I'm ready to level up!

Removing Wealth Barriers with Brooke Roberts

Dec 03, 2022


Brooke Roberts is a New Zealand entrepreneur and businesswoman. She is a co-founder of the micro-investing platform Sharesies. Roberts was the joint winner of the 2020 New Zealand Women of Influence Award in the Business Enterprise section.
Roberts grew up in Auckland, Mount Maunganui and the United States. She started her career in Wellington, working in finance, product and marketing roles at AJ Park, Kiwibank and Xero.
In 2017, Roberts and six others co-founded Sharesies as an investment platform for New Zealanders.
Sharesies exists to make investing easy and accessible. Before, investing was too hard, too complex, and too damned scary for too many. Deciding to build an accessible digital investment platform was a no-brainer. 

Now, over 575,000 people are using Sharesies in Aotearoa and Australia. They are continuing to break down the barriers to investing for more Kiwis, and create new ways to help people develop their wealth. 

My top take aways from this interview were:
  • Rising tides lift all boats. Brooke mentioned that when they worked on one area of their business, all other areas seemed to benefit. What does this mean for you? If you focus on one area in your life, all areas will improve. What is one area you can focus on improving today?
  • Try to grow yourself as a leader before you grow others. Invest in your own growth. This will improve your team and the people you attract to join your team. Get yourself a personal growth plan to help you improve everyday.
  • Whatever you are putting off, do it now. Get it out of the way, move forward and take action. Don't procrastinate. Do it today. What have you been putting off?


Full Transcription 



James Laughlin, Brooke Roberts 


James Laughlin 00:00 

Welcome to lead on purpose. I'm James Laughlin, former seven-time world champion musician, and now an executive coach to global leaders and high performers. In every episode, I bring you an inspiring leader or expert to help you lead your life and business on purpose. Thanks for taking the time to connect today and investing in yourself. Enjoy the show. 


James Laughlin 

Would you like to connect personally with some of my podcast guests? They are arguably some of the most influential leaders and high performers on the planet. Each month, members of my HPC, the High Performers Club, get to connect with a leadership titan in an intimate Q&A. They also get access to powerful high-performance leadership coaching, and monthly masterminds. There are only 20 seats at the leadership table. You can apply today by going to www.jjlaughlin.com/HPC. 


James Laughlin 01:06 

How much time do you invest in your brain? Well, look, our brain dictates so many things. It's our largest asset. We've got to look after it, right? But often we're putting things on our skin and we're doing all these other things that care for our bodies, but our brain dictates so much. I came across a product a week ago called Flow State and it's made such a difference. And look, they offer functional mushrooms that sharpen cognition, they really boost energy, and definitely strengthen immunity. And they actually use one of the key ingredients, it's lion's mane. Right? So, the lion's mane is popular among real peak-performing athletes and those wanting an edge. It's known as the brain mushroom. And it's currently being studied extensively for its nerve growth factor potential as a means to ease the symptoms of Alzheimer's and for treating inflammation in the body. Look, the thing I love about these products, they don't taste like mushrooms, you can mix them in with your tea. They're a great replacement for coffee, but I actually love the P.M. Mushroom Blend, the evening one. It helps me sleep. And to know that my brain is getting extra nutrients is just the next level. The one thing that's really important for me is what's in there. So, they've tested heavily at Hill laboratories for heavy metals, pesticide residue, and microbial, and also Massey University for active compounds. So, I urge you, if you love your brain, and want to go the extra mile to nurture it, head on over to flowstate.nz and you can use the coupon code lead on purpose to get 15% off. 



James Laughlin 

I don't know about you, but sometimes I get home and I think, what am I eating tonight? It's the last thing I want to do. I don't know what to cook, I don't know what's in the cupboard or in the fridge. And it often leads to poor choices like ordering some takeaway. So recently, Caroline and I started eating green dinner table and it's absolutely amazing. After a long day, when I'm knackered, I know that when I get home, there's going to be a great recipe and all the ingredients I need right there in the fridge. And look, I absolutely love it. I've been doing it for several months. And it means I don't have to think at the end of the day, and I just know that I'm going to get good, nutritious, wholesome food. And look, it's plant-based, which has so many benefits. So, if you're a meat eater, perhaps you might want to start on maybe just three three-day plan. So, you've got three evening meals for you and your partner or you and your family depending on what option you want to go for. That the food is delicious. It's so nutritious and it means we don't need to think and as leaders of families, teams, and organizations, what we put in our bodies is just so crucially important. So, I urge you to go and check it out and I want to give you 20% off your first order. So, you can go to greendinnertable.co.nz and use the coupon code purpose. 


