Just go to this link to learn more!
Just go to this link to learn more!
Recently, for about fifteen minutes, my life took a little and wonderful detour. Yes, sometimes the best things in life are ones that are unexpected.
Over the last eight years, small groups of women and I have visited a local high school or middle school to meet with some wonderful students and hang out with them at lunchtime. Over those eight years, we probably have given flowers to the students on three occasions. Last week was one of those occasions, but it was different.
During the break time, after the first group of students had finished lunch and the next group arrived, I looked up to see a visitor. It was a young man in his U.S. Navy uniform. That got my attention. I’m used to being in the school conference room but it’s usually full of middle school girls. He told me the receptionist had told him to hide in the room while he waited for his “little’ sister to arrive.
I live in the Hill Country of Texas and we just don’t see a lot of active duty military men and women in uniform in our day-to-day lives. The Navy is part of the history of my husband’s life and that of his brother and father. For me, seeing Navy military members is not unusual. Seeing them in the school in that room is. I had worked as a civilian for three military services, so of course I wanted to learn more about what he does and where he does it.
As he talked, I remembered he mentioned that he was hiding. I asked if his sister knew he was coming–and the answer was no. An unexpected surprise was about to be revealed right there in that conference room! We quickly put together a small bouquet of flowers and then she arrived.
To say it was a joyful and dramatic moment would be an understatement. It was a powerful reconnecting and all of it was happening in this school conference room in the middle of Texas, far away from where he does his work.
After some more tears and photo taking they left to visit elsewhere because those students we are used to seeing showed up.
On any other day there would not have been flowers to share and fifteen minutes earlier or later, the room would not have been available. Those little things that are unexpected can be more memorable than we imagine. I am sure this will be a story they will share over the years. Awesome!
Success!!! My little book about group mentoring with girls and young women and led by volunteers is finally finished and published. Please click above to learn more.
As I stand back and read it as a woman, wife, mother, sister, daughter, professional woman and someone actively involved in doing things that can make a positive impact on the lives of girls and women, I see what you will see.
Stepping back from being the author sharing about real world experiences that I and others had over a four year period gives me the luxury of really just reading the book like you would.
In addition to use by volunteers, I can see how home school parents/teachers could use some of the resources mentioned or provided. Those from Sean Covey are good for students and adults!
Grandparents and parents can gain a different perspective of what young people are encountering these days out in the world and at school; the good and the not-so-good. Community leaders who really want to do something transformational and not just a one-time activity which seems more charitable than it is life changing could use it.
Some of you may have perfect lives with perfect children, grandchildren, friends, and other family members. We didn’t and don’t. Our brilliant and independent son had what I call an adventurous youth. I tell people that behind the facade of this suburbanite mom is a woman who has learned a lot of street smarts along the way because of our son’s adventures. It all worked out, but it was work.
Over time I became the neighborhood coach for how to handle home-schooling (at the high school level) and gave support to parents who found their lives turned upside down by massive changes in their child’s behavior. Good kids with good parents. Both just needed a little information, care, and coaching. Later in life these experiences gave me some confidence as a group of community volunteers started a group mentoring lunchtime activity in a public school for pre-teen and teen girls/young women.
When you are shopping for a gift for yourself and others, please consider making this little book your choice
Now I can say “I wrote” and not ” I’m writing”.
The experienced based book, Life Skills and Mentoring for Groups of Girls and Young Women in Public Schools is published!
Please check it out by clicking here.
Soon it will be available on Amazon.com. But…if you order from the link above it is a more advantageous to the author (that would be me in this case).
If you are looking for a meaningful volunteer activity, or just someone who is interested in the success of girls and young women, please consider getting a copy. Everyone learns in the process, not just the students.
More later, but just feeling joyful that it’s finished and that I have talented women around me who helped by reading, editing, asking questions, and being supportive!
So, why didn’t she just tell someone she was sexually abused…raped…harassed…discriminated against?
I’ve been going through my computer files looking from something from 2014. Haven’t found it, but I did discover this essay I started in September 2015.
I vaguely remember writing something about the Bill Cosby thing. While I have been fortunate not to be a victim of sexual assault, I lived through sexual harassment, discrimination, and a feeling of being powerless. It was a life-changing and lonely experience.
