How fear, stress, and anxiety impact our decision-making 

Do you wake up every morning with a sinking feeling in your gut?

Are your everyday thoughts based on fears, worries, and envisioning worst-case scenarios?

Do you often have trouble sleeping at night because you’re stressed about finances, work, or other problems?

Your anxiety may be leading you to make questionable decisions, research reveals, and may even lead to the outcomes you’re most trying to avoid, sending you into a vicious cycle.

But if you’re like most people in our modern society (and ESPECIALLY these days!), stress, fear, and anxiety are an unfortunate part of regular life. 

  • In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), anxiety disorders affect at least 40 million American adults and more than 18% of the total population (almost 60 million people).
  • 8 in 10 Americans are so anxious about their finances that it affects their physical well-being.
  • Women are twice as likely to have general anxiety as men.

And let’s be honest – a good portion of our stress and worries in life come from finances.

  • In fact, almost 7 out of 10 Americans (68%) worry about saving enough to retire
  • 58% of Americans feel that finances control their life
  • Financial stress leads to feelings of fatigue in 43% of Americans
  • 42% find it difficult to focus at work, and 41% say it interferes with their sleep.

And those numbers are BEFORE the Covid-19 pandemic when 40 million people lost their jobs and 4.8 million people stopped making their house payments!

Needless to say, we’re all concerned, deeply worried, or even in panic mode over our finances these days in some capacity.

Add in an unprecedented level of fear over health concerns, whether the kids will be able to go back to school, and the mental health effects of social isolation or losing loved ones, and our cortisol levels (the fight-or-flight hormone) are continuously in an elevated state.

So, what does that do to the decisions we make?

Will an abundance of fear, stress, and anxiety help or hurt us when we’re faced with critical choices?

And as a business person who is in sales and maybe an entrepreneur, how might we see the effects of our stressors and anxieties on day-to-day decisions?

The data on decision-making and stress or anxiety

A host of studies show the profound effects of stress on our decision-making process, but I’d like to highlight a few.

In one prominent study, a University of Pittsburgh neuroscientist identified a neuronal mechanism within subregions of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) that impacts the choices we make. They found that without proper function of the PFC, our cognitive capacity for long-term planning, critical problem solving, calculating options, and weighing risks and rewards is inhibited.

Based on the study’s findings, researchers concluded that anxiety and stress lead to negative decision-making, particularly when presented with distractions or conflicts. They found that the presence of excessive fear “disengage brain cells in a highly specialized manner,” deactivating PFC neurons in the brain that are linked to high cognitive function used for decision-making.

Research using neuroimaging data also shows that stress, fear, and anxiety play a role in our neural responses to stimuli. In fact, our responses to external feedback register in the ventral striatum, both those responses are diminished when we’re under stress, which takes away our capacity to look at a situation critically and logically.

A study at Rutgers University conducted a study on how acute stress impacts our risk tolerance as we make decisions about money or finances. They found that people are more apt to pause and reflect when facing a loss, and end up making riskier decisions. However, when they’re facing a financial windfall or gain, they tend to act much more conservatively. The study concluded that our pattern of risk and decisions are significantly impacted by stress.

Respected University of Southern California researcher Mara Mather recently spoke at a symposium, “How Stress Alters Decision Making.” She shared her scientific findings about our biological responses to anxiety and stress, and specifically how fear and stress impact our striatal dopaminergic reward systems. Basically, she summarized how our brains actually physically change under the influence of stress, and that causes our ability to process information and make decisions in a negative way.

There are countless further studies that confirm the relationship between stress and the decisions we make, but let’s actually take a look at how our decisions may be altered when under duress.

Here are 5 ways stress affects our decision-making:

1. Reactionary

When we’re in a state of stress, anxiety, or fear, our brains emit high levels of cortisol, which is known as the “fight or flight” hormone. In this heightened state, our perceptions are more acute, and we tend to be far more reactionary. While cortisol and an adrenalized state helped us when we were running from dinosaurs or fighting off invaders, it doesn’t serve the modern human well, as prolonged cortisol levels are harmful to our health – and cause use to be reactionary with our decisions at the exact time when we should be more careful, critical, and measured.

2. Disproportionately focus on the positive

You may think that high levels of stress prompt us to see the world as all doom and gloom, but the opposite may be true. Research shows that acute stress actually leads our brains to ignore negative consequences and focus on the positives, or pleasure, instead. That’s right – we’re more likely to cling to any positive feedback or hope for positive outcomes when under stress instead of facing the reality of negative consequences.

3. We may think our options are binary 

One of the key findings of how our brains make decisions under stress is that we inadvertently restrict our options and solutions until we may think only two choices remain. We think that our only options are to take the job or not take it, to buy the service or not buy it, etc. 

But in the real world, our options are never binary (yes or no), and there are a multitude of solutions we can find if we only have the clarity to problem solve. Unfortunately, when under stress, our menu of perceived options shrinks down to very few, which forces our hand with some bad or limited decisions. We should entertain more options when under fire and facing stress and anxiety, not less!

