As I continue to learn and grow, I decided to take on a new adventure through hosting a podcast. While I have zero experience, I thought “I have to start somewhere!”….so here we go! This first 10 minute bonus episode is an origin story of Operation Christmas Angels and how it has grown. With the holidays around the corner, I thought it was a great way to kick off the podcast and give insight on how my family and I love to spread holiday cheer to the little ones in our Community. Please take a few minutes to listen, and I hope you continue to visit us weekly for episodes on “Ask Angel” as well as “What I wish I would have known”.
Financial advisor specializing in female demographic
By: Angel Guerra-Chagolla
Finances are part of our daily lives. We work to earn, we spend
to purchase, we save to fulfill goals. Like love, money makes the world go around.
Each of us finds ourselves in daily decisions on what we do with the income we
earn. Many people like myself, grew up without “extra” and schools do not
instruct students on budgeting and finances. Up until six years ago I lived
paycheck to paycheck. With the last few years of hard work, I have had the
opportunity to pay down debt and find myself in unknown territory. I was bewildered
with the number of options we have from stocks to bonds and 401k to savings
accounts. Do I invest in what is safe? How much should be invested each paycheck?
Which options will multiply at higher rates? How many streams of revenue can I
build? These are just a few of the questions I had beyond my comprehensive 401k
The business world has many choices for financial advisors,
but it is important that we not only speak with someone who has the knowledge,
we must also speak with someone we both like and trust to guide us. What we do
today can make or break our retirement, so why would we entrust our hard-earned
money to someone with a mission which does not align with ours. This week I reached
out to Katerina Hencova, a certified Financial Advisor with Continuum
Consulting Group. She did a beautiful job discussing finances and retirement at
my New Year, New You Seminar in January, so of course she was an ideal choice.
In addition to advising, Katerina lectures at the University
of California, Irvine and volunteers at the Women’s Philanthropy Council. While
knowledge is the number one attribute of a Financial Advisor, what stands out
against the rest is that she specializes in aiding the female demographic by providing
education for comprehension of money matters and identifies each female client’s
specific needs to create a financial plan of action. Studies show that women
live longer, contribute less to retirement funds and earn less. These three
facts weigh heavily on how much income can be used for retirement, investments
and insurance as well as being successful in implementing and maintaining
We never want to find ourselves saying “I wish I would have”,
especially during retirement. If you are looking for someone you can trust with
something as important as your future, I highly recommend Katerina. You can
find her contact information below:
Unity is a strength that can change lives and create
futures which may not otherwise be possible. In solidarity, I am working to
create and promote a community which is established through respect for others.
The foundation is reverence for females in the world of business. All other
positive components such as acceptance, compassion, kindness and support follow
that precedent. Sharing ideas leads to discussion and change, in addition to
group advocacy. Studies show that when one sees another display qualities and
actions, they can ignite a motivation to recreate or exceed the viewed
Representation is important. Coming from a small
town that had few businesswomen and even fewer Latinas as role models twenty-five
years ago, it took much more energy and imagination for me to visualize myself
as a corporate success. It was rare to
see advertisements or positive news articles on those who resembled what I saw
in the mirror or in my community. This is why I find it so important to create
social media recognition in mediums that young girls and women of every color,
age and background can relate to.
Beauty & Beast in Business has a group of character representatives whom I love! Together with a young artist Gabby Ramirez, we created illustrations to be delegates for all businesswomen, but as I was speaking to a young girl about her potential and future, I recognized the need for youthful ambassadors. While I try to be the role model for young girls that I did not see as a teen, I also want those who do not look like me to have representation that they can connect to. So… Gabby brought my young visions to life! I would like to introduce you to three young ladies who symbolize every amazing little girl and teenager who are a “Future Beauty & Beast in Business”. Together we will continue to empower and teach the next generation of female leaders. My illustrated emissaries range from toddler to post pension, bridging the gap from dreams to triumph.
I had an amazing time with the Todd Olivas and Rick Castro as we taped their very first podcast! Click the link above to listen in. We talked about a little bit of everything from family to career and my mission in life. There was a few laughs and of course we discussed servant leadership and how it can be considered my North Star.
I hope you enjoy it….and don’t forget to subscribe to Todd’s podcast for future discussions with workers compensation industry leaders.
October is breast cancer awareness month and in honor of the
number of women in my family who have fought breast cancer as warriors, I would
like to share this article. Only a month ago, a cousin who battled the disease
for over 5 years sadly passed away. Throughout her surgeries and multiple treatments,
she kept a smile and sunshiny disposition that warmed all who encountered her. It is important for us to remember our loved
ones who are no longer with us, recognize those who continue to battle through and
inform women who may not understand the importance of self-checking and
possible symptoms about breast cancer.
