Be An Abundance Activist with Ellen Rogin – Episode #34
In this episode of Training Unleashed, Evan speaks with Ellen Rogin about ways professionals utilize prosperity and generosity in business. Ellen is a speaker, money expert and NYT bestselling author. Listeners who go to ellenrogin.com can download several free meditations, including a Prosperity Flow meditation, “From Vision to Reality,” as well as “Kids and Prosperity: How to Raise Money-Smart Children.” Ellen has given a TEDx Talk on ways to teach your children to be smart with money, listen here.
Announcer: Welcome to “Training Unleashed,” the show that will help you design and deliver training that’s off the chain and will make a difference. Now, here’s your host, Evan Hackel.
Evan: Welcome to another fun and exciting edition of “Training Unleashed.” Today, we are gonna have an excellent time. I’ve got, really, I think an interesting and novel topic. And with us, our guest is Ellen Rogin, and she is an expert on abundance and prosperity. And I’m gonna start off by asking her a very simple question which is, give us a little bit of your background, just the real brief background so we can get into the good question.
Ellen: Great. So hi, Evan. Thrilled to be here. So I have had a very traditional financial background. I was trained as a CPA working at a big accounting firm and then, for more than 20 years, have had a wealth management firm. And the thing that has been most interesting to me is to look at what really makes people successful with their money, and it’s not typically what the financial services industry would lead you to believe or the traditional financial press. And not only successful financially, but also successful where people are happy, and content, and generous with their money.
Evan: So I have no doubt after that introduction, everyone is wondering why you’re on a training podcast. Because you’ve gotta financial background. And I’m not gonna say why now, I will say why later, but I think that this is gonna come full circle and people are gonna get how these principles apply to what we do in training. And I’ve got more to say, but I’m gonna save it. So you call yourself an “Abundance Activist.” What does that mean?
Ellen: An abundance activist is someone that focuses on the abundance side of things versus the scarcity side of things. So many people view the world, especially the financial world, as a scary place where there’s a limited amount of resources. For me to win, you have to lose, like aggressive competition. And my experience leads me to know that that type of viewpoint leads to a lot of stress around money and not necessarily being able to create what you most want. Alternatively, when people view the world as a place with more than enough to go around, unlimited opportunities, that that leads to not only feeling better about your money but, actually, better financial decisions and happiness around money. I think we’ve all known people that have had tons of money, and then been miserable and fought with their partner, and went home and kicked their dog, and also people with limited resources that have been super, super happy. And also people with lots of money that have been happy as well.
But these viewpoints about how you look at the world and look at the financial world whether it’s one of lack or one of plenty make a huge difference in terms of what shows up in your life. So an abundance activist is one that raises those kind of conversations with people and uses generosity as a way to really build their own prosperity.
Evan: I love the topic. I totally agree that there is zero correlation between money and happiness. And I think people always think, “Oh, if I only had this much money, I’d be happy.” I always say, of course, “Enjoy the journey,” because life is about the journey. You spend more time in the journey than you do…And then whenever you reach a goal, you always have new goals. But I wanna take what you’re talking about and bring it right back to training. Because this is the point that, when I first thought of you for this show, that I thought was so important — companies look at training just the way you described, as, you know, “I don’t know if I can really afford it,” from a scarcity perspective. And if we could change the mindset within corporations to think about training as an investment that creates abundance and to recognize that it is not a luxury, which I think a lot of people think of training as, but a necessity…
And the problem that companies have is that I think that they’re constantly looking in that austerity, you know, shortage mindset. And if we could change that mindset to abundance, that training creates abundance, training is a multiplier, training provides ROI because if you can retain more employees, if you can close more sales, increase your average margin, increase your average gross profit, all of these things reduce the stakes. Massive impacts on companies. So what I’d like to ask you is, if you were a training department and you wanted to create a feeling of abundance within your organization around training as opposed to an austerity mindset, what advice would you give people?
Ellen: Well, studies have shown that generous behavior leads to all sorts of wonderful things within an organization and outside of an organization. And as you were talking, that’s what it sounded like to me — to train your team to be more effective in whatever area is important in your organization is really an act of generosity. ‘Cuz it not only helps them grow professionally and probably personally, but ultimately will help the organization grow. And it’s really an investment in them. I know that, not just anecdotally, what goes around comes around. And when you are generous or support people in all different ways, it will come back to you in beautiful ways.
Evan: Now, to what you’re saying…And I’ll let you finish in a second, but just I wanted to add onto that. I think the training department should be the model of great culture and that model of generosity and abundance, where the training department is uber helpful and leads first, and leads from that point of view, you know, with that positive mindset. Does that make sense?
Ellen: Absolutely. Within an organization, if you are feeling like your organization cares about your growth in addition to the corporate growth, that would be such a huge motivator. People don’t wanna work for stingy companies or that they’re only looking at things through their viewpoint. When I know that I’m working with someone that has my best interests at heart and they’re out there giving, not selfless, not like they don’t want something in it for themselves as well, but that makes me feel like I wanna do more business with them. And if you’re in an organization that is…If I’m in an organization and I know they care about my growth in all different ways knowing it’ll flow back to them, that makes me wanna be more loyal, wanna do great work for them and be the best that I can be.
