Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in E-Learning services, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Anthony Weinkopff, the co-founder and director of Embrace Tutoring and Educational Services. In 2013, Anthony was recognized nationally as “Teacher of the Week” by Carney Sandoe and Associates.
Tell us all about your business...
I act as a Director and Co-Founder of Embrace Tutoring and Educational Services (www.embracetutoring.com). Our primary customers are families invested in advancing their educational journey by applying to high school, college, graduate school, etc. After speaking with the families, our team creates a customized plan and connects them with experienced tutors in core academic subjects and test prep (SAT/ ACT/ AP tests/ GRE/ ISEE/ SSAT/ etc.). Many families will utilize our services to save time, enhance their chances of acceptance, or receive academic scholarships. We love being a part of their success!
Our families may receive several additional features such as free review sessions, college consultations, and/or diagnostics depending on the package they choose. It’s very analogous to having a personal trainer but then also having a nutritionist and the ability to come to exercise classes (as a bonus!).
What's your background and motivation to get into the solopreneur life?
I’ve always been drawn to empowering youth and helping them to create opportunities. Before starting Embrace, I was a college liaison and high school teacher/ academic advisor. You could say it’s no surprise I went into Educational Management. Growing up, I was the first male in my immediate family to go to college, and I remember how overwhelming the process could be without clear guidance. In this instance, necessity sparked invention. After a lot of deliberating, and getting our feet wet in the industry, my partners and I launched Embrace to create a network of experienced educators and advisors…all in a one-stop-shop.
What drives us is that we’re invested in our students’ success. They’re a part of our Embrace Family, and we want to put them in a position of opportunity. That’s what keeps us going.
As a business owner, what does success ultimately mean to you?
We’ve been blessed to reach several significant milestones over the years. We’ve expanded to new locations, created an amazing team, published materials, and more. I think our greatest accomplishment has been creating meaningful and lasting relationships both within our staff and the community. We’ve always tried to create a company culture that inspires our team to have a voice, and we do our best to find ways of honoring our educators.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Patience and sacrifice. Patience to the extent you have to recognize that even after envisioning the need and creating the product/service, you’ll need time to refine, adapt, and streamline the process. Not to mention the dedication it takes to lead a great team. It takes a lot of patience and fortitude to keep running through walls and being innovative. You have to love what you do and want to bring value to others’ lives, and that passion doesn’t come without time and sacrifice.
What are the top 3 tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run or grow a business today?
I’ve been blessed over the years to give this “presentation” to several business programs around the country. It’s usually summarized in 3 Key Lessons:
- Think and Create: learn, challenge, doubt, question, evolve. Try to identify what value proposition is missing in your industry.
- Persevere and Adapt: You’ll need to have an incredible amount of passion because you will experience setbacks.
- Network and Lead: Surround yourself with mentors and individuals who you trust and value their insight.
If there was one thing you could do repeatedly to help grow your business, what would it be?
Only one? Continue to listen and speak with our students, parents, and tutors regarding their needs. I’m not a fan of cold-calling, but I’m very much a fan of courtesy check-ins. Any entrepreneur should never underestimate the power of being there and listening. Over the years, our audience has been incredibly valuable in sharing their insights, needs, and wants. We’ve refined our model simply based on listening to their needs.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
To anyone thinking about leaping into entrepreneurship, I would say take a chance on doing what you love if you truly feel the product or service will bring value to others…regardless if you’re the one behind creating the company. Chase purpose.
If you’ve already leaped, I’d love to grab coffee and share stories.
Where can people find you online?
If you like what you've read here and have your own solopreneur story that you'd like to share then email email@example.com, we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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