Vestpod - Client of the Month, July 2018
Deciding to go it alone and start your own business is one of the most challenging decisions a person can make and it usually takes someone with a lot of courage and creativity to do that. Startup founders are definitely a more interesting bunch than your average corporate Joe and at The Law Boutique, we are in a unique position to come across some truly amazing people on a daily basis. Their stories not only teach us a lot but are also simply inspiring. So we want to share some of those stories with you.
We are extremely excited to publish Emilie's story this month. Emilie is the founder of Vestpod and we helped her get her GDPR sorted earlier this month.
Vestpod is a unique organisation with a mission to empower women financially and change the conversation about money. We are delighted to have Emilie feature in our blog this month and we hope you enjoy her story as much as we did!
Hi Emilie, thanks for taking the time to share your story with us! Let's start with how you came to found Vestpod.
Hi and thanks for having me!
My background is in finance, I started my career at Lehman Brothers where I worked as an analyst in private equity merchant banking and following the bankruptcy, I was part of the spin-off team that became Trilantic Capital Partners.
Reflecting on my years working in finance, I realised I was not saving or investing enough and could not find the support to do so.
If you think about it: Women drive the world economy, and are family breadwinners. By 2028, women will control close to 75% of discretionary spending worldwide but women aren’t saving enough for retirement, even if they live longer than men. Women earn less than men and there are fewer women in senior positions. Professional financial advice is expensive, intimidating and not well-adjusted to the challenges women face.
I then decided to launch Vestpod for women - as a way to provide education and a community for women to start breaking the taboo around money.
Wow. That's pretty amazing. How does Vestpod seek to help women achieve greater financial empowerment?
I launched Vestpod as a weekly newsletter with the objective to make personal finance more accessible, relevant and... interesting! Vestpod is an online platform with a social media presence that has a free weekly newsletter. We provide 24/7 access to independent, unbiased and up-to-date guidance regarding all financial aspects of life. We write our own content and interview women on their money habits.
This year I also started to organise workshops and events: from 20 to 50 women in London around budgeting, money management, investing and cryptocurrencies. They became quite popular and sell out quite quickly!
We also have a book club where we read money-related books every 1-2 months. Our next one is Helena Morrissey’s book: A Good Time To Be A Girl.
We’ve heard that Vestpod has recently been shortlisted for an award (many congratulations!). Could you tell us about the nomination and what it means for you at Vestpod?
Thank you! Yes Vestpod has been nominated in the Finance Awards in the Disruptor of the year category. The event celebrated the achievements of women across a broad range of sectors within financial services, from venture capital and banking to accounting and corporate law. The Disruptor category celebrates the companies that have reinvigorated gender diversity in the financial services industry by provide new and innovative ways to improve the gender balance in the sector across levels. We did not win this year but we will be back:)
It is amazing for Vestpod to receive some industry recognition and to be honest with you it is also great for the motivation!
What are your ambitions for Vestpod for the next 5 years?
I want to empower 1 million women financially - that means more classes, a bigger community and a lot of other projects!
What would you say has been the biggest challenge you have faced in your career so far and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge I faced was closing my previous startup, this is really tough when it happens. At the time, I really saw this as a failure and it was very hard to digest. I now think it is one of the most enriching experience, I have learnt a lot from it.
What achievement are you most proud of?
Being able to make an impact with Vestpod and building a business for good. I am dedicated to make financial empowerment my mission and get as many women as I can feel better about their finances and their lives.
How do you strike a balance between your personal and professional life? Do you have any special strategies, such as a morning or night routine, or do you use an AI personal assistant?
This is very challenging - I am not sure I will ever be able to find a balance. I juggle all the time. I have two young kids, so that means my work hours are “fixed” and I am at home to see them in the morning, afternoon and weekends (unless I have some events or I am travelling). I think I became quite efficient and only focus on the most important things. I try to keep 1-2 days during the week where I don’t have events or meetings to work on Vestpod’s long term plan.
What keeps me going is actually seeing my children, meditating, reading books, and exercising regularly.
There are many start-ups and entrepreneurs within The Law Boutique Community. What advice would you give to early stage start-ups and entrepreneurs?
Enjoy the journey, not the destination. Know why you are doing what you are doing and give it all your energy and resilience. It will be hard sometimes but fun and super exciting the rest of the time. I don’t think I could ever go back to a corporate life now. Best of luck!
We also have a lot of female entrepreneurs in The Law Boutique community. What are some simple steps you would recommend for women who would like to improve their relationship with their money and savings?
I would say:
Start looking into your finances: where is your money, where is your pension, do you have one?
Make a budget even if it sounds boring and understand where your money is going
Save monthly to build an emergency saving nest and repay your expensive debts such as credit card as your number 1 priority
Once you are ready start investing your money: make it work for you and grow over time! Time is your friend so start small and early!
Start a conversation about money with a friend, a partner, a family member: the more you talk about it the easier it will get.
Register to vestpod.com, and come to our events!
Finally, if you could go back to the start of your career, what would be the best piece of career advice you would give yourself?
Dream big and forget about what everyone else says or thinks. If you feel like it, do it!