In light of International Women Day, I chose to share my conversation with two inspiring women.
Shelly & Mor have been close friends from New-York for years. They often discussed the challenges that they saw with investing in Israel, until they decided to pick up the glove and said:” We have to do it”. From their point of view, working in a big organization at the time, where there's a lot of discipline and many practices, the ecosystem seemed to them like a Jungle. Mor was working for Amdocs, and Shelly was working at
Goldman Sachs - and they both loved it, being able to do big things and having that corporate back. But on the other hand, Mor felt that her job was too narrow - she wanted to do more and expand.
She started dreaming about building something from scratch, and bringing an innovative approach for investing. So instead of taking her maternity leave - she took a risk.
It took a lot of discipline to make the time for their work, both Shelly & Mor, especially as mothers to very young babies. It was a true test to their commitment, and they passed it successfully, armed by new confidence in what they can bring to the table.
Shelly always wanted to do something of her own. After the 1st child - she knew she couldn’t delay it any longer, she wanted a change.
She was thinking about connecting between investors & founders and creating a professional way to invest. Her background in financing & investing allowed her to experience the finance system from many different angles.
Together, with their complementary skill set, Shelly knew they could be a good team.
They met in a meeting of young Israeli professionals in New York. Shelly was very impressed by Mor and came up to her. They became friends. The partners. Now they’re family.
The superpowers that were the base for their partnership - Trust & Open Communication
Shelly shared about Mor’s talents - her strong sense of self, optimistic, crazy original logical way of thinking, analyzing, good dialog that sharpens her thinking, teaching her things about herself and the world. Mostly, she felt that their relationship has created a lot of personal & mutual growth for both of them.
As for Shelly’s abilities, Mor shares that Shelly is very smart, a crazy work ethic that pushed her to work at Goldman for 22 hours a day. ”She is my superpower”. Their different enough backgrounds were complementing without them stepping on each other’s toes.
“I totally respect the fact that Shelly can have her own opinion, and sometimes it won’t be my opinion, but we have so much mutual respect, admiration, love and values that allows us to engage in probably anything. We can talk about things openly, we can decide to disagree and still love each other.”
Their early employees were shocked by their chemistry, one of them told them that their communication was on a completely different wavelength so that they didn’t even have to talk to know what the other one is thinking, and another one was floored by seeing them completely disagree about something in a meeting and being seemingly very upset, and then grab lunch together like nothing happened.
Their baseline of communication is trust - Know the other person has your best interest at heart - it took a lot of training to build that.
While choosing how to react in a situation - one should ask him.herself:
How would you act differently if the transaction only happened one time or if this was a repeated transaction? If you know that this is the partnership you want for life, it’s no longer a transaction, it’s continuous. They both understood that this is what they want in life. What they will build together, is what they will share. Shelly compared it to marriage - it only works if you’re thinking of the other person.
She stopped nitpicking in her close relationships.
In negotiation, Mor shared -
“when you have a hand that’s dealt - we are never satisfied, because we feel we can pull another card and change the entire situation = we're good with seeing new opportunities”
Do your best.
How to fight
Shelly knows when Mor is upset - “she needs a breather, so I need to let go”.
Shelly has a mindset of executing, getting a resolution, while Mor needs to take the time to analyze the situations and not react when she’s too emotional - how can I act differently? She wants to come back to the conversation with solutions.
They know how the other one operates, and so they can have patience with each other during the process.
Shelly shares that the key to Not get into a fight - is to not get insulted. Don’t let the ego take the wheel, don't take it personally. You can have different angels on the same situation.
They don’t shout or yell at each other, a rule that they’re implementing at home as well.
They speak firmly without intimidating.
We spoke about the 4 understandings to live by, by Don Luis Miguel, and how to implement it within our lives:
Flexibility to live your life both as a mother and a businesswoman
How to manage career & life?
They know that they’re both career driven, and it’s a part of who they are.
Their family knows - mommy is working, there's respect to that at home.
It’s not either/or - they do things in parallel, both the personal and career life are important, knowing that it’s not easy.
How do you manage the tradeoffs mentally, as a parent?
“I forgive myself. I’m great, my kids love me, I’m doing my best, and it’s fine - they got love and everything they need.”
She makes sure that as part of the logistics schedule is to spend time with her kids, and be there when she’s needed.
Shelly shared with us insights she took from the book “The one thing”:
If you want to be successful in life or career, 9-5pm isn’t really the right framework.
Adjust everything - You need to understand that you have many balls in the air - health, career, friends, family. All the balls, except from career, are made of glass. Career is rubber. So when you're juggling this, it’s very important that you won’t drop the ball. Within the career domain, you can have more flexibility.
Work-life balance - it’s ok to have periods of time when you need to work more than usual, and have counter balance for periods, but when you're with a friend/ children - as long as you are present, dedicate your whole self to the situation.
How can you adopt that mindset in your day to day life?
For Mor, it’s having ‘date time’ with each kid per week - one on one quality time.
Figuring it out with the kids, each has different kids and different needs.
Shelly agrees and emphasizes how much things changed for her, when she decided to take a babysitter for the rest of the kids, in order for her to take one kid every time.
Same method is used with all of their employees, even a short talk when you're fully present and listening can make a huge difference. If they get less in the amount of the time, the value needs to be there.
“We’re not going anywhere - this is our life - incredible ride. We embrace the challenges, trying to be in our element, have fun, enjoy, create meaningful partnerships while running an investment arm of $400M nowadays”.