This is your second business venture—what drives you to keep starting businesses?
What do you think is the secret to your success? Hard work! I don’t think I have a secret. It is just being tenacious. I am tenacious and I have faith.
What do you look for in a business opportunity?
I look for something that I feel can improve people’s lives. My goal is to find a product or a service that enhances the overall life of the customers we serve.
Do you have a role model? Why is this person your role model? Steve Jobs because his goal was not to be the richest person it was to be the best and to do something good.
What is the one thing you would tell an aspiring entrepreneur to focus on to help him/her attain success? You cannot be afraid to fail. Focus on doing the things that other people don’t want to do. Do not focus on the easy things because this will not help you to get into a market. Take daycare … it is tough. It looks easy on the surface, but you have a curriculum to execute and staff turnover to deal with. I held tight to the curriculum, because I wanted the child care center to be successful. Always aim to be the best at what you do.
What was your biggest challenge in growing Little Scholars? Why? It was creating a dynamic team. Because you have to know what motivates people and be able to get the right mix of staff. If your staff does not love what they do and the right leader is not there… the business suffers. You have to figure out the strengths of your staff and use their strengths in the right position so that the company shines. To lead employees you have to know them so that you can place them where there skills can be used the best. You have to account for the human factor, because people do not always disclose their strengths and weaknesses honestly.
Why did you choose to enter the medical spa market… you were extremely successful in child care?
For me I was looking for a new industry...child care is still a passion of mine, but the company position afforded me the opportunity to leave… the financials were in a great condition… both centers were at capacity… business had gone through the entire business cycle. It made sense to sell.
Bonus question: Okay, I had to ask… (shameless plug)…Why did you choose to return to the SBDC?
The Small Business Development Center has been critical to my success since 2002. I literally would not be in business if the Small Business Development Center had not been there with the services that the Small Business Development Center offers. I had no idea what to do. I had a fire to start my own business but did not have the tools needed (e.g., demographic information, business plan templates). The Small Business Development Center is imperative to people that do not have the resources to get started. I always send people to the Small Business Development Center. The Small Business Development Center has been the most important resource that I have for my business. I am a big, big fan and advocate of the Small Business Development Center and the Small Business Administration.