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The Vision JuneSquare


This ain’t no 9-to-5 gig. It’s extraordinary and we’re all blessed to be a part of it. Find your tribe and work the plan.


Vision Partners in Success
Regular Features

Note from the Editor in Chief

In the past several months, the entire team at 20/20 Vision for Success, which includes staff of The Vision magazine, have been taxed with double duty as we all pitched in to prepare for the Vision Summit. Please check out the Spotlight on Leadership column this month as it is devoted to the amazing speakers and sponsors who make the fantastic show, networking, and educational experience of Vision Summit possible. 

As always, a big Thank You goes out to all who have subscribed to both magazines. I hope you enjoy today’s issue and will share in social media. Reach out and congratulate your peers whose bylines and profiles appear in these pages. Tag us in your posts #thevisionmag and #2020visionforsuccesscoaching. We love the feedback!

Candy Zulkosky

Message from the Publisher

Hello readers and thank you for your continued patronage of our wonderful digital magazine. I am super proud of the cover of this magazine as it represents an icon in our industry, Frank Garay. He could not be a better choice for our “Mortgage Expert” themed edition. In fact, I would argue if you are not a mortgage expert it’s time to become one really fast. This market in 2022 is going to require education for the consumer which includes a keen understanding of economics. This then leads me to the fact this edition will help you recognize mortgage expertise.

Also, our Vision Summit we are hosting on June 28 and 29 will delve into how you can create the perfect Eco-Vision for you and your company. It is not too late (as I write this) to grab one of the final seats. I will be sure to drop the website at the end of this note. Having mentioned this, I challenge you to ask yourself one question right now, “Am I converting in this robust equity marketing to cash out buyers?” If the answer is no then you’re doing it wrong. To learn how to do it right you have to be willing to strip back all the tire kicker consumers, which includes people with only a payoff and paydown mindset which is the greater percentage of homeowners. Those same homeowners love money and savings and there is plenty of it to go around.

The question is, do you know how to silence the aforementioned guy to find the latter mentioned consumer? We know the way. Tune in to what we are doing in any way you can. I consider this market a great opportunity to separate the herd from those who can and those who simply cannot. Our lucky students are making this pivot with great conviction and confidence. I wish you Good Luck!

Christine Beckwith


Yes, we do accept submissions. If you are a writer interested in being featured in a national publication, we will be happy to consider your ideas and your article submissions. We are also interested in recurring columns centered around our featured topics. The place to start is by clicking the button and inquiring.

20/20 Vision for Success Coaching

Take Advantage of Every Opportunity! There is Power in Wisdom

Written by CaZ

Frank Garay is an easy man to talk with. He’s an even easier man to listen to. He has stories and a way of sharing wisdom and experience that is compelling, entertaining, and believable. The man exudes knowledge and trust and with little to no encouragement, shares his experience both in twenty years as an in-the-trenches originator and fifteen years professionally reporting on the industry.

Creating the National Real Estate Post (NREP) has easily been Frank’s biggest and most noteworthy success in the mortgage industry. NREP gained hundreds of thousands of mortgage originator subscribers and has had tens of millions of views. It also leapfrogged Frank Garay and Brian Stevens into the mortgage spotlight as a respected source of industry news and insights.

While Frank parted ways with NREP in June of 2021 to make personal life changes, NREP was a great success and also a big life-changing experience. Frank started it all on July 2, 2007, and it’s still going strong with Brian as the sole anchor and owner.

“The way it all started,” Frank shared, “was when I was running a large net branch for a mortgage broker in northern California, I had fifty or sixty guys working for me. As the big financial crisis began to unravel the banking world, and I looked for ways to coach my guys who were spread broad in about a 50-mile radius. I tried the typical sales meeting. You know, the let’s get together and talk kind of meeting. Funny thing is the only people who would show up were the people who didn’t need coaching.

We tried webinars and had a little more attendance, but I couldn’t tell if they were paying attention to me or watching Wheel of Fortune in the background; I didn’t know what was going on. Then we had the idea to use webcams so my guys could see me. I saw an option to record a video and email a link and thought I’d try that.”

Frank being Frank, he did not record a typical rah-rah sales meeting. Music is a big part of Frank’s life and has been from a young age when he became curious as to how the musical sounds he heard were made. As a teen, he learned to play guitar and has been entwining music into his professional and personal life ever since.

Frank’s first video was a two-man job with his brother Pat helping as Frank played his jaw harp and sang a parody for his guys.

“That first video was me telling them to get off your ass and do something, pick up the phone. It was funny. There was Pat behind me flipping papers while I’m singing, ‘ain’t got no loans, what will I do’ and I’m stomping my foot and wah wahing in between on the jaw harp.

Man, this little minute-and-a-half video made it out to like 1,500 loan officers. Our broker thought it was so funny he tried to share it with the entire company by emailing the video file and crashed their servers.

I thought that first video was cool and I realized there might be something to this idea. I remember looking out my office window and I saw it laid out, like a premonition, a vision. It all unfolded in front of my eyes. I saw I would be this mortgage video guy and I would be going around the country speaking at events. It was a weird experience and I swear it happened to me just like that after I made the first video. As we experimented with different videos, slowly the vision become a reality. The more real it became, the more it drove us to continue to pursue it.”

This was the inception of what would become NREP. It took a bit longer for Frank to team up with partner Brian Stevens and officially birth the daily video blog now considered an industry staple and a must-have subscription for many in the real estate and mortgage industry.

“At first, it was my brother Pat and me,” Frank continued. “We originally called it The Daily Patrick. I recorded a video every day. We would talk about rates. We were brokers, so we would open with who had the best rate that day and my brother would give a brief snippet of industry news. Then I came in with a coaching tip. Pat got us onto YouTube and we started to take off, but by December Pat was gone. My business was blown up by the industry imploding. I couldn’t pay him and he had to find something else.

I was lucky to be absorbed into the corporate office where I was told to keep doing that video thing because there’s something to it and we should send it to our loan officers to give them a bit of industry news and coaching.

I knew to keep doing this it had to be a two-man show. My boss said, “Go talk to Brian.”

I said, “I hate that guy.”

“Yeah, he doesn’t like you either. I don’t get it because I’m friends with both of you. Get over yourselves and talk to each other. I’m telling you he’s the guy.”

So, I went to Brian’s office. He sat at his desk with clients facing him. I’m looking over the top of their heads as I’m standing in his doorway. “Hey man,” I said, “You know that video thing I do with my brother?”


“My brother’s got to go, and I think it’s a two-man show. Tim suggested you might be interested in doing this with me.”


This anecdote describes the start of a relationship that grew to be as close as brothers, even to the point where each partner has half of a broken heart tattooed on their butt cheek with the other’s name inside. We are told this is a true story that has been graphically, and publicly, proven upon occasion. Regardless, Frank and Brian became legendary friends and partners as they embarked on a “crazy unusual journey in the mortgage space that in the end was very, very cool.”

