We had the good fortune of connecting with Dorothy Kolb and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dorothy, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I had worked in finance, production, operations and HR within the media and sports space for 20 years which took me from NYC to LA to the California Central Coast and to Baltimore/MD. It is a very male-dominated industry and I had my share of #metoo moments as well as very long hours and lots of stress. I missed far too many events and moments with my young family. About 6 years ago, I found myself getting a divorce, facing being a single mom of 4 sons and I realized that things had to change. Leaving my house at 7am and returning at 8pm just wouldn’t work anymore. I needed to be available and I wanted to be present for my kids. I had an opportunity to start a “side gig” while working in a 100% virtual company (that actually smiled on that type of thing!). As my outsourced CFO/accounting business began to build, I took that notoriously scary step of jumping into it full time. It was the perfect solution for being with my now-teenage sons and being the sole provider for our family. As I assessed my business path, I started working primarily (although not exclusively) with women-founders in the media production and marketing/creative industries and realized what a joy that was. Women are so collaborative, supportive and interactive. Working became just a lot of fun. I’ve never looked back.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I have an outsourced CFO and accounting firm with 3 staff accountants and me. No, that’s not unusual but what is unique about us is that we focus on creatives like media production, broadcasting and marketing/creative agencies and as much as we can, we work with women founders. Our mission is to make finance & accounting understandable for everyone so that founders can make decisions confidently. We like to take the work out of it so owners can do the work they love with the knowledge they need in a way they understand. We’ve got this Secret Sauce of assessment, structure and growth. That means, we look at how a business is functioning and determine if it’s the most efficient, effective way to do things (from a finance/accounting/HR perspective). Then we help adjust the process and structure so that it’s scalable and usable. And we help businesses grow by leaning on those improvements. Your numbers are so important and they don’t lie. Everyone should understand how much is coming in, how much is going out and more importantly, where it is going!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Oh gosh. Ok, I’ll assume I still live on the Central Coast (CA) then! There’s so much to do! Living in Paso Robles for years, I would grab them at SLO airport and then swing south to hit the beach first in Avila Beach, grab some food at the Custom House just for fun. Then head up to San Luis Obispo for some more great dining at Black Sheep Bar & Grill. Along the way, we could do some wine tasting in Edna Valley (too many great ones to list!). Heading over the grade to North County, we would visit so many great wineries between Templeton and Paso Robles, My favorites are on the West Side of Hwy 101 but anything along Hwy 46 East or West would be a fantastic time!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout actually goes to my 4 sons. Maybe it’s their naiveté or maybe they just think I’m awesome(!) but when I started my business and even now when I question what I’m doing, they always just assume I’m going to be successful and that positivity just continues to incentivize me to push forward. I’ve also had some great coaches along the way, Stephenie Girard being one who continuously asked me to ask myself why not?