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#WCW Priya Malani | Founding Partner of Stash Wealth

Here at LIVELY, we’re constantly surrounded by swoon-worthy women that are killin’ it in their businesses. We're launching #WomenCrushWednesday to celebrate the boss babes who provide us with a constant flow of inspiration, support, and endless girl-crushes.

Up next, Co-founder of Stash Wealth, Priya Malani

 

How did you get started in finance and what did you like about it?

I interned at Merrill Lynch my senior year of college and I was offered a job shortly before graduation. I like that it’s a combination of left and right brain. It’s intellectually stimulating and psychologically complex. There’s so much psychology that goes into most financial professions, especially personal finance and I appreciate that.

 

When did you realize that you could be the change that Wall Street needed?

I knew things had to change early on. I couldn’t believe that advisors presented data to clients in such a confusing and archaic way. NEVER did I think I would “be the change” that Wall Street needed, but after 2008/2009, I was so furious with the industry for losing its reputation, a reputation that I was part of, that I decided to do something about it. Part of the reason Stash Wealth operates in an incredibly transparent way is because I want to restore trust in the profession. In order to help our clients we have to earn their trust, and we’ve designed a process to do just that. It’s incredibly refreshing and keeps me motivated.

 

In your opinion, what is the biggest missed opportunity for your professionals when it comes to their finance?

Simply ignoring their finances because it seems complex or overwhelming. Once we help clients get their financial sh*t together, it’s fun (and funny) to watch their revelation of how simple it is. Being good with money isn’t hard and it doesn’t require a degree.

 

What’s one piece of advice that you would give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Just one? Eek….I would say develop a high tolerance for pain! It’s the key to everything else you’ll endure as an entrepreneur.

 

What was it like launching your own business? Have any myth busters?

Scary, exciting, a total rollercoaster. The key is to manage your own expectations. If you expect it to be crazy, it’ll be much easier to tolerate and therefore improve your likelihood of succeeding.

 

What’s the best advice you’ve received from a mentor?

Find a way to sweat every day. This is more like life advice, but I try my best to abide by it. As is the case for most entrepreneurs, I hardly do anything but work #sadbuttrue so I like keeping this simple, daily goal in mind. Also, my sister @nmalani03 introduced me to Randi Zuckerberg’s Entrepreneur’s Dilemma, which for me at least, is 100% valid. She says that entrepreneurs can only pick 3 of the following 5:
1. Maintaining friendships.
2. Building a great company.
3. Spending time w/family.
4. Staying fit.
5. Getting sleep.

Back to my earlier statement, the dilemma reminds me that what seems like a ton of sacrifice is actually quite normal. So rather than stressing about the two that I am not doing, I am at peace with it.

 

What does the most intense part of your day look like?

No day is the same, which is both good and frustrating. It’s usually the morning from 6:30-8:30 am because I’m on conference calls with my dev team. Planning for and building technology is by far the hardest part of my job.

 

When was a time you failed and how did you overcome it?

I’m failing constantly. As a business owner, I’m taking chances and making executive decisions all day long. Sometimes I make the right decision, but as a first-time entrepreneur, I make plenty of wrong ones from hiring, to compliance, to marketing, to the day to day decisions that have to be made to refine and continue building our internal processes. However, I replace the word “failure” with “lesson learned” and I do learn. I learn a lesson each time I fail so it’s never a waste.

 

When do you feel most empowered?

I would probably say when I’m explaining our brand’s mission to others and I experience that “this is brilliant” look on their face or sound in their voice...that’s pretty empowering. That said, I learned early on that as an entrepreneur, you cannot look to others for validation of your idea. You’re the only person that needs to think it’s brilliant. Well, you, and the people you’re looking to serve.

 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to be like you?

Eek. I don’t love this question. No one should aspire to be like anyone but themself. I feel like it took me a long time to learn this lesson and I experienced a lot of turmoil before I did. When I was young, I always wanted to be someone else. I was born into an immigrant family — first generation American and never felt like I fit in. Getting comfortable in my own skin has allowed me to trust my instincts explicitly, which in turn allows me to be a confident leader and business owner. There’s a lot more that can be said on this topic, but instead of advice I’d give someone who wants to be like me, I’ll leave you with a personality trait that I’m most proud of: Resilience. Being resilient comes in handy every single day.

 

What are 3 things you can’t leave the house without?

Surprisingly, my iPhone is not on this list. I’ve accidentally left my phone at home on several occasions and was pleasantly surprised that, contrary to popular belief, I could survive without it! Other than the obvious things, I would say:
1. My black square scarf
2. Earrings. I carry an extra pair of studs in my purse so that if I’m hanging out with my sisters and they aren’t wearing any, I have a backup pair to give them. Weird, I know.
3. Mini Tabasco packet. Another thing I carry in my purse ;P

 

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure (life’s all about balance after all!)?

Chocolate Cake. There’s this bakery by me called Ovenly. And they make a chocolate cake called the Brooklyn Blackout Cake. It’s made with stout beer and OH. MY. GOD.

 

How are you #livingLIVELY?

By helping to change the way that Millennials think about their money and serving a demographic that’s ignored by Wall Street.

 

3 fave LIVELY pieces?

The Metallic Bralette
The T-Shirt Bra
The Seamless High Neck Bodysuit

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