Posts

Choices: Courage or Commonplace?

I was faced with a challenge: Which subject line would I use in that first ShoeFitts email communication? I had two options—was I over thinking things?—and needed to choose a direction. This was a newsletter announcement letter being sent to thousands of people. Let’s face it: It’s easy to offer up the expected.  Or, I could get courageous and step outside of my comfort level.  Granted, the success of my bottom line wasn’t hinging on that initial contact, but I knew my words would determine the voice for all future communications and it would set the stage for my relationship with my valued newsletter readers. These were people that receive hundreds of emails a day regarding ERISA, fees, and fiduciary and retirement readiness. Certainly important words, but other people already had those covered. What are my words? The strategies I’ve developed, my creativity, and the words I’ve built around that are what I sell. Was I willing to walk my talk?

One of my passions is the art of fusing glass. I’m fascinated by the science of combining glass and heat to create beautiful patterns shaped into bowls and plates. (I love it so much that I have a studio in my garage.) When I was first learning this craft, I didn’t share my creations with others. Over time, as my confidence grew, I would display pieces on my desk. Colleagues and friends were impressed and expressed interest in purchasing them.

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Podcasts

Your Brand, Your Business, Your Bottom Line

Episode 60 – Your Brand, Your Business, Your Bottom Line
With Sheri Fitts

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This week’s episode is slightly different than what you may be used to. I had the pleasure of being a guest on the Fiduciary Talk Podcast with Ben Aiken, which was recorded live from the Insights 2016 Conference in San Diego. The topic of my presentation was titled Your Brand, Your Business, Your Bottom Line and really focused on creating a compelling, courageous brand.

With financial services in a PR tailspin, it’s extremely important that financial advisors maintain a strong brand. People have stories about their money, good or bad, and that includes financial services. The best way to combat their story is with a better one. Unfortunately, advisor brands are not powered by stories. At this conference I had the opportunity to guide attendees on create courageous brands, and to do this using feelings and stories to connect with their current and potential clients.

I encouraged everyone at the conference, as well as yourself, to sit down with a piece of paper and write “once upon a time.” Leading with this, tell me about your foundation story. Don’t make it about you but rather about the people you help. This is a great way to come up with a better story and will help strengthen your brand, your business and your bottom line.

Thanks you for listening. If you liked what you heard, please write us a quick review on iTunes and share this with others whom you think might find it interesting or valuable.

 

 

 

Hustle and Resilience

Episode 51: Success through Hustling and Resiliency
Guest: Jilliene Helman

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Hello and happy spring! I am so excited to welcome my guest this week. She is a young entrepreneur who has been a game-changer in the real estate and finance industries. At 28, she made the Forbes magazine 2015 list of 30 Under 30 Rising Stars of Enterprise Technology and has underwritten over $5 billion of real estate.

Jilliene Helmen, the former Vice President of Union Bank quit her job to start RealtyMogul.com in 2013. Her team’s mission is to simplify real estate investment through crowdfunding, allowing entrepreneurs and investors to get in the game. Sitting on the RealtyMogul.com board, Jilliene is responsible for the company’s strategic direction and operations. Today, her company is a leading online real estate capital marketplace with over 73,000 members and 65 employees.

Working in financial services as well as technology, Jilliene is no stranger to the male-dominated industries. Having grown up in an entrepreneurial and real estate savvy family, she found that she had a passion for both. After working in the banking circle for several years, Jilliene found it was stifling and decided as a result to become an entrepreneur. Knowing that her company needed investment to be successful, Jilliene went through the process of securing venture capital (VC). She had to work extremely hard, and hold plenty of meetings but as a result was successful in raising $45 million in capital across the company.

Jilliene attributes hustle and resilience as the keys to being a successful entrepreneur, especially in male-dominated industries. Even if she doesn’t know the path, she knows her destination and works towards that every day. Through hustling, Jilliene has built a strong network that she can reach out to and leverage to her company’s advantage.

