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Synergistic Self-Employment

Marilyn Green is the President & CEO of JFY Consulting, Inc. that is headquartered in Belleville, Illinois and has satellite offices in Charlotte, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia. JFY Consulting, Inc. offers Strategic Process Planning; Grant Mining, Coaching/Reviewing; Leadership Development Workshops; Business Development and IT Strategic Solutions. When working with JFY, you will get a synergistic think tank that combines the knowledge, experience and wisdom of baby boomers and the creative, tech-savvy connectivity of millennials.

When and why did you join the NASE?
We joined NASE in 2016 because we wanted to take advantage of all the benefits offered to a self-employed business for just $120.00. It was amazing the perks associated with joining. We are also wanting to be an advocate for the rights of NASE members and other self-employed organizations.

What inspired you to enter the field you are in?
What inspired us to be in this field is that fact that we were all being asked for sound wisdom from all age groups and decided that we should capitalize on our expertise and assist people with their dreams.

When and why did you start your business?
We officially started our business in January, 2013.

Historically, our family has an entrepreneurial spirit from my paternal great Grandmother (this is what I was told) and we wanted to place our own spin on the spirit by a developing a legacy of think tanks that we believe generationally could be sustained. Our think tank feeds our insatiable knowledge/research hunger and we decided, why not assist others and monetize it.

How do you market your business?
We market our business by participating in many expos, relying on word of mouth, participating in social events, distributing business cards, utilizing social media (Facebook, Twitter), and any other mode if the opportunity arises. I stay tuned in for anytime in any conversation that I can inject what we can offer a potential client and/or referral. Having a successful business is in our hearts and we love what we do, so it makes it easy to talk about the services we can offer.

What challenges have you faced in your business?
The biggest challenge we have faced in our business is working the business full-time in our heart but part time as far as actions. As we transition from working our jobs for the “man”, we sometimes do not have all the time we believe is necessary to nurture our relationships with our clients. We have overcome these challenges by setting up lunchtime, evening and Sat/Sun hours and we make sure that we follow up with our clients via texts, emails, phone calls and blogs. We have also created a Google Client Inquiry Form and we use Calendly for scheduling to help us with time management.

Do you have any employees?
We have 3. We have three full-time employees. We have added a consultant to develop, design and implement our marketing plan.

What’s your schedule like, what’s a typical day for you?
My schedule at this time is focusing about 7 hours or more a day to the business as I work a full time job. I work during my lunch hour, when I am driving home and until about 11 am. I communicate with my clients and potential clients via phone, email, or text. Typically, my day with clients may include working on a 501c3 for a young boys group to working with a client that wants a food bank. The diversity of needs is really, really what motivates us.

What’s the best thing about being self-employed?
The best thing about being self–employed is the potential to have a supporting role in the dreams of others and in return, they are an active participant in my legacy building goals. They become a part of our history and we become part of theirs and that is all good!

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received from a client?
The best compliment that I have ever received was, “Your insights do not insist.”

What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to someone starting their own business?
I would tell them to be passionate about their vision and actionable and deliberate about their mission. Further, I would tell them to make their foundation sure, so that they do not have to go back to repair.

Which NASE member benefit is most important to you?
The most important benefit to me was the Growth Grant opportunity. After we received the funds, we continue to develop the deliverables we wrote about in our proposal. The funds were a game changer for our company and served to place even more “wind beneath our wings”. It created an urgent need to put visible action in our plans to design, develop, implement and evaluate our web-based cultural business repository called Ink Whale. Ink Whale is alive and healthy and we are in the process of working on a viable and sustainable marketing plan.

Any other information you would like to share?
If being your own boss is your dream, please get ready to have the position of servant leader and understand that really “the customer is always right”. They are the best gauge for present and future profitable journeys. They are the same as fans to an entertainer. Their actions allow you to understand the mind of a consumer that allows you to have a pretty good idea of the best direction for your business.


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