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NO GLASS CEILING , JUST BLUE SKY Think Rich and Grow FROM DREAMING DOING Advant Edge GET THE EDGE AT WORK AND IN LIFE Nightingale-Conant’s FROM DREAMING DOING WORLD FINANCIAL GROUP IS HELPING ENTREPRENEURS MOVE FROM DREAMING TO DOING p48 VOLUME C, ISSUE 24 $4.95 USA $6.95 CANADA www.advantedgemag.com Tom Mathews World Financial Group Duluth, GA TO TO USE THE SAME FINANCIAL TOOLS AS THE SUCCESSFUL DO p16 PLUS:
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AT WORK AND IN LIFE DREAMING DOING - … doing advantedge get theedgeat work and in life nightingale-conant’s world financial group is helping entrepreneurs move from dreaming to

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Page 1: AT WORK AND IN LIFE DREAMING DOING - … doing advantedge get theedgeat work and in life nightingale-conant’s world financial group is helping entrepreneurs move from dreaming to

NO GLASS CEILING,JUST BLUE SKY

ThinkRich

andGrow

FROM

DREAMINGDOING

AdvantEdgeGET THE EDGE AT WORK AND IN LIFE

Nightingale-Conant’s

FROM

DREAMINGDOING

WORLD FINANCIAL GROUP IS HELPING ENTREPRENEURSMOVE FROM DREAMING TO DOING p48

VOLUME C, ISSUE 24

$4.95 USA

$6.95 C

AN

AD

A

www.advantedgemag.com

Tom MathewsWorld Financial Group

Duluth, GA

TOTO

USE THE SAME FINANCIAL TOOLSAS THE SUCCESSFUL DO p16

PLUS:

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84

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38 Lloyd Conant: This I BelieveLloyd Victor Conant had the vision to create a companywith the sole purpose to empower people to succeed. Hebelieved that in each of us lies the unawakened strengthto live the life we most desire ... and he was right. In this rare interview, learn this humble entrepreneur’s powerfulphilosophies on service, teamwork, idea generation, and the journey to success — which have been the foundation of Nightingale-Conant for over 40 years.

Nightingale-Conant's

Vol. C, No. 24

Features

62 The Strangest SecretKnow what will happen to 100 individuals who start evenat the age of 25, and who believe they will be successful?By the age of 65, only five out of 100 will make the grade! Why do so many fail? What happened to the sparkle that was there when they were 25? What became of their dreams, their hopes, their plans ... and why is there such a large disparity between what these people intended to do and what they actually accomplished? That is ... The Strangest Secret.By Earl Nightingale

54 Think and Grow RichNapoleon Hill has arguably influenced the success of more men and women than any other person in history. Steel magnate Andrew Carnegie was so impressed with Napoleon as a young reporter, that he convinced Hill to research and organize the world’s first philosophy of indi-vidual achievement. The project took 20 years to com-plete and included insights from such greats as Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and President Roosevelt. The result was a proven formula of 13 clearly delineated success principles,which has since changed the lives of millions —and made Napoleon Hill a legend for all time.

5www.advantedgemag.com AdvantEdge

cont

entsAdvantEdge

84 The Death of ImpossibilityThe Wright brothers achieved more than a technologicalbreakthrough when they conquered flight on December 17, 1903 — they redefined “possibility” for all of us. Apply the seven problem-solving principles the Wright brothers used over 100 years ago to break free from the impossibilities in your life.By Mark Eppler, Author, The Wright Way

48

48 From Dreaming to DoingHow World Financial Group is transforming the face of financial services and empowering entrepreneurs acrossNorth America to move from dreaming big dreams to living big dreams.By Sheila Lothian

®

Tom Mathews
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16 No Family Left Behind™Bringing Wall Street to Main Street, and making sure thaton the road to financial freedom, no family is left behind.

24 The Company of Women(No Glass Ceiling, Just Blue Sky )World Financial Group is giving women all they’ve everasked for: A 100% equal opportunity to change their futures.By Sheila Lothian

30 Failure Is a Choice Made by the UndisciplinedFailing to meet your objectives, regardless of what theyare, is a choice, because something else has been givenhigher priority. If you fail, it is because you choose to fail.

By Vic Conant

Professional Edge

Departments8 Letter from the Editor

20 CEO Dad

46 Coach’s Corner

68 Simple Truths

80 Inspiring Quotes

6

cont

ents

72 Success Is Not an EntitlementSuccess is not an entitlement. It is not a “right” or a “claim” that we should simply get. Success is earned.By Ivan R. Misner, Ph.D.

76 It’s Easy to Earn MoneyMost people spend their entire lives trading their time for money and never amass the financial fortune available to them. They never invest the time to learn the basics of how to multiply their income.By Bob Proctor

Personal Improvement

AdvantEdge www.advantedgemag.com

Nightingale-Conant's

Vol. C, No. 24

AdvantEdge

Editorial contributions must be submitted by mail (not fax or email) and accompanied by return postage. Publisher assumes no responsibility for return or safety of unsolicited art, photos, manuscripts, books, or audio-or videocassettes. AdvantEdge is published at least six times per year. AdvantEdge magazine, Nightingale-Conant, 6245 West Howard St, Niles, IL 60714. Copyright © 2005 by Nightingale-Conant. All rights reserved.AdvantEdge™ is a registered trademark. One-year subscription rate for U.S.: $19.95; Canada: $31.95; all other countries, two-year subscription rate: $89.95 (cash orders only, payable in U.S. currency) POSTMASTER:Please send address changes to AdvantEdge, Nightingale-Conant, 6245 West Howard St., Niles, IL 60714. Permission Material in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without written permission. Requestsfor permission must be made by mail in writing, must include a self-addressed, stamped envelope, and should be mailed to: Reprints and Permissions, AdvantEdge™, 6245 West Howard St., Niles, IL 60714. Allow threeweeks for reprint request response. There will be a minimum $100 fee for each reprint requested. Reprint requests transmitted by facsimile or email cannot be honored. PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.

