Danielle Baron: How I Overcame Personal Challenges as a Single Parent and Became a Successful Entrepreneur in the Education and Well-being Industry
Danielle Baron is an entrepreneur in the education and well-being industry with a passion for transforming the educational landscape. Her journey into entrepreneurship was born out of a desire to address the gaps she witnessed during her years as a teacher and assistant headteacher. Danielle founded her own education business with a core focus on prioritizing the well-being of children while providing personalized learning experiences tailored to their individual needs. She believes that nurturing a developmental mindset and challenging limiting beliefs can have a profound impact on a child’s educational journey and overall well-being.
Danielle’s journey from teacher to entrepreneur has been driven by a deep conviction that education should be a transformative experience, unlocking the full potential of every learner. By challenging the status quo, integrating well-being into education, and empowering both students and educators, she is committed to making a lasting impact in the lives of children and shaping a brighter future for generations to come. In addition to her education business, Danielle also has a coaching and therapy business for children and teens, where she emphasizes building confidence in her students through NLP-infused teaching philosophy.
My vision is to create an expansive empire in the realms of education and well-being, transforming the lives of children and women across the world.—Danielle Baron
Professional Photo Credits: Lezli and Rose
Make-up By: Collette Ruddy using La Roche Posay and Charlotte Tilbury
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur in the education and well-being industry, and how did you get started?
My journey into entrepreneurship in the education and well-being industry was fuelled by a deep-rooted desire to address the gaps I witnessed during my years as a teacher and assistant headteacher. Working within the education system, I realized that there was more to supporting children than just academic teaching. I felt a calling to delve deeper into the psychological aspects of learning and well-being, which are often overlooked in traditional teaching practices.
During my time as a teacher, I observed that many students were only receiving surface-level support, without a comprehensive understanding of how their minds worked and how their experiences shaped their beliefs. It became clear to me that teachers need training that encompasses the intricacies of children’s cognitive processes, enabling them to truly help their students reach their full potential. I strongly believe that nurturing a developmental mindset and challenging limiting beliefs can have a profound impact on a child’s educational journey and overall well-being.
Motivated by this realization, I made the decision to step away from formal education and embark on my entrepreneurial path. I founded my own education business with a core focus on prioritizing the well-being of children while providing personalized learning experiences tailored to their individual needs. To expand my skill set and deepen my understanding of human psychology, I pursued qualifications as a coach and therapist of many modalities, equipping myself with the tools necessary to support children and women on a holistic level.
By stepping outside the boundaries of formal education and dedicating myself to the holistic well-being of children, I hope to inspire other educators and entrepreneurs to embrace a similar mindset. Together, we can reconstruct the educational landscape, equipping teachers with the necessary tools and knowledge to support the cognitive, emotional, and psychological growth of every child.
My journey from teacher to entrepreneur has been driven by a deep conviction that education should be a transformative experience, unlocking the full potential of every learner. By challenging the status quo, integrating well-being into education, and empowering both students and educators, I am committed to making a lasting impact in the lives of children and shaping a brighter future for generations to come.
How did you overcome personal challenges, such as being a single parent and building a business at the same time?
Life is a journey filled with unexpected twists and turns, and for me, it took a dramatic detour when my marriage fell apart. Suddenly, I found myself standing at the crossroads of adversity, grappling with financial strain and a lack of support. Yet, looking back now, it feels as though I discovered a hidden superpower within myself during that trying period.
In the face of adversity, when failure simply isn’t an option, an indomitable spirit emerges. It’s a superhuman grit and determination that fuels your every move, propelling you forward with an unwavering sense of purpose. I experienced this transformation firsthand, and it led me to build unwavering consistency and unstoppable momentum.
Becoming a single parent to not just one, but two children, one of them a newborn, presented a daunting challenge. The initial days of juggling a business and parenting were undeniably tough, and I had to innovate, finding creative solutions to keep my baby engaged and entertained. A rocking chair with soothing music became a godsend, providing moments of respite and comfort.
Amidst the chaos, I owe a debt of gratitude to my clients who had unwavering faith in me. They entrusted me with the dual role of educating their children while I cared for my own. It was a delicate balance, but their belief in my abilities fuelled my determination to prove that anything is possible, even for single parents like me. Their children passed their school exams and were confident and happy, which is testament to my expertise.
Blood, sweat, and tears became the hallmark of my journey. Each day brought new challenges, but throughout it all, I clung to my unyielding belief in success. A powerful “why” fuelled my drive—my children and, by extension, the children I had the privilege to teach. It was through this lens that I realized the profound impact teachers can have on young lives, a realization that must never be underestimated.
