In 2016, the Dalai Lama proclaimed with his great wisdom that, “The western woman is going to change the world.”
There is such tremendous strength in our ability to collaborate, our empathy and compassion, our drive, and intelligence. But to move the needle on this change requires more than just talking about it. It requires action. I’d like to share my story behind launching Equita with my co-founder Katie Burke, and how we hope it can truly make a difference to the women led planning firms across the country and the many clients these planners serve.
Several years ago I launched WealthChoice, a financial life planning firm for women executives and their families. It was not what I intended when I entered the financial planning industry. I never expected to launch my own firm. But years working tireless hours every week for a traditional RIA, getting paid a fraction of what male planners were being paid at the firm, hearing that I was “too old” by other firms to consider a lateral move, being told I was too ambitious by my boss, or that my efforts to bring women together was a waste of time, all converged in 2016 to help me launch my financial planning firm. And with unbelievable anxiety and stress I launched, on my own, with a vision and passion and my client’s trust.
This is where Equita comes in.
In order to provide the highest level of guidance to my clients, my firm needs the best business resources. As a small woman-led business, I found it easier to outsource these resources rather than curate them myself, mostly for fear of missing key pieces or making mistakes. I also wanted to have more time to focus on client service, which was possible by outsourcing many business resources.
Our role as financial planners is to help women who are working so very hard, live life on their terms. Financial planning is an absolute passion of mine, but so is having my own firm. We are intentional in who we serve, and how we serve our clients. My firm is an extension of myself, and it is a personal passion. It brings me tremendous fulfillment. But with growth, it also caused me to step back to see how we could structure our business better so that we could do more of what we do best, serve clients.
In the course of business I met and collaborated with another financial planner on some client cases to great success. Katie Burke, President of Method Financial Planning, and I realized the great power in collaborating in our businesses. Clients benefit, we benefit. Katie and I started to share best practices in business and planning on a more frequent basis. We saw the terrific results and knew that other women could benefit. So we started to dig into what could allow us to be even better planners and how we could make that available for other independent women led planning firms.
We wanted solutions that would allow us to have more time to spend on what is most important to our firms, and that is great financial planning solutions for our clients. We both realized that having outstanding business resources behind us would allow us to do better work and run our businesses more efficiently. It would allow us the time and resources to grow our businesses intentionally, and not be bogged down with running our businesses, but rather streamline the operations side. We wanted a platform for collaboration, for sharing curated resources, for succession planning, for helping other women led firms be successful. To do this, we needed a platform of the best industry resources, which we spent the next 7 months assembling.
This past week WealthChoice and Method Financial Planning became the first Member firms of Equita Financial Network. We are thrilled to welcome fellow women-led financial planning firms to the platform and look forward to making a difference to clients and women business owners on a scale we have not yet seen in our industry.
There is power in bringing smart, driven, like-minded women together in business. Together we will change the future for our clients, and for women business owners.