Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in financial services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Carol Cho, Financial Advisor at IRC Wealth, located in Jersey City, NJ, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a Financial Advisor with IRC Wealth. My mission, passion, and purpose is to help women alleviate the stress and burden of making the right financial decisions so they can live their life and spend their money with more joy.
As a former artist, divorcee, and businesswoman, I am committed to serving women facing similar challenges as I did, and I am honored to be able to share my expertise and support them in their journey toward financial empowerment.
I want to educate and inspire women to believe that true wealth is about more than just numbers. It’s about creating a harmonious relationship with their finances and using that as a tool to fulfill their life’s purpose.
Tell us about yourself
I would say that I reached a point where I was tired of being a passive participant in my financial life. I started to really analyze and reflect on what I knew about how to use money and how I made decisions about money, and the one that I continue to enjoy getting curious about is the “why” I make those kinds of decisions or have those kinds of feelings, so going into our limiting beliefs around money.
I also never thought to consider how my upbringing as the daughter of blue-collar immigrant parents has shaped my financial story. Additionally, I was learning that being a woman has influenced how I earn, spend, save and invest money and how all of this has a profound impact on my financial future.
All of these topics are and continue to be something I am obsessed with thinking about and talking about. So that naturally turned into a career in the financial services industry.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I’ve been in the financial services industry for over eight years, and although I have received recognition and been part of amazing partnerships and collaborations, my greatest accomplishment is simply not giving up and persevering in a male-dominated industry that often lacks diversity. And, despite the homogeneity of the industry, just showing up each day as a minority woman and having the courage to be as authentic and genuine as possible is something I continue to work on and something I am proud of.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One?! There are too many, but these are the top 3 I am personally working on. The first is time management. I LOVE what I do! However, I realize that I cannot work all the time (although sometimes I wonder, LOL!). So, I try to schedule things that force me to shut down my computer and spend time with my significant other and our fur baby. Another area I am working on is learning to say no and making sure that I’m focusing on the right activities that grow my business vs. busy work, which can sneak up very easily every moment of every single day.
Lastly, learning to celebrate my successes and wins, both big and small. I often find myself simply moving on to the next item on my to-do list. I am working on taking time out to celebrate my wins and successes and really relish the moment. Maybe it’s an extra long walk with my family, or if it’s something big, I like to celebrate with my family and friends, and that might mean taking loved ones out to dinner. Or…buying a book at my local used bookstore!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
“Vision & Grit.” If you only have vision but no grit, you won’t make it through the tough times and won’t last very long. If you only have grit but no vision, you will not enjoy what you are doing. You won’t feel like you have a purpose, and you’ll find yourself one day wondering what the point of it all was.
You have to get clear on your vision as soon as you can. You have to ask yourself, “Why am I doing what I’m doing?”, “Who do I want to serve?”, “What kinds of conversations do I want to have?”, “What kinds of problems do I want to solve?”
In my practice today, I work with creative women and women business owners, and I find joy in every conversation and find the work we do together so fulfilling. When I first started, I was desperate because I had to pay bills! Plus, I didn’t have a vision, which led me to not enjoy what I was doing. Fortunately, I did have a lot of grit. I just didn’t want to give up. After a few years, I realized that I had built a practice that wasn’t bringing me joy. I was having conversations that I didn’t enjoy. And I found myself not feeling fulfilled and not having any fun. And for me, I have to have fun.
Lastly, always be a student. The only way you’ll get better is if you are learning and growing. You’ll only get better if you’re open to learning and being questioned, which can be tough for the ego. Remember, if you’re not growing, you’re dying.
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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