Category Archives: Change Management

Gender Lens Investing

lensfunnyHave you heard about gender lens investing?  I must admit that it is something I am just learning about.  So, let’s learn together.

To me, the two words gender lens create a vision of looking through the lens and seeing  the world through  adjustments. The lens is a filter which symbolically contains all our personal prejudices and experiences along with those we have acquired as the result of the norms and rules of society.

I googled the term “gender lens “to see what the experts say.  Interestingly enough, there were not pages and pages of quick definitions, most were quite clinical.  So I am going with the one from Wikipedia which is simple and concisely states what the long detailed articles and papers take paragraphs to explain.  It says:

What is a Gender Lens?

Think of a gender lens as putting on spectacles. Out of one lens of the spectacles, you see the participation, needs and realities of women. Out of the other lens, you see the participation, needs and realities of men. Your sight or vision is the combination of what each eye sees.

Gender is about relationships between men and women. Gender equality is about equal valuing of women and men – of their similarities and their differences. We need equal, respectful partnerships between men and women to have happy, healthy families and communities in the same way that we need both eyes to see best.

You can read more by clicking here.

This gives us a foundation to beginning to understand the concept of a gender lens, now to see how that term applies in the investment world and what it means to women.  More next time.

Until then.

Debra Hadsall

www.ffptalk.com

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3 Ways to Improve Your Financial Life

In my book, Financial Freedom Party for Women ®, A Little Book about Money for Women,  I teach the basics of financial management.  Most of us never learn basic concepts and then become frustrated when we aren’t reaching our goals, assuming we even set goals.

Life has become more complicated with each consumer expected to be an expert on all things financial.  In talking to women over the years, a common concern is about wanting to change and do better, but not knowing where to start.  Haven’t we all had (or still have) that conversation with ourselves?

It isn’t magic to create a new lifestyle, but it does take some introspection and then action.  A good place to start is with what I call 3 Ways to Improve Your Financial Life.  They are things we think about, but often haven’t written them down and then figured out which ones will benefit us the best.  So, you can start in the beginning by thinking about any or all which apply to you.

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Make Moremakemorepic

 Do Better with What You Have

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Simply write these titles on a piece of paper and make notes over the next couple of weeks about how you can focus on the one which will have the most impact on your life.  Start small, but start.  Talk it over with your spouse, partner, friends or anyone else you feel can give you positive feedback or be a support system.

Until next time.

Debra Hadsall

www.ffptalk.com

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To order my book, please click here

A Billion Women

Looking for a very insightful and forward thinking article about women?  Just click here to read from Bloomberg.com an article titled”  A Billion Women Are About to Transform the Global Economy.”

Enjoy.

Debra Hadsall

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www.financialfreedomparty.com

www.ffptalk.com

Why Blog about the Financial Freedom Party for Women?

Knowing that many of you have joined my blog after earlier posts were created, I am going to do some re-blogging.  I ask you considering sharing these with the women in your life.  It is important that those of us who understand financial management share what we have learned with others.  During my financial advisory career I heard often from women who said “nobody ever taught me this”.  That is one of the reasons I created the Financial Freedom Party for Women.  Now is the time to teach our friends, children, and grandchildren.  If we don’t do it, who will? 

My book, Financial Freedom for Women, A Little Book about Money for Women, Workbook Edition, is now available at amazon.com.  Just click here.  Now you can just add a copy of the book to your Amazon orders!!! 

So, starting from the beginning we have some background into why I blog.  Just click here.

http://ffptalk.com/2010/05/14/why-blog-about-financial-freedom-party-for-women/

More to come and thanks for reading and sharing.

Debra Hadsall

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www.financialfreedomparty.com

www.ffptalk.com

Culture of Threes-#3

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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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Number 2 was about 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.

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Number 3 appeared when I turned on the TV one morning.

I have never watched the CBS This Morning Show, just glanced at it while channel surfing.  I was about to switch channels and then saw Gayle King talking.  I decided to watch CBS since I hadn’t seen Gayle (a journalist and media personality in her own right, but best known as being Oprah’s best friend) in action for a while.  I always say that Oprah and Gayle made having “girlfriends” cool again.  Gayle intrigues me and I always appreciate her viewpoint.

Rick Goings, the CEO of Tupperware Brands, was being interviewed.  What a nice way to start the day with such a positive story.   This was a huge contrast to all the other reporting which centered around the challenges of the day such the government shutdown, health care reform, and the debt ceiling. 

