Meet Denise & Janeen ~ WholeBrain Bendigo
WORDS: DENISE SMITH ~ FOUNDER + JANEEN BARKER ~ EDUCATOR, WHOLEBRAIN BENDIGO
IMAGES: GINGERHOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY
Tell us about your business and how it started
We created this program after realising there wasn’t a program available to support our own children’s learning, who are right-brain learners.
What is your biggest achievement in business?
Still being in business after 18 years! Getting to this point, especially being so close to publishing our books, has been a result of years of hard work and persistence.
Our program is so unique and was built from listening, watching and learning from our children and students. There was no ‘how-to’ guide to follow.
It’s so rewarding to have created something that we know works and is having a such positive impact on our students lives.
What challenges or hurdles have your faced in business?
Our biggest challenges have been navigating the administration and technological areas of business. Finding the right people to support us and understand our vision has been very important. We have been fortunate to find Kathryn from Meld Creative, Jess from The Copy Girl and numerous other talented people throughout our journey to support us in the areas of business that we aren’t as strong in. They have enabled us to focus on what we love most - supporting our students.
What is your next big challenge/project?
During this challenging period of COVID-19, we have been provided with the time we need to evolve our program. We are in the final stages of publishing our program in book form and are working towards transforming it into an online video resource. This will make our WholeBrain learning program accessible to students, families and educators Australia-wide and beyond.
What do you love about the service you provide?
Seeing the look on our students faces when they realise they are being seen, heard and understood. Our program allows us to apply each students personal interests and experiences to what we are teaching them - there is no one-size fits all approach. We have small groups of students so we can really give each child the attention they need and deserve.
In moments of self doubt, how do you build yourself back up?
Our students are our teachers. When we are challenged by people who don’t understand what we do, we think about all the students we have supported over the years.
We focus on them rather than the challenges that can come from being in a small business. Our students are amazing, they inspire us every day.
What is the best piece of business advice you were given?
Always look forward, learn from where you have come from and implement your new learning.
Society changes - be open to those changes and adapt without losing your core purpose. Stay true to who you are and find the right people to be part of your team.
We also love the saying "feel the fear and do it anyway".
Founded by Denise Smith, WholeBrain Bendigo is dedicated to supporting right-brain learners aged 8 to 11 rediscover their love for learning.
WholeBrain Bendigo is a member of our Ignite Your Instagram Online Training Course designed especially for women in business.