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5 Major Takeaways from Women in Consumer Finance 2022

WCF 2022 was full of great insights. Here are just a few of the lessons we learned from the women who shared their stories and offered guidance during the event.

 

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1. You can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control your response.

The stories shared from the main stage at WCF always remind us that we’re not alone in our struggles. Through the story of keynote speaker, Anu Shultz (CEO at DashFi Inc), we learned that we can’t control everything that happens to or around us, but we can control our response and outlook. 

After a series of misfortunes, Anu began viewing setbacks and tragedies as opportunities to grow. She reminded us to relish in the good times and not to dwell in the bad saying, “Everything in life ends. So, when times are good, soar.”

First time attendee and speaker, Danielle Banner (Executive Vice President at Estate Information Services), was inspired by stories like Anu’s. She shared, “Rather than assuming their obstacles were insurmountable, these women faced their fears. They learned from successes and failures, rebounded with grace, then stood in front of a few hundred women to share their story.” 

 

2. You can unlearn the fears that hold you back. 

During her workshop on breaking the cycle of fear, Roxanne Bartley (CEO of Bartley Ventures) shared, “We’re born with 2 fears: falling and loud noises. All other fears are learned and can be unlearned.” 

Roxanne and co-presenter, Aleah Heath (Director, Sales & Business Development at Unifund), recommended thinking through potential outcomes and finding the root of fears as a way to overcome them. Questions like “so what?”, “what if”, “what's underneath this?”, and “what’s the worst outcome?” can help us overcome the anxieties that hold us back personally and professionally.

 

3. We all have expectations of ourselves, but don't confuse those expectations for core values. 

Having core values helps guide your decision making. To effectively live by your values, it’s important to first define them. Shelly Sheppick (Director of Strategic Partnerships at The iA Institute) and Lisa Wallace (Director of Analytics at Vion Investments) led a workshop to help attendees do just that.

During the session, they challenged attendees to think beyond the expectations they have of themselves. These expectations seem like a reliable guide, but are often influenced by outside forces like family, co-workers, friends, and culture. Shelly warned, “Those expectations may come from any number of places, but they are not core values. They may in fact conflict with your core values.” You may, for example, be seen as a hard worker by those around you, but value relaxation and self-care.

“We have to assess our values so we can see which values were absorbed from other people and which values are yours. It’s important to ask yourself "are these values mine?" Shelly added.

 

4. Your personal brand has real value.

As Lauren Valenzuela (Associate General Counsel at TrueAccord) and Rebecca Taylor (Vice President, Operations at Equabli) put it, your personal brand is “your unique value proposition.” It’s how people view you and what you’re known for. Knowing and owning your personal brand is a great way to control a conversation about you even when you’re not around. 

Like core values, it’s important to understand and define your personal brand. Ask yourself how you’re currently seen and then define how you’d like to be seen. From there, you can shape your actions to reflect the person you’d like to be known as. 

 

5. Self care is essential for building lasting connections.

Compassion is the key to lasting, authentic connections. And, compassion starts with being kind to yourself. 

Building friendships that improve your life both personally and professionally requires listening and understanding. Lisa Rozelle (Relationship Manager at Crown Asset Management) and Bekah Luebcke (Vice President, Operations at Crown Asset Management) reminded attendees that you can’t listen fully and compassionately if you don’t have a clear head space or are constantly judging yourself.

They challenged women to ask, “Do I use compassionate language with myself?” and “Do I give myself the same attention I would give to others?”

 

When women from all over the country gather to inspire, empower, and learn from each other, the results are incredible, and this small sampling from the 2022 event is testament to that. Wherever you are in your life or career, we hope you’ve found something here that resonates, inspires, or just makes you look at the world a little bit differently.


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