I recently had the pleasure of spending the day with a fellow female entrepreneur, Ryan Jordan, of Educated Nannies. Her LA-based nanny agency, which launched just last year, has already won the Red Tricycle Award, voted "Most Awesome" by their community, and boasts an impressive clientele list.
Born and raised in Wisconsin, with a Masters Degree in Education from Pepperdine University, Ryan has always had a passion for children and child development. Having worked as a nanny for 10 years, she knew the ins and outs of what it takes to be a professional nanny, and coupled with her background in education, earned the nickname, "The Educated Nanny."
"After referring many families and nannies to other agencies, I realized Los Angeles needed a nanny agency with college-educated nannies who are not pursuing any other career, and have a passion for childcare." Ryan saw the need for an agency that properly conducted background checks, and after speaking with parents, learned the great need for educated nannies who could not only care for children, but also teach, tutor, inspire and act as role models.
She pursued her passion and in May of 2013, decided to turn her dreams into a reality by launching her agency, while holding down a job as a full-time nanny. "At the end of the day, the children inspired me. Those "aha moments" when a child learns something new are magical. It's all about the kids!"
So what makes Educated Nannies stand out from other similar agencies? It's the only nanny agency in Los Angeles that offers nannies who have a college degree, five years of childcare experience, CPR and First Aid certifications as well as background checks including fingerprinting.
Ryan also likes to add a personal touch with her clients by conducting home visits to learn more about the culture of their home environment and childcare philosophies. "We work with each family's budget to meet their needs, and we are extremely selective of who we send to their home for interviews."
The results speak for themselves. "We used Educated Nannies and are absolutely thrilled with the results: we love our nanny. As a family with two working parents, it is extremely daunting to think about finding a nanny. Ryan and her team made it so easy."
As an entrepreneur, Ryan's success goes beyond just her passion and experience. "I believe success is all in your attitude -- life is too short to be negative. I practice positivity in my life and relationships, and it's helped me get to where I am today." Her attitude is contagious and a breath of fresh air. "I like to surround myself with positive people, and support others on their journeys." It's clear that giving back is part of Ryan's M.O, and it shows in the volunteer work she does.
"Being socially conscious is important to me, and I give back to the community by making a donation to the non-profit organization Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) every time we place a nanny." Her latest volunteer work was with Chai Lifeline for Big Sunday, where she spent the weekend creating care packages for children with life-threatening illnesses. "I hope that as Educated Nannies grows, we'll be able to give back even more to our community, specifically to children."
Having launched her first successful agency has taught Ryan a few things about entrepreneurship. "Be prepared to put your heart, soul and every ounce of energy you have into your first year of business. This is a 24/7 adventure filled with passion. Be brave. Be creative. Be patient. Be okay with not getting everything perfect on the first try. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Listen more than you talk. Hire your weakness. Have fun and soak up every bit of information you can. Network and communicate with people that inspire you. Take each day as an opportunity to grow and learn. Oh, and hire a good lawyer and web designer!"
An expectant mother to be, Ryan seems to be taking all of it in stride. "I can't wait to be a mommy! It will be so fun to teach my own children and learn things from them." Ryan and her husband Lee, are expecting a baby boy this year. Needless to say, she'll have all the help she needs.