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From a need to save, a coupon-clipping Internet media empire grew

When her husband lost his job six years ago, Cindy Livesey hunkered down and put her household on a budget.She turned to coupons; and not just a few clippings to save a buck or two — a total sales cycle analyzing, coupon-stacking undertaking.

It saved her family $11,000 on groceries in one year, a 90 percent savings on their grocery budget.

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And that’s what her website, Living Rich With Coupons, was born out of. She wanted to share the self-taught techniques that she was utilizing with others. The aim was to take the legwork out of couponing by providing an easy guide.

With upwards of 400,000 unique visitors each month, Living Rich With Coupons has become one of the top coupon blogs on the Web since its 2009 inception.

Today, as owner and CEO of Living Rich Media LLC, she continues to grow with her 10 or so employees in Red Bank. She has appeared on numerous media segments, including New Jersey’s News 12, “Fox & Friends” and the “Rachael Ray Show.”

NJBIZ: What do you love most about your current position?

Cindy Livesey: Whenever you are able to build a business from the ground up, it gives you a great deal of satisfaction. LivingRichWithCoupons.com has allowed me to help so many families save money by learning how to use coupons effectively and I truly love every minute of that.

NJBIZ: Where have you worked previously, and why did you choose to leave?

CL: I was a stay-at-home mom until my youngest started school. Even then, I would work only while they were in school locally so that I could be there for them.

NJBIZ: Where did you receive your education, and what was your focus?

CL: After graduating from Morris Knolls High School, I attended Centenary College for one year before entering the workforce.

NJBIZ: What was the most important thing you learned during your education?

CL: That it’s very important to introduce yourself to as many different potential career paths as possible.

NJBIZ: What advice would you give to a woman in college now?

CL: Be open to different career paths that present themselves. It is difficult for anyone to know exactly what she (or he) wants to do in her (or his) career.

NJBIZ: What were the attitudes toward women in your industry when you first started?

CL: As the owner of an Internet media company and blogger, I don’t think that I have ever experienced any negative attitudes from anyone in the industry.

NJBIZ: What has been your worst experience as a woman at work?

CL: I think that, when I started Living Rich Media LLC, many people didn’t believe that I could build the business into the successful operation it is today.

NJBIZ: Your best experience?

CL: As I mentioned earlier, my best experience has been the satisfaction of building a business from the ground up through years of hard work and being able to help so many people with the information we publish every day.

NJBIZ: What mistakes do women often make at the workplace?              

CL: They should stay focused on their plan for success and not let themselves get caught up with what others may think about their ideas and plans for success.

NJBIZ: What would you say are the top five things that successful women always do well?

CL: I don’t think the things that make a successful woman are much different from those of a successful man. 

1. Have an idea, product or service that people need. 

2. Make a plan and set goals of how you will bring that product or service to the customer. 

3. Work hard on your plan by making adjustments and keep your eye on your goals. 

4. There are no shortcuts, so don’t look for them. 

5. Treat your customers and employees as the most important people to your company.

NJBIZ: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

CL: Don’t be afraid to work hard to achieve your goals. There is no substitute.

NJBIZ: Break up your average 24-hour weekday into a pie chart — what percentage do you devote to work?

CL: I would say that I average 12 hours per day (half of the pie).

NJBIZ: What is the best advice you can give regarding work/life balance?

CL: Take time for yourself. Everyone needs to recharge and rethink and adjust his or her plans.  Spend time with family and friends.

NJBIZ: How do you inspire and motivate your team?

CL: I try to lead by example and practice what I preach. Everyone is aware of how our website helps so many every day. That motivates the team to find the best deals for our readers.

NJBIZ: What do you offer to your employees to help them healthy and productive?

CL: We offer many of our employees work-from-home appointments, so they can spend more time with their families. We sponsor activities like 5K races that they can enter, with our company picking up the entry fee. 

NJBIZ: What’s one item you can’t live without, and why?

CL: I can’t go anywhere without my dog, Cooper. He is by my side all day long.

NJBIZ: What is your family life like?

CL: Family surrounds me every weekend when we have our Sunday dinner. My children are grown now, so it gives us a chance to get together and keep up on what’s going on in everyone’s life.

NJBIZ: Do aspects of your job carry into your personal interests and hobbies?

CL: Yes, finding great deals has always been an interest and now it’s my job, so that is a big crossover; plus, my job is 24/7. We are always “open” and there are always questions to be answered from readers. I often find myself lying in bed, riding in the car, at a restaurant or just about anywhere answering reader questions. 

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Brett Johnson