Jennifer McKinley

In this Facebook Live conversation, we met Jennifer McKinley from The Beauty of Profit First Ltd, New Zealand’s only full-time firm certified in the Profit First cash flow methodology + the Fix This Next diagnostic methodology.

Thank you to everybody who joined us live for this event and thank you so much to Jennifer for joining us all the way from NZ.

Watch the video

Hello Jennifer, can you please tell us who you are and how you came across Profit First?

I’ve been a certified Profit First professional coach for a few years now and it really came out of me implementing it in my own company. I have a background in big business and accounting. I was a teacher’s assistant in accounting at Yale University and yet I still made so many mistakes with the numbers in my own company when I started it.

I have a product company, Cor, it’s a high-end skincare treatment brand and I was growing so quickly when I started it and it became a bit of a hit, a bit of a cult treatment line around the world, and got into places like Harrods and Harvey Nichols but I was just not paying myself and just kept reinvesting in the company thinking the same story that we’re all told which is you can grow yourself into profitability. Just keep growing, keep growing, grow as fast as you can, and the profitability will come, and it just never did. I just got to the point where I was just feeling so beaten down by the company I had fallen out of love. At the end of every month, after I paid all the bills, there was just never anything left to pay myself and honestly, I could have been making more money at Starbucks at that point and so I was just struggling with what to do.

I was then at a trade show in Hong Kong and was listening to podcasts as I was walking around the trade show and heard on some entrepreneurial podcast the idea of Profit First by Mike Micholwicz and thought oh what’s this about! I then went down the rabbit hole of finding his podcast and then bought the book on audible and spent the rest of the trade show listening to that and it just made so much sense and to be honest, I was ashamed that with all my education and big business experience, that I hadn’t thought, well, this is of course how you run your finances. Then when I first started implementing Profit First it was just such a game-changer for me that I decided to become certified a few years ago so that I can help other small consumer products companies implement Profit First.


So, my biggest question is what changed for you, and what was the penny that dropped for you?

The penny that dropped for me was that I need to pay myself first because I am the most important employee in the company. If I’m not around then the company doesn’t exist anymore.


So rather than looking at dollar figures or even percentages what have you personally been able to do by making this change in your business?

I have been able to have a life and really focus on the important things in life like my relationships, my health, and wellness in addition to serving my customers.


I’d love to hear what made you become a Profit First Professional and what differences are you seeing in New Zealand with Profit First?

So, I had some time on my hands but I’m just so passionate about what a game-changer it was for me that I wanted to really help other small businesses, especially consumer products companies because the cash flow constraints on an inventory-based business are just so tricky and so that’s why I wanted to get going with this.

It’s so lovely in New Zealand, no one had heard of Profit First and slowly but surely the brand awareness is building and everybody that I work with whether they’ve read the book, or they haven’t read the book they just know intuitively that it’s going to work and so that’s what’s been so fantastic. I just really love working with my clients because I can see the difference it’s making off the bat with them.


For those people that may be watching that are considering becoming a Profit First Professional, what would you say to them? 

I would say that it’s an incredible organisation. The support that we get as Profit First Professionals is just incredible. Going through the training, going through the certification process, and there is just so much support from people like Laura and her whole team, but also the community is one of the most collaborative communities I’ve ever come across in my life where we really do help each other out.