Sue is the co-founder of textSAT, a national service that delivers daily SAT learning tips, via text message, thus offering teens and tweens a way to be SAT proactive, minus the active.
Sue knows tweens and teens well, as all of her professional incarnations have been tween/teen centered. She began her career as an art teacher in a top public high school in New York, a job she absolutely loved. She then went on to become a published, award winning children’s book author. Next, Sue added college essay coach to her resume, and additionally, she works as the art director of an extensive, cutting edge art program at a popular summer camp. Sue’s love of tweens and teens, coupled with her background in education and her ability to write with word count in mind has led her to take her first entrepreneurial voyage, starting a business that seamlessly incorporates many of her passions and skills.
What are you working on right now?
I started working on textSAT about a year ago. Text messaging has exploded from its humble roots as a way for tweens and teens to send short secret notes to each other, to a major method of safe, reliable and green information distribution. Text messaging is being used in unlimited ways and has clearly reached the tipping point. It’s a more common method of communication than talking. And over 99% of text messages are read. It’s an absolutely perfect platform for SAT test prep.
3 Trends that excite you?
The SMS explosion in particular and the mobile phone industry in general, electronic readers and websites like esty.com, where you can see what arts and crafts people are making all over the world.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I act on them. It’s the simplest thing in the world, but it took me about 25 years to figure it out. You have to get up in the morning with a list of things that you must, must do to bring you closer to your goal every single day. The biggest surprise I have found so far is that nothing on those lists were ever as hard as I imagined they would be.
What is one mistake you’ve made and what can we learn from it?
I waited too long to become an entrepreneur. I know now that moving forward on a great idea is not as hard as I thought it would be. On the contrary, it is absolutely invigorating. It’s a rush like no other! My advice? Jump in. Don’t just daydream about great ideas. Get off the couch and act!
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away?
Right now, this very minute, the public is receptive to any and all text messaging services.
SAT prep is big business. What separates textSAT from the myriad of other choices out there?
textSAT wants kids to get an early start so they don’t find themselves cramming for a seriously important test. But we know kids, and we know that they don’t really want to do that. They want to be kids and have fun in their free time. Not study for a test that is years away. So textSAT brings the information right to them; in a pizza shop, the mall, their friend’s TV room. And we do it on a platform that they love, in a way that takes about ten seconds of their time. We make the information tween and teen scene friendly so it never feels textbooky, it feels like the text message that it is. It’s a completely painless way to test prep. And it works! Based on multiple surveys, kids are reading the messages and they’re retaining the information. They’re happy, and so are their parents!
What other things would you like to do in the future?
There are so many things I want to do! I want to get back to my art and design roots and create a line of jewelry that has been dancing around in my brain for some time. I want to write more books. I want to open a local arts and crafts shop that I can ride my bike to and where I can host free community events and author readings. I want to make every decade of my life better and more exciting than the one before.
Sue Wilkowski’s book on Amazon
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.