LOCATION: NEW YORK, NY
Confidense helps small businesses manage and understand their finances, we provide small businesses with big business skills and functions. We take a personalized and hands on approach where we not only manage business’ financials but we help to teach them about their financials so that they can further their own crafts and ultimately make more money. We are passionate about helping small and mid sized businesses own their financials the way that big businesses do. My business is different because of the personal attention that is given to each and every client, as a new small business I am able to select clientele, as opposed to a larger business that offers similar services to mine without any of the personal attention.
How did your past experiences help you get to where you are today?
I grew up in an entrepreneurial family. My father is an entrepreneur; my father’s father was an entrepreneur…that’s my Marisa Tomei “My Cousin Vinny” moment. My parents immigrated to the US and started their own businesses. Because they had undertaken the effort to travel across the world for a better life, they had the opportunity to create a foundation for our family and provide for us in ways that may not have been available where they were from. Through the years I saw the ebbs and flows of the businesses and thought to myself that I didn’t want that volatile world, I wanted to be in the business world but I sought stability so I joined Corporate America. It was amazing, I learned so much. Through my years in Corporate America I often felt that something was missing. I realized I love Finance and Accounting, and I love working with companies to reorganize their finances, teach people how to budget and excel and reach their goals. Later I realized that I wanted to help entrepreneurs reach their potential so they too could have the same opportunities that my parents had and see the same successes. I think the influence of my parents and my experience in Corporate America has provided me with the skills, passion and knowledge that fueled me starting out on my own.
What are some ways of motivating yourself in times of doubt? Do you ever feel like giving up? Why do you keep going?
Honestly, I tell myself that there is no option for failure. To me, not trying is failure; it would be giving up on yourself. Sure there is that fear that is fueled by doubt that causes me to want to give up sometimes, but I can’t give up because I believe in myself and my abilities, and will not admit defeat until I have exhausted all available alternatives. The moment I stop is the moment I believe I would have failed. Truth be told it is more that shear logic and determination ie … “if I don’t stop trying I cannot fail”…there is a large dose of “heart” if you will. What I mean by that is best explained in this memory that I keep to cheer me up and keep me smiling. When I need to I always think about this retiree that I met in a Casino, one of the first times I went to a casino, and after a few dollars in a slot machine I wanted to take my winnings and run. She turns to me and says, “don’t quit until the machine quits.” Sure it’s silly and may not be fiscally responsible advice or logical or rational, but it sure does have some substance. If I still have that faith in me (being the machine) I’m not going to quit.
Is it important to set goals or is it better to just “go with the flow”? What is your strategy?
I’m a planner. For me goal setting is extremely important, to that point to do lists are vital. I believe in making plans that have clear direction and flexibility at the same time. I think that having goals and creating plans allow you to measure success and progress. Also, the opportunity to assess your mistakes and your successes allows room for improvement. Planning is great, but I believe that you MUST have an end goal. Often time I hear entrepreneurs say, “I want to be rich.” But what does that mean…exactly? Not knowing what that means for you can mean that you will end up working tirelessly for ages. If you know that you want to make half a million dollars annually then you have a goal, you can build your life around that because it’s measurable and defined. When you’re there you can reassess and up the goal to a million dollars but having goals are good. Getting back to that question about removing doubt when those hard moments hit; that to do list or plan is so helpful for this. When you’re feeling like you haven’t accomplished anything it’s easy to spiral down that road but when you have a plan and can see where you began and track to where you are today, it can give you that hope that you need to keep on because you’re making moves!
What does success mean to you? What does it mean to “be successful”? Can it ever be fully achieved or is it something that comes and goes?
Success is doing what you love and happening to earn a paycheck from it. Years ago people were born into their jobs/careers or they had to take jobs just because they had to make ends meet. We are living in a world where you get the opportunity to chose what you want to do. You get to say that you will work for happiness and that happiness will also happen to pay. It’s an amazingly powerful time. I strongly believe that success is an individual thing but not in the way that everyone gets a medal or ribbon kind of way. I think success needs to be defined by each person and assessed that way, it’s not something you can directly measure against someone else. Years ago my husband left the entrepreneur world and didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life. He pondered going to med school and the whole nine, all because he wanted to make lots of money. I told him that I wanted him to have a career that he loved because if he hated his days it would surely affect us as a married couple. No one wants to see their spouse hating their days at work day in and out. He finally realized that he wanted to be a teacher and I tell you, he has the best days of his life. He is satisfied, he is happy, he is a true success. He is paid to teach children, something he loves and happens to get paid for it. He’s my idol and I want to live by that definition of success.
Did you look for funding in the past?
No. I didn’t need it. Luckily as my business is a consulting type of business it is really referral based and more relationship based.
Why do you think that female owned businesses are a VERY small percentage (that has not been growing) of businesses that get funded by venture capital? What can we do to change that?
I have often read that the reason women don’t get paid as much as men do, on average, is because they don’t ask for raises. Or they don’t volunteer for work initiatives that they do not have direct experience in, unlike men who would and figure it out on the way. I think that women are increasingly taking the risk to enter the entrepreneur world but it will take a little while for them to realize that they have to take it to the next step and ask for funding, to seek out investors. Women on average like to be comfortable and understand our environment before making decisions, I think that time coupled with experience and education will really make the changes in this realm.