Meet Female Small Business Owner – MJ Ross

How I Got Here

MJ Executive Consulting, LLC began operations in 2017 shortly after I closed my association management firm after 10 years of profitable business.  As many others have believed, I thought and felt that my business would be around forever, with or without me. As a small business for women, I had built a successful and thriving business working with nonprofits. Navigating in the nonprofit world for even one year, let alone 20 years, can be a challenge. I was managing 6 state professional associations at one time and was Executive Director of each.

I did many things during those years, including helping to pass 7 laws in 4 states, but because I did not build a succession plan or exit strategy, I was unable to sell my business. The business was too dependent on me to survive on its own.  The enterprise I worked for a decade to build into a profitable and growing concern turned out to be unsustainable without my constant attention.

small business succession planning consultant mary jo ross

MJ's skill set is significant and her range of expertise is somewhat like a "steel fist in a velvet glove". The reason I say this is, when meeting MJ, on the surface she comes across as an extremely pleasant and agreeable person, that may not have a lot of business mettle to offer. Nothing is further from the truth. What underlies that serene and pleasant demeanor is a tough as nails work ethic, coupled with intelligence, informed opinion as well as life and business experience that is solid and significant. Don't make the mistake of underestimating what MJ delivers. She shows up with strength, grit and intelligence and in a very pleasant style.

Iris Culp, M.Ed., SPHR, SHRM-SCP


"MJ helped me to find ways to gain the same annual return by working 120 less days a year. I'm not making that number up. In the company I've owned for twelve years, MJ navigated a path for me to work 1/3 less of a year and gain the same financial result. To say I was surprised was an understatement."

President, International Consulting Firm

Why I Started

I want to be a bridge between where you, a female small business owner, are now and where you want to be. That way you can skip some of the pitfalls and lessons I have learned along the way.

I am who I needed 8 years ago. I wanted to pivot my business and did so, but not in the best direction. It would’ve really helped to have someone who was objective look at my business and help me develop strategies and an action plan, as well as supporting me and pointing me in the right direction. 

Part of what I needed years ago would have been a community support group, a mastermind type of team of fellow female CEOs, or business coaching. It would have been a lifeline to sell the business instead of closing it when life took a left turn. I am now on a mission to make those resources for collaborative business relationships easily accessible. Together we are better! 

Women are wired to grow strong in community. I LOVE THAT and am part of a movement to pay it forward by helping you, a female small business owner and leader, see potential blind spots and sidestep potential pitfalls. Together we are better!

Where I've Been

I’ve been consulting on a long-term basis with several clients. I’ve been trained in all 8 aspects of business by becoming a coach for small business transformation. SCORE requests for my mentoring happen regularly. With SCORE I help people start nonprofits and businesses, as well as those who need to take their business or nonprofit to the next level. Creating business plans are a key part of that volunteer work.

My heart really connects to a female small business owner with at least 2 employees or contractors, whose businesses have been around at least 3 years and who haven’t had the time to think about a succession plan. Other ways female leaders can benefit from my hard-won expertise is through workshops and masterminds and my One-on-One consulting. If insight from someone who’s “BTDT” would help move your business from “too little time and too much to do” plate spinning, then I invite you join an upcoming complimentary workshop.


What's My Why?

I’d like to help you find your freedom and break the cycle of working ON your business instead of working IN it.

How I Show Up

I listen. I learn. I collaborate.

It’s important to “begin with the end in mind” and I help you, a female small business owner, objectively assess their organization. Typically that will include a “rebalancing strategy” so the owner isn’t simply working “IN” the business, but works less hours, finds the opportunity to rest, take a vacation and have a life, while the business grows stronger. Once systems and processes are in place for that, we customize a potential succession plan, which will provide options for sustainable growth, passive income, or if preferred, an exit strategy to a new season of life or start a new business line.

“Mary Jo is credentialed and deftly handles both professional and personal challenges, which make her uniquely qualified to help women realize their potential and become happier and healthier professionals. As someone who had the pleasure of working with Mary Jo, I offer two words: Lucky me!

Vicky L.

Ways to Connect with MJ:

MJ Executive Consulting, LLC offers One on One consulting and coaching, live workshops and mastermind groups.

Please contact us with any questions by message, call us at 918-261-8951 or schedule a consultation directly with MJ Ross.

MJ feels strongly that it's important to give back to the community. She volunteers her time with these two organizations:


Every year, SCORE volunteers help thousands of entrepreneurs start small businesses and achieve new levels of success in their existing businesses. Volunteering at SCORE is a way for you to give back to your community, connect with fellow small business owners, and pass on your knowledge and expertise to the next generation of entrepreneurs in your community.



The Demand Project exists to eradicate human trafficking, online enticement, child abuse imagery, and the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

Our strategy is the Prevention of victimization through awareness and education; the assistance in Prosecution of sexual predators through litigation, restorative justice, and supporting law enforcement operations; to see victims of sexual exploitation Rescued through crisis intervention by VASTeams; and empower survivors to choose their own Journey to Freedom through the Restoration Program.

Learn more at