About this episode

In this episode, I share a new way to move forward with your business in the face of Coronavirus. Every single one of us has been impacted, in some way, by the Coronavirus. In fact, over the past few weeks, it has been at the top of every headline, discussion forum, and even populated most of the social posts we see. The impact of this virus is far-reaching.

Today, I offer a different way of seeing things amidst the disruption. Later, Tiffany Sorya of Novel Education Group joins me. She was our featured founder in Episode 12. When everything hit the fan a few weeks ago, Tiffany reached out to me and said, "James, entrepreneurs, and business owners are having a hard time navigating the challenge of having to homeschool and run a business."

For many of us, one of the precise boundaries in our life is work and family. Yet, there are no clear boundaries these days. Tiffany shared some tactics that can truly help you navigate business and life in these turbulent times. If there is any takeaway I want you to have from this season of disruption is that there is no playbook for us to lean into for lessons and tactics. We are all going through this together for the very first time. Have some grace and empathy for each other, and look for ways to assist others.

In this episode, you'll hear

  • I believe it is in seasons like this that there are massive relational investments to be made that will have long-term dividends once all this chaos subsides.
  • I explain what relational investments might look like in the tactical sense.
  • Your voice is not going to be heard above the noise of the current virus crisis; find new ways to elevate your message.
  • How to navigate working from home alongside your children
  • Some structural homeschooling tactics for parents
  • Considerations for parents of High School Seniors, specifically navigating school closures in their final year (where they'll potentially miss prom, graduation, grad night, and much more)

Resources from this episode

Tiffany Sorya on The Startup Story, Episode 12: https://www.thestartupstory.co/episodes/tiffany-sorya-founder-of-novel-education-group-a
Novel Education Group: https://www.noveleducationgroup.com/covid19
Tiffany on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tiffany-sorya-7a4280a4
Follow Tiffany on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tiffanysorya

The Startup Story on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/thestartupstory
The Startup Story is now on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/jamesmckinney
The Startup Story on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thestartupstory

Share the podcast

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First, the most powerful way you can support this podcast is by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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EPISODE CREDITS

If you like this podcast and are thinking of creating your own, consider talking to my producer, Danny Ozment.

He helps thought leaders, influencers, executives, HR professionals, recruiters, lawyers, realtors, bloggers, and authors create, launch, and produce podcasts that grow their business and impact the world.

Contact him today at https://emeraldcitypro.com/startupstory

Special Guest: Tiffany Sorya.

Episode transcript

The Startup Story -Running a Business During the Coronavirus Crisis

This is James McKinney, creator and host of The Startup Story. Are you tired of hearing about the coronavirus? Yeah, I am too. So in this episode, we're going to tell a different story.

Every wildfire began with a spark. Every superhero has an origin story. And every single startup has a moment that they point to as their beginning. And every founder has a purpose that drove them in the midst of all obstacles. THAT is The Startup Story.

[00:33]
James McKinney: This week is a very different episode of The Startup Story because I felt like if we just kept rolling as though it was business as usual it wouldn't be authentic, and authenticity is foundational to every single thing we do. Every single one of us has been impacted in some way by the coronavirus. In fact, over the past few weeks, the coronavirus has been at the top of every headline, every discussion forum, and even populated most of the social posts we see. It truly, really has been the only thing we see online. It's the only thing we see in the news and its even been the top trending topic on LinkedIn. The impact of this virus is so far reaching, it has impacted education and healthcare, transportation, restaurants, general freelancers, and even gig freelancers like musicians. In fact, there was an article I read that talked about how gig musicians are going to take a huge hit financially because they just can't play anywhere because there's no crowds anywhere. This virus will have a long-term impact on the hotel industry and the list goes on, and on, and on as it relates to startups and small businesses. Let's be real, the volume of online meetings is going to increase at an unreal rate so this will even have an impact on internet performance and our backbone resources like Zoom and Slack and Google GSuite. The impact is so incredibly broad.

