I Journi would like to introduce you all to the CEO of Gibbs Financial Fitness and three times author Rachel Gibbs from Columbia, South Carolina.
More money doesn’t have to mean more problems. Yes, you read that right. It’s the mismanagement of funds that can make you feel like you’re stuck in a fast-paced game of Tetris. Think about it. We all start with an empty playing field, and as the pieces begin to descend, panic ensues. Before you know it, you’ve gotten too many of those Z shaped pieces, and it’s GAME OVER. Luckily, financial expert Rachel Gibbs knows precisely how to help you hit reset and write your own rules to keep your coins in check.
Gibbs’ money management journey began at a young age. She would count her grandfather’s coins as a child, which propelled her interest and enthusiasm for financial fitness.
All of the knowledge Gibb’s grandfather instilled in her drove her to become a successful Certified Financial Educator and Credit Consultant. She obtained her Bachelor of Science from Coastal Carolina University in 2013 and later received her Master of Business Administration in Management from Texas A&M University in 2015. Not too long after receiving her MBA, Gibbs’ vision to educate her community about financial literacy came to life in 2016.
Eradicating the cycle of financial illiteracy was a top priority for Gibbs. Fueled by her passion for educating others, she launched Gibbs Financial Fitness to educate others on managing their funds, accumulating wealth, and improving their credit scores. From tax preparation to student loan services, Gibbs provides a one-stop-shop to help you level up your finances.
She sat down with us and dropped gems on entrepreneurship, her journey, and how she transformed her fondness for finance into a reputable business to elevate and empower others.
Qualatrice: Who or what inspired you to go to school or do anything with financing?
Rachel: My Grandfather! I would say he has been my biggest influence up to this day. As a matter of fact, one of my books, “How to Architect Your Kids Financial IQ” is another memoir of my life. I wrote that book because I realized it was rare to have people be financially literate past their own generation. I guess you can say I’m a second-generation financial literate person or third-generation, actually. My grandfather’s father was a sharecropper in Greenwood County, South Carolina. During that time, it was after slavery, and it was a cross of slavery or being really free, let’s be honest! Blacks in the south were very poor back then and didn’t have much of anything but what they had, and they learned how to manage. So my grandfather learned that from his parents, who didn’t have a formal education at all. He learned those financial lessons from them and went off to college at South Carolina State, making him the first generation to go to college…
Qualatrice: Is there anything you would have done differently since starting your business?
Rachel: I think one thing would have started my therapy sooner. I started being consistent with therapy when I was 29; I would have started that straight out of college. The second thing would be to have started my business once I was at a corporate job for two years. I should have found a way to monetize my business and taken it more seriously sooner because I feel like I would be in a different position than what I am in now.
Qualatrice: What would be one of the biggest challenges you had to face when you first started your business?
Rachel: Putting too much pressure on myself to build overnight is what I would say. A lot of people think they will make over $100,000 in the first couple of years of operation. Most companies don’t; within two years, many fail. The first thing would be to take some of that extra pressure off of yourself when you start a business, that’s my self included. I was heavily stressed out the first two years of my business, and it took away from the work I was doing. I had done a lot of work, but I dumbed it down because it wasn’t where I wanted to be. That’s a common mistake we make in business.
Qualatrice: What would be a few tips you would give someone trying to start their own business or maybe someone who has already started their own business but may feel stuck?
Rachel: Reach out to credible resources. You know a lot of people don’t invest in their business. If you know someone has a coaching program, an e-book, or if they can do a one on one strategy session, book it! Invest money into the business. What that does is save you time on trying to learn everything yourself. There’s a learning curve to everything; if you know for a fact you’re not good at social media, hire a social media strategist. If you know you’re not good with planning out a product launch, reach out to someone who is; it will be worth it. What you don’t want to do is rush out there, halfway knowing something, and it doesn’t take off…..
If you want to know more about Rachel and finish gaining the knowledge, she is giving out, and if you want to hear some of our side conversations, please watch the video!
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