Raicheen Blanks is passionate about money and investing—and empowering women to manage their worth. In 2019, she founded The Worthonomics Company, which provides literacy, education, and initiative to help enable women to become financially stable. Nan Price learned more about Raicheen’s entrepreneurial journey.
NAN PRICE: You have a passion for finance. Were you always passionate about entrepreneurship and wanting to start your own business?
RAICHEEN BLANKS: I was. I’ve always had that passion for finance. I was about 19 years old when I got into investing. A coworker, Angela Moore, educated me about investing and told me I needed to sign up for a 401(k). I thought I had plenty of time to think about my savings, but she convinced me, saying, “If you really want to be serious about your money and learning how to invest, now is the time.”
I took her advice and guidance; she and I would go to Barnes & Noble to read books and magazines about money. She was an essential aspect of the growth and development of my financial literacy. And, the more I learned about investing, the more I started to do things on my own, like opening my own brokerage accounts and learning how to manage my own investments. I became empowered to manage my own money and control my own financial destiny, it became a passion and I wanted to share with others.
NAN: How did that then translate into you starting this business?
RAICHEEN: That translated into me starting The Worthonomics Company because I noticed a few gaps. There’s a gap in the workplace with employees who aren’t saving for investing for retirement—or they’re investing for retirement but they really don’t understand their investments and how to read their financial statements.
Another gap is the wage disparity between men and women. Then there’s the added challenge for women, if they decide to start a family, they’re usually the one who ends up staying home raising kids, which creates a gap in their work history and earning potential. It also sets them back a bit in terms of investing for retirement.
Then you have a gap in knowledge and experience with investing and personal finance. So, I just felt it was my duty to help other women the way someone had helped me.
NAN: As you were starting the business, did you write a business plan? Did you tap into any local resources for help getting started?
RAICHEEN BLANKS: I’ve gone to some events through the Women’s Business Center at the University of Hartford’s Entrepreneurial Center (EC-WBC). I’m also very analytical, so I do a lot of research.
When I wrote up a business plan and I came up with my concept of The Worthonomics Company, it really takes a holistic approach to investing. It’s a way of life. If you go to school, that’s an investment in your education. If you decide to get a specialized degree, you get a return on your investment from that. If you invest your money, you’ll get a return on that.
I want to encourage women to focus on multifaceted investing. I want to help them manage their worth not only from a financial aspect, but also invest in their health and well-being.
NAN: How are you marketing and building your clientele?
RAICHEEN: Before the pandemic, I offered workshops at the Hartford Public Library. And, before I started my business, my friends and I would get together and talk about money, investments, career goals, educational goals. It was almost like we had formed a support club before I even officially started a business.
So, my friends knew my passion for personal finance and investing, which helped with word of mouth marketing—they let other people know about me or guided people to me they thought I could help.
I want to be clear though. I don’t manage anyone’s money for them. I empower women to manage their money for themselves. If they choose to have someone manage their money for them through a financial advisor, I make sure they’re knowledgeable and informed about some of the questions they should ask their advisor and the performance metrics the advisor should achieve for them.
A lot of times, people hand money over to an advisor and the advisor does all the work, but how do you know they’re really doing a good job? It’s important to understand what they’re actually doing for you, because at the end of the day, you’re compensating them. And you want to make sure they have your best interests at heart.
NAN: The Worthonomics Company isn’t your full-time job. How do you manage the elusive work-life alignment?
RAICHEEN: It’s tough! And sometimes I feel like I’m out of alignment. However, I do a lot of planning. It takes a lot of goal writing and goal setting. I may have one goal that I write down, but then I’ll write down the steps or milestones I need to accomplish to achieve that goal. Sometimes when you just write a goal down, it seems like a daunting task. It’s easier to break it down into several milestones, so you actually end up meeting the goal.
I also set aside specific time periods where I’m solely working on The Worthonomics Company. Everything else gets tuned out. I make sure I have a set schedule for my nine to five, but everything thereafter is my company’s time, the time I’m dedicating to growing my business.
And I take time for self-care because that’s important too, otherwise you’ll get burned out.
NAN: Absolutely. Any other advice you would give to others who are either starting a business as their sole income or managing a business and working another job?
RAICHEEN: Make sure you’re passionate about your business, because when you follow your passion, the money will come. I’m a firm believer of good energy and good vibes.
For the most part, your business should be meeting a need or filling a gap and your passion should be aligned with solving that need for people and providing value, whether it’s through a product and or service.
Don’t ever let money be the catalyst for you to start your business. Of course, money is important. But that passion has to be there. When you have a passion and your passion is aligned with providing value, there’s no limit to the amount of money you can make.