Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Julie Gross, Owner of College Financial Consultants, located in Cedar Grove, NJ, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

College Financial Consultants helps families navigate the financial aid process as their students are applying to college. This includes helping them understand if they qualify for need-based aid, identifying the colleges that are most generous, and completing financial aid applications and loan counseling.

There are so many myths and rumors out there regarding college financial aid, and we give you the facts. We are not financial planners and do not sell financial products. Our sole purpose is to help families understand the financial aid system and, ultimately, reduce their net cost of college. Our clients are families from around the globe with children preparing for college.

Tell us about yourself

I have a long history in the financial industry, but College Financial Consultants is a family-run business operating for over 30 years. I am motivated by the countless success stories we have been involved in over the years.

The college process has evolved into an extremely complex and intimidating process. I love helping families understand how things work and, ultimately, helping their children achieve their dreams. I believe that finances should not serve as a barrier to children attaining the education and future they deserve.

Personally, I have five children, all in their 20s, so I am able to help families professionally and from a parenting frame of reference as well. I am a huge animal lover and rescue advocate. I am very grateful that I get to work surrounded by my furbabies every day.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I have developed relationships with the families I work with, helping so many students to attend colleges they never believed would be possible due to cost. I have been told by clients that I have made a profound difference in their lives, and that is the best accomplishment I could hope for.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

It's hard owning a business! During our busy season, I rarely have time off, and that can become stressful over months at a time. It has taken years for me to learn how to manage my time so that it is not completely overwhelming.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Ask trusted people for advice. Cultivate relationships with other professionals you respect.
  2. Do something you are really good at (this may not be the same thing you love).
  3. Be patient!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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