James Laughlin 04:17 

Sharesies is a wealth development platform with the purpose of creating financial empowerment for everyone. Their vision is to give someone with $5 and someone with $5 million dollars the same investment opportunities. Today, I speak with a New Zealand entrepreneur and businesswoman. She's the joint winner of the 2020 New Zealand Women of Influence Award. We're very fortunate to connect with the one and only co-founder of Sharesies, Brooke Roberts. 


James Laughlin 05:00 

Hey Brooke, a massive welcome to The Lead on Purpose Podcast. 


Brooke Roberts 05:08 

Sure, thank you so much for having me today. 


James Laughlin 05:10 

Oh, it's so great to connect. It's interesting, just before we hit record, I was telling you about my own experience with your amazing brand, Sharesies. And it was on a bus with a team many years ago. And someone says, hey, you've got to check this thing out. So, I just couldn't get my head around it, then all of a sudden, I've seen it everywhere. And I was like, wow, like, everybody needs to be on board. And now you've got hundreds of 1000s of people that invest with Sharesies. So, I'm super excited to get this opportunity to actually talk about where it all started, why it all started, and where we're going. 


Brooke Roberts 05:40 

Yeah, I'm so glad to hear that faster than it's been an amazing journey over the last 5-6 years. And it's more to come. 


James Laughlin 05:47 

That's so exciting. Well, tell us to talk about the start, like where did it all begin? 


Brooke Roberts 05:52 

So, she started in 2016. And at that time, there were rising house prices, and lowering interest rates. And there's a real sense that you couldn't get ahead with money and that it was really hard to develop wealth. And it felt like a lot of the structures out there just were putting massive barriers in the way of people being able to really develop wealth. And my husband and I were looking at starting a business, we've had social entrepreneurship kind of backgrounds, and we've run young enterprise companies. And we're always toying with business ideas on the side. And we have a background in finance, and in banking, and marketing and all that sort of jazz. And then late and got connected with Sonya, who was working with at the time who the initial idea behind Sharesies who was like, hey, I wish I could invest 50 bucks and, uh, and just grow over time and really create a lovable experience when it comes to investing and make it way more accessible. And Laden was like, well, actually, when I was 17 years old, I started an investment club with 13 of my friends putting 50 bucks away each week, which was a lot of money for a 17-year-old and a lot of money during those Uni days, and but they've really committed to it to each of them. And they still do that to this day. And it went from their first investment being a cow to a herd of cows because based on how to commercial property and all of these random things just from starting with 50 bucks each week. And we're just like, well, it'd be great if more people could have access to that you didn't have to be Laden's mate to be able to know about those kinds of opportunities. How could, how could we really democratize investing? And we spent six months doing pure customer research and listening to people, there were six of us that really rallied around his time, six founders. We listened and I've heard so many stories about what money meant to people and how taboo felt to talk about money and the fear people had of it dirt, right, you know, all the self-negative talk when it came to money to whether they are an investor or not, and what KiwiSaver meant to them if they had KiwiSaver or superannuation, what did that mean? And did they feel like an investor through that, from all of this insight, we learned that people really felt priced out like to be an investor, you'd have to have heaps of money, they felt jargoned out. Like he needed to have a degree in finance, or be watching the markets all the time to be an investor, and then ultimately, lift up that investing was really just for the wealthy few and that the majority of investors were over 60 and lived in Auckland, or you know, on capital cities, and were more likely to be mailed to so a lot of that information and the access to the knowledge when it came to investing. And the structures in place were really big barriers. So, we set out to demolish all of them just under six years ago now. And yeah, we really have we have no minimum investment, which means that we've tackled that pricing barrier, there's no minimum investment for the over 8000 investment options on our platform, the jargon, we do so much to remove that jargon. And we're, it's kind of needed, we make sure that we've, you know, really defined it and made it as simple and easy in terms of everyday language being used, because it doesn't need to have these kinds of was being terms out there when we can just use everyday language to explain finance and investing. And we've got an education, through it from blogs and podcasts and webinars to community events, whatever we can to really help people build that confidence and motivation when it comes to investing. And on the left up there, there is a barrier where there's so much work to be done there. We do have great gender representation from investors on our platform. But there's so much to do to make sure more and more communities have access to this knowledge and to access to the ability to develop wealth and that's a bit of our focus, too. 


James Laughlin 09:48 

It's incredible. It's just simply amazing. And I do remember as a late teenager thinking about investment and going, I don't know where to start. And if I go and chat to someone, they're like, hey, come back when got a quarter of a million dollars on it like 1920, I didn't have a quarter of a million dollars to chat like that, I was never going to have that in my mind. So, to have something like Sharesies gives everyone an opportunity to actually get started and start the compounding. 