13 Some Day ... If Only ...

14 The River or the Goal/Tips for Setting Goals

22 Perceptions of Success

29 Avoiding Futile Competition

34 Autograph Your Career and Your Life With Excellence

66 Escape the Culture of Complaint

90 Don’t Follow the Follower

Insights24

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itor

Welcome to anotherpowerful issue ofAdvantEdge.

Every once in a whilea new idea comes to anold market and changeseverything. In this issue,I am thrilled to intro-duce a very unique com-pany that is doing justthat. On the surface

World Financial Group, a member of the $320Billion AEGON Group, might appear to be justanother financial services firm, but with a closerlook it is apparent they are much more — a rareblend of old-school financial advice and revolu-tionary practices that focus on empowering andenabling both their clients and employees tomove from dreaming… to doing.

Their secret: a culture that focuses on oppor-tunity rather than obstacles. Where competitorssee problems, WFG finds success. When I firstlearned of this “focus on opportunity,” I wasreminded of a lesson that I learned in college atLafayette in Easton, Pennsylvania.

My freshman year, I had taken up mountainbiking, and my first weeks of riding on the steep,rocky Appalachian Trail were met with severalbrutal falls. After my third or fourth periloustumble down a rocky slope, one of the gentlemenin my group, the most experienced rider, pulledme aside and asked me a question I have neverforgotten. He asked, "When you're riding down ahill like this, what are you looking at?" I lookedat him and said, "I'm trying not to hit a big rockor those trees!" He then looked at me and smiledand said, "That's your problem. Don't look at therocks you are trying to avoid; look at the spacebetween the rocks, where you want to go. Thebike will follow what you are focusing on."

I did use his advice and managed to become avery accomplished mountain biker. However,his advice had far greater implications for methan just for mountain biking. I have always car-ried that lesson with me as an interestingmetaphor for success. So often, we fail because

we never take our eyes off the obstacles (therocks) long enough to see the opportunities (thespaces between the rocks).

World Financial Group exemplifies this idea.They don’t see the rocks that most companiessee; they see the space (the opportunities)between the rocks. Here are just a few of theopportunities they have found where most onlysee boulders.

Office politics: In order for most large compa-nies to control their staffs, complex political struc-tures are used which sap enthusiasm and deflateemployees’ hope of achieving greatness. WFGlooks between those rocks and lets their peopleoperate like entrepreneurs within company – freeto succeed as they please, based solely on per-formance. (see From Dreaming to Doing, p48).

The glass ceiling: Many companies are tryingto tear down the long-standing “glass ceiling”that has prevented so many women from reach-ing the top. WFG is not tearing the glass ceilingdown because it never existed. They lookedbetween those rocks long ago and realized thatthe space between was enormous opportunity.By creating a structure that empowers women toutilize their unique talents and drive, WFG gainsa competitive advantage in the marketplace. (seeThe Company of Women, p24).

The rich get richer: As many of the topinvestment firms steer their brokers away fromserving low and middle income families, tofocus on helping the rich get richer, WFG seesvast opportunity. In fact, WFG has built theirentire company around providing the samefinancial advice, tools, services and personalcare available to the rich, to every family, regard-less of income. (see No Family Left Behind, p16).

Each of our ability to succeed in life isdependent on our ability to focus on the oppor-tunities, regardless of how large and frighteningthe obstacles are. World Financial Group is arare company that helps everyone from employ-ees and associates to customers and clients stayfocused on those opportunities … and helpsthem avoid the rocks.

Enjoy another powerful issue of AdvantEdge!

8 AdvantEdge www.advantedgemag.com

Our mission is to continually connect you with theworld’s most powerful success information, giving

you the Edge at work and in life.

RESPECT PEOPLE, MAKE MONEY, HAVE FUN

Carson V. ConantEditor in Chief, [email protected]

Tom Mathews
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16 AdvantEdge www.advantedgemag.com

No Family Left

Behind™

Bringing Wall Street to Main Street, and making sure that on theroad to financial freedom, no family is left behind.

“By making every citizen anagent of his or her own des-tiny, we will give our fel-

low Americans greater freedom fromwant and fear and make society moreprosperous and just and equal”President George W. Bush declared inhis inaugural address earlier this year.Every day in a variety of ways,Americans and Canadians struggle toattain this freedom from fear and want.

While the paths to this freedom aremany, the ability to choose the kind oflives we wish to lead for ourselves andfor our children can grow from oneimportant source — personal financialindependence. The lottery or the deathof a rich old uncle notwithstanding, asan agent of our own destiny, we mayseek personal financial freedom as anemployee, as a self-employed personor as an entrepreneur business owner.However, in order to create wealthregardless of the source or amount ofour income, we should considerbecoming an investor.

Since the vast majority of us areemployees and without hefty stockoptions granted and exercised beforethe tech bubble burst, we may onlyachieve the goal of personal financialfreedom through astute investing.How do we become an astute investorwhen so many of us live paycheck topaycheck, over-laden with debt andwith little or no security net?

Bringing Wall Streetto Main Street

A recent Wall Street Journal article1

confirmed what most people alreadyknow: by and large, Wall Street is notinterested in the little guy, or even theaverage guy. In fact, at a time whenaverage families need good financialinformation, knowledge and advicemore than ever, many of the big bro-kerage firms are ratcheting up theirefforts to turn them away.

