel worthy of success, until a coach helped me see the successes in our experiences instead of our failures.

This allowed me to create and implement systems to grow our network by 200,000. Plus, while spending time with my loved ones and on my priorities. Now I help motivated women create the happiness, family life, financial security, and long term wealth they deserve.

If you’re ready to eliminate stress, struggle, frustration and guilt within your finances, you’re in the right place. Welcome. I’m so glad you’re here.

Aimee Cerka 02:37
Welcome Kat to the Money Magnifier Toolkit and the Your Money Your Life Podcast. I’m really looking forward to this conversation today. So glad to have you here.

Kat Patrick 02:47
Hey, Aimee, thanks for asking me.

Aimee Cerka 02:49
Of course. So getting started, you’ve heard you’ve listened to the podcast. So what does your money your life mean to you?

From Passion to Business

Kat Patrick 02:58
You’ve had a lot of good answers to this already. I am a literary scholar. My job is teaching homeschooled kids worldwide.

I do the English and my nine colleagues teach some of the other subjects. And so the question is going to be “Huh, do you mean Your Money Your Life, Your Money, Your life, your money, your life or your money your life?”

And rather than do each one of those, because each answer is slightly different. I thought what I would do is how it relates to me as CEO of my company is Your Money, Your life all together in a very fast way to show how intertwined my money in my life are. So for me, the business that I run, the homeschooling I do at home, the management in my home, and all the management of my colleagues and the courses and even teaching the courses and managing the students. All of that’s just one thing.

A Holistic Approach

To me, it’s a very holistic thing. And in fact, the business started as something completely holistic.

My daughter was 12. She wanted to study some hard literature books. The people in my local Co-op didn’t want to do that.

So I connected with people actually through Yahoo groups. That’s how long ago that was. Some other people who wanted to do it as well and so it was basically like an online book club, I suppose.

But I did want to use my literary, has history, expertise, to not just read the books but to go deeper in some of the contexts in the history and you know, how they’re connected and things like that. But it just never started as a business.

And I think I’ll just set out right here at the front, because many of your listeners and watchers may feel the same. I am the furthest thing from a business woman you could ever meet. It was one of those things at college or university.

So I spent 25 years in Britain, even though I grew up in Texas, back in Texas now. So I use these interchangeable vocabulary words in England, they say University here in America, they say college anyway.

If there was a business course slot, that was the only thing to take at that time, I definitely was in the coffee shop instead. So business was never ever anything that I was pursuing or interested in until I started something that was very relevant to my family and my goals for my family, and then watched it grow.

And I think it was about four years into it that I went, “Oh, I’ve got a business. So your money your life? Yes, it is.”

Aimee Cerka 06:19
I love it. And I have been asked before, like when I’m taught, prepping and working with guests, like before we do our interview, it’s like, which one of those do you mean? And I’ve tried to clarify a little bit, but it’s also I like kind of leaving it up to interpretation, because I think it also shows where your mind goes initially to.

So I love that holistic, like start really in what’s now your your business, your company and doing all those things. I ended up in the personal finance industry because I responded to a Craigslist ad. So like, of all the crazy veins.

Um, I was entrepreneurial, but I did not know I wanted to be in the finance industry at the time, it was just like, “hey, they said, you can make your own hours, like, let’s go try this.” And then I loved it later.

So tell us a little bit about what this looks like. Now. I mean, obviously, you weren’t initially like looking for the business. But it was a more of like a passion fit. It feels like, but what has this evolved into?

Now I think you mentioned you have a team with you as well that y’all are performing. I’m gonna stop and let you…

Kat Patrick 07:46
I mean, it really has grown holistically from homeschooling co-ops, when my kids were in elementary school, we had a group that met at my house of seven families and of those seven families. Well, if you count my husband, for our colleagues, and I didn’t initially ask them to teach with me, I didn’t even envision that it would spread beyond just English classes.

But when it started expanding, and people were asking, then I said, “Oh, I know just the person to teach that.”

And fortunately, they were very keen to join me most of us have kids the same age. And so as our kids were getting more independent and doing their own studies, I have four kids, two now at university and two still in high school. But this started off I guess, once they started reaching about 12 or 13, or 14 with their own children, then they had the margin they felt to to join the team and start carving their own paths.

So what it looks like now is when I moved back to America a few years ago, I actually incorporated the business and have a most amazing accountant who is someone who’s very interested in learning with about a new business and things like that. So he worked a lot with me because it is international. So although the business is based in America, we have a lot of we have to deal a lot with international payments and and how you deal with the taxes on those things.

And he’s just very interested. So and he breaks it down really simple. Simply we have a very simple business plan.

