Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in language education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Maria Elena Pearsall, Owner of Languages Fun & Easy, located in Greenville, NC, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Languages Fun & Easy is a language learning center that provides tutoring and creative language learning opportunities to all ages and proficiency levels. We offer specialized courses, workshops, exam preparation, and cultural immersion activities such as cooking lessons and dinner events in our onsite kitchen. We also have conversation and reading clubs where students can hone their skills in a low pressure, fun, and supportive atmosphere. We regularly take trips to businesses in the local community where Spanish is the first language of most employees so students can practice their skills with native speakers.
Tell us about yourself
Studying and teaching world languages has been my passion since I graduated from high school. I have 29 years of experience in classrooms ranging from middle schools to universities. As the owner of my own business, I now have the freedom to customize lessons to the individual needs of every learner. Facilitating every language learner’s journey is rewarding as I enjoy the challenge of planning fun and meaningful lessons and practice opportunities. Though I have nearly three decades of teaching experience, I get excited every time I work with students as I recognize and appreciate the enjoyment and empowerment their ability to speak another language will provide them.
I view language learning as a lifetime journey that promotes critical thinking and creativity. Competency in another language is an asset to any career. The practice of communicating in another language creates a greater understanding of oneself and others. The challenge of learning the language is a rewarding adventure in itself.
Languages Fun & Easy provides those in Greenville and surrounding areas a place to meet new friends and experience other cultures. I strive to make lessons purposeful, interactive, challenging, and fun.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is helping students of all ages and abilities accomplish their goal of communicating effectively in a new language. Languages Fun & Easy defines success as the enjoyment of small improvements and progress that lead to the larger developmental goals of increased competence in listening, speaking, writing, and reading. I look forward to continuing the growth of the language center, which will create work opportunities for experienced teachers to share their knowledge with our students.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Amongst the hardest things that come with being a business owner are managing time and the unpredictability of new challenges such as evolving technology, marketing, and budgeting strategies. Managing these obstacles as they arise to prudently scale the business while still providing our incredibly high teaching standards is necessary. The value we provide in teaching others a new language makes all these administrative duties worthwhile and meaningful. I have learned to delegate many tasks so that I can focus on customer relationships and lesson planning.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
I would advise a new business owner to get organized with a detailed plan and a budget that allows for customized service that exceeds the customer’s needs and expectations. I would also encourage new business owners to reach out for support by networking with agencies like the Small Business Administration, ECU, AMEXCAN, and others. It is especially important for new owners to actively participate in community events that demonstrate a commitment to improving the quality of life of local citizens.
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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