Case in point: In a blatant bid toeliminate less-profitable clients, threeof the biggest Wall Street firms haverecently eliminated commissions onaccounts under $100,000. With noincentive for servicing smallerinvestors, brokers for these firms haveno choice but to abandon lower andmiddle-income clients in favor ofwealthier accounts. Their smallinvestors are left to figure things out forthemselves on websites or through callcenters, where they receive limited, ifany, knowledgeable financial advice.

The American Dream,A Myth?

America has long held the distinctionas the land of boundless opportunity,where a person’s family background andsocial or economic status placed no lim-its on their ability to achieve financial

success. It has a history peppered withmany rags-to riches stories, fromBenjamin Franklin and Henry Ford toWarren Buffett and Bill Gates. Men, whothrough hard work and a little luck,climbed to the highest rungs of the eco-nomic ladder. But do the facts supportthis image today? Is hard work enough?

The gap between the rich and poorhas widened significantly since 1970,but the odds that a child born in pover-ty will rise above their parents’ econom-ic class remains unchanged for the last35 years.2 Further, the richest 10% of theU.S. population own more than 88% ofthe stock in individual hands, accordingto Federal Reserve data from 2001.

To continue the illusion of living theAmerican dream, many have turned todebt to finance lifestyles their currentincomes cannot support in order toenjoy an existence better than theirparents. Since 1990, median Americanhousehold income has inched upwardsonly 11% after adjusting for inflation,while median household spending hasincreased by 30%, according to ananalysis by Economy.com. Medianhousehold debt outstanding, in themeantime, has leaped by 80%.

In the battle to keep pace with thewealthy, outstanding household debtdoubled to more than $10 trillionbetween 1992 and 2004 (after adjustingfor inflation)3. Some economists fearthat rising interest rates, sluggish wage

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growth and the threat of a housing bub-ble burst may force many over-extend-ed people into bankruptcy in the yearsto come. President Bush added that “InAmerica's ideal of freedom, citizensfind the dignity and security of eco-nomic independence, instead of labor-ing on the edge of subsistence.”

No Family Left Behind™

World Financial Group (WFG), amember of the AEGON Group withover $320 Billion4 in assets, takes aholistic view in helping families buildwealth and has already helped hun-dreds of thousands of people profitfrom the strategies of the rich, and theircharge continues today. Their missionis simple: To help people become finan-cially independent no matter what theirincome so that No family is left behind.

Taking advantage of the products andservices available through its affiliates,World Financial Group walks its cus-tomers, regardless of their current finan-cial situation, through a six step processto increase cash flow, manage debt, cre-ate an emergency fund, ensure properprotection, build long-term asset accu-mulation and preserve their estate. Fromhelping to identify more availablemoney to developing debt solutions,from home mortgages to investments tofinance a vacation home away fromhome, from saving for your children’scollege education to setting up invest-ment vehicles for your grandchildren’seducation, from protecting your familyshould you die too soon to accumulat-ing sufficient retirement funds shouldyou live a long and happy life, WFGassociates stand behind their customers.

“Building a secure financial futureisn’t about having a lot of money,” saysSenior Executive Vice Chairman EdMylett. “It’s about doing the rightthings with the money you have. That’s

what changes a person’s life. All youneed is someone to sit down with youand show you how to do it.”

That kind of personal, one-on-oneconversation is the first step in theWFG associate-client process, and itenables WFG to understand theirclient’s point of view and meet theirneeds in a way few financial servicescompanies can match.

As clients begin a savings program,WFG is sensitive to their time horizonand tolerance for risk. Based on thesefactors, WFG is able to offer the begin-ning saver a wide choice of fixed andindexed insurance products that putthem on track to achieving their finan-cial goals. Further, through its regis-tered broker-dealers, clients are edu-cated about investing in equity-basedinvestment products, like mutualfunds, unit investment trusts, 529plans and variable annuities.

For those clients who want to pro-tect their families and make the mostof their investment dollars, WFG’s bro-ker-dealer affiliate, World GroupSecurities, Inc., also provides variableuniversal life insurance products thatoffer an extraordinary opportunity tocouple that protection with equityinvestments on a tax-advantaged basis.Life insurance does not have to beonly “death insurance” as so many areconditioned to believe. The benefits ofthese policies, subject to applicablefees and charges, are fully availableduring the lifetime of the insured per-son, however, it also provides theadded protection and security of deathbenefits for your family, even if youdie tomorrow, and it allows you theopportunity to build real wealth with-out unnecessary income taxes.

“WFG recognizes that the path tofinancial independence is a journey forour clients and that along the way; thereis a point (approximately $25,000 in

investment assets) at which the clientbecomes a true investor as opposed tofocusing primarily on saving,” saysSenior Executive Vice Chairman DeanFliss. “Many clients at this stage arelooking for active management of theirportfolio in order to minimize downsiderisk as an alternative to traditional ‘buyand hold’ methods of investing.” Theregistered investment advisor programthrough another WFG affiliate is able toprovide these clients with fee-based pro-grams that monitor accounts on a dailybasis as a part of an investment strategycustomized for their risk tolerance.

