Stagnation is never fun, and after a series of events (read more below), Marisa Thompson couldn’t ignore the fact that her corporate accounting gigs left her feeling unsatisfied. The Commack, New York-based entrepreneur started Flexibooks Business Services in 2019, with the goal of providing small businesses with efficient and accurate virtual bookkeeping and accounting services. Today, the mompreneur prides herself on the level of attention she gives each client and measures her own success by theirs.
Here’s our lightly edited Q&A, from The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project.
Tell us more about why you started your business.
My primary reason was to find the ever elusive balance between work and home life. I started my business five months after the birth of my second child. In addition, my dad was – and still is – dealing with some serious health issues. But the most significant catalyst that drove me to take the leap really stemmed from a highly disrespectful encounter with my superior that made me truly recognize how I was seen and therefore how they thought I could be treated.
Bottom line,, I was looking to find a deeper level of satisfaction with the work I provide. I was feeling stagnant and unfulfilled in my corporate jobs.
How is your business different from others in your industry?
My business motto is, “your success is our business.” What sets my business apart is the deep desire to see others succeed and achieve their goals. That requires the highest level of customer satisfaction and commitment. Even as my business continues to grow, my clients will never feel like their support and trust in me isn’t valued.
Tell us about your biggest success so far.
I’m proud to say that I have hit every business goal I have set for myself this year to date. I try to review my goals monthly and set small goals monthly or quarterly so that they become realistic achievements. I also look at the big picture and set a bigger annual goal. I am waiting until Dec. 31 to be sure that I have met that goal but I am confident already that I will.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
I have always struggled with marketing my business on various platforms to get my name and brand out there. I understand the concepts and ideas behind how to market, but it is something that doesn’t come easily to me. So just as I have with my other goals, I decided to start small. I found simple, cost effective methods to have a consistent presence. I will scale my marketing goals and efforts to match growth in my business.
What is your biggest tip for other startup entrepreneurs?
Have at least two backup plans. Entrepreneurship is not easy, does not allow you to be lazy, and even with all of the planning, most often deviates in some way from the original vision. If you truly want to be successful, you’ll need to know how to pivot, ask for help, continue to learn (even in the areas in which you feel you’re strong) and have a dedication to your passion.
How do you find inspiration on your darkest days?
I pray, I read and really just try to clear my head. Giving myself grace has been a major lesson for me over this past year as I realize that I am always going to have to have ups and downs. And even when several things are up, something else might be down and that’s ok. I’m learning to take time for myself and then get back to it.
What is your go to song to get motivated on tough days?
I have a few. “Adore” by Price, “Never Would Have Made It” by Marvin Sapp and “Take Me to the King” by Tamela Mann.
Who is your most important role model?
I don’t have any one person who is a role model but rather I have learned to see the strengths in many people. Most of the people I look up to are within my small circle. I try to adapt their strengths to my own personality and lifestyle.◼