Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 9 months ago

155) #ExponentialInsights: Everyone Has a Money Story. It’s Time We Shared Them.

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Everyone says they want to see more financial education…

But that will never happen unless we actually start talking openly about money.

Everyone has a financial story — it’s time we all told it.

That’s what drives Jelaire Grillo, Customer Relationship Manager at Prosperity Home Mortgage, to empower her customers to share

Join us as we discuss:

- Why we need to overcome the taboo of sharing our financial struggles

- How Jelaire’s money journey led to her passion for financial education

- Why financial brands need to stop treating customers like transactions

You can find this interview and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Banking on Digital Growth in your favorite podcast player.

...whether it's their money journey, their personal journey, whatever journey their on more and more people are embracing the fact that they can open up that they can be vulnerable. You're listening to banking on digital growth with James robert lay a podcast that empowers financial brand, marketing, sales and leadership teams to maximize their digital growth potential by generating 10 times more loans and deposits. Today's episode is part of the exponential insight series where James robert ley interviews the industry's top marketing sales and Fintech leaders sharing practical wisdom to exponentially elevate you and your team. Let's get into the show greetings and hello, I am James robert ley and welcome to the 156 episode of the Banking on Digital Growth podcast. Today's episode is part of the exponential insight series and I'm excited to welcome gel Agrio to the show, where is the customer relationship manager at prosperity home mortgage and was a member of one of our recent banking on digital growth book clubs where she shared some very interesting perspective in thinking around her own experience of working with a financial coach and how financial coaching has made a positive impact on the work that she's doing as a customer relationship manager at prosperity home mortgage. And this idea of financial coaching is one that I've talked about before on the podcast. It's, it's it's one, it's a subject that I'm personally passionate about because financial coaching I see is a very viable path for a financial brand for a Fintech for a mortgage company, to maximize their future digital growth potential, so I'm really looking forward to diving into this deep with you today. Welcome to the show Julia. It is so good to have you on today. Thank you for having me. I'm super excited before we get into this idea around financial coaching. Um I always like to start off on a positive note, something that's been good for you personally, professionally, it's always your pick what's been going well, so lots of things, it's always hard to pick just one thing because I feel like life is really good right now. Um I have a life coach and she asks me that question often and I'm always like, life can't I just say life can't that just be it? And she goes, don't you want to get more specific anyways. Um, so I would say probably professionally, it's just getting back out on the road, right, we've been so secluded, I feel like, and so virtual for so long now, um it's been nice to get in front of people, talk to people. Um it definitely rings different when you're in person with somebody and you can hear what their goals are, what their struggles are, where they want to go next. I feel like it's more impactful when it's in person. It really is and it's kind of that double edged sword because getting in person, it is more...

...personable, but then there's also that time and I think that's what we didn't expect. We almost got comfortable working in this remote world where we got some time back now those things, the pendulum begins to swing the other way now we're quote unquote losing time, but I'm also trying to reframe this, what are we gaining? We're gaining that sense of relationship, we're gaining that sense of humanity, were gaining that sense of community that I think well, so long and crave for. And I know one of the other things too that has been going well for you professionally was you you got the the XP award um and a lot of that, you know, the work that you've been doing with with with total expert and automation at the accelerate conference. I was so excited for you to receive that. What was that award for? Just to explain it for the dear listener here. Sure. So it was for building journeys which are just basically um campaigns that are smart, like really smart automation. Um and so I love building journeys because I love putting together the relationship And I feel like it really gives us an opportunity to not only incorporate automation but also make it personal at the same time. So I was really excited to get the award. Um I love building them. I've got about I think maybe 60 or 70 under my belt at this point, so they're fun to build. So it was exciting. Well, I gotta tell you, we we we definitely got to have you back on to dive deep into an automation conversation because I think what you're you're hitting on this this idea of the relationship, automation doesn't have to be cold or impersonal, it it can still be very connected or connecting activity that brings people together. But but for today we're gonna focus on just your story, your journey around this idea of financial coaching because when you share this with with me in in in one of the banking on digital with book clubs a while back, I was like wow, first and foremost, thank you for the courage to share that with the group and two, I look at this as such a tremendous growth opportunity for financial brands to guide people. You mentioned even you know a life coach, but we're going to focus on the financial coaching here because this is where financial brands can truly put the transformation of people over the commoditized transaction of dollars and cents and with your own experience, do you do agree or disagree with this as a possible growth opportunity for financial brands, for banks for credit and I know you're coming in this from the mortgage side, but but just from your own experience, do you agree or disagree? I agree. I think this is I wish people would talk about it more. I wish it wasn't so taboo to talk about financial stress and where we struggle with our finances. But I know for me...

