Ms. Jones had just come out of a long-term relationship when she realized she was pregnant with her now 10-year-old son and was determined to give him a wonderful life. A decade later, it is Jones’s Center of Excellence in 150 different countries with over a thousand courses and nearly £13 million in sales.
Ms. Jones started her first business at the age of 18 instead of going to university, with a classroom-based training business specializing in NLP and hypnotherapy.
While life more or less went according to plan, the 39-year-old from Macclesfield found herself single, pregnant and struggling to keep up with the bills.
The father chose not to get involved with his child, leaving Mrs. Jones to find a way to support herself and her son while trying to find a way she could work from home once he arrived.
She said, “Although it was a shock, even as a single mother I was determined to create a wonderful life for him. I wanted to be able to work from home so I could spend as much time as possible with my son.”
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“I discovered an opportunity in the market to create courses that are affordable, accessible to anyone and can be studied online from anywhere in the world. I started by converting the NLP and hypnotherapy courses I was taking into online courses, then I found experts in different fields to help In creating other course materials.
“It was very daunting at first to start a business as a single mom, but my main goal has always been to create a happy and stable life for my son, so that has always been my motivation to overcome my fears and carry on.”
The Center of Excellence was established in 2012, with a slim budget that forced Jones to think outside the box in order to keep costs low.
She explained, “I called my local university and asked two tech students to help design and build a simple website for me. They did the work for free in exchange for a great reference they could use on their CV.”
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“Then I found a company that would put international students looking for work experience in a small business, and help them in any role from marketing to management, again for free. The students were looking for valuable experience that would help them gain a career.”
Ms Jones revealed that during this time she “could afford my rent every month”, not investing money in her startup simply because she didn’t have any.
Regardless of its financial issues, it put its first direct spin on Groupon and reinvested all of its rapidly growing sales in 80 countries in just three years.
Now, the Center of Excellence’s most recent turnover was just under £13m after 10 years working remotely and raising her children.
Since the company’s founding, Ms. Jones has given birth to three more children and notes that “there has been a lot of hard work and determination to run the business and the kids” but it has given her the flexibility to be around for her kids, and the freedom to travel and work online.
In fact, Jones and her family lived in Bali for a year: “I was able to work from our bamboo house in the jungle, above coconut trees, and had a magical experience immersed in a new culture.
“My son went to the green school there which is famous for its inclusive education, and my online work has enabled us to experience a completely different way of living.”
Not only has she been able to provide everything she could hope for for her growing family, Ms. Jones really loves what she does, noting how anyone can change their life with the courses on offer.
She said, “I absolutely love seeing our clients learn new skills and improve their lives. The stories are so warming from people around the world and it is always amazing to see their confidence improve, form a new life, and be a part of their journey.”
“The world is changing so much right now with the introduction of new technologies and artificial intelligence, that there will be a lot of jobs in the future replacing new technology and even robotics! So, I think we will see more and more people looking to find new ways to make money either on the side or To work full time.
“E-learning has become so affordable and accessible nowadays that anyone can raise their skills from anywhere in the world as long as they have an internet connection, be it on their laptop or even on a phone. So, for anyone looking to change his career or building his own buzz, there was no easier way to do that.”
“It’s been 10 wonderful years full of ups and downs and lots of lessons learned,” she concluded.