Stories of Impact

Founder & CEO, ClientJoy

Company: ClientJoy
Year Founded: 2015
What They Do: Help businesses show gratitude using gifts that are made locally.
Vision: To be the experts in locally sourced gifting anywhere.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Asking for help — showing vulnerability.

I’ve always wanted to create. I’ve always been really excited about making something and forging my own path, but ClientJoy was a serendipitous surprise that I didn’t expect. I went to a Startup Weekend and had an “aha!” moment in which I realized I could work in the private sector and start a business that helped me pursue my passions.

Before ClientJoy, I had spent my career in the public sector. I was a policy adviser and I had also worked as a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher for three years. I originally thought that teaching would just be a pit stop, but my experience in the classroom dramatically transformed my life. Students have a way of tempering your ego. I have a very strong sense of self, but when I walked into the classroom, my students quickly reminded me that I don’t know everything.

OEN has helped me understand that because we are so vulnerable, entrepreneurs cannot be an island.

Entrepreneurship is a lot like teaching. You’re constantly learning and iterating, and what worked yesterday might not work today. You show your vulnerability and what you do and don’t know. It’s frustrating, but it also makes you grow.

More than anything, OEN has given me access to a peer support network. One entrepreneur has said to me, “If you need any recommendations for anything, call me, I got you.” Another opened the door for me recently and gave me a giant kiss on the cheek. That’s exactly what I needed that day.

Through my involvement with OEN, I’ve learned how to ask for help. When I was struggling with a problem at ClientJoy, a fellow entrepreneur said to me, “The reason this isn’t working is because you’re trying to do it, and that is not what you’re good at. You need to give it to someone else and focus on what you do well.” Because I’ve started asking for help and shifting my focus to what I can do well, we’ve been able to pursue much larger, more lucrative opportunities.

To me, ClientJoy is a chance to help people do better in business by using gratitude. It’s like a catalyst for better relationships.

OEN has been there to help me and serve as my catalyst
for better relationships, showing me that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, even when I couldn’t see it.

Throughout this tumultuous entrepreneurial journey, OEN has been there to help me and serve as my catalyst for better relationships, validating my challenges and showing me that there is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, even when I couldn’t see it. The connections I’ve developed through OEN have changed my life and helped move my business forward.

Credits  Videography: Shanti Martin, Freedom Street Studios | Photography: Shanti Martin, Niya Christine, Edis Jurcys | Content & Design: David McLaughlin, Niya Christine 

Back to Top
Simple Share Buttons
Simple Share Buttons