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Marydee Sklar: Make passive income by building a course for your business

Updated: Apr 29, 2022

Marydee Sklar is an educator with experience as a teacher, reading specialist, owner of a tutoring practice. She had her own executive function challenges and spent 40 years describing herself as an underachieving procrastinator. Once she was able to discover how to help her challenges, her whole life started to get better.

Since people came to Marydee for help, she ended up using her reading specialist skills and designed a course and workbook called Seeing My Time: a curriculum to teach time management, planning, and organization from the perspective of the brain.

She was encouraged to publish her work and has now sold thousands around the world. Seeing My Time has worked so well for so many people because it provides a successful structure for getting things done.

Passive income through courses:

As a solopreneur, you are limited in what you can earn through an hourly rate. Making a course gives you passive income with potential for huge growth over time.

If you are debating between designing a product or a course, invest into a course first. Making a course avoids the hassle of the manufacturing and supply chain costs that come with making a product, which Marydee experienced when designing her planners.

If you have a tutoring business, it is a good idea to backfill with an executive function option or course. If you try to do tutoring and executive function simultaneously, it can contradict themselves. This is because, unlike executive function coaching, tutoring is expected to provide immediate results for the student.

How long does it take to see successful results in your course?

Marydee once did a talk for a magazine where 9,000 people registered to hear her speak and, out of these 9,000 people, she only got 1 client.

Likewise, she spent 7 months designing her course. At first, getting 5 people to show up was a celebration. As time went on and COVID-19 came about, teachers became very interested in her course and she was getting 40 people in the summer AND winter.

It takes perseverance, hard work, time, and deep connection to your passion to really succeed at making a business work.

On her desk, she made a sign that says “my message is more important than my comfort zone”. This is something that is so beneficial to remind yourself. If you have a strong message, have the courage to get your message out there.

Marydee’s dream is to shift education so that the need for executive function courses will no longer be needed!

Connect with Marydee at


Sean McCormick 0:02 This week on Earn More Tutoring, I talk with Marydee Sklar, founder of Executive Functioning Success, about what it means to be a reluctant entrepreneur, the necessity of having three legs to any business, and her undying love of children's singer Rafi. Marydee Sklar 0:18 In my dream world, in three years, I will have this marvelous network of people who have been trained to teach saying my time, and they are just out there being a little army of as tutors individually helping people. And we will have had such a reach into the schools with the products that we've designed with planners, and the buildings and functions just in the classroom. That course that we will shift education you guys. We're gonna shift it. Sean McCormick 0:49 Alright, welcome to Earn More Tutoring. Our mission is to eradicate educator poverty. I'm Sean McCormick, your host and the founder of Executive Function Specialists, an online coaching business that helps middle high school and college students develop goal orientated behaviors. My guest today is Marydee Sklar, welcome to the show, Marydee. Marydee Sklar 1:07 Thank you for having me. I'm glad to be here. Sean McCormick 1:09 So first off, just I'd love for you to talk about kind of your different I guess branches of your work. I know you have executive functioning success, you have the seeing my talent time series, the the planners and the courses. So maybe you could just give us a broad overview of what you do. Marydee Sklar 1:25 Okay, so what I do is I'm an educator by training and background, I was a reading specialist in a galaxy. Well, not that wasn't the classroom teacher in a galaxy far, far away. Then I became a reading specialist and I had my own private tutoring practice for, like 15 years or more. And, and I taught kids with dyslexia, math issues, and read writing language issues primarily through sixth grade. Then along the way, I got into what we now call executive functioning. And I got into it because of my own brain having challenges. But this was so long ago, we didn't have this phrase, okay. Nobody had heard of executive functioning back then. This was back in 1994. I was running a program at a local elementary school to teach at risk to teach volunteers to teach at risk students how to read. And we had a low income housing project that funnel into the school, but we just in general, you know, dyslexia that knows no economic level. So that program, we were just addressing kids who weren't getting services. So I ended up at the University of Portland, where I spent a week with a woman by the name of Dr. l&r Woods. She's a speech pathologist by training and background. And I went because the speech path on campus said, Oh, she's got these great ideas about how our behavior is, and our learning is tied to the way our brains are wired. Well, in 1994, that was woowoo. Seriously, we didn't have brain scans that we have today. And we just didn't even look at the brain. We didn't know anything, you know, we have thought everybody talked thought alike. So Elon changed my life because she ended up identifying me as a person who was people would say time challenge today, they would say have executive function challenges. Primarily, my issues are based in time. I don't personally have ADHD. But I have some significant working memory challenges, probably the result of a head injury on the playground when I was a little kid. And that's probably my predominant problem is that executive function. But I also totally time blind don't have a brain that just floats in time. I do whatever is in front of me. So Ellen, back then challenged me to take care of myself in time and space. She said to me, I'll never forget. I was like, what does that mean? And because she had me draw a picture of what I did in a week, and it was total chaos, and you know, all this kind of stuff could because she identified me as more of a visual thinker, but she sent me out the door with go home and take care of yourself in time and space. And I figured it out because I had spent 40 years of my life describing myself as an underachieving procrastinator. You know, I was the kid who did not turn in my senior term paper, okay. Even though I had done all the work for it, I couldn't figure out how to do it, not just in time, but I also had challenges understanding language, taking the pictures in my head and turning them into words and organizing them and you know, the stat and the standard format. So when she gave me that challenge, it took me a year to figure it out. And at the end of that year, my life was completely different. I was no longer screaming at the kids in the morning and I'm out the door. I was, you know, my house was no longer welcome to my piles. If I had food refrigerator when I needed it, I wasn't showing up the wrong day, the wrong time. And so my self esteem was beginning to grow. And so I took care of myself and my son had issues, I start working...

Check out the full interview below!

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