1. What's your name?
2. What’s the name of your business and what products/services do you offer?
Brittany Maschal Consulting: We provide college and graduate school admissions as well as early career counseling.
Strategy Girl: We are an organization working to advance young women and change the conversation around leadership, ambition, and community-building. Our vision is a world where ambitious girls lift each other up in order to all rise.
3. Let's get to know you! Tell us 3 facts about yourself
Fact 1: My preferred mode of transportation is bike (I have two) — bike to my co-working space (shout to The Wing in Williamsburg) and anywhere else I possibly can.
Fact 2: Big animal lover. Have a dog, Lola, and a ton of fish. Lola also enjoys biking and can often be seen biking with me in the front basket.
Fact 3: I grew up on a barrier island, and naturally I suppose, feel best when I am in or near water!
4. What inspired you to start your own bizz?
A few things. First and foremost, I saw how much a lack of transparency caused students to focus on the wrong things in their application, and knew if I was on the other side, I could change that. I also recognized that it was a rapidly growing market and one where my experience in higher ed would be highly marketable.
Second, I knew that I could not go to work in an office every day and be happy; it is not the best fit environment for me. I come from a family of entrepreneurs and knew that was the path where I could find the most happiness and success.
5. Where do you find your motivation?
I have always been internally motivated. I get out of bed each morning with quite a bit of energy to tackle the day. Professionally, that paired with doing work that I actually enjoy—in an environment that suits me—it is easy to stay motivated. I do experience some burnout at the end of every admissions season which means feeling less than motivated, but luckily, I know exactly when it will hit and I can plan around it. I generally am excited to experience each day and I am grateful I can in such a fun and meaningful way. I guess I realize how lucky that makes me!
6. What do you do to feel more inspired/motivated on the days that can feel a little mundane?
I usually work on Strategy Girl stuff on days that I feel bored or need to use my brain in a different way. It is not a completely different type of work (in fact, it is very similar in some ways), but it feels different because there is no “business” aspect to it. I mean, there will be someday I think, but right now I am not operating it as a business. It started as a passion project and still feels that way to me. I enjoy the creative aspects of working on the IG, and socially, it has been a wonderful way to connect with and even meet in real life women doing amazing things in their own careers.
7. What are some daily revenue-generating activities that really move the needle in your bizz?
BMC is successful, in part, because I play the long game. There are no concrete, single daily tasks that move the needle on the day-to-day. However, how I interact with clients whether weekly or daily (in crunch time it can be daily) does play a role in our success because this is a referral-based business. Right now, 90% of our clients are referrals, so the client experience is very important. Families will remember their admissions results—and those do matter to us!—but more importantly, they remember how you made them feel throughout the process of applying. That is where referrals come from!
8. What kind of tasks are better to automate vs manually do each day/week?
I automate as much as I can! I often schedule emails to go out to clients. For example, I might want or need to take time away from my desk during the week, so I will reply to emails the night before and schedule them to go out during business hours. I also schedule 2-3 weeks plus of blog posts at a time, as well as automate all of the social for Strategy Girl.
9. If you could give advice to another woman starting her own bizz in the same industry/field, what would it be?
I would advise anyone starting a consulting business focused on education or career advising to gain as much experience as possible before doing so; be patient, and build a strong foundation of real-world experience. This might mean enduring some crappy jobs, but if you play the long game and can see the value in every role, you’ll be better off for it. I guess as I get older, I see the value in the wisdom I have developed over the 15 years I have been working in education, and how important those early—very crappy—jobs were.
I would also suggest not go out 100% on your own too early; consider freelancing for other people when you start out! Test out the waters under someone else; fail a bit under someone else. There’s a lot to learn, and having a mentor or a “boss” to lean on in some cases can be so helpful.