After I started selling through Teachers Pay Teachers, I found myself making more money than I anticipated much earlier than I had thought possible. Of course, I was excited! But I also found myself facing all kinds of new fears–I knew nothing about business or managing the finances for one. How would this impact my income taxes? How would I monitor my spending? Luckily, I know that no matter the challenge, there’s a book for everything. So I found the perfect business book for teacherpreneurs everywhere: Profit First by Mike Michalowicz.
(Psst! Wanting to make the leap to teacherpreneur yourself? My course TPT Profitability is the easiest way to go from nada to a sustainable Teachers Pay Teachers store in just about a month!)
Profit First was born when Michalowicz realized that, despite his company profiting overall at the end of the year, he had no idea where the money had gone. Even though the financial showed that he should have made a decent income, other petty charges and chaotic bookkeeping had eaten his hard-won profits.
With the Profit First book, teacherpreneurs can avoid this problem.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that earn me a small commission, at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products that I personally use and love, or think my readers will find useful.
Why Teacherpreneurs Need to Read Profit First
Teacherpreneurs are an interesting group. They’re teachers first, which means many don’t have a lot of background in business.
Yet, one way or another, they’ve found themselves with a business.
I love the teacherpreneur movement. Teachers, quite frankly, don’t earn the money they deserve, despite having so many marketable skills. So combining the teacher side of oneself with the entrepreneur side is a winning combo.
Except when it isn’t.
It’s tempting for teachers to lead too much with their hearts: we tend to undervalue our own worth, want to give too much, and just generally fear money. These qualities less helpful when trying to run a business.
And while other entrepreneurs were taking on marketing classes and meaningful internships, we were studying child psychology.
While teachers are naturally equipped with some essential business skills–copywriting, empathy, tech skills–they are often lacking in other hard business skills.
If you’re finding yourself with a lot of accounting questions all of a sudden, then Profit First is a must-read.
Profit First as a Business Book for Teacherpreneurs
Profit First is an easy-to-grasp framework for creating, managing, and maintaining your teacherpreneur income. Michalowicz tells you exactly how to set up your bank accounts–even the nicknames to give each account.
He provides specific percentages for distribution of your business income within your bank accounts so that you are always growing, reinvesting, and most importantly, paying yourself.
Michalowicz even walks you through how to set up your accounts so that you take home the same amount month over month, even when your income is wildly erratic.
For my Teachers Pay Teachers sellers, you know how different June sales can be from September’s–imagine taking home the same amount of extra income, regardless of the school season!
Oh, and it’s not dry, either. Michalowicz’s writing style is engaging, funny, and down-to-earth. This is not a technical manual on finances and accounting; this is one business owner passing sage advice to another.
Michalowicz shares his own mistakes and failures freely in hopes that you can avoid those same pitfalls.
How the Profit First Strategy Helps Teacherpreneurs
When I earned over $1,000 in a Teachers Pay Teachers payout in just my sixth month of business, I was overwhelmed. Not only could I believe it was happening to begin with, but I had no clue what to do with the money.
How much should I save for taxes? Did I earn enough to have to report my extra income (quick answer–basically any amount needs to be reported!)? How much should I be reinvesting in my business?
As my payouts continued to grow, I found myself with even more questions. How do I determine my own “salary”? Should it be the same every month or a percentage of each month’s earnings?
How do I make sure I have money for big once-a-year expenses like Tailwind and smaller, but more frequent expenses, like Teachers Pay Teachers clip art?
As an English teacher through and through, I knew how to find the answers: I had to find the perfect business book for teacherpreneurs.
I had heard of Profit First by Mike Michalowicz through several podcasts. This title just kept coming up over and over. I had even listened to interviews with Michalowicz.
Finally, I ordered the book from Amazon.com.
And promptly devoured it.
Maybe I love reading financial books more than the average person, but I tore through Profit First. And now, it lives close to my work desk.
The Impact of Profit First for Teacherprenuers
I set up the Profit First system immediately for my own business after reading this book. Despite already doing a pretty good job managing my business’s finances, Michalowicz showed me how to do it better.
My favorite little technique? Giving yourself quarterly bonuses! I feel like such a VIP at the end of every business quarter and love saying, “I just got my CEO bonus!” (Yes, my business is a company of one…)
Once you have the Profit First system in place, you’ll never wonder if you can afford something for your business again. You’ll know exactly how much you’ll be getting paid–even before the month begins.
Better yet, you’ll always have the money to grow, the money to pay yourself, and it’ll be virtually impossible to lost money at the end of the year.
This year, doing my taxes was easy. Despite having my teaching income, my business income, income from a summer job, and a stack of write-offs, my records pleased my accountant. Filing taxes was painless.
I did owe the government this year for the first time in my life, thanks to the success of my Teachers Pay Teachers store. But, because of Profit First, I had put aside four times what I ended up owing!
Which means all that extra I had saved was just added to my quarterly bonus. I think tax season might become my new favorite part of the year!
Conclusion: This is THE Business Book for Teacherpreneurs
So, if you need a business book that doesn’t read like a business book, if you have no idea how you should manage your business’s finances, or you just want to make sure you continue to grow your side hustle, then I can’t recommend Mike Michalowicz’s Profit First enough.
Grab the book for teacherpreneurs today and get your side-hustle money in order!