The child care industry can be ruthless. Low pay, high stress, and lack of recognition just to name a few.
This was the case for Rhonda Meyers of Heartfelt Impressions Learning Center. After 9 years spent growing a multi-million dollar business for someone else, they fired her, while she was also taking care of her terminally ill parents.
They fired me because I made a decision about something I was asked to do that “was contrary to my why.” Afterwards, her most loyal employee, Amy, who was 5 months pregnant, was also fired.
Without missing a beat, Rhonda and Amy decided to partner and start their own child care center. Rhonda made the choice because of her children.
She asked herself, “Was I going to leave them a legacy, or an empire?”
While opening a child care usually can be a huge risk, it was especially scary since Rhonda had exactly zero dollars in her savings account. But she knew she owed it to Amy to take the risk to believe in herself and believe that they could do it together.
Driven to Succeed
Just like Gerry Pastor and some of our other Child Care Success Summit attendees, they were running successful businesses, operating at 85% capacity most of the time, and thinking they couldn’t learn much more to push them further.
Yet, they knew there had to be a way to serve more families and get their mission and purpose out in a bigger way!
Rhonda was no different in this thinking.
Really successful entrepreneurs and business owners know their businesses are fulfilling a higher purpose. Because of this, they have a drive to succeed that outweighs any fears of failure. The really successful child care owners & directors we work with eventually come to operate with the mindset that failure is not an option. There is always a way to find success, you just have to find it.
But you can’t find it if you’re stuck running the day to day of your business. You have to have the space be able to see new opportunities and seize them as they come along.
You have to take the time to work ON your business.
Rhonda had been in the child care business for 25 years and wasn’t sure what else she could learn, but knew that it was out there.
Big Risks Lead to Big Rewards
If Rhonda had learned anything starting her own child care, taking the biggest (calculated) risks can lead to the biggest rewards. When a new opportunity presents itself, you’ve got to take advantage of it. As the famous Peter Drucker once said, “The biggest risk is not taking one.”
So, she looked around and found Kris Murray. Having all her finances tied up in the business, she didn’t have enough to fly to Vegas and attend the Child Care Success Summit. So she bartered with another director. She committed to providing 9 months of training at the other owner/director’s center and, in return, they bought her ticket.
“It was indentured servitude,” says Rhonda.
The bet paid off and she has had a 34% increase in revenue year over year after one year. If she hadn’t taken that risk, if she hadn’t been willing to get creative and find a way to make it work, she’d still be stuck at 85% capacity. When you’re able to step outside your business and learn how to look for new opportunities rather than just focusing on what’s working now, you’ll find true success.
Rhonda says, “It’s simple math. How many students do you need for it to be worth it?” That’s all it really takes. Will an investment of $500 here turn into $10,000 there? If so, do what it takes to make that happen!
You can’t grow without investing in yourself.
One of the things early childhood professionals are bad at is admitting they’re worth it. Well, we’re here to tell you that you are. You are worth it!
Networking & Collaboration Are Two of The Biggest Factors Of Success
Child care professionals often closely guard their secrets. Have you ever tried to openly mystery shop a competitor? How many of them were willing to let you enter the building? In an industry where support is a core value, we are often lacking in support of each other.
The culture at the Child Care Success Summit is different.
As Rhonda explains, “Kris has created a culture that says there is enough for all of us.”
And she’s right. It just depends on your mindset and your business practices.
And you’ll be amazed at what we can do when child care owners work together. If you’ve been reading our success stories or listened to speakers on the Summit video, one thing they all mention is that the support and exchange of ideas with networking and joining groups have all been a key factor in their success as a business.
The value of networking is a HUGE benefit that draws everybody back year after year.
Seek New Partnerships & Networking Opportunities
Sharing ideas with other child care professionals is amazing. We can all be a resource for each other. We can also partner with other local businesses and become leaders in our communities. As we all know, child care centers are integral parts of their communities and the most successful are heavily involved at that!
Find Opportunities to NETWORK & Work Together
Success in the child care business comes not from doing something radically different on your own, but by working together with others in your field and those in your community to build a quality place for children and staff. It also comes from LEARNING from others on best practices and what you can do differently to offer and communicate the best services and care for the families in your area.