Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Stella Gold, CEO of My Gold Standard, located in San Francisco, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My Gold Standard is a financial literacy company for QTBIPOC. I teach individuals, businesses, and even families how to build wealth and claim their financial power and agency. I currently work 1:1 with people as their wealth coach and equip them with a wealth roadmap that outlines where they have been, where they are now, where they want to go in their life, and how to get there by using money as a tool for financial liberation. I also offer workshops and speaking engagements that teach financial literacy from a trauma-informed, holistic, and intersectional space.
Tell us about yourself
I started My Gold Standard because I wanted to create an impact. My path to financial education was an unexpected one, as my background is in psychology and journalism. However, in 2015, I lost a parent unexpectedly, which left me, my mother, and my siblings were drowning in grief and financial anxiety. A lot of financial decision-making was on my shoulders, and the school never taught me how to be an adult with money. When I did try to seek out financial education and guidance, every single person I met was a white dude in a grey suit that had no idea how to address my financial life as a first-generation queer femme person.
The human aspect and emotional weight that money can carry (especially within grief) were met with dismissiveness, and each meeting I had was incredibly dry and very intimidating. I was tired of looking for an inclusive and trauma-informed approach to financial literacy, so instead of looking for someone, I BECAME that someone. From this experience, I made it my absolute mission to turn my grief into gold and teach myself all that there is to know about money—not just literacy, but how it shows up in our body, mind, heart, and spirit. This is what motivates me to show up every day. It's the grief, the injustice, and the passion I have for financial literacy that sustains me.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I love this question so much. Sometimes I forget to celebrate my wins as an entrepreneur. Honestly, my biggest accomplishments are my clients' accomplishments. They've paid off debt (or are on track to), raised their income by advocating for themselves at their place of work, and leveled up their net worth. On average, my clients see a $10,000 increase in their net worth after six months, more savings, a decrease in liabilities, and an increase in credit scores. But, the real difference that they see is within their experience with money, how they interact with money, and how money is no longer a weight but a tool for transformation.
The best thing ever is when they take all of this experience and knowledge that they now have and ripple that into their families and communities. They even share with me the financial wins of their parents, grandparents, and siblings.
Knowledge is meant to be shared. Knowledge is power. I'm so proud that this business is a part of that journey for them.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Tolerating the discomfort of variable income Some months, quarters, and seasons are wonderful. Other months, quarters, or seasons might experience a slowdown in revenue. This is the season I am in right now, and aside from the uncertainty and what can feel like instability, it is very uncomfortable.
It could just be nature; we have seasons, and we must respect them where they are. I am shifting my mindset to viewing this as a season of rest and reflection vs. a season of "lack."
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- I'd say when you reach the point in your business where you need to outsource, just do it. I hired a virtual assistant who has been absolutely incredible to work with, and it's given me SO much capacity to do more in my business than I actually want to do.
- It's normal to start out being everything for your business, aka the CEO, CFO, CMO, etc., but it's not sustainable forever. Entrepreneurship can feel very isolating, so having a community that you can reach out to for support is vital.
- Lastly, build your window of resilience/tolerance to risk. Being an entrepreneur is all about taking risks. You are putting yourself out there daily, making investments in your business, whether that be your time, energy, or even money. You might not see an "ROI" in the time frame that you want but believe in yourself. Believing in your business Believe in your mission.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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