Today, armed with the knowledge gained from my own trials and triumphs, I am motivated to empower other single parents and women. I want to show them that no obstacle is insurmountable if one possesses enough determination and resilience. Together, we can shatter barriers and embrace the boundless possibilities that await us.
Can you tell us about your education business and how it focuses on teaching English, mathematics, verbal and non-verbal reasoning, mocks, and interview skills?
For parents, the entrance exam process can be an overwhelming and daunting journey, particularly when it’s their first time embarking on it with their child. That’s where my bespoke and supportive service steps in, providing comprehensive teaching, guidance, coaching, and resource-finding for both children and their parents. At the heart of my service lies a deep understanding of the requirements for entrance exams, particularly the rigorous 11+ exams for secondary school admission.
The 11+ exams encompass a range of subjects, including comprehension, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, writing, mathematics, verbal/non-verbal reasoning, as well as mock exams and interview skills. As an expert in teaching all these subjects, I ensure that each child meets the necessary criteria, while tailoring their learning journey to their unique academic and personal needs.
With a passion for writing and an English BA to my credit, I not only teach this subject but also actively engage in writing for media outlets. By practicing what I preach, I inspire and motivate my students, showing them that writing is a skill we can all continuously improve upon. Moreover, I possess an in-depth understanding of the specific 11+ writing criteria, which I have mastered over the years.
In mathematics, I emphasize the importance of covering all 11+ math topics, fostering both depth and breadth of knowledge. When I initially embarked on my journey as an entrance exam educator, I took it upon myself to learn verbal and non-verbal reasoning. Being resourceful and determined, I developed effective systems and numerous strategies to teach these subjects to children effectively.
The addition of mock interviews to my repertoire came about organically when a parent inquired about whether I do them. Responding with a resounding “I do now,” I swiftly integrated mock exams as an additional facet of my service, not only providing valuable practice for students but also becoming another stream of income. Listening to the needs and desires of my clients proved instrumental in shaping and expanding my business.
Parents and children alike can find solace in my tailored approach, knowing that they are not alone in their journey. Each student receives personalized attention, ensuring their growth and development align with their specific aspirations. By instilling confidence, imparting knowledge, and delivering effective guidance, I empower students to navigate the entrance exam maze with newfound ease.
How do you personalize lessons to meet individual needs, and what gaps in the education system did you see that motivated you to start your own business?
Personalizing lessons to meet individual needs lies at the core of my teaching philosophy. I firmly believe that every child is unique, with their own set of strengths and challenges. To cater to these individual needs, I employ various strategies that foster a supportive and inclusive learning environment.
One crucial aspect of personalization is understanding the diverse range of learners in the classroom. Neurodivergent children, comprising approximately 1 in 5 students, require particular attention and support. Whether it’s dyslexia, dyscalculia, autism, ADHD, AudHD, or dyspraxia, these conditions demand a nuanced approach. Unfortunately, the lack of formal training for teachers in these areas often hinders effective instruction.
To bridge this gap, I prioritize gaining a deep understanding of each student’s strengths, weaknesses, and learning preferences. This knowledge allows me to tailor my teaching methods, creating an optimal learning experience for each individual. For some students, visual explanations and alternative instructional approaches are instrumental in grasping concepts. Others may benefit from a slower pace, increased repetition, or specific types of instruction. By being attuned to their needs and employing intuition, I can create a nurturing environment where students feel supported and empowered to succeed.
Adapting teaching methods, materials, and activities allows students to engage with the content in ways that resonate with them. This could involve incorporating visual aids, hands-on activities, or audio recordings. Neurodivergent children often require clear and concise instructions, along with established routines that provide structure and predictability. Some may need additional time and repetition to process information fully, while others thrive in a more flexible learning environment. Regardless of their individual requirements, it is essential to foster inclusivity and ensure that all students feel safe, respected, and capable of achieving their potential.
Within my teaching practice, I have encountered high-achieving children grappling with perfectionism. To address this, I emphasize the importance of embracing mistakes as essential components of success. By praising genuine mistakes, I aim to shift the perspective and highlight their role as steppingstones toward growth and achievement.
Can you tell us about your coaching and therapy business for children and teens, and how you emphasize building confidence in your students?
