Thriving in Business

Episode 56: Thriving in Business
Guest: Martine Lellis

Happy May! I have been enjoying the outdoors recently since the weather has been so gorgeous and I hope you’ve had the opportunity to do the same.

My guest this week is Martine Lellis has a passion for learning. She grew up in a small town in South Carolina and was fortunate to gain admissions into Duke University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Upon graduation, Martine began working within the IT industry building systems for banks and insurance companies. While this was her first exposure to the financial industry, her real awakening came when she realized a gap in knowledge within general concepts around money that occur in primary as well as post-secondary schooling. When she looked at the gap in her knowledge and paired it with what drove her, she found a match in financial planning.

For the past 14 years, Martine has been Sullivan Bruyette Speros & Blayney (SBSB) where she has worked her way up to Chief Operating Officer. Considering herself a life-long student, Martine has not only her MBA from Georgetown University, but she also has become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Financial Planning (CFP). Her passion for learning and knowledge seeking has led her to her career today. Her learning today comes from taking different projects, gaining knowledge through application and experience.

As someone who is the COO of a company that manages nearly $3 billion in client assets, Martine was initially surprised when she was asked if she wanted the position. Knowing her limits and skill sets, believing in herself and her ability to think critically about any situation, Martine had the self-confidence to take it on and be successful. She partnered with others in the company so that she could ask for assistance when she needed it. She feels that this is key to succeeding in any position. Martine surrounds herself with team members, mentors, and advisors who have different skills sets than her. They are not only there to help her solve problems but to also jolt her out of your current opinion, or tunnel vision, to see the potential in a situation.

Recently, Martine and several of her partners decided to purchase back the Sullivan Bruyette Speros & Blayney from their bank parent and start a new endeavor as a private company once again. Through her relationships over the years, Martine has been able to bring together external resources to ensure a successful transition.

Martine in thriving in her role and has some great advice for anyone who may be feeling stagnant in their role. She recommends never saying no to various situations and to be open-minded about opportunities because everything is an open door to learning. If you are stuck in a position, look around and ask yourself how you can continue to learn and to grow. If you’re not happy with the way things are going, talk to others and gain some different insight.

If you’d like to reach out to Martine, you can do so through her company website. Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of the Women Rocking Wall Street show! If you liked what you heard, be sure to hit subscribe, share it with others and write us a quick review on iTunes.

Navigating Social

Episode 47: Navigating Social
Guest: Sheryl Brown

LinkedIn can be a challenging tool but is so valuable when it comes to networking, building connections and your personal brand. This week’s guest is a Sheryl Brown, a social media maven who is skillful in navigating the social media world. She is by trade an Insurance Advisor and has been in the industry for over 20 years. Today, she has a social media consulting business, not to mention she is in charge of the social media strategy for one of the largest private insurance brokerage office in the U.S. Sheryl has also started a social media non-profit, Social Samaritans. This international organization consists of social media professionals that focus on teaching their communities about social media and how to use it to their advantage.

Sheryl, although now she is a social media genius, admits that she became involved thanks to her kids. She was curious about what they were doing online all the time, and then one night her son explained to her how social media worked. From then on, she has been using it as a tool to connect with others.

Over the last few years, Sheryl has been able to create a strong personal brand using platforms that are free. Her brand, BIONICsocialite, has served her, the companies that she works for and her community. A key to Sheryl’s social media success is to regularly observe what the younger generation is doing. What are they saying and how are they manipulating it to their advantage? She recommends that anyone who is looking to get involved in social media to have a strategy. However, she also recommends that sometimes you follow your gut.

If you’d like to connect with Sheryl, she’s available on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Sheryl also has a blog that is a wealth of information.

Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of the Women Rocking Wall Street show! If you liked this episode, be sure to hit subscribe, share it with others and write us a quick review on iTunes.

Becoming the CEO of Your Life

Episode 46: Becoming the CEO of Your Life.

Happy February. It’s beginning to get lighter here in Portland, Oregon and I am finally able to get out the door and walking again. The Daphne are beginning to bloom and it’s such a beautiful, hopeful sign of spring.

This week is another interview where the microphone is turned around (metaphorically speaking) and I am the one being asked questions by Kristin Mountain, co-founder of Podcast SMARTER. This episode is around career growth and planning and how you can become the CEO of your life.

