In preparation for her Residency, which runs from October 1, 2022 – January 31, 2023, we asked Starlitt a few questions in order for you to get to know her better.
What do you most look forward to doing as part of your residency with the library?
What I am most looking forward to is being able to provide insight and tangible assistance to the community at no cost to them. This is the breaking barriers portion of the Richland Library that I am so proud to be a part of.
How did you begin your present career/profession?
I started in the business and accounting career by choosing to pursue it in college and working in business and accounting roles in corporate america (simultaneously). I realized later that I have always had the entrepreneurial spirit (my "Top Talent" per the Strengths Finders 2.0 test is Futuristic, look it up for context :) ) but I had to get to a certain level of discomfortable to build the courage to take a bigger leap. My last job was at a CPA firm and it was there that the enjoyment of the industry was rebirthed. Working with Small Businesses provides a diversity in the work and many problems to solve. I also realized that in this space I get to help people through the vehicle of accounting and business services.
Was your career something you always wanted to do or did it develop over time?
Yes, it developed over time and was not a straight path. My initial career goal was to be a professional dancer (I know. 'Whaat!'). I planned to dance with other artists and travel the world. I knew that my studies would be in business, I just didn't know what specifically. Becoming a mom made me believe that I had to choose something else and pursue a degree that would convert to "a lot of money". After some searching and considering what I knew I liked, accounting became the focus and I stopped all engagement in the arts (big mistake and thankfully I found my way back later). It's safe to say that my career plans jumped the tracks a few times.
If you could sum up your company's goal in one sentence, what would it be?
To help the average business owner, the non-accountant decision maker be empowered by their own financial data.
What are the top three challenges currently facing new small business owners? Established small business owners?
New Small Business Owners:
1. Getting organized in a way that grows with you (systems, operations, direction, etc.).
2. Mindset - whether it's switching from an employee mindset and way of working or a freelancer, there has to be a shift to building a business (outside of you) and that is challenge in the beginning.
3. Taking the company's operational accounting and financial strategy seriously.
Established Small Business Owners:
1. Growing pains - adjusting to growth with new systems, staff, and ways of running the business.
2. For some, keeping up with technology and adapting it.
3. Effectively managing the people that make up the business.
As a small business owner, why is it important to have a mentor?
As a small business owner there are lots of decisions to be made and work to be done. The business is really close to you and are typically the one putting out and pouring into other people/things. An outside perspective that is in position to pour into you, assisting you in the development of you as a leader is crucial. If not, it is easy to get lost in your company and become stagnant in your growth and the growth of the company.
What's the best business advice you've ever received?
"Don't you dare charge $xx/hour again. They are paying for the value and your time." This was a conversation with a business coach that I had in 2018 and she respectfully challenged me in a tough love kind of way and broke down a formula to consider when it came to pricing my services.
Starlitt's Favorite Business Books