The best laid plans…

Sometimes the best laid plans can be useless. 

This has proven very pertinent to me in the last few weeks. We had such a good plan to open our English school in another city. We were so prepared, so ready to start making money off our own sweat and tears for our own profit ( not like now which is divided between six investors.) It was meant to be perfect.

Are you noticing the past tense?

We had planned to open a school in my husbands hometown, but the local government wouldn’t give us the permit. Technically, we could have still opened the school but that would mean that we wouldn’t have a legal leg to stand on if anything went wrong. It was too great a risk for us to take so we have put that idea on the indefinite back burner. Among other things it was too much of a risk for a limited award.

Sometimes, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

Well now I have six months of  FREE time. I am not sure what it is I am going to do, I have already had five months of maternity leave for baby and I feel claustrophobic being in the house. In our original plans I was supposed to be doing marketing and promo work for our new school. Now I have nothing to occupy my time. In another way, I had plans for three months of blog posts based around setting up our school and ESL and now half of those blog posts are useless.

Waiting for July.

My current school has a foreign teacher whose contract finishes in July, after that, she will go her own way and I will take over her classes. but until then I am practically useless.

I want to improve myself, Improve my ability to find a job when I finally return to Australia. I have an opportunity now to improve myself, and I should take it.

China is such a big place and i have only seen a fraction of it.

I want to travel, want to see what I should see before its too late. Me like many others, am always putting travel, life and experiences in the “one day” basket. I have been in China 7 years and the things in the “one day” basket keep getting more and more.

All I know is that when I leave China in a few years time I want my own business, something where I can work  from home or in a studio (I craft occasionally) I want to be able to bring in enough every month to warrant me to be able to stay at home and work for myself.

I know  that this is just a good chance for me to be doing something else. So even though that school never eventuated, perhaps it was for the best. perhaps I can use this time to improve myself and my future outlook.

My advice to myself right now is to buy a new journal, make some new plans because 2017 can’t be wasted on ‘what ifs’ and time wasting thinking about what could have been.

I am sure you have your own plans and ideas too. Have you ever had a door close only to have a new one open? What did you decide to do after a major let down?

My Background

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As I mentioned in my previous post I am in the process of opening my own English school here in China. Although I already am a part owner in a school I bought a few years ago, this will be mine from the ground up.

What about the old school?

A few years ago I was a lowly English teacher in China earning a decent wage and with a dream in my heart that one day i would be doing business for myself. I was freshly married to a local Chinese and was in that “knuckle down and hustle” stage. I had a new house, a husband and a three month old baby, and no plan to continue to be a teacher let alone a boss in the near future.

What changed?

My then boss, a young guy from England and his business partner from Canada wanted out of the English school business. They had been through a rough time with the school at that time due to government policy change and weren’t living the dream they wanted to be living.

A few months before the Chinese government declared middle school entrance English exam scores didn’t have to be as high as they once were. That meant children didn’t need tutoring or outside training anymore to get ahead of their peers.

Because of this policy change their school of 500 enrolled kids dropped almost overnight to 250! They lost half of their income in a matter of weeks and I think, some of their spirit too.

So what did they do?

At that time my bosses pulled me aside and asked me if i wanted to take over. They had other plans they wanted to do in Beijing and I was in limbo myself. I wasn’t sure what i wanted to do long term so i agreed to their plan. In 2014 I took over that school as co-manager/ owner with the Chinese manager for a very low price.

So why now a new school?

From that time until now I have used my time , money and energy to get the school back to a better position. My partner and I streamlined our teaching style, added new social media interactions for parents and trained and implemented new teaching practices. We built a brand new school from the rubble of the old school and now its slowly beginning to show profits and development with the ability of soon being able to take care of itself.

So whats the new plan?

well now I have two babies both under 3 and a lot of time on my hands. I want to make something that’s completely my own. Something I can say is mine and not something given to me by others. So I am currently going to do two things, one is this blog and by extension, my crafts which I will sell on Etsy and the other is my new English school in another city.

Though I never personally wanted to open an English school  ( I was thinking more like doing import and export) Teaching English turned out to be something I am pretty good at. So while my husband takes care of managing the school during the week I can have my blog and my crafts too, then on the weekends teach. Sounds like a dream life to me!

Now that I have a new goal within my grasp I feel invigorated!

What about you, do you have something you have been looking forward to for a long time about to come true?