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February Is I Love NAIFA Month

Chris GandyChris Gandy is the Founder of Midwest Legacy Group LLC, a boutique concierge insurance group for executives, professional athletes, physicians, business owners, and entrepreneurs. It focuses on the client's interests in wealth accumulation, wealth preservation, retirement strategies, insurance, asset protection, and investments.


Chris played professionally for the Chicago Bulls, the San Antonio Spurs, and in L'Hermaine, France, after playing for the Fighting Illini at the University of Illinois. After the NBA, Chris worked as a Representative for Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, the APEX Consulting Group LLC, and was the Senior Vice President of Sales at MassMutual Chicago.

suzanne-carawan

Suzanne Carawan is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications at The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), the premier professional home for agents and advisors. She has more than a decade of experience working in fast-growth tech companies in social networking, events, CRM, and virtualization. She is passionate about establishing and growing technology companies globally and leverages her social and high-tech digital marketing background to provide insightful commentary to audiences worldwide. 

Suzanne holds an MBA in management of global information and high-tech marketing from the Kogod School of Business at American University and an MPH in international health economics and social marketing and research design from Tulane University. She also received her BA in philosophy from the University of Maryland. 


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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Can you communicate and connect with your audience through podcasting?
  • Chris Gandy talks about delivering quality content 
  • Why being authentic will resonate with your audience
  • Suzanne Carawan details the importance of active and holistic listening
  • How to have purposeful and engaging conversations
  • Chris explains how conferences are a way to engage in camaraderie with your community and other advisors
  • Suzanne shares how sponsors and members contribute to the success of NAIFA
  • Suzanne and Chris have their lightning round and discuss recipes for the holidays

In this episode…

Connecting with your audience begins with sharing your message. With multiple social platforms available, sharing content is effortless — connecting with your audience requires strategy. How can you cultivate a platform that encourages thought leadership and conversations?

When Chris Gandy and Suzanne Carawan began their podcast, they knew that their intentionality would determine the quality of their content. You can ask the right questions and strategize, but without enthusiasm and authenticity, success is difficult to obtain. Preparing for the unexpected and not being afraid to make mistakes is the key to achieving your goals. Presenting a humanistic element to your content allows you to connect with your audience and make meaningful connections. 

In this episode of Advisor Today, Chris Gandy and Suzanne Carawan sit down to discuss the year in review. Chris and Suzanne talk about connecting through conversations, why holistic listening will resonate with your audience, and how NAIFA is leading the way for extraordinary knowledge in the industry.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode...

This episode is brought to you by the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, or NAIFA, the #1 association for producers in financial services. 

At NAIFA, we enhance professional skills, promote ethical conduct, and advocate for legislative and regulatory environments.

By joining NAIFA, you gain access to a partnership that elevates your performance while providing greater purpose to your professional work. NAIFA members are happier, make more money, and stay in the business longer.

Get in touch with NAIFA and learn more about how to join NAIFA by visiting NAIFA.org.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:02

Welcome to NAIFA's Advisor Today podcast series, where we focus on how financial advisors work, live and give to their local communities and our greater financial services industry. Now, let's get started with the show.

Chris Gandy 0:20

Hi, everyone, we're here at the Christmas edition of Advisors Today podcast with my wonderful co host Suzanne Carawan. Hi, Suzanne. Hey, Chris. And we thought we'd take today and kind of just reflect on 2022 and kind of talk about how excited we are for 2023. Good, bad, whatever it may be. And we thought we'd do that today with everyone out there and just kind of see if there are some things that kind of we picked up on and 2022 are looking forward to in 2023. Suzanne, what do you think for our sponsor today?