An avid reader, Jilliene has found that she reads books based on the life stage of her company. If you’re starting a company, Jilliene recommends reading “Topgrading: The Proven Hiring and Promoting Method that Turbocharges Company Performance” by Bradford D. Smart and “The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter” by Michael Watkins. Several other books that she recommends include “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon” by Brad Stone, “Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal” by Nick Bilton, and “Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel” by Russell Moore.

Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of the Women Rocking Wall Street show! If you liked this episode, be sure to hit subscribe, share it with others and write us a quick review on iTunes.

How Caring Leads to Success

Episode 49: How Caring Leads to Success
Guest: Anne McCabe Triana

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My guest this week truly cares about her clients and is an advocate for women in the financial industry. Anne McCabe Triana is a graduate of George Mason University and has been working in the financial industry since 2001. She has worked with organizations like American Express Financial Advisors and UBC and is an independent advisor (owning her own company). Her current venture, Curo Private Wealth is focused on caring and engaging with clients. Anne’s team strive to learn what the concerns are of their client and then move forward from there to create a trusting relationship.

Anne is also a huge advocate for women in the financial industry. She feels that women are great financial advisors because they can be innovative in finding clients and then are able to foster strong, nurturing relationships. There is also a lot of flexibility later in the profession so that women with families can manage their own time around their family’s needs.

One thing that Anne was told early on in her career was to learn to golf if she wanted to close deals. Very early on, she took golf lessons but at a certain point, she found herself being inauthentic. Even the way she was dressing felt wrong for her. If she could go back and change things, she wouldn’t try to be a “man”. Anne recommends embracing our female qualities because those are strengths as well.

For those starting in the profession, Anne recommends finding and becoming committed to a niche and know absolutely everything about it. Anne’s success came from networking, building relationships, referrals and servicing clients as much as possible.

Some great books were mentioned in this episode including “The Consultant with Pink Hair” by Carl Harrison, “Win Without Pitching Manifesto” by Blair Enns, “From Fear to Fearlessness” by Pema Chodron, “Double Double” by Cameron Herold,  “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, and “Mastery” by Robert Greene. Also, be sure to check out my interview with Kathleen Burns, a woman who has been instrumental in growing the number of women with their CFP designation.

 If you’d like to get in touch with Anne, you can do so through Twitter and Facebook. Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of the Women Rocking Wall Street show! If you liked this episode, be sure to hit subscribe, share it with others and write us a quick review on iTunes.

 

Navigating Social

Episode 47: Navigating Social
Guest: Sheryl Brown

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LinkedIn can be a challenging tool but is so valuable when it comes to networking, building connections and your personal brand. This week’s guest is a Sheryl Brown, a social media maven who is skillful in navigating the social media world. She is by trade an Insurance Advisor and has been in the industry for over 20 years. Today, she has a social media consulting business, not to mention she is in charge of the social media strategy for one of the largest private insurance brokerage office in the U.S. Sheryl has also started a social media non-profit, Social Samaritans. This international organization consists of social media professionals that focus on teaching their communities about social media and how to use it to their advantage.

Sheryl, although now she is a social media genius, admits that she became involved thanks to her kids. She was curious about what they were doing online all the time, and then one night her son explained to her how social media worked. From then on, she has been using it as a tool to connect with others.

Over the last few years, Sheryl has been able to create a strong personal brand using platforms that are free. Her brand, BIONICsocialite, has served her, the companies that she works for and her community. A key to Sheryl’s social media success is to regularly observe what the younger generation is doing. What are they saying and how are they manipulating it to their advantage? She recommends that anyone who is looking to get involved in social media to have a strategy. However, she also recommends that sometimes you follow your gut.

If you’d like to connect with Sheryl, she’s available on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Sheryl also has a blog that is a wealth of information.

Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of the Women Rocking Wall Street show! If you liked this episode, be sure to hit subscribe, share it with others and write us a quick review on iTunes.

What I’ve Learned From Podcasting

Episode 43: What I’ve Learned From Podcasting

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Hello again! I have been on a slight hiatus because I’ve been reflecting on 2015 and am looking at what I want for 2016. What I’ve found is that I want ShoeFitts, my marketing firm, to work with the right people and on the right projects. That means turning my business into a small batch, artisan marketing firm that does highly crafted work for my clients. Regarding Women Rocking Wall Street, I’ve been wondering how I can continue to give you high quality, relevant content that can provoke thoughts and motivate. So, in February and March, you’ll see several episodes where I’ll be the one interviewed. My goal for Women Rocking Wall Street is to have meaningful conversations with guests as well as you.

