Episode # 37 - The Exceptional Opportunity for Women
The inauguration this week got me thinking about the power and opportunity of women. On one hand, there is so much opportunity for women to be smart, make money and still see their families by working online. On the other hand there are the businesses that get the chance to work with incredible talent in different ways that don’t revolve around hiring a full time employee. The online space opens up a flood of talent that business owners have never had access to before and connects smart, savvy women so they can build success around the life they want.
- Here are the things we cover:
- “I’ve always felt a little disconnected from the fight of the women that came before me, but I know I’ve shared some of their struggles.”
- “I kept asking myself, ‘Why, am I so emotional about this?’ and the answer is that I understand the struggle.”
- “There are so many more opportunities for women today than there have ever been.”
- “That traditional job model, has all kinds of problems… harassment, be quiet, mansplaining…”
- “I would find it hard to believe that you could find a woman in the workforce who hasn’t been harassed.”
- “I’ve sent billion dollar wires but I couldn’t get a job as a bank teller… not enough experience… wtf?”
- “I’ve had accountants say things to me that they’d never have said to my husband.”
- “I hear from people who say, ‘My husband hates that I’m working and just wants me to be a mom.’
Hello, everyone, and welcome to episode number 37. This past week in the United States, you may have heard, it was it was on the news that we got a new president. And I don't want to talk about the politics of that at all. What I do want to talk about today is I was a crying mess. We plan to watch the inauguration, all three of us sat down and watched it together. We're trying really trying to teach my son a lot about like civics and and learning all about how the country works and how voting works and all of that. And I walked in, and as I walked in the Vice President, our new vice president, Kamala Harris, she was being sworn in by a female supreme court justice. And as I looked at the screen, I literally just started crying. I'm not really one to burst into tears when I walk into a room. But watching these two women, these such powerful, powerful women that have worked so hard in their lives and have dealt with so much beyond that stage on that day was just overwhelming. To me, it was so incredible. And I gotta tell you, it was ever so exciting. And it was so unexpected. Like, I knew I'd be excited about it, right. But it was amazing to me how overwhelmed I got by it all. If you ever asked me anything about equality, or anything like that, or if a woman can do anything, I am gonna be right in your face about it. So I think I was really surprised that I got so emotional about it. I feel like I wasn't there for the big fights. I wasn't marching in the 70s. For the era, I wasn't out there in the 50s not being able to do anything legally, I couldn't, you know, you could even have a credit card until the early 70s. In your own name, you couldn't buy a house or own a business or have a bank account without a man's permission. And I've missed all that. And I always kind of felt like, Who am I to say anything on this, I didn't fight for all of that. But watching them up on stage really made me understand like, I am part of all of this. And as I've been thinking about them up there and how like emotional I got over it. I really started to think like, Why Why am I so emotional over this. And I think that even though I wasn't there for the marching in the in and you know, in the beginning of the 1900s, trying to get the vote for a woman, like I wasn't a part of all of those crazy things. But I I have had to fight a little bit every day. Because I was a woman, there are definitely been times that I was treated differently. I had different opportunities because I was a woman. And the great thing, the great, great thing about online business, and having your own business in this way is that it's a leveler. You can be anything you want to be here. Does it matter that you're a woman? Yes, but less than I think it does a corporate. And it got me so excited about all the possibilities that we have now that we didn't have 20 years ago.
