How I Thrive: “I make sure to listen to good podcasts and audios daily” with Ming Zhao & Angela Bradford

Reading and audio. I make sure to listen to good podcasts and audios daily as well as read from a good book every day. What I put into my mind, will come out into my business and personal life as well. Good or bad. I have noticed the more conscious I become about this, the […]

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Reading and audio. I make sure to listen to good podcasts and audios daily as well as read from a good book every day. What I put into my mind, will come out into my business and personal life as well. Good or bad. I have noticed the more conscious I become about this, the better both of those areas become in my life.

At times it feels like wellness or elevating one’s wellbeing, is diametrically opposed to high achievement and high performance in one’s career. The stress, mental energy, long hours, lack of restful sleep, preoccupation that result from a high-achievement life seem to directly inhibit wellness. And yet, in order to sustain the creativity, flexibility, mental acuity and resilience that are necessary for high performance, wellness and wellbeing of the mind, body and soul are also mandatory. So how do we achieve both? This is the question I’m hoping to answer through conversations with high-achieving women who have gleaned and are practicing their own philosophies on maintaining their wellbeing.

As a part of this series about what successful women leaders do to thrive, both personally and professionally, 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 doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path and to where you are today?

For sure! I was driving truck, and absolutely loving it, until the industry slowed dow). That’s when I started looking for something else to do, and was introduced to World Financial Group (WFG). I thought it would be awesome to learn about money and finance and make some more good friends in the meantime. Once I started to see the good we could do for others, I quit trucking and came into WFG full time.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

The most interesting stories that have happened to me since I started this career mostly revolve around trips. I recall a fun trip to Toronto a few years into my business and how exciting it was to tour museums and also go to my first basketball game. We were in the skybox no less, and it was so wonderfully exciting having complimentary food and drinks and watching one of the Raptors’ best games of basketball!

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

When I first started in the finance world, I was not thinking and acting at all like a financial brokerage owner. I recall going out in the stores and malls to meet people and having some very ‘interesting’ conversations. While at the time, I didn’t see the humor in them, looking back makes me laugh at how little I knew, and yet these memories also show me that if people want something bad enough they can succeed.

What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture and work life?

To create a fantastic work culture, first, clarify for yourself your core values. What values are the most important to you? What do you see as the core purpose of your business and what kind of culture do you want? Second, let everybody know your values and your purpose and you will naturally attract the people that also want those values in their life.

With these types people in your business, you wont have to worry about bad behavior as much, nor will you have to worry about customers leaving due to dissatisfaction. What is more, when people know the purpose of your business, they will be much more likely to buy in and create a family type environment.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview. In my work, I focus on how one can thrive in three areas, body, mind, and heart. I’d like to flesh this out with you. You are a very busy leader with a demanding schedule. Can you share with our readers two self care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body to thrive? Kindly share a story or an example for each.

When my health took a dive and I became ill with multiple scoliosis (MS) I had to seriously reevaluate my life and activities. I didn’t want to be the richest person in the graveyard, and I also knew I couldn’t help as many people if I didn’t figure out my health and fast!

I came up with a few things to help my body thrive better. Here are two I try to follow weekly or daily.

  1. Yoga. I started committing to yoga once a week. The quiet time and stretching that it requires has helped me immensely both in body and in mind. Yoga helps strengthen my body without extreme stress.
  2. Eating healthy. As much as I can, I try to watch what goes into my body. I have, for the most part, cut out drinking alcohol and eating deserts (not sugar yet!) and try to eat lots of fruits and vegetables instead. The less unhealthy stuff we ingest, the easier it is for our bodies to work at their optimal capacity.

Can you share with us two routines that you use to help your mind thrive? (Kindly share a story or example for each.)

Regarding my mind, I am careful what goes into it, as our mind controls our health and body. I have a few things that I do that help me a lot.

  1. Meditation. I have been trying to do this daily for a while, and recently am finally starting to feel the benefits of this ‘down time’. When we are always on the go, it is hard to hear our quiet thoughts and ideas. Those thoughts are some of the best ones we have!
  2. Reading and audio. I make sure to listen to good podcasts and audios daily as well as read from a good book every day. What I put into my mind, will come out into my business and personal life as well. Good or bad. I have noticed the more conscious I become about this, the better both of those areas become in my life.

Finally, can you share with us two routines that use to help your heart, your emotional or spiritual life to thrive? (Kindly share a story or example for each.)

My spiritual life is very important to me. I feel without God in my life I wouldn’t have the wisdom or strength for day to day business.

  1. I pray for strength, when I feel weak, and when I feel happy I thank God for all His provision for me.
  2. I practice affirmations that build me emotionally every day. What we repeat enough, will become reality.

When life is very busy, and you cannot stick with your ideal routine, are there any wellness practices, rituals, products or services for your mind, body, or soul that you absolutely cannot live without?

Every day, regardless of the day of the week, I do a few things:

  1. Read 45 minutes from a good book.
  2. Listen to an hour of good audio.
  3. Repeat my affirmations and my goals out-loud twice a day.
  4. Meditate.
  5. Journal.

I cannot go without these 5 things everyday.

All of us have great days and days that are not as great. On days when you feel like a rockstar what do you do? What does that day look like, and what did you do to get there?

I do the daily routines listed above, and make calls and also build new friendships to enable me to help more people.

I would like to add that the reason I can have these great days is that I made a decision to have no ‘bad days’ and to do everything I can to shift any negative mindsets into positive ones. Gratitude helps a lot!

In contrast, on days when you feel down, what do you do?

The same as my good days. I don’t let my emotions control my activity. In saying that, I may take a moment to cry or sulk, and then I snap out of it and go to work. The more I help others, the better my life becomes.

Do you have a story about the weirdest, most bizarre or most humorous wellness experience, treatment, practice, or practitioner that you’ve ever partaken in? If you do, we’d love to hear it.

I have a lot of fun in everything I have been part of, but sadly no crazy stories come to mind.

You’re a high achieving business leader, and you also have family and loved ones that may require a different side of you at home. How do you leave the executive at the door, and be the most loving caretaker at home?

I turn off my inner brain as much as I can and put the phone on quiet or away so I can be ‘in the moment’ with my family. This is something I consciously am working on, as I feel sometimes they get the worst part of me when they deserve the best!

Is there a particular practitioner, expert, book, podcast or resource that made a significant impact on you and helped you to thrive? Can you share a story about that with us?

There have been a lot of books and podcasts that have influenced me. One that comes to mind today is “Becoming Supernatural” by Dr. Joe Dispenza. I read it while in Italy last year and it spoke about the power of the mind, and how that can affect our health and everything else in our lives. Since I had just been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), it made a huge impact on how I thought about what was happening. I realized I needed to change how I looked after myself. When I got back, I started that process.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start 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’m working on starting a movement to empower women to reach their full potential. By this, I mean, to actually become the best version of themselves in life, in business, and in relationships.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

“Things happen for us, not to us” Is one of my favorite quotes. When I got diagnosed with MS this last year, it was a this thought that helped me and still helps me every day. It has inspired me to use my weakness as a way to develop my strengths.

What are the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

The main place to follow me is on Instagram @the_angela_bradford

What are the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

The main place to follow me is on Instagram @the_angela_bradford

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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