It’s been a minute since you’ve heard from me…ok more than a minute but here I am, better than ever…well as well as one can be during quarantine.
One of my last events before lockdown was the 2020 T3 conference in San Diego. It was such a great time seeing all my favorite people in my favorite town. Announcements were made, drinks were had, and dancing was done. In between all the fun work was completed as well and during those work times this fun idea came up.
My good friend Johnny Sandquist of Three Crowns Marketing and I were sitting and chatting in between break outs on what we should have for lunch and joking that there was only one answer…Puestos and how we could build one epic fort in this hotel lobby, when the marketing queen herself Tina Powell came and snapped a picture of us. She then went onto post on social media stating she was excited to see what the two of us we coming up with.
When we all went home, the jokes started flying that the two of us should start a Podcast. I sent Johnny a “Hey I might be crazy but what if” text and here we are. TacoTech was created.
We’ve noticed that not many groups are talking about the importance of marketing and relationship management, which happen to be what the two of us are great at. We’ll be tackling these topics along with the sprinkling of our favorite trends in the FinTech space and of course our ratings of tacos…because tacos are life.
So come along for the ride, smash that follow button on Twitter . Have a topic you want us to tackle? Let us know, we don’t shy away from anything!
I’ve been on hiatus on writing. It just wasn’t feeling normal, fun or even therapeutic. I look at writing as a creative outlet, sorta like my love for fashion, but I was just not into it. Life has been all out BONKERS. I’ve been riding the emotional rollercoaster and felt overwhelmed, lost, and tired.
BUT here I am ready to start again. Conference season has wrapped, work travel has slowed and I am now falling into the holiday season with jingle bells on.
Speaking of conferences, I just got back from Schwab IMPACT and came away with a few things.
- The “All In” Motto. Schwab really hit this home all week. They are ALL IN on making the advisor experience more streamlined, ALL IN for lowering cost and ALL IN for giving their advisors the tools they need to be successful.
- Many will think I’m crazy for saying this, but the make up of an advisor is changing y’all. I really noticed not only a YOUNGER demographic but a larger FEMALE presence. This had be doing internal backflips of joy.
- Advisor marketing is at an all time high. This seems to be a theme I’ve noticed at the last few events I’ve attended. Advisors are really learning to find their brand and market themselves. I love that the market is changing for advisors to be able to market their business they see fit.
From work conferences to parent teacher conferences, I’m not sure which is harder. I was a wrecked parent leading up to our first one of this school year. All I could think was how have I not been readying my child to be successful, are we raising a well rounded, thoughtful, kind human etc. And of course our not so little dude is killing it. We have one of the most amazing, hardworking, caring teachers around. She not only let us know how great our child was doing but actually pointed out how she’s impressed with the values, kindness and thoughtfulness we have instilled in him. My mom heart about burst, I almost cried and totally high-five my husband in the parking lot.
Now we are ready to ring in the holiday season! Bring on the lights, trees, cookies and ugly sweaters the Happe’s are ready for all of it!
On another fun note, with all my travels this year I started taking the time to find one fun thing I could do in each city. I’ve always loved street art and Kelsey Montague “What Lifts You” series has been on my bucket list to try and find..I’ve been able to track down 4 murals this year and hope 2020 I’ll be adding more. The wings below are in Downtown San Diego next to my other love Puesto.
LIFE…what can I say, it’s busy, wild, never ending. I’ve been in so many places in the last few weeks I’ve lost count of the cities I’ve been to, hours sitting on an airplane, and miles logged in the car. As I keep being told, this is a season, settle in and enjoy. I’m trying but boy as fellow super hero boy mom Nina O’Neal states “The juggle is real”.
I had the opportunity to attend the much hyped and talked about Wealth/Stack event in Scottsdale, AZ. While I was living my best life riding around on golf carts, we were having a family issue at home that I felt torn and guilty for being gone for. My husband assured me I was in the right place and to keep up the great work I was putting in. Let me tell you, it was HARD. There were several times I thought I’m heading home, but I stuck it out and I’m so glad I did.
I know it’s been said time and time again but this event was hands down the event of the season. I’ve been around the block a few times for these industry events and this one stuck out for several reasons:
- They really took the “conference for advisors, by advisors” to heart. It was such a delightful experience to attend breakouts and key notes and not feel talked at. The audience was involved by having an interactive live question feed going where the presenters would answer, topics were chosen based on chatter in the wealth management ecosystem instead of pushing product down attendees throats.
- FEMALES….Y’all this was by far the best part about the conference to me. I’ve grown accustom to being one of a handful of women attending these events, so to see so many strong, smart and driven females at one place was refreshing. It was also refreshing to see the demographic of young people there. This industry is in for a real shift in the next several years when millennials start hitting their top income producing years and are looking to invest with like minded advisors.
- Innovation: Following a close 2nd for me was the tech demos. By giving each presenter just five minutes they all had to really hone in on what they were offering and get down to the nuts and bolts of what makes their technology stand out against the competitors.
I’ve said this to many people who have asked about my experience at Wealth/Stack and I will keep saying it, hands down this event will become the must attend advisor event of the year. Josh Brown and team have got the formula correct and I can’t wait for them to announce 2020.
Not to also be out done that week, I headed straight from the epic Vault party thrown by NaviPlan to an 18 hour…yes you read that correct…18 hours girls trip to Disneyland where is was capped off with a meal at the famous Club 33. I may have geeked out hard and taken so many photos that someone at one point thought there was a celebrity sighting in there.