Great things came from a funny little video meant to make Frank’s team laugh during a dark time in the industry when it wasn’t easy to find reasons to keep going, let alone laugh. What defines success? More specifically, what defines the man who walks away from what most would call superstar success within the industry to start over again in a totally different direction?

Frank’s vision for success has changed over the years, as is true for most people. “Ultimately,” he shares, “my vision for success is the health, wealth, and well-being of my family. I want my kids and their kids to be safe and secure. I have full-grown kids who rely on my wife and me for support for various reasons. If I wasn’t successful, I wouldn’t be able to help them. The fact they know they can count on us, that’s success for me today. But tomorrow it might be a gold-plated Mercedes, who knows….”

Leaving the NREP was a big deal for both Frank and Brian. After a close-knit 15 years together, the business showed no sign of slowing. And yet, Frank found himself needing to make a change. “When I decided I needed to separate it was a spiritual thing for me. I was praying a lot about it because I was feeling trapped, almost suffocated. I’m a Christian and a believer but I’m not the kind of guy who hears God directly speaking to me. Yet, I had a strong sense of release. A feeling that it was OK; I could leave NREP.

Brian and I are still close. My departure from NREP was not about an issue with us in any way, shape, or form. It was just me. Honestly, I am ten years older and he’s got a lot more piss and vinegar left in him. I’m like, Dude, I want to wind this thing down. I can’t do this another ten years, I’ve got to do something different, man. And he was gracious and said, OK, do whatever you need to do.”

For the past year, Frank has been working with Carl White, Steve Kyles, Scott Hudspeth, and Mike Cardascia growing the Loan Officer Breakfast Club which is a free mortgage originator coaching Zoom call every Monday through Thursday from 8:30 AM to 9:00 AM Eastern time. Frank considers it the perfect place for him to land after departing from NREP. After spending fifteen years in the cloud, Frank felt he had lost touch with the street-level origination.

“The mortgage business is the mortgage business. It’s the same as it’s always been, even with many changes, and at the end of the day, it’s the same business I did for 25 years even though it’s a new world. Of course, I had no clue what I would do next,” Frank says, “only that I had to find a different direction. It was a weird moment, another time when it felt like a premonition, where I saw it all laid out for me. I got involved with Carl, and it was one of the best things to ever happen to me, professionally. I had great success in building a brand from the ground up with NREP achieving significant notoriety within the industry, and now I’m enjoying great success with Loan Officer Breakfast Club. This gives me great personal satisfaction, which to my way of thinking, is a great achievement.”

Frank’s favorite thing about the mortgage industry is how unbelievably moldable and pliable it is for every originator. “It’s the most exciting and unique industry anyone can be a part of. Think of all the different ways you can become successful. You have the ability to create your own brand, within a brand. You can find a zillion different niches to exploit and dominate. You can build your own business or build a business within a business. There is absolutely no limit to what you can earn, none. You can fully exercise your entrepreneurial spirit at full throttle, at all times, continually creating new and innovative ways to succeed.

This ain’t no 9-to-5 gig. It’s extraordinary and we’re all blessed to be a part of it. There are a lot of kids in their 20s and 30s getting started, and when I speak to them it’s good to know an old dog can still teach a new trick. There’s a lot of technology out there and it helps. But this business is hand-to-hand combat baby, and you need to go out there and talk to people.

I want to provide as much value to the origination community as possible while making the value as accessible as possible. I think everyone needs coaching. I get coaching. All the most successful people in this industry get coaching. We understand the fact Frank and Carl might not be right for everyone and it’s okay because there’s others to work with, lots of them. Jeez, Christine Beckwith and her company are absolutely amazing! Join her program for goodness sake! But get coaching. Find your tribe and work the plan. You’ll always do better, much better if you connect with the right group.”

Frank Garay is a speed and patience guy, the kind of mover and shaker who ignites the spark of an idea into flame with immediate implementation, then watches patiently for results. He believes nothing that lasts happens fast and consistency is key—everything works with consistency, and nothing works without it. His number one piece of advice to all is, “Find God fast, He makes molehills out of mountains. Trust me, that’s a big deal.”

That faith in something more than himself is an integral part of Frank’s daily life, both in business and personally.

“My biggest disappointment was not handling my success properly. I achieved something that doesn’t come along often. Brian and I caught lightning in a bottle. I went from being your typical moderately successful loan originator to becoming what I can only describe as a national mortgage celebrity, almost overnight. Brian and I were in extremely high demand for years. We were constantly being asked to speak at all kinds of events, getting flown first-class, and treated like royalty everywhere we went. But it got to me. I was caught up in it and fell into alcohol quite heavily. I was the kind of guy who would open a bottle of whiskey and just throw the cap away because once the bottle was opened, it was getting finished.

Today, I feel I was given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and although a lot of amazing things came from it, it could have been better. Much better. I simply didn’t handle it responsibly, and I’m convinced I paid a price for it. Did I learn a lesson from it? You bet I did. I’ve been sober for the last seven years and my business and my family life have never been better. I thank God for it every day.”

Life has a way of going full circle for each of us. For Frank, his love of music is evidence of how his life has changed for the better.

“I almost ruined my whole life. I looked in the mirror one day and realized I hated myself. I decided I’m done and I haven’t had a drink since. That decision realigned me spiritually. I realized I could get back into the church life. I do love the Lord you know, but I departed for years yet I always had the longing to come back.

An unexpected benefit was finding an even greater love of music. When I stopped drinking, I also stopped playing with my band. When I became a member of a local church, one thing led to another, they found out I play guitar and I was invited to play. At first, I said no, but after a couple of years of being gently pressured, I started playing for the church.

This is a great way to enjoy music. I should have been doing this all along. I get to play. I get to buy gear and all the fun stuff I love about being a guitarist. And now I play in a church, man. I play for the Lord and it’s wonderful. I look forward to playing all week long. I enjoy finding out what we will play the next weekend and working on the songs. I love it. All of it.”

There are many words which have been left on the cutting room floor in the writing of this article. How does one compress a lifetime of colorful living into a brief story? Frank Garay is a husband, father, and grandfather. He has four adult children and a wife he loves dearly. He loves to spend time on his motorcycle relaxing and cruising slowly to enjoy the scenery and in a dichotomy fitting his personality to a T, he loves to ride a little spirited, to zip along, and to feel the inherent danger of being on two wheels with a powerful motor propelling him forward. This is, for Frank, a time for focus and clarity. Concentrating on being safe and enjoying the ride somehow clears his mind and allows him to experience the moment, dialed in so tightly the cares of the world just go away for a brief time.

Frank sees a future filled with growth and industrious effort for the industry he loves.