Brooke Roberts 10:12 

Exactly. And that's with investing when I was studying finance, which I picked up very late at university as in my third year, I was in this marketing lecture and they said, put your hand up if you like numbers, then out of 300 people in the room, only three of us put a hand up. And I was like, Okay, I've got to do something with this. So, I picked up finance and I'm really glad I did. And one of my first finance lectures, I learned about the time value of money, which essentially the most valuable aspect of money is time. And that is a key part of why we develop Sharesies too to help people make the most of their time and be able to invest amounts they can afford and build wealth over time. And the reason why time is so valuable in that when it comes to investing is because of compounding returns where you're investing and then your money makes money. And you know, money grows money, essentially. And that is something I wish we learned way earlier in life at school. And I wish that there was something in society that was really well known. So, we could really make the most of that knowledge. 


James Laughlin 11:18 

Yeah, yeah, totally hear you. And in terms of that time, so let's say someone's 25, maybe even 30 years old, and they're like, oh, my goodness, I've missed the boat, like people started when they were in their teens have missed the boat. What could a 30-year-old do right now today to get the ball rolling? 


Brooke Roberts 11:37 

So, there's, first off, it goes back to what I was saying earlier, around that shame we have with money, we never feel like we've done the right thing. And we need it, we need to remove that. So, no matter your age, Investing is for you, you know, there are options there are great, no matter your age and stage in life. And I think that's an important thing to be aware of. Because these platforms like ours only started recently. So, it hasn't been something that has been very accessible to us. So, we've been really locked out of these opportunities. So, take that away. And then thinking about using that time, I mean, if you're 30, there's still a long time ahead of you, even if you're 65 There are still reasons to invite goals you might have in life and things you might want to be able to do that will require money to create those opportunities and thinking about well, how can I be building wealth either for myself for the community or my fam, I don't know, a family you know? What can I be doing to reach these goals in life? And how can investors play a part in that? 


James Laughlin 12:37 

I really love that. Because yeah, I think there are times in our lives, we think we have left things to little different things that are whether it's education, whether it's having children, and actually, we can create these beliefs. So, I love that Sharesies is helping to reshape the BS of the belief systems that people have around money and investing. So, what are you guys most proud of over the last six years? 


Brooke Roberts 13:00 

Yeah, five and a half really. 


James Laughlin 13:03 

Amazing. What are you most proud of? What are some of the things that have come up that you're really proud that you guys have been able to create? 


Brooke Roberts 13:11 

One obvious one is the fact that Sharesies have grown so well. And what that means is that we have created something that really resonates with people and is really helping them drive great habits and behaviors when it comes to money and ultimately develop more wealth over time. So that's something that's caught our purpose around creating financial empowerment for everyone and giving someone with $5 to 5 million the same money opportunities, we've really relentlessly stuck to achieving that. And there's so much more to do in there. But I'm really proud of our ability to break down a lot of those barriers we talked about that was there before we started, I am really proud of our team, we've got around 200 people that help create Sharesies every day and I love the energy they have. And the passion I've got for making financial knowledge more accessible and creating financial empowerment for everyone. I just buzz coming in and connecting with the team. And I think the structural change, we're starting to see in terms of how people are talking about money and removing those barriers. You know, I love it when I hear about a family sitting around the table talking about how their shares these portfolios going and what's been happening in the news and this information just entering households, we're entering friendships and in really helping more and more people get this knowledge that has been very opaque and stuck behind a few very wealthy doors. So, it is really exciting. And then yeah, there's so much more I'm really one thing I am really proud of too is all the founders are still going in the business and we had so much when we started with six founders. We got so much credit about that, like oh, that's not going to work, you know, founders out two guys in a garage kind of thing. And we've really changed that mold. And, because we've had such a strong founding team, we've been able to share the load and go home with like shoulders and hips that care for each other, and the wider team, and I think that set us up really well. And we're being a B Corp, you know, making sure that our decision-making is empowering the world and ways that we can and as much as possible, having a positive impact on the environment, our customers, the community, you know, our team, and having good governance in places all part of that. So, heaps to be proud of, and heaps of great challenges and things to head to. 


James Laughlin 15:43 

I love that. And it's interesting because, on the B Corp side of things, very few companies can say that they've got that. So yeah, it's quite an incredible achievement. So, what was the process you guys went through to achieve the B Corp? 


