Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network
Homeschool Grad Becomes Entrepreneur, Interview with Suzanna Fitzgerald
This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Homeschool Grad Becomes Entrepreneur, Interview with Suzanna Fitzgerald.
Homeschool Grad Becomes Entrepreneur, Interview with Suzanna Fitzgerald
One of our favorite things to do is interview homeschool graduates to see what they are doing with life in the post-high-school world. Join us for a fun interview with entrepreneur Suzanna Fitzgerald!
As parents of a homeschooler, it can be nerve-wracking to watch your child graduate and have to step out into the world on their own. While there is no one answer to the question of what will become of your brilliant kiddo, one bright possibility is that they could choose to become a homeschool entrepreneur.
With the right support and guidance, your soon-to-be homeschool grad can use their unique experience to create something totally new and go down a path that could lead to long-term success as a homeschool-grad-becomes-entrepreneur!
One example of a homeschool entrepreneur is Suzanna Fitzgerald with Fitz’n’Jammer Marketing By Listening. She has always been a driven and ambitious person, so it just made sense that after graduating homeschool high school at the age of sixteen, she chose to pursue her passion for entrepreneurship. Now, at the age of twenty, she is running a successful business alongside her sister and inspiring others with her story.
In this exclusive interview with Suzanna, we explore her journey from homeschool graduate to successful entrepreneur!
About Suzanna Fitzgerald
Currently residing in Colorado, Suzanna runs a marketing business with her younger sister, Leia Joy. They connect all over the world online and, despite people telling them that they would not even know how to stand in line because they were homeschooled, they managed things anyway – better, even. Not only can these two sisters stand in line with proper posture, they can also run a business after being homeschool graduates.
Their story is a little bit different than most people’s. Their parents were Arizona ranchers, and they lived miles outside of town on a dirt road, far from any local schools or communities. Although her mother held a teaching degree, after moving to Arizona to become a rancher, she no longer taught anymore.
At least, not in an institutional fashion.
Instead, she continued to use her teaching skills on her children with their homeschool education.
Suzanna recalls the days when they would gather around the dining room table to do schoolwork. She never spent one day in a ‘regular’ classroom. Instead, she was homeschooled from K through 12.
However, Suzanna and her siblings grew up around business people. When she could independently homeschool herself, she taught herself her business, such as copywriting, marketing, writing, and everything. She is a life-long learner, with a perpetual homeschooling lifestyle: always learning with no beginning or ending.
Suzanna believes all of life is education if we allow it to be. She implores everyone to just keep growing and learning, no matter their age. She adopted this from her mother, who was an awesome teacher because she made learning so much fun.
From the stories she told to the things they have heard from her family, her mom was the kind of teacher that made learning fun for a classroom of thirty students or a homeschool room of three kids. That was due to the fact that she was extremely hands-on and focused. Suzanna credits everything to her mother, who really encouraged them to pursue their dreams and pushed them to excel.
Discovering the Internet and Founding A Business
And then, all of a sudden, the internet happened. And the next thing you know, Suzanna was making a living online, even though she’s never been on a computer previously.
One year, she was asking what a blog and email was. And then the next year, she and her sister were founding an online marketing business. The whole world seemed to open up for them, which was both scary and exciting.
Breaking Into Marketing
Suzanna was initially trying to be a fantasy novelist. When she was seventeen, she had a book published. Then she realized she did not know how to sell nor how to market anything. This became a high priority for her, especially if she wanted to be a successful writer and not a starving writer.
Although Suzanna tried to pursue her marketing education at a community college, it turned out to not be a good fit due to health limitations. However, she found an advertisement from a company called American Writers and Artists out of Florida who taught copywriting and online marketing, among other things. Their ad fit the homeschool model since you can pay for the courses and do it at home at your own speed. Suzanna figured she could learn about marketing for a while and then go back to writing books.
However, she discovered that she loved marketing just as much as she loved writing books.
(BTW- Suzanna’s creative writing and marketing experiences make excellent electives for the homeschool transcript.)
Sisterly Business Partnership
Her sister, Leia, started working with Suzanna when she graduated homeschool high school, turning into a homeschool-grad-becomes-entrepreneur too, just like her sister.
