In our Females & Finances series, inspirational women leaders from Madison and Milwaukee share their words of wisdom for women who are trying to manage their finances and own it in their everyday lives. Know someone who has a great story to share? Send nominations to Marketing.Requests@summitcreditunion.com.
This month, dive into Jodi Everts’ financial journey and discover how she went from working in an advertising agency to owning an online wedding planning resource, Love Madison Weddings.
- What does “owning it” mean to you?
To me owning it means defining success my way and then going for it. My company was born out of a desire to be home with my family but not leave my career behind to do so. This business is a blessing, and I am so grateful for it. Sometimes I start to give in to comparison and doubt how I’ve chosen to balance my time between family and business, but I quickly remind myself that right here, right now is where I need to be. I work very hard on my business but also try to be aware of when I need to take a break.
- Tell us about your personal and professional journey and how you got where you are today.
I worked in advertising for nearly 10 years before starting Love Madison Weddings. During that time, I worked for clients with nearly nonexistent budgets all the way up to more than $4 million. Each day was different and I loved agency life but decided to stay home after my first daughter was born. Initially, I thought I’d draw upon my past experience planning corporate events to open an event planning business, but as I worked on the marketing plan for that, I uncovered an opportunity for a site catered to helping Madison-area couples plan their weddings. Stepping into the shoes of a wedding vendor, I realized that a local, niche wedding planning website would be a great advertising option. My husband, Chad, and I launched the site in June of 2015.
- What are the most important lessons you’ve learned about finances?
Chad and I cut our household income in half to start my business. As most business owners know, we didn’t recoup that income right away. One of the main lessons we learned is to be prepared for unexpected expenses and be patient in the pursuit of success. Another lesson I’ve learned is to consider the value of my time. Starting out, there was just so much to get done that I went into go mode, but as I settled into the business, I started taking inventory of my tasks and time. Now I’m always looking for programs and apps that will automate or help streamline workflows.
- What resources/strategies help you manage your money?
I’m a frugal person by nature, so if I don’t need or love something I typically don’t buy it. I’ve carried this over into my business finances, but apply more lenience when considering business needs. I primarily use Quickbooks for accounting and verified third-party apps on the site for vendor autopayments.
- What’s your favorite quote from an inspirational woman?
“If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” – Mother Teresa
When I hear this, I think of my husband and two daughters. They are the reason Love Madison Weddings was started, and when I reflect on that, and my gratitude for this opportunity, it takes the pressure off of success by any other definition. This mentality keeps things fun, which I believe makes me a better businessperson than if I focused solely on the bottom line.