Cara Ivy was drowning in debt from her poor spending habits and wasn’t sure what to do, so she started to research her way out of her problem. Now that she has learned the steps to successfully rise out of debt, she has made it her mission and her business to help other people who were just like her and lacking in financial knowledge, break free from their habits, learn new ones, and start their own journey towards financial freedom. Read our interview with the lovely Cara below…
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I am a millennial that once had an issue with overspending and lacked the necessary financial literacy to make sound decisions. I found myself overwhelmed with financial burdens and I didn’t know what to do. For about 2 years, I worked to understand my habits, the importance of discipline, and I made small changes that gave me big results. Shortly after completing this process, I discovered there were others around me who suffered from some of the same worries as me, so I decided to do share what I learned. Everyone wants a prosperous financial future, but some don’t know how to make it happen. This is where The Ivy League, LLC steps in. I’ve always had a desire to help others and my business allows me to do just that.
Tell us about your business.
The Ivy League, LLC. is a business that help individuals establish a financial foundation to create a prosperous future. We focus on helping clients determine priorities, uncover traits that contribute to their habits, and institute alternatives to their current spending routine. We help construct monthly budgets, debt reduction plans, and encourage a better quality of life.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
Yes. Our website has a detailed monthly budget as well as a spending tracker to get you started with budgeting. The forms can be found here.
Where is your business based?
We are located in Harper Woods, Michigan.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
- Before starting my own business, I was my own client. I experienced trial, error, and success. I also educated myself on laws and regulations, and determined what I was doing wrong and how I could improve my own status. This works in my favor because I understand what my clients are going through and can work with them to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
- I completed my friend/mentor LaToya Early’s “Write the Vision” course and transformed my thoughts and experiences into a business. This was one of the best decisions I could have ever made.
- I established a company name, logo, domain name, and filed necessary paperwork for taxation purposes.
- I carefully considered what I wanted each client to walk away with and designed the program around just that. I want to make my clients know the service they’ve received pays off in every way possible.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Word of mouth and social media. Social media helps put me in the face of my audience day in and day out – it’s also free! Word of mouth has also been amazing; the genuine emotion that’s conveyed in a conversation can make a potential client say yes well before I say one word!
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
My biggest challenge was dedicating time needed to step out and get started. I knew in my heart being an entrepreneur is what I want to do but it seems like life was always presenting something that made it more difficult.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I stopped making excuses and I’m making my dream come alive, regardless of what life presents. Time management is critical and there will always be “something”. I remind myself daily that if I want my business to succeed, I have to give it 100% and I’m doing just that.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I’ve learned to pray, be grateful, and remain positive. It’s always easy to look at someone else’s situation and become discouraged when things aren’t going as planned. I take a moment to myself, step back, and thank God for where I am and what I have because my situation could be a lot worse. I then create a plan and work for what I want.
How did you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
The Ivy League believes that everything that manifests in our lives, starts in our thoughts and personal experiences. While many others can show you how to save, I take it one step further to help you identify why you spend. Identifying the reason why a person does a thing can transform their lifestyles.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
The best advice I’ve received is success never rewards the wrong person. If I work hard, remain consistent, and be true it will pay off.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Remain consistent and believe in your brand. If you don’t believe in you, no one else will. Don’t compare your story to someone else’s; we all have our own journey to embark upon; enjoy it as it happens, work hard, and reap your rewards.
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
My social media life jacket is Buffer. I prefer to post on my social media pages daily and Buffer allows me to schedule posts. I can plan out what I would want my audience to see, and post accordingly.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
Facebook The Ivy League, LLC.
Hashtags #theivyleague #finance #caraivy #influencer #budgeting #financialfreedom #balance #entrepreneur #smallbusiness #Detroit #spending #blackbusiness
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
“The Millionaire Next Door”, by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I am currently learning about transitioning from my 9-5 and becoming a full-time entrepreneur.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
My goal is to gain more clients who are prepared to make their first steps into financial freedom.