We had the good fortune of connecting with Joy Simuel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joy, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I’m a God girl! I don’t make any decisions without going to Him first. When it came to starting a business I knew it would be centered around help families but I was unclear about the specifics. I was working as a special education teacher and felt very confined by the school setting. I did not always agree the decisions being made at IEP(Individual Education Plan)meetings and felt that parents were signing consent for services without a true understanding of what they were signing. So I felt the nudge to start a business where I could help parent navigate the special education process and help them on my terms.
What should our readers know about your business?
The name of business is Joy Simuel Consulting LLC. I help parents navigate the special education process and advocate for the unique needs of their child. Parents come to me when their child has been diagnosed with a disability and are going to through the process of receiving special education services through the school system. The process can be long so I educate them on their rights, the different steps in the process, paperwork, define terms they may hear and speak on the child’s behalf. My experience as a special education teacher set me apart from others. I have 15 years of experience in the education system and the last 7 I spent in the classroom advocating for my students. I have unique perspective as a former teacher feeling limited in what I could do for more my students and wanting the parents of my students to speak up and out about the needs of their child. Leaving the classroom wasn’t easy because I knew that I would miss the day to day interactions with my students. However I do not miss the bureaucracy and stress of treating students as data point than a person. Now I’m able to help these same families on my terms and it’s a good feeling. Entrepreneurship is not easy it takes planning, a support system(outside of family) and a strong will not to give up. You have to show up everyday for yourself. I’ve been fortunate to have a network of other business owners to give me feedback, suggestions, recommendations and support. I learned to live outside of my comfort zone and to do things scared. Each time I’ve been surprised by the results. I stepped out on faith to start Joy Simuel Consulting and God has provided every step of the way. I celebrated a year of being in business September of 2020.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well we would definitely spend a few nights in catching up laughing and crying. Then treat ourselves to a spa day at the Four Seasons Hotel. We like trying out restaurants so The Slutty Vegan and Bones would be on our list of restaurants and if time permits we would visit The Georgia Aquarium and CNN.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’ve been fortunate to have had numerous people encourage and support me along the way. I would first like to shoutout my parents for always encouraging me to seek God first and telling me that I could do and be anything I wanted to be in life. Just keep moving forward and don’t give up. The next person I have to shoutout is Yulonda Latham she was the first person I shared my desire to start a business with. She listened to me and didn’t force her thoughts about what I wanted to do on me. She shared her experiences with me and told me to go for it! I’ll never forget that we had a conversation about the different business entities i.e. sole proprietorship, limited liability Company, and S-Corp. I had told her what I wanted my company name to be. A week later I received a package in the mail from her addressed to the business. She sent me information on the different business entities and how to get my business established. I still have that package to this day. Her unwavering support and encouragement is what I needed at that time. She believed I could before I did. I was scared but I did it anyway!