When you’re so busy running a childcare business, it can be really easy to get caught up in the day-to-day shenanigans. You’re ticking off the to list. Suddenly you come face to face with an unprecedented challenge! But you can’t see the wood for the trees. Uh oh! It’s time to get some perspective.
I wanted to write this blog to remind you that from time to time it’s a good idea to take a step back and zoom out from the obstacles in your way. If you’re keen to grow your childcare business, you need to get really good at looking at your business from a 360 perspective! Read on for tips I’ve used to up-level my business.
What does perspective even mean?
I get it, it’s one of those words thrown around in the online space and by entrepreneurs! But it’s used a lot for a reason! And sometimes these words lose their meaning, don’t they?
Put simply, it’s the way that we look at something. Some people will be looking at it from one stand point, and others from a completely different angle. And it can be hard sometimes to understand how others are perceiving things. But it’s definitely important to stand back and reassess now and again.
And, for the word nerds among you, it’s also an art technique that changes the distance or depth of an object on paper. Like when you see a photograph or painting of a road and it’s wider up close, and narrower further away. Not as relevant in this particular situation, but kinda interesting none-the-less!
How perspective can help your business
A lot of the time we can get so wrapped up in the day-to-day stuff, that we cannot think clearly. We don’t give ourselves the headspace to process things and we forget to take a deep breath, step back and recalibrate. When we get so zeroed in on one particular challenge that it’s all we see or think about! And it can then be a struggle to focus so that we can figure out the solution!
Getting stuck in our heads is so common, and what this leads to is our minds getting in a complete tangled mess that we miss what is truly important. And this lack of holistic vision can mean that we’re oblivious to even simple the most solutions that are staring us right in the face.
By focusing too much on teeny details you lose perspective!
So how can you do better?
As I’ve already mentioned, lots of us are unable to understand situations that arise in our childcare businesses clearly because we’re too involved. To improve the situation we’ve got to learn to be reflective. To reposition ourselves in order to see things from another frame of reference. Sometimes, all it takes is a pause and a reframe, and you can magically see how to overcome a tricky problem.
Take time out from being head down in the business, head to your quiet space, light a candle and do some journaling. Often when we let ourselves stop and brain dump, we can find answers pop into our head! I’ve written about how you can create the perfect thinking space and give yourself time to reflect here.
You can ask for help in the form of a survey to get a little perspective. Find out how your staff perceive things, but don’t be afraid to ask your families too! Depending on the situation, the more help the better!
It’s okay to look for further support
One way to break out of the zoned in habits you’ve developed is to get some help. It’s super important to make sure you recognize that you need a little support and find ways to get it. This will give you the confidence and strength to be able to step out of that challenge and see it from a birds-eye view.
Having someone else to talk things through with, or just a fresh pair of eyes, can really help you relook at the problem you’re facing. They can suggest solutions because they’re looking at it from a whole new perspective. And they can give you a leg up to their view, or explain how to get there. It’s really key that you have a support network to lean on when things are difficult. Getting their interpretation of things can change your business for the better!
A little help from my friends…
You’ll often find that you’ll get an “AHA!” moment from your chat, whether it’s your significant other, a family member that’s been supporting you in your business. You might find that you get incredible advice off a business bestie, or a little perspective from the industry specific Facebook group you’re a member of, or the business coach you’re working with. This week, I talked about why we all need some support in the Facebook group for my weekly #tiptuesday and in my free group last week.
What other support have you gotten that’s really helped you?
There are lots of ways to get the support that you need in your Childcare business depending on what goals you’re trying to reach or what you’re working on. If you haven’t yet joined, do check out my free Facebook group! I’d love to see you in there!
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! Interested in becoming more involved in the community and to grow your business? Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be! Or if you prefer Instagram, we share ideas and tips there too!
This week my blog post isn’t so much about strategy, but reflecting and sharing on the freedoms of being a Childcare boss. This is certainly one of my most favorite perks of being a Childcare Business Owner!I’m guessing that you wanted to become a childcare business owner because you dreamed of helping families but I bet there’s another key reason – you wanted freedom and flexibility!
I want to share with you what I mean by “freedom” and why it matters, and how I got to a place where I had room to breathe and space to fill with things other than work!
