In 2015, Byron Zahm embarked on a journey of self-discovery to reclaim his life after losing everything and being forced to live out of his car. A true experience seeker and risk-taker, Zahm traveled across the country to find his new purpose in life. From working as a guide in Alaska for a year and a half to leading zip-lining courses in Minnesota, Zahm sought to make a bigger impact. That is when he discovered Tutor Doctor, the leader in one-to-one private tutoring.
In 2019, his life changed as his franchise journey began. Zahm has taken his ownership of Tutor Doctor by the horns. Earning company-wide praises, he has been named a Global Mentor at the company, serving as a mentor for both prospective and current franchise partners of the brand from across the world. His specialty? Touching others with his inspiring road of re-discovery and perseverance. While starting over can be scary, whether that be in business or life in general, you are never alone in your journey. Zahm has some words of advice for others going through a similar situation as a reminder that everyone can overcome even the most difficult times.
Build bonds with quality people. Zahm puts a lot of trust in his employees, clients, and corporate, all of whom he owes part of his success. When you surround yourself with good people, your confidence begins to soar in every aspect of life. His equation to success is hiring great people that turn into great tutors who then put forth great systems that result in great reviews and great success. The self-proclaimed “matchmaker for education” loves connecting families with tutors – it’s actually his forte. Zahm has been invited to speak on four Global Team Calls for the company, sharing his success in converting consultations into loyal clients. In fact, his first consult as a Tutor Doctor owner ended up being his first client and they still have a great relationship to this day.
Take the leap of faith – you never know what may come out of it. Zahm’s greatest challenge in starting over was the fear of past failures and risking it all once again not knowing the outcome. Never be afraid to branch out and try something new. Zahm had a background in sales but made a few career jumps along the way before he decided on entrepreneurship. Now, it’s the thing that changed his life. “Faith without action is merely hoping. Faith with action is, believing. And believing is everything!” said Zahm. Having the courage to start over is something not many people have. Believe in whatever it is you are doing – trust the process. Zahm is eternally grateful that Tutor Doctor gave him the opportunity to restart his life, and encourages others to trust and take that leap of faith as well.
FranServe has just released their Fran-tastic 500 list and Code Wiz is honored to be on the list!
Alesia Visconti, CEO and President of FranServe Inc. says, “Franchising helps people change their lives and take control of their future. It’s a community that celebrates the Life-Work Balance. A brand that makes our annual “FRAN-TASTIC 500” list shows that it values a fun and rewarding lifestyle and emphasizes people fulfill their dreams of business ownership through franchising. It’s a brand that deserves recognition for going the extra mile and for being, well, fran-tastic!”
Code Wiz captures the imaginations of kids and parents alike. The award-winning afterschool centers invite children ages 6 to 17 to discover their inner geeks by building video games, designing websites, diving into robotics, mastering 3D printing and architecting full-stack web applications using industry-standard tools. Code Wiz’s recipe for success is completely replicable.
franchisebusiness #franchiseeowner #codinglife #codingcamp #stemforkids #franchiseopportunity #codingforkids #codewiz
Going Pro!! Nursing Student Emilie Nadeau shares how she discovered her passion for leadership by owning a College Pro franchise.
Owning a franchise helped Nadeau come out of her shell, she says. “Before I ran this franchise, I was super shy!” Running her College Pro location meant getting herself out there, meeting new people, and sharing genuine connection. “I feel like owning this franchise just shaped my life in a totally different way–if I look at myself from one year ago, I’m completely different now. It’s helped me in so many ways–I can’t even begin to explain it.”
For those interested in running a College Pro franchise, Nadeau says it’s important to be personable and able to create relationships with customers, and to be willing to work hard and push the limit.
When asked her number one piece of advise for a new or prospective franchisee, Nadeau says, Your intuition will often know what to do, even if you feel uncertain about it. Just [believe] that everything that you do is working out in your favour, even if it doesn’t seem like it is right now.”
“Just trust yourself.”
Here’s a link to the article:
Our one and only Ruth Agbaji, Founder & CEO of Code Wiz, was just featured in Franchise Update Media’s Q1 Magazine! Female Leaders Raising up the Next Generation is extremely descriptive of Ruth’s cause at Code Wiz, helping our next generation unlock their inner genius.