Brooke Roberts 15:57 

We knew we wanted to create a company that was solely driven around for social purposes. And that for us is creating financial empowerment for everyone. And with that, we wanted to make sure also, we're creating a company when you're creating more work, creating a company, not just a product. So we knew that the product that our customers see and that we interact with every day is only one aspect there's you know, all the people and the governance and the suppliers and all this jazz that you know gets in business and the operations that are coming and having that real holistic view of what we're creating was really important and looking at that we really want to create something that was an all that decision making was leading us towards our purpose, and making sure that we had a business that was for a purpose and for profit. So being a B Corp was really natural to us, we tried to apply as soon as we could and then found out you need to have a year's worth of revenue. So, we put our assessment application on the side until we got two years' worth of revenue, and then we applied, and it was a really rigorous process to become a B Corp; you fill out this B impact assessment. And then you go through audits, and you need to provide documentation and it's a very lengthy process that can take between six months to a year, I believe now. And it was just really great to see that rigor and really test out how we'd set up this company and also find ways that we could improve it over time. And what I love about being part of the B Corp community is that the rising tide floats all boats. And as more and more people join the B Corp community and as more of us look at our businesses and look at our practices and see how we can improve them, the standard rises, then I am really excited to be part of that community and for the future. And it's great to see the growth and how many more B corps have come to the first financial services company to become one and it's great to see. A few more joined now and then it's more than doubled since we the communities more than doubled and LTSR and probably Australia too since we started. 


James Laughlin 17:56 

That's fantastic. And to think about it, you went six, just under six years, from six finders to 200 team members like that's huge. 


Brooke Roberts 18:06 

Yeah, we've experienced significant growth and you know, from zero investors back then to over 600,000, and over 2 billion invested through our platform, it takes a lot to be able to scale like that. And we scale really fast, especially when we're all on lockdown and dealing with those challenges of trying to scale from home and not having those natural interactions that we were so used to. So, it's been a real challenge. But something that we've always been really deliberate about is about creating a sustainable financial FinTech business and making sure that we're trying to scale our practices and scale our processes ahead of time, and really thinking about the growth curve that Sharesies was going to go on. So, we could continue to support our investors and our team as much as possible. 


James Laughlin 18:51 

Incredible, and the psychology of human investing. So, I'm thinking like pandemic here, I'm thinking of external things like there's a depression coming, there's a recession here, all this media stuff, all this external stuff that happens, are you able to see from your end the data of how that impacts people's psychology around investing? 


Brooke Roberts 19:14 

Definitely. And that was why that jargon or the educational side of what we were creating was really important. Then removing it jargon and really educating about what great investing habits are and building those practices into our product and so I've been really proud of the way that investors have dealt with the market corrections and market changes, and you know, seeing the portfolio maybe dip into negative and then come back up again. There's a lot of behavioral economics that comes into place and that's a big term for going you know, there's loss aversion so once you might be up in profit and then you know, and then it might tank a bit. You can feel a loss from that even though it was never realized. And so teaching people about how the markets go up and down and making sure that we're really understanding of that we haven't seen people, need to react too much when the markets change, which is fantastic to see, to building our products so that people can dollar cost average, which means just putting money, every payday into investments that align with what you really want to be investing in, and where you want your money to be going in the world, and how you want to seek those returns. And we've just seen incredible behavior and habits being formed, which is a really important part of investing. And so that's something that I think investors should be really proud of. 


James Laughlin 20:40 

Yes, it's really interesting, because, you know, think of, say, indexing. So, for me, I don't know whether I'm doing the right thing or the wrong thing. But if I was to check in once a year on my index investment, that would be like, going good often as every couple of years and like, how's that thing going? So, during COVID, I just really didn't care, because I knew it was going to go down. And I'm like, I'm in my 30s. It's, I don't need to touch that bad boy for another 30-odd years. So, I'm just going to like not to worry. So is a, you know, from your experience? Should we be engaging more often and keeping an eye on things and moving things around or with an index approach is it like if you're a specific age set and forget? 


Brooke Roberts 21:23 

Yeah, and this is where it really depends on your investment strategy. So, it does really depend on what matters. But there's research out there that if you're investing in indices, which in an index fund is essentially you're investing in a bunch of companies rather than just one. So, say, there's the Australian Stock Exchange 200, which is the top 200 companies in Australia, or the index 50, which is the top 50 companies in New Zealand, you can invest in those indices, and you're getting kind of exposure to all of those companies, and in those in those indices. And that way, you've kind of got that diversification of not just all being in one company, you don't, you might not have the diversification of different countries, and but there are heaps of different options out there. Then you can, you know, and with no minimum kind of fix how you want but I think it's important to, to really understand that what is right for you in that time, and when you're investing in indices, like I saying that research those shows that they typically can outperform those real active investors and in that buy and hold approach of going home and invest in this, I'm going to invest in it regularly. And hold has been a bit more of a proven strategy than the buy, sell, sell, buy kind of investment strategy. 


James Laughlin 22:44 

And I just love that there are those options there. And I love that it's literally at our fingertips. It's just incredible. So, I guess one of the things there might be a listener listening to right now going, okay, if I'm doing that, and it's easily accessible for me, how safe is it? So, what are the safeguards and the firewalls and all that kind of stuff to protect people's data and people's investments that you guys put in place? 