I recall when I started thinking about this specifically, it was during the 2008 recession. A lot of people were coming to meet with me to network, in the hopes to get a job. I thought to myself that I didn’t want to be in a position to scramble to build my network when I needed it, but to build it when I didn’t need it at the moment.

When thinking about your career and where you are now versus where you want to be, you should ask yourself how big you can go. Begin thinking about what’s in your heart and how does that match up with your expertise and talents. Then determine where you want to be in 10 years. Not only should you be thinking of your career, but also what your day looks like and what do you want your surroundings to look like. The more you can put a vision to it, the more you can plan for it.

It takes time to get to where you want to go and sometimes we end up feeling stalled or under-appreciated. I always recommend volunteering your time, and skills, to an outside organization. This not only helps you experience new things, but you’re growing your skills, meeting new people and experiencing the appreciation that you may not be feeling at work.

Once you’ve determined where you want to go, the best thing to do is network. Getting involved in associations and creating a LinkedIn account are two simple ways to start getting yourself out there. By committing to attending a networking event one day a month, you can start building some great relationships. Then, once you have found some people that you connect with, help solidify that by following up with an email or phone call. If networking is out of your comfort zone, be sure to read “The Power of Who: You Already Know Everyone You Need to Know” by Bob Beaudine and listen to these previous WRW episodes: Confidence is Contagious and How to Work a Room.

Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of Women Rocking Wall Street! If you liked this episode, share it with others and write a quick review on iTunes.

Don’t Tell Yourself No. Let Other People Tell You No.

Episode 45: Don’t Tell Yourself No, Let Others Do It for You
Guest: Kim Shaw Elliott and Anne Elliot

This week’s episode of The Women Rocking Wall Street Show is special because we have a mother and daughter duo. Both women are in financial services, each with interesting personal stories. Kim Shaw Elliott began her career as a litigator and eventually decided to combine her knowledge of the law with a Master of Business Administration. She now serves as President and in-house ERISA Counsel of Independent Financial Partners (IFP) Plan Advisors, a division of financial partners located in Tampa, Florida. IFP Plan Advisors works with 150 specialists in the retirement plan arena and provide services to around 1700 retirement plans.

Anne Elliott graduated from the University of Missouri 4 years ago and she has been working with Edward Jones for over 6 years. Anne began her career at Edward Jones as an on-call Branch Office Administrator while still in school, thanks to advice from Kim. After training with an Advisor over spring break, Anne knew she wanted to gain more experience. She picked up the phone and began calling various Edward Jones branches to see if she could fill any openings. She was successful in her search and has been with Edward Jones ever since. Anne is currently in the Client Strategies Group and has been in that position for 6 months.

There were two things that helped Anne secure her first position with Edwards Jones – networking and rejection. Through the networking Kim had done in her career, Anne was able to connect with the right people. Once she had some experience, Anne wasn’t afraid of rejection when she picked up the phone and began calling. She had learned in graduate school not to tell yourself no but rather to let others do it for you. She knew that rejection promoted personal and professional growth, and while it was hard if she hadn’t taken the chance, she would not have started with Edwards Jones at such an early stage of her career.

Both Kim and Anne work in a male dominated industry. For example, while Kim was a litigator, she had an instance where a judge thought she was a secretary. Anne has seen the male dominance within the industry but she is also seeing it slowly changing. Her career advice is to always do what’s right for the client, and that should be at the base of every decision. Anne also recommends honing your networking skills, because this industry is all about relationships.

Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of Women Rocking Wall Street! If you liked this episode, share it with others and write us a quick review on iTunes.

Permission to Take Up Space

Episode 41: Permission to Take Up Space

Now that it’s the time of year when we’re stuck in crowded lines at the mall, we are very aware of the physical space that we take up. Our natural instinct is to make ourselves as small as possible. But our guest, Rachel Beohm has a lot to say about our body language and the way to inhabit the space around us to portray the authentic and strong people we are.

Curious by nature, and with an unquenchable thirst for learning (especially when it comes to nonverbal communication and the mind-body connection), Rachel loves researching topics for FORTE, brainstorming and making connections. Rachel is passionately interested in the connection between authenticity and how we inhabit our physical space.

Part of what makes our daily lives so hard is that our mental lives often don’t line up with the way we feel about the space around us. It’s time that we stop retreating from the world and take up the space we know is ours. When we give ourselves permission to fill the space around us, people pick up on that and read it as confidence.

