Energetic: Inspiring Leaders and Budgeting

Guests: Zik Nwanganga & Liz Armstead | Season 9, Ep. 367

*** This recording is for educational and entertainment purposes only. It should not be viewed as personalized financial advice and is not a substitute for consultation with your financial representative. Any reference to third-party websites are provided for information purposes only and are not endorsed by CommunityAmerica. Please visit CommunityAmerica.com to learn more about how we can assist you in achieving your Financial Peace of Mind.*** 

*** Securities and advisory services offered through Copper Financial Network, LLC (“CuFi“), Member FINRA/SIPC.CuFi is a SEC registered investment adviser. Products offered through CuFi are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk, including possible loss of principal. CuFi is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For important disclosures from CuFi, including our Form CRS, please visit here. *** 

Zik Nwanganga is passionate about helping people discover their purpose and maximize their true potential.

Zik founded a leadership/entrepreneurial organization called FiredUp’. 

The goal of FiredUp’ is to motivate young people to pursue their purpose by hearing about other leaders’ failures and successes. 

Liz Armstead is a branch manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. She has been with them for five and a half years.

Liz has three kids and two dogs. She loves to travel and go on adventures with her family.

Memorable Quotes:

  • “I fit here because I know that these are all human beings who are going through the same struggles, maybe in a different way, but they’re all trying to pursue something.”
  • “He said that at the deathbed of anyone in the world, at the last breath, no one ever thinks, man, I should have spent more time at work. We always think, man, I should have spent more time with my family and friends because that’s the most important thing.”
  • “I always find that having someone there to hold you accountable is a great option, whether it’s a spouse or a family member or a financial adviser, someone at your credit Union.”

What You’ll Learn:

Inspirational words for aspiring young leaders and how to manage your money well through a budget.

This Episode Includes:

  • Zik started FiredUP’ KC because of the challenges he went through during college.
  • Zik believes that it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, it matters most who you are.
  • Reading, following, and listening to other leaders will inspire you to find your own true potential.
  • FiredUP’ KC is about all the leaders and entrepreneurs in the KC area and building a community of support for aspiring young leaders.
  • Zik shares that being a leader is to make work easier for whoever is under you, not harder.
  • A friendly work environment is important to the success and overall happiness of everyone involved.
  • Young people can start to pursue their passion by being willing to take a risk with whatever idea they have.
  • Whatever you’re doing, no matter what it is, do it to the best of your abilities because the one thing you’re doing might lead to the main thing you want to do.
  • Building a budget is all about setting goals and knowing what you want to put your money toward.
  • Liz shares several ways to start building a budget and how to get help when starting out.
  • A budget helps reduce stress by giving you peace of mind about how much money you actually have.

Three Takeaways From Today’s Episode:

  1. Find one inspirational leader who you look up to and learn how they got to where they are today.
  2. Set goals for your life and career – those can be one-year goals or five-year goals.
  3. Start a budget around your goals.

Mentioned In The Episode:

 

Click Here To View Written Transcript of Episode

Dr. Robin

Welcome back to Small Changes, Big Shifts. I hope you enjoyed our series around being. And this quarter we’re focusing on free your space. And what that means is freeing your space from the mental clutter, the clutter around you.

We’re in spring season and how can we kind of prune back the stuff so we can grow, plant more seeds?

Today, joining me on Small Changes, Big Shifts is Zik Nwanganga. Zik is passionate about helping people discover their purpose and maximize their true potential. Zik founded a leadership entrepreneurial organization called Fired Up. The goal of Fired Up is to motivate young people to pursue their purpose by hearing about other leader’s failures and successes. Zik. Welcome to Small Changes, Big Shifts.

Zik

Thank you. Thank you for having me, Dr. Robin. I must say, I like the intro music. I got in the vibe when it was played. So it’s an honor to be here. Thank you so much for having me on.

Dr. Robin

Zik, why did you start Fired Up? 

