Jessica Fialkovich is a mergers and acquisitions expert, keynote speaker, small business advocate, and award-winning business owner whose mission is to help small business owners leave their legacy and sell their businesses successfully, no matter the size.
Jessica is the co-founder and president of Transworld Business Advisors—Rocky Mountain, a business brokerage firm which achieved #1 status out of 200 global franchises in 2016 & 2017. She also co-built and sold two startups and was named a finalist for Outstanding Women in Business by the Denver Business Journal (2017). Her business was a finalist for Small Business of the Year in the DBJ (2018) and is on track to be part of the Inc. 5000 and Top 100 Women Owned Companies for ColoradoBiz Magazine in 2018.
How did the concept for Transworld Business Advisors come about?
Transworld is actually a franchise concept that my husband and I bought after the sale of our first business in the wine industry. We decided we wanted to pursue business brokerage as an industry because we saw there was a great need in the market to support small businesses owners, specifically, as they went through the process to either buy or sell a business.
What was your marketing strategy?
The core basis for our marketing strategy was and has always been to support the community that we serve. For this reason, we joined and volunteered in organizations that supported small businesses and entrepreneurs. We also spoke for these groups and gave them free and helpful resources to answer key questions they had related to our services.
How fast did the company grow during the first few years?
For the first five years, we averaged around a 90% growth rate, year over year.
How do you define success?
When you are able to achieve and surpass a goal set while being able to serve others along the way.
What is the key to success?
Tenacity. The ability to see or hear no as an answer multiple times, not let it deter you, and eventually find a new or different way to the solution.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned?
Related to not saying no enough. If you are faced with an opportunity, you are always saying no to something – either the opportunity in front of you or a potentially greater one in the future.
What are some quotes that you live by?
“It’s not the time in your life, it’s the life in your time.” – Bruce Springsteen
Tell me about one of the toughest days you’ve had as an entrepreneur.
It was actually the day after I sold my first business. I had so much of my identity tied to that business and my self-worth tied to how much I worked. I really struggled with depression and a search for what my purpose was. It took a few months to work through, and even then I don’t think I handled it well. But that first day was very rough, like a “why should I even get out of bed” type of day.
When faced with adversity, what pushes you to keep moving forward?
I’m driven by others’ expectations of me, so whenever I have a goal that I’m pursuing, I tend to be very vocal about it and surround myself with accountable partners. These are some of my most trusted friends and family members, and they support me and remind me of my ‘why’ when an adverse situation arises.
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurship is a career; it’s a journey. It’s not one particular business or project and it will challenge you as a person and make you evolve over time. If you look at it like that and not just a measure of success on one specific business, you’ll be much better suited to handle the adversity that is guaranteed to arise.
This interview was conducted for research purposes by author Jason Navallo for his upcoming book, Underdog.
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