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HER STORY

Michelle Johnson

Learning Disability Specialist and Owner of Your Way 2 Learn

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Lianna Harrington

Who is Michelle Johnson, could you please introduce yourself?

My name is Michelle Johnson, I am a mom, a nurse, a learning disability specialist and I am the owner of “Your Way 2 Learn”. 14 years ago, I became a mother to a wonderful daughter and two years later I was lucky to have my amazing son.  I am happily married for 18 years. I have been working as a nurse in Public Health for 20 years now and in my role as a nurse, I have worked in various areas supporting families through illness, mental health issues, physical activity and general well being.

What is your business and when did you start?

I started my business called Your Way 2 Learn in September of 2020. Learning assistive technology and strategies will  help to empower students to become more independent, to self advocate for their needs at school and beyond and to become successful at whatever they choose to.  My goal with my company is to help students with learning disabilities to navigate their way through the school system so that they can achieve their potential. Children can be very resilient, smart and amazing and if taught to use the right strategies and technology, they can achieve greatness.

What inspired you to start your business?

My children inspired me to start my business. When my daughter was in grade 4, she was diagnosed with Dyslexia, Visual Motor Deficiency causing inefficient eye tracking and ADHD. Two years later so was my son. Like most parents, I wanted the best for my children, so I embarked on the journey to become a learning disability specialist. Throughout this journey, I have learned so much about the school system. Some schools lack the resources or may not  have enough special education teachers to devote the time necessary to help the students with learning disabilities. Since my children have been working with assistive technology, I have seen an improvement at school and in their mental health. I want to be able to help other parents navigate the school system with less frustration and to help children to become successful and confident adults.

What were the challenges in the initial stages of your business and how did you overcome them?

My biggest challenge in the initial stage of the business has been marketing during Covid and attracting the clientele.  It has become difficult to speak with the psychologists who conduct the psychoeducational assessments and to introduce my business to them. I am overcoming this challenge by making connections online wherever I can and letting everyone I speak to know about my business.

What motivates you about your business?

I am motivated to help parents reduce their frustration in a challenging school system and helping children to succeed. Success in school will have a positive effect on their mental health and watching a child progress to a confident and successful student is what motivates me.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

If you believe in something, don’t let your fear hold you back. It took me years to gain the confidence to go back to school and pursue something that was so incredibly important to me. Be organized and thoughtful.

Interesting fact most of the people do not know about you?

A fact that most people I know don’t know about me is that for many years I volunteered  as an EMT on an ambulance helping those who were sick and injured until they could be transported to the hospital, to get the care they needed.

The best business advice I ever received was…

 The best business advice that I ever received was to make sure I backed up all my files. My computer crashed after months of organizing everything . I was incredibly happy that I had backed everything onto the cloud and printed every document. I did not lose any of my hard work.

My definition of success is…

seeing even one child succeed (of course I want to see many more but if I could help even one, then this was worth it).

If I could go back in time when I started my business, I would tell myself to…

I am not sure yet as I have only been in business 1 month.

Three books I recommend for entrepreneurs are…

The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton

Compensation Demystified by Bruce Greenwald

Driven: How to Succeed in Business and in Life by Robert Herjavec

My personal tagline is…

Your Way 2 Learn Where Learning is Made Easier

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