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Inspiring Conversations with Carrie Williams of Running Valley Financial Associates

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carrie Williams.

Hi Carrie, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Growing up on Running Valley Farm, my family farm in rural North Dakota, I learned the value of community, partnership and hard work. I graduated from the University of North Dakota and then headed south to Florida to start my career in corporate America in 2000.

I had always wanted to start my own business, but I was unsure about what I really wanted to do and never thought it was the “right time”. I had a lengthy corporate career and I often felt that was the only option. When the pandemic hit and I started working my corporate job from home, I realized how much I loved being more available for my family. I ended up taking a Dave Ramsey course on Financial Coaching, and it clicked for me. I remember having the “aha” moment when I realized that Financial Coaching was how I was meant to serve others. The desire to have more flexibility in my schedule, coupled with the fact that the pandemic was turning many families’ financial situations upside down, I felt that this was the “right time” to start my business and where I could make a positive impact for others immediately.

Since then, my business has grown. In addition to providing financial coaching to individuals and families, I now also provide coaching and support for small business owners – whether it is helping them get started on the right foot or helping them to understand their business finances. As a licensed CPA, I also provide tax preparation and advising for individuals and small businesses.

It has been an amazing journey so far, beginning with having an idea, giving it a name (my business is named after my family farm), starting everything from scratch, and seeing it grow as a vehicle for helping others.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Starting your own business definitely has its challenges. As a “solo-preneur” you wear a lot of hats, especially in the beginning when you’re working to get everything up and running. My biggest lesson so far is to manage your time wisely, as time is money. If there’s a task in your business that is taking time that would be more beneficial doing something else (i.e., working with clients), or that task is not your area of expertise or you don’t enjoy doing it – outsource it if possible! It will ultimately reduce your stress as a business owner if you stick to what you’re passionate about doing.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Running Valley Financial Associates, LLC?
I am a helper by nature, and I love using the financial skills that I have to help others change their life situations. I provide common sense Financial Coaching to individuals and small businesses, which involves setting specific goals such as: becoming debt-free, learning to budget, having an emergency fund, saving for large purchases, and helping them build wealth so they can live the life of their dreams. A big part of this process is working with the client to change their behaviors when it comes to money. The key to transformational, lasting change when it comes to your finances is solid financial habits!

I am also a Certified Public Accountant, so through my business I also provide tax preparation services for individuals and small businesses, as well as helping small businesses analyze their finances to maximize profits.

I take great pride in providing exceptional customer service. Dealing with financial topics is often a source of anxiety and stress for people. I work hard to create a safe, encouraging environment where people can feel at-ease to ask questions and learn without criticism or judgment.

What do you like best about our city? What do you like least?
As a resident of the Tampa Bay area since 2000, I have seen a lot of changes! I love how the city of Tampa has kind of come into its own the last few years. The changes to the downtown area including Sparkman’s Wharf and the Riverwalk are gorgeous and really showcase what a beautiful city Tampa is. I have always felt that the Tampa area was a hidden gem, with our incredible beaches and sports teams. Now in recent years, it’s not so hidden anymore! With the influx of people moving here, I hope that Tampa can maintain its beauty and small-city feel. I also hope the traffic doesn’t continue to get worse!

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