Rachel provides sound, thoughtful advice for anybody who struggles with communicating boldly. The three things she says to keep in mind are voice (making sure we avoid up ward inflection especially when giving important information), breathing (focusing on breathing invites an audience in and makes you calmer), and being willing to take up the space that’s yours (your stance and body language speak volumes). Expanding the space you take up in your mind communicates the confidence that so many of us are searching for.

For more information on the work Rachel is doing visit nonverbalforte.com. Also be sure to sign up for their amazing newsletter, The F Word. And if nothing else make sure you read her insightful and practical article The Authenticity vs Confidence Conundrum. You won’t be disappointed.

If you liked this episode be sure to share it with those you think might find this valuable. Also, head over to iTunes and write a quick review if you liked what you heard. Lastly, thanks for listening!

Plan It! Do It! Love It!

Episode 40: Plan It! Do It! Love It!

Brrr! Dare I say happy winter?

Now that the cold has come and the days are shorter, perhaps some of us are noticing that we’re not feeling as happy these days. Since we spend a lot of time at work, this probably seeps into our work life, especially with the Christmas holiday countdown on our minds. Perhaps you’ve even found that on Sunday, you’re dreading Monday and have come to the realization that you’ve fallen out of love with your job.

Fear not! My guest this week has a formula that will help you fall back in love with your work. Sherry Jordan has been coaching high-performance executives, small business owners, solo entrepreneurs, and teams for over 20 years to help them realize their goals and increase their results. She is an expert in the field of change and change management and specializes in working with individuals and organizations who are ready to embrace transition and experience a higher level of personal and professional satisfaction.

Sherry has released a new book, Plan It! Do It! Love It! where she outlines how to get back to the basics so that you can move from feeling overwhelmed to living your small business lifestyle. Sherry says that it’s as simple as getting back to the basics and getting in touch with your life priorities. Sherry also highlights five tips to successfully falling back in love with your job. These include: making a plan for the year; examine the role that you’re playing; establish healthy boundaries; surround yourself with positive people, and; remember that your attitude is everything. If you have a positive attitude, great things can happen. Episode eight of The “Women Rocking Wall Street” Show (Nothing Can Stop Her) highlights the power of attitude. Also, if you’re looking for a great read, Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl is the perfect example of how one’s attitude can push you through anything.

Sherry has some great resources so be sure to visit her website, SherryJordanCoach.com, and register for a free e-book that will help you with 10 top leadership tips. Also, she is giving away 25 free Plan It! Do It! Love It! books. To get one, all you have to do is go to planitdoitloveit.com and use the code WRW. Lastly, you can connect with Sherry on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or see some additional resources on her YouTube channel.

If you liked this episode be sure to share it with those you think might find this valuable. Also, head over to iTunes and write a quick review if you liked what you heard. Lastly, thanks for listening!

Launching Fearlessly

Episode 38: Launching Fearlessly
Guest: Anne Samoilov

Happy Halloween! This week’s episode is a perfect fit to the Halloween theme around fear and the fun, excitement and joy that it can bring. This week’s guest, Anne Samoilov helps entrepreneurs, small business owners and consultants through the process of fearlessly launching a product or business, or another type of business launch. Anne says that it’s not about fear, it’s about that moment of committing to the decision to doing something new and taking that leap.

Coming up with an idea is the easy part of creating a new business or product but when you haven’t done it before, launching can be a scary and often daunting task. For Anne, she sees it as a production, with particular steps that need to happen for the business or product launch to be successful. The most important thing that anyone should do, according to Anne, is determine who “they” are and start the conversation. Find out who your target audience is and reach out. Do this before you launch your business and get their input (both the good and the difficult to hear). You can also search online and see what people are saying about a particular topic that relates to your business or product idea.

While launching a business or product can be intimidating, it is also an exciting time. Once off the ground, it allows you to control your schedule and provides flexibility to accommodate family situations. Don’t let the fear of launching a great idea hold you back because there are people like Anne, who are there to help you.

For more information about Anne Samoilov, you can visit her website at www.fearlesslaunching.com, or connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

If you liked this episode be sure to share it with those you think might find this valuable. Also, head over to iTunes and write a quick review if you liked what you heard. Lastly, thanks for listening!