Tupperware has been around my life over the years and I have products in my kitchen that I purchased a long time ago.  This is a pretty big deal since I come from that generation of professional women who thought parties to sell products were kind of unsophisticated and not for us.  The irony of this attitude is that later in life I became a distributor for several direct sales companies and also created a new business model for marketing traditional products such as investments and life insurance through my Financial Freedom Party for Women®  Had I not learned so much about the value of parties in business to the clients and the company, I would not have had the ability to modify the concept and transfer it to the financial services industry.

Embracing a party concept for my financial services business came out my observation that a whole bunch of women showed up at my neighbor’s home for a Pampered Chef party and then proceeded to buy “a lot”.  This all happened on short notice with only a couple of days planning by the hostess who simply invited her friends.  Yes, she had a lot of friends.  Even so, this was quite a change from what I and a small team of women brokers encountered when we planned ahead for financial seminars and found few women would show.  Obviously we (and the industry) were doing something wrong.  Things needed to change.

So that morning on CBS it was really refreshing to hear how Tupperware has re-branded the company and recognized that with 90% of their market outside the United States, they needed to change and adapt their product line.  Tupperware acknowledged that the U.S. market is all about bargain shopping and price.  With the advent of inexpensive plastic storage containers, U.S. customers were not as abundant.  This 65-year-old business re-invented itself and offers an entrepreneurial opportunity internationally and current has 2.8 million representatives, most of them women.  A nice story about success brought on by understanding the market and creating change.

At the core of the party plan process is not only products, but women who understand relationship selling.  In a busy world where we can buy products and services on-line, party plans understand the importance that we women place on having a little special attention and understanding what we are buying.

I have always admired how direct selling and network marketing businesses remember that the connection between the customer and the product is most effective when it is through some sort of relationship.  This concept transferred effectively for me when using the Financial Freedom Party for Women® to meet women, teach them financial basics, and sell them investment and insurance solutions.

For me, hearing this short segment on Tupperware and the women (and their families and friends) it serves, was a nice and positive way to start the day.  I was surprised and pleased to hear the statistic concerning women  in Indonesia who are making $100,000. You can hear more by clicking here.

Being a financial services professional who is advocating a party concept for teaching women about money management and seeing it as a marketing tool for the financial services industry is not easy. Many people in the industry are more entertained by the concept of the Freedom Party for Women® than they are impressed.  Watching the Tupperware story re-inspires me that what worked for me in my business and for my clients, can work for many more.

That completes my Culture of Threes story about the Freedom Party for Women®, women, money, products, success, business models, relationships, party plans and of course—Tupperware.  I am listening and paying attention!

If you wish to purchase copies of the Freedom Party for Women®, A Little Book about Money for Women, Workbook Edition at www.amazon.com. please Just click here.

Until Next Time.

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Debra Hadsall

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

My Monkey Mind – Culture of Threes

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My monkey mind postings relate to Buddha’s description of the human mind as being filled with drunken monkeys, jumping around, screeching, chattering, and carrying on endlessly. These postings come from my monkey mind.

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A Culture of Threes

These  Monkey Mind posts are just fun.  They allow me to step back, process thoughts, ideas, and other information which come my way, and then look for connections.   Connecting the dots is apparently a creative process.

Since our world is super-charged with information, it is impossible to react to everything which interests me.  So, I have used our culture of threes as a filter to lead me to those things which are worth pursuing further.

Our culture of threes was introduced to me by a trainer whose heritage was American Indian.  Her perspective was different from those of us in the audience.  She was attempting to teach change management and elevate the level of understanding about diversity in the workplace to a group of accounting oriented employees.  Her approach began with talking about how most of us (in the Western world), live in a culture where we refer to things in threes.   I had never thought about it, but she  went on to list a few common terms and descriptions such as:

Three blind mice

The three musketeers

Three strikes and you’re out

Then I began thinking of others like

Three Dog Night (a band)

Once, twice, three times a lady (from a song)

Three wise men

A triple threat

and of course the familiar , I’m counting to three and you better….

You can probably think of many more.  When I googled the subject I found some expanded writing which you can read by clicking here.

That day the instructor was trying to make a point about  how just because we are comfortable with a culture of threes, it doesn’t mean that everyone in the world sees things this way.  Unfortunately the subtlety of her message was not getting through to most.  One attendee stood up and informed the group that he had a lot of work to do at his desk and just wanted to know what not to say and do when it came to dealing with women.  He pretty much let us all know that this was a waste of time to him.  The instructor looked shocked, and I was so grateful that I wasn’t the speaker that day.

