Jaime Schmidt, founder of Schmidt’s Naturals and author of “Supermaker: Crafting Business on Your Own Terms,” recently launched BFF, a platform to encourage women and nonbinary folks to improve their cryptocurrency literacy. Schmidt was discouraged that more women weren’t taking advantage of the new investment possibilities and wanted to do her part to encourage women to get involved.
Founder, Schmidt’s Naturals
“The reality is there’s a multi-trillion-dollar industry ahead of us with Web3, and my co-founder Brit Morin and I realized that women weren’t taking advantage of it at the level that men were, and we were wondering why,” Schmidt said. “It wasn’t hard to figure it out. There’s a masculine energy around some of the conversations and the language that had developed in the space.”
Having started her own business, Schmidt knows first-hand the challenges women face in any business or financial endeavor.
“It’s fair to say that, as women, we generally have to hustle a little harder to prove our expertise,” she said. “Some of the obstacles I ran into when starting my business were situations where someone might ask, ‘What gives you the authority to position yourself as a woman building a multi-billion-dollar brand?’”
That doubt prevents many people from pursuing their business goals or learning more about how to invest their money.
“I had a realization that a lot of people don’t pursue their dreams or their professional goals because they’re afraid,” Schmidt said. “Not even just women. I’ve talked to a lot of men who have also been in the position where they just felt that they lacked the confidence or they would be questioned or didn’t have the right credentials or finances. I wanted to get my story out there and let people know that it is possible and you can come from nothing and make a name for yourself.”
As she did in her book “Supermaker,” Schmidt is quick to share the lessons she’s learned as a business owner to encourage other people who are getting started with their own businesses.
“Don’t make assumptions about the future of your business,” she said. “Oftentimes, we start with a business plan, and then we feel like we have to stick to it and we’re rigid in our thinking because we publicly proclaim this was our long-term roadmap. I just want to encourage owners that it is OK to change your mind and to change course.”
Destiny in the blockchain
That adaptability that served Schmidt so well is key when it comes to engaging with the world of Web3, which includes blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, and NFTs.
“Transitioning over to this Web3 space, I’m really amped up to help women take that leap of faith and trust that they are able to figure it out, that they are equipped to be in those conversations,” she said.
At a recent BFF event, Schmidt taught her audience some of the basic entry points for Web3, such as obtaining an NFT or setting up a digital crypto wallet.
“There’s no crypto transactions that can happen without a wallet,” she said. “That was a pretty cool obstacle for many people to overcome because it is not as straightforward as it should be.”
Although Schmidt encourages women and minorities to take their business futures into their own hands, she also recognizes that industries such as tech and finance still need to reckon with their own exclusionary practices.
“These industries need to be making hires that they might traditionally not choose to make,” she said, “digging deeper into the candidate pool and finding really good talent that might be hidden from their traditional LinkedIn feed.”
Doing so will only improve the future of the tech and finance sectors.
“Diversity across the boardroom and across your team is just so key to making sure we’re considering every aspect of our messaging and our product development, our long-term roadmap,” Schmidt said. “It just seems very obvious to me.”