Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in language education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Drew Badger, Founder of EnglishAnyone.com, located in Nagasaki, Japan.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We help English language learners all over the world become fluent speakers. Typical language lessons actually STOP people from expressing themselves. We solve this problem by helping people understand English like natives, rather than studying translations or memorizing rules.
Tell us about yourself
I came to Japan in 2003 to teach English and learn traditional Japanese gardening. I enjoyed teaching so much that I decided to focus on this. Now I help people all over the world with premium courses and a YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/englishanyone) that has over 1.2 million subscribers. Daily motivation comes from solving the challenging problems of (1) how to teach someone English without using their native language and (2) explaining how this is possible to prospective learners.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is creating Frederick: Learn to Read, an app that anyone, anywhere, can use to teach themselves to read, spell and pronounce English. Beginning readers, struggling readers, and non-native English learners are all making great progress with Frederick (https://englishanyone.com/phonics-iphone-app).
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things for business owners to do is accept unexpected solutions to problems. Often, people envision a goal AND a particular way to get there (just like customers/clients with their own problems). But this closes your mind surprising and innovative ways of doing things.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Sell BEFORE you build. Never ask if someone WOULD pay for something. Get cash first, and then build the product/service with the customer/client.
- Look for truths that others don't see. You discover these by focusing on your customers, not following what other businesses in your market are doing.
- Focus on the goal, and have faith that you'll reach it, even though this may happen in unexpected ways.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Have a reason for being, and be able to communicate this clearly. Without this, you can and will be ignored.
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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