4. Quick options instead of problem-solving

When we’re feeling the strain of fear or anxiety, we’re also likely to make decisions much more quickly (which isn’t necessarily a good thing). Perhaps it’s our fight-or-flight instinct kicking in, but our thought processes, problem-solving methods, and decision making tend to be rushed when the heat is on.

That may allow timely, definitive decisions in combat or in the face of an emergency, but they don’t help us in day-to-day life when it comes to decisions about finances, business, relationships, or other important life choices.

5. Abandon your normal decision-making process

There are two basic types of decision-making processes, which are based on your personality type. Some people are analytical, crunching numbers, taking in as much information as possible, and weighing all options such as a chess player who scrutinizes all of their moves carefully. 

The second personality type relies on their instincts and makes gut-level decisions, “going with the flow” and counting on their intuition when pressed to make a choice.

The fact is that neither method is right or wrong, and by sticking to the decision-making process that feels best to that individual, they build up a lifetime of practice and hone that skill.

However, when feeling the stress or pressure, we tend to abandon our comfortable and trusted method of decision making. Those who rely on instinct start crunching data and information; analytical people throw that out and go with their gut.

While we just noted that neither of these methods are wrong, you shouldn’t switch course and try a new, unfamiliar, or un-practiced decision-making process when under stress! 

Do men or women make better decisions when under stress?

Interestingly, research has pointed to some inherent differences in the decision-making process of women and men.  A study at the University of South Carolina found that under pressure, men took bigger risks than women, who were significantly more conservative. So, when forced to make decisions or solve problems under stress, women tend to take more time, weigh their options, and become more analytical, while men make snap decisions.

To account for these patterns, researchers point to differing responses in the anterior insula and dorsal striatum, which moderate our choices when rewards (like money) are on the line. 

It turns out that women may make better decisions when under stress!

***

The good news is that no matter who you are, there are ways you can be conscious of your decision-making patterns and work to correct them as needed. There are also plenty of ways to naturally reduce your anxiety or be more clear-headed when making decisions, like deep breathing, meditation, exercise or fresh air, and positive visualization. 

Sources:

It’s not all about me! The transformative shift that will change your business forever.

There’s a lot of money being thrown around by the mortgage industry these days. Firms are investing in digitalization, data, and recruiting more than ever, while individual loan officers look to boost their marketing and ad budgets.

With record-low interest rates, a preponderance of home equity to work with, and strong homebuyer demand, it’s no wonder why the mortgage industry is doubling down on client acquisition.

However, from the largest firm spending millions to the solo-preneur trying to keep up with their own marketing, a lot of that money is being wasted for one simple fact:

They’re doing it wrong.

In fact, there’s one fundamental snafu that many brands and organizations make over and over; their marketing is all about them, not their clientele and audience.

The good news is that this pivotal error is also incredibly easy to fix, and the shift will reap huge financial rewards almost immediately.

How do you do it? 

Stop talking about your own firm, service, or process in your marketing, and start focusing on your customers.

“Make the customer the hero of your marketing story,” as presentation and sales expert Tom Bresnahan puts it. 

Let’s take a further look at how (and why) to do just that.

The transformative solution 

According to a comprehensive study by Rutgers University, all marketing content falls under one of two umbrellas. 

“Meformers” mostly talk about themselves with their marketing messages, posts, and images.

While “Informers” do the opposite, turning their lens to the outside world by focusing on their customers or audience. 

Informers post marketing materials that provide value, solve problems, acknowledge people’s challenges, and share experiences. Basically, they tell a whole lot of stories about others – not themselves.

So, that loan officer whose “marketing strategy” consists of posting nothing but selfies (we all know that person!) – he or she is a “Meformer.”

But the professional who posts tips, hacks, resources, educational facts, community news, and especially tells the stories of the clients they help is thoroughly an Informer.

And the benefits to being an Informer are profound.

Stats and facts that prove Informers win

  • According to research by Deloitte and Touche, companies that focus their marketing on their audience are 60 percent more profitable than similar firms who focus messaging on themselves.
  • But only two-thirds (66%) of marketing campaigns actually focus on their audience’s information needs over their own company information or messages, per a 2020 B2B Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends study.
  • However, that same study (conducted by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs) found that 88 percent of top performers and earners in any field are Informers!

It’s not only advertising campaigns that illuminate this crucial chasm, but regular day-to-day social media marketing.

  • In fact, Rutgers University professors Mor Naaman and Jeffrey Boase, found that Informers have almost 300 percent more social media followers than Meformers.
  • Consumer surveys back up that assertion. A study by Chadwick Martin Bailey found that consumers share 72 percent of social media posts because they find them interesting or entertaining, and 58 percent because they feel they are helpful (the two top responses for that question).
  • And according to marketing research conducted by HubSpot, news (78 percent) and how-to information (58%) are the forms of social media content that are shared the most, while posts about products (45 percent) were near the bottom.

