Financial expert Michelle Jacobik created the EnVision + Thrive Academy to help entrepreneurs looking to create a vision for their business, generate revenue and gain visibility. Knowing how hard it can be to be on the winning side of business, she recently launched a new product, the EnVision + Thrive Oracle Deck, which is a series of cards designed to keep entrepreneurs inspired along their journey. Jacobik is also the author of Prosperity After Divorce and has a new book coming out this fall called The Path to Profits. She sat down with Jessica Abo to share how you can create your own path to financial freedom.
Michelle, what inspired you to become a financial expert?
In my 20s, I was working as an administrative assistant making $11 an hour, but I was spending as though I was earning $75 an hour. The irony was that I was making these mistakes while I was working for a financial-services firm on my way to becoming a financial advisor. So, here I was, becoming a financial advisor and spending money that I didn’t have, and I got myself into some pretty serious debt. Once I saw my own mistakes and how I was handling my money, I got myself back on the right track, and I became even more inspired to help other people do the same.
How did you go from running a company making $12 million in sales to creating your Academy?
I created the EnVision + Thrive Academy out of a desire to mentor others. After I retired from my own insurance practice in 2013, I took my 25 years of risk-management expertise, tax and financial background and insights from being a serial entrepreneur, and I started supporting others with building and scaling their profitable businesses. Then Covid happened and my consulting practice was full. I couldn’t take on any more one-on-one clients, and yet entrepreneurs needed leadership and guidance more than ever in order to keep their doors open. I knew that I wanted to be a support to help them figure that out, so I opened the academy.
That’s where I have an opportunity to support them as a group, on a weekly basis. It’s given me the space to teach and mentor those who need a direction on how to pivot and grow, in spite of these new challenges, while at the same time hosting them in a positive, high-vibe business incubator. It’s honestly become this thriving community, where entrepreneurs make meaningful connections, and I’m watching these great collaborations happen, in addition to getting their business-building questions answered from myself as well as other leading experts.
You say there are five things everyone should keep in mind in business. What are they?
The five things that everyone should keep in mind are this: First, don’t start with your passion and not have a plan. Have a roadmap and a runway. Make sure that you’re looking at the money. Don’t avoid it. This isn’t the place to put your head in the sand. Get really clear about your vision, personal, lifestyle and your business vision and your goals. Lastly, remember the importance of community and having a positive support tribe around you. This entrepreneur journey is not for the faint of heart, and we want to make sure that you’ve got positive people surrounding you and in your front row.
I know in addition to creating a business community, you’re also passionate about giving back. Tell us how philanthropy plays a role in your life.
I believe we all have opportunities to use our businesses for good. Sometimes that’s us donating our time. Sometimes that’s us giving our treasure and sometimes that’s using our talents. So, for me, during United Way Day Of Giving at our local food bank with my employees, I became more aware of the food-insecurity issues in our community. As a leader that day, it gave me space to ask questions like: What else do I not know? I learned that EBT cards don’t cover diapers and wipes or feminine-hygiene products. We started, after that day, leading an annual diaper drive in our community, using our business as a drop-off point, collecting diapers and wipes to help out.
Today, 15 years later, I’m still doing that, donating profits from my workshops, gathering donations and, more importantly, using my social influence online so that I can continue to educate others about this void; so that they too might do something similar in their own communities. It’s so much bigger than one person. It also inspires other people to ask their own questions and to see if they can find a way to make a difference and cast a wider net with the influence of their business inside of their communities or in the world at large.
You have shared so much advice, and I’m excited to read your book when it comes out in the fall. Can you share what readers will find inside The Path to Profits?
I’m going to reveal so many things in this book. I believe we should be building businesses that are profitable in support of our life, not at the expense of it. I’m going to share with the readers why a powerful vision for your life is the most important tool for shaping and growing your business. I’m going to walk them through my vision, plus flow, plus grow method for creating that profitable business structure, while actually supporting and enjoying their one precious life.