Suzanne Carawan 0:57

Oh, without a doubt shadow of a doubt, we really want to thank the editorial committee that's coming back to fruition for Advisor Today. So big shout out to Ike Trotter is a longtime member, a huge enthusiast, he is going to come in to being our lead for this kind of working group that's going to help spearhead us and launch us even further this platform in 2023. So just a reminder, the Advisor Today brand actually has been around for over 80 years in 2023, replan three print editions, also our entire podcast series, and we have a full webinar series that's booking up fast. So if you're interested in sponsoring, you want to get in touch with us now. But this content really talks about the live work give element of what advisors are doing today, and highlights what we like to push at nape as kind of this comprehensive financial planner, comprehensive financial wellness mindset comprehensive adviser producer who's out there taking care of business, not only with their clients, but also in the community and in their country. So we're very excited to to see advisor day really grow the way it has. And thanks for all of you who are listening, and please subscribe to our podcast and keep it going. Where we've really had some great success and phenomenal feedback.

Chris Gandy 2:08

So Suzanne, we're gonna we're gonna kind of reflect on 2020 2022. So, you know, we launched the Advisor Today podcast, the podcasts side of the house, we launched it in 2022. And so let me ask well, what lessons have you learned along the way? And I'll share some of some of mine that you didn't know, in podcasting kind of when you started. But now you're like, wow, you know, this is, and I think this is very helpful for people, for advisors who are thinking about creating their podcast, right? They want to get out there build their brand and build their name. And they're thinking about this, what are some of the things that you could say, kind of have either tripped you up? Or you weren't expecting? Or what are some of those things? Would you share some of those things?

Suzanne Carawan 2:59

Yeah, I think for us, I think first and foremost, it's, it's much easier in some ways than you think it is. Right? So I think people get caught up on the technology. And it's, it's gonna be difficult to do and they need all this elaborate setup. And actually, I think that's quite the easy part. The harder part is, is really getting into the post production and distribution of the podcast to get the that viewership or listenership, if you will. And so what we've done is we partnered, we picked a great partner. So we work with a group called Rise25, and Rise25. It's so from an eighth of viewpoint. And again, some podcasts, they struggle with the actual guests, getting guests on the show with NAIFA, with 20,000 members and umpteen partners, that's never the struggle, it's really in the having the time to craft it the professional grade and then do the distribution. And that's what Rise25 really does for us. So getting a real partner that helped us to sit down, go through the Planning series, right, I really come up with a structure that works for us. I think that's been a critical element of success. So it's one of the things I would say, if you're an advisor out there, you're thinking about, Hey, maybe I should use a podcasting. And I really think you should, it's a great medium, to be able to get that message out, you know, look for a great partner who can really help you do some of the heavy lifting. So you can do what you're good at, which is kind of the thought leadership part, the conversational part. Right, and getting that message across.

Chris Gandy 4:22

Perfect. So anything you would have done differently. Now share with you some of my some of my thoughts.

Suzanne Carawan 4:29

Yeah. Yeah, I mean, I think, I think the fact of how we launched it, I mean, I'm very proud of us for sticking to our plan about when we said we're gonna do this, we did launch it in the middle of the summer, right before a major event. The timing wasn't the best. But you know, as you'd like to say, Chris, right? If you're, are you committed or is it convenient, and we went with commitment. So we made sure that we committed and we did it, but yeah, it's been a it's been a it's been a fast build a lot of games Time calls.

