Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Natalie Levy, Founder of She's Independent, located in Boulder, CO, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
She's Independent Investments is a women-first angel group offering education around and access to high-quality private investments. We offer experiential learning and community to build skills around investing, even for individuals who are not yet ready to invest. Our customers are predominantly women and first-time private investors. They are located all over the world but are mainly located in the US, with our largest markets being the Denver area, The Bay Area, and NYC.
Tell us about yourself
Throughout my education (engineering + advanced mathematics) through to my early professional years (on Wall Street), I experienced a good amount of harassment and lack of sponsorship being a woman. We lost my mom to suicide about five years after her divorce in January 2019. She never had a handle on her finances, which in addition to the other mental struggles (not finding herself and healing from events that happened earlier in her life), she was in an unrecoverable place.
The work I do today very much honors my mom, my journey, and women who want to change the trajectory. The trajectory of confidence, mindset, and independence for women young and old.
I launched She's Independent following the loss of mom and navigated into the women-first angel investing focus, given the organic feedback and interest from those I was working with and recognizing the significant power gaps that existed in this space. My experience also fits well to launch the investing focus, given my track record and experience with angel (>20X returns across my first four private investments.)
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think overcoming the barrier of needing to feel like a cash flow business has been my biggest barrier. I lead with mission and impact, and while an angel group shouldn't be a cash flow machine, it is a lot of work. However, we're finally getting to sustainability and seeing the scale.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Upfront I would have said the amount on my plate. Thankfully, I've found some great talent and women who run various areas of the business fractionally to bring me sanity and allow us to be up a level. You can work on or for your business. I was working on it for too long. Now I'm working on it, and I also continue to work on my mindset and finding balance and health, which are critical.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
First, I'd say that you should really spend the time digging into what you want to do. Starting a business and spending time growing it is HARD, but if it aligns deeply with your WHY you have a chance.
Second, I'd say you need to check in on your skills and alignment. Why are you the right founder to start that business? Do you have subject matter expertise? Do you know the market opportunity through direct experience?
Finally, I'd say anything is possible. Limiting beliefs stop us from achieving and trying. Try, fail, learn, and grow. So often, we don't want to take the risk. If you're feeling called to try something new, do it every time.