Their business partnership began with a job that was supposed to only be a summer job that turned into a year-long job, which eventually led to their business partnership. This turned Leia into a homeschool entrepreneur as well. And now she makes custom graphics and custom logos, high-end video editing projects and creative, detailed work for clients. (BTW- more great Career Exploration elective credits!)
Both sisters have different skillsets that dovetail well together for their business. By learning to work together during their homeschooling adventures, it transpired into working well in ‘real life.’
Suzanna’s Advice About Homeschooling High School
For Suzanna, the best part of her high school years was when she became more independent. In about sixth or seventh grade, her amazing mom allowed her to pick lots of elements of her own homeschool curriculum. Her mom would show her the magazine she was ordering from. Then they would discuss each type of program, such as which type of grammar she wanted to do and what was next for math.
When Suzanna started homeschooling high school, she was pursuing her writing dreams, so her mom allowed Suzanna to set her own schedule. And as long as she got the work done on time, her mom did not care when she did it. Suzanna learned excellent goal setting and time management in a hands-on way.
Her time in high school was such an adventure. She was able to choose courses and curriculum that helped pursue her dreams and discover what she wanted out of life. For example, Suzanna chose high-end writing courses instead of more science courses.
Suzanna’s best part of homeschooling as well as her best tip for all parents of homeschool high schoolers and possible homeschool entrepreneur is:
Just try to fulfill the needs that your children have instead of trying to fulfill something from your past.
The best part of her homeschooling was when that was true. On the other hand, the worst part was when, sometimes, it would feel like she was trying to live up to her parents’ expectations from long ago.
One of the beauties of homeschooling is all the flexibility. Do what is best for your kids.
Fitz’n’Jammer Marketing By Listening
The reason Suzanna fell in love with marketing is because it is such an important key to success. One that many people often overlook. You might tend to think of it as something you can just do in your spare time. After all, there are a lucky few who do luck out with a natural gift for marketing that works for them right off the bat.
However, to the remaining most of us, we really struggle with marketing because it costs so much time, effort and energy. Unfortunately, it can make you think it is just sucking the life out of you, causing you to learn to hate your business and hate what you wanted to do and learn to hate your skills.
Either you know what you are doing or you work with somebody who knows what they are doing and who is trained to do it right. When you find the right fit (on your own work or marketing with an expert) you will look forward to working in your business. You will see money coming in and you will have communication going out.
And that’s the whole reason for Fitz’n’Jammer Marketing By Listening brand. They try to teach people how to genuinely connect with their audiences and listen to what consumers are saying. They help you do marketing the easy way instead of the hard way!
You have to create loyal customers. It is such a wonderful feeling when you have the right message going out and the right customers coming in. Listening is such a high value.
Connect with Suzanna at Fitz’n’Jammer Marketing By Listening
You can find Suzanna on her Fitz’n’Jammer Marketing website at fitsnjammer.com and connect with her on their contact page. Or you can email her at suzannafitznjammer.com. She is also on LinkedIn as Susanna the Challenge Queen Fitzgerald.
Ending tip from Suzanna:
Homeschooling is not perfect, but it is the most perfect thing you are going to find in an imperfect world. It is the best option that you can have for your kids, and it is the best way to build a relationship with them in the future.
If you want to be friends with your kids when they are in their twenties and thirties and later, if you want to know your grandkids, if you want to know that your kids are going to have your values or any values, if you want to know that they can continue learning as human beings, no matter what unpredictable course their life takes, homeschooling is the best thing you can do for your kids. So definitely, definitely do it. It is worth the effort. It is worth the sacrifice. And it is a lot of fun.
Join Vicki and Suzanna for an encouraging discussion on homeschooling and her journey to entrepreneurship.
For more on entrepreneurship for teens, check out these podcast episodes:
- Homeschool Highschool Podcast interview with Samantha Shank: How to be a Homeschool High School Entrepreneur
- Skills 101 Podcast: Entrepreneurship as a Lifestyle for Your Kids
- Vintage Homeschool Moms: Fun Summer Projects: Family Business and Entrepreneurship
Thank you to Richie Soares with Homeschool and Humor for writing this blog post!
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