Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Darci Ziegler, Founder of Defeating Dyslexia with Darci, located in Keenesburg, CO, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I own an online reading tutoring business. I teach reading to people who struggle using zoom. Many of them have dyslexia, but not all of them do. Most of my students are beginning readers, but some are older. Some are even adults. You are never too old to improve your reading and your life.
Tell us about yourself
Before having my own children, I was a kindergarten teacher. When my children were born, I quit my job to stay home with my children. I decided to homeschool, which I really loved, but my daughter struggled to read. I was surprised because I had been reading to her since birth and had done all the things I thought she needed to become a good reader. I was even using phonics, but she was really having a very hard time. Finally, at age 8, I had her tested and discovered that she had dyslexia. That is when I began to study dyslexia. I am happy to say that my daughter is now grown and is a good reader.
I now have a master's degree in dyslexia and enjoy teaching reading online to many students who struggle to become good readers. I want to be a blessing to parents who are worried and stressed like I was all those years ago about how their children will learn to read. I want to help you experience success in reading, school, and life.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Helping students succeed in becoming good readers. It was so fun and fulfilling when one of my students told me how now they can do so much better than last year. Also, I love to watch their confidence increase. Some of my students seem like different people after they start to experience success, and their self-confidence increases.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Marketing. I just want to teach the students - that part energizes me. But no one will know I am doing this, and I won't have any students to teach if I don't do some kind of marketing. I know nothing about marketing and don't have much interest in it, but I think more than 1/2 of my working hours are doing some kind of marketing- or learning how to.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Choose a business that you are passionate about. You have to be so interested in it that you are ready to spend all your time on it. And in the beginning, it will take lots of time. I think it's important to make sure that you have the time, interest, and resources before jumping in.
- Surround yourself with others who can encourage and help you grow. Some of them should be doing the same type of business or something similar and can give you advice on how to succeed.
- Keep learning. Take classes and read books so that you are always an expert in your own field. You want to sound like you know what you are talking about when you tell others about what you do! Also, this will boost your confidence and keep your own interest high.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I think reading is the most important school subject. (Math is the other essential school subject.) A good reader can learn whatever they are interested in learning by reading books. They don't have to learn about it in school. If schools only taught reading and math, it would be sufficient because then students could learn everything else on their own. They are equipped for life. However, some students really struggle to learn to read. Here in the United States, many teachers are learning better strategies for teaching reading, but some students are still going to struggle. Those are the students that I hope to help with 1-1 tutoring at their own pace.
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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