With all that said, I thought it would be helpful, or maybe this is even self serving to some degree, I don't know, but I just wanted to put a different narrative out there and provide some incredibly practical tips on how to navigate this current climate that we're in. in this episode, I wanted to share a new way to move forward with your business as well as bring back a past guest back to this show. Later in this episode we'll be joined by Tiffany Sorya of Novel Education Group. She was our featured founder in episode 12 and we even replayed her episode in episode 52. When everything hit the fan a few weeks ago, Tiffany reached out to me and said, "James, entrepreneurs and business owners everywhere are having a hard time navigating this challenge of having to home school and run a business." And she's right. For many of us, one of the clear boundaries in our life was work and family. Well, there really are no clear boundaries these days and Tiffany is going to share some real tactics that can truly help you.

But first, I want to spend a little bit of time just giving a perspective and a different way of seeing things amidst the disruption that we all find ourselves in. What I love about being surrounded by entrepreneurs is that I get to see how many of them adapt to a changing market. In the last few weeks, I've heard incredible stories of how entrepreneurs have adapted their business to stabilize things until they calm down. In fact, I heard of a brewery who was having a hard time pushing in house draft brews because nobody was coming to the location, so they converted one of the machines into a hand sanitizer production tool. Like I said, it's just unbelievable entrepreneurs everywhere are getting as they try to navigate and weather this storm.

I've heard from some founders that even shared some operational tactics that they've implemented to weather the storm. We've heard from some founders that have even taken a three to six month cost analysis to see where they can trim overhead to run as lean as possible during this time. One founder shared with me how she scanned her bank statements for the last year to see which recurring subscription costs could they do without during this season. Obviously, trimming those subscription costs will have an impact on other service providers, but the principle is so helpful to all of us we need to take heed. We need to look at our business differently for the next few months, and that's the thing that we need to start talking about.

Some business owners have spoken to the idea of leveraging more freelancers to fill some of the staffing void versus trying to hire more people right now. Entrepreneurs everywhere are being incredibly innovative during this season, and with so much fear and panic narrative being pushed out there, I wanted to bring a different perspective to you, as well as a unique go forward strategy.

You see, in times like these it's so easy and so simple to bury our head, and well first we begin to think that we're all alone when we bury our head. We think that our challenge is ours and that nobody can relate. Secondly, we think we're alone to solve them and that nobody can help us. The reason this is the case is that in the middle of a fire fight we have a tendency to get a little bit myopic and when this occurs we only see what is directly in front of us. When that occurs, our field of vision becomes so incredibly narrow. One incredibly significant problem with being myopic is that the very narrow field of vision is what enlarges our blind spots exponentially. It's in our blind spots that we become more susceptible to, to use a military term, become more susceptible to a death shot.

So with that in mind, let's completely reset our posture towards other businesses and entrepreneurs right now. [05:00] Notice I didn't say let's reset how you view your challenge or struggle. That's because I'm absolutely positive that you have spent many, many hours spinning on the challenges that your business is going through right now. That is the myopic perspective I was speaking to earlier. As you spin on your own challenges, your field of vision is becoming more and more narrow. As it becomes narrow, I'm also confident that you've probably even mocked some tactics employed by other businesses and entrepreneurs as they seek to weather the storm that we're all in. And I say this, well I'm embarrassed but I say this because I've been there myself. I caught myself a few times doing that, and it was in those moments that I was reminded that the challenges I'm going through are more similar to others than they are different. So my suggestion to you, well really I guess my suggestion to all of us, is that we immediately shift our posture to one of empathy and compassion. In fact, the easiest way to see things differently, the easiest way to open up that field of vision to minimize those blind spots is to simply see different things. To get outside of your own challenge and step into the challenge of a fellow entrepreneur.

Before you judge a company or brand for marketing its product during this virus crisis, know that they have a payroll to make this Friday, possibly like you do. Before you judge that thought leader on running a webinar, know that their entire public speaking calendar has been completely wiped out for the entire year. And I suspect your opportunity pipeline has taken a drastic hit as well. Lastly, before you judge that client or prospect for completely ghosting you, know that they might just have some childcare issue that they're trying to work through as their work life and home life unexpectedly collided.

