From Teachers To Online Entrepreneurs

students quit job and start online business

There’s no doubt about it – the Anner’s are a family who take a lot of action! And it’s really paying off for them too. They’ve gone from being full-time teachers and students, to starting mulple online businesses. Retraining in Digital Skills with the E-business Institute and learning how to make money online has given Rosemary, Stuart and Kristen the freedom to work from home wherever and whenever they want.

Their can-do attitude is what impresses us the most. No matter what we teach our students here at eBusiness Institute, the Anners always step up to the challenge and have a go. They push aside any fear and doubt, and just get on with what needs to be done. As a result, they’ve built themselves one of the top-ranking digital agencies in Parramatta, and completely replaced their income online.

If you’re looking for a way to build some passive income online, or wanting to transition to working from home, we know you’ll be inspired by the Anner family’s story. They’re a great example of what you can achieve when you stick to your goals and take consistent action.

CLICK ON THE VIDEO BELOW to hear how the Anner family transitioned from being full-time teachers to working from home online

Starting from No Technical Knowledge to Working Full Time Online

Liz Raad:       Welcome to today’s student success story, and we are very happy to have with us an amazing family who does this together. Big welcome to you Rosemary, Stuart and Kristen.

Anner family retrain in digital to become online entrepreneurs
Anner family speak on stage with Matt Raad

Thank you so much for being with us. To start with, do you want to give us a bit of background:

Where did you start out?

Were you technical?

What was your beginning point?

What drove you to think that something’s got to change?

And what did you want to create?

Rosemary:       When we started out, we were working jobs. I’m a music teacher and Stu’s teaching TAFE and commercial cookery. And Kristen was in Year 7 of school when we started.

We knew that we didn’t want to be just trading time for money, which is what our jobs were. We had no technical knowledge at all, but we figured that learning something about website’s would be useful for down the track and we might be able to use it.

Matt Raad:      Wow! And look at where you’ve come since then Rosemary.

Liz:                   Actually, I want to list off your list off your achievements because these guys have done amazing work!

  • You’ve built 35 websites for yourselves.
  • And built more than 25 sites for local businesses.
  • You also have ongoing SEO and website maintenance clients.
  • Plus you are building and buying websites that make passive income

You guys are just amazing, you’ve just been prolific, so congratulations!  

Learning to Buy and Sell Websites to Make Money Online

Liz:                   So, what was the first step? What made you choose the online space?

Stuart:             We wanted something that we didn’t need to have premises for. We didn’t want to be tied down to it. We didn’t want to have products. So, that’s how it started.

Rosemary:       When we first heard you presenting on how to buy and sell websites, we we’re really inspired. We’re going to hear from a couple who are very confident, whom we’d love to spend some time with, and learn to from.

Kristen:            Also, we write children’s books, so we knew we needed a bit of an online presence for that. So, we thought we should probably build ourselves a website, and that was the first website we actually built.

Liz:                   Yeah that was fantastic! And they’re beautiful books too. They’re called Eumundi and Friends, written by Kristen and Stuart for kids.

The Whole Family is now Generating Their Income Online Working From Home

And then, what was the next step? Obviously, you guys wanted to generate some cash flow working from home. Was your goal to get out of your current jobs?

Stuart:             Yes, our goal was to have a recurring income stream that we could fit in with a schedule we wanted to set for ourselves.

Liz:                   And now you’re on the path for that. You’re working a lot of less hours now Rosemary.

Rosemary:     Yes! When we were starting out, I was so busy working five days a week, running my studio four days, and working in schools all over the place. But now I’m only doing two afternoons (or evenings) a week in my studio. I’ve finished with all my school work now. But I really love teaching, so that’s something I’ll probably keep going with because I really enjoy it.

Stuart:             And that’s the same for myself – I’ve cut back on what I do also.

Matt:               As a family, from when you very first joined us at eBusiness Institute, up until now, the drive and enthusiasm you all had to grow in the online space is incredible. All three of you show this determination, but there was a point where Kristen also made a big change in her life. Can you tell us a bit about that?

