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Kim Ann Curtin On Building A Business And Ethics On Wall Street

Kim Ann Curtin On Building A Business And Ethics On Wall Street

Kim Ann Curtin is the author of Transforming Wall Street: A Conscious Path for a New Future. She is also a keynote speaker and the Founder of The Wall Street Coach.

She and her team help executives accelerate their personal and professional success. Since the financial market crashed in October 2008, Kim has worked to build a more optimistic and sustainable vision for the finance industry. She is a trusted advisor and consultant to executives, teams, conferences, and Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. and globally.

In her recent Twitter chat with Ellevate Network members, she talked about starting her business in the middle of an economic downturn, staying resilient when times get tough and the lessons she learned from writing a book.

What has been your biggest career challenge to date?

Stepping fully into my coaching business in 2008, in the middle of a financial crisis & personal financial uncertainty! 

What do you think is the most important trait in being a leader?

Empathy - both for ourselves as well as others. We often forget about self-compassion. 

What is the most important strength that women bring to business?

We bring a new perspective, given we’ve not been fully represented, & a balance of energy. 

Who has been the biggest influence in your career journey to date?

So many people! Sara Blakley at Spanx for perseverance, EckhartTolle and Oprah for courage and consciousness and Tim Ferriss for hustle 

What are your thoughts on mentorship and reverse mentorship? 

Mentoring is a two-way street - whether you’re the mentor or the mentee, be open to growth 

How did you define your professional mission?

My mission is to transform Wall Street by increasing the consciousness of individuals in order to transform organizations 

What’s the best piece of advice you ever got? 

To be a pioneer and take the road less traveled. 

How important are relationships to growing a business?

Relationships and reputation are incredibly important, especially in my line of work since it’s often referral-driven. 

What led you to start The Wall Street Coach?

Knowing that 2008 would bring about a lot of personal and professional challenges for many people in an industry I loved. 

What advice would you give your 20 year old self?

I’d advise her that trusting herself is the most important lesson she can learn. 

What made you want to have a mission to help clients be wildly successful while maintaining integrity?

I seek this for myself and I don’t believe there should be a trade-off. Can you even have true success without integrity?

How do you turn your passion into a business? 

Not every passion should necessarily be a business. Ask yourself if your product or service meets a potential customer’s needs? 

What advice would you give to women who want to start their own venture?

Read everything about entrepreneurship and money, especially Dawn Fotopulos' book, Accounting For The Numberphobic. Hire a coach and find a mentor that has both internal and external success

What advice do you have about creating a personal brand?

Be patient as it may need to emerge organically. You can’t force authenticity. 

How important are ethics on  Wall Street?

Paramount. Finance should serve society. Finance professionals are accountable to themselves, the industry and society 

Who inspires you?

So many people - but especially the “Wall Street 50” in my book. They embody conscious capitalism.

How do you stay resilient when things get tough?

I practice self-compassion, I meditate. I step back and make sure I have the space to see, and think, clearly. 

How do you keep evolving in your business?

By being open to what’s going around me. Change can be your friend if you’re not afraid of periodically losing control. 

What is the most important thing about building a good team?

Finding people who believe in your mission. 

What is your favorite thing about being a business leader?

Supporting transformation at the personal level as well as at the corporate level. 

What motivates you daily?

Helping people make personal breakthroughs that allow them to live with greater authenticity and fulfillment. 

What has your work experience taught you about life?

Two things: 1) Not to compare myself to anyone else. Compare=Despair and 2) Sometimes we must leap for the net to appear.

What lessons did writing a book teach you?

Not to let money, or lack thereof, stop me from taking risks. The book was a big financial commitment, but I needed to do it.