We had the good fortune of connecting with Tiara Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tiara, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I’ve been blessed with amazing job opportunities throughout my career in the engineering field and at one point even felt that I was working in my dream position, but as I grew older my vision and goals changed. For a while, it was an internal struggle because I didn’t want to seem like I was ungrateful but the day to day work became more mundane and less exciting. In the beginning of my career I wanted less responsibility and more guided direction from my peers but I soon realized that path doesn’t always work out in your favor. As soon as I found a project that I loved, it would lose funding, the company would reorg, or my skills would be shifted elsewhere. At that point, I wanted more control over who I could work with and what I would work on to ensure I continued to enjoy what I do. I wanted a position that would provide me with flexibility and creative freedom. After spending months looking for that “perfect position” with zero results, I decided to shift gears and start making preparations to start my own business.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Strategic Sight Consulting was founded by me and my brother-in-law, Ray Mayfield and we have a very unique relationship. We started as co-workers sharing a desk between day and night shifts, but then Ray met my sister at an after hours work event and we became in-laws a few years later. I know….this very unheard of but we have grown to know each other professionally in our careers, personally as family, and now as business partners where we are able to set boundaries to ensure we keep a healthy work-life balance.
At Strategic Sight we help new entrepreneurs build an impactful business that will yield the creative and financial flexibility they desire. We know firsthand how frustrating it can be when you have restrictions and limitations around how you can use your gifts and expertise and we want to help others navigate that by providing the motivation to start, solid processes to build and a plan to follow through. We provide clear and manageable plans to help early stage entrepreneurs develop their ideas into profitable products/services and build a solid foundation to support their operations and customer experience. We offer educational programs and 1:1 consulting services that consist of advisory calls, intensive strategy sessions and product management support. Our training center consists of a self-paced digital course and a small group virtual training program that utilizes our trademark framework, IDEA Blueprint®, that teaches entrepreneurs how to understand the potential opportunities of their ideas, design customer-focused products/services and produce an implementation plan to develop a minimum viable product.
We believe that entrepreneurship should be obtainable by all who seek it, regardless of your experience, demographic or geographic location. There are many consulting agencies who have strict criteria on who they will work with, but we are more flexible at Strategic Sight. Our only ask is that you have an idea that you are passionate about and committed to following through with. Our goal is to break the barriers that have often intimidated or prevented the everyday person from becoming an entrepreneur and providing their gifts to the world on their own terms.
We started the business in the summer of 2019 excited and ready to hit the ground running to then be faced with the pandemic in 2020. We were met with the challenge of how to promote a new business but still remain sensitive to the fact that so many people’s priorities changed overnight with zero notice or time to prepare. Since we didn’t want to lose momentum, we shifted our plans, completely stepped out of our comfort zone (we prefer to be behind the scenes and out of the limelight) and pushed all of our efforts into starting our own live platform called The Frontrunner. The goal of the platform was to forget about all of the corporate rules that we were once beholden to and talk freely about what it really meant to start and run a business from the ground up with a family, 9 to 5 and other daily responsibilities. By removing the pressure of following in other people’s footsteps we were able to connect and build solid relationships with aspiring entrepreneurs and that network has been key to our success. The Frontrunner platform has since evolved into a podcast and streetwear apparel line that continues to express our take on entrepreneurship.
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.
I am a huge supporter of local businesses and love to take my friends and family to restaurants and shops that they can’t go to anywhere else. We would start the week with church on Sunday at New Life Community Baptist Church then brunch at our local diner Yorkshire. On a day with beautiful weather 2Silos Brewery to hear music at The Yard, have dinner at their neighboring restaurant Black Sheep and watch the kids play in the open playground would be ideal. For an evening event I would take them to open mic night at Jirani Coffeehouse and for tacos across the street at Zandra’s Taqueria. To get a taste of the local talent and culture, I would book a private viewing at The Haven Arts VA art gallery and event studio and then drive into Washington, DC to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Starting my own business has been rewarding and very difficult at times but I am thankful for my relationship with God and my family who have been my biggest supporters. My friends and colleagues are often amazed at how close I am to my family and how well we all get along. They not only encourage me when I can’t seem to encourage myself but they are also my sounding board and help steer me in the right direction whenever I tend to get off track. To my parents, Frederick and Lisa Jones, my big sister Nicole Mayfield and brother and business partner Ray Mayfield, thank you for being there at all hours of the day and night to answer my million and one questions and listen to my long vents about my day.