Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ellen Westbrook, Founder of Engaging Reluctant Readers, located in Greensboro, NC, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Engaging Reluctant Readers is dedicated to teaching parents of reluctant readers how they can make reading more fun and exciting for their children through free resources, online courses, the first-ever Reluctant Readers Summit kicking off on February 28, 2023, and the Developing Ravenous Readers Club (DRRC).

The DRRC is a monthly membership that guides parents through the Reading PRO Roadmap framework to identify and combat their family's reading roadblocks by creating a proactive plan to rediscover family reading fun together. The DRRC offers parents the accountability, community, and support they need to keep moving forward no matter where their child's reading journey takes them.

A month in the DRRC includes:

  • Monthly live training sessions and guest expert speakers covering all things literacy.
  • Weekly planning sessions to ensure parents are taking action moving through the Reading PRO Roadmap framework and keeping positive reading experiences a priority in their homes.
  • Two hot seat sessions each month where members get the opportunity to receive 1:1 support to determine their next BEST steps moving forward while learning from watching others receive 1:1 support and knowing they're surrounded by other parents that get it.

Tell us about yourself

I'm a wife, mom to two high-energy boys, and a recovering reluctant reader. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and am passionate about helping parents of reluctant readers guide their children to fall in love with books and stories so they can rediscover family reading fun!

I spent over 20 years as a reluctant reader, so I understand where those children are coming from, but something clicked for me when I first became a mom. I realized that I didn't want my son (now sons) to follow in my reading journey footsteps.

I've been able to rediscover my own love of reading by creating the invitation to read in our home and making sure my boys continue to have positive experiences with books, stories, and learning. Over the last few years, it's become my passion to help other families do the same so they can raise not only future bookworms but life-long learners too!

I know that parents of reluctant readers feel like they've tried everything under the sun to get their child to enjoy reading. All that time, energy, and money has left them feeling burnt out and convinced that there's no way out of the nightly reading battles. I want parents to know that they're not alone and that reading can be fun again!

But I've discovered that understanding their unique reluctant reader and creating a personalized plan to move forward is the key to taking their child from dread to must be read, and my heart soars every time the magic of reading is unlocked for another reluctant reader!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment has been growing as a person, learning to set boundaries around work and family, and breaking out of my comfort zone to make a greater impact!

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Working through fear of failure, rejection, and/or being judged by others, or worse yourself. If you struggle with perfectionism, you have to let that go, or nothing will ever get done.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  • Don't wait to get systems in place. Start at the beginning so as your business grows, your systems can grow with it instead of trying to play catch-up years down the road.
  • Crush your limiting beliefs and get out of your own way. Your business will only ever grow as much as you let it! No matter how new or small your business is, always treat it like it's the real deal, not just some side hustle!

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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