Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jarrett Ransom, President and CEO of The Rayvan Group, LLC., located in Tempe, AZ, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is your community. I help nonprofit leaders put profit back into nonprofits so they can serve their community in a bigger and bolder way.
Tell us about yourself
I am a self-professed Nonprofit Nerd. It’s true; I like to nerd out over all things nonprofit! I started my company, The Rayvan Group, in 2009 after I was a reduction in force (i.e., fired) during the economic downturn. At that time, I was Chief Development Officer for a $21 million operating nonprofit based in Tempe.
Without knowing where my next paycheck would come from, I did what a lot of people did in 2008/2009; I curled up in the fetal position and wondered what I would do next. Thankfully, my parents are also entrepreneurs, so I am very familiar with what it’s like to eat steak one month and spam the next. My parents both instilled grit and tenacity into my childhood, and it’s certainly come in handy.
This year, teams across the nation raised over $4.5 million under my leadership and guidance. I fell in love with fundraising after participating in the Breast Cancer three-day walk with my mom several years ago. We were required to raise $2,100 and walk 60 miles. My mom agreed to walk but refused to raise her share. I agreed to take on the entire $4,200, and during this journey, I fell in love with asking people for money. Not many people can say that!
Thankfully, the groundwork was laid in my youth as I knocked on neighbor’s doors to buy girl scout cookies and all kinds of gift wrapping, magazine subscriptions, and other ‘crap you don’t need’ to support the costs of my field trips and sporting clubs.
I am definitely not your typical nonprofit consultant. I bring a casual yet professional approach to my work, and I am committed to helping nonprofits find the solutions that work for them to build sustainable business models. You can often find me with my training and coaching hat on teaching other nonprofit leaders how to ignite their passion for change and ask for a donation to their cause with confidence!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is being in a position to say NO more than I say YES. That didn't happen immediately. In the first several years of my business, I had the mentality that money is green, and I need it. That mindset made me take on projects and clients that were not in true alignment with me. After 14 years of being in business, my big realization is that whenever I follow the money, the alignment is very rarely there. But when I follow my passion, the client is served, and I am equally fulfilled.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing about being a business owner for me is the constant juggling of all of the responsibilities - from marketing, sales, project delivery, client satisfaction, and collecting payments. There are a lot of nonstop moving pieces.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be brave - every day, make brave decisions that will help propel your business forward.
- Hire a coach - work with someone who will hold you accountable and cheer you on!
- Don't give up - even on those tough days when becoming a coffee barista sounds like a better fit, don't give up!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
As CEO of The Rayvan Group, LLC, I consult with tax-exempt businesses to see the future of their organization. Not just their immediate needs, but down the road extending 3, 5, 10 years, and beyond. Additionally, I serve as co-host of The Nonprofit Show - the daily live video broadcast where the National Nonprofit community comes together for problem-solving, innovation, and reflection. I bring my dynamic energy and enthusiasm to the daily show featuring nonprofit thought leaders and topics from around the globe.
I have served on more than five capital campaign teams totaling $86+ mil. Under my leadership and guidance, my clients have raised over $8 million so far this year.
I hold an MBA in business from the University of Phoenix and a Certificate in Grant Writing from The Grantsmanship Center Institute. Awards include 40 Under 40, AZ Central Who’s Next Nominee, Greater Phoenix Athena Nominee, AmAZing Women of Arizona recipient, and the Global Women’s Summit Leadership Award.
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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