Christine Kelly - Wide copy


Today we’re talking with Christine Kelly, Founder and Chairman of Little Kickers, which is an educational soccer – or ‘football’, program designed to provide young children with a fun and positive introduction to sport while also promoting the development of learning color and number recognition, as well as life skills like sharing and taking turns.

Christine saw a need in the market in 2002 when she started this program in the UK and since then Little Kickers has expanded to over 330 franchisees across 30+ countries and classes are attended by over 65,000 children each week. Little Kickers has won many awards such as Franchisor of the Year, Top Global Franchise and in 2020 was recognized as “Global Franchise Champion” by Global Franchise Magazine and has been ranked amongst Canada’s fastest growing businesses by PROFIT Magazine.

Christine is a forward-thinking entrepreneur that is solutions oriented, all about choosing the right partners and taking time to build relationships. She is super passionate about getting as many kids as possible to participate in sport and has been creative and innovative to get around the various challenges that have tried to block the growth of Little Kickers. Christine is honest, genuine and an absolute delight to talk to. I am excited to share Christine’s story with you because she is so candid, does not take herself too seriously and is brilliant in her approach to getting things done.

In this episode, Christine and I discuss the following:

  • Growing up in the UK in a competitive family and going to boarding school at an early age
  • Value of work placements, what you can learn and taking advantage of the opportunities that can come along
  • How a job can have an impact on your development and help you recognize you have more capabilities than you thought you did
  • Why you need to take risks and put in the work to be successful
  • Recognizing when you are not passionate about your career choice
  • Finding a job that works for you based in your natural skill set
  • Starting a service based business as a side hustle and having to walk away from it
  • What happens when you start a product based business and discover it is not where you want to spend your time
  • Recognizing when and why you should change your career
  • How Little Kickers was created based on a personal need, but the demand was there to start and grow a thriving business
  • How to set up a franchise business when your business is profitable
  • Taking advantage of opportunities, figuring out how to meet demand and making it work
  • Importance and value of people you meet and how they can help you grow your business faster
  • Knowing when it is the right time to expand globally and making sure you have the right people to work with
  • Being lucky vs being open to opportunities and making your own luck
  • Why it is important to think in a different way to overcome challenges
  • Importance of selecting good partners that you like, want to spend time with and can help grow the business
  • Harnessing other people’s skills, knowledge, and experience to help you grow
  • Why you should be continually looking for new ways to innovate or provide participants with more value
  • Why you should listen to other people’s feedback
  • Importance of staying true to your mission
  • How to expand globally and the differences between setting up in developed countries vs countries that are still developing
  • Running pilots to test a new model or service before full implementation
  • What makes Little Kickers work
  • Why it is important to know your industry, work with experts and stay connected to the latest research
  • Some of the biggest challenges that new entrepreneurs face
  • Identifying that not everyone wants you to succeed
  • Dealing with death threats
  • Recognizing what success really looks like and taking the time to celebrate
  • How Little Kickers is surviving Covid and what business decisions they are making to do the right thing and retain their customers at the same time
  • How sport and exercise are different
  • Why it is important to make sure kids have a positive first experience
  • Understanding winning vs losing, building resilience and how you can learn from losing
  • Why teenage girls need sport now more than ever
  • How sport helps you set goals, create dreams, and be disciplined

I loved this conversation with Christine, and I hope you do too!

If you would like more information on Christine, you can visit:

Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/christine-kelly-3a14477/

Website – https://www.littlekickers.ca/

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