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

Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category

Culture of Threes – #1

1-2-3

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.

1

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.

logownedy (2)

Debra Hadsall

http://www.financialfreedomparty.com

www.ffptalk.com

My Monkey Mind – Change and the New Normal

monkeys

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.
 

 It is interesting how we get into habits and then something changes such as a move to a new area.  Then we find ourselves learning new skills, experiencing a different lifestyle, meeting new people, and become more observant.

First, with our recent move from a small town on the Gulf of Mexico, to the hill country of Texas, I do not currently have daily access to Internet.  What used to be a simple phone call to the local cable or phone company to have service connected in a home in town just doesn’t work in the area where we live outside of town.  So I have become good friends with the Yellow Pages and my new hard-line telephone.  I can’t even research Internet providers on-line unless I go to town and where I use a connection in the library or McDonald’s.  However, at the library I discovered it has great Internet access and a generous check out limit of 25 books per person.  Apparently lots of folks home school children so the library accommodates their needs with this limit.  Nice and we all benefit.  My other Internet stop is the local McDonald’s.  I have seen that it is the hang-out for other Internet users and, more interestingly, the local elderly gentlemen who meet and have coffee in the morning or ice cream in the afternoon.  I have learned a lot about ranching, farming, trapping “coons”, trucks, farm equipment, families, friends, and Johnny Manziel (the Heisman Trophy winner who is from the city next door), during their conversations.   No, I am not eavesdropping; these southern gentlemen can be clearly heard by all.  They make me smile.  Like I said, a change in environment teaches us new skills and forces us to pay more attention to our surroundings.

I have learned to be grateful for the guy who climbed up on the metal roof of the house in 100+ temperatures to see if his company could provide Internet service. When he told me they couldn’t, I was so busy wondering what to do next that I didn’t even react when I realized he had mentioned the word “sweetheart” when delivering the bad news.  Not my favorite term.   I decided that any man who lives in south central Texas and climbs on a hot roof in the Texas sun may call me whatever he wishes.  Still, no Internet and on to the next option.  I think the end is in site, but only when I sit at this table and use the Internet will I declare success.

We put a hardline telephone into our new place since half the time our cell phone calls drop.  Not having had a hard-line phone for personal use in a home for a very long time I decided to get the basic package with local service only. Stacks of costs for phones make me crazy and my preference is to use cell phones only.  So I was proud of my cost conscious decision to save $50 a month and not have long distance, voicemail and all that other stuff.  I reasoned that I could just use a prepaid long distance card and buy a phone with an old-fashioned recorder.  Never mind that I used to make fun of my Mom’s use of the recorder rather than voicemail   It only took me a visit to Wal-Mart, the local grocery store, and a popular convenience store to find out my calling card knowledge was lost in the stone ages.  I could buy cards to call Mexico, cards to add minutes to almost any cellular phone plan, and cards for international calling (which were kept in an enclosed plastic case) but there weren’t any cards for prepaid long distance.  Not giving up, I journeyed from the store to the library where I went on-line and found that yes; I could buy calling card access.  I purchased 300 minutes and felt like I was redeemed.  My plan worked.  The other night my husband was going to make a long distance call from our new hardline phone.  I told him I would dial it for him because I knew how to make it happen.  He informed me he could dial a phone by himself.  In the end, I did it for him since I had been practicing with that old-fashioned calling card.  New habits, new people, new experiences.  While we will never be back to our old normal, we will be up to a better than ever normal.

Until Next Time

Debra Hadsall

 logownedy (2)

http://www.ffptalk.com

www.financialfreedomparty.com

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