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Michael Kitces' #FASuccess Podcast: Building Your Brand With Manisha Thakor

Manisha Thakor, the founder of MoneyZen, offers a frank perspective about being your authentic self.
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Welcome back to the 120th episode of Financial Advisor Success Podcast!

My guest on today’s podcast is Manisha Thakor. Manisha is the founder of MoneyZen, a financial literacy and education platform focused on empowering women, and is also the VP of financial well-being at Brighton Jones, a $5 billion assets under management independent registered investment advisor based in Seattle.

What’s unique about Manisha, though, is the way that she’s been able to build her own personal brand platform around personal finance over the past 10 years after starting her career in institutional money management, and the ways that she’s been able to turn her brand around personal finance education into a financially successful business.

In this episode, we talk in depth about what it really takes to build a personal finance brand. Why most financial advisors struggle to gain visibility with the media, and even when they do still typically fail to get any new clients from it; the ways that a personal finance brand can be monetized, not only from getting clients directly, but also even becoming a corporate spokesperson or brand ambassador; and the way that Manisha has been able to successfully build a personal brand as a speaker and media personality despite the fact that she’s actually an introvert.

We also talk about Manisha’s fascinating personal career journey, from her early success being an intrapreneur, building out a new separately managed account line of business at an institutional money management firm that ultimately grew to nearly $6 billion under management, to a decision to relocate with her new husband that forced her to make a switch out of the firm and launch her personal finance brand instead, how marital troubles and a subsequent divorce eventually led Manisha back to working at a larger advisory firm to get better infrastructure support, and why ultimately Manisha decided to make one more switch to her current firm, Brighton Jones, to once again become an intrapreneur and help them transition their advisory firm from traditional wealth management to a focus on holistic financial well-being.

And be certain to listen to the end, where Manisha shares how she managed the ups and downs of her advisory firm while going through a stressful divorce. Her frank discussion about dealing with depression, anxiety and now medicated bipolar disorder, and how through it all she’s managed to stay successful by forming relationships and connections around her that she can rely upon, and by simply relying on the power of being yourself. Because, as Manisha puts it, it’s so much less exhausting to just be your authentic self than to try to be someone you’re not anyways.

So whether you’re interested in learning about the steps Manisha took to build a personal finance brand; how she, as an introvert, was able to find her groove as a presenter and public speaker; or how she paved her own path by simply being herself along the way, then we hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success Podcast.

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