This virus has rattled all areas of life and there's absolutely no playbook for these times. For some entrepreneurs, the response is going to be to crawl into a whole and wait for everything to clear, and that's perfectly okay. For others like myself, we're going to see an opportunity in every challenge and we'll fight until the very end for our employees and our business. In fact, to be fully transparent, these past few weeks have been incredibly challenging when it comes to our live event plans regarding Startup Story Live. As you can imagine, networking events and conferences have taken a huge hit because of the virus crisis. In fact, because of coronavirus we've had to push Startup Story Live back five weeks to ensure that there's enough clear airwaves to sell all the tickets we need to sell. Yes, we can try and leverage Facebook ads to sell all of our tickets, but when all the messaging we see everywhere is about how to survive this virus crisis, we'd be swimming upstream and just blowing through capital trying to figure out how to sell tickets. That didn't make sense and we had to move it. That was an incredibly tough decision to make and one that financially is going to hurt, but I know that I'm not alone in that pain point.

I'm not sitting here spinning on my challenges with a "woe is me" mindset. In fact, I know there are many other event producers that have had to make similar decisions. I mean for crying out loud, SXSW had to cancel entirely because they're just too big to postpone. They didn't get the luxury that I get in just pushing the event back a few weeks. No, that team lost a tremendous amount of money. The sponsors lost a tremendous amount of money. All the startups that were planning for the last year to use SXSW to launch their product are now trying to figure out how to move forward. My challenge and my main point is not unique to me. It's just that it's my challenge and my pain point.

With all that said, I want to encourage you to take an aggressive go forward strategy, one that I'm taking. I believe that it's in seasons like this that there are massive relational investments to be made that will have long-term dividends once all this chaos subsides. What do I mean by relational investments? What I mean by that is that we start from a posture that is understanding to the truth that every single person, whether client, vendor, investor, employee, is impacted by this virus crisis. Every single person. The idea of a relational investment is that we seek to serve those in some way, shape or form. The act of service is the relational investment. Let me give some examples of how this looks at a tactical and practical level.

First, call your existing client list and ask how you can help. Find out what their immediate need is. Again, they have a payroll, they have targets they have to hit. If it's a referral or sales lead they want, find a way to bring them that referral or lead. Maybe you want to reach out to your prospects and start with letting them know that you understand this season is challenging and you're not calling them to sell them, but to serve them. Ask them what their immediate need is and if you can deliver on it, do so. Or call on your past clients that left you. Even if they left you under bad conditions, let them know that regardless of the previous issues we're all navigating this challenge together, and ask them what their immediate need is. Those are relational investments. Those are investments that can be made today that will have incredible dividends later. If we can just start from that position, it will be so easy for us to move forward through this challenge together. [10:00]

Do you need to hit a certain revenue target? Of course you do, but your voice is not going to be heard above the noise of the current virus crisis so you need to find new ways to elevate your message. There is a tremendous amount of noise out there in the marketplace right now and the only message that is going to get through is the one that has a completely different tone to it. Make as many relational investments as possible and watch what happens once this temporary storm passes, because this storm is temporary and it will pass. Look, entrepreneurship is a game of attrition and this tactic will help you to stay standing during the storm, and for a very long time afterwards. Entrepreneurs support other entrepreneurs so find ways to serve those around you.

In that same vein of thought of serving and seeking to help other entrepreneurs amidst the chaos of the current climate, I shared earlier how Tiffany Sorya, the founder of Novel Education Group, reached out to me helping me to see a major challenge that I'm sure many of you are dealing with, and I'm so grateful for that.

[11:01]
James McKinney: Thank you so much Tiffany for helping me to see outside of my own bubble. I've worked home for the past four plus years I think, and we've home schooled that whole time so the shutdown of schools everywhere didn't really shake my world at all because that has been my world. But when you reached out to me sharing how challenging this season might be for my listeners, it immediately made sense to me. And again, thank you so very much for joining us to help other entrepreneurs and business owners navigate this new world. I'm so glad you reached out to me.

[11:31]
Tiffany Sorya: Of course. Thank you for having me back on. I really started to notice a trend with a lot of parents when all of this hit was their kids are at home every day now for the hours when they're used to them being at school, and I think a lot of people that work from home, entrepreneurs, people that work in general, are finding a hard time with the balance of having their kids at home and then also trying to work from home.

[12:00]
James McKinney: One of the things that I kicked off this episode with was just kind of this perspective shift for entrepreneurs. It's so easy for us to become head down when it comes to chaos and disruption that we kind of see our own thing. We become myopic is a term I use, where our field of vision becomes so narrow and we can't see the blind spots of our life. How might that myopic vision that we get as entrepreneurs impact how we navigate this season with the coronavirus and all the disruptions of our life that has taken place? How would we navigate this season when it comes to working from home alongside the smallest coworkers we'll ever have, our family?

