EL BROWN, M.S. ED: Chief Executive Officer – KinderJam, LLC
Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education
Masters of Science in Education with a concentration in Early Childhood Education
Previous Job Experience:
Atlanta Public Schools, 3rd and 4th Grade Teacher;
Department of Defense Education Activity, Early Childhood Educator in Yokosuka, Japan and Seoul, South Korea
Interview by Rashida Maples, Esq.
Briefly describe your day to day activities and responsibilities on your job/position.
I am responsible for creating the KinderJam, BabyJam, Structured Play Group, and Parent Empowerment Workshop Curriculum; Training and evaluating KinderJam Instructors, Play Group Facilitators; Placement and marketing of KinderJam Class locations and services for our KinderJam Business owners and instructors.
What prompted you to start KinderJam ?
I was a stay at home mom to my 18-month-old son when I noticed developmental delays in his progress. I designed a program to use with him in our home. At the prompting of a friend, I decided to go to a local community center and share my program with other parents and little one in our military community. The program grew quickly and other military spouses began to ask me if they could teach my program in their next duty station. I developed a training curriculum. I started conducting classes in Misawa, Japan and Pigeon, Michigan. We now have 17 locations in 6 countries. I didn’t start out looking to go in to business. I was just trying to use my skills and passion to help my son and other parents and little ones in my community.
What suggestions regarding networking would you give to those seeking to become an entrepreneur?
Talk to EVERYONE!!! 1) If you have an idea, don’t keep it a secret. Share it with people you trust and admire. You will be surprised how willing others are to impart wisdom. 2) Have a clear vision of your big picture. A clear vision will allow you to recognize an opportunity for advancement which it is standing front of you and you can act on it immediate and communicate your vision to the potential connector. 3) Always follow up with an email, phone call, or a hand written note.
What are the major challenges in your role as a CEO of KinderJam and what solutions have you deemed best to handle these challenges?
Learning my strong points. I am creative and a mover, which doesn’t always translate well into organization and small detail execution. I had to bring on an operation manager to handle the day to day operations and help turn my great ideas into processes that could be easily executed and understood by others.
What would you contribute your level of success to?
1) Listening to God, 2) an extremely supportive husband, 3) a desire to create successful opportunities for my son, 4) doing something to work towards my goal everyday and 5) sheer passion.
Do you have any advice for younger colleagues and future entrepreneurs?
Passion and vision are enough to get you started but you can’t cheat the process. Hard and consistent work towards your goal is what separates the doer from the daydreamers. A vision without work is a daydream.
Follow KinderJam on Twitter @KinderJam!