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Jennifer Hartmann of NEAT Marketing: “Accessibility to Resources”

To put it simply, we need more trail blazers. I grew up in a small town, and I didn’t see any female entrepreneurs! I thought that the only way to make a living was to go to college, attend grad school and work my way up the corporate ladder until I retired. Entrepreneurship didn’t show […]

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To put it simply, we need more trail blazers. I grew up in a small town, and I didn’t see any female entrepreneurs! I thought that the only way to make a living was to go to college, attend grad school and work my way up the corporate ladder until I retired. Entrepreneurship didn’t show up on my radar until my early 20s, and even then, I faced a lot of criticism for starting a company because it wasn’t the “safe” route. Imagine what would happen if more young women saw other women doing big things?! We need more female founders to pave the way for young women and to show them what’s possible.

Women are highly communicative, we’re professional multi-taskers, resilient and empathetic — all of which make for highly effective leaders. Women are built to be founders (whether we see this in ourselves or not!)


As a part of our series about “Why We Need More Women Founders”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jen Hartmann.

Jen Hartmann is a corporate dropout turned multiple 6-figure sales and marketing coach. She is on a mission to help women who are one bourbon glass away from quitting their business, to effortlessly growing their brand through unique sales and marketing strategies.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

Absolutely! In 2018, after working for various marketing agencies, I finally landed my first corporate marketing job in Dallas, Texas. I thought I made it! This was a job I had worked years to get. Despite the paycheck, company perks and a beautiful downtown office, I was miserable just 6 months into my “dream” job. NEAT Marketing was born from my breaking point — I was struggling with anxiety and daily harassment from a male executive, and desperately needed an out. I left corporate in December of 2019 to pursue my business full-time and haven’t looked back since. Since going full-time in my business, I’ve worked with dozens of incredible female entrepreneurs to help them boost their sales and marketing efforts, and collectively, my clients have closed over 500,000 dollars in sales.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

When I was in my first corporate role, I received daily harassment from a male executive. It was the most powerless I had ever felt. I had told my male boss at the time, along with HR, and it was brushed aside and continued to happen. After opening up and talking about this experience with female friends, I learned that harassment happens more often than I realized. This experience, oddly enough, made me a stronger person and business owner. I learned how to say no and set stronger boundaries for myself! I also vowed that I will never let someone who enters my space, to feel the way I felt during that time. I strive to create a safe, supportive environment for women, whether it’s my team or my clients.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Oh gosh — I have plenty! I left my job that provided me with a steady paycheck before I had saved enough money. It was a super risky decision. I took the saying “new year, new me” quite literally — my last day in corporate was December 31, 2019 and I had just 3,000 dollars saved. I wanted to start the new year as a full-time CEO! Because I wasn’t financially stable at that time, I was selling my services from a place of desperation and scarcity. Not knowing when I would sign my next client and make money was terrifying. If you’re thinking about taking the leap, make sure to have a minimum 6-month, financial cushion before pursuing entrepreneurship full-time! You’ll experience plenty of highs and lows with income, so make sure you can ride that financial roller coaster.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My first business mentor, Avery, changed my life. It was the very beginning of the pandemic, and my business took a hit. I desperately needed support and accountability from a mentor, but truly didn’t have the funds for it. I decided to take a leap of faith, invested in a business mentor with money I didn’t have (thank you, Chase credit card), and she helped me grow my business to 6-figures, hire a team and make more of an impact in the world.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

I’m a huge bookworm, but there’s one book that stands out in particular — it’s called “Why She Buys” by Bridget Brennan. I went through sales training shortly after graduation in 2016, but the training was clearly created for men, by men. After hundreds of cold calls and discovery calls, I started noticing a trend — I could not close deals with women. Which is ironic because, well, I am a woman! There was a HUGE disconnect happening during my sales conversations and I didnt’ understand why until I read “Why She Buys”. The book stated the obvious: women buy based on feelings, not just features. I began selling, and teaching sales, in a much more feminine way after this!

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life or your work?

Growing up, my mother always told me, “this too shall pass” anytime I experienced adversity in my life. I continue to repeat this to myself through my entrepreneurial journey! As a female entrepreneur, you experience adversity but have to continue to remind yourself that it’s temporary and will ultimately pass! This quote has served as a reminder to not let a small occurrence bring down my entire day.

How have you used your success to make the world a better place?

I created a paid internship program with my company for college seniors at my alma mater. I wanted to give a college student the internship opportunity I never had — paid, remote and real experience in social media management! I actually just hired my last intern as a full-time sales & marketing coordinator. I am so excited that I get to employ and empower hard working women at my company! Along with this, I created a 2021–2022 scholarship fund for undergraduate women. My education opened up many doors for me and allowed me to have valuable experiences that I wouldn’t have had otherwise, and I wanted to give the same opportunity to another young woman!