I am trying to enjoy this season with pumpkin spice everything and upcoming travel galore. So cheers friends to conference season being in full swing. As mentioned its just a season so let’s settle in and enjoy it a little.
As I mentioned I love to promote bad ass females. I don’t quite consider myself a bad ass (yet) unless you consider eating a pounds of gummy bears and drinking rose’ in mass consumption bad ass, so I am bound and determined to promote others.
Although my first bad ass shoutout is not in FinTech, heck she’s not even on any social media, I’d like to introduce you all to my mom.
What I love is that my mom and I couldn’t be more different. She is introverted and soulful. I’m extroverted and bubbly. She has no idea about sports but tries to relate. She is a one bad ass mama jammer ER nurse, I cringe at the sight of blood and about pass out at the idea of vomit, but I think this is why our relationship is so open. If we don’t communicate we don’t understand each other.
Why Is She A Bad Ass?
For one, she’s put up with me (ha). As any mother daughter relationship is, we have had our ups and downs. Fights, fallouts and cry sessions. As a teen she was not my favorite person. Even into my early 20’s I felt like I didn’t need her, but BOY was I wrong. I never really realized how much I’ve learned from her and take aways in life are from her guidance until I was moving onto more adult situations like marriage, kids, family drama.
As I mentioned she is one hell of a bad ass in her career. She’s been an ER nurse for 20 years and has no plans to slow down and stop. She’s been through hell and back during her time in the emergency department but can never see her self doing anything else. On top of her career in the ER she saw a need in our community for hospice care for the homeless. She set out to change the stamina for these individuals that never had a voice before. When she came to me with this idea I didn’t get, I didn’t even know this was a problem TBH. She told me the devastating stories and I knew we had to something.
With her grit and determination, within 6 months she tackled writing a proposal, presented to the board of trustees at her hospital and got this project approved and off the ground. Her hospital is now the 1st to offer this support in our county and is the standard others are using to set up their own homeless hospice care. To say I’m a proud daughter is an understatement.
I could go on about her, but I think I’ll stop here. My words don’t do her justice. I’d like us all to take a page out of her book and if you see a need never stop and think you can’t make a difference.
There has been a lot of chatter lately on how the word “integration” is an over used buzz word that really means nothing. I tend to lean into this camp as well. Most companies tout this idea of an “integration” when in fact all they have is a slick (sometimes) SSO. So this has got me thinking, what does a true integration look like and what should we really be calling these fakegrations?
Being that my mindset is constantly around relationship management and partnerships it hurts my soul when companies approach with an idea of an “integration”. Come at me with buzz words and I shut down faster than a sorority girl that is asked why she would pay for friends. I’d like to note that I am a proud sorority girl so don’t @ me for the comparison. Instead open up conversations with the idea of collaborating on a project to better our space, or partner together on one common goal to take over the world. IF you must use the word call it what it is “My company would like the be able to connect to your company, can we make this happen?”
Collaboration to me is HUGE and goes so much farther. People get sick of me for saying it but team work makes the dream work and doing these half ass integrations isn’t getting our space to where it really needs to be. To make these partnerships work a few things need to happen:
- Create a common goal-When joining in a partnership consider it a marriage, you are now tied. Everyone wants a successful marriage, a partnership should be no different. Decide what is import and how can you tackle an issue.
- Agree on a path to be successful-There needs to be clean defined roles. There needs to be a clear path for on boarding, support, and billing. Each partner needs to know what they are responsible for and what the expectations are.
- Promote each other- Both parties need to look to see how they can make each other successful, remember you’re in this together. There are no winners and losers, their success now will only benefit you later.
- Show the value to the end customer- This seems like a duh! moment but companies should make sure that in the end the value is tangible to the end customer and not just be a cross promotion of product.
- Ask for feedback- A partnership is only as strong as the weakest link, and and the end client can point the weak link out in a heartbeat. One should never be afraid to ask for feedback. This is a great way to see if the partnership has valid overlap to succeed.
Let’s all do our space a favor and move away from this dull dead end integration space and start moving to strong collaborative partnerships. I know we can do it!
I’ve been told I have a story, and that I should use my platform to feed the world my thoughts on #fintech and parenting. I’ve laughed at this for many years until recently. I’ve come to realize that there are many females in the finance and FinTech world trying to juggle work, kids, spouses and you can even toss in a family pet.
Here I am, wife to Kyle, mom to Paker, dog mom to Finn. We may look put together, but let me tell you our life is nothing short of a comedy of errors. On any given day the text messages between my husband and I (yes text who the heck has time to chat on the phone?!) is a well blended mash of finance talk, Parkers antics and what ever nonsense the dog has gotten into, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I’ve been plugging away in the finance world since I graduated from college in 2007. What a time to join right?! In my first year of real work life I experienced the largest financial crisis. Many times I thought to myself is this the space I want to be in, what in the world am I thinking, let’s just go back to the days of greek life and sleeping till noon. But as I dug in it was and my love for technology grew right along with it.
So come along for the ride. I can guarantee many laughs at my parenting blunders, my not so PC opinions of things happening in the FinTech space, and my general love to promote bad ass women (and dudes don’t worry).
Wanna chat HMU, I always enjoy fun banter mixed in with fun conversations.