Brooke Roberts 23:08 

Yes, so we are highly regulated in this industry we're in, so we're regulated by the Financial Markets Authority, ASIC in Australia. So, a bunch of others was highly regulated. And I think that's, I think regulation is such an important part of the healthy finance industry, too. So that's, that's one key part. And then in terms of people's investments, we are essentially a broker. So, we go and place that investment, and you know, whether we're helping create that trade or make sure that you can get that investment that you want and get them to portfolio and that the money exchanges hands as well as possible. We also have a custodial system, which means that any money that you have invested in the Sharesies platform is completely ring-fenced and separate from the shares platform in itself. So, your money is held in trust for you, and all your funds or money in your platform as they are under your name in this in this case study. And that's quite a typical setup in the United States. And it's a really great way that we can make sure that we can remove any of those barriers when it comes to investing too. 


James Laughlin 24:23 

Great. Yes, absolutely gives people peace of mind when they're investing. Yeah. And in terms of leadership, so you've you went from 60 to 200. So, when you think of leadership, what's your definition of leadership?  


James Laughlin 

Oscar de la Renta put it perfectly. Fashion is about dressing according to what's fashionable. Style is more about being yourself. And that's one thing I always try to do is try to be myself whether I'm interviewing a former head of state, hanging with my family on the weekend, or working with some of my incredible clients. I try to always just be myself as much as possible. And part of that is dressing accordingly. But every now and then, a special occasion will call for some special fashion and I am by no means an expert on fashion. And that's why I'm delighted to partner with Munss. Munss is back and it's better than ever. Located in the beautiful tannery Emporium on Garland's Road in Christchurch. It offers a huge range for men with suits for hire and sale, ties, jeans, waistcoats, hats, sunglasses, and more. So, for all of your mandatory needs, head along and check out at munss.co.nz  


Brooke Roberts 25:44 

It's evolved so much over time. I remember, in my early 20s, I did this leadership development program and at the end of it, we'd come up with a sentence on our leadership style. And I said I have had fun delivering results was my one, which I love, I think working should be fun, I think it should if you're really passionate and purposeful, and you really care about what you're doing like this is energy and this fun that comes from that. And collaborating with others and bouncing ideas off each other and testing and seeing how things go. And, ultimately getting those results to drive the outcome toward a purpose is crucial. So, I still resonate a lot with that as a bit of my leadership style. But I think it has evolved a bit over time in particular. Now, with a guy with a company we've got, I find that so much of my leadership is about being there for people asking the right questions, removing barriers, where possible, and really making sure that all decisions are thinking about, you know, full purpose and full profit and getting that humming. So, I have gone on a massive leadership journey, and I still will in the future. But I think a lot of it is about making sure that the team is feeling really connected and empowered to achieve the purpose at the end of the day. And our role as leaders is to make sure that we're supporting that. And I'm a big fan of servant leadership and a big fan of that thought leadership. And ultimately, I find the best way is to get out of people's way. And when there are things in the way, help them get it out. That's great. I didn't even really articulate here's a sentence, but maybe one day, I will. 


James Laughlin 27:21 

No! The way you explain it is like it's real. It's from the actual in-motion experience as a leader, it's fantastic. So, in terms of when I think of leadership, and I think of a company, you've got the leader or the leaders, and their collective leadership capability is a lid. And what happens is the company's growth and the people that you attract, and the people that you retain your talent, it never kind of reaches anywhere above the leadership capability. So, to attract better talent or to keep the talent and to grow the company. It's all about hey, how do we grow our leadership and terms of our mindset and where we're headed? So, what do you and the leadership team do actively to grow your own leadership capabilities? 


Brooke Roberts 28:05 

Yeah, this is crucial. We, we even knew, you know, as founders, we hadn't been CEOs before or you know, being part of those leadership teams really aside from our own companies. So, that was something we knew we needed to scale ourselves in Sharesies and we've been really active on that and very deliberate so from things such as leadership training, and every month or so all of our exec team get together and we train on something to do some sort of leadership focus will really go dive in on and also strategically step back look going Hey, are we supporting our people in the right way? Are we focused on the right things are we humming as well as we can be, you know, and making sure we take those times to be really deliberate is really crucial for myself, I have a coach and some of the other leaders do too and that's a great way of just making sure we're taking that time to reflect you know, be really aware make sure we're really conscious about our choices and leveling ourselves up to and as you get tested as a leader in different times and making sure that we are coming from a place of honor have for ourselves and for the people around us is really crucial and then just having great support around has been something I have found so it's really helped with my personal growth such as with my family even having you know two children through creating Sharesies has been hectic and just having my family support and growing from watching my children grow has been awesome to other entrepreneurs out there getting together and supporting each other because so often, we think that we're faced with this unique situations, you go talk somebody else thought, oh, same. Cool, let's figure it out together or they've already figured it out and you can learn from them. You're like, that's great. So that support network based on those connections that we have apart from growing Sharesies and what other leaders in the business community are really keen to give us their time and support us has been great. So, and just in the wider community actually, there's just so much you can learn and be inspired from others that help you grow. And then there's books and podcasts and all that sort of jazz, and I even flow in terms of going through those. Sometimes I know, actually, all I need to do is listen to music, like I'm on the right track, or whatever, I just need to listen to music right now. Because that really fills my energy cap. And then other times, I'm like, I'm really eager to learn about this specific topic, or, hey, I'm just eager to learn something generally. And then diving into podcasts and letting my mind kind of really explore those topics. Yeah, I got I, you're continuously learning and having that growth mindset. And that learning mindset, I think, is a really important part of leadership development. 


