Be empathetic, not sympathetic, of our limitations. Don’t pretend to understand what we feel like, but be there to help if needed. Just that is so appreciated: to know you care, but aren’t feeling sorry for us. I believe we are given a special strength to handle our limitations that those around us aren’t provided with.
I had the pleasure to interview 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, 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 Angela! What is your “backstory”?
First of all, I was home schooled and through that I learned the value of hard work and entrepreneurship. I tried various “businesses” to make money as a young person, while I didn’t get rich doing any of them, I learned how to look at the logic and bottom line of my choices rather than basing business decisions on feelings.
Before starting my brokerage — from the ground up — I have had a range of careers. I trained horses on several continents and also worked in transportation, driving truck throughout North America.
These experiences led to the realization that everyday North Americans, whom I often had conversation with while on the road, often lacked the education and knowledge to enjoy financially worry free lives.
In order to help them, I took action, and started with World Financial Group. Today, just over 4 years later, I am running offices in two cities, with plans of national expansion as I am very passionate about growing my business to help more people.
Can you share the story of how you became became ill, and what you did to not let it stop you?
When I learned I had the chronic illness of MS, I had a choice. Give up, or fight. I chose the latter. Why? Because there is always worse out there, and if I fold up and give up, I also cause others to give up. Others success depends on my getting out of bed every morning, and that is a big reason I still fight daily.
Can you tell us about the accomplishments you have been able to make despite MS?
I had started national expansion through recruiting and training some amazing champions in my agency, and I am continuing to work with them to help them run their own offices across North America.
I have also been interviewed on various podcasts and have had the privilege to speak at entrepreneur events all over and share my story and hopefully inspire others.
What advice would you give to other people who have disabilities or limitations?
You can have moments of sadness and feeling sorry for yourself. Sit on the couch and eat ice cream for a day… Then get back up and chose to go forward. Make the choice moment to moment to build a future for yourself and your family.
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?
Two people come to mind. Bean Gill, is one. She is paralyzed and uses her circumstances to impact the world. Then there is Steve Holbrook, who has Chrones disease and is still building a massive business and making a huge difference across North America.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I have started a yearly event called “The Unexpected”, with the purpose to encourage those that have had the unexpected happen to them. Life throws us curve balls regularly, it’s what we choose to do with them that matters. I am working on creating a community to encourage and build others up as they go through the unexpected in their lives.
Can you share “5 things I wish people understood or knew about people with physical limitations” and why.
- We are no different than others in feelings and thoughts. With physical limitations, we still think and feel like everyone else, though in some ways we may be tougher mentally.
- We need to still be invited to parties and events, even if we say no a lot. We want to feel loved and cared for. Sometimes we can’t make it to everything going on, but when people quit asking, it can hurt our feelings.
- We can become stronger in other areas, so the “weaknesses” become our “strengths”. We have 5 senses. When one is limited, the others step up to help. We compensate with the limitation by building new abilities and pathways of thinking and action.
- We need to be able to have pity parties. Some days are tough. Let us have those days, and then ask us on good days how to help in those times. We all have different ways to come out of the funk, so to speak.
- Be empathetic, not sympathetic, of our limitations. Don’t pretend to understand what we feel like, but be there to help if needed. Just that is so appreciated: to know you care, but aren’t feeling sorry for us. I believe we are given a special strength to handle our limitations that those around us aren’t provided with.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?
“Things happen for us, not to us.”
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this 🙂
John Maxwell. Because everything in life rises and falls on leadership and I love his material!