Chris Gandy 5:00

So I will say that, for me, I'm very busy being busy, right. And so it's very difficult to block out the time. Yeah, to be able to mentally focus on not only your guests, but the content of the of the podcast so that we are delivering good quality content. I'd say that's, that's it, that's a challenge. Not necessarily an obstacle, but it is definitely a challenge. I think, number two is getting interesting people, I think, not just people that people are interested in, but interesting people that have personalities, and, you know, they're willing to give back and they have it, they can give a message, right? We all know a lot of people that just they can, they can talk, but at the end of the day, there's no deliverable message that they can give. I would say that that is that's that's been a bit of an aha moment for me along the way to is, and then last but not least, is asking what I would call meaningful questions that don't lead to a yes and no answer. You know, how do you you know, so I've started reading how to interview someone, how to ask the right questions at the right time. That leads you down a dialogue and lead you down a path of, of content. And I think it's kind of interesting, right? Is that? No, we we started out this great idea. But again, all great ideas start all great accomplishment start in thought, right? And so it was kind of like it gets us out what else are people doing? What are they doing? And and what are other organizations not doing that we could do and be the foot on the forefront of it. And I think, you know, you kind of jumped on and said, Hey, let's let's look at it. Let's kick it around. Let's see if we can actually make this work. And then you told me Hey, you're coming back, you're going to be the host. I'm like, what? I just brought the idea? No, you're really the the co host and I'm like, okay, so So now it's, I think we got a pretty good rhythm down. Those who don't know, Suzanne is based out of now she's trying she's changed locations. So you don't even know. So Suzanne was in Ohio, right? Yep, still in Ohio, you're in Ohio. She's different places. I'm also different places I'm in Chicago. But, you know, many times it's up to us to try to figure out how we can get together because we are in two different locations. But being virtual allows for us to do that. Suzanne, what are your thoughts around the setup? You know, what about things like lighting and like, you know, having a good space to do it? What do you got any comments on that? Because I, I love the Carawan book behind you. Actually, that's a good time. So you know, I need to get me one of those.

Suzanne Carawan 8:02

That is actually my my son's Team USA playbook. So you know, a lot of pride in that line. So he's able to play represent the United States over the summer in box lacrosse, but the you know what I was gonna say on the on the setting, and it's something I was listening to the pod. So you know, once you start doing podcasts, I think you start listening to a lot more podcasts, you're a lot more aware of what other people are doing and saying and kind of the natural peace comes in. They're also about, you know, reading more books and just being more intentional. But I was going to pick up on something you said earlier, because I thought it was a good take home and took two different pieces. I was listening to a podcast on a book, that's basically habits of effective people, but talking about actually taking that not just being effective, but taking it to a level of excellence. And two of the things they noted, but I think it kind of harkens back to something you said Chris is they're talking about when you're walking into a meeting that you need to really before you you know you of course you have to prepare, you have to prepare your your notes and your objective and your overcoming challenges and the whole thing. But the person the the real point was that you really need to prepare energy. And I think that was something that I have learned during this podcast to your point, we were both gone back to back to back to back meetings, right and half the time you even launch into that next Zoom meeting and it takes you like five minutes to kind of change gears. I've gotten much better at taking that five minutes at least right before we get on to this to kind of center myself and get my energy prepared. Right. And our last guest on the show Adam sacks he kind of was talking about one of his take homes as a key as being an advisor is that if you want other people to be enthusiastic, you have to be enthusiastic right? So it's preparing that energy getting in kind of that zone to when we come on to the podcast right that we have that of course anytime we get to work together Chris I think it naturally is it ups my game because you know we have such great rapport you want to work with people you really enjoy and alike and you need that energy but I think not too forget that when you're going to client meetings, when you're talking about yourself, if you don't have that enthusiasm and that spark, right, it's you as a leader set the tone. And I thought that was a very important point. And the second important point that I've also learned is, I think it'd be very difficult for us to do this podcast without video. And some podcasts are literally just audio. I think, for me, I'm almost at the point. Now, if I have to take a regular conference call, you know, they say like, 70% of communication is your body language, right? It's the unspoken piece of it. So it's really, it's really about, you know, have we are we really studying body language, and I've done that a lot in my career. But I think it's something that advisors need to do more so because there's a lot of take home on exactly a lot of tear come on body language, and a lot of differences that come in with cultural difference on body language, right? With gender differences, the whole thing. And I think if we could be cognitive about that we could all up our game in 2023 By doing that, and I think that's been a big piece.

