Three Reasons I Don’t Teach


The more I’m out in the public eye, the more I’m asked about making personal appearances of various types.  For example, when I was in Raleigh a few weekends ago vending at the Raleigh Quilting & Sewing Expo, I was offered no less than 10 different speaking opportunities mainly in the North Carolina and Virginia area. For example:

-Several quilting or sewing guilds were looking for guest speakers at their monthly meetings…

-and a couple of store owners wanted to know if I’d be willing to teach a handbag-specific class…

-and a few small regional quilt shows were looking to fill their Booth areas with “brand-name” vendors who might also be willing to teach a class or conduct a  “Make & Take” session or two, since either or both increase foot-traffic.

And here’s the thing… despite the fact that I know several gals who make a pretty good living doing this very thing, and even though I would seriously LOVE to be able to be one of those folks who seemingly do this with EASE, and notwithstanding that its SO very flattering to be sought after in this way, I always politely decline.

Say WHAT????

Yep, no matter how politely I say it, that’s the kind of look I always get when I do so!  I can generally tell by their quizzical expressions that they really do not begin to understand why I would turn down these opportunities. So I thought this might be as good a place and time as ever, to explain the;

THREE Reasons that I Don’t Teach

  1. It doesn’t come natural to me. Let’s face it, we’ve all known teachers who had brilliant minds, but were lousy teachers, right? They just couldn’t relate and adapt their teaching to a wide variety of people. For this reason I’m a firm believer that the world’s best teachers are divinely gifted in much the same way as musicians, artists, and craftsmen. Teaching is an ability that  just seems to come naturally to them. They “come alive” when they teach. It’s something they just can’t help but do.

2. It’s not my passion.I have actually met a few individuals who had such an overwhelmingly strong desire to teach that they were willing to work extra HARD to develop the skills and abilities to make them great teachers. I have never felt such a drive. On the few occasions where I’ve stood before a group in an attempt to teach, I’ve approached it with an attitude of sheer dread.

3. It’s the WRONG way to spend my time!When I started this business almost 10 years ago, I promised myself that I would spend as much time as possible doing things I loved to do and was divinely suited for. And I really do believe that this is the primary reason I’ve been able to accomplish as much as I have.  Because here’s the deal… it takes me FOREVER to do things I don’t like doing! I’m much better off to avoid those jobs as much as possible or hire folks to do them for me. By focusing my attention on things I love doing and do well, (like writing and designing) I can stay energized, enthusiastic and “on task” for hours on end!

So… after reading this…

Aren’t you glad I’m not your next guest speaker?

But seriously, when I decline a speaking engagement, I’m not only avoiding an uncomfortable job, but I’m also saving YOU the discomfort of having to watch and listen to me struggle through it!

Does this post resonate with anyone else?
What job task would you avoid ever doing again if you could?

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