1) Tell us a little something about your business…
Saij Elle is an education and consultancy platform that advocates for women’s financial wellness. I take a holistic approach in that I educate women and inspire them to take action through my content, workshops and coaching. I also work with companies to build financial wellness programs for their employees. These are built with a diversity and inclusion lens, because one’s financial journey is personal. And men and women approach their finances very differently! I launched Saij Elle because having been in the financial industry for 20 + years, there was one worrisome recurring theme I kept seeing. And that is a majority of people are not preparing adequately to live a financial secure life! Women face even greater challenges in that they face a wage gap – which equates to less savings over their lifetime. And yet when it comes to all aspects of their financial wellness – literacy, confidence, and engagement with the financial industry- they lag men. This is something no woman can afford to do!
2) When was your lightbulb moment?
Educating people on the importance of financial security has always been a passion of mine.
While I’ve loved working in the financial industry and believe they play one of the most important roles in helping people and societies build a sustainable financial future, I also know that the sector is falling short. There’s too much emphasis on products and too little emphasis on understanding people’s personal financial challenges. I knew that the only way I could use my voice to enact real change and avoid conflict of interest was to move from the “inside” to the “outside, and work with many key stakeholders. It was scary to let go of job security, but I felt so strongly about my mission I knew I had to act now or I never would.
3) Three words of advice…
Don’t Underestimate Grit – When starting off, you’ll face many “No’s”; you’ll feel like you’re taking one step forward and five steps back. Don’t give up. Hold on to the small victories and keep stepping forward. I’ve learned the universe is always working in our favour. It just takes time for the “stars to align.” Find Your Tribe – No one ever achieves success alone. Find key people in your circle who will help you succeed professionally and personally: one you can turn to for advice; one who will advocate for you and help you find the right connections; one who’ll nudge you to keep moving; and one who’ll support you personally. Stay True to your Vision – Your business was born out of your insights, intuition and passion. There will be many who will give you their ‘2 cents”, suggest why it won’t work or try to lead you in a different direction. While they may be well-intentioned and have some valid points, remember you know your business more than they do. Stay true to your “why”.
Saijal Patel is a speaker, financial analyst and former Tv journalist whose mission is to empower, engage and inspire women to reach their financial goals. Saijal is a Chartered Financial Analyst and has held positions as an advisor and financial strategist. Visit Saijal at www.saijelle.com
“May your legacy create a footprint of success
for the next person who steps into your shoes”