Working with each client throughan in-depth financial needs analysis,WFG associates help families identifytheir specific needs, goals and priori-ties, then provide the financial con-cepts and tools necessary to meetthose needs, attain those goals andmaintain those priorities. In keepingwith its mission to help familiesbecome financially independent, WFGempowers its clients to become theagents of their own destiny on theirway to freedom from want and fear. n

To learn more about WorldFinancial Group, please visitwww.worldfinancialgroup.com today.1 Wall Street Snubs Small Accounts, Wall Street Journal, February 17, 2005

2 As Rich-Poor Gap Widens in the U.S,Class Nobility Stalls, Wall Street Journal, May 13, 2005

3 Lagging Behind the Wealthy, Many Use Debt to Catch Up, Wall Street Journal, May 17, 2005

4 USD, According to the 2004 AEGONAnnual Report (www.aegon.com)

Securities offered through WorldGroup Securities, Inc. (WGS), memberNASD, SIPC. Investment advisory serv-ices offered through InterSecurities,Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.WFG, WGS, WFGIA, and ISI are affili-ated companies. There is no assurancethat investment objectives will beachieved. Investment products containrisk. Mutual funds, variable annuitiesand variable universal life insuranceare sold by prospectus. Please contactWGS at 770-453-9300 for a prospectusthat contains complete information,including fees, investment objectives,surrender charges, risks, expenses, per-formance information and other infor-mation about the mutual fund, vari-able annuity or variable universal lifeinsurance policy. Please carefully con-sider all these important factors andread the prospectus carefully beforeinvesting. Variable product sub-accounts are subject to market risk andmay lose value.

18 AdvantEdge www.advantedgemag.com

“Building a secure financial future isn’t about having a lot ofmoney,” says Senior Executive Vice Chairman Ed Mylett. “It’sabout doing the right things with the money you have. That’swhat changes a person’s life. All you need is someone to sitdown with you and show you how to do it.”

That kind of personal, one-on-one conversation is the firststep in the WFG associate-client process, and it enables WFGto understand their client’s point of view and meet their needsin a way few financial services companies can match.

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The Company of

By Sheila Lothian

WomenWorld Financial Group is giving women all they’ve ever asked for:

A 100% equal opportunity to change their futures.

You don’t want to believe it. Youtell yourself it can’t be true, thatit’s a relic of a day gone by.

But if you’re a woman who hasspent any time in the business world,chances are you’ve come up against it:The proverbial “glass ceiling” thatkeeps you from reaching the highestlevels of professional success … sim-ply because you’re a woman.

There’s no question that gender-based workplace inequality should bea thing of the past. After all, the work-force includes more women than everbefore, contributing at higher andhigher levels and fueled by tremen-dous ambition and a powerful drive tosucceed. Yet recent statistics show thata startling disparity between awoman’s success in business and thatof her male counterparts still exists.

• Women make up more than half ofthe managerial and professional labor pool, but only account for a little more than 1% of all Fortune 500 chief executives*

• American women make 83% of consumer purchases and comprise51% of the electorate, yet …

• Only 63 of the top 2,500 earners atFortune 500 companies are women*

• Only 8 percent of partners at Big Five accounting firms are women*

• Only 14 percent of partners in America’s top 250 law firms are women*

Those statistics offer a glimpse ofthe cold, hard reality that confrontsmany women on a daily basis. “Mostcompanies have not dispelled mythsabout women's commitment, abouttheir risk quotient, willingness to relo-cate, and ability to manage men or runa manufacturing operation” says BettySpence, President of the NationalAssociation of Female Executives(NAFE)*, “so women do not getoffered the opportunities that lead tothe corner office.” Indeed, terms withnegative connotations are used todayto describe women whose career pathincludes raising a family.

What is missing in so many organi-zations, it seems, is a truly level play-ing field. An opportunity for womento be evaluated and to advance solelyon the basis of their performance,without reference to their gender, age,

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Women are theworld's largest mar-ket. They account for80% of all spendingby U.S. households,account for 70% ofnew business start-ups, and control overhalf the private wealthin the United States.

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previous career experience, or lack ofit. Under such unbiased conditions,women would inevitably soar to thetop in record numbers.

In support, consider what is hap-pening to many women who havebecome disillusioned with the corpo-rate world. The same talents and skillsthat have been undervalued and,hence, under-rewarded in large corpo-rations and professional firms have ledwomen to become among the mostsuccessful entrepreneurs in the coun-try today.

Women-owned businesses are grow-ing at twice the rate of all U.S. firms.

One in every 11 adult women ownsa business. More than 18 millionworkers are employed by a womanbusiness owner. Women entrepreneursgenerate nearly $2.3 trillion in rev-enues to the U.S. economy. One in fivewomen-owned businesses is owned byone or more women of color.

One company, however, stands outas melding the best of both worlds —providing a genuine equal-opportunityexperience for its home office employ-ees and for its entrepreneurial inde-pendent associates. And it’s thrivingright in the middle of what has longbeen considered the ultimate “boys’club” — the financial services industry.

A World Away FromBusiness As Usual

World Financial Group, Inc. (WFG)is a financial services marketing com-pany whose mission, structure, andwork environment are anything butbusiness-as-usual. Founded with thepurpose of bringing the financialstrategies of the wealthy to middle-income families, WFG has empow-ered more than a million NorthAmerican families to take control oftheir financial futures and build the

life of their dreams. But within its own walls, WFG has

created something else unique in thefield of Financial Services: A businessenvironment in which women faceabsolutely no external obstacles tosuccess.

In fact they have taken a proactivestance, recognizing that women’sinnate strengths — an instinctivefocus on teamwork, relationship-building ability, the inclination toseek more information when makingdecisions — are actually tailor-madefor the service-oriented financialarena. Over a year ago, the companytook the unprecedented stance ofhighlighting this hidden strengththrough its women’s initiative, named“In the Company of Women.” Whileseveral financial services companiesare waking up to the need to market towomen, In the Company of Women isnot an experiment or new marketinggimmick aimed at a niche market seg-ment. Rather, this program serves asthe identity given to a fundamentalprinciple of WFG — everyonereceives the same chance to succeed,and success is recognized based sole-ly on performance.

