Facilitating others to be great
Name of business: Affinity Capital
Creator: Emma Louise Davidson
Years in business: Since October 2011
Specialty: Structured investments and derivatives
Key to success: Find a space to be yourself in business
Biggest challenge: Finding a space to be yourself in business
Greatest asset: Ability to develop partnerships
She could be a business coach, but she prefers to be a quiet achiever. I am constantly amazed by her success, but not surprised. Emma’s not a person that puts herself on a pedestal. She feels more comfortable behind the scenes, making sure all is set and ready for when her clients need to step on the stage. But my advice would be to look her up and keep an eye on how she develops her brand. She is one wise lady. Humble, incredibly polite and super-smart.
“Whatever choices we make, they have an impact. But the decisions don’t have to be permanent.”
I find safety in this thought. For a long time I myself have been afraid of setting goals for myself. All because I was anxious my plans would turn out to be the wrong ones. Conversation with Emma made me realised (and it really was like an epiphany, in Costa Coffee, out of all places), that business decisions you make now have the biggest impact on ‘the now’. Circumstances change, that’s a given – decisions, therefore can change too, so don’t be afraid to make them.
“It’s not easy to decide.
But you have to be flexible and grow.
You are never done as a business.”
She chose, what is traditionally perceived a cold, tough environment – finance. This industry is not only dominated by men, but men who are going in for the kill. Yet, she thrives in it, without losing her femininity and kindness. What’s more, she made it her business. Affinity Capital is in perfect alignment with Emma’s personality.
She invests in partnerships with her clients and gets to know them, allows them to get to know her. She’s not aggressive or intimidating. She does not have to be. It’s a choice to develop relationships organically, based on true understanding of the client. By getting rid of assumptions, she makes room for partnerships.
It’s a brave move. But she’s a professional, she knows what she’s doing. And she’s given herself the permission to do it her own way.
When most of us contemplate the world of finance and managing multi-million investments, we think about faceless corporate structures. Emma’s a living proof that it’s good to question stuff and she’s made a conscious decision not to go that way. It takes time to realise you do not have to do everything in your business and allow yourself not to do everything. “It frees up your time to focus on what you know best.” – says Emma. “I sometimes think that I could scale up, take on more clients. But then I remind myself I do not want this. I am very much aware that this is a lifestyle business and I want to keep it that way. I want to enjoy it and have time.” – she continues.
When male egos hide behind corporate policies, she makes a bold move to show her face. She invests in her online profile will give you the same impression of values as her website and book. Affinity Capital’s business brand is being developed on solid foundations of strong personal brands of its leaders.
Emma focuses her efforts on one face, one image, one set of values – the ones that are true to her. It’s not only easier that way, it projects a stronger image as well.
Affinity Capital is doing great. Emma is planning to build a business in Australia. I have every confidence it is going to do great as well. I will be impressed, but not surprised.
That’s why she’s my hero.
Further reading from Emma:
Sheryl Sandberg, for the way she challenges women
Warren Buffet, for showing that philanthropy is very much a thing of today
Elements of a good brand:
having a human face
allowing yourself to learn and grow
being here and now
What I’ve learnt from Emma:
- choosing your place enables you to focus on what you’re good at
- watch others and learn in order to develop confidence to be yourself
- it does not make sense to have a business and a personal face, you’ll get found out