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Evan: Okay. I got that. Now, I’m gonna circle this around to what you do because this is the other thing that I think is important. And you kinda said this, but I’ll maybe build onto it, is to look at employees holistically. Right? So we tend to think about training as, “What do we train around job function? Just literally, what do people have to do? What do we train around legal issues, sexual harassment, safety, all of those things?” And then we tend to train around performance, how to improve their sales, how to improve margin, all those type of things. But if you look holistically, you help people train in terms of their whole person, in terms of economic planning for their future, how they save in their 401(k). How do they prepare themselves financially? And I think a lot of companies completely miss that.
But I think if you, as a company, help people understand that so that they could see how, within their job, they can save and have a prosperous and comfortable future, it makes a difference. I’m guessing you agree with me?
Ellen: Yeah. Well, what I see and what I can speak to from my area of expertise as the personal finance-type of training, it is typically done…A lot of organizations are calling it “financial wellness” now, and I’m making air quotes because it’s not really my definition of wellness. They tend to only focus on people in financial crisis, which can be a huge drain on the corporate bottom line if people are worried about their money. But it’s also viewed, these programs…So these are people that are in major debt situations and need support that way. There’s a lot of negativity. It’s a scarcity focus in that type of training. Not that people don’t need to be financially educated. But it’s almost as if that type of training are for the people that are in financial crisis or that are, like, losers in their financial life.
First, is this holistic conversation, which is around things, not only, “How do you save in your 401(k)? And how do you allocate your money? And how do you be a better saver? And how do you get out of debt?” But, “How do you feel more content with your money? What does success really mean for you? How do you be more generous?” And all those types of conversations are what are gonna really make people holistically financially more better, and that will ultimately help the organization. I mean, financial stress is a huge, huge issue. When people are in financial crisis and they are so worried about their money, there are studies that have shown your IQ actually drops. So if you’re freaking out and don’t have tools to deal with that, you cannot make good financial decisions.
And interestingly enough, people with great wealth, it may be some of the C-Suite people that are dealing with financial anxiety, and it might have nothing to do around their resources. Like they may have been saving a lot of money and be all set, and have all sorts of stock options and whatever other kinda benefits they have, but it doesn’t mean they’re not worrying about money. And it’s such a shame.
Evan: Well, I find, just in life, that every time I hit a financial milestone and I think upon myself, “Oh if I were ever there, I would never worry about money again,” that there’s always a higher plateau. You know? Your lifestyle changes, all of that, which is why I talk a lot about the importance of enjoying the journey.
Ellen: I wanna just bring something up around one of the things you said earlier about, that money and happiness are not correlated. Many people have seen the study that…And I’ve seen different numbers. Like once you get over $75,000 of income or $90,000, there’s no incremental increase in happiness based on your income. Then, there’s other studies that have shown that it actually depends on how you use your money to see how it affects your happiness. And one group of researchers found that when people are using their money to benefit others, it actually does boost their happiness level.
Evan: [inaudible 00:12:50]
Ellen: So there can be a correlation to money and happiness, but it’s really about how you use it.
Evan: So let’s take this idea right into training because everyone in training is helping people in the organization be more successful. They’re helping them do their jobs better. They’re helping them reach, perhaps, bonuses better, helping them move up in the organization through training. So the training department is the abundance department. Right? They’re helping create abundance…
Ellen: That’s great.
Evan: …which is a really cool mindset. Does that make sense to you?
Ellen: Yeah. And there’s really…And I would imagine there’s a lot of job satisfaction when they can look at it through that standpoint. There’s lots of research on generosity and generous behavior on volunteering and doing kind acts. And one group of studies showed that when people are being generous, doing volunteering or doing generous acts for other people, purposeful, meaningful acts, it actually increases their health and longevity more than quitting smoking.
Ellen: This is really powerful in terms of that not only mindset of how you’re helping others, but actually doing these kind acts and seeing the results there not only help you with your job satisfaction, I imagine, but also can have huge impacts on your health and longevity, and happiness.
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Evan: I think what would be interesting for everybody listening to the show is if they took some time with themselves, with their team, however they wanted to do it. And just thought about how what they do impacts the organization and, more importantly, impacts the people in the organization. Because I think if they did that, it would center them around what they’re doing and improve job satisfaction, and increase those activities that create that feeling that you’ve been helpful to others and supporting other people. So these are really powerful ideas, all coming from a person from a financial planning point of view. Now, you have some offers for people, and so people should stick around to hear about your offers. But I wanna hit on one thing because I think it’s kind of important. In one of your offers, you talk about helping children with financial planning.
And I know this has nothing to do with training, which is okay. But all of us probably care about children. Some of us have children. So maybe just share, you know, why did you do that? And sort of the overall picture kind of briefly because we’re not gonna have that much time.
