Talking money – Interview with Elizabeth Aris
With over 25 years of experience in senior executive marketing and management positions at global Fortune 500 firms and a startup founder, Elizabeth has deep expertise in mobile, media, tech and retail banking industries and across various markets, including Asia, Australia and the U.S.
She is a power-mum, currently back in Australia serving on the board of Vivid Technology – an awesome technology-based renewable energy company and makes time to mentor aspiring startup founders, including myself.
Describe yourself in three points
I have two gorgeous children that are now grown ups, they are both fabulous and working in finance
I just came back from living in NYC for five years
I love finding innovative new businesses to play with.
You have an incredible story with MOSH and achieved amazing things. Can you share your story and also lessons learnt?
I spent most of my life at big corporates, over 25 years in fact. I had an idea for MOSH* and could not raise seed capital in Australia. My kids where at university in different parts of Australia so I packed my things up and moved to the US to build the business.
I landed in New York with no network, no Visa and managed to raise money – twice. I had the opportunity to build & run a technology business and a fabulous team.
In terms of lessons learnt:
1. if you want something – go get it
- For all those innovators out there, give your idea a go. You will learn so much from the experience, and be in the front row for new development and innovation.
- For those in corporates, it will be a wonderful re-education on new things that you don’t normally have the opportunity to work on.
2. If you want to take something global, make sure you have enough capital to break even
- From my experience taking MOSH to the US, I found the network & process to raise capital very different to Australia
- It is important to work out from the start your working capital and what you need to get to break even – and be aware that if you intend to raise again before break even, the capital may not be available when you need it. It happens frequently in start ups and it is not for the feint of heart.
3. Be scrappy and back yourself to take risks
- At MOSH, we would cobble things together in a way you would never do at a Corporate. The mindset in start ups is completely different and we knew to get things done fast on a small budget required us to take some short cuts which were unorthodox but paid off. A lot of the work in start ups is about trial and error, in a controlled way, until you find out what works. No one has done what we were doing before so there is no way to know what will work until you learn.
- Creativity is born when you need to be scrappy!
*MOSH is an interactive digital ecosystem that brings brands closer to their business objectives, and consumers closer to their passions. It provides its user brands with consistent, real-time, individual and identifiable customer data. It gives brands the ability to directly market their true customers through social interaction, rich multimedia content and e-commerce capabilities. At the same time, MOSH. allows fans to directly engage with their favourite brands, celebrities, influencers, and causes through an unfiltered voice and exclusive content offering.
To be Financially Empowered, what are the top must do’s and must not do’s in your mind?
Knowledge is key– do what you can to get your hands on it
Find freedom in living simply– Even if you earn more money, it does not mean you need to spend more money. Find joy in the simple and set your self free from the worry of money.
Experience joy in giving – both your time and money– from my experience Elizabeth has been incredibly generous with her time and advice over the last few months on my F-Empowered journey. I am hugely grateful – and have witnessed first hand her joy in helping others.