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How This Sylvan Learning Center Franchisee Found Success as an Education Business Owner

New Jersey-based franchisee Anthony DiGiacomo believes his mentality of working hard and “giving things attention when they need it” has led him to success during his 20+ years in business.

By Victoria CampisiStaff Writer
SPONSORED 12:12PM 02/02/23

Anthony DiGiacomo, a multi-unit Sylvan Learning franchisee of over two decades, has a straightforward approach to success: work hard. 

DiGiacomo believes working hard ultimately leads to the freedom that allows Sylvan franchisees to spend more time with their families. Sylvan has been in the business of supplemental and enrichment education for over four decades. And hardworking franchisees like DiGiacomo have been a huge part of that success.  

“There's a direct correlation between the effort we put in and the results for our students,” said the franchisee. “What better way is there to make money than by helping children? If you want to make more money, help more children. And that’s an awesome job.” 

DiGiacomo, who opened his first New Jersey Sylvan location in 1999, graduated college as a high school English teacher. After deciding he didn’t want to be in the classroom, despite his love for education, he got into tutoring. The tutoring route eventually led him to Sylvan, and he has opened multiple franchises over the years. 

His Keys to Success

Instead of striving for a “work-life balance,” DiGiacomo says he “gives things attention that it needs when it needs it.” 

“I’ve found that with people who are always trying to strike that work-life balance, they are more likely to be working less instead of balancing the two,” he said. “They never work hard enough and never have enough life on the other side of things – they just do less of everything. There isn’t a real balance. If you want to have fun, you should be able to have fun, but you have to work hard.” 

It's this mentality that DiGiacomo says has led to him not missing a single concert, sports event or other important moments for his children since being in business. The work will always be there, he said, but being the owner allows you to prioritize accordingly. At times, business will capture most of your attention; other times, family will.

“For me, one of the things I think that helped me was working as hard as I needed to–in a positive way–not just doing enough,” he said. “I still feel like I work harder than anyone when I need to.” 

The Importance of Passion

Passion has been a huge component of success for DiGiacomo. The franchisee has always had a heart for education and helping children, which has ultimately made him want to work harder. 

“We just get to help students – how awesome is that?” he said. “So there's a reward that if we answer one more phone call, stay a little bit later or chat with a mom a little bit longer, we get to help more students. And that's the best part.” 

DiGiacomo added that he feels a greater sense of responsibility but that it is very rewarding. He noted that this passion and hard work shows parents and students that he and his team cares about them. And it shows in the results, too. 

“I have seen a direct relationship between our efforts and the success of our students,” he said. 

Advice to New Sylvan Owners 

For those who are starting out with Sylvan, DiGiacomo’s advice is always to work harder. He noted that, when it comes to starting your own business, it’s never a good idea to be looking for ways to work less. 

He added that new franchisees should be ready to spend a lot of time and effort getting themselves off the ground. Whether that’s being open more hours, answering more phone calls, or working hours you wouldn’t normally work, there are certain learning curves that come with starting a franchise.  

“This is especially the case for people who may be coming out of education. There are bells for everything,” he said. “You have to be a strategic thinker. You want to make sure you're using your time wisely and hopefully putting good systems in place.”

DiGiacomo added that one of the perks of being a Sylvan owner is that many of the core systems are already in place for you. Franchisees do not need to create their own curriculum or find their own software, for example.

Looking Ahead

Currently, DiGiacomo owns two territories near his home in northern New Jersey. His goal for the future is simply to continue to be the best place for children to learn and for parents to see that. 

“You can’t settle for second best when it comes to your child,” said the franchisee. “As long as we exist, you can’t go elsewhere.” 

To learn more about Sylvan franchise opportunities, visit


With more than 40 years of experience and more than 710 points of presence, Sylvan Learning is the leading provider of personal learning for students in grades K–12. Sylvan is transforming how students learn, inspiring them to succeed in school and in life. Sylvan’s proven tutoring approach blends amazing teachers with SylvanSync™ technology on the iPad® for an engaging learning experience. Sylvan also leads the way with Sylvan EDGE — STEM and accelerated courses and Sylvan Prep — college and test prep courses. Sylvan supports families through every stage of the academic journey. Sylvan is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Franchise Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: FRG).  For more information, visit

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