...personally I have a backstory, right? So I know my I call it my money journey, I know my money journey. I know what makes me tick and I know what sets me off or what causes me the most stress. It took me a long time to get there between the life coach and the financial coast. Both of them working in tandem to help me recognize what maybe triggers me or what really stresses me out. Getting to that point made me so much more confident moving into bigger financial decisions in my life and there's a lot of people that are in this boat. I'm not the only one. I know I'm not the only one and we talked about this a lot here at prosperity. What when we're talking to clients and we are getting to know them. Are we getting to know them on a transaction basis or are we getting to know them? Why are they making this decision? Is there any part of this decision that's making them nervous? That's stressing them out, that's holding them back and how can we help them move forward? The problem is, I don't think we ask these questions enough and therefore I don't feel, I don't think people feel comfortable enough to make these big decisions and sometimes people are making these big decisions without even thinking about these things. That's a great point and and you know, we've done so much research around this. Primary research. Secondary research tD bank did a study, 85% of people in the United States, feel some sort of financial stress Stash.com did another study 33%. So it's if you think about this and I just did an episode about this recently, one out of every three people, you know, is losing sleep because of, of financial stress. And so let's roll the clock back here. Why did you join a financial coaching program in the first place? Did you wake up one day and think, gee I could really use a financial coach. What what got got you started on, we'll call it your like as you, you reference your money journey. So I actually pushed my husband into it first. He graduated with his undergrad with a ridiculous amount of school debt. And I saw the toll it was taking on him as we started to make big financial decisions in our life, buying our first home, buying our second home. You know, we have a son saving for college. I could see the toll it was taking on him when he would sit down and go over the numbers and I, you know, I looked at him and I said, I have a friend who works for the financial jim and I feel like maybe this would be really good for you. It'll give you an opportunity to talk about all of the stressors, but also a game plan that you know, you can live up to and just an accountability partner because I feel like that's all everybody really wants, right? Like I want somebody to hold me accountable to reaching these goals. And so he did it. And so I was, you know, I encouraged him and as I watched him do it, I knew...

...deep down that it was time for me to also take that leap. I'm not just together as a couple, but me personally because of my money story and it took me a while to get to that point. I had a lot of sessions with my life coach to get me to that point, but he, my husband was actually the start of all of it. Me encouraging him to do it and then the following behind him. That's it. It's just so beautiful. I think you referenced your money journey now, you're talking about your money story and we all have a story that really gets routed back into our family of origin, the environment, and a lot of that, you know, has impacted me my own money story if you will and why I do what I do today, and some of the demons that I've had to battle on this on this journey here and thinking about your your own money journey in your own money story. You reference your husband, but but let's look at at at Delaire here, what has been most helpful for you. Like what has been the positive benefits if you think about where you've been, where you're at and then also where you might be going, what's been most helpful for you on this journey so far. So, I mean, there's a lot of things I think that have helped me move through this journey, but you know, I think it's important to know kind of where I started, right? So before I made the decision to have a financial coach, I was in a position in my life and my money story where I was so scared to make a purchase because maybe the money wouldn't be there tomorrow. And that does stem back to childhood family, right? So, like my upbringing, the family that I was raised in, I think everybody's money stories probably start there and I always have this fear that I can't spend the money because it's not going to be there, right? Like what if I wake up tomorrow, it's all gone and I just went and I bought X, y and z. Do I really need it? And so I was the person who would go into the store and hold something in my hands and walk around with it for two hours and then put it back down and leave because that stress that anxiety would start like start coming up and so I knew this was no way for me to live like I can't live like this. Um you know, I'm way too smart with my money because of my money history. And so I needed to take the initiative to find somebody to help me conquer this. And at the same time I started a business. So if I'm going to start a business and I have anxiety around money, I'm really gonna need somebody to kind of make sure that I'm staying on the up and up. So, so I made the decision to put myself in that place, I made myself vulnerable. I...