The tangible benefit to this marketing shift

By “turning the marketing lens outward,” you’ll engage and connect with consumers on a whole new level. These days, that’s a necessary tactic since they’re inundated with marketing and advertising messages at a mind-boggling rate – including from your competitors.

Did you know that the average person is bombarded by more than 3,000 commercial messages every single day?!

But you’ll stand out, develop an authentic relationship, and build brand loyalty once you look to make the consumer the hero in your marketing stories. 

No longer is it sufficient to intercede and reach them right before they make a buying decision or certain consumer triggers pop up, like credit score checks, home value estimates, or home searches, etc.

Instead, you’ll share their journey every step of the way, offering advice, information, resources, help, and a lot of genuine investment in the relationship. 

They’ll already understand the value your firm provides and trust you to provide solutions via your services. 

Your audience will love you for it!

Your audience will appreciate that you’re authentically interested in their lives and experiences, and that’s backed up by mountains of data. 

For instance, 77 percent of people surveyed are brand loyal according to HubSpot, and 90 percent of consumers trust brand recommendations from friends online.

The best part is that by making your marketing about THEM, you’ll see a significant uptick in user-generated content, like when your clients share photos, recommendations, shout-outs, testimonials, and other endorsements.

That’s HUGE – the Holy Grail of any marketing – as 70 percent of consumers trust content and endorsements from regular people (over brand-sponsored marketing), and 61 percent are more likely to engage with an ad if it includes a real customer or regular person.

That’s fundamental to your success (and a spike in profits!) since repeat clients or referrals from past clients convert at a 65 percent rate compared to just a 13 percent closing rate for new prospects. 

***

I recommend you sit down and map out your marketing strategies to see if you fall in the Meformer or Informer category. 

If you’d like more help – including marketing strategies to easily and quickly shift to being an Informer, just contact me!

How to expand your business when everyone else is contracting

In 2008, Steven Jobs gave an interview to Fortune Magazine in which they asked him about Apple’s strategy for the coming Great Recession. Jobs said, “In fact we were going to up our R&D budget so that we would be ahead of our competitors when the downturn was over. And that’s exactly what we did. And it worked. And that’s exactly what we’ll do this time.” 

Instead of paring down R & D, laying off workers, and shuttering stores to withstand the economic storm, Jobs was focused on actually growing Apple, gaining market share in the season where most others were contracting and playing it safe.

In fact, many of the top companies and brands do exactly the same, and that’s one of the chief reasons why they last and stay on top.

But you don’t have to be a Fortune 500 company or blue-chip brand to grow your business in the coming months and years. Every salesperson, entrepreneur, boutique broker, and small business owner has the tools to succeed even as fear pervades our business climate (and rightfully so). 

Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is act boldly and confidently when others are in safe mode. Our natural reaction is to:

  • Cut prices to gain enough clients and eke out some profit 
  • Cut our expenses to a bare-bones budget 
  • Cancel everything we think is non-essential
  • Lay off and fire staff
  • Put all plans for expansion or growth on hold
  • Stop focusing on anything that will develop skills or educate
  • Think you can do the same things as before, but just do more of them to get over the hump

It all starts with a 180-degree mind shift, a focus on execution, and a whole lot of hard work. But there is absolutely no reason why you can’t bring your business to new heights! 

Here’s the game plan to expand when everyone else is contracting:

1.         Invest in new skills and education

It’s time to learn and adjust to the new reality as fast and effectively as you can. Luckily, there are more courses, books, talks, and tools available to us online than ever, and most of them are inexpensive or free.

2.         Systematize

Instead of resting on your laurels, break your business down to the smallest blocks and build it all back up again, ensuring your system and operations are superbly efficient. 

3.         Leverage 

The difference between a solo-preneur and a true business owner is that the biz owner leverages other peoples’ time, energy, and skills. Stop trying to do everything yourself and start taking advantage of others and what they do well.

4.         Look at partnerships/Team up

Of course, there will be plenty of businesses going under or looking to downsize, and there’s no shame in that. But it also creates a golden opportunity to entertain strategic partnerships and build teams that help you expand quickly. 

5.         Network

The average person brags about their victories when times are good, but you won’t hear a peep from them in tough times. You should do the exact opposite, becoming a networking machine and reaching out to everyone you can. Create connections and authentic relationships, as they’ll pay off in huge, unexpected ways down the road.

6.         Help others

That’s what it’s all about, and in dark days, your best product should be help. Focus on solving problems, bringing value, offering solutions, and empowering others to overcome their challenges. Become the person they turn to for advice and guidance. With that, your business will soar as high as the economy sinks.

7.         Create new content

Throw out the blueprint from last year, last month, and even from yesterday. Create a brand new marketing and outreach campaign and create blogs, emails, videos, podcasts, webinars, graphics, and social media every single day! That’s how you expand!

8.         Be the best communicator you know

Double down on points of communication and customer service with clients, and actively practice your listening skills.

