Category Archives: Careers

Culture of Threes – #2

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This posting relates to what I refer to as our Culture of Threes. As explained in previous posts, when an idea or concept comes to me three times from totally different sources, I have learned to pay attention, process the information, and then act. 

The Culture of Threes happened to me recently concerning my Financial Freedom Party for Women.

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My Number 1 post was about the Financial Freedom Party for Women and how financial education for women meets party plans and the financial industry asks, “Like Tupperware parties?”  Please go back to my previous post for all the details.

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This post is about Number 2.  It starts with a fictional character in a novel who encounters mystery with a backdrop of relationships, relationship selling, and Tupperware.  The book is The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty.                        .

This is a nice mystery book and it was picked last month by one of our book club members as a reading selection.  I hadn’t heard of it before.  If I wasn’t in a book club, it is highly unlikely I would have read it.

I was reading the book quickly (it is fun and easy to read) and enjoying the story, the characters, and the setting (Australia).  My mind had shifted from business stuff, like my Financial Freedom Party for Women, to playtime.  I was so wrapped up in the husband’s secret part of the plot that it took me a while to understand that part of the story revolved around the career choice of one of the main characters.  Instead of being a traditional professional in a career we all understand, she was a successful sales representative and manager in a direct selling and network marketing company.  Yes, part of her story was about her relationships, relationship selling, product knowledge, business management, coaching, and income production as an independent representative of….Tupperware.  It wasn’t until I finished the book that I realized this is the first time I have read a novel where a character’s successful career and resulting income involved direct sales, network marketing, and party plans.  A nice experience and a good reminder that women, relationship selling, great products, and party plan selling are a nice fit.   This made me smile and re-enforced my commitment to legitimizing the use of my Financial Freedom Party for Women to an industry which is traditional and male dominated.   

More next time about my third(Number 3) recent encounter with the power of party plans with relationship selling as successful business model which is attractive to women consumers and businesses.

Debra Hadsall

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www.financialfreedomparty.com

www.ffptalk.com

Culture of Threes – #1

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My last posting was about our culture of threes. I describe how when something comes into my life and consciousness for three times over a short period of time, I pay attention and act.  The next three posts are a culture of threes story.

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Recently I submitted my book, Financial Freedom Party for Women®, A Little Book about Money for Women, Workbook Edition, to Amazon.com.  This will make it available to the general reading public.  It also has put the book back into my daily thoughts as I often wonder if the financial services industry is ready to change and accommodate a new  easy and fun way of teaching women about money and marketing to us.  So this represents my most recent  confirmation about the value of parties as a way to connect with women, share meaningful and life-changing information, and starting a personal connection. I count this as Number 1.

Recognizing the value of learning about party plans which are used by direct selling companies was a natural evolution for me.  My entrance into becoming an insurance agent and registered representative was through a direct selling and network marketing company. Some of my friends were very successful in direct selling and network marketing and I listened and learned from them. This opened my mind to looking at more meaningful ways of marketing and selling complex products such as investments  insurance, and financial analysis/planning.

I hadn’t grown up professionally in the brokerage and insurance industry.  This meant I  wasn’t saddled with industry paradigms and allowed me to seek out a way to really meet the needs of the women I was encountering.  Having women clients was my main goal, but I believed they should be part of the process and have a basic understanding of the fundamentals of financial management so they could be more comfortable with their decisions.

This turned out to be a more difficult goal than expected.  There are some real barriers to getting women interested in learning about financial management.  Now there are always what I call the “MBA” women or those who are passionate about financial management, but there are many women who don’t meet that description.  Women tell me that the information can be difficult to grasp at first and the presentations are pretty old school and boring.  If a woman can go do something more interesting with her family or friends, why should she show up to a boring presentation?   Think about it, going to a girl’s night out, watching sports with the family, shopping with friends, taking a walk, or just staying home and watching a DVD are way more attractive and acceptable options.  As explained in my book:

The Financial Freedom Party (FFP) was created when I found many other women brokers, like myself, were frustrated when women wouldn’t show up at financial seminars. Only 3-4 women would attend, even though we mailed invitations with plenty of lead time, followed up, and targeted our efforts to women who needed this information, and who were not already working with a financial services professional.

One evening I attended a Pampered ChefTM party hosted by my next-door neighbor. She had made a last minute decision to have the party, and gave her guests about two-day notice. Nonetheless, when I arrived at her home, there were thirty or more women in attendance, and at the end of the presentation they were all buying — and buying “lots.”  It became clear to me that we needed to change our approach in the financial services industry. From this experience and with the help from three other women brokers, the Financial Freedom Party concept began and the format was developed.

