Being a Modernist in Finance

Episode 67: Being A Modernist in Finance
Guest: Georgia Lee Hussey

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With training in instillation sculpture and creative writing, Georgia Lee Hussey was focused on becoming a professional artist. However, after 12 years, Georgia decided it was time to try something new. At the time she was living in Portland, Oregon during the sub-prime mortgages phase and Georgia found herself with two mortgages: the first had a 7.5% interest rate and the second had 11.5% interest, and both were variable. She had never been taught about money or budgeting and found herself in a difficult, unstable position. Georgia began reading everything she could about financing and budgeting and found that she loved it. She became inspired to become a financial planner and went back to school to get her CFP.

By the time Georgia successfully passed her CFP exam, she already had some clients, which meant that she needed a home for her business. She looked to a brokerage firm to help and was extremely grateful for all the support that they provided. However, she felt out of place because it was very male-dominated and there was a general sense of inequality. She also quickly came to realize that the institutionalized structures of the industry weren’t going to support her vision. As a result, Georgia started Modernist Financial, which was built on a foundation of creativity and collaboration.

Today, Georgia is working with Jennifer Armbrust, with Armbrust & Co. to create a feminist business model. The basic core of the model is equity and inclusion, and flattening inequalities. Modernist Financial is built on values of inviting and including, investing in people, innovating and iterating, and doing good work well. Georgia is striving to create a sense of partnership and empowerment between her advisors and clients and ensuring her staff can support the innovative advice that they are providing to clients.

If you’d like to learn more about Georgia, visit modernistfinancial.com. Thanks for listening. If you liked what you heard, be sure to hit subscribe, share it with others and write us a quick review on iTunes.

Blue Toenails and Courage

Actually the exact color is an OPI hue called “Fly.” I choose it, or a similar color, for every pedicure. Blue toenails are rather odd and sometimes folks comment on them. That’s when I explain that I paint them blue so when I look at my feet, I can say, “The sky’s the limit!”

This self-talk is just another way I remind myself that my “resistance” is strong. And I need all the help I can get to push past it.

Let me back up a bit and tell you about a book: War of Art by Steven Pressfield. In it he explains what keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do and identifies the roadblocks that exist in any creative endeavor. Steven is a prolific writer and knows all too well how we let ourselves be overcome by the naysayers renting space in our minds. Those voices, or naysayers, he identifies as the resistance. Sadly, letting the resistance win means playing it safe and comfortable. And no art happens in that cushy environment. 

Ask Seth Godin. He writes about the resistance quite often and in one blog post describes resistance as the lizard brain. “The resistance is the voice in the back of our head telling us to back off, be careful, go slow, compromise.

Right now I’m in an all-out battle with the resistance. I have loudly and publicly committed to creating a new podcast, Women Rocking Wall Street. I am passionate about helping the financial services industry engage and embrace more women in our ranksand particularly in leadership roles. But moving forward on that effort is obviously challenging. Who am I to be a voice for this effort? What will I say? What value can I possibly add? Boy oh boy, my lizard brain is loud these days. 

Many, many times in my career and life, I’ve had to push myself to jump across some chasm of fear. Sometimes the jump requires just a tiny hop. Other times–like right now–I feel like Evel Knievel on his Skycycle X-2 flying across the Snake River Canyon.

Why am I sharing this? Perhaps this is my way of acknowledging that I plan to feel the fear and do it anyway. (And I am guessing that you are challenged by the resistance in your life and work.)

A quote by George Addair sits right above my computer monitor: “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” Yep, George is right.

P.S. Here’s a great, five-minute videocast from the crew at Kajabi on their approach for managing the resistance.

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