Founder and CEO, Kidokinetics – Florida, USA. 

From Johannesburg to Florida this entrepreneur followed her dream to build an all-round sports fitness program for children that now covers 80 territories across the US. Her young participants develop coordination, self-confidence and, perhaps most important of all, a lifelong love of physical fitness.

We spoke with Terri about her vision and journey in building a successful business.

How did you conceive the idea for your business?  Teaching children has always been my passion. I started teaching when I was 12. Plus growing up with a mother (the late Janis Dorfman) who had a passion for exercise and fitness and a very successful gym in South Africa instilled the importance of being physical – I started karate when I was 8. In working with children I began to realize that not every child is a natural born athlete plus there was a need for a program where kids can get introduced to every sport in a non-competitive environment. I consulted with therapists prior to developing Kidokinetics in South Africa and they agreed with my concept. Kidokinetics was born in South Africa and I started it in the USA in 2000. Schools today lack physical education and they don’t want to hire full time staff. That is where we can fill the void because they would rather contract out to us. The kids start as young as 18 months-12 years of age.

Where is your business today? I currently have a company owned territory with 80 locations that serves Broward, Palm Beach and Dade County in South Florida and have started franchising and now have two locations in Dallas, Texas and a few more on the way.

What aspect of your approach, attitude, character (any or all) do you feel has been instrumental in causing your own success?  Having a positive attitude has always been instrumental in my success. Fighting to always succeed has worked well for me and NEVER giving up. I have always believed be honest and respect people and you will always be successful. No matter what I will stand by that and I believe that is imperative in running a successful business.

What do you consider the most important result of success as an entrepreneur?  Most important result of success is being able to create jobs for people – jobs that people love. Working for Kidokinetics is a “fun” job, but rewarding everyday in working with children and having fun teaching sports at the same time.

What was the biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?  My biggest challenge was starting my business with no partners or financial backing. So in order to take the next “big step”, I needed to find money and the only way was by working harder and making money. So I relied on hard work to go to the next level. Treating your employees well and with respect in turn makes them happy and they give it 100% and that’s what makes my business thrive.

What’s tips do you have for entrepreneurs trying to start a business?  Kidokinetics has 4 words that define it….Confidence, Desire, Discipline and Fun – starting a business you have to have confidence and believe in what you have to offer. You have to have your heart and soul in it. Discipline is so important, discipline to follow through. And you have to balance family and work. Being a mother, a housewife as well as a business owner is a challenge, but I realize you don’t need to work 24/7 everyday. Work will always be waiting for you and life will go on, so take time to be with your family. My husband and 3 children are number one to me and they will come first. There are some sacrifices to running a business as well as perks. You can take off time but you will work into the early hours.

What’s your perspective of being a South African in business in a foreign country?  I think being South African has had a huge impact. South Africans are well-grounded and loyal people with an exceptional work ethic. What great traits to have when running a successful business. Being South African always helps – we have a great reputation!


Where are you from in SA? Johannesburg

Where do you live now? Weston, Florida

How long have you been in the US? 13 years

Where was the company founded? South Africa

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Category: Success Stories

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