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From Wilmington Women in Business March 2010 Newsletter

Beverly Shares Her Ideas About Success

Wilmington Women in Business When Judy Czyzewski asked me earlier this fall to write for the next newsletter, she stated, "I'm intrigued by your perspective as a female and a successful business owner. What success is Back to Basics experiencing and why? Ellen Kullman spoke about having a passion for what you are doing that leads to success. You seem to be the epitome of this. How does this fuel your culture and your motivation?"

Let me begin with my thoughts on passion. Anyone who knows me even a little, "gets" that I am all about passion for education and for running a successful, effective education business for children and adults. In fact, I call it the "P word." Now, in my case, I was blessed at the age of five to know I wanted to be a teacher. So that part, at least the profession, was pre-determined by that age for me. However, I did not know until my late 20's that starting a business was in my mind or future. So this part, at first, was not an innate passion like education was. However, and I believe any successful entrepreneur will tell you this, when you see something you believe in that is not being done the way you feel it should be, you want to make it better. Although I very much believed in the school in which I was teaching back then, I didn't believe in teaching to the masses. I felt that the absolute best way a person could learn was one-on-one. This way the material would be focused directly on that person's learning style, gaps in knowledge, and previous experience with the topic, at his or her own pace.

Then a new passion erupted in me that I didn't realize was there-a passion for teaching as many people as I could in my lifetime, one-on-one, while building their self-esteem. This meant I had to begin my own tutoring service and specialized private school to follow my vision and mission. So that is exactly what I did. And to teach as many people as we possibly could, I had to hire excellent professionals to help me (especially since we teach over 60 subjects to kids and adults!)

I do not advocate anyone starting a business they don't feel passionate about. I can almost guarantee that it will not be successful for long, and certainly not for 25 years (Back to Basics' anniversary later this year). You need something that will take you through not only the fat and happy times but especially through the lean and challenging times. If you have this burning desire to help, to succeed, to increase confidence and skills in others, and to make the world a much better place, you will be unlikely to fail. Having a passion means it is an integral part of you and your being. This sure comes in handy when you need to be creative, persistent, positive, and decisive, just to name a few traits of a business owner.

Now, on to what else Judy asked about. Why is Back to Basics successful in this recession? There are several reasons: 1) We have a long history of effectiveness (education), excellent customer service, professionalism, and consistent quality. These are all crucial in any business. 2) We never give up and we always believe in ourselves. I have a sign in my office that says, "It CAN be done." Another is Tony Robbins' CANI-constant and never-ending improvement. We live these daily. 3) From Day 1, Back to Basics has had more than one income stream. In other words, not all eggs are in one basket. Anyone can be taught. It's just a matter of finding who needs the services, who can fund them, and who is motivated to learn and grow. We have also made sure from the beginning that we offer more subjects, more locations, more days, more hours per day, more varied services, and more ages than any other education company. 4) We are tireless and go above and beyond. I literally have myself and staff who work anywhere from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. so that no stone is unturned and every detail is addressed. Customers know and experience this. That is why much of our business is repeat: parents, adult clients, schools, government agencies, districts, and corporations come to us year after year for any of our many services.

I could go on and on. There are more "secrets to our success" that would fill numerous pages. I hope you can glean some insights from this article to apply to your business. Feel free to contact me if you'd like more info. Thank you for reading!

Beverly Stewart is the President/Director of Back to Basics Learning Dynamics, Inc., a tutoring company for children and adults and a state-approved K-12 private school. Back to Basics also offers translating/interpreting services, psycho-educational testing, standardized test preparation, high school credits, after school programs, and summer programs. Beverly can be reached at 302-594-0754 or beverly@backtobasicslearning.com.

Back to Basics Learning Dynamics, Inc. is located on 6 Stone Hill Road, Wilmington.

Beverly Stewart

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