Now here we are in 2017 and the lid has blown off of the whole subject of women who found themselves on the losing end of power struggles with highly successful, influential, and powerful men. Now, in 2017 we have the “MeToo” social media campaign which allows women (and yes probably some men too) to proclaim in writing with two simple words that it happened to them. That is a powerful thing to do.
This is what I wrote. It’s lightly edited, but I think worth posting.
I look forward to the end of divide and conquer!
Our favorite actor, social commentator, comedian, and philosopher about how young people, especially black young men, should live their lives is discovered to be a longtime philandering husband. That is a matter between him and his wife, until it becomes global headline news about how he paid young women money to hush up the whole thing so his wife wouldn’t find out. Then the storyline develops, and we hear that many women were forced into a sexual relationship with this powerful and rich man, but they didn’t tell anyone. Years later, as society becomes more open to hearing the voices of women who accuse powerful and accomplished men of sexual misconduct, regardless of how much money, fame, or power the woman has, the truth begins to slowly be told. Empowered by the discovery that it didn’t just happen to “me”, other women begin to talk out loud to the public and to other victims about their experiences. And the question becomes, where were these women all those years ago? Some say, how convenient it is to bring it up now so many years later. Why didn’t they just say something when it happened?
Any woman who lived and worked through the 70s, 80s, and even into the 90s knows why. The whole situation seems unbelievable and disgusting. The guilt of being so helpless along with the common knowledge that rich, powerful people have more resources and lawyers to help them out of a difficult situation encourages the woman to hide the truth from others. No kitchen table talk with girlfriends. No conversations around the dinner table. Just internalized fear and anger. The best ally a man has in this situation is the fear that drives women not to talk to each other. In this case that fear subsided and the talking has begun. Could this have happened earlier? Apparently not. There is so much embarrassment, fear of being pushed out of jobs, considered difficult, damage to personal family relationships, and just a lot to lose by chatting it up with others about the behavior that most find so inappropriate that it is easier to just not believe it. Divide and conquer turns out to be a pretty effective strategy for a repeat offender.
Dear Nations of the World
Are you a democracy needing new citizens to help you grow your country, or set it on a path of development and progress? Your timing is right! The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is being phased out and can give you a solution. Currently there are approximately 800,000 young people who are subject to release from the United States and will be looking for replacement home countries.
They will no longer need to worry 24×7 about being deported, separated from family members (both here and in their country of origin), losing a job, and being unable to attend or continue with higher education. These are all things they have worked hard to be allowed to do. Being forced to re-settle may be one of the best things that ever happened to them and to your country!
These 800,000 young people are already screened and identified. Every two years they have to pay to apply to have their “papers” renewed. This also means they have had background checks and fingerprinting. They are patient and resilient. Even when these young people have followed all the directions and submitted their papers within the limited time frame, the renewal documentation was not always finalized by the U.S. government in time. This often resulted in these young people losing their jobs, putting their higher education progress at risk, and unable to go home without risking being unable to return to work and school. Yet, they stuck with it and managed to survive until that all-important DACA renewal came.
To those countries who are interested, please know that these 800,000 young people are usually bi-lingual, have shouldered adult responsibilities, and learned how to overlook a hostile attitude towards them for something they had no control over. Most were children brought to the United States by their parents or family members.
Even in your country, you may remember growing up and your parents told you to pack up, “we’re moving.” Did you have any say in it? Did you ask, is it legal? Did you say you wouldn’t go? Of course not. You were a child and did what you were told. So did these young people.
Please open your doors and hearts and consider offering these young people an opportunity for a good job; a real job based on their credentials. DACA approval has an education requirement and chances are you will be receiving high school graduates of U.S. schools and some who have higher education. Those who managed to find their way to college in spite of the significant barriers for people with the hybrid immigration status they hold, are usually leaders in their communities, within their families, in faith communities and in volunteer organizations.
Invite some of these young people into your large international corporations. Match their skills and abilities to the needs of your country. Give them passports and visas so they can easily and legally go home to visit their families in both the U.S. and their native countries. Treasure them and give them the courtesy your country gives to displaced people who are migrating to avoid persecution in their current location or country.
Those of us, who know some of these young people and have seen their struggles, will miss them. We know that freedom is precious and now it is time for these 800,000 young people to at least have the opportunity to experience it. We also know they will have the ability to legally come back and visit us! We can truly enjoy seeing the fullness of their potential as they move out of the darkness of being undocumented, treated like criminals, or considered an “illegal alien.”