Ellen: What I know is what people think and believe about their money has a huge impact on what shows up in their lives, and these attitudes and beliefs started at an age much earlier than we could possibly imagine. Really, said by some people that, “Our subconscious beliefs start from conception to age seven, where most of them are engrained.” So this idea of teaching children how to have a great mindset and take the right actions around their money starting from when they’re really, really little kids will have such a huge impact in their lives as they grow older. And that, I’ve seen it with our own kids, which right now seem to be turning out to be good citizens of the planet and responsible with their money. They’re both in college right now.
But we started these money messages when they were very, very young. I actually did a whole TED Talk on teaching your kids a new way to be around money.
Evan: That’s cool.
Ellen: So that’s out there too if you just…
Evan: So if I wanted to google or YouTube it, what would the TED Talk be called?
Ellen: Just do “Ellen Rogin,” R-O-G-I-N, “TEDx,” and it’ll “lap” up.
Evan: Nice. We will put that in the description of the meeting too, so people can, if you have access to the…Not everyone has access to the description. But if you do, you can just go click on it. Okay. We’re starting to run out of time. So I ask everybody, one tip that you would give to someone in the training profession, what would that one tip be?
Ellen: My one piece of advice is that it’s not only important to be a good giver, to be generous, but also be open to receiving. There are some people out there that are listening to this who are like, “I get it, Ellen and Evan. I’m so on this. I am so…” Generous behavior is really important. I try to help other people all the time. And it’s also important to be open to receiving. Now, if you think about this, I know people can’t see what I’m doing, but if you make clenched fists and you’re always hanging on so tightly to what you have like, “I’m not gonna have enough,” and you’re not giving, you can’t actually receive. And on the other hand, if your palms are always open like giving, giving, giving, giving, and not being open to receiving, it’s hard to be successful as well.
So there are parts of the…There are two sides of the same coin. I like to say, “There can’t be a giver without a receiver. And so if you’re not open to receiving, you’re hurting someone else’s ability to give.” And as we know, if you’re always only out there looking for yourself, no one’s gonna wanna deal with you. Right? If you’re just a taker all the time, it may help in the short run, but you’re not gonna go very far.
Evan: I think that is a very profound point. I actually, you know…I’ve been into personal development. I believe everybody needs to become better people. It’s just part of what you need to do, and there are lots of ways for people to do that. But my biggest breakthrough in the last year in personal development was to receive gratitude and not fight it.
Evan: You know? If somebody says, “Oh, I really appreciate what you did,” “Oh, it was nothing. It was nothing. Don’t worry. It wasn’t a big deal.” ‘Cuz to me that seemed like it was more generous not to make people feel guilty about it, not recognizing that people want to see that you appreciate that they’ve appreciated you. And for you, as a person, to feel that gratitude and that become part of your life. And I have to tell ya, it’s very difficult for me to do that. And so I will tell you that, you know, just “Thank You” cards are such a nice thing people don’t do in this world. I’ll just add that as a tip. And just little notes and, you know, [inaudible 00:19:58] into training, if people are going to live training, or someone’s a subject matter expert or helped you, send them a nice card. Not an email, send them a nice card. It makes a difference.
Okay. You have some free offers, and they’re kinda cool. They’re kinda different. And I think people are gonna be really interested. So why don’t you tell everybody about them and how to get them.
Ellen: Sure. So if you go to ellenrogin.com, that’s ellenrogin.com/goodies, there’s two meditations there. I believe a lot in the power of our minds to create what you want, especially, with your money. So there’s one that’s a Prosperity Flow meditation and another meditation “From Vision to Reality.” And then, on this topic of kids and money, there’s a special report, “Kids and Prosperity: How to Raise Money-Smart Children.” And that’s all free for you there, really, a gift to your listeners.
Evan: Well, I really appreciate that gift. We don’t have time for you to repeat all of those URLs, but it should be in the description and you can always go back and relisten. Those are great gifts. I just wanna say also, to listeners, if your company doesn’t do any training around financial acumen and skills, about how to use money in your life, you should really think about it. Because if you can help people better manage their money, not by paying them more but by helping them understand how to better manage their money, they’re gonna be happier and more satisfied. And I never knew this before until you said it, but they’re gonna do a better job at work ‘cuz their IQs go down. And I know that people…I know, myself, if I’m ever financially anxious, I’m thinking about the money and not thinking about work. So the productivity goes down. Ellen would be the ideal person to contact about that.
Ellen: Thank you.
Evan: And an important topic. I think people learned a lot about your topic. I think I did a nice job weaving in how it really impacts training ‘cuz it does. Especially, the giving and the receiving part of your message, and for the training department to lead by example. So thank you so much for being a guest.
Ellen: So, Evan, here’s a moment of gratitude. Thank you so much for inviting me to be on your show and the fact that you provide this information to the listeners to really make their companies and their training departments so much better. So thank you for being out in the world and doing the work that you do.
Evan: I really appreciate you saying that to me. It really makes me happy, and it makes me feel so good and so nice. And I really appreciate that so much. Bye, everyone.
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