Build Your Confidence Around Money

Most of us have some insecurities… it could be about how we look, how to act in certain circumstances,  or where to invest.

Usually when we don’t understand something, like why people act a certain way, how to put a great meal together or direct shares, superannuation, our mortgage, taxes or insurance, we can also feel insecure.

People who are good with money often use a particular trait to get past the insecurity… they ask for help.  Understand that you don’t know what you don’t know… and ask an expert.

No shame in that!  All of us excel in certain areas, and just aren’t that hot in others… or even interesting in becoming so!

Do you have a friend who keeps their finger on the pulse with finances, studied accounting or has a finance degree?  Or someone who just really has it together financially with low debt and good income producing assets?  And I don’t mean the cabbie with the hot tip for the races!

Not everyone wants to know, or needs to know how managed funds work, the intricacies of Self-Managed Superannuation or the tax advantages of the Transition to Retirement Strategy.  No shame in that!

So, what do you try and conceal about money that you feel you should know?  Are there areas that you’d like to know more about?  Do you know someone who could help you with this? And you then feel you’d make more informed decisions? Or are you happy ‘outsourcing’ to the professionals?  Often the best option of all!

Build up your own confidence around money with education – read some books, take some online courses or ask someone who’s pretty savvy how they manage.

Education is a great healer for all insecurities!  Try it today.

The Working Woman Juggle

As most women already know, there’s lots to juggle all at once. There’s our partner’s needs, the kids, maintaining the home and household, extended family, friends and fitting in the ‘me’ time.  And whilst some of this can be outsourced, in practice, it’s not always possible.

Which in turn, raises two major issues in life that need facing: Heath and Wealth.  If you’re healthy, efforts can be made to invest wisely.  If you’re unwell, here’s hoping you have adequate strategies in place.

Stress tends to pressure the adrenals into working overtime, producing cortisol and adrenalin.  That’s great if you’re trying to fight a huge spider, but on an ongoing basis, doesn’t do wonders for the internal organs.  Side effects can include high blood pressure which in turn raises other health risks.    The scary stats are that women have a 55% prevalence of cardiovascular disease (men 45%) and 5% burden of stroke (men 4%) and two thirds of all heart failure sufferers are female.  (Australia’s Health 2008)

And most women deal with stress by smoking and/or drinking.  Both of which also cause an increase in likelihood of cancer and organ damage.  Drug use is on the rise and it’s also difficult to maintain a great diet when eating on the run or at erratic hours,  and reaching for the comfort food or fast food.

Many women over 55 now have higher cholesterol than men and a greater incidence of diabetes mellitus.  Women also choose to put off child bearing to a later age, and unfortunately this in turn can lead to increased complications!

Who’d be a working woman??

Or the better question is… how can we reduce some of the stress??  Well, the top tips will come as no surprise, and take a little planning.

1. Ensure the diet is improved – even just increasing the fruit and veg and water intake can help.

2. Quit smoking.  You know why!

3. Decrease the amount of alcohol taken.  I’m up for a glass of bubbles as much as the next girl, but do ensure there’s a  couple of alcohol free days each week.

4. Time Management.  Take a look-see at each day and see if there isn’t just a better way of getting things done.  Can you delegate some tasks? Rearrange others? Have someone help out with the kids each week. Meal clubs and car pools can work wonders to free up time.

And for your own sake, please consider:  Life Insurance, Total & Permanent Disablement Cover, Trauma Protection and Disability Income Cover.

With such hugely active lifestyles now and associated risk factors, it’s vital that working girls have the products to provide an income stream or ability to pay down debts in the event of the unexpected.

Look after yourself!  You’re worth it!

WomanHappy

 

2014 Travel Opportunities for Finance Chicks!

This year I’ve been lucky enough to be presented with the opportunity to travel on five separate overseas trips! Awesome!

However, being a mum, running a business and ensuring my clients are well cared for, means not all are possible and I’ve had to narrow that down to three.  Still Awesome!  Starting to learn to not bite off more than I can chew is a new experience for me. I usually take on everything… and chew really fast! And get a little weary in the process…

With Bali and Malaysia already under my belt, it looks like my next adventure will be to Cape Town and Durban, South Africa.  A friend of over 30 years standing has asked me to join in on her adventure into motherhood.  A local Australian clinic has suggested that she investigate treatment options available in Cape Town so we’re off there to check out her options and enjoy the scenery while we’re at it.

High on the list to explore are Robben Island, former home of Nelson Mandela, a trip up Table Mountain and leisurely lunches and dinners on the V&A Waterfront between clinic visits.  Can’t hardly wait!  I’m also looking forward to catching up with friends in Durban who’ve just celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary.

My final adventure will likely take me to Shanghai, China in October so I’m excited to be able to explore three new countries this year.  What a fantastic opportunity along with my usual domestic travels around our beautiful country of Oz! My cousin and her family moved to Shanghai some ten years ago, so will love catching up with them too.  So much to see and do!

