Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in language education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Amanda Pereira, Founder of Brazilingo, located in Orlando, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Brazilingo is an online language school that helps Brazilian immigrants adapt to life in the USA. We are in the process of creating our proprietary online training program focused on helping Brazilians living (or interested in living) in the USA to learn real-life English the way it is spoken in the USA and orient them to the laws, culture, and systems used in the USA. We also incorporate information that will be helpful in passing the exam for citizenship.
Tell us about yourself
When I was 13 years old, I went to Brazil on a mission trip to help an orphanage. I fell in love with Brazil and promised one of the kids that I would learn Portuguese. I went to the library in my hometown and rented the only resource they had for learning Portuguese. I spent the next several years finding resources to teach myself Portuguese. In the process, I met my now-husband, who is Brazilian. He helped me with my Portuguese, and I helped him with his English. He moved here to the United States when we got married. Although we live in the US, we spend a lot of time in Brazil and have created a life that is very rich and blended in both American and Brazilian cultures. My husband has had phenomenal success and opportunities in the USA that he wouldn't have had if he didn't speak English. Watching how well he has integrated into the US and how much my journey with Portuguese has influenced my life inspires me to help others attain better opportunities, live up to their full potential, and live freely and confidently!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I have had the honor of being invited as a guest speaker on several platforms, including podcasts, YouTube channels, language exchange meetings, and IG lives. My team of teachers and I have helped change the lives of many students by working closely with them to improve their English and Portuguese through private lessons and group courses.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Shiny object syndrome. It is really easy to dream big and get excited about every new idea that crosses the mind. However, the focus is key. It can be really hard, but it is really important to be able to say NO to ideas. If you say yes to everything, you will end up spread thin and overwhelmed to the point of wanting to give up. Not to mention that trying to do too many things or changing focus too often will leave you with a ton of unsuccessful or mediocre products or services. Instead, focus on doing one thing great. I keep a journal to keep track of ideas. Whenever a new and exciting idea comes to mind, I write it down. This helps me to put it on the back burner, knowing that I can revisit the idea at any time in the future. Also, getting clarity on WHAT your idea is, WHY you want to do it, and WHO you want to help will help you stay on track.
The balancing act. Entrepreneurs wear a lot of hats, especially in the beginning. I personally handled operations, customer service, marketing, advertising, sales, IT and website design, content creation, and teaching at the same time. It can get EXHAUSTING. I am also a wife and mother of a small child. Prioritizing and time management can be challenging. It can be easy to end up neglecting your own personal needs. Eat, sleep, exercise, and some me-time are ESSENTIAL. I find that prioritizing my personal and family needs first and then scheduling my working time in the gaps helps me to balance all of life's responsibilities better. Again, staying focused and clear on what your priorities are will help eliminate wasted time and distractions. Also, don't be afraid to ask for help!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Plan first. It is easy to get really excited about your big ideas and rush into making things happen; however, don't skip over the initial steps of market research and creating your business plan. Testing your idea first can save you countless hours and thousands of dollars in the long run. No one wants to invest months or years of their time and money into an idea just to find out that it won't work.
- Start small. Most people start their businesses with limited resources. It is important to use those resources wisely. Start small and build a strong foundation. Get really good at ONE thing and gradually scale as things grow. If you try to incorporate every idea right from the start, you will end up with a wobbly foundation.
- Be able to Pivot. One of the keys to being a successful entrepreneur is the ability to adapt and pivot. There will be a lot of trial and error. The market often goes through changes. Your ability to adapt to the changes may be the difference between your success and failure. It is completely normal to start off with one plan and one vision and as things play out, pivot your plan or direction. It is also important to recognize when you have gotten on the wrong track and course correct. This can be extremely hard to do, especially if you've invested time, money, and energy into one plan (see Tip #1), but the sooner you do it, the sooner you can get onto the right track.
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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