An Interview With Fotis Georgiadis

One of the first ways to develop grit that comes to mind is keeping the promises you say to yourself. For example, when you set your alarm and it goes off, do you get up? Or do you hit snooze? Continually breaking the promises to yourself will cause you to lose confidence. Without confidence the concept of having grit is very hard to embrace and emulate.

As a part of my series about “Grit: The Most Overlooked Ingredient of Success” I had the pleasure of interviewing Angela Bradford.

Angela is a Senior Marketing Director with World Financial Group. Within five 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 having a presence in every state and province in North America within the next 5–7 years.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what events have drawn you to this specific career path

I drove truck for many years until that industry began slowing down. This caused me to look for other opportunities and positions. I was introduced to World Financial Group then and I saw that I could get into a brand-new career with relatively little risk, so I thought, “Why not?” I decided to go for it, give it my best, and see…. I am incredibly grateful I made that decision and I have never looked back.

Can you share your story about “Grit and Success”? First can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?

Oh for sure, I would love to! At first, most of my friends and family were not supportive of the change, so I needed to build a business in a “cold” market. That is the hardest for most people, and it sure was for me!

I was not a people person, so to go out and talk to strangers was a very scary thought. However, I as I had not given myself a Plan B where I could opt out, I had to go out and talk to people every day. This was challenging because, I had a lot of people say no to me and many others who tried to discourage me. Some days I would go home and cry because it seemed so tough.

Since I’d given myself only one option, I could only advance toward my goal. I kept going back out, day in and day out, and I got better and better at approaching people. Then one day out of nowhere, so it seemed, I had a business. To some people it seemed fast, but to me it seemed very slow. What kept me going was knowing if I did the same thing every day consistently, I would build something that I could be proud of.

If you are willing to do what others won’t do, you will have what others won’t have.

Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

This is a very good question. It is one that I’m not 100% sure I know the answer to. When I look back, I see a few things I feel have contributed to the desire to win and fight through the odds: one, growing up I saw my mom fight through incredible odds to raise my brother and I; two, this meant that I also had to work very hard as a child — hard compared to some anyway — to help us to be able to afford food and shelter.

Another thing I think that has helped to develop the drive to continue even in the hard times, is an inner fight to become my best. This desire is not something that just appeared out of nowhere; I have encouraged it to grow inside me. One way I do this is by reading and listening to good audio materials. Listening to others’ winning habits encourages me to develop my own.

The last source of my tenacity is my decision to surround myself with people who are fighters. I surround myself with people who want to win. I surround myself with people who are winning. When you surround yourself with people who are winning, they encourage you to reach higher. They also, by example, show you how to reach higher.

So how did Grit lead to your eventual success? How did Grit turn things around?

Let me start with how I define ‘grit’. Grit is courage. It is also having strength of character, and the will to win no matter what challenges spring up. Grit has led to whatever success I have had so far because without it I would simply have quit. Grit is what gets me up in the morning when I want to just stay in bed. Grit is what makes me do the work I need to do when I don’t feel like it. Grit is essential to consistency and success.

Consistency helps people win in all areas of life. When you let your feelings determine your activity, more often than not, things will not get done. You cannot have consistency if you don’t have grit.

Based on your experience, can you share 5 pieces of advice about how one can develop Grit? (Please share a story or example for each)

One of the first ways to develop grit that comes to mind is keeping the promises you say to yourself. For example, when you set your alarm and it goes off, do you get up? Or do you hit snooze? Continually breaking the promises to yourself will cause you to lose confidence. Without confidence the concept of having grit is very hard to embrace and emulate.

Another piece of advice on how to develop grit is to have a reason for developing it. I know this seems simple and easy, but I see a lot of people not actually knowing what they’re fighting for. If we don’t know what we’re fighting for, then why are we fighting? Once we figure out the why, the how follows. An example of this is getting up in the morning. When we have a big enough purpose, we don’t hit snooze very often. We are so excited about where we were going, it is hard to sleep.

The third thing that comes to mind to develop grit, is embracing the tough times. I was reminded about putting my dog down after 13 ½ years together. It was the hardest day of my life to be honest, but even as I was at the vet clinic, by myself and bawling, I KNEW that this was my way to into my new career path. I drove truck only two times after this. Things happen for a reason, even the tough things.

My fourth tip is to think about your associations. Who you hang out with will help shape your present and future life. What I mean by that is, if the people you hang out with the most aren’t encouraging you to be better and reach higher, then they are normally trying to slow you down. Be conscious of the voices around you and what they are saying. Adjust your group of friends if needed.

In order to build grit, the last tip I would like to share is to just make the DECISION to go all in. Develop a “whatever it takes” mentality. No matter what happens, be committed to your goals and dreams. Nothing can stop people who have decided that nothing will stop them. Things may slow them down for a time, but these no challenge can stop people who have committed 100% to achieving their dreams.

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 you when things were tough? Can you share a story about that?

This is so true. I would never be where I was at without the help and training and coaching of others. It is hard to think of just one person, as there have been many. But today I would love to thank Karen Stanley for some beautiful chats about not only being tough but being loving to myself in the toughness.

She has pointed out my strengths, while at the same time not letting me take it easy. In other words, in a very loving way, she calls me out when I need to be called out, and I am very grateful for our friendship!

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Using social media and public speaking, I have tried to help people focus on their mindset. If we change our minds, we change our lives. Giving back to charities and church is also important to me and my team. We want to be part of a movement of growth and personal development.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

At this moment I’m mainly working on creating leadership within my agency. By helping others become leaders more people will be reached. I can only personally help a limited number of people, but by helping create leaders, I believe we can reach thousands of people. It’s the ripple effect.

What advice would you give to other executives or founders to help their employees to thrive?

I would advise them to focus on the big picture and the vision rather than on the little things behind the scenes. It is easy to get weighed down in the details of life. I advise them to constantly talk about their vision and work with their core values to create a culture and movement of change and growth.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire 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 want to create a movement to empower women to reach their full potential, so that they can become the very best versions of themselves in every aspect of their lives.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My favorite life lesson quote is “life happens for us, not to us”. When I was diagnosed with MS, it was made very real to me that things come into our life not to stop us but to empower us. Challenges are not made to destroy us, but to make us stronger.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

They can find me on Instagram, and I would love to connect!

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

Angela Bradford of World Financial Group: Five Ways To Develop More ‘Grit’ was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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