Meet Juanita Dudhnath a wealth manager and social impact entrepreneur who strives for the representation of Indo-Caribbean women in all industries. As a wealth manager, Juanita’s goal is to educate women on financial literacy and wealth-building. As the founder of @glamorousbyjuanita she provides a mobile beauty team that specializes in bridal beauty. In April of this year, she also founded @CaribbeanCollectiveMag which is the first woman’s magazine to celebrate and uplift West Indian women living with a hyphenated identity within the US, CA, and the UK. This Bossbabe is not only a wealth manager, she’s an expert content creator and marketing expert with an MBA whilst completing a Master’s from Harvard University right now.
What time was a difficult time during your career? How did you overcome that and what advice would you give others in your situation?
The start of my career was difficult. I have been an investment executive (financial advisor) for over 10 years. My background is Guyanese. In a Guyanese / Caribbean family, it is very unconventional to choose a profession that is not salaried or a typical 9 -5. I remember my parents being afraid and telling me I was going to struggle to make money and that it wasn’t worth it. They encouraged me to take the professional path instead of the entrepreneurial one out of fear of its risks. Despite, this I proceeded. I knew that being an employee would always limit my income.
Who are your customers?
I work with a range of clients from newlywed couples to retirees. However, I specialize in working with women entrepreneurs and parents of children with special needs. Children and adult children with special needs are an underrepresented market. In addition, creatives, small business owners, and entrepreneurs have a different set of financial needs than 9 – 5ers. For instance, they do not have access to a company-sponsored 401k for employees. When I started this career, it was extremely important that I give back by dedicating my time and experiences to underrepresented markets.
As an entrepreneur, what is it that motivates and drives you?
My purpose in life is to build brands and work in areas that benefit women. Women have suffered one of the longest discriminations from the beginning of time to even now. This is why financial literacy is so important to our community. It allows women independence not afforded to us historically and sadly not afforded to our sisters worldwide even today. Through education and empowerment, women learn to set up an emergency fund, protect their assets, and build future wealth.
What activities do you enjoy outside of work?
I absolutely love to travel! I’m a big believer in exploring and learning about other cultures. My goal is to visit all 7 continents. (I’ve been to 5 so far) I frequently blog about my own travels, showcase travel inspiration, and celebrate different cultures. I think it’s very important for women to travel and see the world. It gives us a sense of independence and makes us more wholesome and open-minded.
Which business person or company do you most admire and why?
I really admire Natalie Ellis, the founder of Boss Babe. Natalie is a serial entrepreneur and expert at building brands. She shares tons of free information on YouTube and Boss Babe’s newsletter. She has built multiple 7 figure businesses at just 26. She’s a real inspiration to me, and the best part of all is that she is willing to share her expertise on her platform to help other rising entrepreneurs.
Share with us the must haves for working women
I encourage women to discover their mission and passion in life. It’s only when you discover what your drive is that you can build a fulfilling career. I also encourage women to keep a quality support system. This is especially important when choosing a significant other and your circle of friends. Your circle should be supportive of all that you do. Friends and significant others should never compete with you nor should they be secretly resentful of your successes. This is why it’s important to surround yourself with a circle that consists of humble and driven characters.
What challenges do you face in your work?
Unfortunately, Finance is still a very male-dominated industry. While my firm (Cetera Investors) is proactive in hiring women and advisors of color, women of color are still a minority within the financial industry. I find that a lot of women are not as open with male advisors and find asking male advisors financial questions more intimidating.
I run into a lot of women who are not as financially literate as their male counterparts as a result of the industry being male-dominated. It is sad, yet drives me to service my community.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Don’t’ stress and start somewhere. Many women suffer from paralysis by analysis. If there is something you want to achieve, sometimes you just have to do it. You can’t perfect something that doesn’t exist. Of course, you want to put thought and effort into realizing a business or dream, but the first step is to taking action. Start somewhere and then focus on perfecting your craft. It’s like the Nike slogan says “Just do it.”
How do you think modern women can be more fulfilled in their lives?
Society paints women as being great if we are superwomen. We’ve got the career, the money, the kids, and even the right partner. I grew up seeing my own mother be the breadwinner in our home, but she was also the better cook. Career-oriented women and creatives often feel they have to do it all. It’s okay to take a step back and allow your partner to have more responsibility. Be a great boss, be a great mom, but also make sure your partner is great at washing the dishes (haha!) Women do not have to do everything, yes we can be superwomen but first and foremost we are human.
What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?
COVID-19 has had an effect on every industry. I’ve learned to adapt and pivot my business to a more virtual one than in-person. In-person relationships and consistency are key in client relationships. I’ve had to learn how to really connect and build equally strong relationships virtually. I want women to know that adaptability is important throughout a lifetime. It’s what allows us to keep going in both our personal and business lives.