The Colorado Women’s Chamber provides great opportunities for women to grow professional and personally — and there’s one members-only program I want to ensure more people know about: the Women of Influence & Impact Leadership Program. It was an honor for me to appear there today to help with the facilitation of discussion about business leadership, entrepreneurism and innovation.
The chamber members participating in this program — which is designed to help emerging leaders and business owners grow on several levels that also have positive impact on larger communities — and I touched on some interesting topics. Here’s a few questions I addressed:
What is the most important element of your success?
Persistence. I never give up, no matter the road blocks or push-back. Women are underrepresented in the finance industry: They make up less than 20 percent of its workforce, and that percentage shrinks in the executive ranks. So, I have always known I would need to overcome some people’s preconceived notions about what a financial advisor should look like. For me, this has required constant focus; a lot of hard work; and effort to be the best — not the best woman — the best financial advisor. I look for ways to stand out and prove my value. For example, I made the time to attain both the Chartered Financial Analyst and the Certified Financial Planner designations to increase my knowledge. And then when I started out in this business, I made at least 25, researched cold calls a day. And you know what? I was surprised by how many meetings I was able to get from those calls. Self-coaching was important: I kept telling myself I was smart, worked hard, was honest and had great skills that could add value to someone’s financial life. If success is going to be found, why wouldn’t I find it? I asked then — and I still do.
What surprised you the most in your journey as an entrepreneur?
How seemingly boring tasks can be fun when it’s your own business – like picking an employee healthcare plan, finding exactly the right software vendor or drilling into the terms of a lease. That first-hand understanding of how a business runs actually makes me a better advisor because so many of our clients are entrepreneurs and C-level executives.
How do you keep innovating and encouraging your team to do so?
The ability to be creative is one of the things I love most about my job, and this ability has expanded as an independent firm. We recognize that wealth management is a competitive industry – so we are constantly striving to bring a greater depth/breadth of knowledge and resources to our clients. We stay current with the latest trends in our industry by reading widely and speaking to industry partners. For example, in the short time we’ve been in business, we’ve revamped our website and changed both our financial planning and investment management software. Our firm has a flat management structure. Everyone is encouraged to have a voice and is recognized for innovation. For example, we have a Client Experience Committee that meets regularly to brainstorm creative ways to enhance our connection with clients.
You can find more information on the Colorado Women’s Chamber Women of Influence & Impact Leadership Program here.