Here’s an excerpt from her interview:
What do you wish you had known before taking your first management role? Strong, clear communication when laying out the
vision and the plan goes a long way in getting everyone aligned and moving faster toward the goal without needing major course
corrections that might arise because of miscommunication. As an entrepreneur, my thoughts are typically all over the place, and I
recognized after a few missteps that my team needs me to distill those thoughts into a coherent plan they can take and run with.
Which leadership skills were most difficult to develop? Having difficult conversations face to face. With a personality that wants peace and harmony all the time, this was one of the more challenging skills I needed to develop. Once I realized how much of a positive impact constructive, but direct conversations can have on the team and the business, it got easier and easier to have such difficult conversations.
Who helped you on the way to the top? A number of mentors. You learn a little from everyone, but if I have to name one, Angela Coté
has made the biggest impact on my leadership journey.
What was the best advice you ever got? Be your true authentic self. Being anything other than yourself is extremely draining and
unfulfilling. Being your true self also helps you attract the people you need to take you to where you want to go.
Is that different than the advice you give? No. I have found this to be true over and over. I tell everyone the same thing: Be your
true self, your authentic self, and watch magic happen.
How do you mentor, and what advice do you give those you mentor? I have found social media to be a great platform for sharing my
leadership lessons. I try to be vulnerable and share my triumphs as well as my failures. I encourage people to try and never give up no matter what. Everything is “figureoutable” and we shouldn’t count ourselves out of an opportunity because we can’t figure it out right now. Say yes and figure it out later.
What skill sets do you think are imperative for young women leaders? 1) Confidence: Believe in yourself. 2) Let your voice be heard: Don’t let people shut you down. Loud doesn’t always mean smart. Loud isn’t always right. Trust yourself and what you know.
What are your leadership do’s and don’ts? Always lead by example. Treat your team like family and they will do the same for you. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Don’t take personal credit for the team’s successes.
How did you learn to embrace risk-taking? Risk-taking comes naturally to me. I’ve always been drawn to anything that pushes the envelope. Seeing the massive rewards that come from taking massive risks has encouraged me to do more!
How should aspiring female leaders build allies? Find people who believe in you, people you can be vulnerable with, people who have
similar backgrounds and stories, and people who lead the way you’d like to. Put yourself out there. When people know you are open to
mentoring and learning, they are more than willing to teach you what they know and root for you.
What roles do education and experience play in leadership development? You can never stop learning. From generation to generation, some principles never change. Execution of said principles might be different, but the underlying idea is the same. There is an African proverb that says, “While sitting down, elders see what a child who is standing up cannot see.” I believe it is critical to be open to learning and mentoring from those who have gone before you. It shortens the path to success.
What about attitude and mindset? Mindset is everything. The battle is won or lost in the mind. If you see yourself achieving despite all obstacles, and you go for it, nothing can stop you.
Was there a time when things didn’t turn out as planned? How did you bounce back? I got into franchising because things didn’t turn out as planned! When I started Code Wiz, my goal was to have 5 locations across Massachusetts. Life happened and my son was diagnosed with life-altering disorders that forced me to abandon that plan. Not wanting to give up on the dream of expansion, I decided to look into franchising as an expansion vehicle. Today, we have doubled the number of locations in my original dream, and the dream is much bigger than it was initially.
What’s the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned, and how has it proven invaluable? Know your leadership style and improve on your areas of weakness while staying true to yourself.
Why is it so important to give back to the next generation of leaders? I have been inspired to reach for the stars because of many women leaders who have gone before, people I can look up to. It is important to keep that cycle of inspiration going. We need more women in leadership positions, and that happens when we can provide inspiration, support, and guidance to those coming behind.
Every year, the Franchise Journal honors International Women’s Day by dedicating its March issue to spotlighting women in franchising that are lighting the way for others to enter and grow within the franchise industry.
We’re excited to have six members of the WSI network featured in the Franchise Journal’s Women in Franchising Issue.
