Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jen Mayer, founder of Fully Funded, located in Brooklyn, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is Fully Funded. We are a financial counseling + coaching business that works mainly with self-employed folks and parents (though we do support W-2 people as well!) We help people create strong financial foundations so that they can reach their financial and life goals. We often work with clients who are women, BIPOC, LGBTGIA2S+ or haven't felt particularly supported in the traditional financial services sphere.
We specialize in supporting self-employed people in separating their personal and business finances since the two are so often intertwined. We guide people through creating sustainable structures that help folks manage their finances on a day-to-day, week-to-week, and month-to-month basis.
We help parents prepare for parenthood and put in place the financial structures that will help them live with confidence, stability, and a plan for their children's futures.
Tell us about yourself
I'm a Brooklyn, NY based mom of two, and I've been self-employed my entire career. I started my career in the holistic health space as a Licensed Massage Therapist in private practice for over a decade and as a Birth Doula for over 15 years concurrently. In 2013 I expanded out of private practice and launched Baby Caravan, a doula referral collective serving New York City. I've learned so much about leadership and managing a team through my experience running Baby Caravan. My goal with Baby Caravan was to help parents save time searching for an amazing Birth or Postpartum doulas and support doulas in cultivating their private practice. I've met the most incredible people through this work.
In 2020, I knew I wanted to venture out and continue to support parents without being on call. I had the idea, and inspiration from my own two pregnancies, to support self-employed people in planning a parental leave. Through working with folks, I quickly learned that so much of parental leave planning is actually financial planning, and I was inspired to pursue my accreditation as a Financial Counselor.
I love working with people as a Financial Counselor and Coach. I'm able to use a lot of the tools I cultivated as a doula, such as providing education, non-judgmental support, advocacy, and supporting people through a process. Financial literacy is not something that is typically taught in schools, so people either learn from their family of origin, their peers, or through education, they seek out over time.
I'm inspired to support folks with their financial journey, whether they are managing credit card and student loan debt, wanting to learn how to budget and manage their household income, or working on creating financial foundations through saving and investing for the future. Gaining financial freedom is a dream for so many, and I'm honored to support folks in their vision!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been navigating the lack of childcare and school closures due to Covid over the past two years and continuing to work and keep my businesses open. It feels like such a big deal to have managed 2020-2021 with limited childcare and to have launched Fully Funded and kept some momentum up. Shout out to all the parents and educators out there!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things, but also one of the most thrilling things, is the unpredictability of being a business owner. It's really hard, especially in the beginning to navigate unpredictable cash flow and not know how much money you'll make. Once business owners find their product-market fit and get a good stream of consistent customers, that gets easier eventually!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Once you have an idea of what you want to do for your business, I recommend spending plenty of time in the market research phase validating your business idea. Send out surveys to get feedback about your idea. Create a minimal viable product (MVP), start testing it with potential customers, and get as much feedback as possible.
- Reach out and build your professional support community. Being a solopreneur and running a business by yourself is lonely. People usually don't understand founders and what makes us get up in the morning every day. Meet up with other founders, and make some friendships with folks who will be there for you with all the ups and downs that entrepreneurship brings.
- Pace yourself- starting a business is a marathon, not a sprint! Burnout is real, and while it takes a ton of effort and momentum to get a new venture off the ground, remember to take breaks and take care of yourself too.
It's exciting!! Good luck!
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.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.