I'm pretty certain not many people have written a blog post to celebrate their one year anniversary.... of anything really! But if I'm being completely honest, I want this to be on our website forever. I understand that’s a long time but I don’t plan on limiting what Puzzle Me Academy is. With so many things left to do, I have to consistently remind myself of everything that is done.
Sooo many emotions about this anniversary because this year has been, one of the most difficult years yet, I would not have it any other way. I have pushed past things I thought I would never have to do. I found myself doing things I used to tell myself that would never do. Before opening the academy, I was very hard headed and close minded on my methods & how I do things. In fact this is something I still work on.
I have learned to recreate myself as many times as I have to. Truth is we cannot control many of our circumstances but we can definitely control how we react! It’s ok to change your perspective on things! I think I will always be grateful for this year, I would have hated to work on myself as much as I have this year, longer down the line.
Working 6 years in the field as an RBT & helping others join the field in my free time. I found myself struggling to keep cases or finding quality supervision. Many problems I came across was definitely my fault & if I was wiser I probably could’ve avoided them. But like I said... I was very close minded on my methods and no one could convince out of them. I would pick up and drop cases more than I would eat full meals. I was searching for something I wasn’t going to find, at least not the way I was trying to.
Then things got really exciting, I started searching for logos! I had to search for images that would mean what I wanted the academy to mean to the world. Once I had my logo ready, I started letting people know what my supervisor & I were up to on the weekends. The first two or three months of starting off were GREAT! Students were basically falling out of the sky for me, I couldn't believe that I was experiencing my dreams & how easy it was to have them. I had ZERO busisness plan, no website, no business experience. The only thing I knew was that I wanted to bring more quality knowledge, to the ABA world. I only ever dreamt of starting a legacy, having a brand so big that it actually impacts others in a positive way. So what did I do? The thing that so many people are scared to do... Chase my dreams and run into the unknown. I say run because I literally did not think twice of it! I started advertising myself on my Instagram and teaching people on the weekends a long side my supervisor. Honestly... if it wasn’t for her believing in me, I would not have been able to start the academy. After a month of having NO DAYS OFF & feeling as if I was drowning in a cup of water. Thanks to not having a plan and just throwing myself at it. I must of not felt too bad because my next choice was the one that brought less sleep, more work and less money into my life.
I decided to do the one thing everyone says not to do! Which is quit my job and start full time with my own little business. After being opened for ONE month. If you want to feel as if failure is about to kick your door down VERY SECOND of the day; Then do as I did! 10/10 not recommended and not at all for anyone who does not do good under pressure! Do I regret it RIGHT NOW?! NOOOO! But many times I work best under a lot of pressure, I love everything about Puzzle Me Academy, it really is YOUR lost piece in the ABA world.
Then came the second month and that is when francys joined in on the weekend courses. She would always ask me “How are you teaching the courses?!” Because truth is when I started I really did not know much. I would read off of the power points WORD BY WORD. But I knew if I did not do that, I would not be able to know what I have to work on. Something about waking up on Saturday and getting to a class with students ready to start a new journey just excites me! Nothing sets my soul on fire, brightens my day, or makes me wake up and smell the coffee; whichever you like best. More than, being able to guide someone down a path I struggled so much in. Down the same path that if someone was willing to guide or had the right information, could’ve saved me so much time!
Shortly after Francys saw how much potential there is in knowing, we can be the ones to possibly make a change in the ABA world. You guessed it, she quit her job also! We're your basic meme "When your best friend makes a bad choice" and then you see both friends walking together. If there’s one thing I will say is that you should want a team! If you want something BIG, you cannot do it a lone. And if you do have something pretty big already, stop lying to the people... You did not do everything completely a lone & truth be told, if you have done a lot a lone, imagine what could've been done alongside someone who shares the same vision as you. We have had to learn to just embrace the qualities each of us have & simply make the good ones, BETTER. It took Francys and I some time to realize that each of us are amazing at sometimes and being able to do other things, was just not gifted to us.
If I’m being honest... we still struggle with this. Both of us are firm believers that we can do everything and anything. Lets never forget that one time we didn’t sleep for three toys straight because we told our clients that they’ll be recieving their orders on Christmas Day! Mhmmm YUPP, our handmade toys.... the toys we had never made before, but told ourself it would be easy if we just did it. On the bright side, little by little we’re both getting better at working together and everyday brick by brick were building the empire we want. Learning from the lessons and loving the process. I am so proud of this year, it’s taken me a while to love it. But SOO worth it, this is only year one and I can’t wait for the following ones.
But I’m not done.... LOL, I wanna tell you guys about when our "honeymoon" phase was shortly brought to an end and we saw how important it is to keep things organized and accessible to the both of us. Hope you weren’t thinking a wedding honeymoon.... you little rascal. Anyways, after trying to hire more analyst, because my supervisor can only take on so much case load besides the one she already had. We shortly realized that when it comes to hiring employees, there is so much more to take into consideration besides looking at a resume and telling someone when their first day of work is. Not hiring employees of quality, lead us to having analyst be rude to our students, or not showing up & letting us know through text, they do not want to continue with us. Which after many failed attempts and hours spent training people for them to just leave. We finally met Yelynel & she has been part of our team for some time now. So long that we haven't hired another analyst because she is just that great! Have a mentioned contracts yet?? Having set rules for both employees and students to follow. Shortly after all of these lessons coming at us, we learned how important it was to have all of these documents we had no idea how to create. If you think rules are not important try setting up tables, chairs and supplies for students who submitted a deposit just for them to cancel on you. OR our absolute favorite, having a student who simply does not reply when you reach out to them and having to pick up everything you set up, take it back home & move forward. Once months have passed, that same student who did not find it important to reply to us, was then messaging us that they want to come in for the next course. Which many times we did let students come back, truth is if no one respects your business & these things are happening to you because you as we were,you are not respecting your business and having set rules for your customers to follow is part of that. Doing this will have your business and your life feeling as if you're on a roller coaster and that thing is always going down, you won't catch a break.
Once we finally caught a break from that roller coaster that seemed to only be going down, after non-stop screaming throughout the way down. We finally caught a break and now were the ones controlling our roller coaster... One day you'll be invited to our amusement park! A full year already passing only gets me more excited for everything else we are going to do. If you haven't already gotten the point in how grateful I am for SO MANY things. Read the whole post again, just slower this time.... This is only some of the things we learned throughout the process.
The one where we almost gave up, but every step of the way we were there to remind ourself's why we started. If you ever want to start a business, I hope your business partner is one like Francys, but don't try hiring her she's already busy, Yelynel is also busy! Besides that, don't give up and have a CLEAR goal, stop at nothing to get to where you want to be. Most of the time, its going to feel as if the building you are in is burning down and you have to walk through it to get out a live. This is only an example, don't go walk into a real fire now & blame reading this post for your reason!
You are your only limit, so reach a new one everyday.
Xoxo, The Behavior Witch