[12:39]
Tiffany Sorya: Well as entrepreneurs, I think that one thing that we are very, we become sort of accustom to is having a lot of control over our situations because we sort of make the decisions that drive our businesses. We make the decisions that drive our employees, and when something like this happens suddenly there are so many things that are out of control. Sometimes I think the reaction to that is to sort of oh goodness, I need to hunker down and actually impose more rules on my day, impose more rules on my children so that we can continue to be as productive as we always are.

One thing to keep in mind right now is first of all, the acceptance that your day is not going to look the same as it is when you are going to work, when your kids are going to school, when you're working from home and your kids are going to school. I think first and foremost we need to take a little bit of pressure off of ourselves to try and maintain the same schedules as we normally have in our normal, everyday lives because this is not a normal situation.

[13:46]
James McKinney: That is for certain, this is definitely not normal. One of the things that I find in my own personal practice is that when there's so much disruption or things just aren't working, I have to completely disassemble it and try to rebuild something that makes sense. For someone like yourself, and again my wife does the homeschooling. Full transparency, I say we homeschool but the reality is my wife homeschools. I say I'm the principal, so I come in with the heavy sometimes when things need to get taken care of. But from an educators perspective like yourself that deals with this, that deals with those that have referencing back to our previous episode time together, the unconventional lifestyles. Obviously the entertainers as well as the significantly travelled entrepreneur and CEOs. Those that just have a lifestyle a bit different and need an educational format that is different. Well this is very different for every entrepreneur.

Would you agree or disagree that the structure of the public education system is not one that my audience necessarily needs to follow in this day and age? From a get up at 6 am as if they have to be dressed and ready to get on the bus at 7, well not the bus at 7 but ready for school by 8. Should they be following the exact same format or should they rethink everything completely?

[15:01]
Tiffany Sorya: I think that things can absolutely be restructured. As an entrepreneur, sometimes I mean your schedule is different all the time. Sometimes you have really late nights when you stay up and then you schedule a late meeting the next day. Sometimes you have to switch when you exercise. Sometimes you have to switch that up. I think if we can apply that same mindset for our kids, for the children, the students that are being affected by this, I think we can find ourselves A, taking off that pressure that I was speaking about before, and also B, I think finding your kids to be a little bit more productive and self sufficient.

I've been seeing in a lot of these learn from home programs that these schools have been putting out, which I think this is a huge mistake to what you were saying, to your question, is these programs are still expecting kids to be in school virtually from 8 am to 3 pm.

[15:59]
James McKinney: That's crazy.

[16:00]
Tiffany Sorya: It is not realistic at all. Even just from a general homeschooling perspective, you understand. You homeschool your kids. It's not realistic to expect kids, if they are learning from home, to be logged online for 45 minutes for this, then they take a 20 minute lunchbreak, then 45 minutes for this, then they do PE for 30 minutes, where they're literally asked to just do PE for 30 minutes where they go outside and run around and come back. That's not how kids play. So to be able to give them, and this is our whole philosophy as well, to be able to give them a little bit more control over how they work, what they learn, and at what pace they want to execute that will really only create more productivity in your kids, and you don't have to impose those same rules. I do think that there needs to be some structure of course. I think structure motivates them, motivates people in general, but not having to put them in the same schedule as they were in regular school I think is totally normal.

[17:05]
James McKinney: You know, I want to talk about structure a little bit because I think that will help our listeners a lot, especially with the experience that you have. But one of the things you said there that I think has to be so freeing for our listeners, and I hope you picked up on this everybody, that in the school setting, they're there for so many hours but when you break down the actual learning time for your student within a classroom, even within a one hour class setting, your student might be getting 10 minutes of learning in that one hour of class because there's, depending on what state you're in, 40 kids per class.

