When Lindsey Wander graduated from college, she planned on being a biomedical engineer; however, her plans suddenly changed. An internship helped her see that her true strength and passion was teaching others, and WorldWise Tutoring was born.
In her quest to provide high-quality education support for students and teach them to be lifelong learners, she’s built a successful business that truly helps them succeed and brings in $150k per year.
Keep reading to find out:
How she found her calling
How traveling the world prepared her for business
When she decided to create her tutoring company
What her custom approach to education is about
How she feels about her students
How much money she’s earning
Her top marketing strategy
If she relies on SEO
How long it took her to achieve her current revenue levels
The resources and tools she uses
Her biggest challenge
Her most important accomplishment
How her students have fared
Her biggest mistake
The advice she offers to other entrepreneurs
Meet Lindsey Wander
I firmly believe that we learn lessons best by stepping outside our comfort zone and taking action. This is a maxim I don’t just use with my students but one that I also apply to my own life.
To date, I’ve traveled to more than 25 different countries and 35 American states. This exposure to numerous cultures, belief systems, lifestyles, and personalities has shaped my passion for learning and helping others to succeed.
Not only this, but traveling extensively requires a lot of on-your-feet thinking, patience, and the ability to read people quickly—all of which are vital skills of a successful educator.
Becoming a Teacher
I did not always know I wanted to be a teacher. I originally enrolled in college to become a biomedical engineer. After earning a B.S. in biology, a B.A. in chemistry, and a minor in mathematics, I participated in various science-based internships worldwide to discover my passion for a career.
An internship in Pennsylvania as an environmental educator inspired me to go back to college to become a biology teacher in California. I loved having my own classroom and seeing my “kids” every day, inspiring joy for learning within them while discovering new and creative ways to teach complex subjects.
When I moved to Chicago several years later, I decided to pursue tutoring full-time. Because of my professional and personal experiences, I can quickly assess my students, molding my teaching style to maximize their strengths and reshape their weaknesses into positive traits.
Perhaps most importantly, I teach them how to learn so they are always in the powerful position of being able to help themselves. This custom approach ensures they’re given every tool necessary to succeed, building their confidence and skills needed to wean them off a need for a tutor.
Now I’m sharing my experience and methodology with my highly-qualified tutors to help even more students become lifelong learners.
Why She Created WorldWise Tutoring
As valedictorian of my high school, I earned a full scholarship at Cal State Fresno. I originally wanted to pursue a career in biomedical engineering, but the genetics lab work bored me. As I mentioned, I graduated in biology, chemistry, and math—all in just four years and with zero debt.
I completed several domestic and international internships to test out potential careers ranging from field research to grant writing. While at my internship in Pennsylvania, I realized I was passionate about teaching. So I returned to acquire a secondary teaching credential and started teaching middle school biology, math, and STEM.
I’m a former middle school math and science teacher. I taught in the low-income neighborhoods of California, making it my mission to create a learning environment so engaging that it motivated my students to come to school.
We explored, questioned, investigated, learned, laughed, and loved—all within my classroom walls. For lack of a better word, it was “magical.” I knew I had found my calling, and I knew I was making a difference. My students became my kids whom I worried about even when I wasn’t working and whom I am still in touch with until this day.
Starting Her Own Company
However, there was a part of me that remained unfulfilled. While I truly loved my job, I was limited. Time and financial restraints, added to endless bureaucratic red tape, prevented me from being able to dedicate the 1-on-1 time to my students who needed it. Thus, many of “my kids” fell through the cracks, and there was nothing I could do about it.
So, when I moved to Chicago at the age of 30, I decided to start my own tutoring business, WorldWise Tutoring. My mission was to help students of all abilities improve their grades and scores and learn the skills to grow into confident and independent learners. I sought to empower our youth with the tools to succeed in school, work, and life.
How Much Money Lindsey Wander is Earning
WorldWise Tutoring generates approximately $150,000 annually and grows by about $10,000 yearly. My mission is to provide high-quality education support for students while creating a comfortable life for myself. My main goal is not to make money.
Her Top Marketing Strategy
It’s definitely word of mouth! I credit clients who refer other families with free tutoring. I also give bonuses to tutors whose work resulted in those referrals. While many referrals would likely occur organically, offering these incentives pushes families to spread the word and tutors to give exceptional services.
I also join parenting Facebook groups in the regions I want to target. Then I search for recent posts requesting recommendations for tutoring services. I reply to those in the comments and direct messages.
The Importance of SEO for Lindsey Wander
We’ve been regularly publishing SEO-friendly articles for the past couple of years. And the traffic to our site has increased tremendously since we started.
As for content creation, I have a marketing team of 6 interns. They help create content for our social media pages and website. They post on our social media pages 5 to 7 days per week and on our website once every 1 or 2 weeks.
We also have an email list that we grow with organic leads.