The culture of threes and the reaction of the man in the audience who was so resistant to change have stayed with me over the years.  As with most of us, when I hear something new, or someone wants me to pursue a certain activity, join a group, or spend my energy in a certain way, I often resist and shut off the message.  So I adopted a personal rule that when something came into my consciousness the first time I would just make a mental note and move on.  Then, when it comes again from a totally different source, I start paying attention.  When it arrives again for the third time from yet another source, I invest some time and energy is seeing what I am supposed to do with all these triggers of information.  I sense there is a message reminding me to open my heart and mind and see where things go from there.

In the last few weeks I had one of those culture of threes experiences.  These are just little things which don’t mean much to anyone else but me.  Put together, they have made me smile, encouraged me in my work with the Financial Freedom Party for Women, and connected some dots in a manner I didn’t expect.  I will be posting about them in future postings.

Until next time.

Debra Hadsall

www.financialfreedomparty.com and www.ffptalk.com

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Speaking Out for Financial Education for Young People

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As a financial advisor, I learned that most people are never taught the fundamentals of financial management. Some only learn from television or the Internet, which can be both good and bad.  Sometimes applying a broadcast approach to something which needs to be personalized isn’t helpful.

I know I learned basics from my parents, but the advanced topics like creating wealth through investing or really understanding life insurance, health insurance, and legal protection were concepts I learned along the way or through my college education because I majored in business and minored in economics.  Really, until I became a registered representative and learned how to teach others about financial management, I didn’t grasp the big picture.  When you teach others and market/sell products to them that help them meet their goals, you have to learn a lot first.  Of course the number of people in this country who chose to be advisors or brokers is just a small part of the overall population.  So who is teaching the rest of the population, particularly young people?

Recently I read a post about how we have lots of room to improve our education of youth about financial management.  Please click here to read the article.

Over the years , my friend Emily and I were asked to provide financial education to teens who attended our church.  Emily and I are more skilled in working with business leaders and executives, so we reached out to find materials appropriate for youth.  The materials we found at the National Endowment for Financial Education were absolutely the best.  They start with basics like where does my money go…or why is my first pay check so much smaller than what I expected…to insurance investing, goals, etc.  Everything we all need to know and understand, no matter our age.  To learn more please click here.  Currently I am using selected parts of these materials in a life skills mentoring program in a local high school.  Sometimes we need to teach young people in the manner they have been comfortable with in day-to-day living, sound bites.  Doing the whole book isn’t an option, but short sessions on topics works great.

The reason I created the Financial Freedom Party for Women and the corresponding book, and co-authored (with my friend Emily), First You Dream, A Financial Management Workbook, was to encourage learning and empower consumers.  As an advisor it was much easier to work with a potential client who understood the basics and felt more confident in her or his decisions.

As the saying goes, “you can be part of the problem or part of the solution”.  Getting to the solution requires us to acknowledge that it is a shared responsibility when it comes to financial management education for young people.

Until Next Time

Debra Hadsall

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www.financialfreedomparty.com

www.ffptalk.com

Breaking Bad, Walt and Income Protection,aka Insurance

I like watching Breaking Bad.  I was on to this program from the beginning, when  critics just promised something good and it hadn’t gained such widespread fame.

If you don’t know much about the TV show Breaking Bad, you can just google it.  At the core it is a complicated, gritty, sad, happy, and intense story of how one man, Walter White, decided to make a change in his life so he could provide financially for his family because he had been diagnosed with cancer.  His choices were drastic and the impact, both negative and positive, significant

Whey am I blogging about this?  Well, it has to do with money, goals, dreams, and choices.

I understand the value of insurance for a variety of purposes, including life insurance which creates an instant estate to provide for those left behind.  Of course buying life insurance requires some awareness of the value of purchasing it, and must be done while someone is healthy enough to qualify.  Life insurance companies wouldn’t stay in business if they took on someone like Walt after he had been diagnosed.

I have met with many clients over the year and helped them make life insurance purchase decisions and then placed them in an appropriate product.  It sounds pretty boring when explained this way, so I was simply inspired by an article I read in a professional website.  It draws a parallel between Walter White (a TV character of course, not a real person), his late life career choice, and how different things could have been with some insurance planning and purchase.

Please click here to learn more. A great way of tying things together and the Breaking Bad franchise presents the last episode this evening.

Enjoy!

Until Next Time

Debra Hadsall

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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