Giving Yourself Permission to Say “No”

Episode 37: Giving Yourself Permission to Say “No”
Guest: Lane Kennedy

Welcome back! My guest this week has done it all. She is a woman who has many talents – especially when it comes to being an entrepreneur. Lane Kennedy has turned a startup into a million dollar business in less than 18 months, has built a lingerie company and has even worked for a non-profit company in Bangkok. She is a mom, fiction writer, podcaster, and business coach to women who are looking to start a business in the online market.

Lane is one busy woman and she has a lot of demands on her time. Throughout her experiences, she has had to learn to say “no,” which is difficult for many of us. The nagging guilt of letting someone down, or hurting their feelings tends to leave us stretched thin on time and feeling strained and sometimes even resentful. However, a lot of us keep finding ourselves in the same situation time and time again – we want to say “no” but we hear ourselves saying “yes.”

Many of us have a hard time setting boundaries and determining when it’s okay to say “yes” and when it’s okay to say “no.” The key is to ask yourself: is this going to serve my family or me? If you’re uncomfortable saying “no,” an alternative is “not right now,” or “no, but thanks for the opportunity.” However you choose to say it, the most important thing is that you start protecting your time and prioritizing.

For more information about Lane Kennedy, you can visit her website www.lanekennedy.com, or connect with her on Twitter. Also, be sure to check out her podcast The Game Changer.

If you liked this episode be sure to share it with those you think might find this valuable. Also, head over to iTunes and write a quick review if you liked what you heard. Lastly, thanks for listening!

Rocking an Interview

Episode 36: Rocking an Interview
Guest: Margot DeMore

It’s officially fall and it is absolutely beautiful outside! I hope you’re enjoying the leaves, and all the pumpkin mania, as much as I am.

We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve had butterflies in our stomach when getting ready for an interview. The stress of preparing for the interview is only half the battle. This week, I had the pleasure of chatting with Margot DeMore, founding partner of Broad Street Consulting Group, a search firm specializing in retained executive search and consulting services for the traditional and alternative investment community and insurance industry. Her whole career has been playing matchmaker between companies and potential team members.

Margo lives and breathes interviews, and has some great tips and tricks to make sure we rock them. According to her, many of us are great at researching and understanding the organization when preparing for an interview, but tend to fall short on how to share our story in a way that highlights our strengths and attributes.

Margot recommends writing down all the adjectives that describe your strengths and think about how it fits with the position and organization you’re interviewing with. Next, brainstorm stories that highlight each adjective. The last step is to practice, practice, practice! Tell you stories to you partner, colleagues or even the mirror.

There are plenty of things that you can do to increase your chances of a successful interview. Be sure to check out Margo’s cheat sheet for more tips. For more information on Margot, visit broadstreetconsulting.com, or find her on LinkedIn.

This is a great episode for everyone so be sure to share it with your friends, colleagues, college graduates, and even high school students. Also, head over to iTunes and write a quick review if you liked what you heard. Lastly, thanks for listening!

Negotiating Salaries 101

Episode 35: Negotiating Salaries 101
Guest: Jim Hopkinson

We’ve all been there where we’ve felt like we’ve rocked an interview and then dreaded question comes up. “What is your current salary?” Or even worse, “what are your salary expectations for this position?” It’s common for us to hesitate in answering that awful question because on one hand we don’t want to throw out a number that is too high (and risk losing our chance at the position) and, on the other hand, we don’t want to low-ball ourselves.

My guest this week is Jim Hopkinson, and he has come to our rescue! A speaker, writer, and teacher, he helps ambitious professionals overcome their fear of negotiating their salary. Jim has helped a lot of people push past the discomfort of asking for what their worth, and his number one advice is research. Understanding what your worth is the key to being able to ask for more. One way to determine what the market value is for your position and experience is visiting websites like salary.com, payscale.com, and glassdoor.com. He also recommends talking to your internal network. Once you have all your research, you can put it into a report and provide it to the company looking to hire you or presenting it to your current boss. The more research you do, the stronger your case.

To jump back to the dreaded interview question, Jim recommends countering with: “Oh I’m sorry, my current employment contract doesn’t allow me to reveal that information. It’s private company information. What kind of range did you have in mind?” By turning it around, you’re opening up the conversation and allowing room for negotiation!

If you want to learn more after this episode, visit salarytutor.com/fastclass for a 7-day free email class that will teach you how to negotiate your salary. If you liked this episode be sure to share it with those you think might find this valuable. Also, head over to iTunes and write a quick review if you liked what you heard. Lastly, thanks for listening!