CDJ and Associates: Q&A with Camille Jamerson

By Hunter mylek

Q: Please tell us a little about yourself and your entrepreneurial journey.

A: “The death of my father sent me into a tailspin of what I called “functioning grief”. I started a new job just days after he was buried, hoping to escape it all. It didn’t work. I ended up leaving that amazing 6 figure position and taking the time off I should have taken from the beginning. 
When I felt ready to return to the workforce, I had a new appreciation for life and refused to waste it by doing what I HAD to do instead of what I wanted to do.  I was already an author, managing a side business for over 8 years, AND (before I quit) was working a 9 to 5. The idea came from monetizing what I was already doing for so many small businesses and entrepreneurs as a side job. In helping them to build wealth, devise a strategic plan, create their brand, line it up with their communications, mapping out their website, it didn’t really register that I was ALREADY a management consultant.  
Watching my daddy’s time run out, I got a new respect for the value of time.  So now my goal is to build my businesses and make more money for my time, so I’m no longer spending all my time making money. 

Q: What do you do at CDJ and Associates?

A: “CDJ & Associates is a boutique management consultant firm. We work with small-midsize businesses, entrepreneurs, public/political figures, and creatives in the areas of strategic planning, branding, communication, and PR. Our main job is to bring order to the sometimes chaotic nature of business processes and norms and guide clients to implement a solid reformed way of doing business and engaging their target market.”

Q: What does CDJ and Associates mean to you?

A: “When we arrive on the scene of a new engagement and we work through a launch plan and ideation with a client…I see the sense of relief and trust that they place in me and my team. That’s why I do what I do. I walk out of there feeling like I am walking on my purpose. I know that the clients feel as if they are supported, and are in the hands of a professional. CDJA allows me to fulfill my purpose by supporting the dreams of others. There is nothing like that feeling.”

Q: What do you enjoy most about consulting?

A: “What I enjoy most is what it took me the longest to learn…and that is, that clients are not paying me for what I do. They are paying me for what I KNOW and have experienced. What I “do” is limited to what my two hands can achieve, but what I know and the thousands of experiences I have had are massive. For example, I can draw on my experience as a Chief of Staff for a Senator or Head of Global offices for an international firm and it would serve me well. But so would my experience of being a mom of 5 or being married into a blended family. My skill sets are transferable and I love that I get to use “all of me” on the job.”

Q: What hurdles did you overcome before finding success with CDJ and Associates?

A: “Yes! 2 things! During COVID we lost business due to smaller businesses shutting down, and events canceling. But out of the blue, we started getting churches and religious organizations who needed help communicating with their congregation differently given that everything went online. We took on a few new clients and kind of winged it, trying to help! That effort has grown tremendously. So in the 3rd quarter, we are formalizing a scope for this niche and offering a package to help Pastors and administrators improve their church brand and communications strategy. The second thing is that in 2023 we will host our 1st philanthropic event to support a Detroit area children’s summer camp. My children went to this camp when they were younger and back when I couldn’t afford to send them. They went on the generosity of others and now it’s our turn to give back.”

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

A: “ONE Know your numbers. Make sure you have your financials tight. I don’t care if it’s $300. Know where it came from, how much you have to spend, what should be set aside for taxes, how much is profit and when are you anticipating the next payment. TWO Collaboration and partnerships are important. If you have a hole in your expertise, seek out who or what you need to make up the difference. THREE Have a business coach AND make sure they are the type that will hold you accountable. FOUR Don’t forget your why. There may be times when you want to quit. Knowing why you started can help you push forward. FIVE Starting a business can be all-consuming. Set boundaries EARLY. Develop a cadence of work life balance and keep the main thing (family, loved ones, self care) the main thing.”

To learn more about CDJ and Associates visit their website today or follow Camille on LinkedIn

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