As our friends disperse to places throughout the world, it will be interesting to see the impact they have in the new home countries where they land. What will they do there that improves the lives of their fellow citizens and economies of their new nations? As they move confidently in their new lives because of things they learned growing up and being educated in the United States, a highly developed democratic country, how will they tell the story of their experiences there?
To the nations of the world. Are you listening and preparing for the opportunity?
©Debra Hadsall 2017
This article has been posted on website for publications, but is not now easily accessible there.
I’m posting it here because it represents the best “bio” about me and what led to my first book, the Financial Freedom Party for Women, A Little Book about Money for Women.
My friend and talented professional writer, Katherine Hause, tells the story in a way that I love!
Party with a Purpose
Transforming a Niche into a Market
Limited by accepted policy and frustrated by the lack of support and materials, financial advisor Debra Hadsall turned a time-tested concept into an innovative system for better reaching an underserved market of investors.
The time is early evening, the place, a comfortable suburb in deep South Texas. The street is deserted, the light almost gone. All quiet, except at one house where, judging by the cars lining the curb, it’s clear that in here there’s a party going on. A pachanga, as they’d call it here, family style.
Inside, there’s the usual cast of characters: mamas, daughters, an occasional baby or son-in-law, and the usual dining room table laden with homemade concoctions, some hot, some cold. Every now and then someone wanders in, fills a plate and disappears into the living room. Because, tonight, that is where the action is.
At the front of that room is the hostess – indisputably the one who organized this event — and a woman with a flip chart and a small paperback booklet, twin to those in the laps of her audience. They pore over these booklets like catalogs, but it’s not candles or cosmetics that these women are shopping for: it’s answers to their financial services needs.
This is a party all right, but a Financial Freedom Party for Women®, the brainchild of financial advisor Debra Hadsall who developed the concept as a way to engage a previously untapped source of women investors using the home party sales model.
Q: What is the Financial Freedom Party for Women?
DH: The Financial Freedom Party for Women – FFP for short – is a unique and low-cost tool that serves two purposes: to educate women about financial management and to provide investment and insurance professionals with an effective medium and the materials for connecting with potential clients in a meaningful way.
Q: And you created it because…?
DH: Because in my experience, the financial services industry is not meeting the needs of the female client or the financial services professional who works with women, their families, and friends.
Q: How does the FFP remedy this?
DH: Simply put, through the marriage of two sales methods: the home party and the financial services presentation.
Q: Why is this model particularly attractive to women?
DH: Money management is a private and personal matter, even more so to women who tend to be uncomfortable with money management and distrustful of the financial services community. FFP is designed to bridge that gap through a process that connects them in a fun, familiar, and supportive way.
Q: Are you speaking as a client or Financial Services Professional?
DH: Both, really. Like many people growing up, I didn’t know much about how money works and wasn’t really offered any education about things like investing, insurance, and debt – and I have a minor in economics! I knew about having a job and making money, but the concept of passive income and an income stream from investments was really not mentioned. It surprised me to find that the women I was getting to know through my networking – even successful career women — felt as uncomfortable as I had about money management.
Q: And you knew what you didn’t like….
DH: Like everyone else, I have been approached by advisors, insurances sales people, brokers, and others in the financial services industry. The sales process is pretty standard and not very personal. I would receive a letter or a phone call followed up by another phone call and then a request for a meeting in an advisor’s office. There was a constant turnover in the advisors and insurance agents in the networking groups and each one repeated the sales process. All a big turn off and leaving me uncomfortable with entrusting my money – and my future – to something and someone I knew so little about.
Q: So you saw a need….
DH: When I joined the financial services industry as a licensed insurance producer, then a registered representative, I did so because I saw a need for middle-income women to have useful and appropriate information and financial solutions. That was important to me because I never felt I had affordable access to good financial advice. I soon discovered that the securities and insurance industries have evolved slowly over the years and the educational formats were very traditional. Most presentations were quite technical, pretty boring, and did not easily attract an audience, let alone audiences of women.
Q: Why is this, do you think?
DH: As I found when retailing financial services, the main motives of investment and insurance companies are to teach the client enough to hope she will buy the company’s product. Use of these materials by brokers/representatives is usually tied to some type of production requirement or commitment. For new representatives (with small levels of sales, or no existing client base) this is a problem. Also, not all the seminars are targeted to the entire financial picture, focusing only on the areas promoted by a particular company. For example, most presentations mention little, if anything, about debt management and focus mainly on investing.