“I say in this industry opportunity goes beyond being an originator. To the younger people getting involved, I say don’t you dare look at this as a job. Mortgage is such a big cake there is more than enough to be shared, explored, and exploited. Devour your cake, keep your eyes open and be ready for when that little glimmer of an idea could turn into something really amazing.

Chase everything down. If you’ve got an idea, implement it fast. Even if it’s only 70 percent ready, go now because you’ll figure out the rest and you’ll know quickly if it is a good idea or not. When you find that good idea, be ready. It may become your vision.

In the mortgage space, you’ll do much better if you’re a little bit of an entrepreneur. Exercise your entrepreneurial spirit and be more than a loan officer working nine to five. Get a taste for more and find your direction. Find the thing that rocks you and floats your boat. There’s a lot of money to be made for those who can explore and exploit their ideas and turn their vision into reality.”

About the Author

CaZ, the Writer Success Coach, wears many professional hats all earned through experience as a professional writer, editor, coach, marketer, educator, and entrepreneur. Aside from her nom de plume when writing, she’s known as Candy Zulkosky and is the editor in chief of this publication.

As the Writer Success Coach, CaZ specializes in supporting writers. She finds joy in helping others to write and experience the joys of being published. CaZ coaches writers whose skills and experience range from the novice to the multi-published author. She tailors the coaching experience to best fit the needs of each writer and business professional she works with.

On the publishing side, CaZ is a multi-book published author and has edited or assisted in bringing dozens of authors to both print and to the best seller lists!

CaZ is pronounced KayZee in case you were wondering.

NEXA Mortgage is a Mortgage Broker lending to consumers looking to own a home or refinance their existing. Our mission is to serve our customers with honesty, integrity, and competence while providing an exceptional customer experience.

Our goal is to provide home loans to consumers nationwide while supplying them with the lowest interest rates and closing costs possible. We pledge to help borrowers overcome roadblocks that can arise while securing a loan and strive to offer the best payment plan along with the best terms imaginable.


Beckwith Unplugged and Uncensored

Season 2, Episode 13: What Does it Take to Be An Entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur is a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.

In this episode, Christine breaks down what she thinks about being an entrepreneur herself as well as the poll questions!

Tune in and learn from the best!

Check out to reach us.


Beckwith Unplugged and Uncensored is video podcast designed for Christine Beckwith, a long-time business executive turned executive coach in the banking, mortgage, and real estate industry. In this totally transparent and sometimes raw monologue, Beckwith tells it like it is…publicly. Emotion is the driving force behind all human intellect, accomplishment, and success. If you cannot feel where you are going, you cannot SEE it either. As the visionary behind 20 / 20 Vision for Success, Christine brings her personal and professional philosophy to the mic. Listen in because these are lessons you will want to learn here instead of anywhere else.

Subscribe today!

CHRISTINE BECKWITH - President and Founder, 20/20 Vision for Success Coaching and Consulting

Written by: Laura Brandao


This month I have the honor and pleasure of interviewing my dear friend and colleague Christine Beckwith. Although Christine and I have been in the mortgage industry for a similar length of time we never met in person until 2019 when Christine interviewed me for a video series. From the first moment we connected, we felt like we had each found a long-lost sister. The initial connection was felt out of a sense of understanding and camaraderie for wearing a badge of honor or making our way through the mortgage industry as women executives. This was also a pivotal time in Christine’s life because it was the beginning of 20/20 Vision for Success Coaching.

I am forever grateful to Class Valuation for bringing us together because these two unicorns have never been the same since.

Today, 20/20 Vision for Success Coaching is the largest consulting firm in the American banking and brokering industry.

“We’re here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark.”- Whoopi Goldberg

Christine is a 30-plus-year veteran of the mortgage industry and has held positions ranging from originations all the way to senior vice president of sales. She has won numerous awards and is a four-time best-selling author. Her experience in the industry has had her wearing many hats including marketing, development, financial forensics, sales, training, and leadership.

Her mission to help the industry evolve to take full benefit of the cutting edge financial and marketing tools available today has impacted the lives of thousands of people and continues growing and moving forward. Christine describes herself as a “happy and ever-evolving human.”

Christine, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us. What do you think is your greatest success?

My biggest success in life is my son, Jagger. Being a mother has given me perspective and purpose in a way I never before imagined.

I was pregnant with him at an extremely intense point in my life. I had just been given my first senior executive role at H&R Block Mortgage and I was required to travel extensively throughout my pregnancy.

I had to take the time for his birth and a short maternity leave which was an added challenge but having Jagger has made me a better person and given me the joy of being a mother.

Jagger is a teenager now, but I am keenly aware of his daily schedule daily and I am in constant touch with him by text. He has also traveled with me before, so he understands what I do and why I need to travel so much.

Watching Jagger grow up and develop and learn has taught me about patience, perspective, and staying grounded even on days when things are whirling around me at a frantic pace.

Share a pivotal story with us about your history in the mortgage business which has brought you to the level of achievement you have reached today.

It is quite hard for me to pinpoint a particular moment. I had so many changes over my 34 years in the industry and each one brought new challenges and decisions to be made. Some were driven by external factors like changes in regulations or the economy, and others came about through promotions or changes in roles.

I started out in Worcester, MA as a loans officer and then moved up to branch manager with a team of ten working for me. That business was bought by H&R Block Mortgage. At that point, I changed from purchasing to refinancing. I was a bit reluctant to make the change but ultimately, I ended up being a district manager leading a team of 125 loan officers instead of 10.

Our team worked our way up to first place and I was promoted to regional vice president overseeing the Northern West and East Coast districts and then later to senior vice president of sales with national oversight. When the mortgage implosion occurred, my job ended and during a summer off with Jagger, I wrote my first book, Wise Eyes, while I sat on the beach at Lake Winnipesaukee, my childhood home.

After that, I went back into the industry in another smaller firm and worked my way up again. In 2018, I moved on from a job at AnnieMac to open 20/20 Vision and I have never looked back. I always wanted a consulting firm and one I could use to teach and give back to the mortgage industry.

I guess it was more a series of moves and moments that brought me here, rather than a specific one or two. I spent those years learning and growing to the point when now, I can nurture and encourage growth in others.

What was your greatest disappointment or failure and what did you learn from the experience and how has it helped you in moving forward?

My divorces feel like failures to me. I was very young the first time I married, and I realize now I was not ready for that level of complication. We both traveled a lot and it meant we couldn’t nurture our relationship enough to keep it together.

When my second marriage ended it was even harder and took longer for me to recover. I am lucky Jagger’s father and I are still close friends and are successful at co-parenting Jagger as partners.

Those heartaches taught me life’s lessons I needed to learn. I have gleaned a true understanding of gratitude and the value of security from my mistakes, and I am not afraid to share the truth of failure in hope my experience will encourage others to invest their own hard-won wisdom in a better future for themselves and their families.