9.         Cut the bottom 20%

Just like an arrow needs to be drawn back to propel forward, we need to pull back by cutting inefficiencies according to the 20% Rule. Drop the 20% of your products that don’t sell, the 20% of your employees who are lazy or aren’t producing, and simplify the 20% of your day that consistently steals your time, energy, focus – and money.

10.      Recruit

To survive and even thrive through a recession (or depression), firms need to actively attract new personnel. Recruiting will be paramount over the next few years, and you should sign as many talented, battle-tested, and hard-working people from your competitors as possible.

11.      Negotiate with vendors

If times are hard for you, they’re even harder for vendors, suppliers, and distributors. So, instead of canceling or doing without, renegotiate every product, service, and lease for lower prices, better terms, and added perks.

12.      Nurture your people

Just like we talked about enhancing your own skills, do the same for your employees and partners by offering more training, guest speakers, education, and personal development than ever before. Investing in people always pays off!  

13.      Increase marketing and advertising output

People invest in marketing and advertising out of greed (when times are good) but tend to shut off that spigot when times are bad. Do the exact opposite, as effective marketing campaigns are vital to keeping your firm alive and well.

14.      Measure

We’ve talked a lot about investing and not cutting back, but don’t do that senselessly, of course. Instead, set clear goals for every dollar that leaves your pocket and carefully measure the effectiveness of everything you do. If it doesn’t measure up, make the appropriate changes or cut it!

15.      Rewrite the rules

I truly believe that when markets crash and the economy shrinks, it creates a proportionate amount of opportunity. Your job is to identify and take advantage of those opportunities. That starts with putting fear and uncertainty in a box when you come to work every morning, and instead making clear, big-picture decisions. Remove the limitations and raise – not lower – your goals and dreams. 

It’s up to YOU to rewrite the story of your success!

Using social media to create more opportunities in the era of Covid-19.

Using social media to create more opportunities in the era of Covid-19.

Social media is just a passing fad, a flavor-of-the-month phase that will probably disappear in a year or two. 

That’s what many people said back when Friendster, the very first social media outlet, was launched in 2002. 

MySpace came later that year and soon usurped Google as the most visited site in the US. Next came Linkedin in 2003, believe it or not, and “The Facebook” was soon launched from a Harvard University dorm room in 2004. 

By the time Twitter got its relatively late start in 2006, social media had already made an indelible impression on our world. 

Today, Facebook alone has almost 2.5 billion users, which equates to about 1/3 of the entire world population! And Instagram (1.2 billion users), Tik Tok (800 million with an increase of +600 million since 2019), and Snapchat (382 million) are all coming on strong to collectively surpass Facebook soon.

Some passing fad!

Of course, if you’re in business and haven’t been living in a cave the last decade, then you’re probably using social media to grow your professional presence already. The “best practices” blogs and “social media tips” have been covered so extensively that there’s hardly anything new to add to the conversation, right?

Not so fast, as these unprecedented times have already shifted the landscape of how we use social media – and why.

In fact, Facebook, Instagram, and What’s App have seen a 40 percent spike in use just since mid-March!

If you’re a mortgage lender or in real estate, the rules of the industry are literally changing day by day (or faster!), so it’s crucial that you keep your social media messaging relevant and on-target.

Today, I wanted to offer some quick notes on how you can use social media to create more business opportunities during the time of Covid-19 and social distancing, which most of us are still observing. 

By no means is this list exhaustive. There are thousands of courses on social media marketing in existence, but you may find these notes serve as a great launching point.

Thanks for reading and please contact me if you have any suggestions or questions.

1. The five purposes for social media posts.

What kind of content should you post for your business on social media?

It may seem overwhelming, until you realize that there are only five major purposes for posts:

  • To inspire
  • To motivate
  • To connect and engage
  • To educate
  • To entertain

2. People are feeling isolated, so connect them through social media!

Everyone is feeling isolated, out-of-sorts, and even a little lonely these days, so you can help alleviate that through social connectivity. Focus on taking as many photos and videos of and with others as you can, including family, friends, clients, referral partners, associates, neighbors, and even the family dog! 

Not only will they respond warmly to seeing others, but this establishes social proof, a pivotal aspect of building trust between consumers and professionals or brands (and dogs are really cute!). 

3. Celebrate the new heroes.

One thing we can’t get enough of on social media these days is a tribute to our new heroes, including doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, first responders, grocery store clerks, delivery drivers, mail carriers, and so many more. Highlight those folks on your social media platforms to show appreciation and gratitude!

(By the way, we also have a new appreciation for teachers since many of us are homeschooling our kids these days!)

4. Share information, resources, and updates.

The only constant these days is change, so a great way to serve your social audience is by offering useful information. But instead of just posting endless articles, try to offer local news and resources that are credible, relevant to your community, and offer tangible benefits. Info about property taxes, places to volunteer (or get help), closures, events, safety warnings, and other civic resources are especially appreciated.

Likewise, showing support for Mom-and-Pop or local businesses is a great way to impact change, so don’t be afraid to promote your favorite restaurant.