Chris Gandy 11:00

So so I will tell I'll be a little more cosmetic. The things that I've realized is key things that you need to have available as lighting, do you things like that, now I have a little ring light that I can put on my computer. Plus, I also have the really big one that they use in like studios or whatnot, I have that too. We have our own room that we've created that does not have walls, or does I'm sorry, it has wall sorry, it doesn't have windows, for the purpose of controlling the lighting, controlling the temperature of the room. We've got that and I always keep on my desk. I always keep this little guy here. Just just reminds me to relax and calm down. And don't be that I did not know is that that's always keep that really handy. Always keep hydration handy. You just don't see it on the screen. Right. But But, but But my thing I will tell you is that, you know, I got a couple of takeaways. The first thing takeaway is always be prepared for the unprepared. Yeah. Like I remember one time our internet went up. Yep. And I'm like, Oh, my God, what did we do? Right? And so boom, jumped on my phone, boom, here we go. Let's pick it back up. There's been a couple times to where I muted myself. And then I start talking. And the other thing is, if you have a partner, you have somebody you're working with to be able to go off of their cues. So I think you saw me one time and I was like talking to you're like, hey, yeah, by the way, right? And you kind of you kind of jumped in there. And I said, don't be afraid to make mistakes. I think one of the marketing people I work with shout out to McCafferty communications, and my team, Rebecca Chu, and Ronnie style, that team of people on our marketing side is one of the things they shared with me, which was really, really interesting. Because next year, we're going to launch our YouTube channel, just an FYI. But one of the things that I found out is that people find the humanistic element part of it. When you actually aren't perfect. I think we try to be perfect. Like we want to ask the right questions, and we want to ask the meaningful questions, and we want to wrap it up tight, and we want to begin at the want to begin, it's gonna be awesome when we in it's gonna be awesome when we are going to read from the script, and it's going to be fantastic. But what you guys don't realize behind the scenes is Suzanne, and I have a template that will utilize what are questions, my questions and her questions come from listening to the people and asking questions to them. And asking them is there anything specific that you would like to share in an ask a question? So then they could they can thrive in their content and grow in their content? I think those are the things I've I've learned along the way of really how to to be nimble enough to be comfortable making mistakes, because we came from a world and athletics that when you make a mistake, you get pulled out of the game, and you may not play the rest of the game, right. But this is one of those things where if you make a mistake, it actually humanizes you. And

Suzanne Carawan 14:20

you want a little bit more raw, right?

Chris Gandy 14:22

Where people can connect to you so so even today, we had you and I had someone scheduled. And for one reason or another, they could make it they're really busy, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. That's happened to me a couple of times. And you and I were talking about the 2023 and I said what I say I said let's jump on and just hammer out. You and I have a lot to talk about. But I think people would enjoy the idea of how did we get here and in what's for 2023 that people can be really super excited about and just good, bad or ugly mistakes we've made along the way right and kind of our aspects aspects of that.

Suzanne Carawan 14:59

See You know, I want to touch on that one and just unpack that for a second. Because I think if you're talking about mastery, mastery comes when you can do this, and you know, many people and communication, they're, they're in a conversation, they're actually just waiting for the opening that they can ask the question that they want to ask, right? And it could be completely a non sequitur, to whatever's happening in the flow, you have to let that go. Right. And you have to know that you trust the process, you can get your question out there, but it's more important, you're really listening, which means that you have to, well your inside voice and say, Yes, you know, you have a whole number of questions, you need to ask in your illustration, whatever you ask, you're trying to get the do your discovery, but you've got to stop. And you've got to put that aside for the moment. And you really gotta, I think, absorb the person, holistically, right, the body language, what they're saying, their tone, where their eyes are going, and what they're doing, like, where their fear factor is everybody's operating, usually out of fear. It's like where that is. So you can kind of get to the root of the conversation, right? Because that's what is authentic. That's a piece and most people like kind of the rookie side, etc. When they go into have a conversation or interview, they're not really listening to the other person, they're just really waiting. So they can respond and push out their own agenda. And I think that is a level of, of mastery that you do learn over time and communications, etc, is to really absorb what they're saying. Because if you do that, whether you're trying to find the perfect solution for your client, you know, or in my case, you're trying to find, what's that essence that makes the brand you know, pop, that it comes from listening, right, it really comes from the deep seated. Okay, what where's this person coming from? You know, what's the, what's the real, you know, what's the real story there? I think that's that's a good takeaway.