...opened myself up. That's the other thing you can't hold back, right? So with that person with my financial coach, he knows everything about me, he knows what holds me back, he knows what triggers me. And from there, he's able to develop a plan to help me succeed in my money journey. And so it was baby steps, everything big happens because it started small. And so we started small, we didn't do anything crazy, we didn't do anything big, and eventually we just snowballed one small step into the next and now I'm in a place where I can spend my money and feel okay about it because I know that there will still be money there tomorrow because I'm a responsible human being. But it took a while to get there. I think I'm a year into this and I still have to check back in, I still have moments where anxiety creeps in. It's never gonna be perfect. It's always a work in progress. It's, it's so interesting to hear you say that because you know 20 years, the digital Growth Institute is right at 20 years old now and the financial paranoia will call it. Um I had in the early days it did a lot of good because it created a nice cushion but it also created a lot of conflict, personal conflict, relational conflict with with employees, conflict on the home front with my wife and then we start having kids. And it's a paranoia for me personally. But once again it all stems back to that early childhood environment. It's it's what you're taking in probably up until the age of seven which and it's not even being communicated, it's just what you're probably observing and that's getting programmed into your subconscious mind and I think you know, I'm so fascinated about this here when when we're talking about this subject because coming from an M. I. S. Background and programming background, I'm like if we can program computers and marketing automation workflows, why can't we program or in this particular case reprogram the mind neural plasticity now enters into the conversation and we can create, I know we're getting way deep into a tangent here but that's to me the opportunity for financial brands that goes beyond just the transaction. But now that's real transformation and it's something I believe through my own experience and talking with hundreds of others like yourself here, you can't do this alone, you know, you've got to have someone walking this journey with you, if nothing more, I think you use the word accountability. So how has the coaching program that you've been a part of work? We'll call it practically speaking for those listening, who might want to bring something like this into their financial brand, maybe into their Fintech. Do you meet weekly? Is it monthly? Quarterly? You said you've...

...been doing this for about a year now, What, what has this looked like practically speaking for you? So at the beginning we were meeting weekly, right? Um I felt that that's what I needed in order for me to have some peace of mind and that's really what it boils down to whoever your financial coaches, you know, has that conversation with you. What do you need to feel like we are making progress to feel like you have some semblance of peace of mind. And for me at the time it was weekly and every other week it would be me and my husband, we would meet together and then the other weeks it would just be me. So I could focus on my anxieties, my fears and my business that was coming off of the ground. Now we meet monthly, twice once for me, once for my husband and we do quarter, we do a big quarterly meeting when we break down numbers for everything, the numbers in our household and then numbers for my business. And so it really, but it was my call, I got to make that decision on what I felt was right for me, Digital growth is a journey from good to great. But sometimes this journey can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelming the good news is you don't have to take this journey alone because now you can join a community of growth minded marketing and sales leaders from financial brands and fin techs who are all learning, collaborating and growing together, visit digital growth dot com slash insider to learn more about how you can join the digital growth insider community to maximize your future digital growth potential. Now, back to the show, there's a sense of agency, there was a sense of control ownership, that's a great point and and I'm curious maybe the dear listeners is thinking we're already kind of doing this, we're already offering financial education, were already offering financial literacy, my personal opinion and have a strong opinion on this, I don't think that's enough and it could be and it could be doing more harm than than good. And there's a economist out there who's been writing, I forget his name off the top of my head, but there's an economist out there who's been writing against why providing financial literacy by itself could be very dangerous because it creates a pseudo confidence, like, well I read this article, so I know this is so then I can go make a decision, but they it could be doing more harm than good. So what's the difference between financial coaching, financial education, financial literacy, how can we break some of this apart here? So, I actually would challenge that and say, I agree it does, I think it does more harm than it does good. But if I'm looking at it from my standpoint of view for people who are like me, when I was reading something on financial literacy or education, I actually think it has not the confidence effect for me, it actually makes me more stressed out because it makes me feel like I'm not doing these things. So if I'm not doing these things and I'm not meeting these...