5. Zoom someone!

We talk about the importance of video as a marketing tool, and there’s no better way to do that these days than hopping on Zoom. This is the perfect time to start your podcast or YouTube channel, and you’ll be amazed at how open people are to doing interviews, having a conversation with you online, or even submitting a video testimonial. 

6. Make sure it’s not all about you.

What’s the biggest mistake that lenders and Realtors make with social media marketing? Like I documented earlier, they tend to make most of their posts and content about themselves instead of their clients, their community, and their field of expertise! The best lenders and Realtors focus on solving problems and helping others a lot more than selling themselves!

7. Spread the good news.

It seems like every time you turn on the news or scroll through social media these days, we see nonstop negativity or depressing headlines. To help balance that, position yourself as the person who always uplifts and inspires others online (even if you don’t always feel that way). 

After a short time, your followers will appreciate your positive messages so much that they’ll actually seek you out and share your uplifting content! 

A perfect example of that is actor John Krasinski’s Some Good News video project, which went viral after just one episode with tens of millions of views and shares!  

8. Stop relying on other people’s content – make your own!

You may post a few links every week or even use generic content from a paid service, but that’s a far cry from an effective social media marketing campaign. 

Why? 

Your audience will only see links to other people’s articles, blogs graphics, or videos. But if you’re serious about growing your presence online and attracting a far bigger audience (and more clients), you need to create your own custom content in all its forms: blog, email, graphics, video, visuals, and more. 

If you’d like some free help or advice, my friend Norm Schriever of REMnorm.com has agreed to offer a complimentary consultation. Just email him and mention this article!

9. What should you post? Mix it up!

Ok, so that’s a lot of social media advice, but what forms of content should we share?

That’s simple, as the answer is: mix it up. 

Of course, make sure you post plenty of (short) videos, as those are the most effective for views (video will make up about 80% of all online traffic within a couple of years!) and lend themselves to the newer platforms like Instagram and others. 

FB or IG Live, stories, TV-like platforms, and webinars all do exceptionally well these days.

Visuals like photos or graphics are great, as people instantly see them when they scroll down their timelines. (You can choose not to read something but you can’t choose to un-see an image once you’ve scanned it!)

Links to articles, blogs, and news stories play an important role in your marketing mix, but make sure they are credible and come with a good anchor image. I also recommend writing your own blog/article periodically and sharing online.

Finally, the last thing you should do is write a huge body of text in a post and expect people to read it. If you have to write something substantial, break it up with bullet points and even emojis/emoticons.

10. Build your tribe

We’re all craving more interaction and socialization these days, so the best online marketing fosters conversation between as many people as possible who have the same values, challenges, and needs. Focus on building communities for the people you wish to serve – your target market.

From Facebook groups to Instagram Live, webinars to Stories, and plenty of video calling tools like Facetime or Zoom, find ways to connect with and host a larger audience!

***

What SHOULDN’T you post on social media?

What you don’t say is just as important as what you say. The wrong thing can alienate your audience or even get your accounts flagged for inappropriate content. 

Steer clear of hot-button political issues, double-check sources and the validity of anything you post, and never disclose sensitive financial information or personal details that may compromise the safety of you or others.

Other than that, keep your messages authentic and constructive, and you’ll see great results!

Level up your speaking and presentation skills with Tom Bresnahan

If you’re in sales, work with clients, or interact with the public in any capacity, the words you use and how you present yourself are vitally important. Yet so many of us put little or no effort into developing our speaking and presentation skills on a regular basis.

In fact, the fear of public speaking (called glossophobia) affects 75% of the population and ranks as the #1 biggest fear for Americans – even above death (which is #5 on the list)!

However, as Star Power Talk founder Tom Bresnahan explains it, “The words you communicate determine the profitability of your business.”

So, if you want to find newfound success (and income) in business, invest in your speaking and presentation skills, just like you would if you were learning a new language or mastering any other field of expertise.

In this video, guest Norm Schriever and I chat with Star Power Talk founder Tom Bresnahan about tips for improving your speaking and presentation skills, like making your prospective client the star of their own “hero’s journey.”

Enjoy the video and please contact me if you’d like to get some more effective strategies or to connect with Tom!

Live in flow instead of fear during this Coronavirus pandemic.

As I write this, we are in the midst of the most prolonged pandemic crisis we have seen in my lifetime. The swine flu, at least to date, affected more people than the Coronavirus but was less deadly. We are now seeing social distancing become the norm, and many places are on lockdown. Our economy is suffering, and many people are living in fear and anxiety. 

Those of us fully in flow, who have also surrendered to just how good God is, are navigating this well. We are connecting more with leaders who also want to help others through this. We are supporting others more than ever before. The common belief in personal growth and development that life happens for you has really grounded me to seek the silver lining.

My company has responded in a swift and positive way, preparing to get our 500+ employees set up to work from home. We have been more innovative and resourceful. We have also been more compassionate and empathetic.

For any of you not living in flow right now, there are several things you can do so immediately. 

First, become aware you are not your thoughts. You can choose the ones that you allow to affect your daily life. 