While the American Cancer Society reports that is rare for
women in their 30s to be diagnosed with breast cancer, most physicians recommend
that we begin self-checking our breasts as early as age 20. I began the discussion
with my daughters by the age of 12 due to early development. During the teen
years and early 20s there are many changes in breast development and tissue is
denser, but it is never too early to create a habit of learning our bodies so
that as changes occur, we can recognize and track them. Especially if there is
a family history of breast cancer.
It is recommended that medical screening begin at age 40,
although it can start as early as 10 years prior to the youngest diagnosed
relative in the family. Physicians have general timelines but know that each
woman should be actively discussing their family medical history with their personal
physician. If you have a physician who is not considering your specific
concerns, I urge you to find another. Each of us must be our own health
advocate. It is important to find a
primary physician who you are comfortable with and trust.
Below you will find links to multiple articles that concern
prevention, self-screening, general information and getting tested. Please take
a look and remember that while October is breast cancer awareness month, we must
be diligent at knowing our bodies, self-testing and having discussions all year
round. It is important to be a Beauty & Beast in Business as well as in
issues concerning our health.
Latino Heritage Week was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968 but a new law created Month-long commemoration in 1988. Most people in the US did not really begin to celebrate until recent years and there is a big divide in how many Latinos feel about the month. While some agree that the intent is to teach others about culture and honor Latino contributions to the United States, others are not thrilled that it is used by some to capitalize on cultural sales.
Like all other holidays, the intent is genuine and changes for
each based on their perception. I would like to celebrate our cultures from
across the world. Whether we are labeled Chicano, Hispanic, Latino or for the Latin
countries our families hail from (recently or generations back), Natives,
Afro-Latinos or American with Latin genes, it is important to remember that we
should not be focused on differences, but honor the contributions from past and
present that have had positive impacts on our country.
Thirty years ago, I rarely seen a Latina Businesswoman or Entrepreneur in the area I grew up in. I am ecstatic to say that the youth of today can go anywhere in the US and find a successful Latina(o) to role model. It is important that all people are represented in all areas of business and politics, showing the younger generations that Americans of all backgrounds can be a success, positive change maker and advocate for unity and solidarity.
Below you will find links to visit pages with Latin Authors,
Artists, Business Professionals and more.
There are several attributes that lead a person to success,
and we can (and do) read books, listen to podcasts as well as attend seminars
(all great tools) … but until action is weaved into the recipe, it all becomes static
noise. It is kind of like setting eggs,
milk, flour, sugar and butter on a counter, but never mixing and baking.
Without action there is no cake!
With so many ingredients in the world, how can we determine what
is best for us individually? Well, it may boil down to trial and error, taking points
from each of the books/podcasts/seminars and creating your own guideline to
success. Although doesn’t that statement feel like an inane piece of advice? It
ranks up there with “Just smile” or “everyone is an individual”. While the
statements have good intent, there is no direction.
Here are 3 actionable items that anyone can do to yield positive
results after goal setting.
Document! Purchase 2 notebooks. It does not
matter if they are from Barnes & Noble or the 99-cent store so please do
not get stuck on step one trying to find the “right” ones. The first should be
small enough to fit in your purse/briefcase and can be used anytime during the
day when you have brilliant ideas. Yes, I know you have Grade A ideas for your
career/family/vacation! Write them down when the inspiration hits so they are
not forgotten. The second will be your tracking guide. It will be used most (if
not every day/evening) to record your goals and accomplishments throughout the
year. Keep it near your bed. You do not
need thirty minutes for “Dear Diary” spill fest, you simply need 3 minutes to
track 3 things. First write one sentence which records an accomplishment (no
matter how small), secondly write one sentence that outlines a bite sized goal
for tomorrow/this week, and lastly write one sentence acknowledging a blessing.
Network! Yes, we are all a Beauty & Beast in
Business…. BUT life and career are so much sweeter with a group of individuals
who have similar interests, goals and experiences. Think of them as your Chefs
who assist with baking and decorating your cake. They may have more knowledge,
better recipe’s or are amazing at supporting you by providing ingredients for
you to create a masterpiece. Do not be afraid to meet new people and go outside
of your industry. Check Eventbrite, Instagram or get recommendation for
networking opportunities from colleagues and friends.
Take Risks! There is much to be said about being
thoughtful, but if we never took risks, all cakes would be vanilla. Fear will
always be evident in some form, but it cannot be used as an avoidance for
taking risks. Let me just say right now that you will always have an audience,
so you might as well forget the fear of people watching. Instead focus on the
outcome of taking a risk. What will you gain if you walk through that open door
or dive feet first into that new challenge? Experience and Opportunity!