Zik

So, I mean Fired Up? I would say it started as a coincidence of my own challenges that happened while I was in College. Being able to I left the MKC. I graduated finally in 2021, but I left in it’s been called 2018 due to some financial issues. And while I was out there, I was reading a lot of books, inspirational books, and which kind of made me realize who I am, kind of found my foundation. So when I came back to school, I was like, how can I impact other people with this knowledge that I’ve gained? So Fired Up was a platform and a tool for me to be able to communicate with my fellow students and kind of inspire them based on what I’ve learned and share my experiences. And they can learn as well.

So that was the whole the goal of doing that. And then it turned into becoming a talk show, a podcast, which happened organically. Since then, we’ll be interviewing entrepreneurs and CEOs leaders in Kansas.

Dr. Robin

Well, I love it. So, who sent some message or a thought you’ve heard? As I shared with you, we’ve been sharing 30 lessons and through my years about being this. There’s these little one-liners that stick in my mind, like, do you want to be a grape or do you want to be a raisin trying to encourage people to hydrate or MMFI, make me feel important. What are some of the one-liners that you’ve learned through this journey?

Zik

I would say, I think it would be from Napoleon Hill. He says, whatever the mind can conceive, it can achieve. Right? And that’s literally if you go on Instagram, that’s our motto. That’s what we put on there. And I go by, it starts with you, right? It’s the person, not whatever you’re doing. All these actions, it’s good to do things, but it’s who is the person behind all this action.

So, whatever you can conceive, you can achieve if you work hard at it.

Dr. Robin

Well, I love that. What type of response are you getting from your followers?

Zik

I would say positive response. I mean, that one come in that says, Man, Zik, you’re killing it. You keep going keeps meet producer, because sometimes it can be lonely in being a media production person. And you’d be like, man, I spent 10 hours producing this one episode, and am I going to get any reaction? So that one person who says, Man, Zik, I love your contact. Keep doing it. And I would say getting coffee with people like Scott Haven, a bunch of other leaders in Kansas City, it motivates me because without doing what I do, I wouldn’t be able to be in a position to be able to meet them. And also having an event in February.

We have our first event in February, and over 70 people showed up. And we were estimated by 50 people. So having everyone shown up to come and show us love, kind of show me that young people are watching this. So that kind of gave me more motivation and more joy to keep doing what I do.

Dr. Robin

I say life is kind of like for me, golf, maybe now it’s pickleball. I don’t play much golf, but I’d have one out of ten good shots. Or a client comes in and they say, you know what, I got it. I did that neck exercise. I woke up with a stiff neck and that neck exercise you showed me. And while I could turn my head again. And so doing a podcast or a Facebook Live, you have that one person, it kind of keeps you going.

So, to all those one persons that take time to cheer us on. Thank you. Because it does take a lot of effort to do something like this. A, you put yourself out there and sometimes you stick your foot in your mouth, or B, you wonder, are you really creating content that’s helping other people? So, let’s talk a little bit about why is it so important to highlight leaders to young people.

Zik

I feel like for me personally, thank you. That’s an awesome question. Because growing up, I think leaders are always an inspiration for me. Seeing my dad, my dad never had a job like a nine to five job as a kid. Just seeing him doing his own thing. He was a politician. Seeing him speaking and interacting with an audience. And then having been motivated by his speech, always made me think, man, one day I want to do that, right?

And so for me, coming to the US, it was always that vision of I want to be able to leave where I grew up in and go and find something else in a whole different country. So, when I came here, I started reading books by Napoleon Hill, thinking, grow rich. I think for me, who I am today is a product of what I’ve learned from other leaders reading their books and kind of watching their experiences. Steve Harvey, Kevin Hart, all the people that I watch all the time, they motivate me because hearing their stories have always been to know that even though Steve Harvey, he said yesterday I was watching the show, he said I was homeless at 30 years old. But look at me now.

I have all these shows because I have this vision and I work out on it, right? So for me, I was like, Yo, if all these people are inspiring me, I want to be able to inspire young people who are maybe in engineering, and they want to switch to a whole different major, but they don’t even know how to do that or are scared to take the risk.

