Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in financial services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Chianté Jones, Founder of Dollars and Change, located in Charlotte, NC, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I’m a Financial Coach and the Founder of Dollars and Change, a coaching practice supporting the financial well-being and empowerment of women. As a Certified Personal and Executive Coach, I work with high-achieving, professional women who are ready to confidently manage their money and execute a realistic plan to eliminate debt so they can have more financial flexibility. I help them feel as successful with their money as they do in other areas of their life. I also show them that it’s possible to have fun and fulfillment with their money while still creating a solid financial foundation to build wealth. Yes, you can do both!
Tell us about yourself
My entrepreneurial journey began after getting a disappointing performance review. I remember sitting across the desk from my manager, feeling so undervalued and limited. I didn’t like the feeling of someone else being in control and only giving me what they thought I deserved. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it opened my eyes to different paths and possibilities. I discovered financial coaching and knew that it was a way for me to combine my education and experience in banking and finance with my natural gifts and desire to serve others.
Part of what motivates me is that there’s this misconception that just because you become an adult, you should know how to manage money. But, the reality is money management is a skill that many of us weren’t taught, especially if we’re one of the firsts in our families to reach a certain level of income and success. Traditionally, there’s been a gap in financial support for those who make a good income but still find themselves struggling to manage it. Many people carry around the embarrassment, shame, and guilt of financial mistakes. As a Financial Coach, I love working with clients on the mindset and behavioral side of money as well as implementing strategy and practical tools. There has also been a lack of representation for women and people of color in the financial industry. As a black woman millionaire, I became a Financial Coach to not only be an example of what’s possible but to show other women how to use the money to give themselves more options. The gender wealth gap is real, and I want to do my part to help close it.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is starting the business and then deciding to pursue it full-time. So many people have ideas, desires, and dreams that they bury, let die, or never give a chance. I’m proud of myself for getting started and having the courage to leave a comfortable, successful career to take a chance and bet on myself.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things for me has been managing myself. Learning to show up for myself and hold myself accountable to get things done. In a corporate environment, the structure is provided for you. When you’re on your own, you have to create it yourself. The good thing is that you can do it your way.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be prepared to do the inner work. Entrepreneurship is a personal development journey and can bring up a lot of doubt and insecurities that you didn’t even realize were there. Be willing to challenge your views, perspectives, and limits of what’s possible.
- Trust your own intuition. Get help and support where needed, but ultimately you know what feels right for you. Don’t put so much weight on what someone else says is the “right” way to do something that you lose trust in your own instincts. Only you were given your vision.
- Clarity comes with action. If you’re an overthinker like me, you can get caught up for a long time thinking about and planning an idea rather than actually implementing it. Most times, the imperfect action taken is better than the action that you only think about. Fail forward, fast. Failure is the way to success.
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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