Second, you need to re-write your vision out for this season of how you want to feel. Then anytime you have thoughts in opposition to it you simply release them rather than continuously think about them. 

Third, you have to learn how to focus on what is satisfactory in your life. I would recommend making a list of what is working well and a list of what is not working well. 

As you navigate your day, only focus on the list of what is working. To stay in flow, you must master this practice. For me, I have one major area out of alignment that was completely hijacked recently, that I am choosing not to focus on until I am stronger.

The last thing you need to do is check your self-worth. Uncertainty can create edges, and this is a great time to look at this. I do this by checking my worthiness formula just to see if I have anything left that needs to be removed. 

So how does our worthiness formula become affected when events like this happen? 

First, let me explain what our worthiness formula is. Think of it as your “Am I enough meter?” that lives silently below your consciousness level. Every day, there are millions of people feeling like they are not enough in many areas of their lives because their worthiness formula has too many variables tied to it. 

Therefore, we want to adopt a new worthiness formula that is solely based on our existence and nothing externally. Your worthiness is no longer tied to how you look, what you accomplish, or, more importantly, how others feel. 

With the wrong worthiness formula, if your income or career has been affected, you can easily fall into a “why me?” mentality. You can easily feel like it is happening to you. Your ego may start producing fear and doubt because you experienced other setbacks or things similar to this in the past, and you were hurt emotionally or financially by them. It can be a tricky time to stay in your highest self and not allow thoughts to bring you down. Feeling worthy of an abundance in spite of what is going on around you will allow you to experience this pandemic with more optimism.

At times like this, I ask myself one question over and over, so I don’t get stuck… “Is there a decision I need to make right now?” This takes me to a powerful state.  If there is not a decision I have to make right now, then all I can do is go back to gratitude and continue to take action towards my vision. We can get hijacked by fear and doubt so quickly and become immobile.

Remember, these are just thoughts with which we fuel the wrong emotions. We must see them as separate because we know everything is always working out okay for us, and, if it is not, we need to honestly assess what resistance we put up ourselves. 

I suggest we all maintain enough factual knowledge to make good decisions for ourselves. It’s time for us to find gratitude and opportunities to improve in any way we can; to appreciate everything we have and even the little things we took for granted like toilet paper or food. 

We can use this trying time to test our worthiness formula. You should feel so abundant and worthy of greater things to come. This season should only be used as a contrast for your vision. A simple shoulder shrug of “how can I appreciate dining out more, attending events, or having freedom to choose what I do more in the future?” 

This season in business might teach you to prepare for storms; to maintain higher liquidity; to always be innovating and diversifying. Being in the mortgage and real estate industries, this has been a common lesson. We have had the highest highs and the lowest lows. It has taught me to always view revenue over a five-year span versus what it is today. Although we celebrate good seasons, we are always prepared for a bad one. 

There are so many lessons to be learned in this pandemic if we remain mindful of growth and keenly aware. Be armed by increasing self-care, and put in more goodness from books, podcasts, documentaries, or influences than you are from negative news. If you’re an empath, you need to level-up your skills on holding your energy – there are lots of vampires out there who will try and steal your joy. 

I will keep you and your families in my thoughts and prayers. May you have more patience, compassion, resilience, and strength! May you see this as a catalyst for even more yumminess in your life and remove the edges you didn’t even know were there!

Warm regards,

Kelly Resendez

Kelly Resendez on the Millionaire Mindcast podcast!

Getting Into Flow State And Arming Yourself For Long Term Wealth Building And Success

I recently appeared as a guest on the popular national podcast, Millionaire Mindcastwith host Matt Aitchison.

You can listen to the podcast here or click on the image below.

From the Millionaire Mindcast podcast description:

In this episode of the Millionaire Mindcast, our guest is a superwoman, Kelly Resendez who shares knowledge and tips on how to balance all areas of your life, the formula of energy management, how to stay focus when you’re off track, some parenting advice and objectives, why should men uplift women empowerment, and how to open up the flow of opportunity!

Kelly is an EVP of Talent Acquisition and Development, a Loanpal, a Founder, Speaker at her two companies Big Voices Rise and FTSS, where she also offers training and coaching and to help struggling salespeople and leaders that wanted not only to increase their success but also have balance and fun doing it. Kelly is the author of the best-selling book Big Voices and Foundation to Sustainable Success. She uses the concepts of mindfulness, self-discovery and goal setting to help their team achieve the company’s objectives and runs its Women’s Mentoring Program.

Kelly is very fortunate to have badass parents who are both entrepreneurs and real estate investors. At an early age, she got into the mortgage industry, became a top 1% loan officer but wasn’t connected to the work on the deeper level. Kelly was losing all her energy as she was working all day & serving the real estate community. Those were the commission days and ‘Achiever Space’ which her fuel is an achievement, crushing anyone’s standards but miserable inside.

