Embracing the Role of Teacher: A January Experience

This January, I made a bold decision: A very bold. Out of character, decision. I chose to teach the in-person training session for Roll Ice Cream LLC in Miami for myself. I have never had the confidence to do this before. Typically, this is something I would delegate. This is something I have been delegating. The thing is, I’m on a journey to challenge myself and step out of my warm, cushy comfort zone. I know I’m not the person that you think would shy away from something like this, but… I fooled you. For all my traits, I’m surprisingly introverted and often struggle with something called imposter syndrome.

Just in case you don’t know, imposter syndrome is when you doubt your abilities and feel as though you’re not good enough, even when you are skilled and accomplished. You feel like you don’t belong in your new environment, and you aren’t worthy of the opportunities that come your way. It is hard to shake and, even sometimes, hard to identify. I’ve noticed that some people who also suffer from this tend to self-sabotage. I’m also “some people” in this case.

However, as everyone else but me expected, stepping into this role turned out to be a marvelous experience.

The Journey from Trinidad

I flew in from Trinidad (remember, I’m Trinidadian) the day before the class because, yes, I procrastinated if I was going to be the one teaching the class for an extended time. I had a long and frustrating experience with US customs. It felt like a never-ending interrogation of “what is this?” and “what is that?” and “why do you have so much this?” and “why do you have so much that?” I felt like I was a conquistador in the 1500’s with spice contraband from the West Indies, and the Queen’s men held me for an inquisition. An agent picked up a package and proceeded to open it, and with the amount of shock and horror on my face, I think he felt as though he caught “one.” This man completely opened my Roti and asked, What’s this? I almost fainted. Do you know how hard it is to find good Dhalpuri in the US? I intended to be there for two months, and he’s desecrating my food with his gloved hands. He was touching my beloved. I screamed in my head. I did ask him to stop; I really couldn’t take it. Thankfully, a Latin American angel of an agent came and identified it and the other local delicacies that a Caribbean person could not leave home without. Sorrel, curry, mango, lemon grass, etc. They released me after this, but now I’m late. 

I couldn’t find a trolley for my luggage, and I was too late to walk around looking. So I tried to move as quickly as I could to regain some of the lost time, but of course the moving walk was not working. So I had to soilder on and walk through this massive airport with all these bags, and then, as Mr. Misfortune would have it, my shoe broke. So now I’m walking like a lame animal with bags. So I was feeling like Garfield and hating Mondays.
To add to the chaos, the rental company tacked on unexpected charges, and I had to scramble to get last-minute items for the class. The pièce de résistance was the hotel—I couldn’t even contact them. 

You know that pesky saying. That Monday, it did prove true. Everything that could go wrong did, but I powered through. Tired, but I powered through because if I’m doing it, I’m doing it well.

The Training Session in Miami

I prepped the setup. I got all the utensils and ingredients ready. Ensured the literature to distribute material was placed correctly. My OCD was acting up, but my anxiety was leading the charge, and it is in full flight. Then clients came early, which sent me into overdrive, but somehow the reality of what was about to take place settled me. I was calm. I greeted them, did some ice breakers, and it started to flow. It went off without a hitch. The training session ran longer than scheduled. It was supposed to be six hours, but it ended up being eight. You see, the clients and I were so engaged and appreciative of the process, we were lost in the sauce. Listen, we did not even have a formal lunch. We ate tons of ice cream, though, and I guess it filled all of us up. It was a truly enriching experience; it reinforced my own knowledge and gave me confidence along the way. Their enthusiasm and positive feedback were overwhelming. This experience taught me a valuable lesson about self-worth and pricing.

I was able to fully recognize the value of my expertise. I’ve always debated the cost of this class, but it became clear at the end of the session that I might have been undercharging all along. This newfound confidence has inspired me to reevaluate my pricing strategy across all my services. Knowing your worth and confidently asking for it can significantly impact your confidence in yourself and your business’s success.
Stepping into the spotlight was daunting. As an introvert, I often feel quite out of place in social settings. However, facing this challenge head-on helped me grow personally and professionally. The support and appreciation from the clients were incredibly validating. It reminded me that stepping out of my comfort zone can lead to extraordinary growth. Despite the rocky start, the day of training was a triumph. The clients were deeply engaged and appreciative, and their positive feedback was overwhelmingly gratifying.

My largest speaking engagement by far was in 2022. While in DC, I spoke in the closing ceremony for my fellowship, and the topic was “failing upwards.” This was a jam-packed auditorium, but somehow the training in the classroom felt more intimidating. I’m not sure if it’s because it was up close and personal or because it was my business, but something about it felt unnerving, but I got those nerves under control when the class started. This isn’t the first time I’ve been crazy nervous, but when the thing I was nervous about begins, I calm down. I’m considering taking a class on public speaking or joining a Toastmaster chapter to assist with this. The goal is to definitely be cool, calm, and collected when placed in the spotlight. 

Google Review

Do you know how appreciative my clients were? They left a review. **happy dance**

I’ve found that reviews are one of the hardest things to solicit. Customers leave reviews when they are really happy and remember you OR when they are annoyed and really remember you. If you have a business you know. The client shared, “Our experience with the Roll Ice Cream training was fantastic! The instructor was knowledgeable and made the session enjoyable. Highly recommend!” 
This feedback was a testament to the effort and dedication I put into the training, reinforcing the importance of stepping out of my comfort zone and embracing new challenge.

January was a great start to the new year truly a transformative month. Teaching the in-person training session for Roll Ice Cream LLC in Miami was a remarkable experience. It taught me the value of self-worth, the importance of overcoming imposter syndrome, and the significance of personal growth. Remember, never be afraid to charge what you’re worth—and add tax!

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