Lessons from Fun Toast

Are all kopi and toast brands the same?

Personally I feel that Yakun, Toastbox and Wang are pretty similar. I’ll usually settle for whichever is more convenient. To me, they are not differentiated from one another.

Today I brought my family to Jewel for brunch at Fun Toast. Something about this brand differentiated itself.

It’s not about the kopi, or other things on the menu. It’s not even about the service (their service was subpar). It was about how they designed their storefront.

They played with the word “Fun”, introducing hopscotch and tic-tac-toe decals on the floor.

Personally I think they can do so much more to expound on the theme of “Fun”, like a fun menu, or perhaps a gamified experience at the store.

How can an academic coach like me, apply these tips to my own business?

For a start, I need to the have the guts to be different.

Although I did well in school, I am never someone who love to scrutinize the latest exam trends, or to have all the Ten Years Series questions at my fingertips. I know that some of my friends do it really really well. I used to feel that I am unprofessional, because I don’t focus on that aspect of learning.

What I need to ask myself, are:
1) Does every student and parent value academic rigour above all else?
2) Does some student and parents desire learning to be more about curiosity, more about having fun with numbers, more about experimentation, more about learning how to solving real world problems?Are there enough of them to be worth my effort?
3) How can I deliver these values to students and parents who desire them?

I used to have a huge struggle, that if I do anything unorthodox, won’t I be wasting their time on trivial stuff, instead of coaxing them to focus on the really serious, exam based learning, so that they can score well in exams?

Isn’t that what a tutor, a teacher, or an academic coach supposed to do? To deliver results?

What kind of results do I want to deliver?

I need the guts to say to parents and students, that if you are going to exams results above all else, this is not for you.

I help my students to understand the logic behind maths, to learn problem solving skills, to learn to see maths in everyday life, and to have the confidence, and skills, to solve problems.

This is what I believe in. This is what I do quite effortlessly. Doing these give me joy.

It may be that 90% of parents and students do not see value in this.

I will focus on serving the 10%.

Yes, courage is needed to stay the course.

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