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Name: Katherine Krantz

Business: Zenith Partners

Location: New York, New York, U.S.

Industry: Financial Services

Reason for starting? 
I started Zenith Partners because I’ve seen first hand that women are falling behind when it comes to owning their financial futures. I want to help give them the knowledge they need to make decisions that empower them, especially for women going through transitions like divorce. It’s important to know what you need, what you’re entitled to, and to fight for that to ensure your financial security.

I want to grow organically by doing work one on one but also develop products that clients around the world can access from my website. I am also developing a business to help financial advisors work more effectively with female clients. In this way I can scale beyond what I can do on my own.

Related: Women and Money: The Confidence Gap

How do you define success? 
My definition of success is doing something that makes me feel like I’m helping others, while maintaining my own financial security and lifestyle. It’s a balance.

Biggest success: 
My biggest success has been leaving my steady, well-paying job to explore doing what makes a difference to me. It’s been challenging, emotionally and financially, but worth every struggle. I’ve learned what really matters to me, what I can do without, and what I need to do to be independent and successful going forward. I’ve learned how to ask for help and collaborate with others.

What is your top challenge
 and how you have addressed it? My top challenge is asking for the help I need. I was raised to be very independent and self sufficient, to a fault. In the past I’ve felt like asking for help was bothering people, but I’ve learned that most people want to help. They get joy from it. Asking is like exercising a muscle, the more you use it the less painful it gets to work it out. I always try to offer something back when I ask, which helps balance the feeling that I’m taking instead of giving.

I had an ex-boyfriend who influenced my decision to leave my own start up. He stoked resentment that my partner owned more than I did and continually encouraged me to be confrontational about it. In a sense he was correct, my partner and I needed to address the lack of equity in the business. But my ex inflamed my emotions, and encouraged me to be more aggressive and confrontational than what felt comfortable to me. I ended up exiting and the terms were not what I deserved for my time and energy commitment. I realized after the fact that he was pursuing his own agenda and didn’t have my own interests at heart. Lesson learned.

Related: Reflecting on Women’s Relationship with Money 

Who is your most important role model? 
I don’t have a single role model, I have many. I have so many strong female friends who have faced and overcome tremendous challenges in their careers, relationships and health. I marvel at their ability to keep pushing forward. On the days that I feel like life is tough, I remember all of the hurdles that my dear friends have overcome, I pick up the phone, channel their strength, and feel empowered by their determination.

Instagram   @katherinekrantz

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Edited by The Story Exchange