In a homeschool setting, and again as an entrepreneur listen up, you are homeschooling right now, you are a homeschool parent, across our country we are all homeschool parents right now assuming we have kids, that is the one prerequisite is you have to have a kid in order to be a homeschool parent. But aside from that, in the homeschool space, it's the one on one. It is less hours necessary to accomplish the same or more than a public school setting. From the idea of having to go from 8 to 3 like a public school classroom, that's not the case. You don't have to give your kids seven hours of learning. You can knock it out in two to three hours. And so with that, can you walk us through again, we have listeners of all ages and stages of kids, can you walk us through some structural tactics that might apply? And can you break them down by age group? The elementary age, the middle school and the high school years. Can you give some tactics for our listeners?

[18:32]
Tiffany Sorya: So if we're starting from a younger age, younger kids in general do wake up earlier, that's just something that happens.

[18:40]
James McKinney: Unfortunately, yes.

[18:41]
Tiffany Sorya: Yes, they do wake up earlier. However, I do think… and in regular school, some of these kids are waking up as early as 6:30 in the morning which is early. You don't need to wake your kids up at 6:30 in the morning, even when they're young, to start that. I do think that a general school day should start before 11 o'clock. I think that's completely fair. I think it's important that they get up, and whatever time that they do wake up, that they get dressed, have breakfast. Getting dressed sounds so minute, but it is really important I think as a motivator for kids and for adults. Get up, get dressed, put their shoes on, and put them in a working space.

Once they are working, I do think it's important during that work time to structure that work time because that teaches them time management. This is also a really good time thought to be exploring how they work independently. You don't need to be hovering over their shoulder the entire time. Try and make the work a little bit more project based and see how they do on their own. Give them 20 minutes of their own time and then come back and check on them. If they're on a roll, let them keep working. You don't need to stop them. If they're right in the middle of reading something that they're really into, don't stop them from reading to move onto the next thing. Let them read. It's a good thing that they're reading.

They're developing autonomy during this. They're developing some independence. I do think it's important to schedule a break, when they're young, to schedule a break. And then end the school day. What's kind of unfortunate right now is that some of these schools are requiring that kids are logging in for certain times of the day and certain hours, so if you are in that situation then unfortunately that's sort of what you're faced with. But if you do have some flexibility in terms of just your kids being sent home with some school work, then this is a time when they can really learn how they get that done, and learn how they work on their own. It's a big self learning time as well. So scheduling a start time, a finish time, a break time in between, and then I would really encourage also right now is to start some sort of extracurricular project that they've always been interested in.

[21:01]
James McKinney: I truly believe, ever since you approached me about the challenge my listeners might be having, I started thinking through. When we were transitioning from public school to home schooling, there was this background narrative that we had to be schooling our kids for so many hours. We had to be ensuring that they were deep in math for 45 minutes. That's a lot of math. That is a lot of math for a student. What are some things that if our listeners take anything away from hearing from you who, again many, many years in this space having dealt with some highly successful people, some people that have grown to become incredibly successful individuals, if there's anything they can glean, what's a bit of freedom you can give them in their approach to how they are homeschooling their kids for the next however long this goes on for?

[21:53]
Tiffany Sorya: Well I want to just say that in general, seat time for homeschooling, the recommending seat time for homeschooling is about 15 hours a week. That is what we always propose to our students. Some parents want it to be longer, some parents want it to be shorter. But in general 15 hours a week for especially if they're learning independently and they're learning one on one, is absolutely enough time for them to be doing their core classwork. I think taking that into consideration when you're planning out their day is really important.

[22:28]
James McKinney: Think about that too, for my listeners. Look at your day as a week. Again, the boundaries of work life and family life, they're really muddy right now because family life and work life are in the same dwelling space. So when you think about your week, hearing what Tiffany said, again someone who has been in this space for a long time so not just some person who's living this bohemian RV lifestyle who happens to be a homeschooler. This is someone who has been doing this for a long time, has travelled the globe talking about different educational practices. So when you think of what she just said, 15 hours of seat time is the recommendation for homeschool, look at your week. There might be certain days that are so heavy with product work or project work, maybe cash planning because you're trying to figure out how is cash flow going to go. Some days might be heavier than others. You know what? You have Saturday and Sunday for homeschool. You don't have to just stick to the Monday through Friday. Even if it's a holiday week, you can shift things around to accommodate it.