It started with a chat…
Last week I was talking with some of my girl friends, and we were all sharing how things are going for us. You know, the kind of chat where everyone has a little boast but usually backs it up with something silly that’s happened? And we were all laughing about whatever it was my friend said. Along the lines of how busy the store was and how she wishes she could go at a different time. She doesn’t want to do it when every other working mom is in there buying her groceries!
I grimaced. It’s fair to say that sometimes I really do tease my friends that I have the luxury of freedom when it comes to making my own schedule. I can do what I want, when I want. At least most of the time, anyway! So I piped up, “You probably oughta start a Childcare, because I get to go to Walmart or the grocery store early in the morning, when everyone else is on their daily commute!”. I got a couple of eye rolls and a “maybe I will!” hollered back at me!
How is it possible?
Having my Childcares all running smoothly, with my team in place – like a fine-oiled machine! Which has given me the freedom that my old 9-5 didn’t. Gone are the days where I needed permission to take my mother to a doctor’s appointment! I no longer have to wait for my holidays to come before I can take a day off. So when I’m in need of some time to myself, I can just note it in my calendar and things carry on without me for a day.
I don’t need to be “on” 24/7
One of the major blessings I’ve been given is that I’m not always needed in any of the facilities nowadays. I can make my own schedule. I don’t always have to be hands-on deck, and I don’t need to be in the office all the time – they’ve got that covered!
It’s truly one of the best perks about being a Childcare boss, I’m very appreciative and very grateful. However, I also know that I’ve worked hard to get to this point and it didn’t start out this way!
Freedom works both ways
When we’re thinking about freedom, we tend to think about freedom to have time off. But on the flipside, it means we’ve got the capacity to be the helping hand to others when it’s needed. Recently, one of my team members needed to take time off short notice for an appointment. I had the freedom to cover her, so I said, “no biggie”, and was able to pop into the facility while she was out. When she got back I headed off again to do my own thing.
How did I get to this stage of freedom?
This perk of being a childcare business owner didn’t come immediately. Don’t be fooled into thinking that overnight I created a crazy successful business and suddenly took days off and long lunches and spa trips. Nope.
Freedom has come about with hard graft. It’s been possible because of the systems I’ve put in place (y’all know I love a system!). Creating freedom through the investments I made when it came to training my staff. Now they can run the day care centers without me. And you’d better believe that I’ve also taken time, energy and spent money on coaching. Mostly to fix my mindset around controlling every little thing! (Clue: you don’t have to!)
Put the foundations in sooner rather than later
Taking those steps early on in your business will give you freedom to do other things later on. What will you do with all that freedom? Maybe you’ll develop a second childcare center or perhaps you’ve got hobbies you’d like to pursue? I can think of thousands of ways you could use that flexibility! I bet you can too!
Now, I didn’t write this blog post to show off (although I’m proud of what I’ve achieved and have the audacity to say so!). I wrote it to show you how it’s possible for you too! I’m so thankful and grateful for the freedom being a childcare business owner gives me. And I want you to have that freedom as well!
In case you’re looking to grow as a childcare business owner, I thought I’d let you know about my latest program! The doors are open to my group coaching program “The Simple Childcare Ownership Program”!
This 10-week coaching program is perfect for you, if you…
🟣 Believe working with children is fulfilling, and there’s no other job in this world that you would rather do!
🟣 Are ready to step into your power and develop your leadership skills.
🟣 Want to make the ultimate change and start the childcare business of your dreams, so you can live life on your terms.
🟣 Are fed up on the 9-5 rat race and want finances and flexibility
🟣 Are tired of getting in your own way and READY to start your Childcare boss journey
IT’S TIME FOR YOU TO BECOME THE CHILDCARE BOSS YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO BE AND BREATHE LIFE INTO YOUR DREAMS “THE SIMPLE CHILDCARE OWNERSHIP PROGRAM“!
The first 2021 Program kicks off Monday, February 15 @ 8pm EST. We’ll be having weekly training with me Nyckie B in my private Facebook group with 2 weeks for implementing everything you’re learning. On the program I’ll be covering:
✨ MINDSET & GOAL PLANNING ✨ LICENSING & REGISTRATION ✨ FABULOUS FINANCES ✨ PROGRAM & CURRICULUM ✨ OUTSTANDING OPERATIONS ✨BUILDING A TERRIFIC TEAM ✨ MARKET LIKE A NINJA ✨ BUILD YOUR LEGACY
Sound good? You can sign up right now! Just click here.If the program isn’t for you, I’d still love to invite you to join us in the Childcare Ninja Facebook group where we’re all sharing ideas and learning from each other. We are an army of childcare professionals who are honing 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!
