Working Women Wednesday is a weekly highlight of the hard-working women within the Girl Gang. This week’s feature is Money Coach and CEO of SmartGirlMoney, Amy Schultz.
YLGG: Tell us about your business. What is your mission statement? When did you launch?
AS: I launched SmartGirlMoney in July 2018 with the mission of building financial confidence in women. In addition to one-on-one financial coaching and group workshops centered around developing a healthy money mindset and good financial behaviors, I have recently expanded my business to offer financial wellness programs for corporations. My goal through SmartGirlMoney is to help women overcome the barriers to personal and professional success that result from poor money management.
YLGG: When and how did the idea for your business come to you?
AS: In early 2018, I began researching ways I could use my skills as an actuarial wealth consultant to follow my true passion for promoting gender equality in the workplace and in the economy. As it turns out, financial confidence is a key driver for women’s personal and professional success and, statistically, women have less financial confidence than men. Women also face unique financial challenges that often aren’t addressed with standard financial help or financial wellness programs. After learning this, I knew I was meant to use my financial skills and experience to help women find financial success – and the personal and professional benefits that come with it.
YLGG: Growing up, what was your dream job?
AS: When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a feminist. I wasn’t sure exactly what that meant career-wise, but I was sure my business card would read “supporter of women’s rights.” I read book after book about the women’s rights movement and every paper I wrote in high school was about topics like the pro-choice movement, gender inequality, and the dangers faced by women in third-world countries. As I got older, I knew I wanted to enter the “business world” with kick-ass high heels but wasn’t sure how to bridge this goal with my feminist aspirations until I launched SmartGirlMoney.
YLGG: What characteristic do you most admire in other entrepreneurial women?
AS: The female entrepreneurs I admire the most are the ones who are unapologetically themselves. Whether that means they don’t cover up their full-sleeve tattoos, or they share their struggles instead of pretending everything is perfect, or put “mom life” ahead of “work life,” I am always striving to match that level of confidence. When a woman sees other women being themselves, she is more likely to think “oh, I do fit in there” and feel more comfortable taking whatever professional leap of faith she’s been afraid of.
YLGG: What piece of advice you would give to women starting their own businesses?
AS: Even if you aren’t sure exactly what your business model is going to look like, get started spreading your message on social media! Today, female business owners face a lot of pressure to be “social media influencers” in addition to the every day challenges of running a business. The earlier you can build a social media presence and learn how to market your product or services through the applications your audience uses the most (like Instagram or Facebook), the better! A good place to start is to find someone to help you with creating a brand instead of just a business model.
YLGG: What is something you could not go a day without?
AS: Spending time with my family. I live nearby my parents, sister, and cousins and try not to go more than a couple of days without seeing them. I prioritize my son over everything else in life and encourage other women to do the same with their own families! It makes our world a better place.