We had the good fortune of connecting with Cynathia Cortese’ and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cynathia, how do you think about risk?
I view risk as absolutely necessary; without risk there is no reward. Before I graduated from grad school I had already decided to take the risk of not looking for employment but instead starting my own financial firm. I only decided to finish grad school because I knew that was something my mom and family wanted to see me do, however I knew there was a great chance I wouldn’t use the degree. I saw how working for someone else took away freedom from those around me and my freedom was not something I was willing to sacrifice. It would have put me in the position to miss out on certain moments with my daughter, not being able to be available when my grandmother needed me the most, or possibly settling for positions in life that I didn’t enjoy. These are the things that are most important to me so I didn’t want to neglect them. I honestly believed that it was too big of a risk to take the same route the people around me were taking, I knew if I ever wanted to go that way, the opportunity would always be there. I chose to become a full time entrepreneur from the beginning and pave my own way toward what I desired in life. I had to take a risk of doing something I hadn’t seen anyone else close to me successfully do because I believed the risk was not only worth it, but necessary and 7 years later I still do.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am the owner of Key Assets Financial, we help individuals and small business owners with their financial needs. We specialize in accounting, tax preparation, credit restoration, grant writing, and business consulting. What sets us apart from others is ,because of our amazing team, we are able to provide a personal touch with each one of our clients. Our systems are designed to make sure each client receives an awe-experience. What I am most excited about for our business is the expansion we have experienced over the last year! We decided to revamp some of our services and relaunch and it has been an incredible experience. We have a team of CPAs, Grant Writers, Tax Professionals, and Certified Credit Counselors who believe in the vision and are dedicated to making an impact in the financial industry. We will also be launching our very own mobile app early December and it will be available for download on IOS and Android. We are super excited about that! I got to where I am today by prayer, drive, and laser beam focus. Ive always had the vision but it took a few years for me to get everything moving smoothly in the right direction. I believe the key to success is being consistent and not being afraid to fail. Having the right systems in place says is essential to your business; this is apart of my business I work heavily on. It has not been easy, I have bumped my head so many times, made bad investments, and not so favorable decisions. I waisted a lot of time being focused on the wrong activity, when in reality God had already provided me with the right tools; He was just waiting on my to implement them. The biggest part of my success comes from learning to say “no”,setting boundaries with others, and most importantly having the right people on the bus! That goes for business partners, friendships, and family. Energy is everything and it is very contagious so if you do not have the right people around you it cause you to be stagnant in your journey. Being from a small town in Mississippi called Little Yazoo; One of my major motivations is being an example for the young entrepreneurs coming behind me. When you live in small rural area, sometimes we tend to fall through the cracks or fall into a pattern of what we saw growing up. It can be hindering. I want to be the reason someone decides to go for their dreams unapologetically and without asking for permission. It is so fulfilling to work inside your passion! I want them to know and understand that, you are the “Key Asset” in whatever you decide to do. If you want it to work, it will, but you don’t think It will work, it won’t.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend was visiting the area and I wanted to show the best time ever our itinerary would go a little something like this. We would start on a Friday with breakfast @ Broadstreet off I-55 frontage road Jxn, Ms. We would go get manis and pedis at Holly Nails in Flowood, Ms. We probably do a little shopping in Dogwood Outlet Mall before grabbing late lunch at Dumbos in Fondren. We would go back home to wine down and prepare for a night of live music, singing and dancing in the Renaissance room at Johnny T’s Bistro downtown Jackson, Ms. Saturday we would catch a late brunch and poinsettias at Half Shells Oyster house in Flowood and more than likely nap to rejuvenate for Happy Hour at the Metropolitan Bar off Ridgewood Court before taking it in for church on Sunday Morning at Word of Life in Flowood,Ms After church we will more than likely eat at Pelican Cove on the Rez enjoying the breeze and overlooking the water.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
If I had to shoutout anyone first, It would definitely have to be my grandmother, Mattie Yancy! My mom passed away from cancer when I was 9 years old and my grandmother chose to raise me from that moment forward. She has been a thriving pillar in my success and at 81 she is still a major part of my life to this day. Secondly, It would be my uncle, Herb Jones! I appreciate him for instilling powerful business tools in me. He has always encouraged me and supported me in every way possible. Next would be my dad, Curtis Wilkerson, he makes sure he tells everyone how proud of me he is. I am a single mother to the most amazing beautiful 7 year old, Baleigh Nicole, the day she was born I found a new purpose in life! I strive everyday to be an example she can follow! Last but not least, I have very supportive and amazing friends who are always a listening ear when I bring forth new ideas or just need a shoulder to lean on!
Linkedin: Cynathia Cortese’
Facebook: Cynathia Wilkerson
Yelp: Key Assets Financial
Image Credit: Nico Hopkins @theperfectshotnh