Ms Jones had just gotten out of a long-term relationship when she realised she was pregnant with her now 10-year-old son and was determined to give him an amazing life. After a decade Ms Jones’ CoE is in 150 different countries with over a thousands courses and almost £13million turnover.
Ms Jones started her first business at 18-years-old instead of going to university, with a classroom-based training business specialising in Neuro Linguistic Programming and Hypnotherapy.
While life was going somewhat according to plan, the 39-year-old from Macclesfield found herself single, pregnant and struggling to keep up with bills.
The father opted not to be involved with his child, leaving Ms Jones to find a way to support herself and her son whilst trying to find a way she could work from home once he arrived.
She shared: “Although it was a shock, I was determined even as a single mum that I would create an amazing life for him. I wanted to be able to work from home so that I could spend as much time as possible with my son.
“I spotted an opportunity in the market to create affordable, accessible training courses for anyone and that can be studied online from anywhere in the world. I started out with turning the NLP and Hypnotherapy courses that I had been teaching into online courses, then found experts in different areas to help create our other course subjects.
“It was very daunting at first setting up a business as a single mum but my main goal was always to create a happy, stable life for my son so that was always my motivation to push through my fears and keep going.”
The Centre of Excellence was created in 2012, on a shoestring budget that forced Ms Jones to think out of the box in order to keep costs low.
She explained: “I contacted my local university and enlisted the help of two technology students to design and build a simple website for me. They did the work for free in return for a great reference that they could use on their CV.
“I then found a company that places foreign students looking for work experience into small businesses, helping out with any role from marketing to admin, again for free. The students were looking for valuable experience that will help them gain a future career.”
Ms Jones revealed that during this time she “could just about afford my rent each month”, and didn’t invest money into her start-up simply because she had none.
Regardless of her financial issues, she put her first course live on Groupon and reinvested all sales quickly growing into 80 countries in just three years.
Now, the latest turnover for Centre of Excellence was just under £13million after 10 years of remote working and raising her children.
Since founding the business, Ms Jones has had three more children and noted that “it’s been a lot of hard work and determination managing a business and babies” but it has allowed her flexibility to be there for her children, freedom to travel and work online.
In fact, Ms Jones and her family even lived in Bali for a year: “I was able to work from our bamboo home in the jungle, high above the coconut trees and have the most magical experience submersed in a new culture.
“My son went to the Green School over there which is famous for holistic schooling and my online business enabled us to experience a completely different way of living.”
Not only has she been able to provide everything she had hoped for her growing family, Ms Jones truly loves what she does, noting how anyone could potentially change their lives through the courses on offer.
She said: “I absolutely love to see our customers learning new skills and bettering their lives. The stories are so heart-warming from people all over the globe and it’s always incredible to see their confidence improve, new lives shaped and to be a part of their journey.
“The world is changing so much at the moment with the introduction of new technologies and AI, so much so that in the future there will be a lot of jobs replaced by new technology and even robots! So, I think we will see more and more people looking to find new ways to make money either on the side or to go at it full time.
“E-learning is so affordable and accessible nowadays that anyone can upskill from wherever they are in the world as long as they have internet access, be it on their laptop or even on their phone. So, for anyone looking to change career or to build their own side hustle there has never been an easier way to do this.”
She concluded: “It’s been such an incredible 10 years full of ups and downs and lots of lessons learnt.”