Wealth Podcast Post

Success Formula with Michelle Arpin Begina

George Grombacher January 30, 2022

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Success Formula with Michelle Arpin Begina

LifeBlood: We talked about a proven success formula, frameworks for looking at past successes and finding lessons to apply to future scenarios, the five elements of financial flourishing, and how to utilize sel-talk to become more successful with Michelle Arpin Begina, CFP, CIMA, and Official Member of the Forbes Coaching Council.

Listen to learn how to find the clues success leaves behind!

You can learn more about Michelle at MichelleAB.com, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Thanks, as always for listening!  If you got some value and enjoyed the show, please leave us a review wherever you listen and subscribe as well. 

You can learn more about us at LifeBlood.Live, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook or you’d like to be a guest on the show, contact us at contact@LifeBlood.Live.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher


Michelle Arpin Begina

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:00
Come on

formula this is George G and the time is right welcome. Today’s guest is strong and powerful Michelle Arpan Vergina. Welcome back, Michelle. So great to be back with you. I always love talking about human flourishing. Amen. Michelle is a CFP. She’s a CI Ma, she’s an official member of the Forbes coaching Council. She’s the founder of Michelle a beach. She’s a senior partner with Snowdon lane, partners, get excited to have you back on Michelle, tell us a little about your personal life, some more about your work and why you do what you do.

Michelle Arpina Begina 0:46
I always like to say church, I live in a locker room, husband and two kids

who are competitive lacrosse players. And I enjoy being the sideline photographer for all of their all of their games and being their mom and balancing that with a career that I get a tremendous amount of satisfaction out of

george grombacher 1:15
I love it. I appreciate that. I am a little bit pre locker room in my life. But soon enough, I think you’re here in a couple years. So I remember last time that we spoke, we’re talking about how people can just some steps to get better at money. And I was hoping we could sort of follow on that. Because I think that one of the reasons we struggle is that it’s not really a clear line. And the more we can have a formula to get to where we want to go the better.

Michelle Arpina Begina 1:45
Yeah, yeah, I think we all do have a formula. And I love what you just said, you know, if you look at a chart of the stock market, it’s an upward trend, but it’s not a straight line. Right? And that’s kind of how we live our lives to one step, you know, one step back two steps forward, so on and so forth.

george grombacher 2:05
Yeah, so how how do you think about that is I think that we all want to be successful? And then once we are find success, how do we actually move towards my, like, thriving?

Michelle Arpina Begina 2:18
Hmm. Well, I, I have a belief, that is how we do one thing is not how we do everything, I think that some myth we, we can be very successful people in our lives, and yet be a hot mess when it comes to our money, or maybe not even that, you know, maybe not even a hot mess, but we might not have money in this place that we want to have it. And a lot of the people that I meet have something about money, or more than a little something about money that they have kept private, and even sometimes from themselves, like, they kind of know what’s there, but they don’t want to look at it. And they certainly are keeping it from their family or friends for a variety of reasons, a lot of which has to do with the social fears, you know, spheres of influence that we have our expectations of what we think others expect of us or we expect of ourselves and expectations people put on us that we’re trying to live up to that may or may not really coincide with who we really are deep down, I think can cause some of that struggle. But we bring we do we bring different selves to different roles that we have in our lives, right who we are in the office versus home or who we are, if we’re honest, forcefield or any other variety of places that you know, we quote unquote, live, where we act a little differently, right, depending on who we’re with, and the context and the situations that we’re that we’re in and we can be really powerful in one area of our, our money and shrink. Um, so we can be really powerful in areas of our life and then shrink when it comes to money.

george grombacher 4:19
It’s it is it makes all the sense in the world, right? And then once we start doing that, I mean, just compounds and compounds and this is not something that’s going to get better on its own.