James Laughlin 30:55 

Absolutely. And I'd love to just ask what has been your greatest challenge of being a new mom and running a business. 


Brooke Roberts 31:05 

Yeah, that has its challenge. My kids, they're 4 and 2 now, and it was pretty challenging but incredibly rewarding to a few months after starting, Sharesies going full time and earning no income, I was happy and pregnant without so that was, so that was a whole never, never journey to navigate. And then just before lockdown, I had my son before COVID to really take over and then manage to be on maternity leave but knowing that Sharesies really need some more support and making sure I was really there for my family and that was always a bit of fun. But for our team, you know, it's a really stressful time. When you know, you're really worried about your health and your community's health. So, there's been heaps of challenges in terms of my personal growth there too. As I think, after having children, my anxieties increased a lot. You know, I was worried about them. I was worried about this, there's a massive to-do list that I had a need to figure out before, you know, so did I get it in the bag, and did I bring my pumper to work? But, you know, like, there was just this whole list it was so, and it was, you know, quite an anxiety increasing when you've got these dependencies on you. But I feel like I'm in a bit of rhythm now. And I think that's also a symptom of age, like being able to sleep a bit better now. And being able to communicate with my children maybe makes things a little bit, you know, or maybe just that muscle memory I've got now of having a few years into it. But I know that I'll go through massive challenges in the future, even though that's just part of life now. But yeah, it's a really rewarding challenge, that I've been able to have them. 


James Laughlin 32:57 

You're such a great example. You know, I feel pain sometimes as a parent, my boys, are six now, and these are amazing and greatest gifts. Those first, kind of 9 to 18 months were challenging with sleep and with learning how to be a parent and learning what was scary and what was not. Should we be worried about this? No, let's not. That's such a juggle plus running a business. I totally get it. And I admire that you're like, you know what, we did it anyway. And we moved forward, and we didn't quit on the business, and we didn't quit on life. That's incredible. So, when you are going deep to get that tenacity, that drive, and that relentless determination, where does that tenacity come from? Because when I talk to you and the more I learned about you, I think you're very tenacious. 


Brooke Roberts 33:43 

I've always had excess energy, I think I am. I'm best when I'm moving, I feel and as a kid that I didn't know how to channel my excess energy, I'd be on a daily report, which means, you know, going home was being graded each day on my behavior. And it's only because I think I just found it very hard to sit still and concentrate. And I just really wanted to go and explore. And I think nowadays education is so much better in that regard. You can learn math while doing PE. Cool, great for me. And so, but later on, when I was in high school when I found me been able to hone that energy into passions, like fashion, sewing and accounting and economics, and business studies, and starting businesses that really started to show actually, I just needed to find some passion to put this energy into. So, I think that energy is probably driving a bit of that tenaciousness than curiosity. I've got for the world around me and wanting to just spend my time in a really meaningful way here on Earth is kind of in making sure that yeah, I'm just doing the best I can at any time is kind of crucial. And then I think after having a new year's resolution, I started to think about the expectations I had, like of myself and of my husband and the people around me. And was like, what if I just lowered these a bit? What would happen? What would happen if I lowered my expectations? Not my like, not, the purpose or passion or anything like that. But what if I just lowered those a bit, and I have found, I'm probably like, a way more relaxed person, and also achieving more, I think, from just lowering a few of those expectations that I was building up on myself. And so, I think that has been quite helpful for me this year. 


James Laughlin 35:35 

That's fantastic. And did you find any pushback or inner tension when you were thinking I have to lower these expectations? Or was it natural? 


