So I’m starting a business and I have been asked on many occasions “why are you doing this?”
I have had a hard time answering this question. I figured out partially why I’m finding it so challenging.
Part of it is based in analysis – statistics about women being under-represented in the angel investment community (women make up only 12% of all angel investors in the US), statistics about how diversity in the workplace and in the boardroom helps businesses be more successful, statistics about small businesses being the backbone of economies.
But analysis is only part of it. There is something emotional and intuitive about this and it’s hard to engage the left-brain to find the right words to articulate something that is not rooted in the left-brain.
I am creating something that I’ve always wanted and never had, but that was always present in my life. I didn’t grow up in an entrepreneurial family. My mom worked for banks as a processing clerk, my dad worked for Canada Post, the national post office, as a technician. They’re a bit risk-adverse when it comes to jobs and financial security. But of course they would be. They risked their lives and their whole future, by immigrating to Canada in the late 1960s. They had $500 to their name, barely spoke English, had few friends and family here. That is risk-taking.
I was interviewed for the role of Chief Executive of a social purpose real estate company in the UK and one of the interview questions was “what was my biggest achievement?” In front of a panel of people who could have been my staff, I paused and hesitated. And then I welled up (as I’m doing now). I had a successful career, I had letters behind my name, and could count some large international companies as my previous employers, but nothing I had done compared to the sacrifices my parents made nor the risks they took – not for themselves, but so that their daughters could have a better life and more opportunity. So that my older sister and I could go to university and get good jobs and not have to endure the financial insecurity and challenge my parents experienced.
And so I face the biggest challenge of my life (so far). I left the security of a job to start a business that is all about supporting people and giving them a sense of financial empowerment. I support women investors with my financial knowledge and advice and they in turn support other entrepreneurs with their money and their mentorship.
I have always supported entrepreneurs – it’s the common theme throughout my patchwork career. I support them by helping to communicate financial information as well as their vision – in a way that moves money. And now I’m helping women investors move their money in a beautiful and authentic way. The truth is that money follows the head, heart, and spirit. Money doesn’t have a mind of its own. It does what it’s told. If your head tells it to go one way – you’ll get a result worthy of a decision founded only in analysis. If your heart tells it to go in the opposite direction – you’ll get an emotional outcome. If head, heart, and spirit collaborate – you’ll get a result that thrives, flourishes, and sings.