Investing in yourself has never been easier, in terms of choice. There’s so many ideas and options floating around the internet, and your inbox is full of people professing to know what a good investment for you will look like.
You want to up-level and reach your goals, but you’re not really sure how to get there.
Well I can tell you, after years of not investing in myself, I only started to see huge growth in my business when I began to see myself as worth the investment.
Putting yourself first
When you put yourself first, you increasingly have more energy to be more productive in your work and you’re more motivated to grow your business. And because you’ve invested in yourself, you’ll find that you’re able to add more value to others. Unlike many other investments you could make – the stock market, real estate, horses – investing in YOU is never a risk, because there’s always a benefit.
People start to notice you
Nely Galán, the author of “Self Made“, describes how, when you choose yourself, “people will notice you, and they will choose you over and over again.” You put an end to passively waiting for things to happen to you, taking a lead and investing in yourself, so you take action and begin to move closer to being the you you’ve always dreamed of.
Here are some ways you could be investing in yourself:
- Improving your health and wellness – by looking after yourself you’re protecting your future.
- Booking a workshop or course – professional development and adding to your skills is vital!
- Watch, listen and read – Women who read, lead – am I right!?
- Attend networking events – surround yourself with other phenomenal women aiming high.
- Hire a business coach – this is a biggy and is a key one for leveling up!
- Prioritize self-care and breaks to increase productivity – you certainly can’t pour from an empty cup.
All of these are opportunities to invest in YOU. Set yourself a challenge to do a few of these each quarter and watch how much progress you make! I know that you’ll be amazed.
Getting into the right mindset
By investing in any of the above list, you’re getting into a childcare business owner mindset. You’re prioritizing yourself and showing leadership. All of the examples are going to demonstrate to your team that this is the way things should be. That when you lead it isn’t all about being at your desk 24/7 and neglecting your well-being. Nor is it about spending your days swanning around the mall with the Amex. Role modelling these to your staff and your family is true leadership.
And once you start investing in your self, it’s like you’re saying to the universe that you’re ready for success. It shows that you’re getting into the mindset for being a childcare business owner.
Investing in your future
I’ve got a Masterclass coming up where I will be covering the 5 foundations I recommend for making childcare ownership simple. After years of experience, I’ve come to the conclusion that owning a childcare business consists of 5 main steps. These steps can be broken down very simply so you’re not overwhelmed in your journey to successful and simple childcare ownership. And although they’re all of equal importance, some of these are overlooked!
In a nutshell, the 5 Foundations for Simple Childcare Ownership are:
- System Building
- Legacy Creation
And these are the simple steps I’ve noticed in my thirteen plus years of being a childcare boss! And when you start investing in yourself and in professional development like this, you’re beginning to think like a successful Childcare Boss.
I would love to see you in the Masterclass! If you have any questions don’t forget that I’m always in the Facebook group and if you haven’t already joined here’s the link The Childcare Ninja Members Group.
“Vision board” – it’s a term that’s thrown around like confetti in the entrepreneurial online space, right?! All the big names are talking about them! But have you ever made one with the purpose of growing your business?
I’m Siobhan Strode, word witch over at This Sister Scribes. And I’ve been asked by Ms. Nyckie to write a blog on vision boards because since I’ve been using them I have seen a huge change in my mindset, and my copywriting business has grown from strength to strength. And we thought it would be fun to share how and why they work!
Don’t be put off by the idea if you’re new to it, or the “woo” freaks you out. I felt like this once too! So bear with me and have a read of this blog…I think you’ll love what I’ve learned.
So, what exactly is a vision board?
A vision board is a visual representation of where you want to go in life.
Imagine it’s a sort of map that guides you and pushes you forward. You piece together a creative collage of images and texts which help to stimulate your imagination and develop your ability to visualize your goals. The board is a visual representation of the dreams and goals that you aim to achieve.
