Today’s Teacher Entrepreneur Profile is the Inefficiency Assassin Helene Segura. I saw an interview with Helene on YouTube and knew I had to speak with her about her transformation from classroom Teacher to Inefficiency Assassin! She started her journey helping students get and stay organized to facilitate their academic success. From there she moved on to helping adults become more organized and the rest is history.
CS: How long have you been an educator and what positions have you held?
HS: I was an educator for 15 years. I taught 9th grade English and was the assistant Department Chair for 11 years. I served as an interim Vice Principal and was an educational consultant for the last 4.
CS: What is the name of your business and where is it located?
HS: The name of my business is HeleneSegura.com and San Antonio, Texas is the home base.
CS: Why did you want to become an entrepreneur?
HS: Originally it was because in my first week of teaching I saw teachers leaving a retirement planning meeting and many of them were crying because they found out that they would have to work 5 -15 years longer than they originally planned. I decided then and there that I needed to create another source of income.
CS: Why did you choose your particular industry?
HS: It chose me. I was teaching in a Title 1 school and it seemed like once students got to High School they were on their own. They would sink or swim. After the first six weeks they would struggle because they were unorganized. I started teaching classes on organization and time management. The students in those classes became much more successful than the other students. Soon I started helping colleagues teach the same skills to their students and then I started helping my colleagues get more organized. It just grew from there.
CS: Tell me a little bit about your business?
HS: I started off in San Antonio with residential organizing first. No one wanted the time management piece back then. It hadn’t gained popularity. Eventually I worked time management into the sessions and people began to see that the time management problems led to a lack of organization. Now I travel the country to deliver keynotes and teach seminars. I also conduct webinars online. I have different platforms that I use to help people be more organized.
CS: What is the best business advice you have ever been given?
HS: Don’t go into debt to chase your dream. It just creates additional stress.
CS: What is the greatest challenge of being a Teacher Entrepreneur?
HS: In the beginning when I was teaching and growing my business it was work/life balance. It was really tough. I wrote about it in my new book that is coming out in April. It was a challenge, my husband and I lived in the same house but rarely saw each other.
CS: What advice would you give to other Teacher Entrepreneurs?
HS: I would start with the time factor. It is still your job to the best teacher possible. When you are starting your business it takes time and then you have your personal life as well. You have to decide how much time to devote to each area to make sure your life stays in balance.
CS: What books or resources would you recommend to other Teacher Entrepreneurs?
HS: How to Choose The Right Person For The Right Job Every Time was an invaluable book. You need to understand the kind of help you need even if you can’t hire right away. Starting a Business for Dummies was another very helpful tool. When you’re starting out you don’t know what you don’t know so you have to have resources that you can turn to.
Helene was too gracious to suggest her new book The Inefficiency Assassin: Time Management Tactics For Working Smarter Not Longer due out in April, but I believe it will be a great resource for anyone trying to stay organized and maintain the work life balance we all desire.
CS: What is your vision for your business?
HS: My ultimate vision is to be able to work with larger corporations to be able to gift a staff development session to a local school. The large corporation would bring me in to work with their staff but also pay for me to work with a local school and help them with time management and organization. So many teachers need this kind of professional development but schools just can’t afford it.
CS: How will you know when you have achieved your vision?
HS: When large corporations are contacting me and wanting to partner with local school districts so they can both receive training. Currently it takes some coaxing but I am working on it.
CS: What would you do differently if you were to start another business?
HS: I would be concentrating on only one business at a time. When I first started out I had multiple businesses. Each one required different thinking skills and that was stretching my brain resources too thin. It’s hard to do too much if you are a solopreneur. You need to focus on one thing and really do it well.
CS: Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about you or your business?
HS: I would love for them to grab a copy of my book Less Stress for Teachers. I know how helpful it could be for them. My new book that you referenced earlier would be helpful to them if they are already involved in business.