Wall Street “Granola” Stocks Girl

It all started on Wall Street. I would forever more be known as “The Granola Stocks Girl”. Great, just what I wanted, to start my career as the laughing stock of the office. I had just moved to NY after completing my MBA in Paris and was excited to embark on my new career at a top financial firm managing and investing assets for high net worth clients.

It didn’t take long before the jokes in the office started pouring in.

Determined to prove that investing in profitable companies making a positive impact was not an illusion, I set out to learn all I could about socially responsible investments.

In fact, I remember a colleague presented me with a challenge and said, “You sell the virtue stocks, I’ll sell the vice stocks (i.e. Tobacco, alcohol, defense, etc.) and let’s see who makes more money”.

Feeling a bit irritated, I half smiled and continued on with my work. Part of the irritation had to do with the fact that I knew he’d win.

In the short run that is…

But I couldn’t let him get to me or allow my ego to get in the way.

I was able to ignore him simply because I inherently knew purpose driven companies doing business in a way that benefits people and the planet are positioned to do better long term.  I also understood that with the power of the internet came more transparency and more savvy investors. Gone are the days where companies could get away with doing harm to the planet or people as customers are increasingly becoming more knowledgeable and supporting companies that share their values.

Luckily I stayed on course and it was only a matter of time before my colleagues starting coming to me for advice about Socially Responsible Investments. Even better, my clients started referring other clients for services.

Finally, what I had intuitively known to be true was beginning to show results. I was purposefully taking people and the planet into consideration and profits were coming my way!

In a short period of time clients were perceiving me as a knowledgeable person they could trust. My dedication resulted in a call from a head-hunter and eventually working for the world’s largest private banking firm.

However, a few years into working at my new job the financial crisis hit and chaos ensued. Leading and established financial institutions were collapsing. Clients were nervous and losing trust in the US financial system. It also didn’t help that news channels painted a grim picture with contradictory and inaccurate information on a regular basis. The entire system was upside down and it became increasingly difficult to know who to trust or what to believe and hence give my clients honest advice.

Something didn’t feel right and it didn’t take long for that little voice to appear and ask, “what are you doing here?”. Meanwhile, layoffs were prevalent and I was one of the lucky ones kept on board. Still, I couldn’t ignore that voice. I knew I had to do something more meaningful to me.  So in the middle of the crisis, I took a leap of faith, without a safety net and quit my corporate job.


Always passionate about socially responsible businesses and organic food, I became co-owner of a newly opened 100% organic restaurant with a mission to bring organic food mainstream. Nervous and excited and with a much smaller paycheck, I dove in to help make this restaurant a success. However, what I found once stepping in really surprised me. This business with great promise and good intentions was in chaos and an absolute mess. Employees were unhappy, customers unsatisfied and sales were low.

Panic set in but it was too late. I’d already quit my job in the middle of the financial crisis and there was no turning back. The only option was to roll up my sleeves and put my MBA skills to the test. It wasn’t easy but the hard work paid off. Over the course of the next few months I put systems and processes in place and created training programs to educate employees and customers about the purpose and mission behind the restaurant.

Excited to be a part of a business with a meaningful purpose and clear about their role as it related to the big picture, employees were now smiling. This excitement carried down to the customers who felt good about supporting a business they cared about and that cared about them.

Customers were voting with their dollars, and sales increased by 50% within 6 months.

More importantly, the restaurant became known as somewhat of a laboratory and meeting place for people to come together and share their knowledge and success stories about organic food. Loyal customers loved bringing their friends and family to their favorite new haunt and telling them not only about the great organic food, but also about the restaurant’s environmentally friendly practices such as the use of energy efficient kitchen equipment, wind power, recycled and biodegradable packaging, organic flowers and so much more.

The results were astonishing especially given that restaurants were closing on a regular basis all around us due to the recession.

Once again I had proof that no matter the marketplace circumstances, if you place people,purpose and planet first…profits will follow.

So I challenge you to evaluate your purpose and think beyond profits. You might be surprised to find a goldmine on the other side of “doing good”.

Ready to build your people, planet, purpose and profit focused business?

Schedule your free 1 on 1 strategy session below to discuss your needs.

Book your FREE SESSION here!