And if only they can see me doing what I’m doing, they can say, hey, if Zik did it, Zik is not that smart. He’s not the most hard-working person in the world, but he did it. I can also do it myself. And I bring people on my platform to share their stories, say, hey, I started at A, I went to D, I went to Z. Before you knew it, I was right here.

So, their experiences, I believe, like, I’ve seen results. I’ve heard young people ask me, Zik, I like, what you’re doing? I want to get coffee with you and learn how you went into your joint. So, yeah, it’s always each one, teach one.

Dr. Robin

Well, Zik, I love Steve Harvey. He makes me laugh. I just start giggling. And sometimes I take life a little bit too serious. So I love that you brought him up at small changes, big shifts. We support people through whole-person health. One of the ways we do that is through networking, connection.

We know that people feel when they don’t feel connected, they have more mental health challenges with depression, anxiety and loneliness. So how does fire up help build community and connection?

Zik

Yeah. I mean, honestly, we are based off of being a community. My platform is not for me. It’s for all the entrepreneurs and leaders on there. So we do this by bringing up top leaders in Kansas, entrepreneurs and hosting events that we just had in February and have everyone like, if you come to the event, it was just spectacular. We had people from college students come to this event, and they were CEOs.

So, we want to fire Kansas City. Right. We bring all aspects of Kansas City young professionals, people who are in school, people who own businesses, just bring them together in one place and say, hey, the one thing that we know that we can do is have a vision and work hard on it.

 So, we are creating a community where everyone can feel welcomed and don’t feel judged or feel like, hey, I don’t fit here. I want everyone to come in and say, hey, I fit here because I know that these are all human beings who are going through the same struggles, maybe in a different way, but they’re all trying to pursue something.

Dr. Robin

Well, you mentioned Scott Havens. And how about that? Scott Havens. Yes. All the great stuff, all the content they’re putting out there to inspire people. You never know what one nugget you’re going to hear. So, what’s the nugget you’ve heard in the last week or two that you’re starting to chew on and see how it can inspire you?

Zik

Yeah. I had lunch with Bob Hayworth and Bob really, he changed my perspective about leadership, about being able to work hard on what you’re doing. He says that he’s a leader. He’s always leading a team. He says that if I don’t make the work easier for whoever is under me, I’m doing a bad job. His job is never to make everyone’s job harder. It’s to make their job easier. And he says that he gives his employees to call all the time and check how to do it, just to check how to do it and take them out to lunch. And after that meeting with him, I literally had to call people on my team.

I’m like, how are you guys doing today? Hey, we should hang out. And he says, this is what he told me, and this really stuck with me. He said that at the deathbed of anyone in the world, at the last time I had the last breath, no one ever thinks, man, I should have spent more time at work. We always think, man, I should have spent more time with my family and friends because that’s the most important thing.

No matter what you’re doing at the end of the day, how much time do you show your family? How much time do you know your family? And for me, I took that and I said to myself, I want my work space to be like high school. And when I say high school is back, high school, I enjoy going to school because of my friends.

I want to go there and hang with my friends. If my work environment is not like a friendly environment, then no one will be productive because they’re all scared. Right. So I think that’s one thing I learned from that was last week, and it stuck with me and I’m going to keep taking it on.

Dr. Robin

Well, it’s interesting times as we think about people shifting jobs for multiple reasons. So, I’m glad you brought that. That’s a whole other conversation. I have a few more questions for you before we wrap up. What are a few ways young people can begin to find their purpose in life?

Zik

I would say taking a risk, trying something new. I think a lot of young people are afraid of getting feedback. I don’t say failure again because I met with Chucky know him, Chucky. He told me that he doesn’t use the word failure. He uses the word feedback. A lot of young people are scared of being able to take a risk and fail, which is I have a secure job that pays me really well.

But I have a passion of what I have. I have a skill, I have a talent, but I’m scared of pursuing it because I don’t know if it’s going to pay my bills. Right. So I feel like what I’m doing is saying, hey, I could have gotten a nine to five job, nine to five job. There’s nothing wrong with that. People do that nine to five job and have entrepreneurship, business and balance them both. Right. So it’s being able to take a risk, take a chance for yourself. Right. Bet on yourself and say, if someone can do it, it should be me, no one else. The idea came to me. I should be the person doing it, not someone right next to me.