Kristen left school to become a full time online entrepreneur…

Kristen:            Yes, when we started on this journey, I was in Year 7. Even from that early stage, I knew I didn’t want to go to university. I would prefer to do something else. So, I started building websites and got my digital portfolio up and running. And last year, halfway through Year 11, I was able to leave school.

I went on and did a Music Industry diploma, also focusing a lot on the websites, and now I’ve completely finished. I finished college a few weeks ago. So, now I’ll be working from home full time in the business, with my mum and dad.

Anner family win E-Business Graduates Of The Year For Online Entrepreneurship
Anner family win E-Business Graduates Of The Year Cup For Online Entrepreneurship!

Building and Buying Websites for Passive Income

Liz:                   That’s awesome! So, what’s the next step? Where would you like to go now? Where are you heading?

Stuart:             The next step for us is to continue building our portfolio of passive websites. We’re ready to buy some bigger websites now that are producing income. Particularly now, our digital agency is going well, so we’re just going to keep doing that, and focusing on larger clients.

Liz:                   Yes, so what’s the latest quote you just did for a client website build? And, how much did you charge for your very first website build for businesses.

Stuart:             We actually did our first client website build for free. From there we moved up to charging $3,000. We stayed at the $3,000 level for a while, but now we’re moving onto building larger business websites and are quoting an average of $5,000 for a website build.

Now quoting on building website for $17,000!

Rosemary:     We are also starting to quote for large businesses now, and recently sent a quote for $17,000. And we’re confident to build these large websites too, which is a very exciting thing.

Matt:               Yes, that’s a nice change, isn’t it? To know that you can do these quotes with big businesses. They’re pretty impressive jobs to get these website builds, so really well done on that.

Liz:                   And one of the things that we’ve really seen you change over the time since you’ve been with us has been your entrepreneurial mindset.

From Teachers to Online Business Owners – Creating a New Entrepreneurial Mindset…

Rosemary:     Yes, it’s been a really amazing journey. We have gone from teachers and students to business people. Along the way, we also joined a new church. And I find now that when I’m there, and people ask what do I do, I say I’m a web designer. And that’s pretty cool, because we are!

Matt:               And Rosemary, are you happy to share one of the big turning points that happened for you personally when you were on our eBusiness Institute online entrepreneurship courses? This is something that I challenged you to do during one of our closed-door digital training workshops.

Rosemary:     Yes, so at the time of the workshop we were looking to get a bit more momentum with our digital agency. Matt said to me:

“If you want more clients and money, make 100 calls.” – Matt Raad

So I did! It took me a while because I was very thorough to make sure I knew what I was talking about. But at the end of my challenge I made a total of 175 calls to speak to 100 people.

From this process we got a couple of new clients. But the biggest thing I found for me was the momentum. Our digital agency business got huge momentum. And it changed my mindset too, because as I’m talking on the phone, I’m in web designer mode, so that helped to put me on that path.

Matt:               And that’s some serious bravery! As a school teacher, you’ve never done a sales call before, and never had to cold-call businesses. But you’ve totally retrained and told yourself that you’re a web designer, and created that mindset to reach out to 175 people for their business. Really well done!

Anners speak about learning online entrepreneurship at E-Business Institute
Anners speak about learning online entrepreneurship at E-Business Institute

Now I’m sure everyone can see one of the reasons why these guys won the Ultimate Champions Cup (the eBusiness Institute’s Graduate of the Year award), because doing things like that does change your life.

Stuart:             One of the first websites we built was for a local accountant.

Once we actually saw it ranking in Google on page 1 for some of the keywords we used, it really proved that we can actually do this.

18-Year-Old Creating her own Freedom Building an Online Business from Home

Liz:                   And Kristen, did you have a personal private website that you’ve built?

Kristen:            Yes, I have a couple. There’s one I built for a charity last year. It’s working to fight against poverty, which is a really good cause. So, I was excited to help them get it out there, and I’m still working on building it up. And it has the potential to be more on a global scale in the future.

