Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in coaching but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Joey M. Ruffalo, founder of J.R. Financial Coaching, located in El Sobrante, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I am a financial coach, but I like to refer to myself as a money mindset coach. I am passionate about helping people take control of their finances and achieve their financial goals. I believe that everyone deserves to have a bright future, and I am dedicated to helping people achieve that future. I am committed to providing my clients with the best possible service and resources. I am also committed to continually improving my business so that I can better serve my clients. My clients are those who need help resetting their relationship with money. While I work with small business owners, active duty and military veterans, couples, individuals as well as those in the gig economy, I do work extensively with those in the reselling community, such as sellers on eBay and Poshmark. Our focus is on building a business that will not only serve a purpose to them currently (i.e., make extra money to pay off debt, leave a 9-5 job and work out of the home) but structure it for success in the long term (i.e., retirement, college funding, paid off house).

Tell us about yourself

The financial landscape of 2007-09 hit us hard in our previous business. We accumulated a lot of debt trying to maintain. We ended up with over $370,000 in debt. Going through the process of figuring out a plan of attack as well as how to survive mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically was a daunting one as we went through it alone. I was scared. I couldn't sleep. Every noise at night woke me up. Every sound of every truck driving by sent me into a panic that my truck was being repossessed. I flipped through the radio one day and heard Dave Ramsey speaking about how to handle creditors. I knew there was hope. We paid off all $370,000 in about two and half years. When we were done, I said to my wife that I never wanted anyone to feel alone in this process again. I want to be there for anyone who feels that way and to walk beside them; I got serious and learned all I could about financial coaching. What motivates me today is the little wins my clients have along the way. For example, the time a client told me that it was the first time they paid cash for Christmas and didn't charge anything. Sometimes the win isn't about how much money you paid off or saved; it is about the behavior change.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Personal accomplishments would be being named the Best of the East Bay Financial Service in 2020 by my clients or being named a Marquis Who's Who in America, Marquis Top 100 Professional, and Marquis Top Business in 2021, all while being a single operator business. But honestly, I forget about those until I am reminded. My biggest accomplishment isn't my accomplishment; it's my clients. They have paid off over $1million dollars in debt and have saved over $250 thousand dollars and counting. They do the work; I guide them on their journey.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Time management, for starters, as well as setting appropriate boundaries. Another would be the ability to admit that you might not know something or be able to help in a particular situation. We try to be all things to all people sometimes, especially in the beginning when we are establishing ourselves and, quite honestly, trying to earn an income. That could end up hurting not only the client but our growth as a business owner.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Plan your business carefully. Research the industry you are entering. Write a business plan.
  2. Have a clear vision and mission for your business. Stick to it no matter what!
  3. Surround yourself with professionals that will help you grow your business. These are people like CPA's, attorneys, Financial Advisors, established players, or even recently retired people in the field to serve as mentors. People who have your best interest at heart and can help you get to the next level.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

It is important to be yourself. Trying to be someone you are not does not usually work out in the end. Be authentic. Also, learn your limits and learn to ask for help. If you don't know something, it's okay to admit it, seek out the answer and learn. Problems are only situations awaiting a solution.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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