There are some “rules” of business success most entrepreneurs abide by. But many also have their own “secrets”—things they do or believe that helped them achieve success. In “Secrets of Success,” a weekly interview series here at Web.com’s Small Business Forum, I ask some of today’s smartest, most innovative, most successful business owners to share their insights and success secrets with you.
Meet: Laura Coe, who along with her sister Lisa, founded Snapology in 2010. In 2015 they started franchising the business. Snapology’s mission is to provide children with an opportunity to engage in playful learning activities that stimulate creativity and an interest in learning. Using LEGO® bricks and other building toys, Snapology emphasizes STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) learning.
With 23 locations currently open and operating in the United States and Canada, Lisa and Laura plan to continue expanding nationally with their unique, education-based franchise opportunity.
You can find them on Twitter @Snapology123.
Rieva Lesonsky: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Laura Coe: When I was younger I always gravitated toward math, accounting and finance. I was a pretty focused child. Although it took me until my junior year of college to choose a career in Math and Actuarial Science, I knew fairly young that I liked numbers.
Lesonsky: Why did you start your own business?
Coe: My parents were entrepreneurs and instilled a solid work ethic in my brother, sister and me when we were young. My parents started their own business when I was 12 years old and, after working in their business for years, I knew I wanted to own my own business someday. It just took me a while to figure out what the right business venture for me was. Snapology is actually my third business venture. I started my first business when I was in my late 20s.
Lesonsky: Did you experience a pivotal moment on your way to success?
Coe: I’ve owned three businesses. My heart wasn’t in the first two businesses. They were just businesses I thought would make money. When I started my third business, Snapology, I knew it was the right fit. The pivotal moment was early on when I realized how I was able to involve my own children in the business while also helping all kinds of other children. It became a passion. I fell in love with the business concept and everything has followed from that.
Lesonsky: What’s the best small business advice you ever gave and/or received?
Coe: When I was in college and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, my father gave me the advice, “Do what you love and the success will follow.” As with most kids, I didn’t follow his advice right away, [but] his words have always stuck with me and over time I’ve come to understand just how wise that advice was.
Lesonsky: What’s one “best practice” more entrepreneurs should be embracing?
Coe: Let people help you. You don’t have to do everything yourself. Hiring the right people to fill the gaps of your own weaknesses will allow you to grow and blossom in ways you may have never thought possible.
Lesonsky: Do you have a prediction for small business?
Coe: Small business is the heart of America. I’m not sure if I have a prediction per se, but I wholeheartedly believe that small business will continue to play a vital role in the success of our country’s economy.
Lesonsky: What’s your favorite book?
Coe: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. I quote this book often and use examples from it with my own children as I try to teach them that hard work and dedication are the keys to their success.
Lesonsky: Is there a quote you find particularly inspiring?
Coe: “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” —George Eliot. This quote reminds me that even when I stumble or go down a wrong path, there’s always an opportunity to change course or start over.
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Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at email@example.com, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.