- Sallie Krawcheck is a former Wall Street exec.
- Now, she is the CEO of the startup she founded, women’s investing platform Ellevest.
- When asked for her definition of success, she said that it’s “impact” — and that there’s just as much opportunity, if not more, to have an impact at a startup as at a huge company.
After years as “the most powerful woman on Wall Street” holding executive positions at multiple major banks, you could say Sallie Krawcheck knows a lot about success.
And when Business Insider’s Richard Feloni asked her how she personally defines success during an interview for our podcast, “Success! How I Did It,” Krawcheck didn’t mention the corner office.
“Success is impact,” she said.
Krawcheck is now the founder and CEO of women’s investing platform Ellevest, worlds away from her roles running huge firms.
“I thought about this a lot,” she said. “After I left Bank of America, I spent the better part of a year trying to decide what was important to me. Success is impact.”
She continued: “I could have gone back to a big company. I could have had a much bigger office. I could’ve been more comfortable on a day-to-day basis.”
But she thinks that the business world has changed in recent years, and there are just as many opportunities for success at a small company or startup as there are at a huge corporation — perhaps even more.
“The great thing about what’s going on in business today is you can have an impact, maybe even a greater impact at a small company, whereas historically it had to be at a big company,” she said. She continued:
“If you have a great idea, you can get it out there for free. For free. You head on to Twitter, head over to Facebook. It doesn’t necessarily have to go viral. By being out there with that idea consistently, and if it’s a good one, people will listen to it, gravitate toward it, and there are many more press outlets as well so that you can find places that are interested in something that may not have been as interesting for a broad audience.
“Combine that with at a startup you can move so much more quickly, so much more quickly than a big company, all of a sudden I can make the argument you can have a greater impact on people’s behavior from a startup than you can from one of the big guys.”