Live a life of service. As you give to others, you will find your true self and purpose. When you find that, then the times that seem tough feel less of a struggle. You begin to realize there are people going through rougher times then you can imagine, and you become grateful and at peace with the life you have.
In this interview series, we are exploring the subject of resilience among successful business leaders. Resilience is one characteristic that many successful leaders share in common, and in many cases it is the most important trait necessary to survive and thrive in today’s complex market.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Angela Bradford. Angela is a Senior Marketing Director with World Financial Group. Within four years of transitioning from the blue collar world of trucking and training horses, to the white collar world of finances and training people, she has opened multiple offices and started expansion into two countries. She has an amazing team working with her and has the goal of opening an office in every state and province in North America within the next 10–15 years.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?
What brought me into the financial industry was my choice to take an opportunity that came up just over 4 years ago. I believe in taking opportunities and seeing where they take me. Life is short, so I want to live it to the fullest!
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
One of the most interesting stories I can think of right now was once when I met someone on a bus to the airport. They didn’t seem like the type of person that I was looking for. I was prejudging them.
I decided to chat anyhow and got their business card. This meeting was the start of a big money opportunity, and a positive ongoing relationship with a good person.
What did I learn? Don’t prejudge others. We have no idea who people really are based on an initial opinion.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
What makes World Financial stand out is that it is a brokerage. What does that mean? We are able to shop around and save people money on everything!
Recently, I sat with a family and we saved them 500 dollars a month AND also added 3 to 4 times the coverage to their original protection plan. I have also been able to get proper coverage for people that have been declined for insurance through various other companies. That feels amazing!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I am so grateful for Steve Holbrook for sharing his story of conquering a health challenge while building a very successful business. His story opened my eyes to see that I, Angela, could build a successful business and that this business could allow me to support myself and to help out my family if and when they were in need.
I have so much gratitude for his sharing his vulnerability, because when my health changed and I got diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, I knew I could continue even on the tough days.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?
I believe resilience is when people can get back up and keep going no matter what happens in their lives. The time they spend knocked down gets shorter and shorter as they work on growing themselves into the best version of what they were created for.
There are a few characteristics that come to mind. One, is the strength of mind to continue fighting when others would quit and give up. Two, is people have a sense of purpose bigger than them, that drives them to higher levels. Three, they have an inner peace because they know that they are becoming better day by day.
When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?
Steve Holbrook. He has health issues and built a business and a family when people said he couldn’t. When others said to stop, he kept going. Right now his business pays him over a million a year, and I am sure he is glad he didn’t quit!
Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?
Yes for sure! When I decided to quit trucking and get into the financial industry there were a lot of people that told me that it couldn’t be done. They told me that no one ever succeeded doing this. They told me not to quit a good paying job for a chance.
What they didn’t add, is that it would be choosing to give myself this chance! I am worth betting on time and time again. I’m so grateful I didn’t listen to those people.
The best part is that some of the people that told me I shouldn’t do this, are grateful now that I did go ahead. They see that now I’m able to help them. I’m able to make a difference in their life. To top it all off, through doing this, I’m making a huge difference in my life as well.
Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?
Yes I sure can and would love to! I was diagnosed with MS in 2019. This was a huge turning point in my life. I realized that there were things that were bigger than me. Through the struggle of overcoming the tough times with this autoimmune disease, I have learned how to be stronger and also love others and myself more.
I have been asked to share my story so that it can help people let go of their excuses. This can then help them become the best version of themselves. In other words, it is through our struggles that I feel we can grow into the ultimate version of ourselves.
Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?
This is a great question! I sure was influenced by my upbringing. My dad left the family when I was young and that influenced my life a lot. I realized that life could go on no matter what happened around me. This truth gives me strength today.
My mother is a very strong lady and watching her while I was growing up, I also learned to be strong and rely on a higher power for the strength to continue.
Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.
I 100% agree with this thought! Everything can be taught. Here are a few steps that have helped me grow in this area.
- Have a plan on how to grow yourself daily. I made a decision to read and listen to good audio daily. When I read and listen to audios on topics about areas of growth I am looking for, I begin to change. Reading over a book a week has helped me grow and develop so much into the person I am today.
- Pay attention to your associations. Surround yourself with those that lift you up, those that encourage you to reach higher and become more. Be around people who are more empathetic than sympathetic. These people embody resilience.
- Practice gratitude. Focus on all the good in our lives, rather than the negatives. We are all so blessed and it helps to focus on the positive and to be grateful for everything. When we program our brain toward gratitude and we have situations that seem tough coming into our lives, we can learn to focus on the benefits we had at first not seen.
- Spend time building the relationship with yourself. If you can’t really love yourself all the time, it is harder to love yourself in the tough times. When I feel weak, I need to love myself, especially in these times.
- Live a life of service. As you give to others, you will find your true self and purpose. When you find that, then the times that seem tough feel less of a struggle. You begin to realize there are people going through rougher times then you can imagine, and you become grateful and at peace with the life you have.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I am working on creating a movement to empower women to reach their full potential. Women are powerful and many of us just need someone to help us find our “seed of greatness”.
We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂
I would be honored to spend time with Emily Frisella, as she is a serious boss lady with a huge mission to make a change in the world, especially among women entrepreneurs.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
They can find me on Instagram at @the_angela_bradford. and I would love to connect with anyone there!
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!