The trip I had been really hoping to pull off this year though was a really exciting opportunity, and will be put on the back burner til 2015.  And in honour of International Women’s Day, please check out the work of The Hunger Project. http://thp.org.au/

Through the amazing Business Chicks partnering with The Hunger Project (THP) I’d been through the application and interview process and selected to participate in a leadership and immersion program to Malawi to watch their vision come to life in some of the poorest villages in the world.  The trip involves funding your own costs of up to $5,500 for personal expenses and raising a minimum $10,000 for THP to use in their work.  Plans were already formulating for a Ball, including an auction, live music, movie nights and various other fund raising efforts.  This is something I’m really excited about for next year and although it may not be Malawi, am grateful to have been considered this time around.  I’ll definitely keep you posted on how that turns out!

Million Dollar Round Table Experience 2014 KL


Well, I’ve been back for a little while and am still trying to digest all the great information supplied by Keynote speakers and panelists at the MDRT Experience. @MDRtweet

The Million Dollar Round Table has two gatherings each year for professionals in life insurance and financial planning from around the globe.

Last year I was privileged to attend the annual conference in Philadelphia as a Qualifying member.  For the Experience, you don’t need to be a member and so it was a great opportunity to have my rookie team members hear from some international speakers with great ideas, sales tips and motivational stories.

I’d already stressed the importance of social media to the guys before heading off and we managed to connect with Colleen  Francis, a keynote speaker from Canada and her company Engage Selling prior to the meeting.

It was a treat to meet with her and Mike Hoffman, the ‘King of Whoo’ and self proclaimed Comic Ninja on one of the lunch breaks. 

Sanjay Tolani from the UAE kicked off the sessions by advocating that we find our Why.  Always great advice, especially in light of the re-branding journey we’re currently embarking on. From personal experience he showed that sometimes we just don’t have time on our side and we need to be the Doctors of Finances for many of our clients.  Show what we have in place and be advocates for our clients to get it right. @srtolani

Jack Uldrich was next, a futurist who proclaimed that the best way to predict the future, was to create it.  He also raised the idea of reverse mentoring where we hire someone younger and with less experience than ourselves so we can again see the world and our business or life through fresh eyes and learn from a new generation on how things are done. @jumpthecurve

The lovely Colleen Francis was next, urging us to make this our ‘best year yet!’  We have the power to affect families lives and are no longer in a sales process but partner with our clients in the buying process. Buyers engage because they have a need and we need to meet with them regularly. @EngageColleen

Bill Cates was next up on Referrals, telling us that Cold Calls are our punishment for not getting enough referrals.  He urged us to keep providing value and have a different mindset on referrals.  Ask ourselves: Do I give referrals?  Do I see asking for referrals is an extension of how I serve my clients? Have I made a decision to run my business by referrals? Am I fully committed to referrals?  Lots to consider here.  @Bill_Cates

Ryan Pinney assured us that ‘Insurance is bought by people of character who care more about someone else than their money.’ True that!  Our clients want value and we should be focused mainly on our existing clientele. @TheProAdviser

Day 2 kicked off with the huge energy supplied by Mike Hoffman, the King of Whoo and he had the whole room excited with his YouTube vid before he even walked out on stage for his own Igniting Performance.  He asked each of us if we were a one per center? Or wanted to be in that top category!   Apparently success is not genetic! We need Three things:  Learn, Adapt & Apply! Got it! @Hoffman_Mike

Sarah Kaelberra told us ‘It’s all in the questions,’ with the punchy “The more you ask, the more they tell, The more you listen, the more you sell” ringing in our ears at the end.

The band Roundabout played the breaks, all made up of MDRT members and it was great hearing how they’d all met, connected and what each had gotten out of their various years of attending MDRT conferences.

Duncan McPherson of Pareto Principals from Canada was up next and had lots to share on Practice Management, Relationship Management and how to Competitor proof your clients. @Duncan8020

Eric Feng from The Charisma Academy led another high energy talk highlighting that Life is a popularity game, where people buy people first, and quoting the popular phrase, ‘People may forget what you said or did, but never, how you made them feel’ by  Maya Angelou. @eric_feng

The entire executive committee ran through their own experiences over the years with MDRT and to wrap up Janine Shepherd, a fabulous Aussie inspired us with her story. From Olympic hopeful to waking up from a truck vs bike accident in the spinal ward, she moved us with how she found Rock Bottom was a great place to start moving on from. The clean slate headed her off in a new direction and she now flies and teaches acrobatic flights.  @janineshepherd

Aside from that, it was also great to realise I wasn’t the only Aussie girl in a room of over 5000!

So another conference wrapped, lots to reflect on and still a big year ahead…

Bali Retreat for Wealth Planning Partners

 

Well, the inaugural Wealth Planning Partners (WPP) retreat has been held, done and dusted in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia.

Bali has never been high on my list of Must See places, but I can certainly see why the Aussies have been heading there for decades! The Balinese are friendly (tho more than happy to take the tourist dollars) the beer is cold, and the weather is always warm and humid which most of us are used to.  Basing our stay in Echo Beach between the rice fields and beaches was really special and a lot was accomplished.