Even too, one of the things that Tiffany shared about the idea of project work, what a great opportunity to teach your kids time management at a higher thought level than before. Hey, Johnny, Susie, this is what my week looks like this week. This is all the things I have to cover and we also have to cover all the things you need to cover together. Let's try to figure out a hybrid approach, like you know what this Tuesday we're going to have no school because we're going to spend a few hours on Saturday instead. Work at it collectively.

[24:01]
Tiffany Sorya: Absolutely. I could not agree with that more. And it's also saying to Johnny and Susie, "Hey, this is what I have to get done this week, what do you have to get done this week?" and making them a part of that conversation. And if they say, "I really want to sleep in on Wednesday," it's like okay, sleep in on Wednesday but then maybe Thursday you need to get up a little bit earlier. Then they say, "Okay, well that's fair." That's a huge learning moment right there for them, to understand that they can make those choices as long as there's accountability somewhere. That's what we can take from this. Because really in homeschool, when they're done with their three hours, the reason why a lot of students choose homeschooling, it's not so that when they're done with their three hours that they can just be horizontal for the rest of the day, but so that they have the time to be exploring and making something out of the things that they like to do.

And I know that a lot of parents out there, I just know a lot of parents out there are listening and saying, "But all my kid likes to do is play video games." Which I totally get and it's true. It's true. They're just like well I don't want them to just be doing whatever they want, because all they want to do is play video games. There are learning opportunities around video games as well. There are learning opportunities around the digital world that we can be taking advantage of, and those are the types of things that I would like to see people opening their minds to.

[25:33]
James McKinney: Can you provide those resources to the listeners? Is that something that's going to be on your website?

[25:37]
Tiffany Sorya: We have a list. We provide, first and foremost I do want to say that we are a homeschooling, private tutoring, and academic enrichment agency. So not only do we provide homeschooling, but we provide 4, 8, 12, and even 18 week enrichment programs that are custom designed for students. So whether they want to learn how to build a website, if they want to learn how to paint better, if they want to learn, I don't know how video games are even made or something like that. These are things that we can design for kids to be doing on a pretty consistent schedule. We design the curriculum, there are very clear weekly benchmarks and assignments that they have to do. So they can actually be accomplishing something and making something that is based around a passion. Our services we are offering at deeply discounted rates right now considering what is going on, because we want people to be taking advantage of this moment.

In terms of resources, yes, we do have a landing page right now that everyone can go to and it's noveleducationgroup.com/covid19. That is a list of our services. There's also going to be a list of resources in terms of activity books at different grade levels, because right now the key is honestly activity. Of course we want our kids to be reading, but realistically if you stick a novel in front of them sometimes they're just really not going to want to do it. So it's activity. It's showing them hey, this is a fun way for your young kids, fun way to learn phonics. Or this is a fun way to keep your math going. Those are the types of literature that we really try and promote, so there will be a list of those resources on the landing page.

[27:24]
James McKinney: That's awesome and that's even helpful for me. The idea of having different ways of teaching. I know of code.org, there's places out there. There's ST Math, concepts around video game if you will. A super simple video game, but nevertheless it's out there. And I know of those, but to be able to have more opportunities it's helpful for me as well to hand off to my kids teacher, aka my wife to bring that to our kids. And so I know it's going to be incredibly helpful.

One age I do want to talk about, and only because I've had a few conversations, and that's the parents of seniors. The senior year is a big year in a lot of cases. Again, as an entrepreneur and maybe I'm speaking from my own position and I tend to try not to do that, so I have to believe that I'm speaking to a broad group of audience listeners as well. When things are spinning out of control I tend to just see my world and the things that I'm dealing with because of my own chaos. Payroll, revenue, whatever the case may be. And it's easy to forget what might be happening to the senior in my life. They're losing grad night, they're losing prom, they're losing their potential graduation ceremony. They're losing a ton of things. What are some things that you can help frame up for the entrepreneur who is listening who has a graduating senior in the house, to just have a little bit of empathy towards? How might a parent navigate that season with their graduating senior?

[28:59]
Tiffany Sorya: Well I mean it sort of depends on what situation you're looking at because if they're a graduating senior that's heading to university next year, I think now is a really good time to be gearing them up for that. We don't know what's going to happen. However, I think it's important to stay positive and it's important to stay forward when looking at all of this and not stuck in what we're doing right now. You will be attending university in the fall, it's going to be an exciting time. Of course be empathetic towards their situation right now because it is really tough, and especially that age group. Their friends, it's like that's their whole world. Let them talk to their friends on Facetime and things like that, and try to be forward looking for all the things that are to come. This is the city that you'll be going to for college, let's look at some fun things that you can be doing there. Hey, why don't we get there a week early maybe and try to explore. Maybe trying to do some little things that can make up for this lost time of fun.

