#GetToKnow Business Babe Courtney, The Ivy Investor
Name and Title: Courtney N. Richardson, Founder
Name of Business: The Ivy Investor
Your location? Philadelphia, PA
Website & Social Media Links:
Twitter; Instagram: @theivyinvestor
What year was your business started? 2014
1) How did you start in your field?
In college, I majored in Philosophy with the intent of going to law school. I wasn’t
supposed to be “here,” I took a detour from law school and landed in financial services.
Once I decided that I wasn’t going to go straight to law school, I needed to find a job. I
was recruited by American Express Financial Advisors (now “Ameriprize”) to become a
financial advisor. At the age of 21, I knew nothing about stocks, bonds, or mutual funds.
I took several exams, passed with flying colors and thought maybe this wasn’t an
2) What do you attribute to your success?
My parents have always been incredibly supportive. My mom provides encouragement.
My dad helps with plan execution. As a child, they encouraged reading, critical thinking,
and speaking my mind. Whenever I would get in trouble as a child, my dad would ask
me, “Was it worth it?” This was my primer in cost- benefit analysis. I use it now to vet
business opportunities and career moves. I ask myself -- Is this worth it? Was it worth it?
My dad also taught me not to count myself out. “Let them tell you ‘no’” is always his
3) What were the hardships you faced/barriers to entry before getting started?
My expectation of what I should have been doing as a relatively new attorney was a
barrier for me. As a corporate attorney, I had a billable hours requirement so every hour I
spent writing for The Ivy Investor was an hour I felt I should have been billing hours.
4) What is your motivation to continue?
My mission is to educate women and people of color about personal finance and
investing. Whenever I see or hear misinformation about these topics, I use that to fuel me
because I know that my work’s not done.
5) How do you deal with competition?
What’s that? Seriously, I like to think of what I’m building in my brand as Heinz
Ketchup. Heinz was not the first company to develop ketchup, it was actually fairly late
to the game. Ketchup (instead of its traditional spelling Catsup) became the industry
In terms of dealing with competition, if I endeavor to be the industry standard, I cannot
live in a bubble. I use my competition as my own personal library.
6) How do you balance work and personal life?
I don’t! I think “work/life balance” should be banned from an entrepreneur’s lexicon. It
creates an unrealistic standard that is almost impossible to attain. Work and personal tend
to blend together. My goal is to live a life that’s flexible enough to allow room to
accommodate if I need to give more in one area than the other.
7) What’s your favorite business or self-help book?
The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure by Grant Cardone. The
10x Rule describes the level of massive action needed to reach your goals and dreams.
8) What advice would you give to up and coming entrepreneurs?
My mantra for 2017, Do the work. “Anytime you find someone more successful than you
are . . . know they're doing something that you aren't.” Malcolm X.
9) What 5 business tools can you not do without?
My iPhone, earphones with a microphone, my MacBook, a notebook, and my Day
Designer (Strategic Planner and Daily Agenda).
My iPhone is my everything! It enables me learn, create, and execute on the go. I need
earphones with a mic to do video chats, listen to podcasts, and watch YouTube. My
MacBook is my office. I’m a writer and I need my keyboard! My notebook helps me
map out my plans and visions for my Brand. As my schedule ramps up, my iPhone
calendar is not good enough. I need my Day Designer to write everything down and make
10) What quote do you live by?
“Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life because you become what you
believe.” Oprah Winfrey
11) If you had to battle a giant, what weapon would you use? (metaphor)
I’d use my mind. I think about how David won the battle against Goliath. David was ill-
equipped to battle him and used his intellect to slay the giant.
12) What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
Although I don’t see the practice of law as my final career, becoming an attorney is my
greatest achievement. I started telling people I wanted to be an attorney from the age of
five. I graduated from law school twenty-five years later; it was the sweetest day of my