Flourishing Career Woman - Tina Tower of Begin Bright

Tina Tower

Flourishing Woman - Tina Tower

Founder of Begin Bright

 

What inspired you to pursue your business dream?

When I started my first business, I was only 20 years old. I was at uni studying to be a Primary Teacher and wanted to start tutoring. That blew out to an educational toy store, tutoring centre and party place.
My direction changed dramatically when, as I was taking my nine month old son to work with me each day I found out I was pregnant and I decided I couldn’t do retail and be a great Mum of two children. I then started licensing my Begin Bright program so that I could work from home with my children.

 

Was there a perfect time to do it or did a set of circumstances help you to make the decision?

I think there’s very rarely a perfect time! You just have to take the plunge and enjoy the swim. I started my business to make money, teach children and have flexible working hours. Even though the reason for flexibility has changed, they’re still my reasons for being a business advocate.

 

What obstacles did you overcome?

There are too many to write, and I’ve only been in business seven years! As with most small businesses, there have been times where lack of funding almost made me shut shop. The biggest obstacle would have been when a competitor opened a few shops down from me and I was forced to diversify my whole business to cope. The other would be finding a balance between having an awesome business and being a great Mum and loving wife (I wonder if my husband would think I have that balance!!).

 

How did family/spouse/friends react? Did they support or obstruct you?


Luckily, my parents are very motivated and set very high expectations for me. I always knew I would not follow a ‘standard’ path in life and so they expected me to do something out of the norm. I did lose a few friends when I started my business. This was mainly due to me consuming myself with study and work while my other 20 year old friends were at pubs and clubs and made me a bit of an odd ball.

 

What is the biggest challenge that you face?


This year we have moved into a franchise model and so learning about the franchise industry and seeking the right people to represent our brand is certainly the most challenging.

 

How do you keep your mind and body fit?


I love to read. That’s vital seeing as though I teach children to read, but I do very much believe that reading a book each week keeps the mind alive and alert. I usually alternate between a business book, a trashy novel and something spiritual. As for my body, I exercise when I can. I have the best intentions and go to the gym a few times a week while my children are in the crèche, but there are the occasions when I just want to do nothing or take a scooter ride with my kids so I’ll do that instead.

 

 Tina Tower, kids

What are the future plans for you and your business?


Our aim is to have 100 Begin Bright Franchises across Australia. Obviously we have a long way to go. If we can help every person who opens a Begin bright Franchise to become successful then our growth can be organic and sustained. I find my industry is a win win with the children being taught well, their parents happy, the franchisees making a profit and in turn we make a profit. It’s a business to feel good about.

What top three tips would you give our Flourish readers if they were looking to make a significant change in their life?


1. In the words of the great Richard Branson, if something comes up you can’t decide over, just say “Screw it, let’s do it”.
2. Do your research. Make sure the path you choose is the right one for you and also for your family. Both fortunately and unfortunately, a woman’s decision impacts the family unit more than a mans so make sure you can maintain the workload while still satisfying your home desires.
3. Mother’s guilt is a silent killer and the biggest excuse for women not fulfilling their dreams.

 

I strongly believe in giving children the best upbringing possible. I think in this day and age where women have fulfilling careers, a balance between family and career can be reached so that a woman can flourish on every level and feel like she’s a great mother and achieves amazing things personally.

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Flourishnote: Tina has written some articles for Flourish including 9 Things to do with Cooped Up Kids.

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