All of the things that we can do online in our own businesses that we can't do in corporate. And how exciting that is that we get to watch these really important people on TV that are women. But we also in our own lives, get to be women who do things and have more influence who can make money, be smart, and still see our kids in corporate or that traditional job model, let's say it doesn't have to be corporate per se. It could be just you know, a local store that you work at. One of the biggest problems that we have as women is harassment. Holy mackerel. You guys know my background is in finance and in Wall Street. Shout out to Rick and Nick, they always gave me the utmost respect. They were never out of line. They were the rare exception. I had people tell me that they couldn't hire me because it would be bad for their marriage. My my first job in finance, I used to have to wrap a sweater around my waist every time I went into my first broker's office because he would always comment And try to grab me. I think I was 22. And I didn't know how to handle that at all. This was like a common thing, comments constantly, things were assumed. And I wasn't in the position like other people in other places. I was just watching something on friendly boards. And she was having explaining a whole story about how in order to get a waitressing job, you had to sleep with the manager. And that was just the way you got jobs. The harassment is out of control in some places. And I think it's I think it's awful, obviously. But I think I would be hard pressed to find a woman who hasn't been harassed in some way. It's not just ones that look a certain way or act a certain way, or dress a certain way, I would find it hard to believe that you couldn't find one woman who hadn't been harassed in some way like that. Having to go to work every day and deal with that crap sucks. You're not doing your best work. You're not happy. It's a boys club, right? And a lot of places. Now, look, I'm talking about Wall Street. So it's a lot different.
But I can tell you, it's not so different. A lot of other places. I've worked in restaurants, I've worked in barns, riding horses, that is a place you do not go in the barn at night in the dark. I worked at lots of lovely places. But I've worked at some really crazy places that weren't the worst, but still were pretty terrible. Even now, even in this modern world, you're put in a box and told to shut up while the men speak. That's a huge thing in corporate, that whole walking in mansplaining, trying to get an idea across in a meeting and being run over all of that. And when you have this idea of a traditional job or corporate job like that, there's only so much you can do about it, you can fight back. And then sometimes that makes you a target. You don't want to lose your job, especially if you got kids at home that you've got to feed, you can't fight back, you are pinned into this place, you're told to shut up. And you're you're made to feel like you're an idiot. Or even if you're smart, you're not as smart as the men in the room. And I feel like a lot of the women listening to me right now are saying, Oh, yeah, totally, that happened to me. And I'm gonna guess there's at least one guy that listens to this and says, Oh, this is so such drama, I don't want to listen to this. And I hope that you haven't turned this podcast off at this point. Because I really would love for you to hear the other side of that. And what it's like on our side, that kind of feeling of being trapped in a job, that even if you like doing the job, all the other stuff sucks, because you have a guy talking about your ass, and telling you you're an idiot. And you have to work late because someone else must stop maybe. And now you don't get to see your kids. A lot of us are moms, we work really hard in our career. And then we're also told, if you want to see your kids, you should go home. And if you're here you should be here. And that's it. Those are the two options. There's nothing in between. So you have to work a full time job or more work at night when the after they go to sleep just so that you can show up. Like you don't have a family and kids. And then you have to go home and feel guilty because you are working too much. And you feel like you don't have time to be a mom. I think almost all moms, at some point have felt like they're not doing enough somewhere work you're not. So if you add in work and being home and then if you have a crappy commute, like I would have been in the city and it would have been four hours round trip into the city, I would have seen my son on weekends. I would have left before he got up I would have been home after he basically when he was going to bed, I would have kissed him on the head and that's it and that I would have had a child and never saw him. And so many moms do this. Those are the options they have. Or that's like the path they've chosen because they want to be in a certain thing. And it sucks.