Q: But why the home party concept?
DH: The Financial Freedom Party (FFP) was created when I found many other women brokers, like myself, were frustrated that women wouldn’t show up at financial seminars. Only three to four women would attend, even though we mailed invitations with plenty of lead time, followed up, and targeted our efforts to women who needed this information, and who were not already working with a financial services professional. One evening I attended a home sales party hosted by a neighbor. There were 30 or so women there and they were buying a lot! A light went off in my head. It was suddenly clear to me that we need to change our approach in the financial services industry. And with the help of two other women brokers, the FFP concept was born.
Q: How is the FFP different?
DH: FFP is based around the power of relationships. Women really are relationship “buyers.” We don’t like hard sell and we prefer doing business with someone we know and trust. FFP is built on the concept of one person connecting with another person who introduces the first person to a group of her friends. In party plans, it is the hostess who invites friends and introduces them to the person with a product or service. Successful parties involve product education, relationship building, and the chance for the attendee to comfortably make a purchase without feeling pressured. This structure has been very successful for many years in marketing products to women.
Q: So where’s the value?
DH: The FFP gives an overview of a variety of areas of money management, offering a balanced overview of all aspects of a woman’s financial life. It isn’t about a product; it’s about information and, along with it the confidence that knowledge inspires; the confidence, for example, to plan, to invest. It also allows the attendee the chance to meet a financial services professional in a warm and friendly environment. This is a big change from sitting in an auditorium and experiencing a Power Point presentation. The party is really the beginning of the possibility of networking relationships and, of course, sales.
Q: You mentioned materials….
DH: The cornerstone of FFP is an inexpensive booklet that actually evolved from my first presentation script. The Financial Freedom Party for Women ®, A Little Book about Money for Women is an unpretentious little workbook designed to educate the reader about basic financial management concepts. It also includes everything the financial professional or party host needs to know in order to conduct a party – tips, a script, work sheets, and role playing cards for “party games.”
Q: How is that important?
DH: It starts the dialogue. The roles in the game cards present hypothetical situations, but are reflective of questions women ask and situations that occur in life. This is the springboard. Personal questions arise. And, as each individual situation is unique, questions relevant to personal finances and specific to the individual are directed to the appropriate professional to ensure that the situation has been evaluated carefully and appropriately, thus setting the stage for further discussion. (The Authors and Publisher specifically disclaim any liability, loss, or risk which is incurred as a consequence directly or indirectly of the use and application of any of the contents of this work.)
Q: But it’s not promoting a product. How does this benefit the Financial Services Professional conducting the party?
DH: It’s all about the relationship. Time and patience are required. For some of the party goers, the topics covered during the party are entirely new concepts. For a woman newly widowed, or just starting to earn money on her own, this may be the first time she has needed to think about financial planning. – or even about such simple things as insurance or a will. The response to the Financial Freedom Party has been positive. Some of the attendees became insurance or investment clients. Others just simply benefited from the information provided and became more confident about their financial decisions. I’ve had women come back months or even a year later and say “now I’m ready to invest.” I’ve even had clients who never attended a party but were referred to me by someone who had.
Q: If a Financial Services Professional wanted to use FFP as a marketing tool, is there any training required or is it simply a question of just buying and reading the book?
DH: Training is certainly available – especially for anyone not comfortable with presenting in the home party format — but FFP is structured so any Financial Services Professional could hit the ground running after reading it through with just a little practice.
Q: Where can the book be purchased?
DH: The first two editions of the book are available at Amazon.com. The most recent edition is available directly from lulu.com and there is a link at www.financialfreedomparty.com
Katherine Hause is a freelance writer whose articles regularly appear in
Debra Hadsall has been involved in the financial management business in both public and private sectors for most of her adult life. For more than a decade she has concentrated her efforts on working with women and coaching them on how to be financially free by teaching them how money works and getting them involved in taking charge of their finances. She holds a degree in business administration with a minor in economics and held a variety of securities and insurance licenses. She recently released the third edition of her book, Financial Freedom Party for Women®, A Little Book about Money for Women, now available in workbook format
The Party Success Model
Want to learn more about how party-goers have benefited from attending parties and how Debra placed business in the areas of mutual funds and variable annuity investments, term life insurance, and legal plan sales? Please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may follow her blog about women, money, and other topics of interest to women at www.financialfreedomparty.com
According to the 2010 U.S. census, there are 92,086,050 women in the U.S. between the ages of 20-64. If we can share the Financial Freedom Party for Women with only 10% — 9.2 million women – it would be transformative.”