We kicked off our first day with a Mexican dinner which served the three of us, with drinks for under $50.  Expensive by local standards!  The following morning was a massage each and session on Social Media and why it’s so important to an adviser’s business going forward.  After lunch, one of our guest speakers, Ian, a lawyer from Brisbane dropped by and we learned about Trusts and structures used for the protection of wealth and to note when we need to recognise that our clients need to sit down and discuss further with a lawyer.

But it wasn’t all work and for Saturday we met up with some friends in Kuta, and headed to Tannah Lot in the afternoon for a sunset tour.  It’s really been commercialised, but certainly some great photo ops!  Then we hit Ubud on Sunday for the Paon Bali Cooking School.  By evening we’d had a spa treatment at Ayana Spa (formerly the Ritz Carlton) and finished off at the Rock Bar for drinks.   If you ever get a chance to go to Bali, all of these are a Must Do!

Monday, it was back to the grind and we were joined by another guest who filled us in on the Big 4 banks, where they sit in the Aussie economy and how we all fit into the grand scheme of things.  A great ‘who’s who in the zoo’ for the rookies.  Ian followed up with a second session, this time on the benefits of Key Man cover and Debt Reduction planning in Business Risk.  We found a great hotel for lunch at the suggestion of a local and loved the artifacts on display at the Hotel Tugu, apparently the life’s work and collection of a wealthy Javanese businessman, now on display for all to enjoy.

Tuesday, we all worked on our ‘WHY’ – why do we want to be planners? what can we give back to the customer? what’s so special about us? and why would you want to use WPP and it’s advisers?  Always a spot of soul searching goes on there, but great to revisit for me, and good for the guys to explore.

If the whole trip was to have us work more cohesively as a team and understand our individual roles, then the trip was a resounding success.

Learning what we can do when we play as a team has been good for us all.  I just know it’s going to be a great year for WPP!

The Travels Begin

 

So my year of tripping is about to commence.

Our Marketing Discovery sessions with clients and colleagues wrapped up last week.  The family then kicked back with friends over a BBQ, I took off to a movie (The Book Thief!) and rested up over the Australia Day long weekend and tomorrow marks the start of my travels for 2014.  A full month or more at home is a bit out of the ordinary for me!

I’m off to Newcastle to see a potential client, then drive to Sydney the following day for the branding review, have lunch with a colleague and meet with lots more clients over the course of the Friday evening and Saturday, before returning to the Gold Coast.

I’ve also been busy prepping for our big trip next Thursday to Bali for the first Wealth Planning Partners offshore retreat.  Our sessions on Marketing, Social Media and Business Planning are covered off.  I’ve a bit more work to do on our Client Value Proposition and Service Level Agreements and the Client Experience but am looking forward to everything that we’ll uncover whilst there.  I’ve booked in a cooking class and Spa Treatment while we’re there and the boys are hoping for new tailor made suits too!

After that, we’re off to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to join other delegates from around the world at one of the premier events for financial advisers, The Million Dollar Round Table Experience.  Should be good!  Might even try for another Food Tour when we’re there.  I’ve done them before and they’re great!

I’ve also had another first this week.  I’ve always wanted to be a published author, so have started small and contributed an article to a book called Financial Freedom Explained by Mithra Publishing.  I’ve ordered a few copies of that and am looking to turning over the pages to see how it all turned out!

Busy times!

More soon on my adventures!

A Rebranding Journey…

Many years ago when I formed my first company with my long term senior partner, Wealth Planning Partners (WPP) was born.  It was an easy birth.  A friend did a ‘love job’ logo which cost us nil and it was business as usual – with a new name…

Well, that no longer works for where WPP is today, and we’re taking an incredibly different journey this time. It’s almost time for my senior partner to exit the business (in his 70’s! – great effort!) and re-brand for the new talent (all in their 40’s and younger…)

I’ve engaged a marketing consultant,  the lovely Aranka Nolan of Einstein Marketing, who is interviewing my support team,  advisers, and potential talent who’d like to join; she’s chatting with a cross-selection of clients, referral partners and long term business associates.  She’s going to get to the bottom of who Wealth Planning Partners is, uncover the value our clients perceive that we give them, how others see us, and give lots of feedback to incorporate into our new brand – which is obviously a lot more than a logo this time around.  I’m expecting a longer labor and trickier delivery!

This is a journey I’ve never been on before and it looks like it’ll be an interesting ride!  I’m sure there’ll be some lovely feedback, and possibly some serious challenges will be uncovered that we’ll really need to work on.  But, overall, I’m sure it’ll be a great experience, a good discovery lesson for ourselves and our clients and leave us in a really great place going forward!

Part of the team retreat in Bali (only 19 sleeps away!) will be all about discovering what we’ve learned in the process, digesting the feedback and incorporating those insights into what we do going forward.  Building a great culture around our brand.

If you’ve got a financial planner who you’d like more from, I’d love to hear what you’d like to get back?  What’s important to you?  How could they do things differently and leave a bigger smile on your dial?