So what happens when we start to get out into the world and you want to have other options? I raised my hand for a layoff because I was so burnt out and that was before kids but I knew that I wanted kids and then I had my furniture business for a while which wasn't making enough money to pay for anything really. It was a lot of work and no one to pay me anything. And then I literally was trying to find a job. I had had three trading licenses. I had worked with hundreds of millions of dollars. I had run the operations while the boys went out and sold things And yet, I was presented with waitress bank teller. And you know, they wouldn't hire me as a bank teller, I didn't have enough experience as a bank teller. The fact that I had traded millions of dollars in stocks every day, didn't matter. bank teller was way, way too high up the corporate ladder for me at that point, that's where I was. And it was very hard to swallow my pride and be a waitress, because here I was cleaning up dirty dishes from someone that I used to work with, or I used to go out with. And here I was, like, these were my options. my accountant, point blank told me I should go get a job as a bank teller, because at least it would be something that's the only job you're gonna get. And when you come out of corporate and you think, Oh, I just left all the most money I'm ever gonna make in my life. And then you walk out into a world of condescending men who say, Oh, yeah, that's it. You're a mom, now. You'll never be successful, you'll never make any money. It's a good thing. You're married. Because that's goddamn what I heard. Luckily, for some of us, and I hope more and more of us. There's some spark in us that says, f that. f that I'm not going to do nothing with my life. I'm not going to just sit there and go, Oh, well, I'll just be a mom and sit here very, very still. And I have an opinion. Now as a caveat to that. Mom is like the hardest job in the world. So when I say just Mom, it's not how I feel. It's how they say it. You're just a mom. That's not what I mean, mom's hard. It's harder than any other thing I've ever done. We have this inkling. And we're like, I wonder if I can do something. I wonder what kind of business I can do. Like, I'm smart. My brain still works. I want to go use it again. Even if we don't think we can actually make any money. We want to use our brains again. Because especially those first couple years when the kid isn't talking yet. There's not a lot of conversation with adults happening. And then we're also met with that kind of Oh, well, you have a cute mom business. Oh, that's cute. I have had a number of people, generally accountants, who have basically looked at me went well, that's cute. And I'm like, Okay, well, how should I stop at my books? And what should I do? I had questions, and they're like, Come back to me when you make some money. Like, that's never gonna happen. So let's not even have this conversation. That's what people are confronted with when they're trying to start a thing.
As a woman, I can promise you, if my husband turned around and said, I'm going to start a business. And this is what I'm going to do. All of us are be like, great, here's how you do ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, you're gonna be great. Oh, I can hook you up with this person. That's not what women have. So many times, we are confronted with this is such a cute idea. But you're not going to be successful. Why don't you just stick to being a mom? Now I'm really lucky, like Ryan is fantastic. He's the one pushing me pushing me pushing me to keep going and do these things and be more brave and make bigger, bigger, bolder goals. I'm lucky. But there's a lot of women out there I hear from like in Facebook groups or peers that are just like my husband hates me working and just wants me to be a mom. So there's this constant bombardment of sit down and shut up. But online, in this online business world, it's kind of a different world. We get to build a business that we want to build. We get to choose what kind of work we do, what kind of people we work with, what kind of clients we want to deal with. in a corporate environment. You don't get those choices. This is your job. Here are your clients here. If a guy's real jerk, I can tell him to I can tell him to go scratch. I don't need to deal with that. Why the hell am I gonna get treated badly? I don't have to anymore. I make the rules here. Now, do I have to deal with the outside world? Being jerky to women? Yeah, sure. Of course. I can't fix the whole world yet working on it. But here we can be smart. We can make money and we can see our kids. My son, I see him all the time. I see him all the time before the apocalypse and we were going to school. I walked into school every morning and then I came home and I worked. If somebody wanted a meeting with me at 830 I would say no, because that was when I was walking to school. I got to do that. I was the boss. I got to make those rules. Then I got to go and do some kind of crazy strategy session.
Where I was reinventing their whole systems and a business. So I got to use my brain. And then they pay me for it, and I got money. And that's that combination of being smart, making money and still seeing your family around your schedule is, it's immense. Like, it's, it's amazing to me that I get to do this. And anytime I see another woman, getting to create her own business, I'm so excited for her. And mentor, my friend got laid off. And I was like, I congratulated him. He wasn't ready to be congratulated yet, but I was congratulating him because I knew what was on the other side of it, how exciting it would be. So this counts for men too. There is also an enormous, enormous pool of talent out there. Think of all the women out there, who they paid all this money for a degree, and then another degree, and then they get out of school. And they finally work a little bit, and they're doing really well. And then they have a baby. And now they have to choose between this thing they've been working for forever, or baby. And I gotta tell you, you think you're gonna do one thing, and then that baby comes out and you look in its eyes, and you go, Oh, my God, I don't want to relieve you. It's always an either or. And here, you don't have to. You get to use that huge amount of knowledge in your head. And around naptime. It amazes me that we get to do this, it's so exciting. It's so exciting, because this really, really smart person that really knows what's going on who could be C suite at some Corporation just wants to see your kids sometimes and instead makes her own business around her life, and you get to hire that person. And the wonderful thing is that since we're making our own businesses, you don't have to hire that Corporation, you get to hire that person. And there's so many wonderful people out there with so much talent, especially right now, because of COVID.
