Digital nomadism is one of the recent world trends. Many people want to travel, work online and earn money. It is a great option for those, who are tired with the corporate world and want to see and experience more.
For a long time I dreamed about working remotely. I wanted to travel and work when I wanted and where I wanted. I looked for ways to do it, but couldn’t figure out how I could use my skills. In my opinion, a digital nomad was someone who could design websites, programme, or help people with promoting their businesses. I couldn’t do it. I really struggled to find a way to earn money online. The only option I had, was to go back to England and work in an office.
I found out about teaching English online from a friend of mine. It was one of those moments that feels like someone has just lit a candle in a very dark room. “Ping!” – just like this, an idea appeared in my head. After a week I signed my first contract with Education First – an American company, thanks to which I could quit my job in a Thai school and start living the dream.
Working for an agency is pretty easy and pleasant. I open a virtual classroom, upload slides, I read them to my students, I ask them questions, I close the virtual classroom, grade students and my work is done.
Why would you change anything if you can earn money in a simple and straightforward way? I am one of those people that don’t like when things are easy. I always look for challenges.
During one of our nights out (Christopher’s and mine) in Kraków, when the temperature was blow zero and we were hiding in Piwnica Pod Baranami, and were drinking beers with raspberry syrup, I told Chris that I was dreaming of opening my own online language school. I wanted to see the same students on a regular basis and I wanted to see them grow and make progress. Education First supplied me with constant flow of students and work, but I had different students whenever I opened a classroom. I really wanted to be a real teacher, who would know her students’ needs and fulfil them.
That’s how an idea for OK English came up – my own, private English online lessons. At the beginning I was going to focus on Polish students only as it was easier for me to relate to that particular market.
I decided that my classes would be pleasant and laid back and through discussions about interesting subjects I will teach conversation. From my own experience, I know that it’s very important to learn how to use the language in every day life. In many schools around the world, young people are taught grammar and vocabulary, but have no idea how they can use them. Through learning conversation we gain confidence and we are less shy of speaking, but we also learn grammar at the same time.
Through my lessons I want people to make quick progress and feel that they can learn the language, correct their own mistakes and say at least a few sentences in English without struggle.
This is of course also an idea to earn money while I live abroad. All classes are through Skype, which, comparing to the Education First lessons, don’t require fast internet. I can live in any country I want, even if the connection is a bit slower. At the moment I am not planning to move outside of Chiang Mai and Thailand, but who knows, I might decide to go somewhere else soon.
When you have a business like that, you don’t need much – a good website is enough. Then you need to invest in advertising and spend a little time writing good blog posts with good SEO.
Having my own, little business gives me a lot of satisfaction. I don’t have that many customers (yet!), but I am determined and have a long term plan.
I teach my girls (they are all women) every day and I love it. All of them are ambitious and they want to learn. I can see them grow and make progress. Soon, except usual lessons, I will offer courses, which will allow my students to develop their vocabulary and listening skills. I am very excited and with new energy I am looking ahead.