Fear: How I pushed through to reach childcare success

Fear: How I pushed through to reach childcare success

Fear is huge. It can be massively overwhelming. The terrifying thought of putting ourselves out there takes over and stops us from showing up. So what can we do about it?

One thing I’m often asked by people just starting out is, “how did you push through your fear to get to where you are now?”.

They’re right I did push on through! So I thought it’d be good to share some of the strategies I have in place.

If you’re just on the beginning of your childcare business journey, I see you. I understand the fear. I was there too. Let me take your hand and guide you through with some tips on showing the fear who’s boss.

feel the fear and do it anyway

Stamp on any negativity

Right from the start, I told myself I needed to recheck my negative thoughts. I didn’t know at the time, but this is actually a cognitive behavior therapy technique, commonly known as “Stamping on your ANTS” (Automatic Negative Thoughts). While we’re talking about negativity, ditch the friends who cast doubt on your dreams. If they were true friends, they’d be supportive and not fill your head with fear. Get rid of the “judgy” energy sappers!

I focused on the positives and every day I told myself I was capable. That I believed I could achieve my goals. Positivity attracts positivity. You call in what you put out. By believing in myself, other people believed in me too. They could see I had the determination and character to succeed, and I began to feel more confident in myself because I was telling myself each morning that I’d get there!

Also, I’ve written a blog about getting into the right mindset that you might find helpful.

Make fear an outsider

Above, I wrote about changing your friends. I mean it! As a childcare boss, you’ve got to surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed! After a few years I realized this is what I needed to do in order to be successful. I actively seeked out my own cheer leading squad. They have got my back, and I’ve got theirs. I can ask their advice, I can tell them when I’ve achieved a goal, I can celebrate! All without fear of judgement.  Best thing I ever did.

Not only do I now have a squad, but I’ve kicked fear to the curb. I don’t need to feel afraid about trying new business ideas out, or worry that I’ll be judged. Fear no longer plays a part. There’s no seat at the table for it. Bye Fear!

If you’re not sure where to find your squad, I’d recommend joining the free Childcare Ninjas Facebook group. Here you’ll find like-minded women who want to grow, learn and celebrate your success! It’s full of amazing childcare business owners at various stages of their careers and they’re waiting for you to join them…go on! What are you waiting for?

find your squad

Baby steps

After you’ve worked on your mindset, you’ve got to make plans on where to go. The way to do this is baby steps. I started with one step, then another and another. It’s not as overwhelming when you’re moving in small steps!

Make a plan for each week and break it down into little chunks, you will be able to conquer those tasks. And every time you do tick something off or reach a milestone, the fear slips further and further away. It can’t get to you any more.

These are just a few of the ways I’ve pushed through the fear to achieve success. I’m now 13 years into running my business, I now own multiple childcare facilities, and I’m bringing in multiple six figures. I don’t say this to show off, I’m saying it to demonstrate that YOU CAN TOO! We’re made of the same stuff, you and I. And I can’t wait to see you achieve it.

I wonder if any of you have strategies for overcoming fear when it comes to your business? Feel free to leave a comment, I’d love to hear what you do!

If you’d like to know more, I have created some helpful videos and resources for you in my Childcare Ninja membership, to make your life a little easier, and to enable you to grow your childcare business into your own little empire.


Are you in the Childcare Ninja Facebook group yet? We are an army of childcare professionals who are sharing ninja-sharp skills to transform our businesses into childcare empires! This is Childcare Ownership all Grownup! Interested in becoming a part of the community? Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be!


Go from awkward to awesome in your childcare business!

Go from awkward to awesome in your childcare business!

Worried that you’re being awkward and finding sales super hard? Well stop worrying! We’ve all been there! Running a childcare business means our skills lie in caring for children – all the other stuff is a steep learning curve.

However, to make our childcare businesses successful, we’ve got to figure out how to make our awkward work for us. It’s a journey you need to go on to gain clients and build your business so it’s sustainable and profitable.

None of this comes naturally to me either, but I’ve been in the game long enough to know what works for me. I’ve got three strategies I’m going to share with you here. I hope they’ll help you go from being awkward to awesome.

1. Get over it!

Honestly. Sorry to be so blunt, but no one likes selling. Nope. No one. It’s super awkward asking people to buy your service and to shine a light on what you do better than others. It feels unnatural to us. But I learned pretty fast that the only way I was going to gain new clients was to put on a mask (no, not the Spiderman or Mardi Gras type!). I smiled and channeled my inner Queen. Essentially, I put on a show. I was acting. But d’ya know what? When I started my day like this, I started to believe that I was successful and I oozed confidence. People buy into that.

