Tess Waresmith Talks About Her Financial Education Program and Community for Women

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Hi, Tess! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:

Hi, I’m Tess. I’m a financial educator and the founder of Money Confident, an online financial education program and community that helps women in corporate and entrepreneurs learn how to make their hard-earned money grow faster using simple investing strategies so that they can retire comfortably and live life on their terms. After losing 80K in bad investment products and fees in my 20s, I learned everything I could about investing and realized how simple and effective stock marketing investing could be. Once I learned the basics, I built my net worth from 0 to 1 million in a 10-year period as a single, 35-year-old woman. Now I’m on a mission to bust the myth that investing is too complicated for women to understand and to help women get in the driver’s seat of their money, even if they are totally new to investing or short on time.

What an accomplishment, Tess! Who are your customers?

Any woman who wants to stop leaving money on the table and wants to put their money to work for them by investing intentionally.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

I’ve had a wild and varied career that started with graduating into a recession. Getting rejected from every corporate job I applied to, my first job out of college was as an aerial acrobat on a cruise ship. This job was unexpectedly amazing as it allowed me to save a lot of money as I had zero expenses living and working on a cruise ship. Eventually, I pivoted back to land, working in marketing until I eventually landed at an amazing affiliate marketing agency. I worked my way up to VP of Operations at that company until I left in 2023 to take my financial education business full-time.

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

Grief. Several years ago I was in a corporate job I liked but after losing my stepdad (my closest family member at the time) I needed something to fill the void. I had always helped my friends with investing basics but decided to create a more formalized structure to educate women around me. I privately launched my 4-week group coaching program to friends and colleagues at a discounted rate and to my surprise, I had 10 people sign up immediately. I’m thankful for the positive reinforcement early on because it showed me that there was a need for more digestible financial education.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Yes, but I also really enjoyed corporate work, too. I was lucky in that I had the opportunity to work with an amazing company for 7 years before I started my own business. I believe you can choose either path and be successful but from now on, it’s likely an entrepreneur’s life for me.

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?

Working in marketing for 10+ years prior to starting my business helped me a lot. I started by using Instagram to get the word out to people I knew personally who already followed me. From there, I started networking and looking for collaboration opportunities to share my message at local conferences, with organizations, and with other business owners. I’m a big believer that owning a business is really just a long game of testing and learning. There’s not one right marketing strategy and it’s easy to feel like you need to do all the things. Picking a few and leaning into them is the best way to get results from your marketing efforts.

What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way so far and what have you learned from it?

The biggest challenge for me has been balancing realistic expectations with also dreaming big. I want to be proud of what I’ve accomplished but sometimes I wish I was further along. When I really look at the trajectory of growth in the last few years, however, it’s absolutely headed in the right direction. I’m working on spending more time zooming out.

What accomplishment are the most proud of to date in your business?

Over the last two years, I’ve had thousands of women attend my free live beginner investing workshops and 200+ have joined my small group coaching programs and been forever changed by the investing education they received. The testimonials I get from my group coaching program blow me away and I feel so grateful to have the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on women’s lives.

Do you have any recent wins from the last year that you’d like to celebrate with our community?

Last year I was on the So Money Podcast with Farnoosh Torabi who is a part of the Entreprenista network too! She is such an amazing educator and I was so honored to be on her show.

We love to see the Entreprenista collabs! What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

I will continue hosting small group coaching cohorts for the Money Confident program because I love getting to know people at a more intimate level, but I also plan on hosting larger workshops for organizations, communities, corporate women’s ERG (employee resource groups), and more. I want to have an outsized impact and I know that one small piece of information, heard the right way, can change everything.

What is your top productivity tip? 

Organize your to-dos by the Eisenhower matrix. This is a game changer for me from a prioritization perspective. Everything I have to do gets categorized into 4 categories. 1. Important/Urgent items get prioritized first 2. Important/Not Urgent get scheduled out sometime in the near future. 3. Not Important/Urgent items get delegated. 4. Not Important/Not Urgent I just completed, delete. It’s amazing what you realize you DON’T need to do using this matrix.

What is one thing you wish you had known when you started your Entreprenista journey?

Don’t pay attention to revenue numbers shared online. I think there is so much BS around people saying they make 6+ figures sitting by the pool in their first year of business or having 7-figure businesses in 3 years. I know people with 7-figure businesses that aren’t profiting at all and I know people who took years to build a business they love and it was worth the slow growth. Context is key and you can’t possibly know the details around a 5-second reel that talks about how much money you can make in a specific amount of time.

When hiring, what is your go-to interview question?

What are 3 common misconceptions people have about you? I love this question because it requires creativity and self-awareness to answer. You can learn a lot about a person with this question.

What is your favorite business tool or solution and why?

I don’t have one favorite tool but I do love email marketing in general so a good email service provider is key. I use ActiveCampaign and it’s been very impactful for my business. Building your email list as soon as possible is one of the most important things you can do for your business. An email list set up the right way will be segmented strategically so you can send the right message to the right people at the right time. I get nervous for business owners who focus all their time on social media and not enough time nurturing their own data. You never know what can happen to social profiles so owning your own data is key.

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