According to Spence, its lack of tar-geted training — not lack of ambition— that blocks women's advancementto the highest ranks of corporateAmerica. To answer that challenge,WFG offers comprehensive trainingprograms designed to thoroughlyequip all of its associates for a careerin financial services, right down tolicensing and registration preparation.“Our training programs give anyonethe knowledge and expertise to build afantastic career. All they need to bringto the equation is the drive to suc-ceed,” says WFG’s Judy Hsiao.

Another obstacle hindering womenin the corporate ranks is the lack of

mentors. Anyone successful will tellyou how important it is to have a rolemodel. With so few women in corpo-rate leadership positions, the persist-ence of hold-over biases and unfound-ed assumptions about career-orientedwomen, as well as the sometimes over-ly cautious litigation-led concernsabout male — female relationships inthe workplace, women are left withfew, if any, options in finding a men-tor, male or female, to help guide theircareers. At WFG, women and menleaders commit to mentoring the mem-bers of their team, regardless of gender,over the long term. The cycle contin-ues as the mentored become the men-tors of tomorrow as they build theirteams and businesses.

As WFG’s impressive (and growing)ranks of female executives and associ-ates are proving, women and FinancialServices make a winning combination— one that gives WFG an advantageover their closed-minded competitors.

Eliminating theExperience Gap

One of the most common obstaclesmany women face in their quest forprofessional success is career disconti-nuity. Women who reenter the work-force after taking time off to raise theirchildren, or who decide to make amid-life career transition, often findthemselves at the bottom of the ladder,facing a near-insurmountable gap inexperience and seniority

This ubiquitous barrier to women’ssuccess hasn’t been “broken down” atWFG — it simply never existed there.“World Financial Group was built onthe philosophy that potential, notpresent circumstances, should be aperson’s entrée into a job — and thatperformance, not politics, should bethe sole determinant of success inthat job,” says WFG CEO, TimStonehocker.

WFG’s Marcy Blochowiak, one ofmany success stories, was a flightattendant when she first learned aboutWFG. “Initially I thought, ‘Who wouldever want to learn about money from aflight attendant?’ But WFG taught meto look beyond labels and tap into mypotential to learn the financial servic-es business and change my life.”Today, Blochowiak is the author of abook which gives women a guide tomaking the transition from employeeto entrepreneur and building greatteams.

26 AdvantEdge www.advantedgemag.com

The high level of flexibility so many women are seek-ing has been an essential part of WFG’s philosophyfrom the very start. WFG associates have the freedomto choose where they work, when they work, and howmuch they work. ... For women, all of this translatesinto an opportunity to build a career around their lives,instead of being forced to build their lives around theircareers.

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Her story is a common one at WFG,where thousands of women from allwalks of life — from social workers toteachers to stay-at-home moms — havelaunched exciting, lucrative, self-directed careers as independent associ-ates, helping families plan for theirfinancial futures while helping them-selves and their families in the process.

These women have joined WFG fora very simple reason: they want it all,and with WFG, they’ve found they canhave it all.

Freedom, Flexibility, andFinancial Abundance

The “all” that women today aresearching for comes down to one thing:fulfillment. Fulfillment in their person-al and business lives, but also fulfill-ment in championing a noble cause:helping people around the worldachieve financial independence.

Presented with the all-or-nothingchoice between a successful careerand a fulfilling home life, more andmore women are pioneering a thirdway, forging new paths to their dreamson their own terms as home-basedentrepreneurs. In fact, a recent studyfound that women often start compa-nies to better balance their work andfamily lives, rather than to get rich*.

The high level of flexibility so manywomen are seeking has been an essen-tial part of WFG’s philosophy from thevery start. WFG associates have thefreedom to choose where they work,when they work, and how much theywork. And, by providing financialinformation to women and their fami-lies, WFG women help others attaintheir own freedom of choice.

What’s more, by providing inde-pendent associates with the marketingand administrative muscle of itsExecutive Headquarters, as well asongoing support from a network ofexperienced field leaders, WFGenables women to make this leap tobusiness ownership without the usualrisks of starting a new business. “Theyare in business for themselves, but notby themselves,” says, WFG’s DinaFliss, “which makes all the differenceto a new business’ success.”

For women, all of this translatesinto an opportunity to build a careeraround their lives, instead of beingforced to build their lives around theircareers. Attracted by that opportunity,women who join WFG are delighted todiscover that a satisfying job and a

healthy home life don’t have to comeat the expense of a high income. Withnothing to hold them back but the lim-its of their imagination and ambition,these women are earning more thanever before. With WFG, they’ve founda way around the glass ceiling … and

discovered that what lies beyond it isnothing but blue sky. As famousfemale author George Eliot once said,“It’s never too late to be what youmight have been.” nSources: www.womenof.com, ©1997-2004 www.thecompanyofwomen.com

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Why All the Fuss? Why Now?

Simply put:Women are the world's largest market.

They account for 80% of all spending by U.S. households.They account for 70% of new business startups.

They control over half the private wealth in the United States.

It should be clear the fuss is justified and worth the effort. Although women make up“only” 51% of the United States population, they are the sole or primary decision makersfor just about every household (and increasingly business) purchase.

Earnings power and wealth ownership are only part of the story, then: spending tells thetale. Yet, in a recent study, 91% of the women questioned said advertisers don't under-stand them. (Greenfield Online for Arnold's Women's Insight Team).