I use the painfully garnered understanding and knowledge from those lessons even today in both my personal life and career. There is an impetus that comes from a defeat. The loss can either drop you down or put the wind in your sails to move forward and do better. I chose the latter path and value those lessons, as painful as they were to learn.

Do you have a favorite quotation? What makes it special to you?

Muhammad Ali said, “Champions have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.”

This speaks to me. I have learned my skills over time, but my will is still as strong today as it was in the beginning of my career. My drive to succeed has not diminished or become less despite my level of success. I think that is probably true for most people.

Please describe yourself as a leader.

I would describe myself as tough but fair. I am a driven person and expect a lot out of my team. I want people to step out of their comfort zone and grow. I encourage that in my people and in myself.

What strengths do you bring to your leadership and to your profession as a woman?

My biggest strength is my tenacity. I do not stay silent or take no for an answer when I have a goal in mind. I have worked my way into many exceptional seats at the boardroom table and did not let my gender or the perception of it hinder my advancement.

I want to lead women in our industry today through the tricky terrain of a career in the financial industry. I have faced losses and defeats in my career trajectory, and I know I continue to have a marked impact on the industry as a result.

As a leader, I want women to know they need to learn, fall, climb back up and be relentless in the pursuit of their career goals. The battles we endure forge us into the strong, successful, and influential people we become, and when our seat at the table opens, we need to take it without hesitation.

What is your favorite thing about our mortgage industry?

The facet I find most appealing about our business is the opportunity to set your own limits as far as earnings and success are concerned. There are no ceilings on either if you are willing to do the hard work and push yourself forward.

Please share with us your vision for success.

For me personally, success will be a comfortable retirement where I can travel, maintain a certain lifestyle, and leave a legacy for my son. Having time to slow down and rest more will be a bonus too.

I see my goal closer now and I am working hard to reach it.

If you could go back in time and have a cup of coffee with your teenage self, what advice would you give her to help her get through life?

I would ask her to always think hard about the choices she makes as she goes through life. Sometimes, just taking a moment to think again can save you a world of hurt or from making a costly mistake that will take time to unravel.

I am writing a second solo book right now called Finding Honor – The Journey to the Truth. It is a memoir with the main theme being to align yourself with your inner compass and learn to make good or better choices as a result.

In a nutshell, I would tell my teenage self to pause a moment when making large, life-altering decisions and listen to her gut instinct. I know I am a decent, intelligent, and reasonable person, and I do make good decisions if I give myself time to think them through.

Where do you see yourself personally and professionally in the next five, ten, and fifteen years?

Five years from now, I want to still be where I am but having grown my firm to a much bigger size. My goal is to dominate the consulting and marketing space in the mortgage industry.

In ten years, I want to be retired and living in my lake house in central New Hampshire, spending time with my family and traveling occasionally.

In fifteen years, I will be, God willing, enjoying the latter years of my life and hopefully, writing more books.

What do you want to do for our industry with your company?

My vision for this company is to have it change our industry and leave it better and stronger. I want to educate and encourage more highly professional brokers and lenders to better serve their clients and to have successful and rewarding careers.

Where do you think the business is headed?

Up! Bigger, better, and more innovative than ever. I see the mortgage business growing in leaps and bounds and taking advantage of technology and amazing people to become a gold standard for all the financial service industries.

What is your main goal in your business? And in your life?

I want 20/20 Vision to provide a safe space for mortgage and real estate professionals to be able to ask questions, learn from each other, and grow in their personal and professional lives.

My company was founded to give back to the industry that has given so much to me. I want to make education and growth a ubiquitous part of being a financial professional.

My personal goal in my life is to leave my son a legacy he can be proud of. I want him to see what is possible with hard work and determination and to think of me and my accomplishments with pride after I am gone.

What is your greatest lesson to share with our readers?

I have learned over the years life is short and you need to live it with purpose, every day. We don’t realize how little time we are given, and we should make the best use of every moment we have.

Let’s change things up a bit. Tell us about you, personally.

I was born in Laconia, New Hampshire 52 years ago.

I originally went to college for sports medicine and nutrition and used my degree teaching aerobics and as a nutritionist for several years while I was originating loans.

I still teach health and wellness as a symposium for 20/20 Vision.

What about your family? Can you share a bit of that history?

I’m the middle child with two sisters, Heidi and Tammy. My parents, Merle and Sandra, were teen parents, so they are still quite young and enjoying life.

My ethnic background is French Canadian and American Indian, which is a typical mix for a New Hampshire native. And we love our Italian and Irish friends from Massachusetts.

My life partner Cory Parker and I have been together for over 14 years. We have two labs named Charlie and Chica.

My son, Jagger is 16 years old now and the joy of my life.

What hobbies do you enjoy?

I am a creative person at heart. I love cooking, decorating, crafting, and writing. They give me a great outlet when I am not working.

Give us your best three tips for success.

First, be organized. You need to be able to find the things you need to complete your tasks. Wasting time searching for items, information, or tools is time you can never get back. It also looks unprofessional if you cannot complete projects in a timely manner.

Second, execute your plans. You must always be moving forward toward your goals. Time does not wait for you. And someone else may get there ahead of you if you dither and wait. Keep going and handle whatever comes as it comes.

Third, act like there is no time left to finish things. Motivation can be found in even the most ephemeral of deadlines. I have always realized life is short and, as a result, I have squeezed more into my life than most people simply because I keep this thought in the front of my mind. Action is more productive and satisfying than inaction.

I want to thank Christine for sharing her insights and wisdom with us and for having the courage and strength to follow her dreams. She gives to our industry every day by making all of us better and her lasting impact on us has touched so many in a positive and productive way. We love you!

About the Author

Laura is a magnetic leader who has been instrumental in growing multiple organizations within our industry, creating opportunities for others, and empowering the industry’s women to collaborate and lead. Laura’s vision is to leave the mortgage industry better than when she arrived by supporting and enlightening others to be their best selves while guiding their families home. Laura’s tenure as President and Partner at AFR leading them to be a top ten lender has cultivated her leaps and bounds for her next chapter as a stakeholder and the Chief Growth Officer at EPM. Laura’s talents paired with exceptional leadership skills has shown unparalleled growth and a true mission to empower people more.

“Say Yes Everyday by committing to live each day with positive intention. It’s your story, Give it life every day.”

Christine’s Tips for Success

  • Be organized
  • Execute your plans
  • Act like there is not time left to finish things
Leverage Success Using Business Expertise

Written by CaZ

Whether you are running your own business, perhaps as a broker, working as an originator, or pursuing another important role in the mortgage process, one of the most important ways you can build your brand and maximize your business potential or your effectiveness as an employee is through developing personal subject matter expertise. A subject matter expert is someone who has thorough knowledge and in-depth understanding of a specific topic. If you are an originator, become the most knowledgeable originator you know. If you are a broker, follow the same practice and take it a step further, become an expert in running and building a business in addition to establishing your expertise as a broker. Comprehensive knowledge of whatever business, whatever segment of business you are in is what’s required.