So many people got laid off, they're trying to figure out this freelance world, just like all of us that have come from corporate over the years now, it's like an influx and they're trying to figure it out really quick. There's so much immense talent out there. And it's massively underpriced, because no one knows their value yet, because they're still stuck in the corporate system of I make 70k a year. And that's it. And they haven't really figured it out yet. So you're probably gonna get some kick ass talent for a very manageable price. That helps your business specifically, that's incredible. So instead of this whole idea of women having cute little businesses, and they are just here to do some cleaning up, they're not really important, and they don't have smart ideas. And sort of living in that world. You get to run your company. And the online business space, we get to run companies, the way we want to run them. All these years are being treated differently, or being told that we aren't smart enough that we aren't fast enough, who's good enough, whatever, we don't work hard enough, because we want to see our kids, we don't we're not tough enough. It's bull. We get to run companies now that are better suited to our lives. I make more money now than I did on Wall Street. Which still is crazy to me. It's crazy to me, I have a team. We all work together, we have a fantastic time. They're all moms. So now I get to support other moms growing their businesses during the day want to do. And as I make more money, and I grow the business, I can help more women have control over their lives and feed their babies. Because a good amount of the time, you just want to be able to take care of your family and not worry, right you just want to pay your bills, make sure your kids are safe. And you get to do that and still see them. It's like the greatest deal ever. And to all those people out there who are listening to this and don't have a business yet, and think I don't have the skills, I don't have a crazy education or you know, I got married and had kids or like, I went to art school and I have no business education whatsoever. Whatever that is you have skills.
Like I said before, being a mom is like the hardest thing ever. So hardest thing ever. My wife mom is special in a pandemic in a tiny house hard. But then if you break down all the tasks you do all day, you realize you run a small enterprise. When you're running that household, making sure your kids get to where they need to be. They're fed, they're dressed, they have clean clothes, there's food on the table, the bills get paid. Everyone shows up to soccer at the right time and school, and bah, bah, bah, all of those things You're a project manager, you just don't have a piece of paper. You've been working on your own project every day. So I don't want anyone to think that they can't do this business thing. Whatever it looks like for you, whatever that means to you. We have this incredible ability now, this opportunity to be able to grow. Whatever we want to fit our business. The internet has changed everything. COVID is accelerated by showing everyone that everyone can work from home. There's so many people that were like, What do you mean, you work from home? I was like, I've never even met any of my clients in person, because I one. Like, I don't mean to, everything's online, everything can be done in zoom call. I mean, now the world knows about all this stuff, right? All of this stuff can be done, you can build a business. So if you are out there thinking that you might have an idea for a business, I want you to start letting that percolate in your head. How can I make this and having something online, it's not like back in the day where you had to get a storefront and buy stock.
Now you need a computer, you just shower on and show up on Zoom professionally. And there you go.
That's a good amount of my business is like showing up and having a computer. And for all of those people out there who have businesses who need help, there is an enormous, enormous bank right now of crazy good talent that is out there trying to figure out how to grow a business now that they got laid off, or how to not go back to corporate after maternity leave, or just not wanting to deal with corporate life anymore. This is the time for that. Please, hire this great talent, we can really work together to build these incredible businesses that make us happy. Instead of having some four hour commute and misery. I can't imagine not being able to see my son grow up. And that's what would have happened if I had to stay in the city. If I didn't have this opportunity to build this business, and work with such amazing other moms and women. I guess today I just wanted to take a moment to recognize all of the women out there who have been totally killing it. Who in the face of all the crap that we've dealt with as women over the years have just succeeded anyway? I'm in awe of all of you. Keep going. I can't wait to see what we do. I'll talk to you next week.
Thanks for joining me this week on the Sink Handle podcast. I can't wait to do all of this again next week. Make sure to visit us at reynoldsobm.com for the show notes on anything we talked about today. If you love or you mostly like the show, please subscribe and rate us on iTunes so we can help more people avoid the Sink Handle.