Judith Heft & Associates is celebrating 23 years of business, and I think that’s something to shout out loud about!
I was literally born to be an entrepreneur. My mom was my role model because she had started a business on her own, without any experience. Eventually, my dad joined the business and together they taught me the ways of the retail market at a young age. They also taught me how to run a business — including how to treat employees and clients.
I closed that business about 25 years ago. To make a living, I found myself working as a bookkeeper at a hedge fund. One of the guys in suits came over to me and said, “Can you help my parents? They need help with bookkeeping. They’re overwhelmed, they’re not paying their bills. They have the money, but since they aren’t paying their bills utilities are getting shut off.”
I accepted the offer and soon realized that helping people was what I really liked. I started networking at a lot of senior groups — one of which brought me into contact with a woman who asked, “Do you only work with seniors?” I said no, and I ended up helping her get her financial life in order. I didn’t realize that younger people could also use our services!
Today, our clients range in age from mid-30s to 102, including:
- Successful individuals who are overwhelmed. Some people are just too busy to spend time with bookkeeping and bill pay.
- Recently divorced and widowed women, and a few men.
- People who just don’t have a head for numbers.
- Young couples that are high-net worth who both work, have a nanny and a housekeeper — and need someone to keep track of all of those expenses and tax liabilities.
- Couples with multiple properties who need someone to keep it all straight for them. Owners of multiple properties have lots of bills!
We approach running a household like running a small business. As any small business owner knows, that means it’s about more than just the numbers — a lot of soft skills are required. And they pay off. I was on the receiving end of a really nice compliment from a client the other day. He said he hired us because we are “smart, knowledgeable, professional, educated, cheerful and fun.” While I love that someone thinks we’re smart, knowledgeable, professional, and educated — “cheerful and fun” were the real compliments to me.