One advantage you have in mortgage as opposed to other types of businesses is schooling and even certification in certain basic practices bring you into your business already well-versed with a thorough understanding of the tools of the trade. To establish expertise, it is necessary to take it a step further and gain a thorough understanding of the market, your competitors, and clients.

Becoming a subject matter expert is not a role you should ignore if success is your goal. Your knowledge and expertise are key at all stages of starting, running, and maintaining a profitable business.

When You Are New to Business

When you are starting a new business, even as a beginner you can have subject matter expertise. Your subject matter expertise will be a combination of education and training, experience from working in various sectors, as well as market research you should do to construct a sound and profitable business plan. Even in the early stages of your business, you should have a good idea of who your customers will be, based on the area of need your products will fulfill and how you will produce and market your products. Another good way to add expertise early on is to talk to others in similar businesses to find out what challenges lie ahead for you or to get professional feedback from a consultant.

When You Are Up and Running

Once your business is up and running, you will almost immediately hit a steep learning curve when it comes to subject matter expertise. No matter how thorough your business plan, there are always unexpected challenges in the day-to-day running of a business. You will experience what works and what doesn’t and reassess the direction of your business. For example, you may find you need to target a specific demographic of homeownership, focus on first-time buyers, or even reach outside your immediate area and use technology to establish a targeted market such as Veterans or Millennials. No matter what you discover about your business and customers at this stage, stash away all the information you learn in your subject matter expertise files.

When You Are Thinking Long Term

By the time your business has been running successfully for several years, you should have a thorough knowledge of your business and the market, awareness of your competitors as well as the best areas for future growth. Consider how to leverage your hard-earned subject matter expertise to maximize your profits.

Even with the best intentions, you cannot be a subject matter expert in every area, which is why it makes sense to turn to professionals who have subject matter expertise in areas where you don’t, such as scaling, streamlining production, or digital marketing. By providing them with your expertise, these professionals can help take your business to the next level.

How Does One Become a Recognized Expert?

A richer understanding helps you be more strategic in how you go about building a business around your expertise. There’s no lack of competition for most expertise-based businesses. Pretty much anyone can read a few books, spin up a website, and call themselves an expert. You get ahead of the game by getting to the root of what it means to be an expert and learning how to position yourself effectively as a business. It’s critical to success.

Be a Catalyst. Learn and Help Others to Learn

Begin by keeping your own knowledge at the highest level attainable. Expertise is not static. It evolves. It flows. To thrive and be effective, the expert must also evolve and help others with their newly evolved expertise.

Build an Expertise-Based Business

An expert should, in collaboration with the client, provide answers. Before answers come questions. An expert must, first and foremost, be capable of taking clients through a process of discovering potential answers by asking the right questions.

An expertise-based business is about the process, about the process of bringing expertise to bear in context and with the awareness to know when to draw conclusions and propose solutions. An expert is able to understand the limits of his own knowledge and facilitate processes to connect the right knowledge, and skills to arrive at solutions.

As you can see, having subject matter expertise is important to enhance your ability to run your own business day-to-day and will improve your bottom line. It is also invaluable to maintain and grow your business. There is always room for learning and developing your own knowledge, and by doing so, you are helping to further improve your brand and your profitability. Long term, the combination of your own subject matter expertise combined with that of professionals you hire and consult with will be key to your continued success.

About the Author

CaZ, the Writer Success Coach, wears many professional hats all earned through experience as a professional writer, editor, coach, marketer, educator, and entrepreneur. Aside from her nom de plume when writing, she’s known as Candy Zulkosky and is the editor in chief of this publication. As the Writer Success Coach, CaZ specializes in supporting writers. She finds joy in helping others to write and experience the joys of being published. CaZ coaches writers whose skills and experience range from the novice to the multi-published author. She tailors the coaching experience to best fit the needs of each writer and business professional she works with. On the publishing side, CaZ is a multi-book published author and has edited or assisted in bringing dozens of authors to both print and to the bestseller lists! Caz is pronounced KayZee in case you were wondering.

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Improvise, Adapt and Overcome both in Mindset and in Actions

Written by: Jenny Mason

Phones aren’t ringing like they were, sales just aren’t coming.

When you’re experiencing a tough season, you have a few options. You can…

  1. Take No Action
  2. Retreat
  3. Do What Every One Else Is Doing

I’m betting you are going to choose to take massive action so keep reading on how you can adapt, overcome, and win! You can be the best in the business but without people talking about you, coming to you, or reaching for you, you are done.

This is the time for resilience to improvise, adapt, and overcome, both in mindset and by taking action:

  • Focus On What You Can Control. You can’t control rates, housing inventory, or the Fed, but you can control your attitude, your relationships, and your actions.
  • Be Willing to Make Changes to Your Plan to Reach Your Goals
  • Be Open to Opportunities
  • Be Resilient and Create a Culture of Resilience
  • Have Robust Processes in Place
  • Be Creative and Encourage Creativity
  • Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
  • Have Moonshot Thinking
  • Be Fully Engaged
  • Be a Value Not a Vendor; Be the Most Valuable

What You Focus on Matters

Your focus is powerful; it trains your brain to look for more of it, and it is shaping your brain. If you are focusing on negativity your brain is going to look for more of it, it’s growing that part of your brain. We all have the power to change our thoughts; we are wired to notice bad feelings and threats, but as humans, we tend to dwell on the negative. We have to flip the switch and focus on the good and be deliberate in noticing the positive.

We form the filter our brain uses by telling it consciously or subconsciously what’s important to us, what we believe, what we want, what we desire, and what we fear. It’s like we have our own search engine but a million times more phenomenal than Google and it’s programmed by what we focus on.

Focus on the Solution, not the Problem

Focus on ways you can achieve your goals, instead of the ways you can’t, focus on what you can change instead of what you can’t, focus on opportunities, not the obstacles, and focus on your positive attributes and your accomplishments instead of what you think are flaws. Write down five positive attributes, five things you are grateful for, five values, and five empowering beliefs and keep them where you can refer to them daily.

When positive thoughts come into your radar, focus on them for at least 20 seconds. This causes your neurons to fire, strengthens your connections, and rewires your brain. Like any habit it takes time, but when we concentrate on looking for the good, we’ll begin to do it more often, and it will truly change our lives.

Avoid an Outcome Focus

Focusing on outcomes can make you miserable. When we focus on outcomes, the activities we use to love become chores. Take a look at any successful person’s biography and you’ll find there’s no magic it, no overnight success. A process-focused mind is the mark of anyone who has achieved anything extraordinary.