Frankly, in light of the power packed in women today, the fuss is not big enough. Thechallenge for marketers is to understand today's woman customer well enough to helpmeet her needs, the wisdom to communicate in ways that resonate with her cares andconcerns, and the patience to build a relationship rather than seal the immediate deal. Thefirst to do this in your industry will make not only today's sale, but tomorrow's as well.Isn't that worth some fuss on your part? It should be.

Women, who comprise just over 50% of the U.S. population, make over 80% of theconsumer purchasing decisions? (And in case you're wondering, consumer spendingaccounts for 2/3 of GNP, so that's hardly peanuts!) Moreover, because of their entry intothe workplace over the past 30 years, and their rapidly accelerating income and owner-ship base, women are increasingly dominant in categories not traditionally marketed tothem, including cars, computers, financial services, home improvement and consumerelectronics. How knowledgeable are you about how women make decisions, what moti-vates their purchases, and how they respond to marketing differently than men?

Women own 40% of all businesses in the US, employ 19.1 million people and gener-ate $2.5 trillion in sales. What are you doing to reach the women entrepreneurs whohave been starting 70% of all new businesses for the past decade and driving the marketfor Small Office/Home Office equipment, supplies and communications technology?

Women will acquire over 90% of the growth in U.S. private wealth between now and2010? Have you thought about how women will become an increasing proportion of theU.S. affluent population as the Baby Boom ages? Are you reaching out to these con-sumers and investors, or are you doing business as usual — marketing to men (and leav-ing the women to your competition)?

Source: Marti Barletta, Author of Marketing to Women (www.trendsight.com)

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By Sheila Lothian

FromDREAMING

to DOINGHow World Financial Group is transforming the face of financial services and

empowering entrepreneurs across North America to move from dreamingbig dreams to living big dreams.

48 AdvantEdge www.advantedgemag.com

®

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nce in a while, a new idea comes to an old industry and completely transforms the way

that industry does business.

Wal-Mart revolutionized merchandising. McDonald’s revolutionized fast food. Starbucks revo-

lutionized coffee. These mavericks defied logic and democratized the marketplace by making

quality, in-demand products convenient, affordable, and available to the masses — from the stu-

dent who wants a latte to the CEO who needs Tide™.

The elite world of financial services is the latest institution to get this shakedown. World

Financial Group is one of the visionary companies leading this revolution, and forever changing

the way ordinary people understand and use money and positively transforming the financial

futures of tens of thousands of people across North America and around the world.

The mission of World Financial Group (WFG) is powerful, simple, and in the realm of finan-

cial services, remarkably original: To bring widespread financial education to middle-income

families, and empower them with the information and opportunities to achieve lifelong financial

independence and the ability to lead the successful life they desire.

O

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Once upon a time, it was possiblefor a working family to build a solvent,successful life on a modest income.Before the dawn of the age of creditand cash machines, spending was eas-ier to regulate and saving was aningrained habit. Affordable educationopportunities abounded for those whohad the interest and the commitment— a young student could literally payhis way through school by working apart-time job. Most companies provid-ed employees with a pension that aperson could count on to sustain themthrough their retirement years.

Today, it’s a different story. The costof living continues to rise. Expensiveitems like cell phones and computers,

considered luxuries just a few yearsago, are fast becoming necessities.Faced with ever-increasing needs thattheir incomes can’t possibly meet,many families have turned to credit tofill in the gap, only to find themselvesquickly drowning in debt. Staggeringhousing prices and skyrocketingtuition costs threaten to put the mostbasic elements of the American Dream— home ownership and a college edu-cation — out of the average family’sreach. And with employees nowshouldering the burden of saving forretirement and Social Security provid-ing barely enough to make ends meet,millions of men and women are facingan uncertain and frightening financialfuture.

The solution to this tremendouschallenge does exist: good financialinformation. Through smart, informedinvesting and planning, it is possibleto overcome debt and build wealth oneven the most modest of incomes.

Yet ironically, the people who needthis kind of information the most havehistorically had the most limitedaccess to it. Personal finance isn’t apart of the average school’s curricu-lum, and most financial services com-panies and investment firms continueto cling to the old way of doing busi-ness, targeting clients who alreadyhave a lot of discretionary income.

But things are changing. Over thepast 15 years, more than a million of

those once-overlooked people havebeen empowered to climb out of debt,begin savings plans, provide for theirfamilies, start their own businesses,retire early, fund their children’s edu-cations, take dream vacations, giveback to their communities, and more.And many have done it with the helpof World Financial Group.

So, what is the secret? Simple. WFGintroduces everyday people to thesame wealth-building strategies usedby the wealthy, and makes the uniquefinancial needs of this group a priori-ty instead of an afterthought. Througha comprehensive six-step process,WFG associates empower clients toidentify and address their particularfinancial goals and challenges. They

work together to map out a FinancialRoadmap that will take a client fromwhere they are financially to wherethey want to be.

But that’s only the beginning.

THE “OPPORTUNITYCOMPANY”

If you are like most people, youdream of someday being your ownboss, setting your own schedule, hav-ing ultimate control over your time andincome, and making a living on yourown terms. However, most peoplenever get past just that ... dreaming.

The harsh realities of self-employ-ment often cripple those dreams beforethey ever get off the ground. Fearingthe loss of the “security net” their cur-rent position provides — a reliablepaycheck, a strong support structure,health benefits, an established corpo-rate reputation to fall back on — mostpeople remain in unfulfilling jobs,rather than make the leap to entrepre-neurship. Those that do make that leapface an uphill battle. Statistics showthat as many as 60% of new businessesfail within five years. They don’t havethe money, education, or experience toget the odds in their favor.