Liz:                   That’s a great site too Kristen, it’s beautifully done.

Kristen:            And then one of my portfolio sites I built for the Digital Profits website challenge last year is already ranking in Google for a few keywords, and I’m getting a few affiliate sales already, which is exciting.

Liz:                   Fantastic! So yes, for the website challenge that we set for our students, they only have 10 days to build their own money making website. But Kristen, you were actually one of the fastest ones – how quick were you to initially build that website?

Kristen:            I built the website in a couple of hours.

Stuart:             Yes, and she just didn’t go to sleep until she’d finished it! She wanted to beat the other students to the finish.

Liz:                   That’s great Kristen.

Successful Digital Agency Building Websites for Local Businesses

Now one of the other big achievements you’ve made, is being able to rank your own digital agency website. This is typically really challenging, especially for a big area like Parramatta. What’s the name of your web design business?

Rosemary:       It’s called Parramatta Web Design. It’s actually very challenging to rank because everybody’s going for that keyword.

Matt:               It’s really cool because one of your friendly competitors is a fellow eBusiness elite student from the Champions online entrepreneur program. The two top web designers in Parramatta search results are our Champion students!

Best Way To Quit Your Job: Retrain With Digital Skills

Liz:                   Looking back at your journey, do you have any advice for someone starting out. Particularly someone going from PAYG (like you guys were as school teachers), going to what you’re doing now. Do you have any advice for someone starting out on that journey?

Rosemary:       For me, it’s to just keep going.

Set your goals, and then figure out how to do it.

Rosemary retrained in Digital to quit her job and work online
Rosemary retrained in Digital to quit her job and work online

Learn New Digital Skills One Step at a Time…

I have found there were times in my journey where I felt completely out of the water, and it was really hard. Prior to starting with eBusiness Institute I hadn’t been online much. So even the little things like signing up for all the different things; I would spend all day doing it, and then I’d shut the computer and not look at it for another week because I was so intimidated.

Then when we got our first website, I had to work on it in the backend; I felt like I was walking into a haunted house. I’d log in, have a quick look, and then shut the computer again. It was literally another week before I went back in there after we bought our first site.

It really was that hard for me, but we just did whatever we had to do to get it done. And then we just kept doing it until it wasn’t hard anymore.

Liz:                   That is awesome, and I think that’s really important to point out. For a lot of people (ourselves included), when you first get online it can be intimidating. It can be scary, but you keep moving forward and just keep doing it; and that’s what we really admire about you guys.

Working as a family together online…

So how is it working as a family now? I’m sure there’s some good bits and some challenges.

Rosemary:       I actually love it! The things that I don’t do so well (or if I get stuck), I can hand it on to Stuart or Kristen and they can do it. We also get to do a lot of things together too.

Liz:                   Would you say that now you’re all working together, you’ve become closer as a family now?

Stuart:             Yes, I’m looking forward now to having Kristen do more because she’s got really good talent.

When we first started, I knew a bit more than her. So, she would say to me, “How do you do this?” And I’d say, “Go and find out this way.”

But now, she might know a bit more than me, so I’m happy to help her, and looking forward to her working more with us.

Kristen:            And it’s good for flexibility and freedom; and getting to work when you want and where you want.

Liz:                   And you’ll all have your portfolios as well! So, congratulations guys. You’ve had some massive wins. We’re really excited to see your progress and can’t wait to see where you go into the future. It’s just going to go bigger and better.

So, thank you again so much for being with us here today and sharing your story and inspiring a lot of other people to go out there and go for their goals, reach for their dreams, and take on some challenges, because it CAN change your life.

We hope you feel inspired by the Anner’s story. It really shows that just by stepping up and taking consistent action, you can learn the digital skills you need to create your own passive income from home. These are skills that can really set you up for the future, and create a world of options for you, just like it did for this family.

About The Author

Liz Raad

Liz Raad is a website investor, Angel Investor and leading educator on Digital Investments, and is recognised as the Australian expert in buying, renovating and selling profitable websites and businesses. Connect with Liz on Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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