Instead of focusing on the goal ask yourself, “What process should I take to help me to reach this goal?” Then focus on the process daily, no matter how small, and celebrate yourself when you do. The results will surprise you and I think you’ll find you enjoy the journey more.

Be Willing to Make Changes

In John C. Maxwell‘s book, Leadershift, he writes, “You can’t think the same, be the same and act the same if you hope to be successful in a world that doesn’t remain the same.” The goal doesn’t need to change, but sometimes our plans do. Don’t become overwhelmed with the goal; focus on the process and the results will come. Remember consistency compounds whether it’s negative or positive, so what’s one thing you can implement today to move you closer to your goal?

If you’re open to new opportunities, you can be exposed to the latest trends, learn something new, and find valuable resources to help you reach your ultimate potential. Also, sometimes to grow we may need to change our environment.

Be Resilient

Be resilient and create a culture of resilience: share goals and direction, have frequent communication, be an encourager, allow others to share openly and safely with a sense of belonging, and teach them ways to thrive through disruptions.

Have Robust Processes

“You’re the best player in the world. Why do such basic stuff? He flashed that gleaming smile of his. ‘Why do you think I’m the best player in the game?’ he asked. ‘Because I never get bored with the basics.’” Kobe Bryant

How are Your Fundamentals

Are you executing? The time spent building your plan shouldn’t exceed the time spent executing the plan. How are your client relationships? How’s your database? How’s your social media? How are your reviews? Are you doing seminars? What actions are you taking to make the phone ring? What are you doing daily?

Be Creative

How will you stand out in an oversaturated market? What are you doing to make the phone ring? What are you known for? What do you want to be known for? Reflect on those and when those answers match, growth happens.

Find Your Niche

What are your interests?

Define an unmet need.

What are problems you can solve?

What value add do you bring?

Select your target audience.

Test your idea.

Be Outstanding

How are you standing out? Are you doing Agent Classes? Are you adding new sources to your pipeline? You want to be everywhere so people start talking about you: write blogs, do videos and podcasts, stay consistent on social media and show up every day, not once in a while. Find ways to be creative. Figure out a problem your referral partners have and help them solve it. What do you love to do? Join clubs, write posts on tasks and hobbies you like to do, find referral partners who have the same interests. When you post on Instagram hashtag those types of hobbies and activities you like to do and you’ll attract those people. Find a topic that will help your referral partner and host a lunch and learn, and “network like your life depends on it”

Stepping outside of our comfort zones isn’t always easy and really most times it’s not, but it is where growth happens and exponential growth happens when we take our eyes off ourselves, leave the mentality of what we are going to receive and approach every relationship as what we are going to give. Be anchored in a purpose bigger than success.

Have moonshot thinking came from JFK wanting to land a man on the moon in 1962. “The sheer audacity of the challenge inspired motivation and passion in a way that a smaller goal never could.”

Be All In

This paraphrase from Coach Binkley makes this point:  This market is tough, but so are you. When people come to grips with the cost of ultimate commitment, the rewards are worth the pain it took to get there. Once you go all in, you’ve won and you don’t even realize it. You’ve won. Game’s over, and you’ve won. Be All In. Not Kinda In, Sorta In, BE ALL IN! More than anyone else, be all in! Don’t just give 95%, Be All In! Are You Coachable? Be All In!”

You can’t control inventory, you can’t control rates, you can’t control the Fed, but you can control if you are ALL IN! “You are either all in or you are out.”

Be the Expert

Take classes, trainings, work towards certifications, listen to people you want to emulate then share your knowledge. Be looked at as a source, a value, and not a vendor.

Lean into the ebb and flow, be resilient, improvise, adapt, and overcome. Be All In… You’ve Got This!

About the Author

Jenny Mason is a regional business development manager with Movement Mortgage. She is 100 percent a servant leader building relationships, encouraging people, igniting passions, and adding value for all. Jenny is passionate about encouraging, serving, and inspiring people to overcome their limiting beliefs, to reach for the sky, excel more, ascend higher, and live life more abundantly personally, professionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually!

Jenny is one of the many incredible Coaches at 20/20 VSC.


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JUNE 28 – 29, 2022

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Schooling Mortgage Banking

Written by: Ruth Lee, CMB

In every role I’ve experienced in mortgage banking as an originator, in operations, as an executive, in compliance, or in FinTech, my core role was always about problem-solving: expediting processes and/or facilitating success. Whether I was working to move a loan forward, opening a new fulfillment channel, or closing an RFP, success was easier and the ideas were more fluid the more I learned about mortgage banking. Over the course of my career, I’ve invested untold hours going down rabbit holes and learning about all sorts of wrinkles and niches in mortgage banking: everything from quality control to document management to hard money lending. Each aspect adds a layer of credibility to my most important asset: the value I provide to my clients. I am a problem-eater. I serve my clients with value, and it engenders trust and builds lifelong relationships.

There are several ways to develop your subject matter expertise, and the two most important ones are practical experience where you are elbow deep in a file, a lock, or a workout, and academic experience where you spend time in a classroom, in an online webinar, or on an article. Each investment of time is like the raw material for this idea factory you have seeking out opportunities for creativity and innovation. The industry of today is THE reason you invest your time. There is always a market for someone offering value. Always. Education is now scandalously easy to achieve. Here are five ways to achieve mastery in your craft of mortgage banking:

  1. Make a long-term commitment to becoming a subject matter expert. Rather than sighing when it is time to earn your CEs, embrace the opportunity to learn and grow. Seek out opportunities to expand your knowledge base. Stretch yourself by taking the hardest classes. Make understanding the disparate corners of this industry a passion and focus. Don’t assume you know the information because you have the bullet points; master what you’re learning by asking questions and read everything about it.
  2. Adopt a growth mindset. If you ever say anything about teaching old dogs, stop and rethink your fixed mindset. You are leaving money on the table every time you pass up a good opportunity for productivity, efficiency, lead acquisition, or market expansion. Identify why you are staying stuck in your fixed mindset when you feel defensive or threatened. Adopting a growth mindset opens you up to view challenges and current information as a path to opportunity and success.
  3. Identify what you need to learn and start with what’s the most important to your career today. You can easily find yourself wandering about in a sea of content, but it is not the most effective way to wrangle this aspect of your career development. Trust me. Take a strategic approach to building your expertise by identifying what matters most to your career today. Write down ten things you need to understand and rank them one by one. Compare their relative value to each other on a scale that makes sense to you. When you have your top three, make those your focus. They don’t have to be your focus forever, and you won’t ignore the rest. You will merely have a prioritization based on where you can capitalize most on developing your proficiency in the short term.
  4. Find mentors. Early on in my career, I learned people like to help when asked and when it is appreciated. Identify a few mentors, especially in areas where you are looking to improve. Look for people who are successful in ways you have yet to experience in your career; see #3 above. Be prepared to ask for a commitment of time and respect it.
  5. Monitor your progress. Do a quarterly review of your own performance. This isn’t a time for recrimination, it is a time to reset goals, priorities, and identify time eaters like zombie meetings and fluff email. Write down your progress, rate it, and give yourself an actual grade. How does it compare to your last quarterly review?

