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by Olga Miler

Co-founder of SmartPurse

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After a successful career at various banks, Olga Miler founded her own start-up, SmartPurse – a financial training platform that offers independent, practical, and humorous digital courses, workshops, and coaching on money and finance.

As host of our podcast i-vest Kitchen Table, she now talks to people from all walks of life about financial freedom, values beyond money, and what a rich life looks like.

“I would love to play a psychopathic murderer – that would be a great challenge”

Friday morning, I’m already a bit nervous. Actually, it happens rather rarely that I’m so antsy. Usually, I talk to people all day about money without inhibition. But today is different. That’s probably because the person I’m talking to is not a banker.

Lara Marian is an actress. She speaks three languages, first studied sports management and journalism at the University of Cologne, and then studied acting for five years at the Bern University of the Arts. Today she works as a freelance actress in film, television, theater, and performance. A world I know nothing about except from watching. That’s probably why I feel a little uncomfortable because today is new territory. And I can’t hide behind facts and figures in this conversation.

A podcast with money life stories

Not only is my conversation partner new today, but so is the format. With i-vest Kitchen Table, we want to create something that is not a financial podcast, but a meeting place where you talk about people, life, and also about money. Just like when you’re with family or among friends. Together with exciting personalities, we tell money life stories in each episode that entertain, make you smile, and inspire.

Whether it succeeds and how it develops remains to be seen, but if you first try everything to perfection, then something new rarely emerges. And so I am very happy to start the first experiment today.

“I found it insanely inspiring now when two such different areas clash,” said Lara after the recording. We definitely had a lot of fun, and I hope all of you who are listening have the same.”

Wealth means something different for each of us

What kind of relationship does a person, whose day is filled with slipping into the skin of a character, have with money? I suddenly have a lot of “financial questions” running through my head: As a freelance actress, you don’t have job security – I wonder if she has a different relationship to risk than people who pursue more traditional career paths? What does wealth mean to someone who plays a role, is “at home in the world” as Lara puts it, and has to reinvent herself for the next job? What’s it like in her line of work, do people even talk about money? Does she invest? And most importantly, who is this petite woman, this Lara, who goes her way so unflinchingly and can laugh so heartily?

“In my line of work, if you don’t have both legs in the business by 35, you have a very, very hard time,” says Lara.

Find out why money is not an emotional thing for her, what wealth means, and much more in the podcast – just listen in!

One thing in advance: Of course, I was very interested in what kind of role Lara would most like to play if she had absolutely free choice:

“I would love to play a psychopathic killer. That would be a great challenge.”

Surprised? I certainly was. A lot of things I would have expected, but not that. Then, off the top of our heads, we couldn’t think of a name for the dream role. But more on that in the podcast.

Why we should all talk more about money

Probably some of you, when you’re asked to talk about money, feel like I did that Friday when we were recording. Uncomfortable. It’s a common thing. In studies, for example, 6 in 10 women say they’d rather talk about their own death than money.

“It’s actually the case that depending on what I’m shooting and what the contracts are, I’m not allowed to talk about money at all,” says Lara about this.

Money is very personal. We often learn more about it from the stories and experiences of others than from finance and economics. Over 60% of respondents in studies also say they feel better after a money talk. I myself always find that a money talk helps me to get to know other people from a new and better side. And that I often feel stronger and more confident afterwards, but also get very practical tips that I didn’t know before. And that’s precisely why we created this format, as a meeting place and space for very different money talks. Ideas, inputs, and feedback are very welcome by the way, write us at media@alpian.com or also on Instagram.

7 Questions you can ask at a money talk without giving a number

Feel like having a money conversation but have no idea how to start? Here are 7 questions that can help break the ice:

  • What do you actually think about …
  • The other day I read that …, what do you think about that?
  • I’m currently dealing with …, how do you do it?
  • What are the 3 best investments you have ever made in your life?
  • Who or where do you find out about … from, do you have any tips for me?
  • I am looking for …, do you have any idea or can you recommend someone?
  • You, I just had … happen to me. Do you know this?

And then just chat away and see what comes up.

Have fun!

By the way, the next episode of i-vest Kitchen Table will be in February. Then I’ll be talking to a woman who was suddenly permanently confined to a wheelchair due to life circumstances and is now a multiple Olympic champion. You’ll hear how she did it in the next issue – see you then!



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About the author

Olga Miler is an economist and entrepreneur specializing in finance. She has received numerous awards for her transformative work in the finance industry, including Top 100 Women in Switzerland (Women in Business), the FemBizSwiss Award 2021 for Communication, Top Female Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2021 (Tech Round), Inspirational Woman of the Year 2019 (CityWealth Magazine), Top 200 Women in Fintech Powerlist (Innovate Finance) and recognitions in the press such as Sky News, Newsweek, NZZ, Bilanz, BBC News, CBNC and Financial Times.

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