Our WSI spotlights are featured below:
1. VALERIE BROWN-DUFOUR, WSI President
Valerie joined WSI back in 1999 when the Internet was still in its infancy. Since then, she has taken the helm as WSI’s President and has helped build a franchise network that celebrates diversity in all its forms. Through her leadership and vision, she has helped WSI become a thriving business opportunity for female entrepreneurs, many of which grace WSI’s top 25 franchise list each month. Summed up, Valerie’s role is to communicate, support, listen, innovate, and make sure that as an organization, WSI is helping franchisees fulfill their lifelong dreams and goals.
2. KELLY BIGGS, WSI Consultant
Kelly is a powerhouse in the WSI franchise network. She is actively involved in CEO Netweavers – an organization whose foundational pillar is servant leadership. As a member, she serves as a mentor to second-year Executive MBA students to answer their questions about their journey into Executive leadership. In addition, she works with mentees to provide long-term career perspectives on various career topics. She also volunteers as an adjunct professor of Social Media Management at Morris Brown College. Representation matters to Kelly. Having her students see her as a professor, AND business owner shows them what is possible with hard work and dedication.
3. MELANIE GARD, WSI Consultant
Mel is a WSI franchisee based in South Africa. She is the past Chairperson of KZN Women in Business and a Committee Member of the Durban Branch of Business Women’s Association (BWA). She conceptualized, designed and continues to run the KZN Women in Business mentoring program, aiming to pair members in need with an appropriate business mentor. Her franchise business is heavily involved within their local community. Some of the organizations they have volunteered at include The Robinhood Foundation, Hearts in Hands Food Bank, and CROW Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.
4. NICKY MCKENNA, WSI Consultant
Nicky joined WSI in January 2021 and has quickly become one of our top up-and-comers. She is an avid local networker and actively seeks out other franchisees who could be “power partners.” Being on the radar of Business Coaches, Virtual Assistants, and HR Providers is particularly fulfilling as networking brings her into contact with startups or micro-businesses who inspire her and that she can make a difference with. She’ll often offer these companies some insights into what they can action internally to get their businesses found online. For Nicky, it’s all about adding value every step of the way.
5. HEIDI SCHWENDE, WSI Consultant
Heidi is an esteemed member of the WSI franchise network. As a WSI franchisee, she has contributed to many WSI internal training initiatives geared at helping other franchisees grow and excel in their business. Heidi is also highly involved in educating the business community on the benefits of digital marketing. Over her 8+ years with WSI, she has helped educate thousands of businesses and provided them with free audits to show them how to get more from their online marketing efforts.
6. DAPHNE ANDERSON, WSI Consultant
Daphne recently became a WSI franchisee, joining our network in early 2021. Through her local BNI chapter, she has raised awareness and knowledge of digital marketing solutions to help businesses grow and achieve their goals, many of which are other franchises. Through her innovative ideas and advice, she helps companies uncover growth opportunities that they would not have thought of on their own and, in turn, is making a difference to the businesses in her local community.
WSI digital marketing franchisee, Taylor Russell, was recently interviewed for the Canadian Franchise Association’s podcast show, Franchise Canada Chats. In the episode, Taylor sat down with guest host Angela Coté (CFE), the CEO and “Boss Lady” of Angela Coté Inc. to discuss how franchisees can search for franchise opportunities that offer them the flexibility to create a healthy work-life balance as a business.
ICYMI, click here to listen to the full podcast interview.
Even before COVID-19 and owning her WSI digital marketing agency, Taylor worked remotely, so she knows what it takes to ensure she is maintaining a work-life balance as a franchisee. Some of the key things she spoke about were:
Time block by allocating different days of the week to different aspects of your business (finance, sales, marketing, clients). This guarantees that work is done regularly on all elements of your business.
Outsourcing the things you hate doing frees you up to focus on what you are good at and love for exponential gain! Next, eliminate, simplify, standardize, and automate what your time is being focused on.
For more information about the work-life balance enjoyed by franchisees of WSI – the digital marketing franchise that works with businesses across all industries to help them connect with their customers online – get in touch with us today.
Ruth Agbaji, the Founder of Code Wiz, is honored as one of the 50 Women of Wonder Awards presented by Franchise Dictionary Magazine.
Each year Franchise Dictionary reaches out to their readership and asks for nominations of female franchisors who have gone above and beyond all expectations. In 2021, one of the franchisors was the Code Wiz founder and Nerd-in-Chief, Ruth Agbaji!
