Jianna King and sister, Jaysie McLinn, teamed up with Jodi Gallen to launch North County Deals in 2014, a hyper-local daily deals site that provides local residents an opportunity to enjoy the wonderful products, services and experiences North County merchants have to offer. Giving back to the community is at the core of North County Deals, as $1 from each deal purchased will be donated to a local school, organization or charity. Combined, Jaysie, Jianna and Jodi have an immense business background in sales, marketing, business development and operations. Their intricate involvement in the school systems and passion for supporting small businesses while enhancing their community allows the local moms to really make a difference with their new venture.
How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
Jianna King: Jaysie and I were raised in a home with a very strong mother. She owned her own successful business and was an important person in our community. She also has an amazing marriage with our dad. To have such a strong example of an inspiring woman to look up to taught us that we could have it all. You can be a wonderful mother, a successful businesswoman and a kick-ass wife!
Jaysie McLinn: Our parents took great care of us, but also instilled independence. We put ourselves through college, earning money by working in the restaurant industry. We paid our own rent and tuition and both graduated with bachelor's degrees. Jianna and I don't necessarily view ourselves as leaders as much as we view ourselves as independent, strong and family-oriented women who want to make an impact in the community we love.
How has your previous employment experience aided in your tenure at North County Deals?
JK: While spending many years bartending and waiting tables as I worked toward my degree, I learned the value of working on a team offering and receiving help from my teammates. Jaysie, Jodi and I are always counting on each other to equally build NCD.
JM: Jodi brings a great networking ability and strong understanding of people from her experience in marketing, which is extremely valuable when corresponding with subscribers and merchants alike. With my experience in the advertising industry, I understand intense, hard work, but I'm also able to find a balance and know my limits. We want to make a difference in our community and will work hard to get there without sacrificing other important aspects of our lives.
What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure at North County Deals?
JM: Wow... there have been many of both. The most challenging aspect of the business so far has been rejection and learning how to deal with it in a healthy way. We have adopted the attitude that it's okay to hear "no." We want to work with people who want to work with us and we respect people's right to say no if they feel it is not the right fit. We move forward, knowing that a yes is right around the corner.
Jodi Gallen: The most rewarding highlight so far has been creating new relationships in the community with my partners Jianna and Jaysie. They've become like family to me!
What advice can you offer to women who want to start their own business?
JG: Surround yourself with reliable people. Most of us who have decided to start our own business are also mothers, wives and busy community members. There is always more work and responsibilities than we anticipate, so make sure you surround yourself with people you can rely on in both your personal and professional roles.
JK: Have patience. Starting a business can be extremely frustrating. Expect to fail at times, stick with it and don't give up! And of course, have an idea or concept that you are passionate about, make a firm business plan, revise if needed and don't take rejection personally.
What is the most important lesson you've learned in your career to date?
JM: Don't make "success" and money the end goal. Do what you are passionate about and success will naturally follow. One of our favorite quotes is, "If you do the work you love and work that fulfills you, the rest will come," (Oprah Winfrey). We are passionate about helping our community and are learning from every experience that has come out of North County Deals.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
JK: Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork. Not only on the team but at home too! We help each other in every way possible. When one person is feeling off, someone else will step in. No questions, no judgments.
JG: Planning and scheduling out the week is essential. Being a busy, single mother of three children, I have also learned to plan extra time for certain activities. Things always take longer than you plan!
What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace?
JG: Presently, there are more women in management roles and as business owners than ever before. We have also become extremely involved in our kids' schoolwork and activities. I believe the biggest challenge women face is finding the balance between work and parenting without losing sight of what is most important. What I came to realize was that I was so busy and stressed trying to manage all of the things I had taken on "for the kids," that these things were taking away from essential time with my children.
How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?
JG: Mentorship has absolutely made a difference! Having someone show you the ropes and teach you important lessons is extremely beneficial. I have had mentors teach me things that were not in a manual, training class or conference. I also believe in paying that mentorship forward. I try to do it every time I get a chance, especially when I see that "deer in the headlights" look.
JM: Jianna and I have both been greatly influenced by past managers. Particulary, Monica, my amazing manager at Google gave me guidance when I needed it, but also gave me freedom to pave my own path. I know Jianna had the same experience with her manager, Jamie. He definitely believed in her, which gave her the confidence to trust herself. They both are the kind of managers we will strive to be as North County Deals grows.
Which other female leaders do you admire and why?
JK: Our mother! The ultimate leader in our life. She is our rock, our inspiration and our role model. We also admire our friends and fellow businesswomen and mothers in our community of San Elijo Hils. Their creativity, motivation and determination in business and motherhood inspire us everyday.
What do you want North County Deals to accomplish in the next year?
JG: We hope to establish North County Deals as a leader in the North County area through not only the sale of deals, but by helping local businesses grow. Our Give Back program allows us to donate money back to the local schools and organizations helping to fortify programs that are consistently underfunded. This program creates a symbiotic relationship between local business owners, schools and organizations as well as community residents.
JM: We would like to further develop our relationships with the small businesses in our community who have supported us with such enthusiasm. We would also like to support our wonderful give back partners by giving back enough money to make a significant financial impact for them.