How my 10-year-old kept me driving forward this year

A lot changes in a year.

It did for businesses, COVID-19 vaccines, schools, people, sports, where you work from. You name it, we are surviving the pace of change faster and faster. I’d like to think that a lot of the changes this year were positive, where perhaps the human connection restarted in many cases – and it felt good.

A lot changed for LearnExperts too that were also positive. It felt good. It took a village of people supporting, cheering, investing, and helping to drive our success forward.

Speaking of cheering, that’s exactly what my boys did. I couldn’t do what I do without my husband and my 2 boys (16 & 10) who see mom working towards her dream, encouraging me all the way.

Last April, I shared with my 10-year-old that I was trying to raise a million dollars for the company. He saw the hours I put in, all the meetings, the practice, overheard conversations between my husband and I. He loves to draw pictures with encouraging messages. One day he came to my office with the picture in this post. I will never forget that moment. I will never forget how I felt either – reading those words were the right thing at the right time and I thought if a 10-year-old believes I can do this – then I can definitely do this.

As you may know, our fundraise was oversubscribed (raising investment interest up to $2M and closing at $1.25M).

We all need to believe like a 10-year-old! Think of the impact we could make.

I’m amazed at what we accomplished through a year of change:

Quarter 1 (January – March 2021): We realized customers were super excited about our early adopter version of our product and they wanted to sign up (and pay!). We then changed our strategy from bootstrap to fundraise so that we could accelerate and jump on the momentum. I didn’t know what was about to happen but jumped in with both feet. We were a small, but mighty, 3-person team in January.

Quarter 2 (April – June 2021): We raised $1.25M. A flurry of activity, pitching, deep dives, networking and before we knew it, we closed our round and were in a position to bring a team in house.

Quarter 3 (July – September 2021): We closed on government funding, hired a fantastic head of products, acquired additional customers into our early adopter program, and built up our customer support team. We learned a lot from our customers very quickly which was awesome.

Quarter 4 (October – December 2021): We have a team of 12 people (full-time & contractors). We found incredible software development talent and focused on product value for our current customers and new potential customers and will finish the year with amazing progress. I’m so proud of our team and we are ready for 2022!

What did I learn?

At the heart of success is people.

  • People who have passion, drive, great work ethic and the desire to support others.

  • People who know how to say the right thing at the right time.

  • People who believe in what’s possible.

  • People who show humility, even though they are crazy smart.

  • People who are creative and love to design, iterate, and collaborate.

  • People who respect the opinion of others and build on their ideas.

I’m really excited about the team that we’ve built this year at LearnExperts, who I think display all these things. Finding great people for our team has given us the ability to really hit our stride now and the market is validating.

  • I am grateful for my LearnExperts team, we are in this together.

  • I am grateful for all of our investors who believe in us and all of those who have supported our journey this year – this has made a HUGE impact.

  • I am grateful for my family, my husband and my 2 sons, who cheer on “mom” every day.

  • I am grateful for change because it helps us see things differently and creates new opportunity. If a lot hadn’t changed this year, I don’t know if LearnExperts would have launched forward as quickly.

So, bring on 2022 and positive change and great people because we are ready to crush it!

Sarah Sedgman

CEO, LearnExperts