Jarah D. Macfarlane is a solopreneur from the US. A specialist in Financial Markets, he works as an advisor and investor.
In this interview he shares with us his experiences, giving us some advice and tips for our journey.
Jarah is an author too, he made one book and is working on a new one. I hope this interview likes you!
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1- Hi Jarah! Who are you and what are you currently working on?
Hey Lucas, I’m an Author, Advisor and Investor that works with clients out of Seattle WA. Currently, I’m working on my second book, “Why Companies Go Public” and am finishing up the final details on my first book’s launch.
2- What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
My backstory is unconventional, to say the least. I spent two years at a traditional private college here in Seattle studying Biology and Psychology. Then, I got really lucky and discovered early that I was fascinated with the financial markets-and helping people invest. From there, I changed my major to finance, moved my education online and started my firm.
3- How did you go from idea to product?
For me, it was more of a “which idea” am I going to run with. In analyzing the different avenues I could take to help people invest there were a whole bunch. Start a hedge fund, do equity and stock research, build a trading program, so on and so forth. After spending some time (and resources) dipping my toes into them all I landed on my purpose-which would be to foster participation in the public markets for everyday americans. The best way I could do that was through starting a registered investment advisory (RIA) firm. From there it was a series of regulatory and business steps to get everything set up-but the vision was crystal clear.
4- What were your marketing strategies to grow your business?
I’m very much still in the growth phase and marketing strategies are top of mind. With that being said, I’m trying to create consistent (not too frequent though) and quality content. I have a “content gameplan” I’ve made for myself that details all the things to do on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly basis. I’ve also tried a ton of different content avenues, from videos to virtual events to writing. I’m sticking with writing and carving my niche there with my financial market newsletters and books because it’s what I enjoy most and has had the most success with.
5- How are you doing today and what are your goals for the future?
Things are going well. I paid myself for the second straight quarter, after taking no income from the business whatsoever during year one. Even though it’s not much, it means a lot to me. For the future, I plan on building an awesome wealth management firm in America-both for clients and for employees and stakeholders. We are going to eat legacy wealth management alive.
6- Since starting your journey as a solopreneur, what have been your main lessons?
I wish earlier on I had been more committed. I wasted a lot of time not being urgent enough. I’m still struggling with this but if you’re going to really make it work, it’s likely you’ll have to sacrifice other parts of your life for it. One of my family members instilled in me the wisdom that “you can have everything, just not all at once.”
Apart from that, I think it can be scary just starting out to put yourself out there. That’s not going to change, even for a while, so the sooner you can get comfortable with it the better. The good news is that if you’re passionate beyond belief and hell-bent on what you’re doing it’ll show. And people will notice.
7- What were the biggest obstacles you overcame? What were your worst mistakes?
The biggest obstacle remains the same, and I work to overcome it every day. That obstacle is my age. It’s a brutal thing, but oftentimes people equate age with seriousness or ability. Sometimes it takes multiple tries to prove to people that’s not the case.
There are a couple of big mistakes I made, and I’m not going to go into them specifically because they are very industry specific. I will say if your focus is on “avoiding mistakes” you’ll never get anything done. I try every day to remind myself that the mess-ups and imperfections I deal with sometimes are an incredible part of the growing process. You’ll only see them that way in hindsight I suppose.
8- What tools or resources do you recommend for someone who is starting?
I will recommend the same things I recommend to my business clients. The software has never been better, and we live in a world where virtually any problem has a specific use case software tool to solve it. I encourage every reader to explore the ways in which good software tools can enhance their lives. Some of my favorite tools include Picsart (for photo/video/graphic editing), Cardd.co (for web hosting/design) and Zipbooks (for invoicing/billing/accounting).
9- If you had the chance of doing only one thing differently, what would it be?
Piggybacking off the item above, I wish I had set up my accounting systems earlier. People think the first thing you need when opening a solo business is a business bank account. I’ve stopped telling people that. Of course, it’s still important and totally necessary-but make sure you have accounting infrastructure in place on day zero. It makes no sense to start buying things for the business or billing clients if you have no accurate way to record it all. Once the bookkeeping goes under, it’s very very hard to keep the business afloat.
10- Where can we go to learn more about you and your work?
I would point you in the direction of my first book, Nonelective Finance. I’m currently (through the end of the year) doing a virtual book launch party where all proceeds are donated to charity. It’s my most complete work and I am very proud of it. Besides that, I’m active on Instagram and Twitter @jarahmacfarlane, where you will find links to my firm and client-facing work. I don’t promote it or solicit clients directly when doing marketing because I want to make sure everyone I want to work with wants to equally work with me. One of my favorite saying in investing (and business/life) is that:
“The best products sell themselves.”
Jarah D. Macfarlane
Accredited Portfolio Management Advisor and Founder of Macfarlane Investors LLC
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