Recognizing the widespread yearn-ing for entrepreneurial self-sufficiencyamong its client base on the one hand,and the roadblocks standing in theirway the way on the other, WFG

devised an ingenious solution — a sys-tem through which ambitious entre-preneurs are able to leverage their ownunique talents and the assets of anestablished company by becomingindependent WFG associates.

Thousands of ordinary people withextraordinary dreams have seized thislife-changing opportunity, movedbeyond dreaming to doing, andachieved the best of both worlds: thefreedom and control of self-employ-ment, and the support and security of aworld-class corporate organizationthat is so critical to a business’s success.

In yet another departure from thebusiness-as-usual of most financialservices companies, which recruitnew employees primarily from directcompetitors or companies in relatedindustries, WFG’s associates hail fromall walks of life and all professionalbackgrounds. Ranchers, flight atten-dants, CPAs, teachers, microbiologists,auto mechanics ... they’ve all launchedtheir own businesses through the WFGmodel, freeing themselves from theconstraints and limitations of tradi-tional employment with the potentialfor incredible and virtually unlimitedincome growth.

WFG is convinced that the diversityof its associates is a big part of thecompany’s success.

“Our people are our secret,” saysWorld Financial Group CEO, TimStonehocker. “Our hiring and recruit-ing practices allow us to tap talentedpeople from all walks of life and con-nect them with our time-proven finan-cial products and techniques. We givethem the freedom to be entrepreneursand individuals, and in turn they takeWFG in new directions and to success-es that would never be possible other-wise.”

Rich Cunningham, a CEO MarketingDirector from West Jordan, Utah, saysthat owning his own business hasgiven him a degree of freedom and ful-fillment he never could have achievedin his previous career as a miningmechanic. “I have the ability to dowhat I want, when I want. For the lastsix years, I’ve been a coach on myson’s little league football team. Myschedule is also flexible enough so Ican attend my daughter’s horse ridingevents and special school activities. Idon’t have to ask a boss for time off.It’s called choice.”

The choice is to work where youwant, when you want, with the oppor-tunity to earn as much as you want. For

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Continued from Page 49

“Once in a while, a new idea comes to an old industry andcompletely transforms the way that industry does business.”

—Monte Holm, President, World Financial Group

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those who demand this lifestyle, nowthere’s a way to beat the statistics andachieve it.

MENTORING DONE RIGHT

What fuels the daunting 60% failurerate of new businesses? Perhaps thebiggest factor is the lack of support —both material and psychological —that new business owners face. Goingfrom the security of an establishedorganization, where mistakes are easi-ly absorbed and the fate of the compa-ny doesn’t rest on each individualdecision, entrepreneurs often feel likethey’ve been thrown into the deep endof the ocean without a life vest —accountable for every aspect of theirbusiness’s operation and success, withno one to help and nothing to fall backon. The burden of responsibility canquickly become too heavy to bear.

In contrast, the success rate ofWFG’s associates can be traced to thefact that although they’re in businessfor themselves, at no point are theyever in business by themselves.

As a member of the AEGON group,WFG has corporate support from oneof the world’s leading insurance, pen-sion and related financial servicesorganizations, with assets of more than$320 billion.9 But financial support isonly the beginning.

At WFG’s Duluth, Georgia head-quarters, 350 employees go to workeach day with one goal in mind: help-ing associates to build their business.To that end, they provide training pro-grams, licensing and commission sup-port, stock option programs, marketingmaterials, software, corporate Intranetaccess, technology solutions, healthinsurance, and more —everything anassociate could possibly need tolaunch, maintain and grow a thriving,profitable business.

And at the heart of WFG’s strengthis its Mentoring Business Model: a“pay it forward” structure — unique inthe industry — that ensures a positiveenvironment in which associates arecontinually lifted up by their col-leagues, instead of brought down byoffice politics.

Most companies offer some kind ofmentoring program, but they typicallyfall short of transferring the informa-tion and experience that can vault anew employee over the inevitableroadblocks and setbacks. In contrast,mentoring is woven into the very fab-ric of WFG. Each associate has a

whole team of experienced field lead-ers to draw upon, and who will con-tinue to guide them as their careersgrow and they face new challengesand opportunities.

“We give all associates access to thesupport and talent that every entrepre-neur needs at some point in their jour-ney,” says Senior Executive ViceChairman Tom Mathews. “If you werestruggling to get a new venture — anew business — off the ground andfacing a tough decision that you could-

n’t work out on your own, what wouldyou do? Our mentoring program fillsthat gap. For example, if your market-ing efforts aren’t resulting in the kindof numbers you were aiming for, youcan simply tap into the proven strate-gies of other associates who have beenin your exact situation and know howto turn it around. You have the free-dom and control of a business owner,but support is there, whenever andwherever you need it.”

Continued on Page 52

THE WFG FINANCIALROADMAP*

S t e p 1

S t e p 2

S t e p 3

S t e p 4

S t e p 5

S t e p 6

To help clients plan appropriately, World Financial Group has developed the WFGFinancial Roadmap. this suitability and needs analysis, based on information thatthe client provides, helps establish the foundation for the client’s financial plan.The WFG Financial Roadmap includes the following six steps:

INCREASE CASH FLOW

• Earn additional income• Manage expenses

MANAGE DEBT

• Consolidate debt• Strive to eliminate debt

CREATE EMERGENCY FUND

• Save at least three months’ income• Prepare for emergency expenses

ENSURE PROPER PROTECTION

• Protect against loss of income• Protect family assets

BUILD LONG-TERMASSET ACCUMULATION

• Outpace inflation• Reduce taxation

PRESERVE YOUR ESTATE

• Help reduce estate taxes• Build a family legacy

*The WFG Financial Roadmap is a suitability and needs analysis developed by World Financial Group. The analysis is based upon infor-mation obtained from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, discuss any legal, tax, or financial matter with the appropriateprofessional. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any specificsecurity or financial service.