But then ever since, Kelly had this calling to make a massive impact in the world. Until in 2011, she decided to take a leap and go into more executive leadership to have the capacity to make a change in an organization. She applied the things she learned in personal growth and development, from the ‘achiever space’ to the mortgage industry. As a loan officer, she mastered the fear of rejection. Create a vision for the life she wants to feel, create and maintain the right mindset, take action and manage her energy around it.

On the other side, Kelly makes a point to be a little bit aware of what’s going on in your world. Know your priorities first and build your life around that. Figure out what your formula is and own it because you did it and it didn’t come in naturally. In addition, surrender and just acknowledge good and focus on it consistently. Choose not to focus on negative things. Instead of beating yourself for getting off track, don’t pay attention to it but find ways on how to combat it to make a positive world, learn and grow from it, and plan what you are going to do next. In short, pull opportunities of growth out of failures.

Also, Kelly believed that we need men and women to work together to give huge impact in the world. Currently, she is a catalyst for changing a lot of mindsets and working out to co-create this new level of joy, success, prosperity, and abundance.

Lastly, Kelly describes how the GoBundance community and other tribes have helped her to stay focused on her goals, have the right mindset, create the strategies and tools that she shares and make a huge impact on the world.

Seek out tribes according to your vision and what you want to feel!

Some Questions I Ask:

  • How do you balance being a Mom and this Powerhouse Woman in business and in building what you’re building right now? (00:38)
  • Where did your entrepreneurial journey start? (01:39)
  • Why in the mortgage? (02:33)
  • What was your approach going into this space of “my destiny is in my hands” that so many people fearful of? (04:54)
  • In your first couple of hurdles, what did your routine look like overcoming it? (07:26)
  • What’s been your formula for your energy management? (12:36)
  • How you’ve been able to stay in flow as long as you can & how do you know when you’re inflow or outflow?  (21:26)
  • Can you be massively successful & also well balanced? (23:59)
  • How have you been so well at creating boundaries despite being a superwoman in all areas of your life? (27:32)
  • What are some of the things that bring you the most joy right now? (31:08)
  • Was it anything not worthy that you guys are paying attention to? (33:55)
  • What is your message right now to young girls? (34:18)
  • Tell me what feminine energy means to you. (35:21)
  • What do you say to guys that think they’re better than you? (39:22)
  • How have you found those tribes you’re into and maximize and optimize every opportunity you have in those environments? (42:47)
  • Talk about GoBundance and FemWomen community. (48:41)
  • What is World Positive in your definition? How can people learn more about it? (57:18)
  • If you get to the end of your road and you’re looking at the rearview mirror of life, what would be the things that you considered made you successful in your journey? (58:39)

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • How to master the fear of rejection. (05:37)
  • Things that part of Kelly’s formula and framework (08:51)
  •  Kelly’s morning ritual. (16:12)
  • Matty’s 10 important things in life. (18:24)
  • What is being in Flow State. (19:16)
  • Kelly’s number one rule in life. (29:07)
  • The beliefs that save Kelly miraculously in raising kids. (29:23)
  • Conscious Collective. (32:09)
  • World Negative versus World Positive. (37:52)
  •  Why believing that you’re better than anyone is going to destroy you eventually. (40:47)
  •  One of Kelly’s Parenting Objectives. (46:30)
  • Incoming GoBundance Women events. (48:54)
  • How to open up that flow of opportunity. (52:16)

Quotes: 

  •  “If the greatest fear or barrier to success in this industry is the fear of rejection, then I’m going to master the fear of rejection.”
  •  “I create a vision for how I want to feel my life.”
  •  “As you’re attracting new experiences, you’re going to attract more fears, you’re going to attract all of these amazing things.”
  •  “Our energy is such a tool in understanding where we are really supposed to be.”
  •   “Your energy is your power plan you created.”
  •  “The things that we do tell ourselves become reality.”
  •   “There is a gear that we all have access to that is right behind hard work, that’s right behind achievement.”
  •  “Flow can last for as long as you choose for it too.”
  • “We are the creators of our reality.”
  • “That belief that you’re better than anyone is going to destroy you eventually.”
  •  “We are so different.”
  •  “When we get into something, we go all in.”
  •  “In order to get the most out of it, you have to start with that vision again.”
  •  “Great people want to help great people.”
  •  “It all boils down to love.”

Connect with Kelly Resendez on:

Website

Big Voices book by Kelly Resendez

Facebook

Instagram

LinkedIn

Give Power


Educational resources for children stuck at home.

Many of you have kids at home right now, which may require you to be more patient and understanding that you’ve ever have been. 

The best advice we can give you is to make the best of it, using this time to encourage your child’s learning and personal growth.

Children need structure, and that’s more important than ever when everyone is at home. So, create a schedule that works for you and reward your children for being disciplined. 

Here are some great resources for you to integrate into that schedule. Take the time to both watch and discuss these with them! 

We have you and your families in our thoughts as we all navigate this difficult period.

Please reach out if you need anything at all!