Life moves quickly and it is easy for us to miss how much we
have achieved if we are not documenting. Maybe you did not complete all 5 of
your New Years Resolutions, but I bet you have successfully completing 20 other
things throughout the year. Write them down so you can flip back and give yourself
credit as well as remind yourself of your blessings. Those notes are your
recipe book. Sharing your ideas with new people will lead to inspiration,
collaboration and possibly great opportunities. When those opportunities arise,
and someone is holding the door open…. Walk through it! You my friend need to
recognize you have the power to achieve every goal you set and create the life
you dream of. It takes hard work, perseverance and positivity, but you are the
Master Chef. I cannot wait to see your creation!!
In the late 19th century, women were a large force in unionizing laborers to create safe work environments and manageable work weeks. Up until then it was common for business owners to require 70+ hours a week and the workplaces had no standards. Organizing events and creating “walk-outs” for the male labor force to create recognition of conditions was the start to bigger issues. After a warehouse fire in 1911 (killing 150 women), they passionately grew their efforts increasing the public awareness and bringing light to the call for change. The improvements needed were to benefit the safety and livelihood of ALL workers. These efforts were the foundation for many law changes to follow in the United States, saving lives through safety efforts, decreasing average work weeks to 40 hours and holding business owners accountable for wages and the workplace. Organizing and working hand in hand with our male counterparts, great improvements have occurred.
Today, women continue to be active and vocal organizers for
employment law. Equality in pay, hiring processes and human resource issues have
been improved in the last 100 years, but we continue to work for the betterment
of all. This holiday weekend, we recognize a century of females who worked/work
diligently to create a better tomorrow for their families, communities and employees.
If you would like to read some interesting articles on historic labor movements, please follow the links below:
The Professional Females in Risk Management was created to bring together women in Risk, as well as those interested in transitioning to this industry. Hosting events with female speakers who were experts in fields such as finance, law and corporate management, was a way to not only network, but provide educational tools for advancement and preparation that are not normally discussed in risk conferences and seminars. Networking and building a community would lead to group support, mentorship and an encouraging culture which is always a positive goal for women in business. In the last year, I have repeatedly been told that the tools given through The Pro F.I.R.M. can be used in any industry and every role.
So many times, there is a feeling that knowledge or experience is not sufficient to apply for positions. In other situations, a female may find themselves in the minority at a company or possibly in management. If we look beyond our careers, we see a large number of working women who are unprepared or ill advised in their retirement and insurance coverages. No matter the topics of concern, the industry in question or even the location of residence, studies and experience shows us that women in business at all levels have common struggles in career or home life.
In October, this organization will be celebrating thirteen months with its ninth event in California. Each has offered seats not only for professionals, but for High school and College students as well. What better way to grow a culture of positivity, then to introduce young women from the community to our sisters in business? As the alliance has grown, I have chosen to use The Pro F.I.R.M. to recognize that all professional women deal with daily risks in career and life. The focus group has included safety, human resources, claims, legal and female managers in many other industries.
To reflect my mission as well as my heartfelt support for all women, I am introducing this group of gorgeous logos. They represent our sisterhood as well as standing in solidarity with all women in both business and community. I would like to thank Gabby Ramirez, the young artist who agreed to work with me on my vision! I am grateful that she was as invested as I in producing these five worldwide representations of Beauty & Beast in Business.
On February 8, 2020 we will be celebrating Leading Ladies in Business and the community. While The Professional FIRM will be presenting multiple awards to our Sisters in Business, I am excited to announce we will also be presenting awards to 2 Brothers in Business. These accolades will be given to corporate leaders, who over the years have not only supported females in their companies but have committed to be a mentor and sponsor.
There are special attributes that create amazing mentors. Not
only are they kind and supportive, but they are willing to share their knowledge
and guide their mentee. As a sponsor they build relationships between individuals
and create opportunity for growth and upward movement within the business industry.
Their investment in others is great and for many women, it may mean a
difference in salary and title due to knowledge and introductions.
Ten years ago, I was fortunate to have a mentor that saw something in me, many may have overlooked. With patience he answered millions of questions, with kindness he took an interest in my success and he continued to push my curiosity in the industry. As time passed, he grew to become a friend and a sponsor. Always keeping touch. Even when we found ourselves in separate companies, he continued to provide advise and promote my skills to upper management in potential career changes. While that may be enough for my choice to honor him, it is not the sole reason. Watching him take the same professional care to guide others in each company he has worked for, has been award worthy. These are attributes of true change agents.
Please join me in saying congratulations to Rick Carvajal! You my friend have been an asset to many through wisdom and sponsorship. Thank you for being a rare gem and continually being an avid supporter of hardworking women in the industry. I look forward to presenting you our first Brother in Business Award at the Inaugural Beauty & Beast in Business Gala.