...expectations, then maybe I can't make these financial decisions, maybe I'm not doing something right, and then I start to spiral some more. So I think we need those things. I think financial education is important. Financial literacy is important. I think though it's important in our earlier years, not in our adult years, right? So I feel like this those things should have been taught when I was in school, so that when I'm an adult, I don't feel this anxiety, I don't feel this panic and I feel a little bit more prepared. That's a that's a great point. And and I think we're on the same page with this thinking because we're offering this without context, we're offering it without perspective and it can create kind of that downward spiral, reinforcing negative thought negative emotion, you know, thinking about that and that negative thought negative emotion where where where you were before, where you're at now how is your we'll call it money relationship because we talked about your money journey, your money story. How is your money relationship transformed through the coaching that that you've done personally. So I think for me it's just made me I think there's more have more empathy right? Like I I really want to get to know the person that I'm talking to and when I'm coaching R. M. C. S on how to build better relationships with their clients with their customers. This is what we're talking about right? Like we just we have to get out of the mindset of looking at these people is just purely transactions. We're in the business of building relationships so why not start the relationship off with some of these really important questions. Really get an idea of who these people are, why they're making this decision and what if anything is holding them back. So I think just there's just a lot more empathy. I think there there's a for me when I'm coaching there's just a lot more of those more deeper questions which make people uncomfortable. We totally get that. I think that's just a society thing right? Like this is the world we live in, we're not making this a norm but the difference it will make it is my hope and the research is there to back this up. For example, couples, couples. It's easy for them to talk about sex than it is to talk about money. It is really my hope that we break all of the taboos around this. Because once you start getting conversations going and I've seen this with financial brands have been in our program, they start, they start bringing this, they start asking some of the difficult questions, but then they're leading themselves internally, particularly at an executive level. Like, hey, this is my money story. This is where I've been. You know, this has been my experience and then it allows people to begin to open up what knowing, you know, your own story here and the...

...coaching that you've experienced. I like how you're transferring this personally into your professional life as well because I think empathy is a key element. Empathy is a strategic competitive advantage in this digital world. What's a commonly held belief when it comes to financial coaching that others in the industry might have, but you would disagree with where where could they maybe transform some of their thinking in their mind set a little bit around the subject here. Well, I think when people start diving into any deep sort of topic, they sort of start to hold back a little bit more. So let's put it in the perspective of like the the loan officer in our case, the mortgage consultant, if I'm sitting down and I'm talking to them and they've been in the industry for a while and I'm like, these are some of the questions you should be asking your clients, it's gonna make a big difference on the upfront with this relationship. If you get an idea of who they are, roles, mindset etcetera. The minute you say words like mindset, the minute you say words, you know, like where are your struggles? The people start to shut down right? They start, it's almost taboo, it's just like a taboo topic. And so this is uh this is where I start to get really kind of, not heated but super passionate because I know my money story and I know what a difference it's made in my life to embrace it, to talk about it, to be vulnerable, it's made a difference everywhere in my life. So I wish people would just be a little bit more accepting of these types of topics because most people tend to shut down when these types of topics come up and I don't, I feel like we're doing ourselves a huge disservice by shutting these conversations down and not allowing them to happen, allowing them to happen and also providing a form, a mechanism if you will, to facilitate around this. How common is it do you think for those working in the financial services, it doesn't matter if you work at a bank or credit union Fintech, a mortgage company, you know, to to be struggling themselves around some of these topics and that creates a bit of we'll call it imposter syndrome. How common is that do you think from what maybe what you're hearing, seeing from your own experience here? I would say it's probably fairly common, right? I mean, I'd have to say it is. I mean, Look at me, I work in the financial industry, I have now for the past 10 years or so. I don't know, I lose track of time and time flies when you're having fun. Time flies when you're having fun. Exactly. And my brain is not a numbers brain. My brain is a creative brain, but I work in this industry and here I am helping people build relationships on building journeys. I'm building content and all around this topic that scares that scares me, right? That gives me nothing...

