“Uncertainty” was a word that could be used to describe 2020, but for Carrie Williams, she was certain she could make a difference in people’s lives by providing financial coaching and tax services. And, in that year, Carrie started her own company, Running Valley Financial Associates, LLC.
Since then, Carrie has continued to leverage her extensive background in accounting and analysis, project management, and more to build her business.
Enjoy her Q&A!
What motivated you to open Running Valley Financial Associates?
I had always wanted to start my own business, but I was unsure about what I really wanted to do and never thought it was the “right time.” I had a lengthy corporate career and I often felt that was the only option. When the pandemic hit and I started working my corporate job from home, I realized how much I loved being more available for my family. I ended up taking a Dave Ramsey course on Financial Coaching, and it clicked for me. I remember having the “aha” moment when I realized that Financial Coaching was how I was meant to serve others. The desire to have more flexibility in my schedule, coupled with the fact that the pandemic was turning many families’ financial situations upside down, I felt that this was the “right time” to start my business and where I could make a positive impact for others immediately.
How would you describe your business to someone who’s unfamiliar?
I am a helper by nature, and I love using the financial skills that I have to help others change their life situations. I provide common sense Financial Coaching to individuals and small businesses, which involves setting specific goals such as: becoming debt-free, learning to budget, having an emergency fund, saving for large purchases, and helping them build wealth so they can live the life of their dreams. A big part of this process is working with the client to change their behaviors when it comes to money. The key to transformational, lasting change when it comes to your finances is solid financial habits!
I am also a Certified Public Accountant, so through my business I also provide tax preparation services for individuals and small businesses, as well as helping small businesses analyze their finances to maximize profits.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far as a business owner?
As a “solopreneur” you wear a lot of hats, especially in the beginning when you’re working to get everything up and running. My biggest lesson so far is to manage your time wisely, as time is money. If there’s a task in your business that is taking the time that would be more beneficial doing something else (i.e., working with clients), or that task is not your area of expertise or you don’t enjoy doing it – outsource it if possible! It will ultimately reduce your stress as a business owner if you stick to what you’re passionate about doing.
If you could give only one piece of financial advice, what would it be?
My biggest piece of advice would be to pay attention to your finances. It’s easy to fall into complacency if you have a regular paycheck coming in and bills going out each month. Everyone should have a household budget where you are giving every dollar a purpose. By taking a closer look at what you are spending on a regular basis, you’ll start to see opportunities where casual overspending could be directed elsewhere to help you save money in the long run and reach your financial goals more quickly.