Chris Gandy 16:46

I would, I would, I would comment a little bit on what you said, which was really interesting, and I picked up on it is, I would encourage everyone to consider taking a their local college taking a public speaking course. I think one of the things that I constantly work on is I'm constantly working on my vernacular, my ability to communicate with individuals, specifically in and around topics without talking about the topic, which is really interesting, right? And so I think we have to continue to upgrade our vocabulary. Like you use the word Quill, I, when I use that, let me scribble that out. Right, you know, but but I think we could we have to continue to do that. We have to continue to work on our presentation skills, right? Our ability to do that. And we have to build our ability to connect with others. Now that we're behind the screen, because remember, we used to be able to sit and say, How are you doing good to see you give me a hug, well, you know, those type of things. Now, we have to be able to do it with our words, our behaviors. And we have to be to do it with conversation. I believe that new and I'll just throw this out there, I believe the new monetary value of wealth in the future will be our ability to communicate and build this ecosystem and relationships, I think there is value there. Because my relationship with you, regardless of how much money can we can help generate for NAIFA the money for me the value is the ability to learn from you what you know, in all your years of marketing, that's the experience, right? And so, for me, that's why this becomes meaningful to me, not only because we get a chance to give back, we get a chance to highlight great people and we get a chance to but in each one of those interviews, we get a chance to grow, learn and develop ourselves. But we also get a chance to sharpen our skills. And so my my, one of my goals for 2023 is continue to improve my vocabulary. And my ability to be able to have meaningful conversations by using words that necessarily aren't necessarily you know, aren't necessarily the words that you and I use the you know, the good you got great by. I mean, I've heard some fantastic speakers speak and some of the words you say, what does that mean? That you go and you look it up, you're like, that's really what I should say versus versus some of the words that I'm going to use today. So I think that I look back and say that's something that I want to continue to continue to develop. What about sales? 2023? Let's fast forward so 2023 What's on horizon for Advisor Today, the podcasts the magazine, what's what's happening on that side? I mean, we're super excited though.

Suzanne Carawan 19:36

So I'm now I'm thinking about what kind of a word I should use here pull from the vernacular, right? I think it's gonna be a scintillating year. 2023 really is all about making sure that we are doing membership grassroots in AIPAC the best we can possibly do, and then overlaying that with real thought leadership in the areas that we've already kind of chosen. So that would be for example, 2020 rate may 22, Mark that date, we'll have our eighth annual dei symposium that's going to be full of just Rockstar speakers talking about, really about the changes in the dynamics in the marketplace and how you can utilize that right forum to basically do good and also to provide more service out there to the American population. It's also right behind it is congressional conference, we're looking to have as many people from our entire population show up for that and go to Capitol Hill so we can reflect Main Street. And then within the centers, you're looking at our Business Performance Center, our talent development center, our employee executive benefits Center, our limited Extended Care Planning Center and Advanced Practice Center, they are all going to hold webinars and in person meetings, etc. Throughout the year, I also want to point out that 2023, we'll have the return of what we call meetings on Main Street, which Chris you can talk a second about. But that's going to be May, we're looking to go to sorry, I'll even back it up March, we're going to tie on to the LTCI conference in Denver, may we're looking at Indianapolis right before the race there. We're looking at September in the Greater Washington DC area, and then maybe we'll have another one that's going to pop up as well, during the back half of the out in Jacksonville. Jacksonville is going to be in October, Jacksonville, Florida. So we're pretty pumped about that. Chris, what actually once you tell us about your experience with meetings on Main Street,