If they're not headed to university and there's something else that they have in mind, now is a great time to be starting that. We really encourage project based learning and that project based learning continues on into adulthood, absolutely, and just projects in general. Now is a really great time to be hey, starting that nonprofit foundation, starting that business that you've always wanted to start, building that website that you always wanted to build. Now is a really good time to be doing that and you don't have to be doing it for five hours a day. Even if they just start their Square Space account or something like that, and just look at the templates that are available. Just something like that, just a little bit every day. As soon as a student sees some type of result in work that they put in, it will motivate them to do more. I think it's important to be just seeing the things that you can do now that are going to effect your life come September.

[30:57]
James McKinney: That was absolutely incredibly, Tiffany. That was incredibly powerful insight for the entrepreneurs that have graduating seniors. I think it's a great learning lesson in general to understand the seasonality of just our year. There are thing that we work towards because there is a hard cutoff, there is a boundary, there is something forward looking. That really applies to all age groups. What should parents be doing now for their, in that same vein, for every other kid who's not graduating?

[31:27]
Tiffany Sorya: I think something that we're sort of overlooking right now is incentive for students. I mean I always think in terms of a school year because of what I do. Okay, this is when it starts, this is when it ends, and then there's summer break. But right now because the line between school year right now and summer is so blurred, I think this is why students might be having a hard time finding value in the work that they're doing at home. So you kind of have to give that work a little bit of value. In order to do that, I think it's totally okay to be creating incentives for students right now. Hey, when the school year gets out this is what we're going to do, so that way they still feel like they're working towards a goal and like they still accomplished something, and it's not just a scramble of just filling up their day with work so that their parents can get their work done. If you give more value to what they're doing, then they will feel more accomplished at the end of the school year, and then it will still feel like summer break. And I think that's also really important for the students.

[32:27]
James McKinney: I think it's important for the parents too, right, to understand even in this blend of work life and home life being so closely intertwined, for them to understand hey there's a summer coming. And again, I believe this thing doesn't have the shelf life that a lot of the media is giving it right now, and so I think there's hope is much closer than is being pushed out in the media, but that's not for this episode to talk about. But Tiffany, this insight has been so helpful. I know it's going to be so encouraging for our listeners. And can you repeat again where they can get these resources for these enriched learning opportunities that you spoke about?

[33:06]
Tiffany Sorya: Yes. It is noveleducationgroup.com/covid19. And also on that landing page is how you can get in contact with me directly. If you have questions, if you're interested in doing an enrichment program, that's a way to reach out to the team directly. And I just really want to let people know that we are here to support in this really unpredictable time.

[33:33]
James McKinney: Absolutely amazing. Thank you so much for reaching out to me and I'm so glad that you joined us on this episode.

[33:37]
Tiffany Sorya: Thank you so much, James. Thanks for having me.

[33:40]
James McKinney: I hope you found value in this unique episode. If there is any takeaway I want you to have from this season of disruption is that there is no playbook for us to lean into for lessons and tactics. We're all going through this together for the very first time, so have some grace and empathy for each other. Look for ways to serve each other and provide assistance beyond any efforts we might otherwise. I say it every episode because I mean it, entrepreneurs support other entrepreneurs. So let's show up for each other during this unprecedented time. And now for my personal ask.

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These simple actions can make a huge impact in getting these amazing founder stories out to the masses. And please make sure to tag or mention The Startup Story when you do share so that we can connect with you and say thank you directly. I'm so incredibly appreciative of the fact that you listen to the show each and every week, and I look forward to sharing these amazing stories with you every Tuesday with hopes of encouraging and inspiring you to start your story.

If you like this podcast and are thinking of creating your own, consider talking to my producer Danny Ozment. He helps thought leaders, influencers, executives, and authors create, launch, and produce podcasts that grow their business and make a real impact in this world. You can contact him today at emeraldcitypro.com/startupstory.

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