On Listening & Money
Before launching Très Américain last year, I was in the worst possible place to start a new endeavor. However, I needed an outlet to connect and get back to my roots emotionally, geographically, and mentally on top of being a new mom with a new business. At that time, my significant other was incredibly supportive but he was in the midst of a months-long job search. Together we were on thin ice. Real entrepreneur problems. I overcommitted, failed to plan, and as a result, got hit with a reality check.
Planning for parenthood and taking business risks while navigating real life was a lot to take on for this 30-something. I hit financial rock bottom before I could see clearly that I needed help. I put my pride aside and sought help from a friend who encouraged me to be open and honest when sharing my story. As anyone might do, I hesitated before what felt like airing my financial dirty laundry. Then, she gave me the gift of listening, truly and actively listening to me without passing judgment. That conversation, which happened just six months ago, jumpstarted my family’s financial overhaul.
Talking about financial struggles can be humiliating but being vulnerable is essential to progress. This kind of openness has been a big part of our manifesto from the get-go. We take into careful consideration the many issues modern women face — feminism, motherhood, financial independence when developing stories. It remains our goal to foster conversations that acknowledge the hardships but also to help lighten the weight, even just a little.
Which is why we were thrilled to partner with Capital One on its Listen in program where they are putting a spotlight on the power of listening as a gateway to understanding. Listening is just as much about accountability. Capital One has been transforming branches and offering different products and tools to help based on what they’ve heard from customers and non-customers. Working with local businesses and entrepreneurs, they have invested $150M (over 5 years) in community grants to help Americans thrive in the ever-changing digital economy via the Future Edge initiative.
On top of that, they introduced this series of interactive listening events where artists share personal stories on how listening has impacted their lives, followed by a private performance for everyone in attendance. At the Capital One in the Fremaux Town Center, we had the chance to experience one of these interactive events featuring Megan Lathrop, co-creator of Capital One’s Money Coaching Program and Jana Kramer. Jana shared how listening has positively impacted her life before she sang her heart out while eight months pregnant!
Our concerted efforts to observe and to listen has been fundamental to getting Très Américain to where it is today. It was disheartening, albeit not surprising, to learn that 51% of Americans don’t feel listened to by friends, colleagues, and family. When it comes to partnerships, it’s important to us that you gain value from the insight we glean and the observations we share. Many of you shared your own personal struggles and success stories with me via Instagram stories. We’ll be consolidating your insightful feedback to continue building on this conversation. We promise to keep this dialogue transparent and, as always, thoughtful.In the spirit of full disclosure: earnings from this campaign will support contributing articles dedicated to how to effectively manage money: so you can buy the shoes (debt-free) and wear them, too! — Juley Le, Founder
**This partnership was carefully considered and was produced in partnership with Capital One. All thoughts and opinions were genuinely formed to support the Listen In Campaign. Sincere thanks to our partners for empowering our platform. To learn more about the Capital One Listen in program visit: www.capitalone.com/listen