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Meet Candace Heiken of Lively Minds Tutoring in Chandler

Today we’d like to introduce you to Candace Heiken.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Candace. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
A passion for learning is what started Lively Minds Tutoring. I am a life-long learner, and I believe that this world is a better place when it is full of humans who are on a constant quest to learn. This passion along with degrees in psychology and education, and a true entrepreneurial spirit made it clear to me that my own tutoring company was the perfect fit. The first thing I did was hire two tutors, one for high school math students and one for elementary reading students, and off we went. I still remember the feeling of getting our first student, a 10th grader who was struggling in her Algebra 2 class. From that first student, we continued to grow, and I continued to hire new tutors who could work with our various students and their different needs. I have consistently sought out business mentors and “tutors” over the years who have helped me develop a thriving business. Seven years later, we work with hundreds of students a year, and we are able to make a real difference in our students’ lives.

Has it been a smooth road?
I don’t think that any small business has a smooth road to success, and mine is certainly no different! One of the biggest challenges is when we started to grow, and I wanted to be sure that I was not compromising the quality of service that we provide. It’s a lot like having a baby and leaving her with a babysitter for the first time. When you grow a business, and you’ve been solely responsible for its success, at some point you have to trust that someone else is going to do the same quality work that you do and expect. That is a difficult leap of faith, and this is when I relied on my mentors to help me figure out how to find the team of people who would be able to help me grow my business. It was exciting to develop a team of talented, capable professionals who were then on the mission with me! Another challenge was transitioning to a small business that started out by “winging it” to a bigger small business with policies, procedures, and systems. It’s difficult to create an organizational chart for your business when you technically make up the entire strategy, marketing, sales, finances, and human resources departments because as a small business owner, you have had to wear all of those hats and sometimes all in the same day! However, it is important to know how your business functions and operates, and developing systems to make all of those things work smoothly is essential for growth. Of course, it is also what enables you to build a team, so that you can identify various responsibilities and who will have them. At the end of the day, it is the struggles that make you feel like you have accomplished something important. It is like we tell our students, overcoming obstacles and finding success is what helps you develop true confidence in yourself!

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Lively Minds Tutoring is an educational services company. We provide tutoring services to students primarily in grades K-12 in all academic subjects, and we also provide academic intervention for students who have differentiated learning needs. Our academic coaches work with students who need help figuring out how to be better students by teaching study skills and executive functioning skills.

We are proud of the fact that our tutors are educated professionals who understand how to work with different types of students, and how we are able to take each student as an individual. We focus on finding our students’ strengths and figuring out how to use them to overcome academic obstacles. As educators, we can sometimes, feel frustrated in an entire classroom of students because it is not always possible to give every student just what he needs, but when we are working individually with a student, we can give that student exactly what he needs. It is not only gratifying on our end, but it is extremely effective for the students, and it makes a huge impact in how they learn, how they do in school, and how they feel about themselves and their abilities. It’s exciting to be a part of that kind of change.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Yes, Phoenix is an excellent place for a tutoring company because overall we care about education, and we know that our system is not perfect. As a community, we want to make sure that we are getting our students the extra resources that they may need to go out into this world and make a meaningful impact. We work with many schools, educators, administrators, and other professionals, and I have felt encouraged by the level of commitment and passion for our students that I see on a regular basis.

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