Setting goals like a champion: Sport yields valuable lessons

Kumon franchisee builds successful business from curling, teaching career

As a Canadian champion curler, Renée Sonnenberg understands what it takes to be a champion. There’s talent, certainly, but perhaps even more important is hard work and dedication, supported by the right kind of instruction.

Today she has committed those same principles to a new career: guiding her students as a franchisee at one of the fastest-growing Kumon Math and Reading Centres in Western Canada.

The road to Kumon

Renée’s dream of teaching started at just five-years-old, a dream she first fulfilled through coaching, and by working as a school teacher and private tutor.

Then she discovered Kumon, where instructors do more than help with math and reading – they help children find success. “I say to parents, it’s a partnership. It saves busy families a ton of time because together, we can create self-reliant kids that trust in themselves.”

Since its founding in the 1950s, goal setting has been a part of the Kumon philosophy.

“Obviously, sport teaches you that you need to learn from your mistakes and decide what you want to achieve. Based on that, at Kumon we get to set goals and celebrate success just like in sport.”

The curling connection

Guiding children in the classroom is a lot like guiding stones down the ice, Renee suggests.

“The curler sets the stone in motion much like an instructor starts a student on the right track. If the athlete tries too hard or refuses to learn from their mistakes, the victories are more difficult to come by. This is where the coach plays an important role. It’s the same with our kids in the centre. As an instructor we need to keep students at their just-right level and guide them to self-reliance and to learn from their mistakes.”

“Sometimes there’s a small moment when I think I’ll have to jump in and help a student directly, but then I’m surprised when they find the answer without my help. I love those moments!”

As a Kumon franchisee, Renée can call upon the ongoing franchisor support she needs to build a thriving business. In the same way, she builds that support into her teacher and student relationships.

“I focus a lot on what the students are telling me. In turn, I try to show my gratitude and communicate as much as possible.”

Building a thriving business

Transforming her skills from sport and love of teaching into a lucrative and rewarding enterprise has been an amazing journey – one Renée shares with 345 Canadian Kumon franchisees, including two in Greater Victoria, that have joined 24,338 worldwide.

In fact, with 16 consecutive years on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500, the education pioneer is the world’s fourth largest franchise and the No. 1 tutoring franchise.

Learn more. With low start-up and franchise fees, ongoing support and access to resources, immediate Kumon franchise opportunities are available in Victoria. For more information, call 604-454-1001 or visit kumonfranchise.ca for more details.

 

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