Mastering mortgage banking is as elusive as it is rewarding. Some days, it feels closer than others, but every day there is satisfying professional growth.

About the Author

Ruth Lee is a well-known, highly published industry expert on mortgage operations, compliance, servicing, and technology. Having built and sold two companies in the mortgage industry, one a mortgage lender out of Austin and one a mortgage services firm out of Denver, Ruth offers a unique perspective on the marriage of sales, operations, and overall business growth.
Ruth graduated from Future Mortgage Leaders in 2007 and most recently co-authored the MBA’s Servicing Transfer Best Practices. Ms. Lee seeks every opportunity to consult and counsel on the practical implementation and impact of operational, regulatory, and legislative changes.
Ms. Lee holds a B.A. in Economics from Mount Holyoke College. She resides in Lakewood, CO with her husband Mike, her black lab Ned and two cats, Jefferson and Adams. Winter months find her and Mike riding every peak they can find.


Smart Financial Decisions for You and Your Clients

Written by: Megan Anderson

I have excitement bubbling up writing this month’s article knowing that soon I will see you in Tampa on June 28-29 for Vision Summit 2022!

This year’s theme is all about leveraging your ecosystem to create high-performance results. The definition of an ecosystem is, “The complex of living organisms, their physical environment, and all their interconnected relationships in a specific unit of space.” Thinking about how this relates to becoming our highest performing selves, there are many ecosystems involved and Christine didn’t leave any out!

Reaching our highest potential isn’t just about being the best in business, it’s about the whole picture. Health, mindset, and overall thoughts or attitudes towards life and how all of that connects to reach our peak performance.

This will not be your typical mortgage conference. You’ll hear from Craig Capurso, the famous health and fitness coach, alongside motivational speaker Les Brown. You’ll hear business and coaching strategies from Joe Panebianco and Ray Befus.

One ecosystem I am very familiar with is the economic sphere, which MBS Highway’s Founder and CEO, Barry Habib, will be speaking about. We could be in the best physical shape we’ve ever been and learn all the top business tactics, but at the end of the day, these assets will be underutilized if we don’t understand how key macro and microeconomic factors impact the housing market and our clients.

Macroeconomics is the study of the overall economy, including issues like inflation, recessions, interest rates, and economic growth. Microeconomics is the study of how macroeconomics changes behaviors in individuals and businesses.

Understanding how the world is connected and how it affects the mortgage market is vital to our success.

Inflation at the Macro Level

One macroeconomic topic we have been experiencing is inflation. Right now, inflation is at a 40-year high due to increased government spending through stimulus, supply chain disturbances, COVID-related port shutdowns, and pent-up demand.

If you have wondered why rates have moved so high in such a short period of time, look no further than inflation. Not a lot of people know this, but inflation tends to move in the same direction as rates.

Imagine you have a fund and you’re lending money on mortgages out of that fund and you’ve given me a mortgage. I make a payment to you of $2,000/month. You take that $2,000 and you buy a list of goods and services. Now every month for the next several months, you purchase the exact same number of items on your list. But then over a little bit of time, you notice you can no longer buy everything on your list. This is because inflation makes things cost more and as things cost more, you must leave some purchases off your list because the check you receive from me is for a fixed amount.

And while you can’t do anything about the loan you’ve already given me, what do you do to protect yourself from rising inflation on future loans?

You must increase your interest rate so you receive more than $2,000 on that same loan size to offset the more rapid loss of buying power, the more rapid erosion of the fixed amount you’re receiving. And that is why as inflation rises, mortgage rates rise as well.

Microlevel Inflation

Now that we understand inflation on a macro level let’s dive down to the micro. This micro audience will be the potential homebuyer you hope to close. This client receives a fixed income and is paid biweekly and every week the client has a list of goods and services to purchase. Groceries, haircut, dog groomer, bills, savings, investments, and a fun night or two out with some friends.

But once inflation and the costs of goods and services started to rise, your client noticed their budget isn’t stretching as far as before. Their spending behaviors change, and they start to wash their dog themselves, skip the night out for dinner and opt to have a small potluck party at home.

What’s more, your client now feels like buying a home is out of reach. They are already struggling with how to make ends meet, let alone figure out how to have the money and down payment to make one of the largest financial decisions of their lives.

During times of inflation, it is important to understand the various loan programs your company offers. It is also important to educate your clients on what they may not know, including the power and wealth generation one can achieve through homeownership. MBS Highway makes this easy through co-branded email campaigns for prequals and tools to show the benefit of buying over renting.

The Role of the Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve is the central banking system that has power through monetary policy to help achieve and support price stability and maximum employment.

With the rapid rise of inflation, the Fed has stepped in to help achieve price stability by attempting to cool off inflation. They have two levers they can pull to help fight inflation, one of which is raising the Fed Funds Rate, which is the overnight borrowing rate for banks.

The reason this helps fight inflation is raising the Fed Funds Rate makes certain loan types like car loans or business/commercial loans more expensive. Knowing this on a macro level will help us understand what will happen on a microeconomic level. For example, if borrowing is now more expensive on that brand new car, people might just fix the one they have and wait until they really need to purchase a new car.

Also, savings rates tend to become more attractive as the Fed raises the Fed Funds Rate, which can contract the economy by slowing down the velocity of money. Velocity of money is essentially the rate at which a single dollar changes hands in a given time period.

As an example, consumers may be enticed to save rather than spend due to the increase in savings rates. Their money would just sit in an account and the rate of change or velocity of money, in this case, would be rather slow.

A slowdown in the velocity of money typically signals a contraction in the economy and may signal an oncoming recession. Not many people know this either but looking historically, 100 percent of the time the Fed has come in to fight inflation by raising the Fed Funds Rate, it has led to a recession.

What Will a Recession Mean for Your Clients?

A recession is defined as a contraction in economic activity. On a macro level, this would not be a terrible thing for us in the mortgage industry. History has shown us that during every recession, mortgage rates tend to decline as demonstrated in the graph below.

Knowing this can help us on a micro level as well. Getting back into the mindset of a potential homebuyer, they are in rate shock. It took them months to find a home in this low inventory market and now with the increase in rates and fear-mongering media headlines about a recession, they begin to wonder if waiting on their home purchase is the best option.

If you believe like I believe that there will be a recession in the near term, then you can use this knowledge to alleviate rate shock with clients. Explain to them that in the not-too-distant future there will be an opportunity to refinance at a lower rate. Take advantage of the various loan programs and rates your company is offering. And remember that all your purchase applications today will be your bread-and-butter refinance volume in the future. Knowing that, you can prepare and plan for proper follow-up and customer service.

