Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in language education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Natascha Dammann, President of Language Door, Inc., located in Irvine, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Language Door is a private language institute with physical locations in Irvine and San Diego. The Los Angeles location is offering online classes only at the moment. We provide all kinds of language services in over 30 languages, from teaching children and adults in small group classes or private settings at our locations and online. We also provide classes to Corporate and Government clients and partner with many Charter Schools. Translation and Interpreting services are offered as well.
Tell us about yourself
Born in Hamburg/Germany, to a German Dad and a Persian Mom, I grew up in Germany but was eager to visit Iran at the age of 18 to learn more about my mother’s side. I fell in love with the people and the country. I decided to go to University in Iran and embraced the challenge of adapting to a new language and culture. In 2005 I moved to the US and started to explore new opportunities.
In 2009 I took a German teacher position at Language Door in Irvine, and later that year, I joined the administrative team. Soon I grew my sphere of responsibility, and it was an easy decision for me to take over the business in 2015 when the previous owner wished to retire. My passion for people and cultures has always been my driving force, and the opportunity for Language Door to do its part for a more understanding environment based on respect and diversity keeps me going every day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We have been able to build a dedicated team that helps students and teachers every day with their caring and professional attitude. But Language Door’s biggest pride is its teachers, who are not only native experienced instructors but conduct the classes with passion and enthusiasm. Together with our students, we have created an outstanding and unparalleled learning experience with social and cultural understanding.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Finding a balance between my professional and personal life has been my hardest challenge. I learned that the hard way when, in 2020, not only did the business get hit hard by COVID, but at the same time, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. It is often difficult to set the right priorities to make sure that there is enough time for all important things in life.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Maybe I am not the right person to give business advice too since I am still learning how to be a business owner myself on a daily basis.
- However, I believe that with passion for what you do and then with dedication and persistence, you can achieve anything. These might sound like cliché words, but they are true.
- Business life is not always easy and has a lot of ups and downs, but with the right mindset, all can be overcome.
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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