Cheryl Vrkljan is an Elite Mompreneur member based out of Milton, Ontario. She is the owner of Beyond the Classroom Milton, an extraordinary tutoring organization focused on boosting confidence in the children she tutors. We are so excited to share Cheryl’s Success Story!
About Beyond the Classroom
Our highly trained and hand-selected tutors work with families to customize tutoring sessions for their children – providing exactly what the child needs. The sessions take place in the students’ home in order to meet the comfort level of the child and to give parents a much needed break from the constant shuffling around to activities. We work with students in grades JK to 12, and all of our tutors are Ontario Certified Teachers (OCT). We are the only tutoring organization focused on the whole child. We know academic struggles do not happen in isolation – the student might be experiencing additional challenges – anxiety, depression, sleep issues, along with different learning styles & abilities. We have access to several professionals, along with our expert tutors, to help.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
My love for working with children and families inspired me to become an entrepreneur. My experiences as a teacher, a coach, a Mom to 3 small children, and my many years of work in the mental health and addiction field led me to want to offer something better to children that what I knew was currently out there. I knew that I had the skills and passion to lead, and run a business, and I also knew that I wanted more for my own children. I wanted the chance to inspire and support children in a way that I thought was best, and owing my own business gave me that opportunity.
What is your “WHY” behind your business/being an entrepreneur?
I chose to become and entrepreneur because I wanted to offer something to children and families that I felt was the best. My children are at the centre core of my life, and the centre of my business model is the child. That’s my WHY. I run my business according to my own personal core values and therefore I live every day feeling like my authentic self! And that’s the best feeling in the world.
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
The best part about owning my own business is that I am able to work on things that are meaningful to me and that have a positive impact on my community. I am also able to create my own work schedule, which allows me the time to participate in my own children’s lives in a meaningful way.
Can you describe a typical day?
In order for me to feel balanced, a typical day for me always consists of the following components: 1) Physical Activity – I must move my body EVERY DAY! Physical activity is one of the only ways that allows me to get into the head-space I need to do meaningful work. 2) QUIET TIME – every single day I take time to meditate. I need time to allow my brain to literally stop and rest so I don’t feel overwhelmed. Meditation also allows me the chance to invite new and creative ideas in! 3) TIME OUTSIDE! Nature is one of the best ways to learn, and I find that being outside constantly allows me to feel inspired and 4) Review my personal and professional goals – every day I remind myself of my goals and what I’m working towards. I say my goals out-loud, which allows me to really focus on what I’m trying to achieve.
Who do you count on for help?
I feel very lucky to have a super supportive family – my parents and sister both support me personally and in my business, and I have great colleagues that I can count on if I need advice or support! I’ve also met so many awesome female entrepreneurs both locally in Milton and across the province, who I know I can count on if I need help.
Have you ever had to sacrifice something at home for work? Or vice versa?
I don’t look at things in terms of sacrifices – ultimately everything is a choice, and it’s just a matter of choosing what is right for me in that moment. There are many times I have chosen to let my work phone go to voicemail for example, because I’m spending time with my children. I don’t see it as sacrificing the call or a sale in that moment; I see it as choosing what is most important to me in my life at that particular moment. There have been many times I have had to speak to teachers or families by phone or in person later in the evening, or I have had to go out to meet and support a colleague. There have also been times that I needed to support my husband in running his business (he’s also an entrepreneur!). In those times, I count on friends or family to help me with my children. Sometimes things around the house do not get done because I choose to work on my business. Other times, I choose to take time away from my business in order to take care of what needs to be done at home. It’s all about choice.
What do you do on a day off? Do you even know what a day off is?
I know what a day off is because “burning the candle at both ends” too many times has forced me to learn how to to STOP and take a break when I need it. I know that I am more productive when I stop and “play” or take a break from working do something creative. Self-care and creativity are key to me success. On a day “off” I typically take time to workout or practice yoga in the morning to start the day off on the right foot. I also spend some time out-side (warm or cold!) in nature, catch up on a few errands and do something that is creative like writing or reading a book. I also take the time to call my parents.
What does the future look like for you and your business?
I see myself and my business constantly evolving and changing into the future. My personal and professional core values will remain, but everything around me will change, expand and grow. And this is exciting!
Any tips for other women thinking of starting a business.
Run your business in a way that feels natural and authentic to YOU. Choose something that will make you truly happy and fulfilled, and everything will be possible for you (including monetary success and abundance!). This is the key to success.