The world is changing every day as we see it. New opportunities are arising, especially in the job market. Social media and technology have played a big role in this – and creators with accounting and finance backgrounds are not staying behind. I am Stephanie Nuesi, a first-gen Latina who has spent the last few years working in the accounting, banking, and tech industry. I came to the US in 2015 when I was 15 years old, and I always had a goal to help my parents retire and create generational wealth.
This is the story of how I built a six-figure online brand and how accounting helped me reach this success.
It all started in college while I was studying accounting.
I came to the United States and went to study accounting at Baruch College. As I learned more about the subject, I realized how much I loved business development and entrepreneurship. The best thing? Accounting offered everything I needed to build multiple income streams and find different job avenues, which increased my motivation to pursue that path and to become the first one in my family to work in corporate and have a business in another country.
But as a first-gen Latina, I didn’t have a network or people to connect with. I didn’t know how important this was for our careers. That was until one cold day in New York when I attended a networking event at one of the Big 4 Accounting firms and met someone who told me that “my network was my net worth”. At the time I didn’t quite understand that phrase, but after gaining influence among other accounting professionals – I realized the meaning behind it.
I remember taking my first accounting class and understanding how businesses worked. This was the foundation I used to start my own business.
I continued building my network and after speaking with business owners in the accounting space, I decided to build my own startup, Max Up, with the mission of maximizing people’s potential. Shortly after that, I started my career and became a full-time accountant, part-time entrepreneur, and social media creator.
I realized how passionate I was about helping underrepresented communities maximize their potential and land their dream careers. Through my startup, I started offering professional development workshops aimed at getting students to top Fortune 500 companies. These workshops taught them how to dress for an interview, how to edit resumes, and how to build a professional brand online. Nowadays, it’s even more flexible to access this type of information with platforms like Accounting+, which focuses on providing free job search resources.
Before founding my startup, I faced imposter syndrome.
I didn’t think people were going to believe in what I had to offer. I didn’t think I was good enough. But I had a dream: break limited beliefs and help others see the opportunities that were awaiting them.
I worked hard to ensure people knew about the impact we were trying to create. I did this by creating content every day on LinkedIn, where I currently have 207k+ followers, and was recently named a Top Voice (the biggest recognition on LinkedIn with a verification badge). When this happened, it felt like it all made sense. I remember calling my mom in tears and telling her how happy I was because my efforts were being recognized. I had a voice that people were willing to listen to, applaud, and be proud of. It was at that moment when I realized that all the sacrifices were worth it.
It’s important to emphasize that none of this happened overnight. It took me two years to get my business profitable, and 2.5 years to start monetizing on social media. This is what many people don’t tell you about entrepreneurship or online branding. So you might be wondering, why did I decide to create content in the first place, and how did I become a six-figure influencer?
The main reason why I started creating content was because I wanted to build a legacy. I wanted others to see what is possible. I wanted others to look at my journey and feel encouraged to go after their biggest goals in life.
To make this dream a reality, I took the following steps:
- Narrowed down my niche and audience
- Created a framework that would lead me to build a six-figure brand in 5 years
- Posted content on LinkedIn and other social media platforms
- After building a community, created a synergy between my startup and my personal brand to maximize opportunities
- Once all of this was established, I leveraged my accounting background to develop a consistent business strategy which led me to get a six-figure brand in only 2.5 years
Initially, I knew accounting would help me set up my business in the right way – but I never knew the extent to which it would help me and my goals.
I leveraged my Excel and data analytics skills to set up a budget proposal for different brands, utilized my knowledge in financial literacy to set up the right credit opportunities, used my knowledge in taxation to build an accurate tax planning process, and built multiple forecasts to predict revenue against expenses considering the times we were living in (during a whole pandemic).
Not only did my time studying accounting in school and my work as a professional set me up for success, but the people I met in the industry were a crucial part of my recognition among the masses. In fact, some of my first clients for brand collaborations and career development were people I met during my early years in the accounting industry, and for them I am eternally grateful.
Ultimately, I had a goal of building a brand that would create paid opportunities for me. I wanted to show current accounting students and professionals what can be attained through their knowledge and expertise. I wanted to open doors for the future generation.
I’m not an overnight success, but I’m a first-gen Latina accountant who, at only 24 years of age, is breaking stigmas and doing what was deemed impossible.
I hope to inspire all of you to get out of your comfort zones and pursue your goals. What may seem like a distant dream right now can soon become your reality.
Visit Accounting+ for more information about how different skills in accounting can help you build your dream business.