Business Is in Her Blood

Episode 55: Business Is in Her Blood
Guest: Miriam Diwan

Miriam Diwan’s family has always been in business or finance, so you could say it runs in her blood. She attended the University of Pennsylvania to obtain her undergraduate and found that she had varied interests. She graduated with a dual degree in liberal arts and finance. From there, she began investment banking and eventually moved into hedge funds. With her first position, at a private equity firm, she was one of the first three women that were hired in a 10-year history.

When her mother fell ill, Miriam ended up being the primary caregiver. Trying to manage her career and supporting her mom, she found that it was becoming too much for her to handle. Miriam made the decision to put her career on hold and eventually moved to L.A for her mother to receive the best medical care available. Through this process, Miriam and her mother had to move to several different states and experienced the difficulties in finding a neighbourhood that met all their needs.

After Miriam’s mother went into remission, she began considering re-entering the workforce. The trouble was that the finance industry was fast moving and extremely difficult to get back into. So, deciding to try something new, Miriam began her own company in the field of technology. NowMoveMe aims to help adjustment periods when it comes to moving and also fosters community among local residents. Through the use of technology, Miriam is working to create a digital “welcome wagon” where users can find information about their neighborhood. NowMoveMe currently focuses on Santa Monica, but will soon be branching out to all of Los Angeles and then branching out from there.

The hardest part that Miriam found in starting a new company is the lack of resources. She’s had to think outside the box and willing to try something new every day. Miriam has found it really rewarding too because she is building something “brick by brick.” Advice that Miriam has for anyone working on a startup, make sure you set yourself up financially for the next two to three years because you may not earn anything within that period of time. Also, always try to operate like you’re bootstrapped, even if you have substantial funding (you never know how long something can take). Lastly, find a mentor; someone a few steps ahead of you in the startup path and can help you through some of the common roadblocks.

To connect with Miriam, you can follow her on Instagram and Facebook. Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of the Women Rocking Wall Street show! If you liked what you heard, be sure to hit subscribe, share it with others and write us a quick review on iTunes.

The Power Pose

Episode 42: The Power Pose

It’s been a great first year of the Women Rocking Wall Street, and I’ve had the pleasure of following up with Tracy Bagli Hooper, who was my very first guest when I first launched WRW. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to episode two, Confidence is Contagious, Tracy is the creator of The Confidence Project, an organization dedicated to helping others build confidence in their lives. As she likes to say, “the Confidence Project is an equal opportunity endeavor.” According to Tracy, confidence may have a genetic component, and even though some people may have a slight genetic advantage, it’s possible to build confidence through training our brain for a confidence mindset.

Have you ever heard of the Power Pose? It’s a technique for building confidence for a meeting, interview or any event where you want to build and demonstrate your best self.  It changes the hormones in your brain and help you reduce Cortisol and increase Testosterone.  It’ll not only affect how you feel but how others feel about you. Studies indicated the people who were perceived as smarter and more competent are the ones who do the Power Pose.  It’s free, takes 2 minutes a day! Watch the TED Talk with Amy Cuddy here.

Tracy sees a great value in momentum and is sharing her services to as wide a range of people as possible.  She learned that narrowing focus too quickly can adversely affect momentum. There is certainly value in developing a niche and a focus, but be careful not to niche down too quickly. She also reminds us to be aware of the skills and talents we possess; we might be fluent in areas that others find completely baffling. The knowledge we take for granted might be the crucial knowledge that others need, and this gives us the opportunity to help others move forward too.  Remember: What we know, others might not know.

There are some great books for growth and development that Tracy recommends, including: “The Confidence Code” by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman; “The Defining Decade” by Meg Jay; “Key Person of Influence” by Daniel Priestly; and “Playing Big” by Tara Moore. If you’d like to get in touch with Tracy and learn more about The Confidence Project, visit her site at confidenceproject.com, or visit her on Facebook or send her a quick email.

If you liked this episode, be sure to share it with others and head over to iTunes and write a review. Also, thanks for listening!

Plan It! Do It! Love It!

Episode 40: Plan It! Do It! Love It!

Brrr! Dare I say happy winter?

Now that the cold has come and the days are shorter, perhaps some of us are noticing that we’re not feeling as happy these days. Since we spend a lot of time at work, this probably seeps into our work life, especially with the Christmas holiday countdown on our minds. Perhaps you’ve even found that on Sunday, you’re dreading Monday and have come to the realization that you’ve fallen out of love with your job.

Fear not! My guest this week has a formula that will help you fall back in love with your work. Sherry Jordan has been coaching high-performance executives, small business owners, solo entrepreneurs, and teams for over 20 years to help them realize their goals and increase their results. She is an expert in the field of change and change management and specializes in working with individuals and organizations who are ready to embrace transition and experience a higher level of personal and professional satisfaction.