So, I think that’s one way that young people can start being able to pursue their passion is taking a chance with whatever idea they have, no matter how small it is, it doesn’t matter who’s watching is are you doing what you’re supposed to be doing? Because it’s a step by step process. It all pops up. The more you do it, the more evidence you have of what you’ll be able to accomplish.

Dr. Robin

Oh, without a doubt. That’s very well said. And sometimes you’re living your passion at your work. I read something probably literally let me think what year this is in. This is probably in Barbara De and just wrote, sometimes your vocation or your avocation or your passion, sometimes your day job gives you the opportunity to do your joy and passion. So, I would invite all of you to kind of think about, okay, how does that allow me to do some other things for the community, things like that. So how can people find out more about fired up?

Zik

Let me add them to what you just said, because I think that’s inspirational. I think it was TDJ. He said that the one thing you’re doing will lead to the things that you want to do right? Wherever you are, wherever you’re doing, no matter how small or big. And if your shining shoes be the best shoe shiner in the whole city, let people know that’s what you do, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing so long as you put your effort in it and you’re thinking of how can I be better? Every single day? It doesn’t matter where you are. It just matters that you’re doing something and you’re making progress. So, the one thing you’re doing might lead to the main thing you want to do. But anyways, how do you find out about Fireed Up in Kansas, so we are on all social media platforms. We are on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook. We are podcasts. We got Spotify, Apple podcast, YouTube at fiveAP King. Or you can go to FireupKC.com. Just visit there and you see all the episodes.

Dr. Robin

I love it. And that will also be in the show notes, everything Zik just said. So, Zik, as we wrap up, do you think health and wellness are important to discovering your true potential?

Zik

Yeah. I mean, 100%. My friend Abraham, he’s doing a documentary about mental health, and it’s all about being able to understand that everyone needs to have their mental health in check, no matter who you are, no matter what you do, if you don’t have a balance with I think they call it work-life balance. Being able to understand that no matter how hard you’re working, if you don’t work hard on yourself as a person, at the end of the day, you lose yourself. So, I think it’s definitely important. I also have an episode about mental health where I had my friend Abraham on the podcast, and I had another psychologist on the podcast. I talked about being able to talk about mental health, especially with the pandemic we had in 2020. That shifted a whole lot of things in our lives. And I think it’s important for me, me and my wife, she always makes me go on walks, which is always important, even though I don’t like going on walks. But going on those walks, being able to enjoy the environment helps your mental health heal. Being able to talk about issues if they don’t want to talk about it also helps you heal. So, yeah, I agree that mental health is important no matter what you do, but no matter what you’re building.

Dr. Robin

Well, Zik, I’m so looking forward to watching how you continue to shine and fire up our community. Is there a book or a quote or a song that you would like to share with our audience as we close?

Zik

Yeah. My go to book has always been The Power of the Customer’s Mind, and it’s basically a book that kind of how do I take it? The part of you never know that it’s in there that actually can help you get what you want. And my second book, I would say, is the Go Giver. It basically says that the more you give, it will come back right back to you. Ten folds. And the goal giver is really a book that really inspired me a lot. Let me understand that you have to give value to receive value. You can’t just be waiting for things to happen for you, you have to give work to receive. And then as controversial as Kanye West is the first episode of his documentary on Netflix. Genius. Definitely a must watch. I really got to know a little bit about Kanye before he became who he is. I know I’m doing a lot of things but watch George Steve Harvey. That’s my favorite show that I’ve been watching lately. George Steve Harvey.

Yeah, I recommend that for anyone who’s out there who’s trying to watch something that’s funny and it’s good.