Overcoming Challenges

I think the other thing that was absolutely crucial to my turning point, am I just a tutor with a few students, and I meet with them over time, or is this a business plan where you bring in other people to work with you and you expand it?

And the big help for that was I worked with my local SCORE chapter, S, C, O, R, E. I have no idea what it stands for actually. But um, they’re all over the country, you can look up S-C-O-R-E lookup, mentoring, business mentoring, and I got myself a couple of business mentors.

And they were fantastic on helping me over this hurdle. And I’ll just talk about one book right now that I think was instrumental in this. They had me read E-myth, Revisited.

And it’s one of these, gosh, I’ve underlined a lot of stuff in here, I even drew a little picture. It’s one of these kind of analogy things where this woman has a pie shop. And she’s like running yourself ragged.

And she’s trying to decide she wants to pull back and not have any people work with her anymore and just go back to simpler things? Or does she expand? And how does she expand?

And so that’s exactly where I was. And that book was amazing. And the other one, they had me read, which was not as relevant, but in a way it kind of was this idea of how you become more manager than worker.

And although I’m still very much worker, it helped me. So it’s called The Leadership Pipeline by Ram anyway, you can look at it’s probably backwards, I don’t know.

One of those are my two big resources that the SCORE, mentors suggested to me and helped me get over that hump of, I’m just a, you know, tutor. And no, I actually have a business model. And it’s very sound, it’s very cash sound, which I like, and and I didn’t really have any initial outlays.

It just grew so organically. I never needed any sort of cash to start it, which was a real blessing, actually. And I keep talking about though, I’m going to slightly change the subject to think.

The CEO Mindset

But I keep talking about how am I just a tutor? Or am I CEO. And really, in some ways, you know, I’ll even say, I’m CEO of, but you know, it’s just me and my nine colleagues, or whatever, you know, and I find that with women, when I’ve been involved in women networking groups, they’ll often say, Oh, I just do this, or, Oh, I just do that. I just do this.

And I think that we need to stop putting just in front of what we do and own what we do.

And I’ll recommend one more book while I’m sitting here. That also changed my whole mindset. People might not agree necessarily with our politics.

I think she has run for office before as a Democrat up in in New England. Don’t let that put you off for teaching you something about being a woman, particularly a woman in business, and it’s called Women Who Don’t Wait In Line.

And one of the things that she brought up and I tell my daughter this all the time, who’s third year university, looking to go into the STEM field and astrophysics, and she’s like, “Yeah, but I don’t have the qualifications. I have I don’t have this, like, I need to get more qualifications.” And she’s saying, “Look, typically, men will apply for things, even if they don’t have all the qualifications, because they reckon they can get the job.”

Women are like, “Oh, I need to do this course, first. I need to get this I needed.” And it’s like, maybe not, maybe just go for it, and grow into it. And I feel like that’s definitely my journey.

I just said, “Go for it,” teaching this group of 10 people and now we have 450 people. So and it just doesn’t have to be anything that blocks your way. If it’s something that the doors open and go through it.

Homeschooling’s Many Facets

Kat Patrick 14:38
Yeah, and I think it’s really important also here to say that I personally feel well. There’s this really great support for homeschooling high school called Seven Sisters Homeschool and they do a podcast and they’re catchphrases.

There’s not one right way to homeschool High School. And I think that’s we can apply it here.

There’s not one right one, right way. There’s not one right way to be a working mom, or CEO, mom, whatever you are in that multitasking role or those roles, there’s no one right way to do it. And which is great that you’re doing these videos, these podcasts with people who’ve done it, and you do a number of them people go, “Yeah, they’re not the same.”

Their situations aren’t the same, their skills aren’t the same, their interests aren’t the same. And so finding your own, that’s very challenging, but I think if you’re mindful about all the different things that go into and make your sort of Venn diagram, you’ll probably find that sweet spot.

Embracing Inclusivity in Education

Aimee Cerka 16:01
So are there any misconceptions about the industry that you would just going to be like, “Hey, hey, that’s not the way that things actually work.” If somebody was considering this.

Kat Patrick 16:13
I think the industry is in massive flux all the time, as more technologies come on board to do this, prior to COVID. It was a bit more niche, or only really the realm of school at home or school online. There were some other a few other companies that started about the time that I did.

I got a message the other day from a student who’s finishing university who used to study with me, and he said at the end of his letter, you know, I think back about it, Dr. P, they call me that. You were doing online teaching before it was cool. And I’m like, yeah. But so it’s in a lot of flux, I think.

I think in homeschooling particularly there is a lot of tension between, or choices between whether you’re going to be like a school model tutor, tutoring people to support their school, or to, to do the, like a school at home.

