Being a good entrepreneur requires a variant of factors—some you can learn, others lie more on your personality, instincts, and mindset. As the owner of Maryland’s largest privately-owned chain of schools, I also acknowledge that the same debate on behavior of “nature versus nurture” does not only apply to children’s development, but also during the course of a person’s life. Our values, background, and experiences are just as, if not more, instrumental as our academic accomplishments.
A keen sense of curiosity, perceptiveness, creativity, and a great intuition are some key traits that an entrepreneur must possess in order to realize his or her vision. But when it comes to being a successful early education business owner, I’d like to underscore some of the nuances about these traits that are essential in running your own school or schools.
- Passionate—especially when it comes to caring for and educating children
Passion is one of the most important ingredients of success in general. But when it comes to owning and operating an early education facility or school, you need a great depth of understanding of children. As a father of five beautiful children, I have the parental insight when it comes to ensuring that our young ones get the support they need during this critical developmental period. Knowing what’s in their best interests and acting on that information is how you can make the best decisions regarding their care and education.
- Flexible and innovative—seeing the big and small picture
One may think, “We only need to teach children the same thing, right? You don’t need to deviate from that!” While it is true that there are curriculums to follow, being an owner-operator of an early education business is more than just focusing on the academic part of learning. Part of the work is broadening your perspective and seeing both the big and small picture, too. Before you even get to the teaching part, you have to take care of the business areas that make it possible for learning to take place. Whether it’s applying for a franchise, surveying for locations, securing financial investment, hiring a teaching staff, or overseeing day-to-day operations, you need to be both flexible and decisive.
It also means you must be willing and able to adapt to changes and plan ahead. I have to be constantly on top of my game when it comes to leading and running Celebree. Learning from my past mistakes and being a team player enabled the company to weather—and thrive—in this crisis because I not only know the ins and outs of the business, but also how to set short-term and long-term goals and build a system to achieve them.
- Having a positive outlook
Being an optimist is more than just having a sunny disposition but also being able to envision growth for your business. I’ve always maintained that once you’ve become comfortable with success and/or become bored with what you’re doing, stagnancy creeps in. It is never too early to plan for the future nor you should be doing it alone either. They say that it takes a village to raise a child, and it is infinitely true, especially in this business. In order to take care of the children well, you must also take care of your team.