Toughing it Out

Episode 18: Toughing it Out

Guest: Alice Tang, BPG Wealth Management

I’m pleased to welcome my friend Alice Tang to this week’s episode of Women Rocking Wall Street. Alice started her career as a financial advisor after moving to Portland in 1994, and today, she’s vice president of BPG Wealth Management LLC. Alice’s mission is to help people become financially independent and retire with confidence. As she tells us, getting to this point in her career was no easy feat. She describes her first year in the business as cold-calling people and setting up meetings nonstop. She was exhausted and made only $2,000 in year one, but was determined to press on. Alice’s dad ran a successful business himself and once told her that no matter what happens, it’s important to remember that she planted a seed that could one day become a plant. And in time, a plant most certainly did grow for Alice.

Building a successful practice is challenging and takes time. Alice had to tough it out for years to see results; this is why in her own practice, she’s a believer in essentially creating apprenticeships where recent graduates or newbies to the finance industry can have a place to grow and be surrounded by the right people and resources. She also makes sure to pay a reasonable salary to those just starting their careers. Both Alice and her business partner came from a similar background—enduring years of difficulty before seeing results—so they both keep this in mind when hiring. People need to pay their bills, she says. We can’t make it impossible to break into the industry. After all, there are many benefits to grooming newcomers. For one, younger people can bring new ideas to the table, Alice says. And two, when an advisor retires, the firm has a strong replacement for the client. Sounds like a win-win situation!

Join me next week with guests Jill and Michael Knouse. Yep! We’re going to have a man on the show!!  Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of Women Rocking Wall Street!




Registered Representative/Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through Signator Investors, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC, 138 River Road, Suite 310, Andover, MA 01810, 978-689-9303, a Registered Investment Advisor. BPG Wealth Management powered by Business Planning Group is independent of Signator Investors, Inc. 103-20150518-233718

Finding Your Authentic Voice

Special Guest:
Anita Stryker

Episode 16: Finding Your Authentic Voice

Welcome back! This week’s guest, Anita Stryker, is here to tell us all about the “authentic voice” and how it can benefit us in the workplace. Anita got into the voice-training business by first learning about her own vocal patterns. With help from Linda Brice, founder of the Transformational Voice method, Anita recognized vocal tension that was ultimately connected to fear and shame. Through breathing and posture techniques, Anita was able to reshape her vocal tone. Today, she helps others do the same through personal development workshops and speech coaching.

So what does it mean to have an authentic voice? “It’s about starting with breath, and then turning that breath into resonance,” Anita explains.

The authentic voice refers to aligning vocals with posture and diaphragmatic breathing. Much how a singer fine-tunes her voice for song, it’s equally important to sharpen the speaking voice. When the voice and breath are aligned, the result is a smoother, less choppy sound. It’s a voice that exudes confidence and authority. In the business world, women can benefit from finding their authentic voices in three major ways:

1) Making their messages more succinct through thoughtful pauses;

2) Identifying patterns of tension in others people’s voices, which  can help improve relationships with clients and colleagues; and,

3) Linking communication to both the mind and body, creating a more powerful voice.

The second point is particularly important for financial advisors. Conversations about money inevitably create tension. If advisors could sense this stress through their clients’ voices and address their concerns, the client/advisor relationship could become that much more powerful.

[For tips about how to create more commanding body language, check out the Women Rocking Wall Street episode, “Confidence Is Contagious.”]

For more information about Anita’s training and workshops, visit her website at Anitastryker.com. Anita will also be teaching a course called Ignite Your Voice from April 17-19, alongside Audrey Steele and Amy Terepka.

The Getting Along Paradigm

Special Guest:
Dr. Solange Charas

Episode 15: The Getting Along Paradigm

Getting ahead or getting along at work—which approach is best? Well, according to Dr. Solange Charas, getting along in turn creates a successful team-oriented environment where companies are, in fact, getting ahead. Solange is the CEO of Charas Consulting, providing advisory services to boards and C-suite executives. She’s also a member of the Thirty Percent Coalition (see podcast: Let’s Get to 30%).

According to Solange, women by nature focus on getting along at work, whereas men tend to place importance on getting ahead. But in the long run, cultures that promote teamwork rather than individual gains are going to win. “We shouldn’t be asking women to change who they are to fit into organizations,” Solange says. “That’s a losing strategy.” Rather, companies should change to adopt this getting along mentality.

Millennials, in particular, see value in this type of cordial team culture. Solange has found in talking with this generation that both millennial men and women prefer working at small companies to avoid the distinct hierarchy at large corporations. If organizations don’t adopt this culture of teamwork, Solange says, they may face serious recruitment issues.

Women have a different working style than men, and corporate America traditionally is geared toward a man’s leadership style and accountability. This is why Solange believes change is needed at a systematic level. The female working style should be embraced and used to drive a culture of teamwork.

If you work in a culture of “me, me, me,” there are ways to turn things around. To begin, you can change what’s valued and rewarded in your company. It may be impossible to transform the overall company culture, but you can at least start in your group. In a nice way, call out the bullies who are showing “power” behavior and not working well with the team.

On an individual level, Solange says it’s important for women to ask each other for help. Women, she says, are generally afraid of asking for a hand because they are so used to helping others.

For more information about Solange’s work, visit her website at


Join us next week with guest Anita Stryker, who will tell us all about how to get the “authentic voice.”