Stephanie McConnell, founder of the brand Principal Principles, got her start in online business by selling digital resources for teachers. Working at the time as a school principal, she discovered she could serve her teachers well by helping them create resources to use in the their classrooms.
Soon after, she followed her instincts, which were guiding her to create resources for the underserved audience of campus leaders, school principals in particular. Since starting Principal Principles, Stephanie has grown into a trusted resource for principals looking to serve and lead in a more efficient and productive way.
Stephanie is an example to edupreneurs everywhere that you do not have to serve teachers exclusively to be successful in business. If you are a guidance counselor, instructional coach, assistant principal, or a school psychologist, there is a market for you to serve a unique target audience of “non-teachers”.
Join Edupreneur Today as we share insights from Stephanie on she successfully started and grew her business serving school principals.
ET: Tell me about your career in education before starting Principal Principles?
SM: I have completed 10 years as a school administrator. Prior to becoming a principal, I was a teacher for 8 years. I absolutely love being a principal. However, I love teaching just as much. Leaving the position this year was a hard decision because of my love for campus-life. My journey is now taking me in another path to teach and mentor future and current school leaders all over the world. I love sharing and networking with other school leaders.
ET: What inspired you to become an entrepreneur and start your business?
SM: I began only creating and sharing teacher resources when I first started. My teachers needed items for the classroom so I stepped up and started making printables, center games, and classroom decorations. All while this was going on, I knew my true need was to help my fellow administrators who were serving our schools. There is a big lack of resources for principals and other school leaders. I hated going to workshops and someone tell us what we already knew to do. We left with the idea to go implement it but our “hands were empty.” I thought why tell us all about what we need to do but also give us the resources to get started. That is how Principal Principles was born. My goal is to share the reasons why we need to do this on our campus AND give you the things (resources) to start right away.
ET: When beginning your business, what were the first three steps you implemented?
SM: First, I started a blog even though I really had no idea how that all worked. I jumped in with both feet. Second, I tackled Facebook. I wanted to make sure I had a way to communicate via social media with other administrators and teachers who might pursue this field. 3. I connected with my audience and got to understand their needs so I could really help them. I created a survey, asked questions on FB, as well as, the blog.
ET: What is the most challenging part about running your business?
SM: Time! I would love to write more often but it just isn’t possible.
ET: To date, what has been your proudest achievement in your business?
SM: In June, I attended a conference and I had a line of administrators waiting to talk to me, take pictures and share stories. I left the conference with a joyful heart. I receive pictures all the time from my network of administrators that they took that day. I still receive emails telling me they love my blog. I’m just so thankful to reach so many people. They think I have made a difference in their job. But I truly think I am the one blessed to be a part of their lives.
ET: For educators who want to start their own business, what advice would you offer?
SM: Go for it. Don’t be fearful of the unknown. There will be ups and downs along the way. Just keep at it.
To learn more about Principal Principles, visit the website at http://thenewprincipalprinciples.blogspot.com
You can also connect with Stephanie on social media in the following ways:
Instagram (my favorite): @principalprinciples
Facebook: Principal Principles
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