Michelle Arpina Begina 4:32
Know exactly. I mean, you and I were talking earlier, before we started rolling that I was just in a situation where I was buying a new car. And the sales manager that I was dealing with was really aggressive and almost to the point of bullying me and I had a situation with a bully when I was eight years old, and I felt like an eight year old in that conversation. It was really difficult I think best of circumstances, negotiating a new car is challenging to begin with. But being triggered back to that eight year old self who had to stand her ground when she was being bullied was was difficult, it was really hard. And the reason I mentioned that is, we’re not always aware, you know, it sounds funny to say, like our seven or eight year olds in charge, but we’re actually not really taught how to raise our own awareness of what we think and what we believe and what we feel about money, right? Most of us don’t do that type of inner introspection. And there can be an inner eight year old, who’s in charge sometimes. And all we know is that I’ve felt this feeling before, I’m not really sure where this came from, it’s super uncomfortable. And I’m really trying to find my way out out of this paper bag. And it’s really difficult to see the light. And those are the clues sometimes that there’s probably something to just dig under the surface. And what we’re talking about too, is not to say, you know, as I said earlier, like, most of us attain a lot of successes in our lives, right? We have wonderful relationships, we do great work, we’re charitable, spiritual, you know, all the dimensions of our life. And I think we can borrow from different successes that we’ve had. And I think that’s really cool. Because you know, that phrase you do you? Well, if you take a look at your successes, you’re actually looking at how you do success. And you can pull on those threads, and map them over to money to do that. More in alignment with how you’d like that part of your life to be.

george grombacher 6:56
I think that that makes a ton of sense. The whole success leaves clues kind of a thing. And so if we can do sort of a post mortem sale, look at that, that that worked great for me, I had immense success. I wonder what it was that really helped me to do that. And then can I take some of those things and apply them to this area?

Michelle Arpina Begina 7:19
I love they just sense. Yes, success leaves clues. Because where my mind always goes is like I was always taught to look at what other people have done, and find that person who’s done what you’ve done, what you want to do, and find out how they did it. And then you can emulate that, which yes, there’s a lot of value in that. However, I’ll give you a couple of examples. So Sara Blakely, who is the founder of Spanx. One of the things that she credits as part of her success is she lives very close to her home. But she takes a fake commute for an hour to the office every morning, where she just drives aimlessly, because she does her best thinking during that time. And she credits those drives with coming up with some of her biggest blockbuster ideas. So yes, we could emulate that. But if you were going to a mentor and they said, listen, all you got to do is take a fake drive for an hour once a morning before you get to the office and just think like most of us would go, okay, maybe we do that? Maybe not. But I’m not sure we would equate that with. Hey, that’s, that’s how I got to do it. You know, is that really going to fit for us? So I’m really into Yes, success leaves clues your own right, it’s okay to look back. Because I think what we often lose sight of is how much wisdom we have within. And we really do have the answers within, right. So if somebody looked back on two or three of their life successes, and it could be from any area of life, what you’re really looking for is your psychology well and what they know from positive psychology or we’ll call it positive financial psychology for today. What they know is perma.

Right, positive emotions, engagement or flow, relationships, meaning and accomplishment. Those five elements are like areas of your life, you’ll start to see the common threads, right? What you’ll start to see are the patterns of Oh, I see when I got my degree, how much you know, meaning I was getting out of that, or the relationships that were important in my life and how that supported me on that journey, for example. And then maybe you think of two or three other successes that you’ve had You can see wow, you know, I really mean heavy in flow or engagement. Likewise with, you know, the four psychological characteristics of positive financial psychology are an acronym is hero, hope, efficacy or confidence, resilience and optimism. How much were those elements in play? So if we think about hope for a second, hope is just the will to succeed. And there’s, there’s something I’m really fascinated about the will, which is I used to always say, there were two types of will strong well, and goodwill, right and strong on my head was someone who was really stubborn struggle really means that you’re clear on your intent. Right? It’s not about a personality trait. And Goodwill, we all know what that is. But there are two other elements. The other is skilled well, which is about skills and knowledge. And then there’s transpersonal will, which is that belief that I can transcend my current circumstances and go beyond what I thought was imaginable or go beyond my lived experience. So in my way of thinking, when there’s a will there’s a way is true, but what I think is more powerful is the will is the way, so if you think about hope, and that kind of a context, and you really take yourself back, right, put yourself back in the shoes of when you were 25 and setting out for something that you accomplished, I don’t know, saving the downpayment and buying your first house, whatever it was, think about, like how much hope and optimism to have around that, right? And how much did that choose to up? And how do you keep that feeling strong? Or how was that feeling strong as you were accomplishing that. So I’m really into just pulling on the threads of your own success, successes, and really looking at them. And then looking at the patterns, because the patterns reveal the chemistry that makes you you in every single thing we’re talking about, absolutely applies to doing money well in your life. And I’m pretty convinced most people have all the tools they need to do it already.