It might be a digital board, where you copy and paste images and words that you feel drawn to, but I love something I can touch. Something I can pin up on my wall, and add to as time goes on. To me, it’s a prod or poke to remind me where I’m headed and how I’m going to get there.
Let yourself try it!
After spending a couple of years ignoring the suggestion by numerous coaches, I finally let myself try it in 2017. Slowly, I began to really believe I could build the business of my dreams and a life where my values are centered. And since then I’ve achieved so much. I’ve helped 100s of female founders find the right words to say in their businesses; I’ve held writing workshops and spoken in groups; every day I write for some phenomenal women! I started a feminist podcast “This Sister Speaks” and began hosting writers’ retreats in my Airbnb guest space.
I’ve begun to be the female leader I put on my vision board. I have built a blossoming political career alongside my business – I became a Councillor in December 2017 and I ran for UK Parliament in December 2019; I’ve set up community groups, run campaigns to raise awareness around education cuts and changes to the social security system…Honestly, looking back makes me feel so proud.
And all this is because everyday, I’m reminded of my soul goals and the steps I needed to take to get there. Each morning, I look up from my desk and see the empowering words and mantras, the pictures that align with my future self. I allowed myself to believe. Because I can do this. And if I can do this, you can too!
Creating your vision board
First, you’ve got to pause and think about where you’re at and where you want to go. Ask yourself where you’d like to be this time next year, and where you want to be in 5 years. What steps do you need to take to get there? Think about your why. Where do you want to take your childcare business from here?
Once you’ve taken time to contemplate your goals, and gathered up the craft materials – scissors, washi tape, Sharpies, and a glue stick – plus a big pile of magazines and catalogs to delve into, you can begin! Set aside at least 2 hours of time where you can just be in the moment, with no interruptions.
As you flick through the pages, cut out images and words that you feel drawn to. Perhaps you’ve got specific quotes or mantras you want to include. You might have 3 goals you’re working towards and divide the space accordingly, adding words and images that represent that. This is completely personal and for your eyes only.
Creating a vision board with your goals in mind – really putting your heart and soul into it – can be an extraordinary experience. Like you’ve just read from my own journey, they can truly help you focus and will act as a reminder to you every day of what you want to achieve.
Making the vision board work
While making a vision board is fairly simple, what actually matters is making sure that it works. If you’re spending a good chunk of time on this, you want to ensure that it is worth the hours given.
Acknowledge that this isn’t actually magic. It won’t do the work for you. You’ll get the most from vision boards when you’re determined to put in the work needed to reach your goals. Studies have shown that people who visualize themselves achieving their goals and – crucially – taking the steps to get there are more likely to succeed than those who only visualized themselves attaining their end goals.
Therefore I’d like to encourage you to incorporate those steps you need to take! Add more actionable images and dynamic verbs to your vision board.
Train your brain
Display your vision board where you can see it every day. Place it in your bedroom, work space, the bathroom (probably laminate it!) or any other place that you’ll see it repeatedly.
Reason being that vision boards help prepare your mind, getting it ready to take action. Whenever an opportunity presents itself for the accomplishment of your goals, you’ll be less likely to shy away from it because everyday you’ve been presented with an image of your success in this area.
Having consistently given your mind visuals to prepare it, you won’t waste opportunities to head towards your goals. You’ll find yourself taking action. Essentially what you’re doing is training your mind!
Go and get creative, Ninjas!
Hopefully you’ve stuck with me on this and can see how helpful vision boards can help you grow your business. Although I’m creative – I’m a writer after all! – I’m a hugely practical person, who is apologetically ambitious. I don’t want to spend time doing things that won’t give me a return! I’m a busy woman, as I’m sure you are too.
But creating a vision board is something I invest time into at least once a year, and add to it or create a new one whenever a new goal comes on the horizon. I ask myself, does it fit with my values and soul goals? How am I going to do this? And then it goes on the board!
Let us know if you’ve ever tried before! How do you create yours? Nyckie and I would love to hear from you, so leave a comment! Or if you’re trying for the first time, tag us in a photo of your vision board on Instagram – I’m @thissisterscribes and Nyckie is @childcareninjas.
Have you discovered 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!
Trust. It’s one of those reciprocal things in life isn’t it? We’ve got to give it to receive it. Often, as childcare owners, we think about the trust parents give us when they leave their babies in our care. They entrust us with their most precious ones and then when they leave us testimonials, that builds the confidence in our business within the community.