Sherry has released a new book, Plan It! Do It! Love It! where she outlines how to get back to the basics so that you can move from feeling overwhelmed to living your small business lifestyle. Sherry says that it’s as simple as getting back to the basics and getting in touch with your life priorities. Sherry also highlights five tips to successfully falling back in love with your job. These include: making a plan for the year; examine the role that you’re playing; establish healthy boundaries; surround yourself with positive people, and; remember that your attitude is everything. If you have a positive attitude, great things can happen. Episode eight of The “Women Rocking Wall Street” Show (Nothing Can Stop Her) highlights the power of attitude. Also, if you’re looking for a great read, Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl is the perfect example of how one’s attitude can push you through anything.

Sherry has some great resources so be sure to visit her website, SherryJordanCoach.com, and register for a free e-book that will help you with 10 top leadership tips. Also, she is giving away 25 free Plan It! Do It! Love It! books. To get one, all you have to do is go to planitdoitloveit.com and use the code WRW. Lastly, you can connect with Sherry on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or see some additional resources on her YouTube channel.

If you liked this episode be sure to share it with those you think might find this valuable. Also, head over to iTunes and write a quick review if you liked what you heard. Lastly, thanks for listening!

Launching Fearlessly

Episode 38: Launching Fearlessly
Guest: Anne Samoilov

Happy Halloween! This week’s episode is a perfect fit to the Halloween theme around fear and the fun, excitement and joy that it can bring. This week’s guest, Anne Samoilov helps entrepreneurs, small business owners and consultants through the process of fearlessly launching a product or business, or another type of business launch. Anne says that it’s not about fear, it’s about that moment of committing to the decision to doing something new and taking that leap.

Coming up with an idea is the easy part of creating a new business or product but when you haven’t done it before, launching can be a scary and often daunting task. For Anne, she sees it as a production, with particular steps that need to happen for the business or product launch to be successful. The most important thing that anyone should do, according to Anne, is determine who “they” are and start the conversation. Find out who your target audience is and reach out. Do this before you launch your business and get their input (both the good and the difficult to hear). You can also search online and see what people are saying about a particular topic that relates to your business or product idea.

While launching a business or product can be intimidating, it is also an exciting time. Once off the ground, it allows you to control your schedule and provides flexibility to accommodate family situations. Don’t let the fear of launching a great idea hold you back because there are people like Anne, who are there to help you.

For more information about Anne Samoilov, you can visit her website at www.fearlesslaunching.com, or connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

If you liked this episode be sure to share it with those you think might find this valuable. Also, head over to iTunes and write a quick review if you liked what you heard. Lastly, thanks for listening!

Rocking an Interview

Episode 36: Rocking an Interview
Guest: Margot DeMore

It’s officially fall and it is absolutely beautiful outside! I hope you’re enjoying the leaves, and all the pumpkin mania, as much as I am.

We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve had butterflies in our stomach when getting ready for an interview. The stress of preparing for the interview is only half the battle. This week, I had the pleasure of chatting with Margot DeMore, founding partner of Broad Street Consulting Group, a search firm specializing in retained executive search and consulting services for the traditional and alternative investment community and insurance industry. Her whole career has been playing matchmaker between companies and potential team members.

Margo lives and breathes interviews, and has some great tips and tricks to make sure we rock them. According to her, many of us are great at researching and understanding the organization when preparing for an interview, but tend to fall short on how to share our story in a way that highlights our strengths and attributes.

Margot recommends writing down all the adjectives that describe your strengths and think about how it fits with the position and organization you’re interviewing with. Next, brainstorm stories that highlight each adjective. The last step is to practice, practice, practice! Tell you stories to you partner, colleagues or even the mirror.

There are plenty of things that you can do to increase your chances of a successful interview. Be sure to check out Margo’s cheat sheet for more tips. For more information on Margot, visit broadstreetconsulting.com, or find her on LinkedIn.

This is a great episode for everyone so be sure to share it with your friends, colleagues, college graduates, and even high school students. Also, head over to iTunes and write a quick review if you liked what you heard. Lastly, thanks for listening!

Planning to Be a CFP

Episode 30: Planning to Be a CFP
Guest: Eleanor Blayney

Hello there, and welcome back to Women Rocking Wall Street. A couple weeks ago, I spoke with Renee Amochaev about her fight for gender equality on Wall Street. And this week, I’m continuing the theme and encouraging women out there to research the opportunities that a career in financial planning can bring. Well, who better to speak about this topic than Eleanor Blayney, author of “Women’s Worth: Finding Your Financial Confidence.” In addition to being an author, Eleanor is a CFP and consumer advocate for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.