Achieving Current Revenue Levels
While I informally began WorldWise Tutoring in 2012, I began to run the business more formally in 2015. I eventually hit 6 figures in revenue in 2017.
Lindsey Wander’s Favorite Resources
I recommend joining a group for entrepreneurs for ongoing support on specific topics of concern. I joined Michael Shapiro’s eGroup, and that was a tremendous help.
Her Top 3 Tools
Google Drive is my daily go-to for organizing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, etc. A CRM like Mailchimp is also essential to nurture leads. And I love ContentStudio for scheduling my social media content and tracking analytics.
Her Biggest Challenge
Of late, my biggest challenge has been managing my business on my own. I alone have been handling the hiring, new clients, payroll, marketing, etc. I hired my first assistant in 2020. Though the onboarding and training initially added more work for me, the long-term payoffs have been immense. Now I have more time to focus on what I am an expert at without getting bogged down with the daily issues in areas where I’m not as proficient.
Regarding hiring tutors, I post our open tutor positions on Indeed and Handshake. For those who apply and seem like a good fit, I ask some questions about each tutor’s background and experience.
If I think tutors are a good fit, I contact 2 of their references who have witnessed or experienced their teaching. I run background checks on the tutors if those references have positive commentary.
Then I start the onboarding process with the new tutors. This includes training in Sexual Harassment Prevention, Mandated Reporting, and WorldWise Tutoring’s procedures.
Then we set up a video meeting to go over the remaining questions and concerns. I am constantly hiring throughout the year, but there are massive onboarding efforts in July and August to prepare for the influx of new clients in the new school year.
Her Most Impressive Accomplishment
My biggest accomplishment is creating a business that helps youth succeed. The WorldWise Tutoring instructors observe evidence of success every day.
That is important when their students feel confident enough to express a unique solution to a problem or take the initiative to make a meaningful connection to the content.
It’s often more valuable than a higher score on a standardized test because of the life lessons that the students are gaining.
Her Students’ Success
Even so, I created a spreadsheet entitled “Student Success Tracker.” This is where we document the improvements of hundreds of students’ grades and scores, along with major milestones like college acceptances and scholarship offerings. Since every child is unique, here are just a few examples:
Ava’s confidence, grades, and enjoyment of learning dramatically improved with tutoring for the high school entrance exam, on which she scored an 895 out of 900, allowing her to be admitted to and excel in her top choice CPS Selective Enrollment High School.
After one tutoring session with junior Marissa, her tutor recognized she was dyslexic and helped her family get her the diagnosis and implement the personalized services she needed to help her succeed.
Sebastian improved his SAT math score from 17 to 94 percentile after just four tutoring sessions, and now formerly dreaded math is his “favorite subject.”
As a result of our College Planning services, Chloe was offered a full scholarship to Stanford for earning excellent grades and ACT scores while also being active in her school and community.
Stephen’s struggles with executive functioning and anxiety led him to miss the college application deadlines. So, our tutor helped him advocate for an extension and complete his applications, and he was accepted to Wesleyan with a scholarship.
Rachel recently contacted us six years after her tutoring ended to tell us about her successes in college and the virtual assistance company she founded.
All WorldWise Tutoring students were accepted to their first-choice high school and/or at least one of their top three colleges. The scholarships our students have been offered equal millions of dollars. Their students have formed countless organizations both on campus and in the community. The list goes on…
What She Wishes She Knew When She Started
Becoming an entrepreneur is a bumpy and windy road with many growing pains. Looking back, there are many things I wish I had known to make the path smoother.
For instance, I should have spent more time evaluating and summarizing my brand. I needed to determine what set my company apart from the competitors, narrowing in on what made our services unique.
Having a clear message about your brand is key.
Her Main Mistake
When I first legally formed my company, it was out of necessity so that one of my student’s scholarships could pay for the tutoring I provided her. This student’s attorney aunt offered to help me with the legal paperwork for free.
As soon as we sat down, she asked me what I wanted to name my company. Naïve to the entrepreneurial life, I had not even thought of a company name. So we brainstormed words that started with a “T” for alliteration with tutoring and came up with Tertiary Tutoring.
Then she asked what kind of company I wanted to form. She proposed the options of Corp, LLC, and Ltd and said it didn’t matter which I chose since they were all basically the same. So, to keep with the T-theme, I chose Ltd.
Looking back now, I chose a company name that no one would pronounce and a structural designation that did not align with its actual structure. Not only that, she didn’t inform me that I needed to submit paperwork annually. As a result, that company was dissolved a year later, unbeknownst to me.
Lesson learned: You get what you pay for!
Her Advice for Other Entrepreneurs
My best advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs is to be prepared for the highs and the lows. Every business experiences them. No’s do not mean your service or product is undesirable; business failures do not mean you are a failure as a person.
You certainly need to be resilient and determined to succeed as an entrepreneur, but you must also be reflective and realistic.