Mikeworth Consulting is a group of forward-thinking idealists readied to bring a working prosperity model to personal, business, and philanthropic entities. They help those who hope to passionately create wealth with personal meaning by supporting and empowering their clients through knowledge and resource sharing, barrier reduction, individual and community investment, and the creation of diverse and sustainable wealth strategies.
We recently interviewed Mickey Mikeworth, founder of Mikeworth Consulting to understand her journey as a successful entrepreneur.
Tell us a little bit more about Mikeworth Consulting and describe the journey so far as a business owner.
First, I am glad I was willing to take risks even if they were painful at time. I never regret the work of becoming a business owner.
I am a Financial Strategist Business Consultant with a private firm for small to medium size business. I mostly work with companies that are over 1 million in revenue, although we take in many smaller businesses that are planning to grow to the 1-5 million mark in annual sales. We have a staff of people and resources that assist in many things that can help business owners get a great handle on their growth vision. I deliver all my service and strategy with the guideline of a business model that I wrote called the Prosperity Business Model (PBB)
That craziest part of my personal journey was the tenacity needed to give voice and action to a business concept about prosperity, and ZERO people in traditional financial jobs were talking about 20 years ago. I had to really dig in and fight for my style, understand my concepts inside and out. I also had to prove them right and prove some of them wrong. I had to be willing to learn not just my own truth but the test the truth I believed was possible.
To this day, I have to constantly be willing to be a student of the world.
What were the initial challenges that you faced as an entrepreneur?
Hands down the largest struggle in the first decade of my career was my gender.
I am 20 years into my field. I started as a personal advisor with a big firm, and at the time less that 3% of the people in my field were women.Being a pioneer is understated as to the difficulty of the everyday strife one must endure. The amount of blatant discrimination was horrendous and in today’s world laughable.
I tell my initial story so young women can hear how hard we oldsters had to fight to pave the way for women to be taken seriously and to have a safe work place in male dominated roles, like in my field of finance. I can laugh now, butit was awful to endure.
I was a single mom just getting off welfare after college. No one in my company of professional planners was like me in any way. The culture of finance still called group office area a BULL PEN because it was for young bulls racking their horns together and going to get the big prize. The corporate old-boys network that was my work environment had no clue about what my single mom struggles were to hold night appointments with no daycare, leaving to drive across town every day at 2:30 in a panic to get my kid off the buson time, ( I ate my lunch in the car on the way because it counted as my lunch time), or manage school summer vacation as a budget killer because of the higher cost of full time daycare costs. There was no corporate culture for women. They did not ever care about my dreams, ask about my family or give a thought to what difficulties I may face. My co-workers in the bull pen were still talking about babes and boobs at their desks.
On top of that as a barrier, I worked totally on commission. If I did not sell something I did not have a way to feed my family or pay rent. Stressful was an understatement and its why so few women like me were willing to work at it.
Luckily, I had a boss who was willing to give me the time tools I needed. But, even that help still did not spare me from his male bias and the countess times he gave the best opportunities to men who were going to do half the work and were often under me in rank. Luckily, he would listen to me only after new guy, after new guy, failed. It was excruciatingly painfully watch as those bulls failed at tasks I knew they would fail at,and THEN I would be graciously allowed to be the one to pick up the pieces and save the relationships. Some of those hand me down relationships I still serve 20 years later.
The biggest time I struggled with the juxtapose position of my gender was one specific night. I remember through my sales winning the opportunity to get an all-expense paid trip to a big conference that was celebrating the Top 200 Advisors in the United States for this company.
It was in the tears of that long night I had to make a choice to trust and listen to my own voice over the expectation of the male majority.
I can still visualize the cheap shoes I wore, hoping they did not look cheap in the dark.It was a big fancy reception dinner and awards ceremony. The room was packed to the brim full of “the good ole boys” who were totally NOT my tribe. They were all drunk, slapping each other on the back and full of themselves. I had one group of about five men ask me who’s secretary I was. I told them I worked for “Mickey Mikeworth” (and that was my name).
One fellow literally said with raised drink from the unlimited open bar “ Oh yeah, I wanted to meet that guy”. I was so smug I replied with a sucker punch answer, “You really should…” and I excused myself.
It was pointless, they were never going to know they were awful to women in general trying to enter the field. That night I remember going back up to my hotel room andnot just crying myself to sleep but having the ugly-face sobbing cry that I was on the wrong path and what was I thinking? I had a huge meltdown about being a woman in a very egotistical male dominated field.
It was a pity party of one,
Then miraculously, after like an hour of sobbing the light bulb clicked. I knew in my heart I could do the work better and that I could actually change lives and not just sell insurance products for a fancy award and an open bar.
Gender was not going to harness me forever, but it was annoying obvious I would have to get lots of late afternoons on my meditation mat. I would say that in the first 10 years of my career I was asked even at events, ( even at ones I was being recognized at for my sales or excellence), if I was someone’s wife or secretary. Not just a few times, but more that100 times. Once I took my friend Alice as my guest, so she could watch it live, because it was so comedically bad.
Pioneering takes tenacity, so to all of you who are doing it in the now time of growth, call one of us oldsters. We are happy to lend an ear.
What consulting services are provided by your firm?
The service I offer 100% of the time is my devout attention.
Basically, I sell my time by the hour and we base those hours available to each of our clients by the goals of the client. Some people just need a three hour quarterly check in and some need lots of real tactical work that need research and unwinding. It may be reviewing the upcoming costs and investments of the business, starting to add benefits, crafting a strategy to build a culture, and it may be reviewing brand investment. We just see what pops up.
How do you differentiate yourself from your domain competitors?
Staying power and long-term investment. I feel my work speaks for itself through outcomes. The people we serve ARE our firms’ portfolio, so we invest heavily into those individuals lives.
What differentiates me in business is my crazy energy. It is the first thing people notice about me and my floppy mop of red hair, I am a have a get down to business tone, and I am quick to laugh. I am someone that people like to hug, you often hear my clients yelling “love you” as they bid farewell and walk out of the office. As if they were saying goodbye to family. 70% of our clients have been here for more that a decade.
My secret sauce is that I get up and stay tuned to the work at hand and to the future we are trying to build. We have lots of task lists.
So finally, how is working at Mikeworth Consulting like
The office is a crazy fast paced space. I am totally excited about our new incubation project. It took 2 years to build because every year my time sells out in a matter of minutes. My clients book a year in advance and for 6 years we had a waiting list.
The team had to get creative on time, and this year we totally got it! We are taking in 12 young brands as a group and letting them work individually and as a co-creative assembly of businesses. That way they can magnify with the social capital of a community that is invested, diverse, and like minded.
The incubation program is a 1-year program and totally affordable, $500 a month with consulting services and group classes.
I am also excited about our short term 12-week internships in writing, design, media, and business art. Bringing more art into business has been a fun adventure and I am excited to see how we expand that in the future.
I am also enthusiastic about finding my successor. I am retiring in just seven years, so I am very interested in finding and growing the next set of prosperity business people who will impact their communities in fresh new ways. It will take 7 years of investment for the next batch to fruit. So, I am excited to get started.People that want to know more can contact us through email at Mikeworth Consulting, or just call the office.
Crazy- We still answer the phone!