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. According to this EY report, only about 20 percent of funded companies have women founders. This reflects great historical progress, but it also shows that more work still has to be done to empower women to create companies. In your opinion and experience what is currently holding back women from founding companies?

A lack of guidance, support and community. Starting ANY type of business is overwhelming! When I was first starting my business in 2019, I didn’t have any female entrepreneurs in my circle (and I wish I would have). I remember telling my corporate friends what I was wanting to do, and their responses ranged from “why in the world would you do something so risky?” to “you don’t have enough experience to run a business”. It was extremely difficult to move forward with starting a business with those comments in the back of my mind! I find that my clients who get support early on in their business and find a community of entrepreneurial women, see success much faster!

Can you share with our readers what you are doing to help empower women to become founders?

I created a college scholarship for undergraduate women because I truly believe education can open up so many doors and provide experiences that women may not have access to, otherwise! Without my education, I would have never been exposed to the world of business, or have landed various job opportunities that allowed me to gain the necessary skills to start my own business! In my own company, I run group coaching programs that incorporate a mix of community, support, accountability and education. These programs are built to help women take an idea, turn it into a business and launch it with sales and marketing strategies!

This might be intuitive to you but I think it will be helpful to spell this out. Can you share a few reasons why more women should become founders?

To put it simply, we need more trail blazers. I grew up in a small town, and I didn’t see any female entrepreneurs! I thought that the only way to make a living was to go to college, attend grad school and work my way up the corporate ladder until I retired. Entrepreneurship didn’t show up on my radar until my early 20s, and even then, I faced a lot of criticism for starting a company because it wasn’t the “safe” route. Imagine what would happen if more young women saw other women doing big things?! We need more female founders to pave the way for young women and to show them what’s possible.

Women are highly communicative, we’re professional multi-taskers, resilient and empathetic — all of which make for highly effective leaders. Women are built to be founders (whether we see this in ourselves or not!)

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Can you please share 5 things that can be done or should be done to help empower more women to become founders? If you can, please share an example or story for each.

  1. Accessibility to Resources: There are plenty of programs out there for early stage entrepreneurs, but they can seem intimidating or expensive. I realized that there was a huge gap in the coaching and mentoring space: women needed and wanted hands-on help for growing their new business, but couldn’t afford a 10,000 dollars business mastermind. I created a program to fit their needs: a one-week, hyper-focused mastermind, i.e. hypermind! It’s a community-focused, educational experience that fits almost any new entrepreneurs’ budget. The response I’ve received from this program has been overwhelmingly positive!
  2. Community: Entrepreneurship can get lonely. Having a community of like-minded women can make a world of difference. When I first joined a business mastermind group, it felt so good to know that other women were going through similar struggles and that I wasn’t alone.
  3. Encourage Intrapreneurship: Even if you run a large organization, it can be beneficial to encourage your employees to adopt an intrapreneurship mindset. Your employees are working in the company, while you’re working on your company. Your employees likely have dozens of ideas when it comes to improving current products or streamlining processes. Encourage your employees to think outside the box and to have discussions about these ideas.
  4. Early Education: I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I didn’t truly understand what entrepreneurship was until my 20s. From an early age, I thought I would go to college, get a job (stay for 40+ years) and then retire. Had I learned about entrepreneurship in high school or middle school, my life path may have looked very different! I’ve found that this is the norm with most of my female clients, too.
  5. Unwavering Support: leaving corporate America and starting your own business is hard. Unfortunately, entrepreneurship is still not the norm, especially for women. It’s even more difficult when friends or family members discourage you from pursuing entrepreneurship. If a woman in your life expresses a desire to start her own company, give her unwavering support. She needs that support more than you know!

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I would love to see a push for more female founders! Workshops on entrepreneurship in various cities, more affordable communities for women to help inspire and support them on their entrepreneurial journey and early education on entrepreneurship. Being a female founder has changed my life — I’ve been able to give more than I could’ve ever imagined. Internship programs, donations to my favorite non-profits, along with hiring and mentoring other women. Imagine what the world would be like if we had MORE female founders?!

We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

Natalie Ellis (Co-Founder of BossBabe) has been an inspiration to me since starting my company. She successfully scaled her brand, created a supportive, accessible space for female entrepreneurs and is extremely inclusive. I admire the heck out of her! I would pass out from excitement if I ever had the opportunity to have breakfast with Natalie!

How can our readers further follow your work online?

You can check out my website, www.neatmarketingllc.com, listen to my podcast (Served NEAT), connect with me on Instagram (@neat.marketing) or send me a message on LinkedIn!

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.

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