It’s easy to see why a sports program that’s non-competitive, high-energy, and fun appeals to kids. That’s the way of it with Soccer Shots—your Totally Awesome pick for Portland’s best kids sports class. With experienced coaches and engaging activities, Soccer Shots has established itself with families from all over as an organization with heart. We recently got to chat with Joel Newman, Coach and Director of Soccer Shots Portland, about how he got started with Soccer Shots, the fun of soccer, and more.
Red Tricycle: Congratulations on being voted “Most Awesome” by your community! What do think your customers value most about your business?
Joel Newman: Healthy exercise, group play and socialization should be a part of every child’s development. Soccer Shots gives families the opportunity to have an experience where, yes, kids are learning fundamental soccer skills, but more importantly they’re learning to have confidence in themselves, be part of a group and make fitness a habit at a young age.
RT: What inspired you to start your business?
JN: After getting an MBA from OSU, I became a consultant for the Australian Government. After 8 years of wearing a suit and giving advice to companies, I decided I needed a change. So I hung up my suit, put on warm-up pants and a jersey, and found a space where I could mix two of my life passions—helping children develop and playing soccer. I couldn’t be happier. When I think about the thousands of kids we leave a lasting positive impact on, I feel like we are changing the world for the better.
RT: Any advice for new business owners just getting started?
JN: Build your business for the people who are passionate about your art or project and let the rest move on with their life.
RT: Can you give us one tip for balancing entrepreneurship with parenthood?
JN: I’m still working on finding an amazing woman to have kids with. Let’s check back on this one in 4-5 years.
RT: What is your proudest moment as a business owner?
JN: As a business owner, I’ve had many very proud moments, here are some examples: Seeing the delight on the faces of the children we serve; hearing very personal feedback from parents on how much our program is impacting their kids; looking into Quickbooks and seeing that in just 34 months we’ve created 7 salaried full time jobs, with health insurance, for folks in our community.