Hoda Mehr is an investor and entrepreneur. She founded Stock Card, a stock market idea validation and research platform to help everyday people become investors without the need to spend hours doing research. She believes it is time for everyone to be an investor. That's the true path to financial freedom, and her startup is there to make that vision possible. She has lived and worked in several countries around the world, loves coffee, wine and hiking. She is also a CrossFit athlete. She aspire to become the best investor on earth, while working on a dream to become the fittest woman on earth.
How did you get to where you are today?
My journey to become an entrepreneur has been a lifelong process. When I was a kid, I always wanted to have an ice cream shop. It gradually matured into the idea of having a bar or a cafe. I really wanted to do it. I still do. But, I was also brought up as a very career-driven person. Before I open a bar or cafe, I needed something more intellectually stimulating. So, I went to get my bachelor, worked in marketing for while, and then got my MBA, worked in strategy a bit more, lived in different countries, and worked tiresome as a corporate gal. But, the desire to build something interesting, a workplace to feel amazing in, a product to enjoy using never went away. So, after several years of internal struggle while going up the corporate ladder, I decided it is time, jumped shipped and started Stock Card. It's been a lifelong journey, it's not over yet, and it hopefully will end up with a little beach-front cafe/bar. Time will tell!
What was your toughest obstacle and how did you overcome it?
The toughest challenge for me was to decide to leave my very successful corporate life, and venture on my own. Corporate life is truly a "golden handcuff." You are growing, you are learning, and there are several wins over the course of corporate life. But what made me move, was what I would call the "pillow test." Every night as I was about to sleep, I used to have a sad reflection: "If this was my last day on earth, I would have the regret of not starting on my own." And when you repeat that experience several nights, at some points it consumes your mind, and you have to do something about it. The regret of "not venturing on my own" made me overcome the fear. It reads corny, but it's what made me move to become an entrepreneur.
What’s the key to staying focused & motivated?
Haven't mastered it. But, when you are running a business, your minutes become more important than ever. You are always asking, could I do something else instead? Time is the most valuable asset you have. As a startup, you don't have much money, so the value of time becomes even more important. I also read a lot about the subject. Books like "Essentialism" or "The Art of Not Giving F***" have been helpful. Good reads!
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
It's actually a song lyrics by Frank Sinatra (yep, I'm old school that way!) It goes like this (see below). I don't think there is any better advice than this, to live your life YOUR WAY:
And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I'll say it clear
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain
I've lived a life that's full
I've traveled each and every highway
But more, much more than this
I did it my way
What advice do you have for someone who is looking to start a new venture?
Have patience! Honestly, the passion, the knowledge, the technical skills, the focus, the business skills, the marketing skills, ... they all come to you and you'll learn them. But having patience and resilience is the key. It takes time to build something new, in years... It won't happen fast and you need to give the time to learn, experiment, make mistakes, correct course, and find your way. Building a business is about resilience...
How do we get more women leaders?
To me, it starts with women's mindset. It's about you believing that getting crumbs is not enough, asking for the cake, the icing, and the cherries on top (borrowing words from Billie Jean King). And, then it's about not feeling sorry for yourself. Not allowing to feel you are a victim of these gender biases. For example, dream and work hard to be the best investor in the world. Why there is no equivalent to Warren Buffet? Why the richest people on earth are all men? How come, the richest women on earth are the widows of rich men and heirs to the wealth of Dads? And, then, teach the mindset to your daughters, nieces, mentees...
Everyone that has made an impact in the history has been one persistent, strong-willed person despite of all challenges. Wanting and working hard to get there, and having the resilience to deal with the challenges on the way, is the only path to get there. Lastly, once you get there, pave the path for the rest to come along.