...but anxiety. So I would imagine that I am not the only person in this vote. I would imagine that there are many others books, books that you would recommend around the subject. I have some books that have been transformative just within my own relationship here with money books podcast, you know, others who might be thinking, I want to bring some of this thinking in, I want to I want to start a financial coaching program at my Financial brand, out my bank, my credit, my fintech, maybe even at my mortgage company. What? Because I think that would be because if you think about like buying a home and what's needed in the psychological toll that takes. I, my wife and I, we we we we built a home, bought a home back in 2006 and I was like, we're not going to do this for a very, very long time. What, what would you say? What would be the books, resources that you would recommend here? So I um so podcast I listened to all of the time um is financial, grown up, bobby rebel podcast. I love that podcast. I I love it because it's small little bursts of really good information that I feel like it's helped me a lot. Um and she dives into a lot of that practical financial literacy type stuff, but a lot of mindset work and so it's a good happy medium between both and I probably listened to that religiously. You know, I read um you are a badass at making money and that's a, that's a great book. I love that book. I probably go back to it quite often. I would say those are probably my two favorites when it comes to my money journey. You know, obviously I follow the financial gym religiously all of their platforms, you know, they've got a lot of good, like webinars and they've got a podcast that I listened to and so you know, those are probably my three favorites that I go back to the most. I'm gonna add a couple onto this as well, Maybe maybe you've read them, maybe you have, it may be there for the dear listener Outwitting the devil by napoleon hill. Okay, so it's a great, I mean everyone thinks of napoleon hill and think, oh think and grow rich, but Outwitting the devil, napoleon Hill puts the devil on trial, it's a great perspective and it's all about fear and how fear really kind of controls a lot of our behaviors and thinking The science of getting rich by William Waddles. It's a mindset work back in the early 1900s um and then some of the works in the writings of Florence, Scovel, shinn um I would recommend as well. So these are our or the, and these authors are from like the 19 tens, 19 twenties, 19 thirties, which it's over 100 years old, some of their writings, but they're so practical, so...

...relevant today when it comes to, I think the relationship that many of us have with money, I want to come back here and this has been a great conversation dolares as we begin to wrap things up for a financial brand, listening for Fintech, listening for even maybe a mortgage company listening, what, what are some of the greatest opportunities you see that are available for them to either create or captured by adding or offering financial coaching as part of their, maybe it's their, their, their positioning. Maybe it's a part of their product offering the greatest opportunities here at a macro level. Yeah, so I think probably the greatest opportunity is I think we're all doing a really good job of teaching people right? We are doing a good job of educating people while I like to think we are, but we're not doing a good enough job of finding out why we're educating people. And so I think we all have to find a way to figure out how to get to the y so that then we can get to the what we're teaching them, we're doing it sort of backwards here, right? So you have to figure that out and I I, you know, I work inside of total expert every day, could be a probably a full time job for me and one of the things that we are working on right now here at prosperity is how do we start the why before we put them on the journey? How do we get the why to a point where we can fully understand who this person is, where their mindset is so that the journey that they go on is appropriate for them and we are supporting them through that journey. So I feel like we need to, that's where everybody needs to be looking and whatever platform you do it on, however you get it done that you have to start with the why before you can even get into the how or what and then that's that's that's such a key point because it's it's the why, that's the that's the reason for transformation to begin in the first place. And it doesn't matter if you're talking financial transformation, you know, dietary, I know you're you're a lifter, I mean it all works hand in hand together like you have to your we'll call it purpose, the purpose has to be greater than the present moment and when we can identify and dig into that, then it's the what and then it's the how and I think you made a great point about we're doing a great job educating at least like you said, well I hope we are, but but there's a big difference difference between just educating and then the next step that I'm looking at is empowering because it's through the education then the coaching is is the empowering aspect that people can self actualize and make this their own, I think, you know, a lot of financial brands that that I've...

