Moj Mahdara | The 2019 MAKERS Conference
Moj Mahdara, CEO & Founder, Beautycon, on how to ask for what you want, win financial power and use it to level the playing field from the 2019 #MAKERSConference at Monarch Beach Resort.
- Please welcome Moj Mahdara. [MUSIC PLAYING] MOJ MAHDARA: Come on, more energy. Hi, guys. Nice to be here. Thanks for having me. Shout out to Dillon who talked me into doing this. So here we go. I'm going to tell you the story of I Also. So about a year ago, I was with a friend of mine, a mentor, someone I have really always looked up to, a super talented woman who runs a large operation with a fund, a large celebrity clientele, and all of you would definitely consider her to be a mogul. And out of curiosity, I asked her. What's your [MUTED] number? She kind of looked at me. It's a very forward question. Tilted her head to the side, and she gave me a seven digit number. And I thought to myself, how can that be? How many people in this room have a [MUTED] you number? Put your hands up. How many people in this room know what a [MUTED] you number is? [LAUGHTER] OK, a [MUTED] you number is a number that is beyond retirement. And at that point, you are only doing what you choose from a professional point of view, right? So if I asked the same question of our male peers and friends, they would say eight to nine figures without even skipping a beat, right? So I personally have a very high eight figure number that I'm going for. That's my number. But when I say that, I sound overreaching, right? So as activated as we are by Time's Up and MeToo, it's still a toxic time for a woman who's incredibly ambitious. Women who not only say MeToo, but I Also. As in, I also want to make a lot of money. [LAUGHTER] I want to do that to even the playing field, right? And I want all of you to also make lots of money, right? [CHEERING] [APPLAUSE] I'm serious. You're going to clap like that for more money. [CHEERING] I mean, come on. So one way to protect yourself from an abusive boss is to be your own boss. But you need capital to start your own business. And it's mostly men who have the capital, yes? The world's richest 26 people have the same amount of capital as half of the world's population. And that's the poorest half, right? That's 26 people versus four billion. And of those 26 people, only two of them are women. Women are still earning $0.80 on the dollar. And that's white women. Black women are earning $0.63 of that dollar, and Latina women $0.54. Not cool, right? So making money is an essential part of equality for us. And I think we really need to get focused on that. As a kid, being gay was not welcome nor accepted. I basically left home at 16 with no family support, and I've been on my own ever since then. I've built four startups from the ground up. [CHEERING] I'm an investor. I have a family that I support, right? I'm a boss, right? But it's not enough. It's not. The memes are not enough. The marches are not enough. The hashtags, the logos on the mugs, they're not enough. Because in my opinion, the best revenge is the amount of zeros in our bank account. [CHEERING] [APPLAUSE] I find that women in particular get very uncomfortable when I bring up wealth. Right? You can kind of sort of feel it in this room when we started out the talk. And every woman I know can name the best restaurant, vacation, where to get the best anti-aging or this or that website, but we do not share our financial knowledge with each other. Those are the conversations we need to be having here. Like, do you know a great lawyer? Do you know a great banker, wealth manager, an international capital source who's investing in US-based businesses? What's your strike price? What's your liquidation preferences? Those are the questions that women need to be asking each other. Because let me tell you what the guys are talking about at their conferences. They're talking about building extreme generational wealth. As a Butch woman, a perk, for once, right, for once, I get to tag along with the guys and be like a lady fly on the wall. And in the back room with their cigars and after everyone leaves, the guys are talking about which companies to get in early and how they're going to build massive wealth with each other. Because making money is a function of friendship for men, but it's not for us, right? I have multiple billionaires on my cap table. And every meeting starts with them saying, this is my new Rauschenberg or Picasso or what renovation they're making on their third home or the $10 million they just bought in Secondary and Bird and Lyft. But the MeToo and Time's Up movement has created a PR halo for me-- here I am-- and for all of us. But it's not created a wealth movement for us, right? So meanwhile, the most "successful" paid leaders or the most visionary entrepreneurs are facing charges of sexual misconduct. But they're still vacationing on $600 million yachts at Christmas, or they're scamming thousands at a fake music festival with a $7.5 million penthouse with multiple documentaries they're starring in. [LAUGHTER] Right? All shame-free, shame-free, like amazing, because society has plenty of forgiveness for these male oopses, because their bankroll cushions them from our judgment. It buys them the best lawyers, PR firms, and it wrangles them out of almost everything, right? And I don't want to do any of those things. But I want that market share. And I definitely want that freedom, right? [CHEERING] So I'm going to have a mint. See? Free. So women in this room and beyond, you can share your best tips for mascara and childcare. But we need to start sharing our financial hacks. So start by dreaming and asking, what's my vision of success? Visualize it, own it, and name it. I also-- what? What are you also going to be creating for yourself? Talk to someone at this conference about your money, your budgeting, your cap tables. You can build your network, but you need to build your net worth. [WHISTLE] [APPLAUSE] So go out and increase your financial literacy. Click on posts about interest rates and mortgages and IPOs and deal structures and get your head in that I Also space. I also want. I also deserve. Because financial equity is not the only tool we have, but in this fight, it gives us more power to rewrite the rules. And as a woman, you know this. We get hazed. Not because we're getting inducted into, but for simply wanting to be in the club. Do you really-- like you understand what-- you get that, right? Just for wanting to be in that club, there's hazing. It's so real, that hazing, that like, I deserve. So for me, after MeToo and after Time's Up, for me, it's I Also. I want generational wealth. I want investments and opportunity. I want the opportunity to fail and to try again, right? I want to live shame-free, entitled to my place in the world as an entrepreneur. Thank you. [CHEERING] [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC PLAYING]