Copyright©2016 by Debra Hadsall
Two years ago I was seeking refuge in an art gallery in Fredericksburg, Texas. The whole 4th of July joy for me was being reduced by all the tourists who frequent the Berg on holidays and the downtown area was packed, even in the Texas heat. It all seemed a little overdone and commercial. So I slipped into a beautiful little oasis at an art gallery. The gallery describes its purpose to be: Graceful Discoveries. Finding something special that satisfies your senses, speaks to your soul, and fills your heart with joy. My husband and I found that to be true There I met a local artist, Sara Winters.
If this story sounds familiar, it’s because I posted about it on the 4th in 2015. Some things are worth repeating.
The change of pace and the feel of the gallery was noticeable. We landed at the right place to reframe the celebration of our country’s independence.All this freedom we enjoy was better displayed for me in the artwork, including Sara’s little painting which is shown above (it’s since been sold). I found this piece to be simple and nostalgic in a meaningful way. More authentic, simple, and colorful in a perfect way, than the commercialism flash and noise usually associated with the 4th.
I think I love her painting even more because she is such an interesting person and she spent time with me showing some of her other pieces. Sara stands out among the other artists to me because she is a young woman with small children and is self taught. Her studio is not in town, but out in the country where barns have multiple uses.
To have art placed in the gallery where we met, the artist has to be really good at what she or he does. So, my amateur art appreciation opinion of Sara’s work is validated by experts.
Happy 4th and I thank Sara for the afternoon that has led to us still being in touch off and on for the last two years. Our visit even inspired me and some other women to go with a group of middle school students to the gallery. It was an amazing experience for everyone.
I see the afternoon in the gallery with so much art about nature and people as the way we truly are in the United States in our normal day-to-day living. The story of freedom, and all that we are offered were apparent to me that afternoon. We have the freedom to pursue our dreams. It doesn’t have to be all noise and splash to be enjoyable. It can be found in a small painting and a conversation with someone who is new to us and may have abilities we don’t have, but can enjoy and appreciate.
Happy 4th of July.
My monkey mind postings relate to Buddha’s description of the human mind as being filled with drunken monkeys, jumping around, screeching, chattering, and carrying on endlessly. These postings come from my monkey mind.
How we communicate with others often defines our relationships with them. A few words may be all we get to set the stage for the future connections we have or don’t get to have with them. I have been thinking about that a lot recently and my thoughts are not just about adults, but also about children and youth who are just learning how to treat others. This is where my monkey mind has led me:
She had written Girls Lit from Within about ten years ago and I wanted to use it in a life skills mentoring program I and some other women are involved in for middle school girls. The little book is so powerful because it is told from her viewpoint as a girl. The communication is somewhat childlike in parts. The message is about getting out of the girl box. Her storytelling allows the reader, even adults, to be in that girl mindset and see the world from a non-adult perspective. The girls and adults loved it. I learned a lot too.
About two years ago Molly decided to create an organization which revolves around what I call civil dialog and active listening done in a manner which is respectful of all involved. She is more eloquent in her description and I encourage you to go to the link for more details. The Red Boot Coalition is simply teaching and re-teaching us the process of communication; not telling us how to think.
Over the last year I have also found myself constantly referring back to a concept I learned in a leadership program which helps me better understand how to navigate these tricky times for communication. Today everyone seems to have an opinion which they feel free to offer without much consideration of how the listener might react. There is clearly an absence of communication by people who “begin with the end in mind” as taught by Stephen Covey in his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
The concept is called transactional analysis and involves three levels of communication. The words seem complicated but the concept is really simple. A short overview is available by clicking here. It gives the basics. How I have adapted the components to be understandable to me is explained below.
My work in financial literacy for girls and women requires me to just listen to what is on our/their minds. Not everyone I meet operates from my background, belief system, or has had my life experiences. So of course we are not always going to agree on everything—or maybe anything. However, if we consciously evaluate what communication style is appropriate for the situation; civil dialog is pretty amazing and possible. More next time!