Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in language education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Laura F. Fidalgo, Founder of Waldorf Inspired Spanish, located in Kaleden, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I teach Spanish to children and families through the art of storytelling in a puppet show format, songs, and art. I have two main programs: the live classes I teach online and a self-paced membership program that allows families to learn together and bond in the process of learning Spanish.
Tell us about yourself
I am a mom of two little boys. When my first was born, I was his only source of Spanish since we were living in Canada. It was really important for my husband and me that he would be fluent in the language, so I started to create puppet shows at home for him. I am a needle felting artist, so I started to create my own characters to show him in real context conversations that were happening among the characters. That way, I was able to expand his vocabulary to more than our conversations, but also I was able to introduce conversations between other people. He was not exposed to that, being I am the only one he would practice and activate his Spanish with regularly. It was not my first experience as a Spanish teacher, but it was the first one in which a creative process, a really creative one, was in place. I was not following books. I was creating all stories from scratch or modifying existing folk stories to fit my educational goals for my student, that was my son at that time. When the pandemic hit, and I could not come back to work with the children I had been working with before, I decided to open this beautiful process to other families, and that was how it all started. I started to deliver online classes, and 6 months after I started the membership to serve those families that had a hard time finding a spot with me so they could still have this magic of learning without having to attend at certain schedules or to pay per child since it is a family program.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
To have touched so many children's and families hearts. We all love music; learning a language that has a rhythm on its own through a rhythmical song brings a lot of smiles in my classes. The Puppet shows are often very funny, and I see their faces light up, and their energy, if they have had a hard day, just changes. Since I started with Waldorf Inspired Spanish just 2 years ago, I have had more than 400 students. That is a lot, considering I only teach a few hours a week since I am still a mom and a homeschooler, and I need to have time for my own children.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Being a mom of young children and a business owner at the same time. It sometimes feels that no time will ever be enough time. I need to make a conscious decision to stop and give time to my children in full focus and presence. Or the other way, to stop being with my children and create a full focus on my business and make sure that both are attended to properly while life keeps "encountering" us, which means it keeps bringing surprises to deal with. That is a big challenge right now for my husband and me. On the business side, I would say to believe in you no matter the outcome of the last launch, cycle of classes, or registrations in the membership. That requires internal work that I will not stop doing because, without continuous personal growth, from my point of view, there is no business growth.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Check first if you have a market for it before you put effort into creating a full course or program.
- Invest in your own development as a person and your field of knowledge. But I would say it is even more important as a person than anything else.
- Try it. Feel it. If it does not work, change it. There is nothing bad about making changes to your programs if you feel it is a better idea or will bring a better service. By listening to your audience, you can change it to the best you can offer at that time. And then, you will grow as a person and in your knowledge, and you will be able to offer another next level to your offerings, so maybe it is time to change it again! Change is also movement. It is healthy to be in movement at all levels.
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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