You’ve got to be seen to be successful. I’m not suggesting you lie about your business. I am saying you sort of need to trick yourself into believing that you’re good at selling. Put post-its around the bathroom mirror with affirmations on. Try these ones:

Get over awkward with affirmations - Childcare Ninjas

2. Shine a light on your uniqueness

Take your uniqueness and shine a spotlight on it! Think about what makes your childcare special. What makes it stand out from the rest? Is it the decor? Is it the themes you explore? Or perhaps you’ve got a background in something quirky that you bring to your business. Whatever it is, don’t hide that treasure away in the dark. Get it out in the spotlight and really make the most of what you’ve got.

When I first started my business, what made me totally different from other childcares in the community was that I offered 24/7 care. I was doing night times and weekends when others focused on daylight services only. And that’s not going to be for everyone, but there were people in the community (and from miles away actually!) who had been looking for someone like me to care for their babies. To them it was like a dream come true when they heard I was opening.

So get clear on what you’re offering and tell the world about it!

3. Shout about your story

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: shout about your story from the rooftop! People buy from people, and they want to know all about you. They want to know what makes you tick. Your business needs storytelling and it is so important that you bring the personal to your profession! There’s tons of evidence to show that sharing your story helps your business grow. Why? Because it will chime with families and they’ll find that they want to support your business.

Your story will inspire people. And by telling your story, you’ll be giving other people hope. You’ll bring hope to families who are struggling or maybe another business owner will be inspired to keep on pushing forward. It’s going to demonstrate to your customers how much you want to be in this business and how much passion and drive you have. It will show them how much caring for children in your neighborhood means to you – which will lead to sales!

You can read more about the importance of telling your story in this blog.

See? Sales don’t have to be awkward.

You just need to figure out what makes your childcare business unique and talk more about your back story.

Put on a smile, get out there and tell people about what you do and why you’re so awesome.


Before you go, have you found the Childcare Ninja Facebook group yet? We are an army of childcare professionals who are sharing ninja-sharp skills to transform our businesses into childcare empires! This is Childcare Ownership all Grownup! Interested in becoming a part of the community? Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be! And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!


How to make opening your first home childcare business a breeze

How to make opening your first home childcare business a breeze

It sounds like a mammoth task, doesn’t it – “Opening your first home childcare”?! Appears to be pretty daunting, hey? But breaking it down into bitesize pieces is going to help you.  Just try to focus on each thing you need to get done, and don’t let yourself get caught up in the overwhelm of starting a new business.

Starting my first childcare business in my family home was a huge learning curve for me. You’ve really got to be sure that this is something you want to do. It’s no longer a case of having your kids’ friends over for dinner, it’s your livelihood. There are regulations and guidelines you’ve got to follow. This is a commitment! But it is soooo worth it!

Why home childcare?

My reason for setting up my first business as home childcare is pretty common, I guess. I wanted a job where I could balance my home life and work, that used my skills and stretched my intellect. It gave me the chance to be my own boss, but still be at home when my baby girls got back from school. Caring for other people’s children in my own home meant I could be around to support my own kids. There was also the added bonus that if there was a performance on at the school, I could make it an educational field trip for the day care!

Still feeling a little unsure? Never fear, lovely Ninjas! As a seasoned childcare business owner, I have some tips to share with you. We’re going to get you feeling organized, confident and ready, so you’re not frazzled when you open the doors!

Get your mindset ready

When you’re opening your first home childcare it can feel a little strange. You’re essentially turning the place where you live and sleep into a work place. And that is a pretty scary thing to do! So what you need to do is develop strategies that get you in the right mindset. These will help you keep a balance.

The way we approach our challenges often sets out how they’re going to be. For example, if you rush around in a frenzy setting up your home childcare the reality is that you’ll probably end up running your business in the same way. I believe that being organized, calm and confident in my abilities will set me up for success, and it’s the same for you.

Positive mindset

Hey girl you've got this - Ohverlee

Surround yourself with positive messages and people who believe in you. Put post-its on the cupboards reminding you that “you are awesome” and “You’ve got this”, and get some dollar store frames and print off some posters with affirmations on them – make your own on Canva or use this template. Here is a really great article with some business specific affirmations for you to read. I love this print from the talented British designer, Ruthie who runs “Ohverlee“.

Make sure you’ve got a space at home that you can go and reflect in at the end of the working day. Somewhere calm, child free and relaxing, where you can light a candle or be creative. I’ve written more about creating a space for yourself here.

Plan, plan and plan some more

This is super important and will make opening your first home childcare feel easy breezy! Making plans and putting them into action is how you are going to run a successful childcare business, so let’s start off the way we mean to continue, right?

