Business Profitability Strategist & Success Coach Michelle Jacobik on redesigning your life and business
Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:
I’m a Business Profitability Strategist & Success Coach with over three decades of experience. Today, I help highly motivated entrepreneurs understand their unique potential so they can achieve their big goals in less time and with more ease. In addition to my own education in insurance and finance, I transformed my own life as a 23 year old young woman, drowning in a sea of debt, to a businesswoman who (with my former business partner) bought the company I worked for at the age of 29, and grew that client base from $600K to over $12M in sales a year.
I transfer that experience and my insights as a seasoned entrepreneur, sharing powerful strategies and have built a multiple-six figure consultancy practice over the last 4 years while traveling the country doing what I love.
I also speak across the country delivering messages of Financial Empowerment to audiences, most recently as a TV Media Contributor on ABC, FOX, NBC, Pix11NYC and KTLA. I’m also a contributing writer for Thrive Global and the author of the #1 Amazon National Best Seller: Prosperity After Divorce: Take Charge Of Your Finances & Create The Life You REALLY Want with LifeStyle ReDesign Planning and have a new book coming out soon: The Path To Profits!
What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?
The opportunity to be around like-minded Entrepreneurs and the ability to meet new people, while learning more about growing my new business with potential crowdfunding/tips/strategies etc so I can be of service and in leadership to to serve more Entrepreneurs (without burning myself out)!
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
What inspired me to become a financial expert was that in my 20’s I was working as an Administrative Assistant making $11 an hour, but I was spending as though I was earning $75 an hour.
The irony was that I was making these mistakes while I was working for a financial services firm on my way to becoming a financial advisor – so here I was becoming a financial advisor and spending money I didn’t have.
Once I saw my OWN mistakes in how I was handling my money, I got myself on the right track and became even more inspired to help other people do the same!
I didn’t really love financial advising but I did love the risk management pieces of planning, so I kept my investment and insurance licenses and transitioned over to Property & Casualty Insurance, and began working with Corporations & small business owners, making sure they took the proper steps to protect their largest investments. I ended up buying the agency I worked for and my journey from ‘commission-based sales/employee’ to FULL BLOWN entrepreneur began.
In this second chapter of my life, (I sold my share of that agency for 7-figures 8 years ago) I realized I really love advising businesses and that is what inspired me to do what I’m doing today which is working with entrepreneurs 1-on-1 and through my Envision & Thrive Academy.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Yes! For sure! I had BIG dreams, big visions. I knew I could ‘create’ money in various ways from a very young age (ie: lemonade stand, babysitting etc) to have the things I wanted. I didn’t know early on what it would ‘be’ (business) but I knew I didn’t want a ‘ceiling’ on me so I chose sales/financial services etc as my entry path.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
When I bought my first company at age 29, I had ZERO dollars left for advertising. I had drained my bank accounts, most of my investments, and leveraged every part of my life to purchase the company I worked for and I had to get super creative and craft up an advertising plan that was public relations and visibility based in order to let people know the ownership had changed and most importantly, let people know we were open for business and looking for MORE.
MORE because I had a payroll with 8 people on it. MORE because I now had a commitment to a bank with a five figure number attached to it due on the 15th of each month for the next fifteen years that I wanted to make seven. MORE because I had a mortgage to pay on my first home that we had purchased just a year earlier and a little girl who needed to be fed, not just loved. That and I was not going to let myself fail after going all in on this business venture.
I wouldn’t change those early days for anything, because in my necessity to get free publicity I had to get super creative. I had to be consistent with my ongoing efforts so things weren’t short lived. I sent press releases monthly, business briefs bi-weekly, wrote articles about my expert topics for local newspapers and publications. I even convinced the bank President, who mentioned that we were the largest SBA underwritten loan in their history, to write a story about it in their annual report and plaster our pictures and business right on the cover of their glossy mailer that went to every depositor and business on their rosters. I landed myself on radio spots, used creative white space- buying tactics to get advertising for pennies on the dollar, and learned as much as I could about keeping eyes on my business and our phones ringing.
Over the next decade, we grew that business from $600,000 in sales to over $12,000,000 using a strategy that focused on three pillars- Vision + Flow (cash flow that is!) + Grow (Visibility), what I coin today as my EnVision + Thrive (™) Success Path. I’ve since sold my share of that company and started this new venture of helping other entrepreneurs via 1-on-1 Business Consultancy and Mentorship through my Academy.
What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way and what did you learn from it?
That even in your 2nd or 3rd attempt at new business, you MUST have a solid roadmap AND RUNWAY to get to the level of consistent revenue you want. Just because you’ve grown something to BIG levels before doesn’t mean you will shorten your timeline in the next thing. Still takes time, planning, resources, etc.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
Now I do. After years of striving, pushing, growing and never finding balance, I blew it all up and REDESIGNED my life and my business. I’m writing about this very process in my new book Path to Profits – it isn’t just about money. It’s about being who you came here to be: a passionate, purposeful human who is helping other humans in a tangible way. More, it’s about living as you were ultimately designed by your higher power to live—as the fullest, most joyful, most abundant version of you. Start with a clear vision for the LIFE you want to create and then design your BUSINESS to align with that.
What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?
There are 5 things everyone should keep in mind in business:
A. Don’t start without a plan – your “passion” can’t go it alone
B. Have a roadmap AND a runway
C. Think about money (don’t avoid it) and your mindset (I even have a great Oracle Deck to support others with that)
D. Create a clear vision and establish goals
E. Remember the importance of community and support
What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?
I had the opportunity to share my Real Money/Real Mom’s story with Parents Magazine. It was a two hour interview that I thought would be focused on my journey and my new book coming out (The Path To Profits) but they landed an hour into the interview on my divorce. They opted to stay in that part of the story for quite some time and that 2 hour interview took a direction I didn’t expect. I trusted that my story and experience would be used ‘for good’ and to help others and I was pleasantly surprised. The interview was also picked up by People Magazine so I know sharing my journey will go far as a support to others navigating divorce and post-divorce situations.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
I’ve recently launched a new Oracle Card Deck for Entrepreneurs and I’m doing my first crowdfunding campaign via IFund Women (found through Entreprenista!) to raise the funds to expand the product to offer a guidebook and journal! My new book (The Path To Profits) launches later this year. I have an interview coming out with Entrepreneur Magazine soon as well which is SUPER exciting because it’s been on my Vision Board for 3 years! I’m also continuing to grow the EnVision + Thrive Academy for Emerging and Advancing Entrepreneurs and am excited about continuing to be a leader and mentor in this space supporting business owners!