A PLACE TO LEARN THE BASICS OF FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT – BY WOMEN FOR WOMEN

Archive for October, 2013

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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http://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

http://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 http://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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http://www.financialfreedomparty.com

www.ffptalk.com

Work your way down in the organization

Mastering change, keeping an open mind, accepting circumstances and learning about yourself and others. Nice post. Enjoy!

Mustard Seed Budget

Ha! The last three years have been the humility lab class for me. I went from being general pastor of four churches and principal and founder of a school to… nothing. Criminals forced us to flee the mission field and return to the home church.

At the home church, I longed to serve and I yearned to make a difference, to help stoke the fires of revival. But so many missteps of mine only stoked the fires of resentment. I was asked to give up ministry and look for a secular job. Ouch!

It seemed like every ministry position was already filled by someone who was more qualified than myself. I tried Sunday school. I tried teaching in the regular school. I tried publicity. I thought my experience could be a boon for the church.

After floundering for a couple years, I finally found a ministry where I was heartily…

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To Retire

Worth reading. Enjoy!

RainSomewhere, lost in the obligations and responsibilities of day-to-day life, buried under the rubble of forgotten things, a bright orb of thought shines in the darkness. It is here that I begin again, picking up the pen to tell a story:

A lifetime of work behind me, for the moment—I find myself “retired,” not even sure that I have any infinity at all with that word. To retire is to go to one’s room, shut the door and lie down. I am not ready for that. At the same time, I am not ready to take on the world with some great expertise and experience, but rather find a gentler middle ground that affords me mornings of tea and reading, hours of writing practice, walks among cottonwoods and a sense of gentle purpose that still allows for a contribution to the world in which I live.

Like a high school…

View original post 342 more words

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