...worked with, I've advised, I've coached over the last 20 years and literally just had this conversation, they're like, can't you just come in and do this work for us. Uh and I'm like no, I said that I'm not here to be an occupying force. I am here to basically come in and support and empower and then because it's it's education, it's empowerment And as a result, that's where the elevation, that's where that next level comes into play. What are the roadblocks if you think about just your, you know, 10 years in the mortgage business, we'll call it financial services as a whole. What roadblocks could stand in the way of bringing some of this thinking in culturally to an organization? I think there might be an opportunity to start internally first and then build that that level of we'll call it confidence of of of this type of thinking methodology and then take it externally. But what might be some of the roadblocks that stand in the way here? I think it's the biggest roadblock. It's going to be mindset internally. So it's Changing the way that we're thinking about something, right? It's changing the way we may have been doing something for 20 years. It's that old, you know, my favorite saying, when I introduce something new to somebody, but I've been doing it this way for 15 years and it works, it might work a little bit, but it's not going to work anymore. This is the direction that we're moving in. We're seeing more and more people, whether it's their money journey, their personal journey, whatever journey their on more and more people are embracing the fact that they can open up, that they can be vulnerable. This isn't a mindset that a lot of people in the financial industry are in. And so that's the biggest roadblock is how do you get people who aren't in this mindset to embrace what's coming and I think that that's probably the biggest problem. Well, let's get let's get real practical here right at the very end, because you mentioned it before and I always wrap up with this, this final thinking here all change all transformation that leads to future. Growth begins with a very small, simple step forward. Doesn't have to be big. Typically it's the small one, small win plus another, plus another. As we get some momentum, what would be the recommendation you have for someone listening? They agree with what, what you've been sharing? Yeah, we could do this. What would be the small step that you would take to bring financial coaching into a financial brand just to make move forward and make some progress here. What would that be? I think you have to find a champion, right? So for me, practically what I will do or what I am doing is I have found somebody who shares a similar mindset as me, this is a successful person in our company who shares this mindset, who loves the idea of where this could possibly take their business and they're going to be my champion. We're going to try this together, we're going to start small...

...with one person who couldn't make a bigger impact and then we'll start slowly moving up. It's going to take time and I'm okay with that. But I think if you can find somebody who can be your champion, Somebody who's willing to take the leap with you that's a good small step to take right there. That's a great, it's a great point, find a champion, collaborate with them, connect with them and then bring that knowledge that education, that passion, that purpose too, another and then another and then another. And then before you know it you've made some really good momentum. You made a lot of progress here internally which they can be shared externally alert. Thank you. Thank you for the knowledge. Thank you for the insight. Thank you for you just opening up and sharing some of your story, you the your money journey with with us today. If someone wants to connect with you, continue the conversation, learn from you what's the best way for them to reach out and say hello. I would say on linkedin that's far probably where I spend most of my time. So you can find me on linkedin. Um and that's a good place to connect with me. Well I gotta tell you we're going to have you back to because we can have a whole another conversation around automation because I know that's just another big area that you've had of a lot of of of growth and success in. So definitely would would love to get you back on uh and dive deep around that subject. But but this has been a lot of fun, thank you so much for joining me on another episode of banking on digital growth chill air. Thanks for having me until next time and as always be well, do good and make your bed. Thank you for listening to another episode of banking on digital growth With James robert, ley to get even more practical and proven insights along with coaching and guidance, visit digital growth dot com slash insider to join a community of growth minded marketing and sales leaders from financial brands and fin techs until next time, Be well and do good. Mhm. Mhm. A.

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