Karen Stewart sees industries that need to be disrupted and she goes after them with confidence and tenacity. She has 25 years of experience in founding and building businesses that are empowering, structured differently than the traditional norm, and create significant shareholder value. She is the best selling author of Clean Break and has two companies both based on financial well-being — Bumble Bee’s Venture Capital and Fairway Divorce. Today, she talks about what inspired her to be a serial entrepreneur and invest in financial independence. She also discusses how she selects who to invest in, the ways she is working to bring equal financial power to women and the importance of maintaining independence.
- Karen knew at the age of 5 that she wanted to be financially independent after seeing the lifestyles her parents represented
- The life of an entrepreneur can provide a ton of personal gain, freedom, and success but it is also very hard. It is a state of mind, and there are a lot of bumps in the road that those looking to travel down the road should be prepared for. Resilience and tenacity are key characteristics of successful entrepreneurs.
- One trait Karen looks at in potential clients is those with a great idea, who are humble enough to transform as they are given market feedback.
- As we see more women coming into leadership roles and more operating on feminine principles, we still see more openness to feedback. One area that Karen feels we could improve on is women helping each other rise up in high-level corporate roles.
- Another important quality Karen sees in a successful entrepreneur is integrity and a good balance between feminine and masculine. Karen’s vision of power equality includes a marriage contract that sets that regardless of who stays home to raise the children, the earnings are 50/50. Fairway Divorce is an innovative platform that brings in the best from the legal system, mediation, and the financial system. It is structured to divide assets in a way that is process-driven and pragmatic for both parties.
- Bumble Bee’s was designed to disrupt the current structure where venture capitalists reaped most of the benefits, and instead create a structure that helped entrepreneurs.
Three pieces of advice Karen would impart:
- Be a lifelong learner.
- Never give up your independence.
- Lead heart first and brain second.
“If you are a true entrepreneur, you can not have arrived anywhere without a whole lot of bumps.”
“I have a huge amount of hope for females as we grow to stand into our power.”
“We will create a lot more happy human beings if we can balance power.”
“It’s through understanding money and finances that we start to be empowered.”
“Spend your life learning.”
“Brilliance is the ability to ask questions.”
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