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Tess Zigo is living out the American dream. A native of Bulgaria, Zigo spent a decade helping Corporate America solve its financial problems. It wasn't until her own pregnancy that she pivoted to focus full-time on the financial interests of mother-owned small businesses. Zigo is out to bust myths about who needs a financial advisor - and to help moms just like her succeed in the business world.

Years in Tampa Bay

1

Hustle (job)

Financial planner to mom business owners

What do you do?  

I help small business owners with their financial planning that’s long term focused and on what’s most important currently. I’ve interviewed over a dozen women, and the number one concern is that their attention is on the day to day of running their business, and they just don’t have the time to create a long term strategy for their goals.

Why do you do it?

I love all things personal finance and investing but I especially love solving problems for real people just like me! I spent 10 years in corporate finance focused on helping Fortune 500 companies' bottom line, but both my parents ran small businesses so my passion is with the mom and pop establishments.

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

My last corporate stint was at Aldi corporate. I was pregnant, nauseous and bored of the same old every day and just had enough! I knew I needed a change and I wanted to set an example for my kids that you have to take risks. I love owning my own business because it’s the true American dream in my mind. And I’m from Bulgaria originally so I came here to make a better life for me, my family and the community.

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

There is a misconception that unless you’re in the top one percent, you don’t need a financial advisor. The reality is that everyone starts from somewhere and could benefit from good advice so you can have a step-by-step plan with specific financial strategies that help reduce your taxes, help you save more and invest that money wisely and have proper risk management.

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

The most challenging part is is developing relationships with potential clients and getting them to understand that I can help with more than just managing their investments. That is only one piece of the puzzle.

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

That you have to be patient and trust the process of business development. I really hoped that my business will take off from day one, but it did take some time to develop my expertise, obtain my CFP® and build a profitable practice. Because I’m also a mom I try to take advantage of the slow days to spend extra time with the kids because I know they’re going to grow up really fast.


Tell us one interesting thing about your practice.

I currently reside in Chicago and Saint Pete and alternate between the two different locations so I often meet with clients remotely. I find that especially with small business owners it’s very convenient and it saves them time. Eventually I would love to be location independent.

Tell us something interesting about you.

Well most people are fascinated by the fact that I lived in Africa for five years, specifically in Botswana which is known for its diamonds. It was a surreal experience because it’s a really vibrant country with a unique culture and beautiful wildlife.

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