Brooke Roberts 35:44 

No, it's quite it. Yeah, it's just evolved. And it's not. It's not in an intense way. But it's like, you know, I would judge myself each day, like, I have been there really present with my kids, have I been at work? Have I exercised? Have I spent time with my friends and I kind of look at this on a daily kind of basis? And I was like, you know, I was always going to fail at that. But what if I looked at a month and I was like, hey, I had a really great time with my friends this last month. Have I had some have I have really spent an amazing time with my children? And, have I invested in them in the way I wanted to? And have I invested my time in Sharesies the way I wanted to? And ultimately, I'm like, Yeah, this look, that is how I wanted to spend my time and in setting to get but more to the exercise habits and things like that. So, I think just even for a week or a month, dislike just going What if I just expanded that a little bit? And, then come from a place more of an AHA and love, I guess in that regard than kind of fear or feeling like I'm behind. And I had the same thing with email. So cool. Emails are just like the bane of my life. But then I found fun ways to do that. I was like, what if in the morning, I love a cup of tea, I go, you know, go to a cafe, have a cup of tea, and smash those out? And, and then focus me for the day. And I've been doing that. And it's just so much better because the mornings are a bit of a rush of panic in the household. But this has just created a bit more space. And then I'm finding, I don't have that perception of emails anymore marked down that because that was, I didn't even notice I did it because I'm in this ambiance that kind of works for me. So, it's little things like that. And yeah. 


James Laughlin 37:19 

Such good advice. It really is. And I think that you know, what I hear from that is self-evaluation is this seed of self-mastery? And just like on a monthly basis, like hey, have I shown up as a mum? Have I shown up as a business owner? Have I shown up as a friend rather than every day and I think high performer? And the more that I talk to high performers tend to be very hard on themselves set very high self-expectations and want to measure them every five minutes. And you rewind 20 years, where health finished, the performance began. But nowadays, it's like no, that's not acceptable. So, when I think of high performance as performing above the standard norms over the long term, and that's where most people stop, I add in whilst maintaining positive relationships and well-being. And so, if you can do that, first performing above standard norms, whilst maintaining the important things, then it's going to be sustainable, right? And it sounds like you've literally just said, hey, I do evaluate, but I don't like to fantasize over every day. Yeah. That's huge. So, keep up that I love it. And if there are people on your staff, you know, spread that with them as well and encourage them to take on some of those leadership self-leadership traits that you've really embodied. 


Brooke Roberts 38:34 

Yeah, and I've got a lot to learn you know? It's working for me at the moment which I'm enjoying. 


James Laughlin 38:40 

now so cool and this next year so if we were to sit in 12 months' time, you said Jim, this has been the most epic year what would have happened in the last year for you to say that? 


Brooke Roberts 38:52 

I'm more flown in the trail that's something I've really deliberately focused on the moment and I'm in the learning part of it at the moment you know, where I just realized you know, when you start something and you think I've got this and then you realize, oh, I don't know anything more to learn and so I'm really enjoying that I'm really enjoying learning more about tamari and supporting the movement to really support through and I love that and my somebody key my children they are learning more and more and sharing, you know, in kindergarten and bringing that home and really helping keep really strong practice there. I think that's for me personally in the house I hope that I Sharesies is really thriving as it has been, you know, where I was in Australia and up to two I'd love to see as we've been able to achieve mostly here and I'll try that household brand and that real love and support for what we're doing in seeing people develop wealth, we're relatively new in Australia. And I'd love to see that really blossom and our team really blossom and really create something that is supporting more and more Australians in terms of developing wealth over the long term. And having, yeah, having a great time with my friends and family, too, I feel now that there are great ways, they can all be intermingled. And we took our first break this year, just last week, and I was like, Okay, maybe next year, I'll plan a few micro break breaks in there a bit. Because I think when you have a break, it's actually really good for work. It's really, you know, that even that headspace and aren't even thinking about it just brings us perspective, and this refreshed energy that you need sometimes. And so, I think that's something I'd like to look back on any ago, hey, have I made some little micro times with friends and family, more so throughout the year, so I've always I'm always bringing that fresh perspective, and that those really clear insights, 


James Laughlin 41:00 

a lot of it rest is not a luxury, it's a necessity, it's so good. You know, there's going to be a listener right now that's listening. And they're a leader, and they've got some degree of privilege. And they possibly already have an investment strategy. And they're on a journey. Now, equity and inclusion are a big part, I feel what Sharesies is about, in terms of what I've experienced what I've chatted to you about what I've seen on a lot of your branding. So that person that's listening right now, who does have some degree of privilege and influence? What can they do right now, to help get Sharesies into the hands of people who might not know about it and might not know where to start? What's one simple thing somebody could do to just spread the word of Sharesies to somebody that otherwise would not have any clue about it? 