Having released podcast episodes for the past year, I’ve overcome the fear of the microphone, have had great conversations with amazing and talented guests, and I’ve run into challenges along the way. Kristin Mountain, co-founder of Podcast SMARTER wanted to pick my brain on what the last year has been like and what I’ve learned.

After identifying the vision for my podcast, even though I do a lot of public speaking, I found that I was initially intimidated by the microphone. Other challenges that I’ve found is consistency and finding the guests that I feel will spark that valuable conversation. While I’ve had challenges, I’ve also had a lot of successes. I’ve reflected on some of my favorite episodes, which include: Finding Your Inner Rockstar, Toughing it Out, Ski Like a Girl, The Evolution of Women in Finance, and the list goes on. Having a great team has helped keep Women Rocking Wall Street going.

If you’re thinking of starting a podcast, my best advice is to sit at your computer, turn on the microphone and hit record. Also, offer yourself up to other podcasts. If you want to be on the Women Rocking Wall Street, email me with your idea.

Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of Women Rocking Wall Street! If you liked this episode, be certain to subscribe and share it with others.

The Power Pose

Episode 42: The Power Pose

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It’s been a great first year of the Women Rocking Wall Street, and I’ve had the pleasure of following up with Tracy Bagli Hooper, who was my very first guest when I first launched WRW. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to episode two, Confidence is Contagious, Tracy is the creator of The Confidence Project, an organization dedicated to helping others build confidence in their lives. As she likes to say, “the Confidence Project is an equal opportunity endeavor.” According to Tracy, confidence may have a genetic component, and even though some people may have a slight genetic advantage, it’s possible to build confidence through training our brain for a confidence mindset.

Have you ever heard of the Power Pose? It’s a technique for building confidence for a meeting, interview or any event where you want to build and demonstrate your best self.  It changes the hormones in your brain and help you reduce Cortisol and increase Testosterone.  It’ll not only affect how you feel but how others feel about you. Studies indicated the people who were perceived as smarter and more competent are the ones who do the Power Pose.  It’s free, takes 2 minutes a day! Watch the TED Talk with Amy Cuddy here.

Tracy sees a great value in momentum and is sharing her services to as wide a range of people as possible.  She learned that narrowing focus too quickly can adversely affect momentum. There is certainly value in developing a niche and a focus, but be careful not to niche down too quickly. She also reminds us to be aware of the skills and talents we possess; we might be fluent in areas that others find completely baffling. The knowledge we take for granted might be the crucial knowledge that others need, and this gives us the opportunity to help others move forward too.  Remember: What we know, others might not know.

There are some great books for growth and development that Tracy recommends, including: “The Confidence Code” by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman; “The Defining Decade” by Meg Jay; “Key Person of Influence” by Daniel Priestly; and “Playing Big” by Tara Moore. If you’d like to get in touch with Tracy and learn more about The Confidence Project, visit her site at confidenceproject.com, or visit her on Facebook or send her a quick email.

If you liked this episode, be sure to share it with others and head over to iTunes and write a review. Also, thanks for listening!

Permission to Take Up Space

Episode 41: Permission to Take Up Space

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Now that it’s the time of year when we’re stuck in crowded lines at the mall, we are very aware of the physical space that we take up. Our natural instinct is to make ourselves as small as possible. But our guest, Rachel Beohm has a lot to say about our body language and the way to inhabit the space around us to portray the authentic and strong people we are.

Curious by nature, and with an unquenchable thirst for learning (especially when it comes to nonverbal communication and the mind-body connection), Rachel loves researching topics for FORTE, brainstorming and making connections. Rachel is passionately interested in the connection between authenticity and how we inhabit our physical space.

Part of what makes our daily lives so hard is that our mental lives often don’t line up with the way we feel about the space around us. It’s time that we stop retreating from the world and take up the space we know is ours. When we give ourselves permission to fill the space around us, people pick up on that and read it as confidence.

