Taisha and Deepak Vazirani had valuable professional experience and in-demand skills. Taisha was a corporate market research consultant and Deepak had been a financial professional for multinational Fortune 500 corporations. Although they were successful, they didn’t feel fulfilled. All their hard work in the corporate world was for someone else’s benefit. They knew they could do better. In 2014, they left their corporate careers to open Kiddie Academy of West Cary, NC and they’ve never looked back.
The morning used to be a scramble for the Vaziranis—getting everybody up and out of the house before a laborious 90-minute commute. Now, with their Academy only a 10-minute drive from their house, the mornings are more relaxed. Deepak gets the Vazirani kids off to school while Taisha heads to the gym for a workout, walks the family dog and takes care of errands before arriving at the Academy.
It’s not uncommon for Deepak to bring in breakfast for their teachers. These signs of gratitude are the norm at Kiddie Academy of West Cary.
The Vaziranis very deliberately created a culture that’s more suited to their personal goals. “We operate our school as a large family—a community,” says Taisha. “It’s something I never felt working my corporate job that I knew I wanted to ensure our Academy had.”
Their staff agrees. “They are very supportive. They give us a lot of freedom. They have always said, ‘Go ahead, we are there with you every step,’” says Taju Subramanium, a teacher in the Pre-K classroom.
Taisha says, “We’re never satisfied with the status quo. That’s just the way run our business so we’re constantly brainstorming about what more we could be doing. We continue to look to Kiddie Academy for making suggestions.”
“They’re not going to dictate things and micromanage us,” Deepak says. “It feels like it’s our business, but they’re here as a resource when we need them,” adds Taisha.
Now that they’re doing what they love, they find the burnout and stress have plummeted. Taisha leaves the Academy around 3:30 to pick up the kids and make them dinner before heading off to soccer practice. Deepak sticks around the Academy through the evening pickup, giving him time to connect with parents. “For the first time in my life, I’m not only passionate about what I do but also have enough time to watch my children grow up—that’s a huge reason we started our own business,” says Taisha.
“When I was working a corporate job, I was spending 13-14 hours a day at work and couldn’t really enjoy life,” says Deepak. “Now, we both wake up excited. We’re really building a business and a life that’s fulfilling. It’s incredible to see how far we’ve come. We always joke like, ‘Can we call ourselves entrepreneurs yet?’ And I think we feel comfortable with that title now.”
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