Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in training and education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ena Hackaday, Founder and CEO of Brainy Bytes, located in Maple Grove, MN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Since 2010, Brainy Bytes has introduced thousands of children to STEM Education with fun and innovative lesson plans that can’t be found anywhere else. We started with just two courses in robotics and programming but now offer over two dozen online and in-house courses for ages five and up.
We are here for PARENTS looking to expand their child’s STEM learning, EDUCATORS seeking unique and engaging STEM resources for their students, and ENTREPRENEURS wanting to make a difference in their lives and communities.
Tell us about yourself
After 13 years in the financial industry, my husband and I decided it was in our family’s best interest for me to leave my corporate management career to take care of our two children. When our oldest child turned 9, I took advantage of being at home and began homeschooling. I quickly realized a passion for educating and began teaching others through various homeschool organizations. We were an active part of the homeschool community throughout our children’s academic careers.
We credit our son for starting Brainy Bytes. He was extremely interested in learning game development, but educational courses in programming were limited in our area. His desire to learn (and our passion for encouraging learning) led and motivated us to fill an obvious need in STEM education for kids in our area. In 2010, after much prayer and preparation, we decided to bring Brainy Bytes to our community. We continue to be a leader in quality STEM education (and fun) because of our commitment to offering innovative, one-of-a-kind courses and our personal attention to our families and community.
We now focus on a greater ambition; to help others make a difference in their communities nationwide. We were blessed to be able to nurture our family and enjoy the accomplishments of a successful business all at the same time…now it’s time to help others!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Raising a successful business and a family side by side. Let’s face it, as a woman entrepreneur, there’s a different set of demands for work/life balance, and you can be led to believe you can’t follow more than one call. It was very important that I be there to raise (and educate as a homeschool parent) my kids while successfully building my business. I learned early on the importance of delegation as a business owner and mother. That tool became even more crucial when my oldest was diagnosed with cancer. Build a team that you can depend on so you can be who you need to be for those important to you.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
There is no time card when you’re the boss. No one to tell you to close shop and go home. Not because of the demand but because of my own personal drive, I had to learn to walk away and say, “That’s enough for today; go do for yourself and your family now .”Yeah, I know, a direct contradiction of what I just said in the last questions… that’s why it’s the hardest thing!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Follow your passion IF it lines up with your abilities. Everyone always says, “Oh, just follow your passion” or “Follow your dream, and you will succeed .”NO! That isn’t always the case; not every passion is meant to be followed. I am very passionate about singing, but I am also acutely aware that I can NOT sing. No matter how passionate I am about that dream, I will probably never succeed as a singer… except in my own shower. However, my passion for education and entrepreneurship aligns perfectly with my abilities to lead, nurture, and create. Knowing your limitation is just as important as knowing your abilities.
- Be the boss you always wanted. Support, empower, and mentor those around and under you. Doing so will build the strength you need to grow… together.
- Your business six months from now will directly reflect what you did today. Read that again and let it sink in.
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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