Rachel provides sound, thoughtful advice for anybody who struggles with communicating boldly. The three things she says to keep in mind are voice (making sure we avoid up ward inflection especially when giving important information), breathing (focusing on breathing invites an audience in and makes you calmer), and being willing to take up the space that’s yours (your stance and body language speak volumes). Expanding the space you take up in your mind communicates the confidence that so many of us are searching for.

For more information on the work Rachel is doing visit nonverbalforte.com. Also be sure to sign up for their amazing newsletter, The F Word. And if nothing else make sure you read her insightful and practical article The Authenticity vs Confidence Conundrum. You won’t be disappointed.

If you liked this episode be sure to share it with those you think might find this valuable. Also, head over to iTunes and write a quick review if you liked what you heard. Lastly, thanks for listening!

Getting Generational

Episode 39: Getting Generational with Sheri Fitts

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Welcome back and happy November! This week’s episode of the Women Rocking Wall Street show is a little unique. Last year, I had the pleasure of speaking at an event about the differences within various generations and how to talk to each of them about money in an effective way.

Did you know that there are currently four generations that shape our workforce today? There is the Traditionalist (born 1925 – 1945), which in 2014 made up eight percent of the workforce. This generation is conservative in their actions, and they prefer their communication in the form of the written word (memos). Compare that to the Millennials (born 1981 – 2000), who were raised with technology, prefer to communicate through text messages, are used to having adult-like conversations and want a level playing field right out of college, rather than putting in the time (as the Traditionalists would typically prefer to see). In between those two are the Baby Boomers (born 1946 – 1964), who are the optimists and want to be involved in the decisions and the GenX (born 1965 – 1980), who are skeptical because they’ve seen quite a few people fall from power. Again, these two generations are a very interesting contrast.

Each generation has their way of communicating and their beliefs about money. However, one thing is similar across all generations – people’s relationship with money is personal. The conversation should be based around emotions and aspirations and not around fear, shame and doubt. The goal should be to build a plan and to build a personal relationship rather than a business relationship

“When you have a dream and a plan working together in the construction of a life chapter, you have a ‘mission,’ a circumscribed purpose that defines your use of time and space for the duration of this particular life chapter. People with a mission know where they want to go.”

Frederic M. Hudson
Mastering the Art of Self-Renewal

If people can understand the vision of their future where they can redefine what it means to work and give back to their communities and make a plan that talks about their life rather of their money, they may become a little more engaged around the conversation around their finances.

To view my full presentation, here it is. If you liked this episode be sure to share it with those you think might find this valuable. Also, head over to iTunes and write a quick review if you liked what you heard. Lastly, thanks for listening!

Launching Fearlessly

Episode 38: Launching Fearlessly
Guest: Anne Samoilov

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Happy Halloween! This week’s episode is a perfect fit to the Halloween theme around fear and the fun, excitement and joy that it can bring. This week’s guest, Anne Samoilov helps entrepreneurs, small business owners and consultants through the process of fearlessly launching a product or business, or another type of business launch. Anne says that it’s not about fear, it’s about that moment of committing to the decision to doing something new and taking that leap.

Coming up with an idea is the easy part of creating a new business or product but when you haven’t done it before, launching can be a scary and often daunting task. For Anne, she sees it as a production, with particular steps that need to happen for the business or product launch to be successful. The most important thing that anyone should do, according to Anne, is determine who “they” are and start the conversation. Find out who your target audience is and reach out. Do this before you launch your business and get their input (both the good and the difficult to hear). You can also search online and see what people are saying about a particular topic that relates to your business or product idea.

While launching a business or product can be intimidating, it is also an exciting time. Once off the ground, it allows you to control your schedule and provides flexibility to accommodate family situations. Don’t let the fear of launching a great idea hold you back because there are people like Anne, who are there to help you.

For more information about Anne Samoilov, you can visit her website at www.fearlesslaunching.com, or connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

If you liked this episode be sure to share it with those you think might find this valuable. Also, head over to iTunes and write a quick review if you liked what you heard. Lastly, thanks for listening!