Will - something of a mentor for Escape the City - runs two businesses: Keystone Tutors and Chalkboard Learning - destined for great things in the future of education. Thanks for all the support Will and here's to your continued success!
I run an education company, whose main product is tutoring. Well, that's my working life. I'm also trying to learn French, playing lots of table-tennis and reading lots of blogs.
Due to some masterful re-structuring, I now have to do very few of the things that used to give me great grief - keeping accounts, sorting out tutor bookings etc. My loosely-defined role is "growing the company".
It is necessarily varied: sometimes I'm writing 11+ English manuals, sometimes I'm interviewing tutors. I meet lots of schools and other people "in education", and try to find time to teach as well. I have managed to carve out a fluffy hour per day to think about how we can make the company better.
I tutored and wrote "Fitzgeraldian" short stories (my own description). I also presented a laughably disorganised documentary in Peru on the Ashaninka tribe - a poor man's Bruce Parry.
I set up Keystone about nine months after leaving university.
I spend most of the day dreaming, but about nothing as specific as what I'm doing now. Its development has been organic and weirdly passive.
Luckily, it required little up-front funding. I was still in the after-glow of my History degree, so I researched it for about 6 months - something I enjoyed greatly.
My key move was speaking to as many people as I could who were keen to give advice: lawyer friends, headmasters, friends who had worked for other tutoring agencies etc.
As I said, luckily the start-up costs were minimal (internet connection, phone lines) and I was blessed to have my parents' house in London from which to run it. There was little pressure to make for the company to be immediately profitable, having no "dependants".
Hardest: Not letting everything spiral out of control (keeping focus), and breaking into a market that was dominated by word-of-mouth (although, paradoxically, this is of course now our biggest driver of new business).
Best: Working with intelligent and friendly people; having ideas that are immediately realizable.