Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lindsey Wander, Founder, and CEO of WorldWise Tutoring, located in Chicago, IL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
WorldWise Tutoring provides personalized and holistic services to students of all ages and all abilities in all subjects. Our mission is to provide quality instruction in academics, enrichment, and test prep that is deliberately intertwined with lessons in metacognition, executive functions, and interpersonal skills. Our highly educated and experienced tutors provide effective lessons to help our students grow into confident and independent lifelong learners who become competent and conscious leaders. We teach our students how to be agents of change in their own lives and the lives of those around them - so that they no longer "need" a tutor.
Tell us about yourself
I originally attended college to become a Biomedical Engineer. Several domestic and international internships later, I discovered my passion for teaching. For years, I taught STEM in low-income neighborhoods of California. However, time and financial restraints, added to endless bureaucratic red tape, prevented me from dedicating the 1-on-1 time to my students who needed it. So, I decided to start my tutoring business, WorldWise Tutoring. During the pandemic, I also founded a nonprofit company called Educate. Radiate. Elevate., which provides the same high-quality tutoring to low-income students of color. My mission with both companies is to help students of all ages and abilities not only improve their grades and scores but also to learn the skills to become confident and independent lifelong learners and grow into competent and conscious leaders. I seek to empower our youth with the tools to succeed in school, work, and life – so that they are in a powerful position to direct their own lives.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
During the pandemic, I used my decades of experience working with families to achieve success in compiling solutions to the pressing problems facing schools, students, and families. I started by devising specific responses to all the major pain points and publishing those online via my website and social media. I created a Facebook Group where I dilute these suggestions into daily tips and resources for parents and educators to apply. I held "Ask an Expert" Lives every Wednesday evening in my Facebook group so parents, educators, and students could seek advice for their pressing problems. I began to directly train my instructors in methodologies to deliberately address these issues with their students to ease the stress on parents. I started to spread my ideas and methodologies via contributions to global articles and podcasts. I am also currently creating a series of webinars to teach parents and educators simple strategies for how to address the issues they are facing. I am proud that I have used my business platform to ease people's struggles.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As of late, my biggest challenge has been managing the two organizations I founded (with nearly 250 staff) on my own. I alone have been handling the hiring, new clients, payroll, marketing, etc. I recently brought on three new contractors to help me: one assistant for each organization and a Director of Outreach and Operations for the nonprofit. Though the onboarding and training initially added more work for me, the long-term payoffs have been immense. Now I have more time to focus on what I am an expert at without getting bogged down with the daily issues in areas I am not as proficient.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- My best advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs is to be prepared for the highs and the lows – because EVERY business experiences them. No's do not mean your service or product is undesirable; business failures do not mean you are a failure as a person. Take every up and every down as a learning experience to grow from. You certainly need to be resilient and determined to succeed as an entrepreneur, but you also need to be reflective and realistic.
- I love Content Studio for social media. I have the most basic package and use it to post on all my social media accounts at once. I know there are many tools like this – and I probably tried them all! But this is the easiest to use from the beginning, and its customer service is amazing. I will eventually add more features once my budget allows, but for now, I am quite pleased with how much time (and money) Content Studio saves me.
- I make sure to have at least one day a week in which I do not check work emails or texts. I also have a hard stop at the end of each work day in which I turn off electronics and focus on my loved ones. It is challenging because it is tempting to think, "well, this has to be taken care of right now." But usually, it doesn't - it can wait. I realize I have held myself to such a high standard – one that my staff and clients do not necessarily expect. I learned that others get it: we are all in the same position of needing wellness breaks right now, and we understand when others simply need time to "log off."
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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