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Dawn Parks

Dawn Parks

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

I am the CEO of SheMoolah and am focused on 3 areas. (1) Building an e-learning program for women about their relationship to money, (2) Building an entrepreneurship program for women looking at changing careers and are not sure where to start, and (3) imagining what it takes to be part of Tony Robbins' leadership network.

I always had plenty of money, made good money, and built really BIG international and national projects. Then one day, poof, it was all over. 2008, the market crashed, the consulting firm I worked for "let go" of our division, and within 24 months I was filing for bankruptcy with a sick daughter and a messy divorce. I had never been trained on money--it just always materialized around me. This was uncharted territory for me. So I got to work understanding money and found out that no one wants to talk to you if you have no money, and there are lots of women in the 50-65 year old bracket that were in a similar position. And SheMoolah was born!

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

My partner, Liz Kitchell and I, love working with our Ellevate Cincinnati Chapter leadership team to produce Financial Coffee and Chat. We have been delighted that it is now on the national calendar!

How would you define your professional mission?

Work with women (and men!) to support and impact their financial journey. It is never too late!

What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?

My favorite memory is being the lead negotiator for the forest industry on a United Nations treaty for sustainability. There was one sentence in the treaty that my competitors (companies that grow annual crops like corn, soybeans) loved and it would kill our business. I had never negotiated such a thing but didn't let that stop me. I was able to get the language resolved for all of us! (I'm also trained in conflict resolution--boy did those skills come in handy!)

What are some career challenges on your radar?

Managing all the new social media options and which one's are critical for business. Clubhouse is a tremendous opportunity and it's easy to get sucked into a black hole because the learning curve is slower.

What is your morning ritual?

I have 2 rituals that alternate. Swim 2000-3000 yards, then walk the dog and get ready for the day. Or journal/read from my fave mentors and then walk the dog and get ready for the day. Weekends include... well, I won't say that here!

What would you say your personal superpower is?

I see in 3-D--how things are interconnected like a spider web and which strings are critical to the web and which ones can break loose and not damage the integrity of the web. It helps me help people see if they are working on the right things.

What advice would you offer future leading ladies wishing to break into your industry?

First, understand your money personality and how it has gotten you this far. Then build on those strengths. In the areas of challenge-- either overcome them or leverage another money personality.

Second, get a coach that helps you design a goal, outcomes and business model. There are a lot of great ideas out there, but they don't all translate to solving an urgent problem of the people.

Third, decide if it's a hobby, lifestyle business or buyable business (someone will buy you out). Get ready to re-design your life for it.

What is the best career advice you ever received?

"Don't worry about the things you can't affect. " So unbelievably helpful in all areas of life.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?

Your kid will be successful in spite of you! Their brains aren't fully developed until age 23 or so. Don't expect a 15 year old to think like an 18 year old--you will be disappointed for sure! Just love them and remember that if you pull the cocoon away from a struggling butterfly, they cannot fly. It's important that they learn to struggle and resolve things on their own.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.