Dr. Tasha Holland-Kornegay is a counselor, author, motivational speaker and entrepreneur. Her latest endeavor, Margaret’s Box, is a therapeutic tool that helps people through the process of goal setting and motivation. To create Margaret’s Box, Dr. Holland-Kornegay has leveraged more than 20 years as a mental health therapist helping families, couples, and individuals get through challenging life issues.
Why did you start your company?
Growing up, I lived in a low-income community. A lot of people there were hopeless. They needed direction; they needed help. For some reason, they came to me for that. It usually happened on my porch. They always looked at me as their community therapist. When it was time for me to go off to college, they pretty much chose a major for me. I didn’t know what it meant to be a counselor or a psychologist. But I did know that people told me I made them feel good and gave them food for thought. I liked helping people. I majored in sociology, which led me into the counseling field.
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How did you finance the company at the start?
When it comes to money, I’m a budgeter. Some would call me a penny-pincher. With my budget, I needed an office space and equipment. I always looked for the most cost-effective equipment. So, I had a used computer. I didn’t go to Best Buy and purchase the best computer they had. I used a lot of second-hand tools to bring my budget down. I also did a lot of bartering to help bring the budget down. You really can open a business on a shoestring budget if you get creative.
What’s the biggest mistake you made when you were starting your business?
I would advise any entrepreneur to read over contracts before you sign them. I operate on a shoestring budget. I was so happy to find an office space that was relatively cheap. I signed the contract, but didn’t realize I was signing a five-year lease. I was stuck there. I got the rate I wanted, but I didn’t read it, I just looked for the X.
What’s the smartest thing you did when you were starting your business?
I gave my personality to the business. All of my clients say you can feel the love. From the moment they hit the reception desk, they can feel the emotion that these people really care about me.
Running the Business
How do you manage cash flow for the business?
I separate my business account from my personal account. I pay myself just as I would pay an employee. You have to be very careful with mingling funds. A lot of times, if I’m not conducting business, I leave my business credit and debit cards at home. That way, I’m not tempted to mingle funds. I’m very simple and I believe that the simpler you are in life, the easier it is. I don’t have any apps I use for business finances – I just manage my accounts separately.
What’s the most challenging thing about running the business?
I don’t think there are really challenges. I look at challenges as learning curves that benefit me.
What’s the most rewarding thing about running the business?
I’m able to bring problems to solutions and solutions to problems. I’m able to help people. I’m able to witness their lives change right in front of me in that therapeutic room. That’s what keeps me going and keeps me motivated.
What advice would you give to a new entrepreneur?
A lot of people want to know “How do you know you’ve really made it?” I always tell them to consider success as doing what you love. I tell them to chase that.
What’s next for your business?
I’ve been in this business for over 20 years. Margaret’s Box is my first therapeutic tool. Most therapists write books, but I wanted to do something that was a little different and more my personality. Within the next 5, 10, 20 years, I want to continue to provide assistance to those who are in need and also to get on a conference circle with Margaret’s Box. I want to talk with people and get back out in the trenches.
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