Self-proclaimed “huge money nerd” Michelle Waymire hails from a liberal arts degree and a history of teaching theater. In a twist of events, she ended up taking finance classes in an MBA program, worked as a teaching assistant in the Department of Finance, took a job at a mutual fund company … and well, the rest is history! She now has a thriving financial advisory firm called Young & Scrappy where she found her passion mixing the science of investing with the art of advising. Side note: This is not your daddy’s financial firm. She believes in being approachable and knowledgable with all her clients – not talking down to them or peddling products. Michelle, your story is inspiring, particularly for all the young wild web women out there! If you can dream it, you can do – just like Michelle has done.
Meet Michelle Waymire!
What inspired you to launch a web-based business?
Before I became a financial advisor, I ran the marketing department for a small mutual fund company—it was interesting work, but ultimately pretty unfulfilling. After a few years, I decided to leave and help actual people, folks who weren’t necessarily served by the more traditional industry (read: old white men in suits). My audience skews towards Gen X and Millennials, so I knew my business needed to have a strong and engaging online presence.
What do you love most about having your own business?
There’s something really freeing about getting to run the show. I spent a couple of years working under a larger advisory firm but knew that I’d never really have the desired level of creative control until I went fully independent. Now, I get to set my own hours, take time off as needed, and work only with the clients that resonate with me. It’s an absolute dream.
What is the most challenging about running a business?
Being a solopreneur in particular comes with the challenge of feeling like you’re creating things in a vacuum. While you can get all kinds of awesome feedback from your audience, I miss having a full team to bounce ideas off of and troubleshoot projects. On the bright side, it’s definitely led me to seek community with like-minded money nerds. Also, I sure do miss those corporate benefits sometimes!
What are some of your proudest accomplishments?
Getting through the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) program was pretty high up there. It’s an investment-oriented certification that requires hours and hours of study, three long exams, and four years of relevant work experience. When I got the email about passing the third exam, I almost cried out of pure relief and joy. I also took my business fully independent last fall, which was scary and exciting all at once. Navigating the events of 2020 while running my own biz makes me feel like the strong, independent gal I know I’m meant to be.
Where’s your favorite place to get work done?
I’m a coffee shop girl through and through. Something about the smell of coffee and the white noise-ish of human activity around me really helps me sit down and focus. It’s the thing I miss most about COVID/quarantine. Plus, you know, caffeine and pastries.
Name three web tools you can’t live without.
Calendly – arguably the best $15/month I spend on my business for the effort it saves and the ease it creates in letting prospects book time with me.
G*Suite for business – It is literally a steal how much value I get for $12/month. It’s my email, file storage, creation, everything.
Zoom – Now that I’m officially web-only, this magic tool lets any meeting be face-to-face, but better, because I don’t have to wear real pants anymore.
Do you have any professional role models? If so, who?
I’ll forever and always sing the praises of Kelsa Dickey, a financial coach pioneer who has truly shown me what’s possible in terms of both impact and profitability. Also, Julia Wells, a business coach who embodies ease and pleasure, openness in marketing, and shutting down harmful business bro advice that keeps us on the joyless hustle.
What is the one book you would recommend other female entrepreneurs read?
Profit First by Mike Michaelowicz. His system shows that managing your cash flow as a business owner doesn’t have to be a stressful hellscape.
Do you have favorite podcasts?
It’s not a business podcast, because I find myself seeking more non-work media these days, but I’m obsessed with dream team Griffin and Rachel McElroy’s Wonderful! Podcast. Listening to these two goobers in love talk about stuff they like always brightens my world.
Are you part of any mastermind or networking groups? If so, which ones?
Yes, I have a Monday financial planner accountability bud, a Friday marketing and life accountability bud, and a Wednesday squad of money nerds who talk shop. Community over competition, y’all!
How do you unplug from work?
I’m a big fan of cooking and baking, doing handy little house projects, and consuming any form of mystery/detective fiction. Favorites include the Sherlock Holmes series, Elementary, and Monk.
What tips for maintaining work/life balance would you give to other businesswomen?
I’ve recently started blocking off every sixth week on my calendar as time off without client meetings. I work really hard and love my job, but have struggled with burnout in the past. This forces me to slow down and smell the roses on a regular basis. So if you want time off: claim it. If you want self-care, prioritize it. No one else is going to do that for you.
What’s something you do every day to take care of yourself?
Sleep is sacred. I go to bed by 10pm most days, so that I can get a full 8-9 hours per night and still wake up at 7ish. Other healthful habits may come and go, but sleep is something I don’t compromise on.
What is a quote you live by?
“There’s no substitute for knowing what the f*** you’re talking about.” My dad taught me this at a young age, though he could have stolen this quote from elsewhere.
Business-wise, where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I hope to have a thriving advisory practice with a full-time marketing expert and assistant planner on staff, working remotely from my magical A-frame cabin in the woods. I also want to have a full array of engaging and accessible courses, so that I can help even more people feel abundant and joyful about their money.
What is the number one piece of advice would you give to someone who wants to run a web-based business?
Surround yourself with cheerleaders—but don’t be afraid to acknowledge where you still need to grow.