We had the good fortune of connecting with Marie Thomasson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marie, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factor behind my success and the success of my company is that it’s completely values-aligned. I’m not being someone I’m not, or selling services that are in contradiction with who I am as a person, and that’s hard to do in financial services!
I realized it was not just okay, but profitable to be completely transparent, which is pretty radical for the financial crowd! I found that I was working with my ideal client almost 100% of the time. It was a long, winding process to arrive at the simplest and most potent form of business. Be me, and don’t be afraid to hide it.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I’m a financial advisor for progressive women who care, do better for themselves and our world in both big and small ways. In this era, it’s almost impossible to separate economics and politics. From my investment philosophy to a discussion on how to best support our communities, our beliefs in equity, equality, and progressive issues change the discussion. I don’t believe that businesses should stay away from conversations about politics, and I don’t!
I really embraced my values with the rise of the Trump administration and the ever-increasing divide between the billionaire rich and the rest of us. It wasn’t easy. It meant sharing my opinions and views that are contradictory to my family, much of the financial community, and a very large pool of potential clients!
Now that I’m on the other side of so much indecision about sharing my values, I wouldn’t have it any other way! I love who I work with, and I’ve not once been contacted by someone who doesn’t share my beliefs. It makes business personal, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Before, I was constantly trying to be everything to everyone, and that just gets exhausting. Fining the courage to be your authentic self in any endeavor is the biggest life lesson I’ve taken away from this experience.
I want the world to know that we can make a difference, and we don’t have to accept the current version of capitalism, injustice, and inequity. When we focus our intentions and actions on positive change, positive change happens!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
It would be a week-long gastronomical journey, with some walking and beach time to fill the gaps! Los Angeles has the most amazing food and we’re incredibly spoiled to have such a variety of incredible restaurants, cafes, taco trucks, and wine bars! There’s Piccolo in their new spot on Abbot Kinney, EK Valley in Culver City, and all the amazingness of Sawtelle Japanese food. The fish at Awash Ethopian in mid-city, the taco truck on La Brea and Venice, to the profusion of Korean BBQs and Jitlada, the best Thai food in Los Angeles. Downtown Los Angeles would require another week to get though the list!
In between eating, we’d walk Melrose, investigate coffee shops, visit flower shops and plant nurseries, and head to Malibu and beyond. I always tell friends that Los Angeles is a great place to live, better than to visit. It’s hard to fit it all in, and what makes LA special is the communities that have been carved out of this great city, all with their own culture and ambiance.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
XYPN is the organization that has made my venture possible. Starting a financial services firm is overwhelming, expensive, and subject to scrutiny and oversight I wouldn’t wish on anyone! Without XYPN, I wouldn’t have the resources, community, and tools I need to focus on my work of changing the world one financial feminist at a time! The friendships and knowledge gleaned from this community gave me more confidence than a decade of experience in the corporate world. Seeing everyone being uniquely themselves gave me the confidence and courage to do the same!