Dr. Robin

 Yes. Well, first of all, go-giver is one of my favorites. I’ve had Bob Berg on the podcast. His episode will be linked in the show notes. Just a great human being. Great thought. It’s part of my ltr. I have a philosophy about lifetime relationships and I’m intending that we have a lifetime relationship that starts today because we have a chance to have this conversation, for our listeners Zik and I have never met in person. I just reached out to and said, hey, I heard you’re doing great things. I want to celebrate your work. And so my ltr is show up for people. Be a go giver, celebrate people doing great work and then do one on one.

So to all of you listening today, here’s my quote and this fits with what Zik was talking about. We’re drowning in information and we’re starving for knowledge. Starving for knowledge. So, I’d invite you to plug into some knowledge that helps you really get to where you’re trying to go and find your purpose and passion. I want to give a shout-out to our sponsors Advent Health, Community America Credit Union and the YMCA. And I would invite you to stay tuned as we continue this conversation with Liz Armstead about how do you start thinking about a budget and how do you really create a budget that will help you get to the place you’re trying to get to in your life? So, Zik, thanks again for joining me.

Zik

Thank you so much.

Dr. Robin

Well, welcome back to the second part of our episode today. I hope you enjoyed the conversation with Zeke. He was fun. He was engaging and definitely gave us some great pointers about learning, about being a lifelong learner, as well as building relationships. So, continuing on that, I want you to think about your relationship with your money and what are some things you can do to make life a little bit less stressful.

Joining me today is Liz Armstead. She’s with Community America Credit Union. She’s been with them five and a half years. She has three kiddos and two dogs. And she loves to travel and loves to adventure on the Lake with her family and friends. So, Liz, welcome to the show today.

Liz

Thank you so much for having me.

Dr. Robin

Liz, how do you start thinking about a budget?

Liz

So, there are always just a couple of different tools that I use. So, when I’m thinking about a budget, I try to narrow down my goals for life. Where do I want to be in a year, five years, ten years, and whether it be I want to purchase a house in five years or I want to take a vacation in a year, that kind of gets the juices flowing for what I want to be budgeting my money for and where I want my money to go.

Dr. Robin

I love that. I love this quote where they say, if you want to see what you value, look at what you spend your money on.

Liz

Exactly, exactly.

Dr. Robin

Why is it important to have goals when making a budget?

Liz

One thing that is important to me is I don’t want to just save to save. That’s not motivating to me. I want to have an end goal or a reason for why I’m saving my funds. So whether it be I want to take a trip with my family or I know that I want to be saving a certain portion of my funds for retirement or even something as simple as I want to have a shopping trip at the end of the month, and I don’t want to have to worry about where if I’m going to be pulling from funds that are going to be for what I need to eat for the month, I want to have a good set idea of where I’m going with it. So, I always take my goals and put those as the center of how I want to budget.

Dr. Robin

Are there some great budgeting tools you guys offer? Some of those at Community America Credit Union?

Liz

We do. So, a lot of the times anytime someone new comes in or even our existing members, we really like to narrow down where they want to be financially. What are their goals, what are their struggles, and how we can financially impact them in a positive way.

So I always go to an Excel spreadsheet and that’s a main tool that I use. Or there are always tips and tricks through our online banking that you can see where you’re spending your funds and a lot even a budget of how much you want to spend towards food in a month. So there are tools on our online banking that you can use to narrow down where your funds are going.

Dr. Robin

Great. That’s a great solution for people. How can people decide how much to put away each month?

Liz

So it varies. Definitely. The first starting factor is your income. How much are you bringing home monthly and are you bringing home paychecks once a month, bi-weekly, weekly on the 15th and the 30th of the month? It just kind of depends on how your income flow is going.

 And so, I start there and then I break it down to my bills and what I have to pay each month and then my needs. So, food, gas, utilities, all of those things. And I will allot a certain amount for each category that I know is feasible. And then from there I will take the remaining amount and decide a percentage of that or if the remaining amount is something that I don’t need to touch.

That amount would be what I would put into savings. And it is tricky when you first start out budgeting because you want to have a set amount in mind. And a lot of times the first few months, it’s a lot higher than maybe what you could feasibly do. And so giving yourself some grace for movement over a couple of months to kind of see what really works.

