Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Andréa Girard, an educational consultant based in Chapais, QC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Homeschooling parents, educators, and organizations consult me for their children’s learning challenges, academic motivation, behavior, or simply for support. I also give conferences to help parents release their expectations of academic success and invite those involved in education to reflect on the increase in the diagnosis of learning disabilities while giving them keys to better teach reading and writing. I also give online training, and I am a children’s author.
Tell us about yourself
I am professionally trained as a delinquency worker, preschool and elementary school teacher as well as a yoga teacher. I specialize in learning and behavioral disorders because I taught privately with this kind of clientele during my university studies and at school. I targeted students with difficulties and created groups to offer them academic support. I also specialize in different pedagogies that exist, including project-based learning, learning through play, information technologies learning, and homeschooling.
Initially, I did not know that I would start a business. I stopped working in schools because of my daughter’s health problem. As I had time, I gave free advice to parents who were thinking of homeschooling or who had children who did not perform well in the regular school system. After several years, the demand for advice increased so much that I had to think of a business model to save time and make it profitable. What motivates me the most every day is the message I convey: each child is unique, so let’s talk about the different educational paths. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said: « As for the future, it is not a question of foreseeing it but of making it possible.» I am a big believer in the infinite possibilities that a human can have if we offer him the opportunity to be himself and use the tools adapted to his abilities and the support he needs.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I have two great accomplishments. First, I wrote and published the first book in cursive writing (attached letters) in Quebec and Canada. Second, a law firm and an association approached me to write an expert report on the evaluation of learning. After demonstrating my skills, I was selected and produced the report on time.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Nothing substantial happens overnight. So one of the hardest things about being a business owner is investing time in doing imperfect actions before reaching a set goal.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Start today to do an imperfect action because it will give you experience and more confidence in your capacities.
- Be grateful for each new achievement you make in your business as you grow as an entrepreneur and get closer to your goals.
- Keep learning. Whether you experience success or failure, it’s all about learning. Continue to perfect yourself, and you will experience other successes or your first success.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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