In the realm of my business, there is a crucial aspect that dovetails perfectly with my approach(—Neuro-Linguistic Programming NLP). As an NLP master practitioner, I have witnessed the profound impact this modality can have on children. NLP becomes a powerful tool, incorporating imagery and creative techniques to foster emotional regulation, enhance vocabulary, and help children visualize their goals and positive outcomes.
NLP holds particular significance for children as it unlocks their innate creativity and taps into their imaginative abilities. By utilizing various NLP techniques, we provide children with valuable tools to express themselves, navigate their emotions, and cultivate a strong vocabulary that empowers effective communication. Through visualization exercises, we ignite their imagination, enabling them to envision their aspirations with clarity and purpose.
At the heart of my approach lies the belief that building confidence in children begins with recognizing and appreciating their untapped potential even before they do. It is through this lens that I guide them, revealing the myriad possibilities and choices that lie before them. In both education and NLP, creating a supportive and trusting environment is paramount—a space where children feel safe to be themselves, ask questions, and explore their own unique paths. By striking the perfect balance between scaffolding and independence, we empower them to take ownership of their journey and realize their capabilities.
Encouraging resilient self-talk is a cornerstone of my NLP-infused teaching philosophy. By nurturing positive internal dialogues, we equip children with the tools to overcome challenges and setbacks, fostering a growth mindset that embraces effort and perseverance. Every step forward, no matter how small, is celebrated, reinforcing the belief that success is built upon consistent progress.
How did your partnership with Arzoo Arif lead to the development of your educational and well-being product business?
Sometimes, the path we walk leads us to unexpected and fortuitous encounters. This was precisely the case when Arzoo and I connected on a shared mission to elevate the tutoring industry. As a coach and mentor, including to Arzoo, I sought to help tutors enhance their revenue, teaching quality, and business systems. While narrowly missing out on a spot in The Apprentice 2023, fate intervened as Arzoo reached out to me just weeks later, proposing a collaborative venture in the realm of product development.
Arzoo and I discovered a striking similarity in our teaching backgrounds and shared psychological approach to education. With Arzoo’s experience as a secondary school teacher and my expertise in primary education, we recognized that our skills and perspectives perfectly complemented one another. Driven by our passion for making a profound impact, we embarked on a joint endeavour—to create products that transcend the surface level and delve deeper into the realms of mindset, helpful beliefs, confidence, and coaching-oriented parent-child interactions.
We recognize the pivotal role that parents play in their children’s educational journey. With this in mind, our products provide guidance and resources to help parents engage with their children in a coaching-oriented manner. We aim to create a supportive and nurturing environment within the home, encouraging meaningful conversations that fuel growth and self-discovery.
Can you tell us about your dedication to helping neurodivergent students, and how your personal experiences with your daughter have influenced your work?
It is essential to recognize and embrace the concept of neurodiversity. In simple terms, a neurodivergent brain has different thinking patterns and strengths compared to the neurotypical brain. Rather than stigmatizing these differences, we must celebrate neurodiversity as a natural variation in human behavior.
My journey into understanding the significance of neurodiversity began with my own eldest daughter, who has been my greatest teacher. It wasn’t until she reached secondary school that I discovered that she is on the autism spectrum. Reflecting back, I now understand that her anxiety, a common presentation among neurodivergent girls, was connected to her autism.
During the auditions for The Apprentice, I had the privilege of meeting Shazia Hussain, a fellow contestant who is neurodivergent. Our connection inspired us to join forces and collaborate on raising awareness about neurodiversity. Together, we embarked on a journey that led us to participate in a podcast by Michelle Leivars, where the three of us united our voices to champion the cause of neurodiversity. Recognizing the urgency of action, we initiated a petition, urging the government to implement crucial training on neurodiversity in schools. Our goal is to garner 100,000 signatures, signifying the collective demand for change.
I invite you to join us in this transformative movement by signing the petition at the following link: Require all teachers have termly training about signs of neurodiversity. – Petitions (https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/637622). Together, we can make a resounding statement and compel the government to prioritize neurodiversity training for teachers, fostering inclusive environments that celebrate the unique strengths of all students.
In addition to our advocacy efforts, Shazia, Michelle, and I have developed a comprehensive framework. This framework serves as a valuable resource for schools, parents, and corporate workplaces, providing guidance on raising awareness about neurodiversity and fostering environments that bring out the best in neurodivergent individuals. By equipping these environments with the tools and knowledge needed to embrace neurodiversity, we can create inclusive spaces where everyone can thrive.
How do you create a safe and inclusive learning environment that supports the diverse needs of all students?