george grombacher 12:24
I love it. Those are powerful acronyms right there. And so helpful. I’m such a fan of using prompts for things like, tell me about your goals. I don’t have a I have no idea. But if you said Well tell me about your goals for your family or your money. And so having these acronyms is super helpful. And yeah, to help people identify their actual patterns of what makes you you and then to sort of go deeper and dissect what those through lines might be that helps you to be successful in one area. That that’s that’s, that’s great. How do you think about sustaining that? Is it just constantly reminding myself and keeping it front of mind? Because it’s easy? Well, I think it’s all hard, right? It’s hard to do this work. It’s hard to start making a change, but it’s also hard to keep it going.

Michelle Arpina Begina 13:21
Yeah, no, no dad out. This is definitely hard work. Right, this stuff is not for sissies, like none of the stuff you’re talking about. Your podcast is for sissies. But this is how life is well lived, right is really looking at who you are and what you want and how you can accomplish it. And I think what you just asked me it’s actually the hardest part for me is keeping your goals, top of mind, right front and center. So that when there is temptation when you meet resistance, that it’s the first thing you remind yourself of okay, well wait a minute, if I am thinking of a diet right now, right? If I eat that piece of cake, that’s an impediment to me wanting to live a healthy lifestyle, or lose weight, or whatever it is, is so what works for me is daily journaling, right? And I keep a bullet journal. I’m not much of a I’m not writing prose in my diaries. It’s sort of a chronological bullet point history of what went on and and I’m probably partly doing this because I have such a terrible memory. It could actually chronicle memory. But journal bullet point, joint journaling really works for me. I love being engaged with thought partners. So I have a coach right now who literally is a thought partner and she’s my go to person when there’s something I’m challenged with something that I’m not quite sure my emotional Something that I am feeling a little bit off track, and I know the right track, but I’m not just getting there. So she’s a touchstone for me, you know, that’s one. I know people who use, you know, positive self talk, which I will say positive self talk is not anything new. But for some people, that’s their go to. And for me, that’s not my go to write, I do use positive self talk. One of the strategies that I’ve started really relying on is this concept of, I’m going to call it third party advocate advocacy. And here’s, like, the logical distance that you have to deal with. So I guess the first way to think about it is if you’re, you know, traditionally planning retirement, let’s say you’re 35 years old, and you say, I want to work till I’m 60. Okay, that’s those are, that’s a lot of years between 35 and 60. And we, psychologically, we don’t have a relationship with our 60 year old or seven year old or 80 year old self, right, we barely for 35, we barely have a relationship with our 36 year