In this blog, however, I want to focus on the trust we have in our childcare employees, not just the customers. It’s a huge area to dive into, but one we have got to truly understand if we want to grow our businesses!
And you can’t build confidence in your business and expect them employees to have faith in you and your leadership if you don’t totally trust the team you’re working with. So how can we, as childcare business owners, develop our capacity to trust? How can we create a culture in the workplace that encourages trust? I hope this article will help you find some answers…
Watch out for kids playing your team
Recently, one of the children came up to me when I came out of my office and asked me to go to the bathroom, despite there being 3 other adults in the room. I looked around. They were all there, all available. So I asked her, “why are you asking me, there’s three other teacher in here?” The little girl looked me in the eye and said, “because you’re the boss.” I was honestly quite shocked but I told her, “honey, you need to go and ask one of the other teachers because they are in charge of this room right now.” So she did…
But this got me thinking. If I had said “yes, go on”, I could have easily undermined the other adults in the room who may have already said no. Perhaps the child in question had already been several times and was playing around with the taps. Or this could be an issue their parents are concerned about and my staff know more specifics around the issue at this moment…but whatever it is, I trust my team.
Whatever the kids try and sneak around, it’s always good to remind them that the other adults who care for them are important and they deserve respect.
Parents jumping the authority line
And the same goes if there’s an issue with parents. Encourage families to stay within the chain of command, per se, and not skip straight to you as the owner. Going straight to the top – that presumptuous “I want to see your manager” superiority – seems like something that is becoming more prevalent in society, and that’s dripping into the kids attitudes as well.
Let’s work together with our teams to do things systematically, because actually your team have got the creativity and problem solving skills to cope. They just need the opportunity to flex that muscle! Demonstrate your trust in your team. Politely point out that the staff are well-qualified to support their needs. Unless there is a problem beyond their capabilities, you have confidence in your team to do their best for your business and the families you work with.
Undermining your team members is a way to build distrust and a bad atmosphere in your childcare business. You want to create a morale within your team, to build them up. Show them appreciation and respect by pointing out their skills and directing children (and parents!) to them as figures of authority.
Build trust with your team
You’re trying to grow your business, but to do this it’s incredibly important that you build trust with your team. This can come in various forms! Some of which I can briefly cover here: responsibility, giving feedback, providing support, offering training, communication.
Making other people aware of the responsibilities and delegation you’re giving to individual team members is essential. It shows how much you trust them, and it models to other staff that there’s something to aim for. It keeps them accountable but also helps remind you that you’ve got a fantastic team around you to lean on!
Trust comes from being honest and open, so ensure that you give constructive feedback to your team when you’ve given them a new responsibility or challenge. Tell them how impressed you are with aspects of it, and ask them if they can suggest ways of doing better next time. Put the onus for change on them. You know where they went wrong, so do they. We can all learn here.
Offer support and training wherever you can. Doing in-house professional development training in areas you have expertise, but then getting in a guest expert for other things so you can participate too demonstrates trust on another level.
Be a role model
I’ve previously talked about how I communicate with my teams, we use Slack and WhatsApp to keep us all in the loop, and to motivate each other. Communication is super important.
Part of communication – particularly as educators – is modelling making mistakes and being resilient. This builds trust too. When I own up to something I’ve done wrong – for example if I’ve lost something and blame someone else for tidying it away…then later find it’s actually me who moved it; or if an order went in late and I’m annoyed at the delivery guy…because it’s actually still sat in my outbox because the internet blipped! Whatever it is – I take ownership of my hiccups and I tell the team about them. What have I learned here? (Put things in their place, breathe before getting annoyed, etc…)
The benefits that come with this are that your team feel they can own up to mistakes they might make and know that you’re a safe person to talk to. They can trust you to help them. So I urge you to be a good role model. Don’t put yourself on a pedestal or patronize them. Show them you respect and value them!
How do you build trust with your team?
Over the years, I’ve learned the ins and outs of running a childcare business and I love what I do. I love it so much that I’ve developed a program to support other childcare business owners in building their empires! Women supporting other women is so powerful! And we ought to be raising each other up, right? Sound good? Come and join us over on the Facebook group!
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!