“The Most Fun I’ve Ever Had” … Isn’t the Point
I’ll never forget a friend of mine being asked on a panel: “Is it fun to be an entrepreneur?”
Of course she was supposed to answer, “It’s the most exhilarating and rewarding thing I’ve ever done,” perhaps followed by, “Leaving corporate America was the best move I ever made.”
Instead, she answered, “No.”
Her answer resonates with me as I head into another cycle of my on-again-off-again insomnia.
When I wake up at 2:30 am, I’m certainly not thinking about how much fun we’re all having at Ellevest. Instead I’m thinking of:
And the sense of responsibility we have to all of you: Our 2.5 million strong social media community.* So many of the women who came before us had so much less money than the men in their lives (hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of dollars less) because they didn’t make as much or, perhaps, invest as much as the men did. We don’t want that for you.
A sense of responsibility to the Ellevest team.
Working in a startup is not a comfortable career choice, believe me: We started in an office that had mice in it. (Still makes me shudder.) Some of our team got our mission right away, while others started off skeptical — but today, we all share a belief in the positive impact we can have through closing gender money gaps.
A sense of responsibility to our outside investors.
They are the people who have provided us with the money to start and run the company before it becomes profitable. We have some great ones. Some came in when most people were saying, “An investing platform for women? Women don’t need their own thing.” And some came in when others were saying, “What you’re building sounds complex. Are you sure it will work?” And others came in during the “But are there really enough women who will invest for this to scale?” stage. Regardless, they believe deeply in the importance of what we are doing.
A sense of responsibility to ALL women to make this successful.
Even if they’re not Ellevesters. We never again want to hear what we did for so many years: That women are “too risk averse to invest.” That “for women” should mean a less-sophisticated offering. That women really just want to outsource the management of their money to their partners.
In a world in which 90% of women manage our money on our own at some point in our lives — whether we want to or not — these soft biases are dangerous to our financial health. So we’re fighting for something bigger here.
[Related: What’s at Stake When We Don’t Talk Money]
Which is why I love that we are building Ellevest not just FOR you, but also WITH you.
That means hundreds of hours of research with women like you. And email feedback requested from every one of you who completes an investment plan. And a standing request for feedback directly to me at Sallie@Ellevest.com (which I’ll read pretty quickly from 2:30 am to 5 am during this insomnia spell).
As for entrepreneurship, it may not be fun; but if you believe in what you’re doing as much as we do at Ellevest, it also may not be a choice.
*This includes all the people who follow Ellevest’s social accounts and my own, across Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
This article was originally published in Ellevest's newsletter, What The Elle. You can learn more here.
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Sallie Krawcheck’s professional mission is to help women reach their financial and professional goals (or, put more bluntly, to get more money into the hands of women), thus enabling them to live better lives and unleashing a positive ripple effect for our families, our communities and our economy. To that end, Krawcheck is the Chair of the Ellevate Network, a 135K-strong global professional women’s network; she is also the CEO and co-founder of Ellevest, a... Continue Reading
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