Speaker Spotlight: Nathalie Molina Niño

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Nathalie Molina Niño is an investor (with O3) and tech globalization veteran focused on high-growth businesses that benefit women and the planet. She is the author of LEAPFROG, The New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs (Penguin Random House, Tarcher Perigee) and a serial entrepreneur. She launched her first tech startup at the age of twenty and is the co-founder of Entrepreneurs@Athena at the Athena Center for Leadership Studies of Barnard College at Columbia University, where she continues to lecture and advise. We are so excited to have Nathalie back at Get Money Get Paid this year. Learn more about Nathalie!

What is the best career or money advice you’ve ever received?

My mentor Awilda Verdejo, during a rather massive bout of imposter syndrome, once counseled me by saying, “you are the source of your own supply.” It’s become my mantra during tough times and a reminder that when I’m feeling depleted or ungrounded, the solution is not external, it’s within me. It’s also a good way to remember that success is something you define, no one else. You decide if your path is linear or circuitous, or if success looks like a reliable 9 to 5 or an unpredictable entrepreneurial path. It’s not something anyone gets to have an opinion on.

What’s a moment in your career that you’re really proud of?

I once walked away from a promising business because I was being taken advantage of by people who underestimated me. It wasn’t easy. It reminded me that no matter the fierceness that I’m able to unleash when advocating for others, it’s never quite as easy to advocate for myself. Not compromising on yourself is a constant learning process, in fact it’s more of a muscle that needs to be exercised regularly in order to function. From sending that dinner plate back when the order isn’t as you asked, to proactively asking for a raise or declining to do the majority of the housework at home. The muscle needs to be exercised every day.

What is one thing you hope the attendees at the conference will take away from your story?

The media sells us one story, usually in the shape of a white male bro. It romanticizes being an entrepreneur, sells us venture capital like snake oil and tells us about failing fast, work/life balance, meritocracies and all sorts of other things that don’t actually exist any more than Santa Claus or the tooth fairy. I want us to see through the BS and make our own way, write our own rules, and blow up the narrow, tired old tropes that we’re fed. Your way, is the right way.

Who is a woman you admire (living or dead)?

Gloria Steinem once told a story about Dolores Huerta, and how she inspired her to do and be more than she ever imagined was possible. In my book, I talk about how we all need to find our Dolores Huerta. Mine is Kathryn (Kitty) Kolbert, a mentor and friend, who is also the attorney credited with saving Roe V Wade in the US Supreme Court in 1992 (Planned Parenthood v Casey). Watching as political attacks attempt to reverse the work of so many feminist icons like Kitty, I think highlighting their stories and learning from their playbook is important, because the coming years will require we stand on their shoulders and rebuild.

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