Books:

https://www.amazon.com/Habits-Highly-Effective-Teens-ebook/dp/B004IK92RA

https://www.amazon.com/How-Win-Friends-Influence-People/dp/0671027034

Financial Class:

https://www.ortusacademy.com/money-club?fbclid=IwAR1CGJNmWhpBxRSCaCJppbzRkoWN-EGeUEAHG2N0JHNzdmyPKKoX94jaPl4

Inspiration:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywuse55qU2A&list=PL44AC0C6CC0B0429C&index=9&t=0s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S05PBOIdSeE

Improving Confidence:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__Gs02ZmUmE&list=PL44AC0C6CC0B0429C&index=2&t=0ss

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZ05M1UhPrY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQjlcp3tr9c

Gratitude:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKtn_8m9n7U&list=PL44AC0C6CC0B0429C&index=3&t=0s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHv6vTKD6lg

Setting Goals:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ae-VJ_lauCw&list=PL44AC0C6CC0B0429C&index=4

On being yourself and feeling worthy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veEQQ-N9xWU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lw3NyUMLh7Y

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzMXtu93iQI

Overcoming Procrastination:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arj7oStGLkU

Overcoming Fear of Rejection:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khv-vJKxJS4

https://blog.iqmatrix.com/fear-of-rejection

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQMDrSxYXjo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVJYQtAT2ho

Time to Rise! Facts about gender inequality in the workplace.

March is Women’s History Month, with this year’s theme focusing on the future of women in all aspects of society, including business. So, today I wanted to share some insights into just how close we’ve come to breaking the glass ceiling in the U.S. workplace, but also how prevalent and ingrained gender inequality still is.

At the end of this blog, I also will address how women have fared in the real estate industry. You may be (pleasantly) surprised!

Here are some stats and facts about gender inequality and the pay gap in the workplace:

  • Currently, only 4.8% of all CEOs for the Fortune 500 are women. 
  • That means women make up nearly half of the workforce (47%), yet less than 1 out of every 20 CEOs is female.
  • The worst part is that the percentage of female CEOs has declined since 2017, when that number was up to 6.4%. But with such a small sample size, a few key resignations (Denise Morrison of Campbell Soup, Meg Whitman of Hewlett Packard, Sheri McCoy of Avon, and others) dropped that percentage sharply.
  • But the Chief Executive Officer’s corner office isn’t the only one usually unoccupied by women. Across all professional firms surveyed, only 40% have at least one woman in a management position at all.
  • 39% of men still don’t believe that the gender pay gap is real, but 42% of women say that they’ve experienced gender discrimination in the workplace.
  • When it comes to bringing home the bacon, women now earn 80.3% of the income men receive for the same position.
  • That means women earn an average of only $806 weekly compared to $1,004 for men for the same job, experience, qualifications, etc.
  • For professional or white-collar jobs, women earn only 68.7% of that of men, and that falls even further to 66.2% for women with advanced degrees.
  • Not only do men earn far more in professional and management jobs, but they hold those positions 62% of the time, compared to just 38% for women. Women also make up only 34% of senior managers, 29% of Vice Presidents, 23% of Senior VPs, and only 22% of C-suite executives.
  • While women have made strides to close the gender pay gap, if female income growth continues at the same rate as it has since the 1970s, it will be 2059 before women earn as much as men!
  • When men are responsible for hiring decisions, there’s only a 40% chance that a woman ends up with the position. However, that evens out to 50% when a woman is responsible for the hiring decisions.
  • Likewise, HR managers are 13% more likely to click or consider a male candidate’s job application than a woman’s, and women are 30% less likely to be called in for a job interview.
  • Even when the job is won, the gender inequality gap is profound when it’s time for raises and advancement.
  • For instance, men are 400% more likely to ask for a raise! And when women do request a pay raise, they typically ask for 30% less of a salary bump than their male cohorts.
  • Overall, men are granted pay raises 20% of the time once requested, but women’s pay raise requests are granted only 15% of the time.

While this is all patently unacceptable, there are a few bright spots for women in our current business landscape. In fact, the field of real estate (and mortgage, to a lesser degree) finds women well-represented.

  • According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 67% of all Realtors (a designation held by real estate agents) are women in 2019. Furthermore, among the NAR, women make up 56% of all licensed brokers.
  • While women are definitely blazing new trails and excelling in the real estate industry, they are still becoming CEOs, executive directors, or filling top-level corporate roles at a dismally unequal rate. Only 12% of real estate firms have a woman as CEO or in those positions, and only 7% of companies with more than 100 employees have a woman in the top leadership role.

This March and beyond, let’s keep up the fight for women’s advancement in business and equal pay!


Sources: CNBC.com, BLS.gov, Phys.org, Hbswk.hbs.edu, PewSocialTrends.org, WeForum.org, HBR.org, RealEstateExpress.com, NAR.com, Smallbizgenius.net, Dol.gov

How to finally achieve balance in your life!

Are you constantly overwhelmed, feel like you can’t keep up, and challenged when it comes to staying aligned? If you finally want to finally achieve balance in your life, you won’t want to miss this video!