Be kind to yourself. Breathe and stay consistent. This day will come.
In today’s competitive business landscape, the race for profits often takes center stage. However, there are some leaders who also prioritize a mission-driven purpose. They use their business to make a positive social impact and recognize that success isn’t only about making money. In this interview series, we are talking with some of these distinct leaders and I had the pleasure of interviewing Jennifer Mea.
A natural problem-solver not afraid to dig deep into all aspects of operations and accounting & finance. Challenger to the status quo and firm believer that “We’ve always done it this way” is the most expensive sentence in business. Great passion for providing support for elderly and sick children and avid supporter of the Red Cross.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us your “Origin Story”? Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Born into a family where the 9 to 5 grind and unwavering loyalty to a single company were the accepted norms, I yearned to break the norm. Despite the pressure from my parents, I persisted in growing my own business to pursue my passion and obtaining a Master at the same time. Adversity struck when my father passed away. I picked up a temporary job while building my business, only to get fired secretly due to taking care of sick children. Thrown to the extremes, I had to face the world on my own till I was given a chance to officially bring Crestpoint Consulting to life.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?
My adventure of finding the best team to work with. Bringing people who are highly motivated and willing to step outside of their comfort zones. It is a valuable lesson that reinforced the notion that leadership is not just about having a plan but also about being able to adapt and make the best of any situation that comes my way.
We often learn the most from our mistakes. Can you share one that you made that turned out to be one of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned?
Not properly managing time and overcommitting by taking on too many projects. That was my greatest regret. I felt overwhelmed and not spending enough time with my family.
The valuable lesson that can be learned from this mistake is the importance of setting realistic goals and priorities, as well as learning to say no when necessary. It is crucial to assess the time and resources needed for each task or project before committing to it. This ensures that I can project the best solutions and myself with optimal efficiency, getting things completed within time without compromising.
As a successful leader, it’s clear that you uphold strong core values. I’m curious what are the most important principles you firmly stand by and refuse to compromise on. Can you share a few of them and explain why they hold such significance for you in your work and life?
Ethics and Integrity. I remember a shipping company asked if I could agree to his project after he had done a shipping container evaluation of boosted valuation which was more than the current market. I declined the project even though the fee was above the usual fees I have been charging.
What inspired you to start a purpose-driven business rather than a traditional for-profit enterprise? Can you share a personal story or experience that led you to prioritize social impact in your business?
Everyone is interested in making money and profit. We cannot deny that. I can be someone whom I like to be due to an opportunity given to me when I was at the rock bottom of my life. I would like to help companies just like how my first client whose CEO was my father’s friend has helped me.
Helping others as you would like to be helped. Helping others to grow their businesses so that they can help in paying you what you deserve.
With the strong need to help businesses out there due to the fragile economy: Prioritize the success of the clients before focusing on profit. By actively seeking ways to help clients profit and grow their business, which in turn can lead to long-term success and profitability for both parties.
This may involve offering value-added services, providing expert advice, or going above and beyond to meet client needs. This involves resolving bottlenecks, improving cash flow, and prioritizing client success. By focusing on these key areas, businesses can overcome obstacles, expand their operations, and thrive in their respective industries.
Can you help articulate a few of the benefits of leading a purpose-driven business rather than a standard “plain vanilla” business?
Leading a purpose-driven business means I am doing business for the sake of doing it, but rather putting myself at stake and running businesses as if they are my own. I don’t treat it as work anymore, but rather as a passion for unleashing the power of understanding the figures as insights into an action plan to put things back to what profit is.
How has your company’s mission or purpose affected its overall success? Can you explain the methods or metrics you use to evaluate the impact of this purpose-driven strategy on your organization?
My mission is not only to help companies to thrive but also to help their clients, meaning resolving more issues, for more impact in this world.
My key performance indicator would be Profits achieved in x days. My target is to ensure getting businesses with meaningful missions are on their feet for long-lasting impact while helping their clients.
Can you share a pivotal moment when you realized that leading your purpose-driven company was making a significant impact? Can you share a specific example or story that deeply resonated with you?
I have worked with a medical device marketing company that carries very good cardiac and dialysis-related products. Helping them with a new product initiative and opening up a new market enable the CEO of the medical device marketing company to reach out to hospitals that have such patients, saving lives and helping them breathe easier.
Have you ever faced a situation where your commitment to your purpose and creating a positive social impact clashed with the profitability of your business? Have you ever been challenged by anyone on your team or had to make a tough decision that had a significant impact on your finances? If so, how did you address and reconcile this conflict?
I was approached by a wine and spirits company with a good payout on the proposed project. My mission is guarded by my deep faith in Buddhism and well documented with the existence of my consulting firm. This was the most attractive payout that could cushion the company with ample excess for the next few years. No regrets even today as I am breathing clear conscience, aligning with my values.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs who wish to start a purpose-driven business? What are your “5 Things You Need To Know to Create A Highly Successful Purpose-Driven Business.”
1 . Never give up- This may be the last test before the real rewards come in.
2 . Avoid shiny objects syndrome- This can be distracting to your real teething issues in business.
3 . Small wins still count- Don’t expect to win big the first time. One step at a time.
4 . Family matters. That is where my motivation comes from.
5 . Be kind to yourself. Breathe and stay consistent. This day will come.
I’m interested in how you instill a strong sense of connection with your team. How do you nurture a culture where everyone feels connected to your mission? Could you share an example or story that showcases how your purpose has positively influenced or motivated people on your team to contribute?
Lead by role example. Recruitment for the right person plays a big part. I consider each team member as a part of my family. I would rather wait than recruit the wrong person to my team. They must share the same values and convictions as they should be in line with their own lives.
We do team building and share happenings in our lives.
Imagine we’re sitting down together two years from now, looking back at your company’s last 24 months. What specific accomplishments would have to happen for you to be happy with your progress?
Reaching out to the businesses that have great potential to be of help to people, yet are at the stage of diminishing in existence.
Having a strong team with the same conviction can be planted in different parts of the world.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
Giving and reaching to charities who are all alone by themselves.
How can our readers further follow your work or your company online?
This was great. Thanks for taking time for us to learn more about you and your business. We wish you continued success!
About the Interviewer: Chad Silverstein is an accomplished entrepreneur and visionary leader. He started his first company, Choice Recovery, Inc., while attending Ohio State University and grew it to become an industry outlier before selling the business after 25 successful years. With the launch of his second venture, [re]start, a career development platform, Chad aimed to help people find meaningful career opportunities. Under his leadership, his team was recognized as a “Top Workplace” award winner for over a decade, twice being ranked the #1 small and medium-sized business to work for in Central Ohio. Chad sold [re]start in 2023, enabling him to focus on building an online community of high-performing leaders and continuing to make a positive impact in people’s lives.