Read the 50 Women of Wonder issue of Franchise Dictionary Magazine
Listen to Code Wiz Founder Ruth Agbaji on the Regardless Podcast
Kim Rohr, co-owner of Tutor Doctor Gateway & East Mesa, weighs in on how children’s mental has been greatly effected after two years of the pandemic. Seeing it first-hand as a parent herself, Kim discusses how COVID has taken a major toll on students’ lives, including their learning, with more parents reaching out for academic support for their children. Watch Kim’s segment with NBC Phoenix to learn more.
How will children’s education franchises grow out of COVID and how will they make the learning experience more positive for children?
Posted: 03 Feb 2022 | 6 minutes read by What Franchise
As the world continues to recover from a testing two years, the beginning of 2022 presents an ideal opportunity to reflect on the way businesses and their markets have been affected by the pandemic. For the education industry, in particular, the future certainly looks different now to how it may have done pre-pandemic, with further importance placed on mindfulness and meeting the personal needs of individuals. The in-home and online tutoring company, Tutor Doctor, reviews projections for how children’s education franchises will be reacting and growing out of COVID, as well as making the learning experience more positive for children who require the services of a high-quality, personalised education brand.
The number of students being home-schooled has been on a steady rise since 2012 but has spiked significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Looking forward, the tutoring market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of around eight per cent from 2021 to 2026. This trend results in an increase in demand for support as parents struggle to navigate the complexities inherent with home-schooling their children. As more children around the UK and globally continue to expose gaps in their education due to contingencies such as online learning not meeting the required high standards, parents are turning to private companies to supplement this lost learning.
Frank Milner, president of Tutor Doctor, sees this movement reflected in the growth and development of the brand, which continues to supply the increasing need for its high-quality services. “It’s no surprise that we’re seeing a moment of significant growth for the domestic and international tutoring market in 2022,” says Frank.
“The last two years not only created problems and added pressures in the education industry but identified huge gaps in how education is delivered in a world where sophisticated technologies are at our disposal. While mainstream educators did what they could with the help of Zoom and other software to keep classes involved and engaged, a drop-off in the overall attainment level was natural, which is exactly why families are turning to private tutors to supplement their children’s needs.
“We’re incredibly proud of how we’ve approached the pandemic as an international community of passionate educators. This has enabled us to expand and reach local markets that didn’t previously have access to high-quality in-home and online tutors. It has certainly affirmed our intentions to continue this throughout 2022.”
It is understandable, therefore, that the theme for students in the coming calendar and academic year will be all about catching up. When schools reopened in the UK in March 2021, it was estimated that primary school students were an average of three-and-a-half months behind educational benchmarks in maths and roughly two months behind in reading. Therefore, much of the learning in 2022 will be focused on catching students up to meet educational benchmarks for their cohort while preventing them from falling behind in learning goals for this year.
The National Tutoring Programme is just one way this will begin to happen, and individual schools, teachers, parents, and tutors will all play a role in helping students to close their COVID learning gaps. Tutor Doctor is also assisting in these efforts, with some franchisees having been NTP accredited. These locations include Cambridge, Beeston Park and most recently Bristol.
A significant lesson from the pandemic, meanwhile, is the importance of emotional learning and employing mindfulness in schools, which was also seen pre-pandemic. Studies have found that one-half of parents report their child’s mental wellbeing has been negatively impacted by the pandemic, and surveys indicate that 74 per cent of teachers and school staff feel school closures have impacted students’ mental health.
“This year is very much about ensuring the full recovery of students’ learning,” explains Becky Ward, the education experience specialist at Tutor Doctor. “Academically as well as making sure they’re mentally prepared and in a positive enough position to learn after suffering disruptions to their overall development is imperative. We are all taking away a lot from the last two years, and it is now all about how we can flip a traumatic time on its head and make it positive moving forward.
“One way this will be achieved is through technology. It is very likely that we will see more focus placed on developing and improving educational technology to increase its effectiveness and accessibility for all students. This will be especially valuable should more school closures occur in the future. It is also likely that we will see more technology incorporated into in-person learning as tutors, teachers, and policymakers reflect on those things that worked well with online learning and devise ways to replicate it in the physical classroom and/or in-person tutoring setting.”