Chris Gandy 21:30

so So really quickly, looking back, I think, I think I said it from the mainstage. At the National Leadership Conference this year, I said, I think we missed an opportunity to really connect with advisors in local areas, and be able to bring the best of the best to your community. All every every chapter out there a Chapter President or anybody sitting on a board out there should be bowing to say, Hey, bring that bring that here, we want to bring that here, because you're bringing a let's call it an equivalent to an MDRT type of platform to a local area that may not actually get that type of platform on a regular basis, you're bringing top performers, you're bringing top communication and resources, you're bringing some of the thought leaders in the industry to a local area. I mean, I think that our ability to be able to do those locally, and for everyone to engage and for everyone to really gain some momentum. Because it's really, it's an idea that the idea is very simple. You go into a community, you plant seeds, and then you uplift and grow those seeds, right. And you do that by not just what your local talent is. But by utilizing your entire bench, I go back to sports, right? So why was the dream team so good, it wasn't because the first five were just better another players, the dream team was so good, because when you brought the people off the bench, they were just as good as the top five is the top five as the starters. And then you brought the next five off, they were as good as the second five. So utilizing your bench strength, or the ability to be able to deliver content, because that's what non NAIFA members and other members in the community are seeking, they're seeking a home a place they can go get content, a place they can get camaraderie, right and a place where they can feel like you know what, I can get better in my craft. That is the three things specifically that advisors are looking for. And if we can deliver that through this medium, collectively, I think we hit a homerun. I don't want that for members to miss out. It was a great experience. I think we seeded it. I think it was good experience. Right? It's good. But I think it can only get better in 2023 I think it'll only get better. So super excited to be a part of that. I do want to touch on the DEI thing, because I think it's so important. As everyone knows, you know, I was fortunate enough to kind of take home the DEI trophy this year, but it's not really mine. It's really ours. And I just want to say thanks everyone. But you know, I think diversity, equity, inclusion and acceptance and awareness. I believe that those kind of go collect I think those words kind of go together and they're they're in a much of of different things. I think we have to get to a point where our platform integrates into our DNA. Yeah. The diversity, equity awareness opportunity. So every time we think about rolling out a topic, or we roll out a program, we got to say is are these things included? Or if they're not included, why are they not? And I think if we do that I think we are able to deliver a fantastic platform of fantastic opportunity as we move forward. And I think that is that that is the, that's the hardest thing about D AI, is because it's not always at the very top of the list. It's it's one of those things that we just have to include as a part of our DNA for us to really change the momentum going forward. And to be able to really bring a new advisor into NAIFA that we typically don't get. And I think that's, I'm super excited about the AI. I'm super excited about the pack. And I'm super excited about the PAC because I will be the chair of the PAC committee. So I'm super excited. So all of you out there who did not give to the PAC thank you for not giving to the PAC because now you give to the PAC and say Chris Gandy sent me a message to the PAC because of Christianity, I will start that campaign and 2023 that, hey, I gave because the Gandy pay the gateway game, and I'm gonna give you a piece of candy. So as I began to candy, Bessie and be given my whole thing going, I'm super excited about our ability to build our monetary resources to help tell our message on on in DC who has helped tell our message and help us create opportunities to influence legislation, our ability to be able to be a part of, of the change that's necessary that's necessary to close the gap. I go back to the DFT, to close the wealth gap that exists in America so that everybody gets a chance to protect their family and participate in this idea of the American dream of building wealth for themselves.