This seemed pretty logical to our team and it worked.  However, as I reached out to professionals in the investment community to share the concept and expand its use, the reaction was rather unexpected.  Some people simply couldn’t see how it would work (even after I explained it).  Some were amused.  Then there were those who asked me, “Oh, like Tupperware Parties?”  At least this gave me an opportunity to explain that it is founded on the same concept but no product is sold at the party.  So, the  Financial Freedom Party for Women is an adaptation on party plans based on sharing information and building relationships.  I found again, that some comments  were little more than subdued snickering and amusement,  However, there were some men and women  who grasped the concept, could see the potential, were genuinely impressed, and encouraging.  Overall, the people I spoke with really didn’t see a need for change. Obviously the timing wasn’t right.  So I spent time doing Financial Freedom Parties and building my business, hoping for a more positive reception at a later time.

Business leaders tend to “get it” when products or services are sold and delivered with the result being money cash flowing into the business.  Success is an attention getter.

Recently two more references to Tupperware and party plan businesses came to me from two unexpected sources.  Both reflect success for women and money for the business.  They confirmed my experience that marketing to women (and with women) is often different, but highly profitable.  More to come next time about the second reminder I received about how women and party plans connect for both the consumer and the business.

Until next time.

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Debra Hadsall

www.financialfreedomparty.com

www.ffptalk.com

What Do You Really Want?

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What do you really want?

As a financial advisor, this is a question I spent a lot of time asking my financial services clients.  The answer to this question is really where all things start in our personal, professional, spiritual, and financial lives.  However, in our sound bite world most people seem to skip the first part of the process and jump over to making decisions and taking action, not always based on a foundation of understanding first  “what I really want”.

What Do You Really Want is also the title of a book  which is targeted to teens and written by Beverly K. Bachel.  I didn’t know anything about this wonderful book until it was shared with me by one of a woman who works on a volunteer project we lead.  Our activities involve some wonderfully talented young women who may not have always had the opportunities we had.  So, the volunteers simply spend some time with the students and teach life skills.  For the high school students who are seniors, Ms. Bachel’s books seems perfect.  It formalizes the topics we have discussed over the last three years and gives them an easy way to roadmap their lives…based on their hopes, dreams, and goals.  It encourages them to focus on what they want, not necessarily what their friends, families, or boyfriends want for them.

As I started planning how to compress all this wonderful information to make it meaningful  in a lunchtime setting, I was struck by how valuable it is for not only teens, but for all of us.  Parts of it mirror conversations and processes which are in my Financial Freedom Party for Women, A Little Book about Money for Women.

I encourage you to check out Ms. Bachel’s book ( mine too!) and consider sharing  it/them with the young people in your life.   Not only will they learn things and have a process to record them, you will probably learn a lot about yourself as you lead them through the book (s).

Until Next Time

Debra Hadsall

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www.financialfreedomparty.com

www.ffptalk.com

Welfare a Career Choice–Not Really

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There has been a Facebook posting going around recently which says:

 WELFARE ISN’T A CAREER PATH

I hit the LIKE button because there is so much wisdom in so few words. 

Those of us who haven’t experienced welfare as the family business have to kind of step back and see why young folks might envision long time public assistance as the way to make a living.

Children and youth are highly influenced by their environments, parents, or whoever is responsible for raising and educating them.  So, if a young person comes from a family who accepts public assistance as the norm, how will she or he change without learning alternatives and seeing different behavior modeled?  I believe some of this learning needs to be about finances.  How can no earned income and low-income folks do better if they don’t learn the basics?

Over the last few years, I have been part of a team of women who are lucky enough to do life skills mentoring with a small group of young women who are in high school.  Some of the students come from home situations which involve parents who work many hours at low paying jobs, or who rely on some level of public assistance.  Geographically, they live in an area which has pockets of poverty and an overall cultural acceptance of pregnancy in teens. 

We feel lucky.  These students are smart and willing to learn.  This year we included an enhanced focus on teaching sound bite pieces of financial information.  Topics were as basic as understanding a checking account, using a debit card, or how the little print on credit card applications needs to be carefully understood.  The students read short quotes from my book, Financial Freedom for Women®, A Little Book about Money for Women, and from other writings.  One afternoon we bravely did a short segment on stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.  As with adults, some were interested and some weren’t.

We learned that the concept of saving (except for  purchase of an iphone) was pretty much a foreign idea in general, and that retirement savings and even being able to retire at all were totally unheard of in their community. And for now in this economy, it’s pretty difficult to show how interest can work for you (make your savings grow) instead of against you (credit card debt & student loans). As always, tiny bites work well for everyone.

At the end of the school year we offered to give each student a copy of my book at no cost.  We suggested not asking for one if it was just going to get pitched into the trash (always a possibility with anyone and financial books).  Big surprise, they all signed up to get copies.  It was exciting to know that this group of students has access to basic financial information which teaches about a life choice of creating income and the value of investing.  Will they all read and learn, hard to tell.  At least we took a chance on each other. 

I’m hoping that someday my Facebook page will show postings from one or more of these young women which read something like this:

  MC910215909 I OPENED A ROTH IRA

  MC910215909 I BECAME A FINANCIAL ADVISOR

  MC910215909 TODAY I BOUGHT LIFE INSURANCE

Then I will hit the LIKE button again and again!

Until next time.

 

Debra Hadsall

www.financialfreedomparty.com