old self. And the reason for that is there’s psychological distance, that to bring that closer, if we were to talk to our 60 year old self as if he or she were actually an alive person today, right? Well, we had those feelings toward that future self, as if they were our friend, or our family member, or somebody that we loved. When we start to create that sort of connection in our head, that we’re actually in a relationship with that older self, we are going to do kind things toward that person, it would be like, having coffee with that person today and buying them a cup of coffee. If you walked into a coffee shop, sure we all do random acts of kindness, but we’re not necessarily just going to walk up to a stranger and buy them a cup of coffee. And we have to know is that that future self, that person is a stranger to us. So how we close that gap between time distance psychological distance is to literally have like a first person relationship. What’s interesting is going back to resilience. When we’re in moments of resistance or temptation, we actually have to go third person. So this is what I mean by the third person advocate. So Georgia, do you ever been in a situation where you have defended someone and you’ve kind of felt like, damn, I wish I had a George because the way I fiercely advocate for that person, I don’t even advocate for myself that hard shot ring true for you, too. Okay, sure that for me all the time. Okay. So if we’re able to talk to ourself in the third person, well, Michelle would never do that. In fact, this is what Michelle wants, like, almost as if you’re talking to another person, but you’re talking to yourself in the third person. When you talk to yourself in the third person, you are removing that emotion and you’re giving yourself a whole new perspective and dimension that you’re literally an advocate for yourself. And that third person conversation is, is, like I said, it’s for moving that emotion and it’s giving us that distance from I have an issue. The issue is not me, I’m not the issue. Right? The issue was removed from me, the problem is removed from me. So then when you it’s almost like you have an out of body experience where you’re holding the problem in your hand and you’re able to look at it. Like, oh, okay, I see the problem. But you’re you’re not littered. Third voice type of self talk.

george grombacher 19:16
me thinking, yeah, that makes sense. For sure.

Michelle Arpina Begina 19:23
Oh, that has become a really strong go to, for me even going back to that situation with the car. What started helping me was literally saying to myself, Michelle, this is hard work. Michelle. It’s hard to be in a negotiation with someone who’s being hostile and aggressive. Right. So I started partly recognizing just the elements of the situation that were difficult. And then when I started talking to myself, as if I weren’t even then no Room, it gave me all hot power in my negotiation. So I. So it’s just another resilience strategy, it’s become a go to for me, but everybody’s got a different go to some people to put post it notes on all the mirrors and surfaces of their home have all the reminders in their keyboard and on their laptop screens. That doesn’t work for me, right? So everybody’s got something different that they reach for. The point of all of this is to know, what do you reach for in your bag of tricks, and no one has packaged your bag of tricks. Err than you. Right, we’ve all probably been exposed to a lot of the same strategies. But the ones that work are the ones that we tried out and then have been effective, but we probably have repeated them time and again. So let’s just take a look at the patterns, what have you been doing? What’s actually gotten you to from point A to point B in different, you know, different areas of your life? Take a look. Because, for example, hope just going back to that, you know, before on any type of journey, financial journey, a lot of hope is involved, right? The will to succeed, we don’t ever start something intending to fail. Right. So how much hope was there? How much optimism was there? Right optimist, just the belief that we could make it come true, right? I always find for me, hope and optimism are obviously really, really strong when I first get started. And then the resilience strategies have to come in. As I’m moving, you know, progressing toward that goal, then I gotta lean heavier on the resilience strategies.

george grombacher 21:53
I love it. Well, thank you so much for coming back on where can people learn more about you? How can they engage with you?

Michelle Arpina Begina 22:01
Always a pleasure. You know what? I have a success formula guide that people can download off my website. The website is Michelle with two L’s AB Am I ch e ll e ab.com. And get it right off the homepage. I am actually working on a secondary follow up to the success guide that’ll be coming out pretty soon. LinkedIn and Instagram are the other two ways to get me.

george grombacher 22:27
Excellent. Well, if you enjoyed this as much as I did, I’m gonna show your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas, go to Michelle a be calm and download a copy of that success formula guide. Give us the tools to work through everything we’ve been talking about and find her on LinkedIn and Instagram as well. Thanks, Michelle.

Michelle Arpina Begina 22:48
Thank you, George.

george grombacher 22:49
It was a pleasure. And until next time, keep fighting the good fight. It’s we’re all in this together.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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