Growth sucks cash: Do not be afraid to invest in yourself and your company.
Get a great mentor and join a coaching program: I learned not only from my coach but from the other women in the program.
Learn to delegate: Know what your unique brilliance is and hire competent people to do the rest.
Hire to where you want your business to be, not where it is now: I found that hiring up opens the space for more business. The business will come if the space is there.
Create systems to simplify the business process: Repetition saves time and time saves money.
The COVID19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. But sometimes disruptions can be times of opportunity. Many people’s livelihoods have been hurt by the pandemic. But some saw this as an opportune time to take their lives in a new direction.
As a part of this series called “How I Was Able To Pivot To A New Exciting Opportunity Because Of The Pandemic”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Judy Heft.
Judy Heft is founder and CEO of Judith Heft & Associates, a boutique financial concierge in Stamford, Conn., that serves high-net-worth individuals locally and nationwide. For nearly a quarter-century, Judy has been assisting clients with a wide range of financial needs, from bill paying to tracking charitable contributions. Judy recently expanded the company’s scope of specialty services with the launch of a “Lifestyle Concierge” division to satisfy a growing demand for tailored personal services. www.judithheft.com
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
I was born to be an entrepreneur. My mother opened a clothing store on her own in the late 1950s without any experience and went on to celebrate 25 years in business. At a young age I learned, by osmosis, how to be a great businesswoman. As a teenager, I would accompany my parents on buying trips. I worked at the store after school and during the summer while in college. I was given a lot of responsibility and when my parents would go on vacation, I would run the store.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I was taught at a young age that “hard work never hurt anyone.” That has guided me forward, past the hurdles and challenges, to always see the opportunities ahead.
Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
My favorite book is “A Woman of Independent Means” by Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey. I am all about female empowerment. No woman should ever feel she should have to rely on anyone but herself for financial support.
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before the Pandemic began?
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, we were primarily focused on bookkeeping and bill-pay for high-net-worth individuals. Our clients were so busy working and/or traveling, they didn’t have time to handle day-to-day financial management.
What did you do to pivot as a result of the Pandemic?
It’s all about creativity and agility. Once the pandemic hit, we noted a great need from our existing clients for “lifestyle” management and organization, and we launched our Lifestyle Concierge division.
Can you tell us about the specific “Aha moment” that gave you the idea to start this new path?
I took a step back and thought about “time”. The pandemic has prompted most everyone to rethink their work/life schedules and while no two routines are alike, one common thread resonates: We all need more time. That’s where we step in, to handle the minutiae of everyday life and give our clients back their time.
How are things going with this new initiative?
Our new initiative has already been extremely successful with referrals from our existing clients, Realtors, therapists, and attorneys for their clients. We’re looking forward to even more collaborations to help people manage this “new normal”.
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?
I worked with a busines coach, Fabienne Fredrickson, for four-plus years and during that time I experienced not only business growth but personal growth. I spent six days with her and eight other successful women in Provence and my life changed. On that trip I became aware of my strengths. I learned how to bring my femininity to the forefront of my business.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?
We were contacted by a marriage therapist whose clients were having financial and communication difficulties. We took over the bill-pay part and put some service providers in place to simplify their lives and open the lines of communication. This allowed them to focus on other important matters.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
5 Things I wish someone told me:
- Growth sucks cash: Do not be afraid to invest in yourself and your company.
- Get a great mentor and join a coaching program: I learned not only from my coach but from the other women in the program.
- Learn to delegate: Know what your unique brilliance is and hire competent people to do the rest.
- Hire to where you want your business to be, not where it is now: I found that hiring up opens the space for more business. The business will come if the space is there.
- Create systems to simplify the business process: Repetition saves time and time saves money.
So many of us have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. Can you share the strategies that you have used to optimize your mental wellness during this stressful period?
I make a point of walking every morning and try not to engage with people on social media. I also meditate and write in my gratitude journal every day.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
I would love to have lunch with Michelle Obama!
How can our readers follow you online?
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Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!