With opening your first home childcare, you’re bound to be on a tight budget, so planning is key. So, first of all, you’ve got to plan out your space. What do you want the parents to be buzzing about when they visit? What do you want the kids to notice? Think about what you’re offering families and plan out how that’s going to work. Take time to figure out the curriculum – will there be a theme each week or month? Plan out activities you’d like to try and trips you’d like to make – this’ll get you ahead of the game!

Plan out how you want each day to look. Will you begin each day with a story? Will the kids be allowed to free-flow into your outside space (if you have one) or will there be set times?

Plan out meals you might prepare each month taking care to have a healthy balance and not too much repetition. Then you can get list ready for grocery shopping. It doesn’t matter that you’re not open yet. This is going to save you time when you are!

By breaking down each part of the business, and planning it out, you can then start thinking about systems!

Start with systems

Before you open your home childcare, it’s a good idea to have some systems in place. Everyone who knows me, knows that I am systems obsessed – and for good reason! It’s how I have grown my childcare business and it’s how I stay sane! By being organized, and using systems, I have more time for the fun stuff!

The way I do this is I write down all my plans – every area of the business, every little task – and I then look at ways I can simplify or put a system in place. This ranges from staffing to hygiene, food to safety! I have systems in place for everything. And I cannot stress how essential this is if you want to start off on the right foot. You might change the systems once you get going, but it’s good to get organized in advance of opening.

Download your free childcare business map here and I’ve written more about planning and systems here.

planning opening your first home childcare

Hopefully you’re now feeling a little more prepared and ready to begin this journey? And perhaps more motivated to get started on organizing yourself?! I love hearing about how other people go about setting up their childcare businesses, so please leave a comment below or drop me an email with how you’re doing.

This is such a great industry to be in and it’s why I set up my membership to help other women become successful childcare ninjas as well!


My community of Childcare Ninjas is here to help with tips and advice, and to support you while you’re opening your first home childcare business – and beyond!

Please tap into the hive mind over in the free Facebook group, and if you want to join the Ninja Membership head here now to reserve your spot! And don’t forget to follow @ChildcareNinjas on Instagram for more ways to grow your business!

How to balance the world of childcare ownership and family

How to balance the world of childcare ownership and family

In the crazy world of running a childcare business, it can be really tricky to strike a balance between work and family. Even after such a long time owning my daycare centers, I sometimes get caught up in work-mode and drop the ball on the family side. It can feel like my business is my life. But it’s so important that we try to find a balance between running our businesses and spending time with our families.

So how do I do it? What’s the secret to harmonious balance between these two worlds?

These are my three balance bringing tips that will change your life as a business owner:

Balance by setting boundaries

This is something most business owners struggle with. Do you find yourself cutting back on family time constantly? Maybe checking emails on your cell phone at the dinner table, rushing the kids’ bedtime stories so you can get back to that blog you need to finish, or finding that you’re replying to staff messages late into the night?

Enough is enough. You can’t carry on working like that! You’re on the highway straight to the burnout zone. Trust me! And you don’t want to miss out on precious family time. Kids grow up and neglected partners grow apart. Your business will still be there in the morning.

So set some boundaries! Leave work at a reasonable time and set a good example to your staff. Allow yourself a set period for email checking and replying to clients. Do the same for your team members. Then put your phone / laptop / iPad away!


Another boundary issue we have is saying no. We’re super women, right? We want everyone to know how awesome we are! I get it. I do, I really do. But you also need balance in your life and by saying yes to every Tom, Dick and Harry who asks a favor, or to pick your brain, you’re missing out on time with your loved ones. So you need to get better at saying no. Turn down invites that don’t light you up; don’t feel guilty about the shop bought baked goods for the sale at school; and say yes to the things and people you love!

Set some goals for finding balance

After you’ve established some boundaries with work, it’s fundamental that you plan out some goals with your family for what you want to do and achieve together as a unit.

Perhaps you’re all going to play a game together once a week? Or maybe everyone is going to contribute a portion of their earnings each week towards a family trip? Whatever the goals are, make sure they’re discussed as a family. You’re a team! Make it clear that you all want to spend time together.

Creating family goals will help you work together, and bring you closer as a family. Building on those relationships will help you get the right balance in your lives and give you the strength and security you need to run a business.

balance childcare business and family

Find balance by taking a break

Self care should be a top priority for all business owners. When your cup is empty, how can you pour love into your work life and into your family?

We all need a break from time to time. I’m not suggesting that you book some all expenses paid trip to Mexico and jet off into the sunset for some “me time”! Not at all!