In 2013, the CFP Board launched Women’s Initiative (WIN). Under the leadership of Nancy Kistner, then chair of CFP Board’s board of directors, WIN conducted research about why there are so few women in financial planning—the number has remained flat at 23% for several years. Based on the research, the WIN Advisory Panel released a white paper called “Making More Room for Women In the Financial Planning Profession.” The research found that, compared with men, women are much less familiar with the financial planning profession and the requirements for CFP certification. And when it comes to financial advisers who do not have CFP certification, 39% of men said they would “definitely or probably” pursue it, compared with 23% of women.

If you’re a CFP who wants to tell women more about this exciting career, consider becoming a WIN Advocate and spreading the word. By sharing your story with your community, you can make the profession more attractive to women. Please visit this link for more information about becoming a WIN Advocate. Every action we take like this can help close the gender gap!

If you have a passion for helping others, I would encourage you to explore a career in financial planning. As Eleanor says, it’s not all numbers, sales and production—it’s a career that calls for creativity, relationship skills, communication and an interesting in helping people achieve their goals. Sounds pretty nice, right?

Thanks for listening, and as always, please head to iTunes and tell us what you think about the episode. And share this podcast with friends and family! Until next time.

Investing in Gender Parity

Episode 29: Investing in Gender Parity
Guest: Eve Ellis

Welcome back! I hope you’re still enjoying some nice, warm weather – wherever you may be. I am excited for this week’s episode of Women Rocking Wall Street because I have the pleasure of speaking with Eve Ellis, Financial Advisor with The Matterhorn Group at Morgan Stanley.

Competitive by nature, Eve started her career as a professional tennis player. Having served her well on the court, she now uses her competitive drive to help her clients prepare for their individual financial goals. In addition to supporting men, women and nonprofits, Eve is also the portfolio manager for The Parity Portfolio, a capital investment strategy that only buys into companies that has a minimum of three women on their boards.

According to Eve, gender parity on S&P 500 company boards are minimal and the progress is slow. Over the past two and a half years, the number has only increased by 2.3%. Although Eve is working to change that, she is also benefiting her clients. Research indicates that corporate boards that have three or more women have a 46% higher return on equity, 60% higher return on invested capital and 80% higher return on sales.

If you’re a woman struggling to make your way in your industry, Eve recommends that you speak up with authority and remind yourself that men should just “move over.” We have a responsibility to bring along other women, be supportive and educate others about this issue. Together, we can create gender parity.

If you’re a longtime listener of Women Rocking Wall Street, you’ve heard me mention the 30 Percent Coalition (of which Eve is a member of). If you’re new to the podcast, you can learn more about this initiative by listening to these past related podcast episodes: “What’s Behind Your Investments,” “Let’s Get to 30%,” and “The Getting Along Paradigm”. To learn more about Eve, you can find her on LinkedIn.

Be sure to share this podcast with your friends and colleagues. Also, head over to iTunes and write a quick review if you liked what you heard today. Increased reviews help move the podcast to an even more visible place in the iTunes world. (More visible, more listeners. More listeners, more difference!)

Fighting for Change On Wall Street

Episode 28: Fighting for Change On Wall Street
Guest: Renee Amochaev

Hello, and happy summer! This week, I’m thrilled to share the story of a woman who rocked Wall Street in a major, major way. You might remember the name Renee Amochaev from news headlines. Several years back, Amochaev and three other women brought a gender discrimination lawsuit against Smith Barney, which resulted in the brokerage firm paying a whopping $33 million settlement.

Renee was inspired to seek legal action for what she said were differences in the way she was treated compared with her male colleagues. Among other things, Renee said her office was smaller and she was required to go through broker training—despite being fully licensed—while her male counterparts didn’t have to. Eventually, Renee said she came to work one day to find that her entire book of business was inaccessible, and she was told to write essays to retain her accounts. Through conversations with a couple women at the office, Renee said she discovered she wasn’t alone in her experiences.

The lawsuit was a long and tiring road, but Renee knew she wouldn’t be able to look at herself in the mirror if she didn’t speak up. Renee’s husband encouraged her to arrive in cowboy boots for her first meeting with the lawyers. (I love this, by the way, because I often wear cowboy boots to speaking engagements.) “If you’re gonna kick up dust,” her husband said, “you better wear cowboy boots.”

And boy, did she kick up a lot of dust!

In the end, news outlets from CNBC to The New York Times covered the story, and countless women contacted Renee about their personal experiences. The lawsuit, Renee says, was so much bigger than just her. “This is about future generations of women and how much they are needed in the industry,” she says.

Not only do Renee and I both hope this episode inspires listeners to speak up about gender biases in the industry, but we also hope it serves as a calling for women to take hold of their financial futures.

In closing, I’d also like to give a shout-out to all the people fighting every day for more women in the industry, including Tim Smith from the 30 Percent Coalition (see July 8th’s episode). Tim has rallied for years to increase the number of women on boards, and he and so many others are greatly appreciated.

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it and head to iTunes to post a quick review. And join me next week for a talk with Eve Ellis, who has a very interesting career history—from competitive tennis, to Web, to financial services. Have a great week!