In the last few years, I have introduced pet therapy as a unique approach to support the emotional well-being of my younger students and those who would benefit from it. The presence of guinea pigs has been scientifically proven to release oxytocin and endorphins while reducing cortisol levels, offering a remarkable impact on the students’ overall well-being.
Coloured overlays have been proven to aid individuals with dyslexia, as they help mitigate visual stress and improve reading fluency. Additionally, I offer a dyslexia dictionary that utilizes phonetics, facilitating a more accessible and empowering learning experience for these students or students who struggle with spelling.
Teachers need to be skilled to explain concepts in a variety of ways depending on the student in front of them.
How do you balance being an entrepreneur, mother, and Ms Great Britain finalist, and what advice do you have for other women looking to pursue their passions?
Balancing multiple roles as an entrepreneur, mother, and Ms Great Britain finalist can be a demanding and exhilarating journey. As a coach, empowering women to pursue their passions, I have discovered key strategies that have contributed to my own success. Maintaining boundless enthusiasm and energy has played a significant role, but I believe it’s essential not to limit oneself and to quickly bounce back from setbacks. Transforming negativity and failure into fuel for success has been a game-changer for me.
For women embarking on their own journey to pursue their passions, I offer the following advice:
- Embrace your unique vision: Understand that your vision may not be readily understood by others, including those closest to you. Don’t be deterred by their scepticism or misunderstanding. Your vision was given to you for a reason, and their opinions are shaped by their own limitations. Stay focused and determined.
- Consistency breeds momentum: Building momentum requires unwavering consistency in your words, actions, and values. I highly recommend the book “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy, which delves into the power of consistency. By being consistent, you’ll gradually amplify your efforts and experience exponential growth.
- Find your meaningful WHY: While many of us start our entrepreneurial journey to escape something, it’s crucial to develop a compelling WHY that drives your motivation as your business thrives. Infuse your work with purpose and meaning, and let it fuel your passion.
- Embrace fear and act: Fear is a natural emotion that affects us all. However, the difference between those who succeed and those who don’t lies in their ability to push through fear and take action. Feel the fear, acknowledge it, and then bravely move forward anyway.
- Embrace discomfort: Pursuing your passions often means stepping outside your comfort zone. Be prepared for moments of discomfort and prioritize your goals. This may involve prioritizing work over household chores or temporarily delaying certain tasks. Embrace the temporary discomfort, knowing that it is a catalyst for growth and progress.
As I prepare for the Ms Great Britain Final in October, I am aligned with the theme of Kintsugi. This ancient Japanese art form involves repairing broken pottery with gold, resulting in an even more beautiful and resilient piece. Similarly, women have an inherent strength to overcome obstacles and setbacks, emerging stronger and more beautiful than ever before. Each woman possesses her own unique Kintsugi pattern, symbolizing her ability to triumph and grow from adversity.
In the pursuit of balance and passion, remember to stay true to your vision, cultivate consistency, find meaningful purpose, face fear head-on, and embrace the temporary discomfort that accompanies growth. You possess the strength and resilience to create your own Kintsugi masterpiece—a life filled with beauty, success, and fulfilment.
How do you envision continuing to make a positive impact on the world through your work in the education and well-being industry and as a public figure?
My vision is to create an expansive empire in the realms of education and well-being, transforming the lives of children and women across the world. I firmly believe that every child deserves access to an exceptional education, and through my various ventures, I aim to make this a reality. By combining my expertise in education, coaching, advocacy, and product development, I am committed to leaving a lasting positive impact on society.
In addition to my educational initiatives, I am deeply committed to empowering women. By providing coaching, resources, and platforms, I aim to support women in discovering and pursuing their passions, whether it be in entrepreneurship, personal development, or making a difference in their communities. I firmly believe that when women are empowered, society benefits, creating a ripple effect of positive change.
To amplify the impact of my work, I understand the power of collaboration and networking. While many emphasize the importance of networking, I take it a step further by connecting diverse networks and uplifting one another. By building bridges and fostering collaboration among like-minded individuals and organizations, we can create a collective force for change, exponentially multiplying the positive impact we make on the world.
As a public figure, I recognize the platform and influence I possess. I am committed to using my visibility to raise awareness about critical issues in education and well-being. By sharing my experiences, insights, and expertise through various media channels and public engagements, I hope to inspire others to join me in this transformative journey.
Contact Danielle and find her online here:
Email: [email protected]
LinkedIn: Danielle Baron