Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nick Fraher, Owner of Professor Egghead Science Academy, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is getting kids EXCITED about science! We run STEM parties, classes, camps, and workshops for kids ages 5-15 and serve both high- and low-income schools and anyone who's looking to have fun learning while getting a little bit messy.
Tell us about yourself
I stumbled into the enrichment business after becoming a fresh college graduate and not being quite sure where to go from there. I got a job teaching kids part-time and fell in love with how easily I connected with kids and how much I enjoyed being able to blend my love of science with teaching.
At first, I didn't have any aspirations to grow a business, but as I started becoming more involved with all of the different aspects of growing and managing my employees, I got the idea of owning my own business. I've always felt very motivated to accomplish things and felt a greater purpose in building something great. My motivation stems from my desire to fulfill that potential and build something for society that adds instead of subtracts to making the world a brighter place.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment has been making the leap from working in my business to on my business. There's a very difficult threshold that happens for all business owners. For some, it's earlier than others, but you grow to a point where you can no longer do everything yourself. It's frightening and difficult to let go, but the only way to begin to scale your business is to first give away the tasks and responsibilities that you dislike and aren't good at and then eventually give up the ones you are good at. The second category is definitely the hardest but also the most rewarding.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest parts of business ownership are the intangibles and the things that wouldn't occur to most people. It's the feelings of imposter syndrome - that you shouldn't be where you are- and the complete erosion of your work/life balance. While some business owners are able to sequester and compartmentalize their work, it's the very few that can really do so, especially early on, and effectively grow their business. Learning to manage that with loved ones is a real challenge for most of us.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Ask "How SHOULD this work" when setting up your business. It's tempting to say yes to everything, to go custom, to throw together solutions, and to do what gets you by, but thinking about how the business SHOULD function ideally (usually by imagining it as an order of magnitude bigger than it is currently) helps to inform decisions.
- Don't try to do everything- find your niche and be the best. Offer a premium product at a premium price, and don't compete on price with others. A race to the bottom will never help you get where you're going.
- Set SMART Goals - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. These types of goals will really hone in on taking you where you want to be.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Connecting with other entrepreneurs and business owners is an absolute must for anyone out there; everyone has an incredible story to tell. Keeping your mind open to ideas and feedback and being open and authentic is the key to growing and managing a successful business.
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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