Suzanne Carawan 26:47

You know, and you bring up a phenomenal point that we would be remiss if we didn't say, especially in this edition, thank you to our sponsors, thank you to our corporate sponsors, we could not do it without guardian in New York Life and mass mutual and principal, and one America and fairway mortgage. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for all the groups who now invest in NAIFA. And all the sponsors we have through our centers. It's really been a great ride. And what we hear consistently is wow, you know, NAIFA's really making huge strides. Now we have our new structure in place, we got awesome leadership in place, right? With amazing programs in place. 2023 should just be a lot of fun, right? We're getting to the fun part. So I think that's, that's great, where we're happy to, you know, we're we're going into our 133rd year, it'll be in 2023. So we've got a lot to keep going. And we've got a lot many more members, we need to bring into the community. And we also need to really make sure we're reaching out and getting more people into the profession. And so before I forget on that one, also come February is I love NAIFA month. So get going already on what you love about NAIFA Because also we're going to run our future leaders program and bring and we're expanding into the universities and colleges, letting them know about NAIFA Letting them know really we're doing one on one communication on what it is to be a financial adviser or broker or a wholesaler, you know, what are all the different components and how you can get involved in that. And we're super excited about that. I don't want to be remiss and not say that because we got to expand the profession. People like Chris Gandy, they love what they do. I love marketing, Chris Gandy, I love marketing, all of our NAIFA members, we just need more of that more goodness.

Chris Gandy 28:31

And so I call it everyone out there to nominate somebody that's in their local area to start to participate at the national level. I mean, an eighth is about volunteer volunteerism and, and spending your time and spending your energy to help promote the field and help promote the help uplift others. That's what the that's what the the industry is about. That is what our camaraderie is about our brotherhood and sisterhood or the community in which we were developing. I think it just keeps getting bigger and better from here and into our tradition. We have a wonderful lightning round. So Suzanne, I'm gonna throw some things out there. We'll have a little bit of fun and I'll close it and that'll be our clothes of the year. How's that sounds good. So So Suzanne let's let's start out with this. Your favorite meal you're going to eat at Christmas time.

Suzanne Carawan 29:29

I'm gonna go with we like a very southern traditional kind of thing of ham and mashed potatoes and green peas and some sort of crumble pie.

Chris Gandy 29:38

Okay, are you the person are you also the person that my mother told me she said New Year's you have to have something green Something Borrowed or something and so those are what are those real

Suzanne Carawan 29:51

black eyed peas Yeah, black eyed peas that back in there.

Chris Gandy 29:55

What is this right so yes, thanks coexist for me. It's gonna be a Um, I'm gonna make mac and cheese, which is my mac and cheese form, you know, we should, we should share recipes because my mac and cheese is known to actually be the first thing that leaves. And then I just learned how to make big pzd. And it flew off the show. So, so

Suzanne Carawan 30:22

well financial advising thing doesn't work out you got your product actually

Chris Gandy 30:25

learned from our compliance officer used to be a culinary chef. Oh, and so for 11 years while I was at Mass, he used to always I used to always go into his office and I was like, what kind of recipe work? Because he'll always be crafting something, right? Oh, I just cooked this the other day, I was really good. I just cooked this the other day, the other day, it was really good and that he'd have this like, you'd always he's like, Here, try this. Try this. Try that. So I got into the habit of of creating food, right and yeah, we Ativ with that. So which is kind of interesting, because I found a love for it and it's quiet, you can kind of create

Suzanne Carawan 31:02

Oh, totally, I'm trying to find my love for it. I've just been busy busy so busy this this year. That actually it's on my list for the end of the year to take some time and actually get back and find my love of cooking. And one of the things on my list is to perfect a recipe called Water Zooey. My husband I had on our honeymoon and it's a Belgian kind of specialty. And that's on the list. So I'm right there with you.

Chris Gandy 31:24

Okay, so Suzanne, all you want for Christmas. So if you have one thing for Christmas this year, what would it be?

Suzanne Carawan 31:33

I think I'm getting it my son's coming home from college I'm gonna have my younger son is going to be here. We're all we've got plans to go to a hockey game. And we're gonna go see a National Lacrosse League game, which is box across and go up to Buffalo and see that, and I'm pretty excited about that.