And then there’s the complete opposite, which are quite the unschoolers. And there’s all things in between. And what one thing that is, I find the most frustrating is that because I have a worldwide audience, we work hard to be very inclusive.

We’ve got a lot of Middle Eastern students, we’d probably have more people in Asia to accept go. Timezones don’t work great. But we have people in Africa, all over Europe, all over America, and my colleagues and I are Christian.

Kat’s Faithful Approach to Business

And so we come from a Christian worldview. But we have to be inclusive about things. And I don’t say that, you know, we never hide our faith. We talk freely about our faith, but we I guess we sort of don’t preach the faith or whatever.

But, it is very frustrating that sometimes we have people, particularly American homeschoolers, who say we’re not Christian enough. And that really hurts my feelings, because we are, we are very loving to people and want to support them. And I can understand if there’s one thing that we might teach in a more sort of open and secular way, and suddenly we’re tired, like, you know, you suck, or whatever, excuse my French, but it is very hurtful.

And we just have to have tough skin at that and say to them, and we have a faith policy, where we explain that policy on our website, but I think you’re not you just have to realize that every parent, hiring a tutor is going to be mama bear at you. And so you can if you’re one-on-one tutoring, then you really do that your customer and you probably have to do things the way they want you to do.

And if you are providing a course this is the course we’re providing and you can come on it, then you you can do your best to sort of assuage things and calm things down. But I think it can be a lot about personal relationships, and they can go awry. Usually don’t. And people come back year after year after year. I’ve just got two families right now who signed up their fifth child with us.

Aimee Cerka 19:59
That’s awesome. them.

Kat Patrick 20:01
And they’ve got three more so.

The Power of Recurring Revenue

Aimee Cerka 20:06
Like that recurring revenue is already set up for you.

Kat Patrick 20:11
Yeah, and they like that child number one did this course. Child number five is going to do the course they know what to expect. Because we don’t really change it except every class is different because it’s a relationship with people. And so we’ll bring up different things, but it’ll be generally the same thing. So they know what to expect.

Aimee Cerka 20:35
Yes, definitely know if somebody is watching or listening. And it’s like, “Hey, maybe like my kid, like, I need my kid to come work with you. How would the best way to connect with you all for that website, etc. for your services?”

Strong Relationships with Students

Kat Patrick 20:53
Sure. So the business is called Dreaming Spires Home Learning. It was it’s called dreaming spires I started the company and Oxford in England and Oxford is the city of dreaming spires. So that’s where the name came from.

I’m also Dreaming Spires Home Learning on Facebook. I have a page.

And then on Instagram, it’s @katpatrick_at_dreamingspireshl because I was getting my account cloned all the time. And they just put like an extra number in or an extra letter. My profile name is as many characters as you can have.

So if there’s any change to it, like an extra letter or number or something, they had to take another thing out. So that’s why it’s so long. But those are where my social media things are.

And I’m quite happy to give you guys a word to put in the comments box on our registration form. We have some summer classes coming up as tasters, they started toward the end of June. And then we have our 30-week long year long courses also. But if you want to use a code, what code should we use? Give me a name.

Aimee Cerka 22:14
I was gonna say Your money, Your life? That’s really?

Kat Patrick 22:18
Yeah, well, it’s only you. So we’ll know exactly where it’s from. I’ll give you 10% off any course any main course, if you write “your money, your life” into the comments box. And we also do discounts for siblings.

Well, actually, it’s just multi-course discounts. So if you take a three or more, it’s 5%. If you get five or more, it’s 10%.

And that’s like if you have five kids, and they each take one you know it’s fine. And we also do referral discounts too. Anyway, just contact me.

And we’ll talk about all this and I’m very happy to say yes, your 12-year old is welcome and British novel or French one or whatever. Your Algebra Two. Yes, brilliant if there’s sort of ninth grade 10th grade, so anything like that if you want to ask me to what’s the best placement for your kids.

Aimee Cerka 23:11
Okay, and we’ll make sure that we have all the links below so that you’re all set. And we’ll see you next time bye for now guys.

Kat Patrick 23:19
So great. Thanks bye

Aimee Cerka 23:33
Thank you so much for listening to the Your Money Your Life podcast. My favorite place to hang out is on Instagram. You can find me @aimeecerka. Send me a message or post a screenshot and tag me I love hearing from podcast. listeners

When you’re ready to master your money, go to You and I will work together to ditch financial stress and struggle for good with a customized plan that works for you. Your goals your priorities your life. I’ll see you next time on the Your Money Your Life podcast.

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Aimee Cerka
Aimee Cerka

The Money Confidence Coach - She helps motivated women, like you create the happiness, family life, financial security, and long-term wealth they deserve. Create unstoppable finances so that when the next curveball is thrown your way... You're prepared. Click Here to Learn More

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