I was watching the third season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt when I first heard of TaskRabbit. Initially, I didn’t know what it was, but I got an idea after Kimmy bustled through the city, performing a number of odd jobs for money. TaskRabbit is the answer to one’s personal assistant problems in our shared economy society. So who is the current face of the tasker startup? Stacy Brown Philpot was assigned as the company’s CEO in 2017 (prior to that, founder, Leah Busque, held the title), and has been making waves in the business world for years.
After graduating from college, Philpot began her career at PWC and Goldman Sachs, working on tech deals in investment banking. In doing this – working with tech IPOs – her interest in entrepreneurship grew and she applied to business school. Enrolling in Stanford as a Bonini fellow, Philpot was in the right place to develop her background in applied innovation. She then worked at Google, rising through the ranks, ultimately becoming the Senior Director of Global Consumer Operations.
Philpot’s work ethic, drive and accomplishments are incredible. She is inspiring in her obvious fluidity and flexibility in working and thriving in different industries. Her career trajectory is inspiring. Philpot began working as many of us do, as an analyst in a corporate office. She was a small fish in the Wall Street Pond. However, she grew and has made an unmistakable impact in her work. More than that, Philpot is an example for young women (especially those of color). Only 6.4% of CEOs are female. Philpot gives me hope, as well as reminds us that we can be authentic at work, thrive with hard work and opportunity, and lead in the face of challenges.
Philpot’s money perspective (taken from her interview with Marie Claire) is a common one. We all want to live better, richer lives than our parents. This is the crux of the “American Dream” (I use that phrase with caution) – gaining increasing social mobility and wealth with each generation. Philpot reflects that:
“When I was 14, I remember wanting a Coach bag, and my mother couldn’t afford it. I decided at that age that I was going to grow up and get a job so that I could buy as many handbags as I wanted. And no one was ever going to stop me. So when I got the job, I always thought, How do I make sure that I can afford to pay off my bills and then buy my handbags? The Coach bag evolved into other things that I wanted to spend my money on—I love to travel. But thinking about earning a salary is very different from equity. You come to Silicon Valley and learn about wealth creation. It is a fundamentally different way of thinking about building your life, including your financial life. Growing up in Detroit, wealth creation wasn’t part of what we talked about at the dinner table. And so that was so different. Now I have an opportunity to give back, to contribute to other causes, to create a legacy for my family that no one else had. And that was a powerful change for me.”
This perspective is a gem in that it is so relatable. Many of us have what was Philpot’s Coach purse; the item we wanted, but couldn’t have while growing up. That purse drives us to reach our goals and achieve our dreams. What else is notable is that Philpot highlights a fundamental problem that many of us face in debunking personal finance. That’s that we simply don’t learn about it. Philpot’s right. “Earning a salary is very different from equity”; this is a basic principle that goes untaught. Philpot ultimately recognizes that one must evolve and learn how to manage her financial life.