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TURNING AN ABANDONED BUILDING INTO ONE OF ATLANTA'S MOST SOUGHT OUT CHILDCARE CENTERS

Updated: Oct 19, 2021

How female African-American entrepreneur, Shemeka Maddox, went from working in the corporate legal field to becoming a successful Entrepreneur, Business Coach, and Early Education Leader





Shemeka Maddox knows the ins and outs of running a successful business very well, while living a fulfilling, balanced personal life. However, it wasn't an easy journey for this dynamic and empowering community leader. Today, Shemeka is honored to share her story and hopes to reach countless female entrepreneurs through her newest venture called She Finds Success. She Finds Success is a business success lifestyle hub providing education, tools, motivation, and support to female entrepreneurs, so they can live the life they dream of.


Early in Shemeka's career, she was a paralegal assistant for a law firm. "After 8 years in the world of law, my job no longer felt rewarding," she explains. I was working long hours away from my family and after the birth my youngest daughter I began to really become disillusioned with the childcare options provided in my area. The more I interacted with childcare centers, the more I realized the lack of value in leadership and relationship building in their daily culture - which was evident through their staff."



EMBRACING AN OPPORTUNITY FOR Change


“I saw the shift into Early Education as the perfect opportunity to spend more time with my family, while also making a positive impact on the lives of countless children and families,” says Shemeka.

In 2005, Shemeka's mother decided to retire, after working over 35 years in the childcare industry and she offered Shemeka the opportunity to lease her school's building. For two years, Shemeka worked at the school every morning and at the law firm part-time at night. In 2007, she took the ultimate leap of faith to work at the childcare center full-time. "I saw the shift into Early Education as the perfect opportunity to spend more time with my family, while also making positive impact on the lives of countless children and families," says Shemeka.


Shemeka began to formulate a plan to completely transform her mother's childcare campus into a leading childcare facility. She envisioned a nurturing environment for the growth of the school's students and staff. However, once she opened her doors, she quickly realized how difficult it was to find resources for leadership training and the crucial on-boarding process of her staff. In addition, retaining staff that aligned with the school's vision was becoming almost impossible. Shemeka tried partnering with successful childcare owners to build a community for directors, but her efforts were rejected.


"I would say I failed in my first three years in the childcare industry," Shemeka says. "I felt so torn between building a profitable business and adding value to my school. I couldn’t figure out the formula to do both. As owner and director of the school, I felt the pressure of expenses and payroll on one end, and the suffering of my staff members on the other end. Teachers were calling out, not communicating with our families, and ultimately resigning. Incidents were occurring and not being properly documented. My childcare center was quickly heading for mandate closure."


Creating A PROACTIVE SYSTEM


Shemeka was well-equipped with experience in organization, creating systems, effective communication, and leadership building. However, she now needed to figure out a way to apply these skills to her childcare business. She claims one of her biggest strengths was understanding how parents and teachers felt and creating a system with their needs and wants in mind.


Shemeka dedicated 2 hours a day, for 90 days, to building a system that put her childcare business on auto-pilot. "I planned my entire school year in just a few days using a visual calendar," Shemeka explains. "Then, I was able to focus my efforts on building teams in my organization and focus on proper training and empowerment of my staff. This entailed implementing strategies that were directly based on their feedback."


WATCHING HER BUSINESS FLOURISH


"I want to teach childcare directors how to work on their business, rather than in their business. There is a huge difference and this will be the ultimate key to their success." -Shemeka Maddox, Childcare Expert Consultant / Founder of She Finds Success, LLC

In less than six months after the changes were implemented, Shemeka's school was on an active wait-list for all of its classes. "One of the biggest changes I made was to transition all of the school's training manuals from printed material to video platforms," Shemeka explains excitedly. "The positive responses from our parents and staff were overwhelming."


In addition, her school's profit margin increased dramatically. For the first time, Shemeka's school was generating a consistent six-figure annual profit margin. Her teachers were receiving raises, as well as ongoing monthly leadership development and training. The school now had the funds to invest in resources to increase parent communication. This resulted in more parent involvement and a major positive shift in the school's culture.


"It felt amazing to be in a position to finally be able to invest in my staff, our curriculum, and our classrooms," Shemeka explains. "Our kids were flourishing, parents were happy, and we were receiving referrals left and right. I'm just so grateful for the things I learned and I'm excited to share my knowledge and help other schools reach the same success. I want to teach childcare directors how to work on their business, rather than in their business. There is a huge difference and this will be the ultimate key to their success," Shemeka explains.


Today, Shemeka is co-owner of Maddox Enterprise, a collection of business office suites located in the beautiful city of Snellville, GA. Maddox Enterprise is home to: SHE Finds Success (business coaching and lifestyle brand), Artfluent Brows By SHE (permanent makeup studio), Rock Me Lashes (lash extension services), Maddox Auto Enterprise (auto brokerage) and Maddox Enterprise Home Improvement (contractor services.)


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