Celebrating Moms in Business & Finance

Leila Wilson

Trader and Franchisee

What is your background, and how did you get into finance?

My OTA journey began in 2009 when my husband and I became OTA Franchisees. My husband was an OTA student, so for him the whole idea of being a franchisee made total sense. OTA culture is what made me fall in love with the company. The values and mission of helping people to enrich their lives really resonated with me. I had never traded before, moreover, had no financial background and did not understand the lingo. My initial idea was to help my husband run the business. It was during our Franchisee Training that Eyal Shahar, the founder of OTA, told me: “Just take the class, you will learn trading and you will love it.” So, I took a course, then another one. I found myself understanding supply and demand, recognizing strong zones, defining entry and exit points. I can confidently speak to people who come in to us today and can attest to the fact that if there is a will, there is a way.

What obstacles did you run into and how did you persevere?

It was hard for me in the beginning to simultaneously learn a new business, manage it and learn trading. In addition, we had two sons in school and I had to be a mom. Starting a business is hard, but we had the support of our Franchise consultant and our Franchisee Network. Online Trading Academy provides training and guidance to new owners which helps us stay focused. All OTA owners are always supportive of each other. We find solutions to common problems we encounter in the business.

Can you tell us a little bit about your current career and what you do?

Currently, my husband and I own two OTA locations in New Jersey. I act as an Operations Manager; I schedule classes and instructors, planning events and pay invoices. I am also responsible for marketing. We have an excellent team, most of whom have been with us since inception. We are a family and care deeply for one another. Our students are also part of our OTA family.

Do you have any secrets for balancing being a mom with a successful career? What advice do you have for moms aspiring to enter or advance skills as a trader?

It is about being centered, flexible and managing priorities. Different people find that balance in many different ways. For me, it is following my routine: finding time for kids, work, meditation and pranayama, doing yoga, allocating time to spend with our numerous friends, attending NYC plays and shows. It is about planning, being flexible and adjusting my schedule often if something more important demands my attention. I do not separate my day into working hours and off hours. Rather, it is whatever is more important now. Technology nowadays allows us to be more productive and get things done from home and on the road. I take full advantage of modern technology, thanks to my husband who set me up with different gadgets.

What advice do you have for moms aspiring to become business owners and/or trader?

Women do not have to choose between family and career. Find what you love to do and go for it. Structure your days to accommodate for both your family and your passion. If you have to hire a cleaning lady to help you, do it so you can spend your time with kids or your husband. If you cannot afford it yet, break the project into manageable portions. Take it one step at a time. If you feel like crying, cry. Tomorrow is another day. Celebrate your achievements, even if they are small. The key is to find your center. You can anchor yourself to the values that keep you calm, measured and capable despite what’s happening around you. For me, those anchors are spirituality, quality time with my family, my yoga, my audiobooks and podcasts, time with my girlfriends.

What keeps you motivated?

Our OTA Students are my main motivation. Hearing stories from people and learning how OTA changed their life for the better keeps me motivated. This is what gives me peace and purpose. I actually enjoy business and appreciate the beauty of my crazy days and my ever-shifting life. Even if I never achieve complete balance, I get closer to being wholly centered.

Can you share a little about your family with us?

I have been with Steve since 1993 and we have been inseparable. Russell, our older son, is in college now. He runs his own company, DISKKO. Phillip is still in school and hopes to become a physician in the future. We love to travel together and plan at least one trip a year. We like hiking and biking as a family. I love New York City and every month we either watch a play or attend a concert. We also have a lot of friends and love spending time with them, whether it’s traveling or celebrating holidays.

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