- Jean Chatzky built his thriving business after an unexpected job loss.
- When starting your business make sure your idea has business legs, Chatzky says.
- Be sure to take advantage of all opportunities, even if it doesn’t seem right at the time.
Before writing more than half a dozen books on personal finance and money management, she was a financial columnist at Money magazine. One day in 2008, the company informed her that they were cutting costs and that she would no longer hold an employee position, but could continue to contribute positions in an independent capacity, she said.
“They were going through layoffs and cost-cutting measures and I became costly,” Chatzky told Situation Insider. “They said they would allow me to have my column as a freelancer, but I was just young and there was no other way to look at it.”
The sudden setback in her career prompted her to take a closer look at the different paths she could take.
“It was definitely unexpected and I tried to look for another job at first, but it wasn’t that easy to change the level of pay that I was making. I decided right then that I wanted to go back to someone else’s job.” I would start my own business instead of working for the business,” Chatzky explained.
After searching for a new position and not finding anything suitable, Jean decided to turn her major projects into her main income. he continued his work today television program, where she was financial editor for 25 years, and then also focused on building a business that does what she does best: educating people on how to better manage their money.
His leap of faith in striking on his own was over 10 years ago. Today, Chatzky Now. is the CEO of his moneyA best-selling author, and founder of a business and a platform that educates and empowers people to make sense of their money and achieve financial success.
When she started building her business it wasn’t fast or easy, Chatzky explains how she did it and what she learned along the way.
Don’t start a business just because you have a great idea.
“I never saw myself as a business owner. I was happy as a financial journalist and had many side projects and opportunities that I felt were going to support the totality of my career,” Chatzky spoke about his past career ambitions. “When I lost my job at Money Magazine, I had to pivot, but before I did, I had to make sure there was a need I was filling and I wasn’t doing it just because I couldn’t find it. was yet another task.” Jeanne realized that good financial advice was needed and she could turn her skills into a viable business.
Another thing that Jean needed to ensure, in addition to having a business idea with a stable level, was that he would have enough money to sustain himself and support his business as he grew it from scratch. was.
“At the time, not only had I lost my job, I had also gone through a divorce, so it was important that I had my finances in place to keep everything running,” Chatzky told Insider.
Chatzky always tells business owners that it’s important to continue to manage their own money while growing their business.
“The biggest mistake business owners make is starting a business without any reserves. I know what it takes to go on your idea, but you should protect yourself by spending a little time and effort on your own finances,” Chatzky states.
Number One Reason Businesses Fail is due to cash flow issues And Chatzky wanted to make sure he had a strong financial position when starting his business. This is already a huge risk in itself, but doing so without a safety net can set one up for failure.
Walk through the doors that open.
Before starting her business, Chatzky had extensive experience as a freelance writer and worked diligently to find stories that worked with people and media outlets. The experience was a launching pad of sorts, and it also helped that she was already on top of editors’ minds for some of the pitches and stories.
And well into the shift of her career, to more freelance work, she was already confident in pitching herself, so she leaned into that in search of speaking engagements. But the most important thing she did was always being open to whatever came her way.
“When you’re just starting out, I always recommend that you walk through the doors that open. Be prepared to investigate an opportunity, even if it doesn’t fit at first glance,” Chatzky said. Told.
Chatzky hosts a radio show called Everyday Wealth and the way she was offered the opportunity was by chance.
She said of the situation, “I got a call from a contact I hadn’t spoken to in almost a decade and they said they were looking to change a radio host and asked if I would be interested.” “At first I thought, ‘I don’t want to host a radio show,’ but I checked out the opportunity nonetheless and I’m so glad I did because I love it. Even if something doesn’t seem like it’s a Will be fine, still watch it because you never know.”
In the beginning, bootstrap what you can and do it cheaply.
Many new business owners want all the bells and whistles, brand new website, product videos, top notch social media content, but it can get very expensive. You may have to look for a job to get what you want or need for your business.
“When I was starting my newsletter, we wanted to use a focus group to tell us what they liked or disliked about the newsletter and how it went,” she says. “It was suggested that I pay for a focus group and that easily cost $10,000 and I didn’t have that at the time.”
Instead, Chatzky sought to use resources that Were is readily available to him to seek similar objectives but through different means.
“I placed a link in the newsletter asking people to volunteer to be part of a panel that would be conducted by me to discuss the newsletter and it worked and it was free. The newsletter has grown a lot since then. But if I thought the only way to accomplish this was to spend $10,000, the newsletter probably wouldn’t have gotten off the ground.”
Don’t let the obstacles on your way stop you.
When starting a business, there are plenty of obstacles along the way, but it matters that when these conditions do occur, that doesn’t stop you from achieving your goals, suggests Chatzky. Many business leaders have to work long hours, build their contact list, and make sacrifices to build it. And starting a new business can also take some time and perhaps more importantly, it is also likely to take some time before making a profit.
Taking a cautious and conservative approach, it should be recognized that it may take 2 to 3 years – or perhaps even longer – until a new business venture starts making a profit. Chatzky certainly faced challenges starting and growing her business, but she persevered and never saw a bump or challenge as the end of her business.
“There were a lot of obstacles along the way. What I found most challenging was hiring good people. For a small business every hire seems important. The pandemic was a challenge too, not in terms of revenue, but people changed. who want and expect for their work experience,” Chatzky says of the evolving work environment. “No one wants to be in the office anymore and I grew up in the newsroom, so hiring and interacting with people has definitely changed and affected how I run my business.”
Make sure your business is actually a business.
Every business starts with an idea. It is important that before you expend time, money and mental energy that your idea can be a viable business. Are you meeting a need? Will you be able to grow your business and can it be profitable? According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1 in 5 business fails in the first year And only half survive beyond the 5 year mark. You can increase your chances of success if you take the time and plan your business in advance.
“Sit down and really figure out what your revenue expectations are, but also figure out what your expenses will be,” Chatzky says of the realities of starting a new endeavor. “When you run a business, you have to reinvest in the business, you have to get an accountant, pay taxes, grow the product and it takes money to grow it. You have to put it all down and really Have to decide if your idea really has commercial legs.”
Chatzky says starting her own business and watching it grow into the success it is today is one of the most rewarding things she’s ever done, but it wasn’t easy and she didn’t begin to figure it all out.
“It was a decision that was driven by necessity and motivated to sustain my life. I was responsible for half of my kids’ college education after my divorce while continuing to fund my retirement — but That need propelled me forward when challenges came, get creative when I wanted to expand, and say yes when opportunities come to me. To be successful, you have to be unhappy.”