Brooke Roberts 41:48 

I kind of want to answer that question in two ways. Like, as a leader, how do it as a leader from a place of privilege? How can I create more opportunities for others and the way that we're working in the workplace? And then in terms of Sharesies? And letting people know, I feel like I might answer that separately if that's okay. So, in the workplace when you're a leader, and you have, you do have certain privileges that others haven't been really aware of, of the difference between equity and equality. So, I saw leaders go, oh, you know, but I had to still work hard to get here. And it's like, but not from an equity perspective. So, thinking about who am I surrounding myself with? Who am I mentoring? who am I supporting? And who am I learning from? And really trying to get that from more as diverse communities as possible and giving your energy to more diverse communities that haven't, that are, you know, not represented and leadership in your organization or in those leadership roles around you, I think it's really crucial to broaden your perspective, and it's not about you going in and educating them, it's actually a lot of the time, other than educating you and you and but making sure that you're doing a lot of that self-work yourself too. And that could be through learning a different language, or through reading things that don't naturally come from the same culture as you, and by doing some desktop research or just really starting to build up some of your knowledge. I think that's a great way to start building empathy and understanding for difference and for and for the strength and bringing more diverse leaders to the life and then also in other ways, if you're a leader and you get asked to speak at things or you get asked to be in certain rooms, think about who can I bring here, who can I bring into this room that hasn't been represented or isn't being represented? If I'm being asked to speak on a panel, look at the other panelists and go am I actually the person to be here? Or is another voice needs to come in to really create more representation I think being able to really support others to rise up is a crucial part when you come from a place of privilege? Then on the Sharesies side yeah, there's a lot about how people would have been locked out of developing wealth either from historical wrongs or structural systems in how the financial industry is set up. So thinking about how I talk really openly about money and investing in this isn't many have talked about amounts this is just talking about hey, what I do like Oh, I'm using Sharesies and I'm investing these ways and this is what I've learned to an I've got this KiwiSaver or whatever it is just opening up these conversations and it could just simply be around your dinner table to at your family reunions or get-togethers to with your friends and just starting to open up these conversations because so many people feel really fucking mad. They feel quite embarrassed and shy about speaking about money because this comes from the Place of going, I'm not going to, I don't have enough, I don't know what to do, I don't want to be seen as being bad with money or I don't want to, I don't know how to be good with money. I don't even know what that means. But often, a lot of times I dive into that, and people have great habits in place, and it'd be cool if they shared them. And if they don't, like, I would like to do better. And it's great when you share those when you, you know, open up and share in a space where you're comfortable, and feel safe, then you can learn so much from each other. And so, I think just in all those in as many spaces as possible, just removing those barriers when it comes to talking about money, investing in developing wealth and create helping shape and others that ability to think long term and know they don't have to have much to get started. And it's about building a habit, which I think will ultimately help create more wealth equity in the future. 


James Laughlin 45:53 

Amazing advice, Brooke, thank you for sharing that. I really appreciate it. And just one last question. Before we wrap up, I always ask this at the end. And I want you to fast forward way later in life. It's your last day on earth. In fact, it's your last five minutes. And someone very young, very dear to you, your family might be a grandchild comes up and asks you one question, and you've got to give them some advice. So, the question is this, what must I do to lead a life on purpose? What would your advice be about that? 


Brooke Roberts 46:36 

Two things come to mind. One is when I heard when someone was getting their last cancer treatment, and they said, whatever you're putting off do it now. And that really resonated with me. Because whatever you're putting off, do it now in a holistic sense, probably goes right to your purpose, like what is that thing that's niggling in your brain that you feel you want to be doing differently? You know, you know, you've got this passion for and you're just not giving yourself permission or time to do what is that thing? And just, do it! Like, what's the harm? And just giving that a shot and see what could come from there? And I think the purpose is it does seem to be ingrained in us in some ways. And it's either from the experiences we've had, and the insights we've got from our experiences, or just something that's naturally driving us whether it's more, you know, social justice in the world, or just something that's like really sitting here and it's like, what if, what if you just did it, you know? Whatever you're putting off, do it now. And I think that helps people leave from purpose when they really dig deep into those things that have been niggling on their minds. Whether it be writing a book or whatever it might be, you just never know what opportunities start to be opened up and created from just giving something a shot. 


James Laughlin 47:55 

Thank you so much for sharing that. I really appreciate all that you and the company do. I'm going to make sure to put a link in the show notes. If anybody hasn't checked out Sharesies, please click the link go through and check it out. It's an incredible platform. I wish you nothing but the best for the year ahead. And I hope our paths cross here in Altidore. 


Brooke Roberts 48:13 

Yeah, thank you so much for having me today. 


James Laughlin 48:16 

Thank you so much. We'll talk again soon. 


James Laughlin 48:34 

Thanks for tuning in today and investing in your own personal leadership. Please hit that subscribe button. And I'd love it if you'd leave me a rating and review. I've got some amazing guests lined up for you in the coming weeks. And leaders. It's that time to get out there and lead your life on purpose.