And then if it is money that you don’t want to touch for a long period of time, or if it’s maybe money that you may need to access with, you know, a month later, there are different savings accounts and options that the credit Union offers to kind of help people save and budget.

Dr. Robin

Yeah, we talked with Alex a few months ago, and Alex talked about some saving vehicles. So, I invite all of you, if you have some questions about that, to go back and listen to that episode with Alex. I like to think about budgets with health. When you lay your head down at night, if you continue to debit your physical mind, body, and spirit, you’re going to go into bankruptcy.

That’s why it’s so probably important to have a budget. What are a few tips to sticking to a budget?

Liz

I always find that having someone there to hold you accountable is a great option, whether it’s a spouse or a family member or a financial adviser, someone at your credit Union who helps you with loans or accounts, someone that you can reach back out to and say, I want to have check-ins every couple of months so that I know I am on track and doing the right thing. So having anybody to hold you accountable for succeeding in that goal.

Dr. Robin

Liz, do you want to talk about automatic payments and using accounts that aren’t easily connected?

Liz

Yes, thank you. I totally say having automatic payments set up from your checking account to a savings account monthly, even having an option of an account that you could put money into that you can’t easily pull out of. So, whether it’s a CD or a savings account that maybe has an expiration time on it to where you would be penalized to pull out of it.

And so that’s kind of a deterrent for wanting to do so. Those are just a couple of main things that I like to look for when I’m setting my budget and how I can be successful.

Dr. Robin

So, let’s say I’m one of your members and I need help. What do I do?

Liz

I really try to start the conversation off starting out with the goals. What do we need to do to fix things? Do we need to look at your credit and ways to rebuild and restore your credit? Are you looking for options of accounts that you can put money in to save and build interest, or are you looking for investment options so 401K or setting up a 529 account for your kids so that they can have funds to go to school when the time comes? Those are some nice features that even the credit Union has or things that I look for.

Dr. Robin

Do we call or get online to set up an appointment with the branch manager? That’s in our area. What’s the best way to actually connect?

Liz

So, the nice way with the credit Union is you can stop in at any time. We are always available and anyone in the branch can honestly help you with financial questions and needs, but we have specific employees and locations that handle account opening and loans. Or you can always make an appointment online to reach out to someone, but it’s nice that it doesn’t have to be specifically by appointment. You could stop in on your way home or just on the whim and be able to speak with someone.

Dr. Robin

Well, great. Whether you’re a member or not a member, you can stop by at the local branches or go online to find out some great resources to help you have less financial stress. Speaking of stress, how does having a budget help you live with less stress?

Liz

I would say for sure. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you are probably tense and on edge all the time of am I going to be able to pay my bills? Am I going to be able to make ends meet this month? And so, when you really set it out for yourself and allow yourself a certain amount of money for food and gas and you know where your money’s going, it’s a lot less stressful than if you’re getting to the end of the month and you have no idea what you spent your money on.

You just were swiping away with your debit card and you’re at $2 in your account and you have three days till paycheck time. So, it’s just most definitely if you always have a plan for your funds, it’s going to be a lot less stressful than going on the whim.

Dr. Robin

It sounds like wealth is just like health. We call it habit stacking. You start building habits, you don’t know where to start. Just take the next step. Check out the professionals at Community American Credit Union local to you or you can also go online. Liz as we wrap up any favorite quote, book or song that you’d like to share with our listeners today?

Liz

I am a huge Rachel Hollis fan and she’s an author that I just fell in love with. Her book Girl Wash Your Face is a motivational book just about everyday life and I absolutely connected right away to those books because she spoke to you like all of your everyday problems were okay to be experiencing and things that happened were okay and so I always geared towards those motivational PickMeUp books.

Dr. Robin

Oh, great. Well, I appreciate you taking time to chat with me today and to our listeners out there. I know you got some inspiration out of today’s episode. I invite you to put in to action, remember small changes will lead to big shifts. All right. We’ll chat really soon. Have a wonderful, wonderful week.

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