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As a product of this mentoring envi-ronment, each associate in turn gladly“pays forward” the training and sup-port that he or she received, by actingas a mentor to other associates andhelping them to grow their business.

Given its incredible, proven effec-tiveness and the culture of cama-raderie it fosters among its associates,why don’t more organizations use this“pay it forward” mentoring model?

“Because they don’t have the properincentive structure in place to make it

work,” explains Senior Executive ViceChairman, Bill Mitchell. “In otherbusinesses, colleagues will often avoidhelping one another out of the beliefthat someone else’s growth and suc-cess will diminish theirs. They seeopportunity as a pie, and each slicethat someone else takes is one lessslice to be had. We know better and wemake every effort to foster the collec-tive efforts of our differing talents. It’sa ‘team over me’ approach, and it’sincentivized in everything from com-pensation to rewards to recognition.”

When was the last time you receivedthat level of support, enthusiasm andencouragement from the people youwork with or the experts in your field?Imagine what you could do if you coulddraw on the limitless expertise of thosewho have fought in the same trenches.Think of the confidence you wouldhave to take on new opportunities andconquer the inevitable setbacks, know-ing you had this ace in your pocket.

REAL RECOGNITION,REAL REWARDS

Walk through the halls of most com-panies, and you can feel the sense ofdisillusionment that permeates corpo-rate America today. Most people stillbelieve in the old promise that hardwork and determination are all youneed to get ahead. But they’ve alsocome face-to-face with the bitter reali-ty: a culture in which office politicsand favoritism all too often send thewrong people up the ladder, whilehonest, hard workers are left behind.

Fed up with this inequitable andunworkable structure, people arewalking away by the thousands insearch of a truly level playing fieldand the chance to get ahead on theirown merit. These are the people whogo from mediocrity to success at WFG.

If a WFG associate earns a promo-tion, he or she gets it. No one is threat-ened by anyone else’s success, becausewhen one person does well, the wholeteam does well. Everyone knows thatthe same opportunities for advance-ment are available to them.

As Co-Chairman Xuan Nguyen putsit, “The only competition any associ-ate faces is his or her own will to win.”

And that will to win is acknowledgedand rewarded in a variety of innovativeways, from merit-based promotions andpublic recognition and awards at majorcompany events, to “Super Trips” toexotic destinations around the world.

But for most associates, the greatestreward is knowing that they are finallyin complete control of their financialdestiny — and that through the workthey do, they are filling a vital need inthe world: the need for ordinary, work-ing people to be able to provide for theirfamilies, live well and comfortably, andbring their dreams into being. n

To learn more about WorldFinancial Group, please visitwww.worldfinancialgroup.com today.9USD, According to the 2004 AEGON AnnualReport (www.aegon.com)

Continued from Page 51

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THE NEED EXISTSWith an alarming lack of education about financial fundamentals, people need thetools and guidance to help them make informed choices to meet today’s challenges.

STAGGERING DEBT

• Consumer debt has been steadily rising to over $2.1 trillion in 20041

POOR SAVINGS HABITS

• Americans are spending more but are saving less. With the growth of realconsumption spending outpacing that of real income through most of last year, the personal saving rate moved lower, from 1.5% , on average, in 2003to only 0.5% in the third quarter of 20042

• Most Americans are not saving enough to meet future needs. Personal sav-ings rates are approaching historic lows, and will be insufficient to meet the future retirement of most Americans.3

THE COST OF COLLEGE

• Paying for college can cause a strain on personal savings. According to the College Board’s Trends in College Pricing 2004*, the fees are going up. Here’sa glance at the average college tuition and fees 2004-05 vs. 2003-04: The average cost in 2004-05 to attend a four-year private college increased 6% tomore than $20,000 per academic year. Public college tuition increased even more dramatically — up 10.5%to more than $5,100 per year.4

RETIREMENT & THE RISING COST OF LIVING

• The median income reported by older American’s in 2000 was only $13,769.5

Only 4 percent of retirees have saved enough and have enough income to have achieved financial independence.6

• Suppose you and your spouse are both 45 years old, earn $100,000 a year and have plans to retire in 20 years. If inflation averages 4.5 percent during thenext two decades, you will need more than $241,000 a year to equal your cur-rent $100,000 earnings.7

UNEXPECTED LOSS

• If you should die unexpectedly, without proper planning, your family could face serious financial concerns. The average single death claim paid by the insurance industry in 2002 was $11,442.8

1 U.S. Federal Reserve, Statistical Release for Consumer Credit, February 7, 2005 • 2 The Federal Reserve Board: Monetary Policy Reportsubmitted to the Congress on February 16, 2005, pursuant to section 2B of the Federal Reserve Act • 3 The 21st Century RetirementSecurity Plan, Final Report of the National Commission on Retirement Policy, March 1999 • 4 Trends In College Pricing, The CollegeBoard, 2004 • 5 A Profile of Older Americans 2001, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging. • 6 2000Retirement Confidence Survey, American Savings Education Council, Employee Benefits Research Institute, and Mathew Greenwald &Associates • 7 American Chamber of Commerce Executives, 2003 • 8 American Council of Life Insurers, ACLI Life Insurers Fact Book, 2003.

Tom Mathews
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Tom Mathews
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