Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in finance but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Katy Chen Mazzara, a financial wellness coach and content creator based in Pasadena, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a trauma-informed Master financial wellness coach who helps creative freelancers and entrepreneurs release generational traumas and fears through practical and spiritual tools so that they can find emotional and financial freedom and create the life of their dreams.
Tell us about yourself
I'm a 20-year veteran in the media and entertainment industries. As a freelance TV and digital producer, documentary filmmaker, and former journalist, I went through the cycles of working for a few months, then going on unemployment and finding another job. Living that lifestyle for 15 years put me on a journey to learn how to manage my finances and change my mindset from one where "feast or famine" is a common theme to a mindset of continuous abundance and freedom! Once I figured it out for myself by reading all of the personal finance books and even stock prospectuses I could get my hands on, my colleagues would ask me how I seemed to manage my money well and if I would help them with their 401(k) plans or mindset habits (when they weren't working.)
So, when I was thinking of starting a business, I knew I wanted to help other creative freelancers and small business owners with their finances because I have experienced being a creative type and also a freelancer. However, there's also a more emotional reason for doing what I do. I've known 3 women in my life who stayed in abusive relationships because they didn't believe they had the money or the resources to take care of themselves and their young children. So my mission is to empower people to make decisions, NOT based on money. Instead, I want everyone to make decisions based on their core values, dreams, and the dreams they have for their children.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I have built this business from $0 to a six-figure business in the last 4 years. I've spoken to hundreds on stages and at big companies, like Sean "Diddy" Comb's Revolt. However, the biggest accomplishment to me is helping each of my clients achieve financial freedom. When they make more money doing what they love, pay off tens of thousands of dollars of debts, save or invest for their future (sometimes for the first time in their adult lives), negotiate $17K more in their salaries during a pandemic, and so much more, it brings me the most joy, fulfillment, and pride. I know I'm in my purpose, and I'm so passionate about helping more people to pursue their dreams and not have to worry about how they're going to pay their bills.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I believe the biggest challenge has been in hiring the right team. In the beginning, entrepreneurs just don't have the capital, but we have a lot on our plates that we just can't do all by ourselves. I had someone try and take advantage of me and also not complete work that I had already paid for. Because of these and various other things, I've also had to learn to be more resilient. In the last year, with the violence against Asians, especially women and the elderly, I've used my social media platforms to speak out. I got some trolls, and while, at first, it made me want to shut down, I decided that I needed to give voice to the Asian Americans who may not speak perfect English or the ones who were killed and hurt so badly they can't speak up anymore.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Start before you're ready. When I first started, I could've worked on my website forever, but fortunately, in a Facebook group I am part of, someone posted that they were looking for someone to help them with finances - paying off debts, savings, buying a house - but also someone who really understood the ups and downs of the freelancer TV production life. I was like, "Who else is she speaking to but me?" I quickly put some final touches on my site and put it out there. She became one of my first non-friend or colleague client.
- Speaking of clients, start with the low-hanging fruits. Talk about what you do with friends and family. The more people you can talk to about what you do, the more people who can recommend you and your services or products.
- Don't be afraid to ask for help! Unless you went to business school, and even if you did go to business school, you don't know what you don't know. Also, if you haven't experienced something, you can't know for certain if it will work. With a coach, I've been able to avoid some of the mistakes they've made, and I learn how to build a business in an efficient way. Plus, being an entrepreneur can be lonely sometimes, so having a coach or some mastermind pals to bounce ideas off of makes it all more fun and supportive.
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.