Asked what it’s like to be her own boss, Clayton State alumna Meredeth Jones ’04 needed only a one-word response.
“Freeing,” she said.
It took a couple of turns for Meredeth to open her own business, two chicks consulting, but she would not have it any other way.
Born just a few minutes from Clayton State into a middle class family, Meredeth’s childhood drastically changed when her father passed away. Living at that time in Tennessee, Meredeth’s mother moved her and her two siblings back to Clayton County to live with Meredeth’s grandmother in a one-bedroom apartment.
Watching her mother struggle with such loss while maintaining her strength was a very humbling experience.
“(My mother’s) strength and perseverance is what taught me to be strong, independent, and financially able to take care of myself no matter what happens,” Meredeth said.
After high school, Meredeth began working full-time and started looking to further her education. Having to pay for school on her own, Clayton State provided the flexibility she needed to attend classes at night.
As a paralegal studies student, Meredeth remembered Mara Mooney, professor of Legal Studies, as someone who helped her along the way.
“She was honest and real – someone you could relate to,” Meredeth said.
Meredeth eventually began working at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta as a contracts manager and paralegal. At the time, she was excited to do what she was educated to do, but she also realized that working solely as a paralegal was not what she wanted to do for the rest of her career.
Meredeth made a career change and moved into a franchise sales position, using her paralegal background as a huge asset when it came to understanding regulations.
Meredeth eventually opened her own consulting firm, two chicks consulting, which focuses on helping franchisors grow through lead generation and improving & streamlining the franchise sales process to include brand positioning for franchisors as well as general consulting for non-franchised small businesses.
In addition, she helps entrepreneurs find the right business opportunity based on their budget, interests, and background. She has worked with various businesses, from childcare, retail, and restaurants to major brand such as Chick-fil-A and Steak ‘n Shake.
Looking back at the decision to go out on her own, she said, “I wanted to control my own destiny. I knew I could be of service to many as opposed to just a few.”
She said that life is about being of service to others, first and foremost.
Asked if she has any advice for Clayton State alumni who may be interested in owning their own business, she provided three tips:
- Know your budget
- Find or create a business that you are passionate about and where there is demand for your business
- Be aware that owning your own business definitely has its ups and downs. Make sure you can sustain through “downs” by capitalizing on the “ups.”