Instead I’d recommend finding some space in your home where you can go and relax. Away from work and the stress of owning a childcare business, but also in a place where you won’t be disturbed by the household hustle and bustle of your family!

create a space for balance

I’ve written a blog about creating a space just for you and from experience I can tell you how valuable my own space is! I love being able to just head up to my quiet zone, to be creative or to reflect on my week. We all have so much to do ALL. THE. TIME! So taking ten minutes for ourselves to reboot and reignite our passion for work and our love for our families, is extremely important!

If your budget allows you to book in a manicure or a massage, go for it! But even running yourself a luxurious bubble bath at home, or heading to bed an hour earlier to enjoy your book will be beneficial for you. Just think about adding a little more balance into your routine.

The juggle is real!

Let me know how you get on with juggling running your business with raising your family. Leave a comment below, or write a post in the free Facebook group, where you can connect with other amazing women and share ideas. Join us for more tips on how to take your childcare business to the next level!


And if you’d like to find out more about becoming a Childcare Ninja, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re an army of childcare professionals who are sharing ninja-sharp skills to transform our businesses into childcare empires! This is Childcare Ownership all Grownup!


How to operate your business like a “Big Dog”

How to operate your business like a “Big Dog”

Big childcare centers have many resources at their disposal to be able to provide a professional look and feel. You just have to walk into one and you feel small. However, just because you’re small right now, it doesn’t mean you need to operate within that mindset. It’s time to play big!

I’ve learned that thinking big and changing my mindset is at the heart of success, so I’m sharing these here with you. Here’s a few tips to make your childcare business look and run well-groomed.

Put on a big mindset

Stop thinking small and start thinking B. I. G! Making a shift in the way you think is going to help you grow your business. By changing up the way you approach things – even just a little – you’ll feel more confident and be more productive and successful.

Last year I decided to make a change – to stop playing small. I wanted my childcare business to grow and to feel less stressed. I thought long and hard about how I could go about making a change. Reading some inspiring books, watching some motivational speakers and doing some online training was a good start.

ninja office think bigger play big

In order to get things going, I created a vision board for the future so I can focus on where I wanted to go and I came up with a new mantra for success. My mantra was “Think bigger”. Every time I caught myself playing small, I told myself: Think bigger. Play big. It worked.

What will your mantra be? Have you tried creating a vision board for your childcare business? Read more about how important mindset is to your business here.

Plan big

You don’t have to spend big to plan big! You can do this on a budget, trust me. For every paid idea, app, or software you need to buy to help you run your business, there is usually a free or low cost alternative. Do your research and make sure you find the best deals before throwing your hard-earned money away.

Use your vision board! Get those bigger plans on it. If you want to expand your services, how? Want to employ a bigger, better team? Want to rebrand and refocus? We are Childcare Ninjas! We were born to do this. Plan it out and create the successful business you have been working so hard for. C’mon! Let’s play big!

Here’s a fabulous video from Carrie Green from the Female Entrepreneur Association that shows how to create a vision “dream” board.

Build relationships

It’s all about building genuine relationships. I cannot stress this one enough, fellow ninjas! You’ve got to nurture the relationships with everyone that you meet. Starting with your family – make time for them so they don’t think that your business comes first. Carve time out each week for slowing down and reconnecting with your loved ones.

Then look at your relationships with your team members. How can you strengthen your communication and build on what’s already there? Could you increase the time your door is open for them to come and share problems? Maybe set up an app like Slack that allows your team to converse outside of work and gives you all an opportunity to socialize but also connect professionally. Sometimes we send each other silly memes to break tensions or brighten each others’ days, but we also help each other out with situations and it just means we’re all on the same page.

team nurture your relationships

And, of course, you need to be cultivating the relationships you have with the families that are using your childcare but also the potential future customers too. You can do this in a number of ways, but the key to this is communication (again!). Sending out regular updates, sharing the wonderful things you and your team are doing, asking for continual feedback through questionnaires and quizzes…

Being an approachable and friendly face, and showing empathy is essential in all the relationships you need to foster to build a successful childcare business. People buy from people!

I hope these tips are helpful and you can see the huge impact small changes can make in your business. We can indeed play big with the big dogs!

If you’d like to know more, I’ve filmed some videos and resources that’ll help you in my Childcare Ninja Dojo Club. Joining will make your life a little easier, and enable you to grow your childcare business into your own little empire.


Before you go, have you found the Childcare Ninja Facebook group yet? We are an army of childcare professionals who are sharing ninja-sharp skills to transform our businesses into childcare empires! This is Childcare Ownership all Grownup! Interested in becoming a part of the community? Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be!