Chris Gandy 31:48

Got it. Got it. And then last but not least Suzanne, the one thing that you're looking forward to in 2023. That that has you super inspired. And 20, you know, as we close out the year,

Suzanne Carawan 32:03

yeah, this is actually interesting. I have put myself from my committed to convenient list. I've long been wanting to work on my own book. And I'm going to start work on that book. And since I've said it now, Chris, I've leveraged it in there. I'm uniquely interested in maybe everybody's heard that, you know, I'm the mom of lacrosse players in major athletes. But I'm really fascinated about the moms behind the athletes. So I'm going to do a book focused on on moms and athletic performance and kind of the inspiration there for people like Chris Gandy, I think it's really interesting. We get so much emphasis on the athletes, I'm really interested in, in the mom aspect of where they come from.

Chris Gandy 32:41

Yeah, their support system, right. I can speak as an athlete that their support system is where they get their courage. It's not from their skills, it's not from, you know, it's where they get their courage, and it's where they get their inspiration. Our coach used to stay. The name on the front of your jersey is where you're at the name on the back of the dirt is what you represent. And that's your name. And it's just,

Suzanne Carawan 33:05

that's how we should think of NAIFA Yeah, glove, this

Chris Gandy 33:08

is what sports is taught. So I'm a bunch of sports, you know, you know, ways we can use sports and sayings that we've got in sports. But I think there's just such an eerie parallels that exists. I think the one thing if you asked me for Christmas that I would want this year is is which is interesting, because you can't buy it, it's really peace of mind. Knowing that we did better than we did in 2021. I think that we have set the groundwork in the stage that if you and I were gone in January of 2020 23, they could take this platform and run with it and continue to build it. And I think that is part of why this is so meaningful to me. Not only because I get to hang out with you every every day or once a couple times a week, but but I think in all of this is is it moves us from how to be a successful organization to being a significant organization. And I think significance is about the impact we have on others and how we make them successful. Success is about us. I think some of the organizations that we compete with and some of the organizations that are out here is about how do we become successful as an organization? No, no, I think even from an advisor perspective, I think we move from our success because that is 100% about us to significance which is how many others have we impacted so that they can become significant they can be as successful as or even more accessible. I think that is where we have to go. So so the word I'm going to use is how do we become more significant and more impactful and 2023 and I'm super excited about that. Do you have anything else before I close this out? I spent a wonderful year with you.

Suzanne Carawan 34:59

I love that well I think that that's key word for 2023 is significance.

Chris Gandy 35:04

That's what a wonderful word. So thank you, Suzanne, for CO hosting the Advisor Today podcast. You know, we couldn't do it without you with all your you know, your setup and your wonderful, your wonderful knowledge around the industry and your wonderful knowledge, just simply the history of just marketing. Sree it right so that's super important and and making sure we get it on our platform. So those of you out here that have an opportunity to listen to me, I just want to thank you all for listening to the Advisor Today podcast, the Christmas journal, they'll look back at 2022 and preparing for 2023 We got so much to be excited about. We look forward to seeing everyone as we come together and 2023. And just reminder that this, this platform that we're all on is an ecosystem, our ability to be able to help promote, build, grow each other allows for us to be accountable and helps us become better. And again, we can't do it without volunteers. So 23 Three, make a point to volunteer some time, energy effort, just be on a committee, be involved. You can't play my sports told me we can't play from the sidelines, you got to go in the game, and you're gonna make mistakes, we understand that but raise your hand go in the game you will want to participate. And I just want to remind everybody and I'll leave you with this is that your goals are calling for 2023 I often say that I'm in the relentless pursuit of achieving my most accomplished things in life and I encourage you to do the same for 2023 Thank you all for tuning in to Advisor Today's podcast with wonderful Suzanne Carawan and Chris Gandy Thank you. Have a great day and happy holidays.

Suzanne Carawan 36:50

Thank you Take care

Outro 36:54

thanks for joining us for NAIFA's Advisor Today podcast series. Make sure to subscribe to get future episodes and if you're interested in coming on the show, let us know

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