Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Bonnie Liotta, Co-Founder of Creating Champions For Life, located in Seattle, WA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Our business is Creating Champions For Life. We show parents how to create an environment that transforms the most disruptive, defiant, and unruly behavior into healthy, happy, cooperative kids. This includes children of all ages as well as behavior disorders like ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, anxiety, and depression.
Tell us about yourself
I'm a high school dropout who had no choice other than to learn to sell vacuum cleaners. In 1994, at 21, I read a book called Think and Grow Rich. My thoughts were that if I had known what was inside that book at an earlier age, I would never have done all the stupid things I did as an unworthy teenager. I ran over to my dad's house and declared, "I don't know how but I'm going to find a way to empower kids before the age of 12." My dad's response was to dismiss the idea with a look in his eyes that told me I was nuts. "Yeah, yeah, that's nice, dear."
I devoted the next 18 years to studying personal development, sales and leadership. I believed that if I could become successful enough, eventually I could go to schools and inspire kids by teaching them about goals and that no matter what they had been told about themselves, they could be, do and have anything they chose.
I did become a massive success as a top 10 producer in two separate MLM companies and the only single female to promote to the highest level. I was written about in national magazines. I bought my children a seven-bedroom house, drove a Lexus, and traveled around the world. There was only one problem. My dream of finding a way to empower children was dying. My own children were ages 7 to 12, all of them being diagnosed with behavior and mood disorders. In fact, my youngest had been diagnosed with ADHD and the worst case of oppositional defiant disorder the school psychologist had ever seen.
Right around the time, Zachary threw his desk across the classroom forcing the teacher to evacuate, and just before being medicated for life, I met my now husband, Thomas Liotta. I discovered that he had the "how" to my "why." Thomas owned and operated a Martial Art School, where he launched a full-time daycare and award-winning after-school program, Creating Champions For Life. Thomas had mastered the art of empowering his students to work towards goals by following an adult-approved plan.
When I saw him interact with my children, I was blown away at how excited they were to earn their own privileges. Thomas' methods were the answer to my original dream from 1994. It took 18 years to manifest the way to empower all children by the age of 12. It wasn't going to happen the way I thought it was going to happen. I could see how to transform his Creating Champions For Life methods into a parenting philosophy based on timeless truth success principles!
After applying what I was learning from Thomas for more than six months and witnessing a miraculous transformation in my home, I knew that every parent in the world deserved to know about it too. We were moved to walk away from everything we knew and follow our dreams into unchartered territory to reinvent parenting!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
In the last ten years, we've written two books, created an online course, and have clients working with us from all over the world, including Australia, Qatar, the United Kingdom, the USA, and Canada. Seeing children come alive with a new zest for life, happy, healthy, and cooperative, is our hugest accomplishment. We wake up every morning and focus on changing lives one family at a time with 100% faith that all parents will learn that there is another, more empowering way to raise children. It's called guiding behavior vs. punishment, and it produces magical results with every single child whose parents choose to engage in Creating Champions For Life.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing about what we do is pushing through obstacles we've never encountered before. We have a message to share but have never run a multimillion-dollar company before. From writing books and building websites to publishing on Youtube and hiring a team, the learning curve has been massive.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Make sure you believe in and love what you do with all your heart and soul, or don't do it.
- Go to bed every night with small goals set out for the next day. A million small goals will build the path to your personal success.
- Push through every obstacle because no matter how hard it gets or how dismal it may seem at any moment, there is always a solution. Things happen to work out somehow when you operate your mind, body, and soul in 100% faith. Watching miracles and wonders take over in the face of discouragement is the most exciting part of our lives.
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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