For clients fearing a recession and what it will mean for the value of their home, use the chart below to alleviate their fears. Show them that historically home prices have done well during every single recession. The only time this wasn’t the case was during the housing bubble back in 2006 to 2008. People often get this wrong, but it was the housing bubble that led us into the recession and not vice versa.

Today we are not in the same situation, as we have an undersupply of homes on the market, supply chain disturbances slowing down the completion of new homes and increasing demand among first-time homebuyers (especially when we look at birth rate demographics). All this points to healthy and stable home price appreciation into the future.

More To Come

My hope is this article demonstrates how brushing up on your economic knowledge can give you the ability to see an opportunity when others see chaos and confusion. Barry Habib will break this down even further on stage at the Vision Summit later this month. The good news is you don’t have to wait to start getting more knowledge when it comes to your economic sphere. Join MBS Highway today using code VISION at check out to receive a special discount price of $119 monthly (regular price $199.95 monthly) or $1,199 annually (regular price $1,999.95 annually).

And make sure you stop by the media booth at the event! I’ll be doing live interviews with the keynote speakers.

About the Author

Megan Anderson is a well-known professional speaker, teacher, and winner of HousingWire’s 2020 Women of Influence award. She is also the winner of the 2019 40 under 40 award and 2019 Women with Vision award. She has introduced systems and platforms that effectively create content and increase engagement.

She is vice president of Marketing at MBS Highway, the industry’s leading platform for mortgage sales professionals. Megan has helped eliminate the fears and obstacles mortgage and real estate salespeople have in creating video content. Her innovative pieces of training have transformed salespeople into local celebrity advisors.

Megan is a highly sought-after speaker and coach who is passionate about helping others grow their business and gain more confidence in themselves. She is also the host of the podcast Behind the Breakthrough, a podcast telling the untold stories of success.

The Aladdin Factor

The Aladdin Factor – Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

Written by Peter Wietmarschen

This is a book I have been wanting to read for probably five years now. You see, about five years ago Colleen (my wonderful mother and business partner whom you might know because she has a hand in putting together each issue of these magazines) and I were working with a business coach. Our coach at the time was an avid reader herself; in fact, she was the one who helped me read more by suggesting it’s not always about how much you read, it’s about being consistent with the time you spend reading. Read one chapter a day, and for most books, it’s only 15 minutes or so.

Well, anyway, she was the one who suggested Colleen read this book. The idea behind the book is we must learn how to ask for what we want. After Colleen read the book, she took it to heart and has become a star asker. So, I knew I should read this book but I just never had the urge to read it. After I began writing this column, I thought this would be the perfect time to pick up the book and give it a go.

Let’s start off with a bit of a background on the authors and the book itself. First up, if you have read Chicken Soup for the Soul, or any of their other variations you know Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. This book, however, is more of a self-help book than anything else. The premise behind the book is each of us can be better off in life and business if only we learn how to ask for what we want. If you know what you want and know how to ask for it, it’s more likely you will receive what you are looking for, but if you don’t ask, you’ll never know.

I will be honest with you fellow readers. This was a difficult book for me to dive into and finish. I love the idea behind the book, and it is true, we can all do better at asking for what we want and need. The trouble for me with this book is the way in which the information is presented. And honestly, there is some great advice inside this book!

For example, they share great exercises you can do on your own like listing out 101 wishes. You can’t ask for what you don’t know you want! Or the exercise where you list all of the things you are afraid to ask for. Or the many other exercises which involve writing out your thoughts, feelings, actions, and ways to improve.

At the beginning of the book, the authors open with the story of Aladdin. You see, Aladdin is a grubby child with an old and dirty lamp. As he cleans away the dirt and grime off the lamp, an inscription appears, “Ask and it shall be given.” A booming voice rings from within the lamp and asks Aladdin what he himself wants. Knowing he is the true Prince of the land Aladdin asks to be recognized as such. Throughout the rest of the book, the genie takes Aladdin on the journey of learning how to ask for himself to be recognized as the rightful Prince.

The authors intertwine this story with anecdotes, quotes, and stories from their personal lives and from other famous or otherwise successful people. I am all for sharing personal stories that relate to the subject matter discussed in a book. In fact, I think it’s the only way to connect with the reader and show them how the advice being shared is relevant to them and that there is proof it works.

But here is where I will share my gripes with the book. You can see above where the authors take three different approaches to sharing their advice on how to learn to ask. First, they have the story of Aladdin, then they have personal stories, and finally, they share a piece of advice or an exercise. For me, this is almost too much to keep track of. The real issue I have is there are just too many personal stories woven into the book.

As I mentioned above, I found the information interesting and extremely helpful but it was a bit difficult to weed it out from the many stories listed, one after another. The other issue I had is while I enjoyed the stories (they were often short and impactful), they were disjointed in their telling. There were a number of people whose stories were told all at once and many others who have stories either broken up or many different stories to tell. It’s almost too difficult to follow along. There are no characters you need to know or plot structures to help connect the stories.

All in all, I think this book has a lot of great information to offer; however, if you decide to take the time to read it, take the advice I shared earlier from my coach: read a chapter a day. This approach might actually be a better way to read this book. One action I would suggest is taking notes or highlighting the areas where you find the best advice.

If I were to rate this book solely on the usable information, I would give it a 4/5 but when I add in the writing style of the book, I would have to give it a lower grade. My final rating is a 2.5/5.

About the Author

Peter is a proud, lifelong resident of Cincinnati, Ohio. A graduate of Morehead State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music in Saxophone, Peter is a music lover at heart. In his daily work, Peter has turned his creative mind towards writing and works as a publishing consultant for authors. Peter enjoys working with local marching bands as an instructor.

Peter joined the magazine team at 20/20 Vision For Success in June 2020 and has been working behind the scenes on several projects such as the Women With Vision Awards and the Vision Summit. Besides the magazine, Peter also writes for other clients and advises writers on their book projects.

Outside of work, Peter is an avid soccer fan who supports FC Cincinnati. He is a member and former board member of The Pride: FC Cincinnati Supporters Group. Besides FC Cincinnati, Peter watches the US Men’s and Women’s National teams.

Be sure to catch these great reads from Christine Beckwith. Feel free to go grab them now on Amazon! 

Breaking the Cycle is filled with engaging stories wrapped around a theme of power words and is an invaluable treasure trove of practical, hands-on advice. Jam-packed with easy-to-implement suggestions, you’ll read sage advice from two women whose diverse career paths literally write the book on how to create your version of success!

In Wise Eyes: See Your Way to Success, Beckwith tells her life story in a style that is real and raw, but brutally honest. Wise Eyes is a handbook for professionals wanting to walk a direct path to incredible success.

And in her most recent book, Win or Learn: The Naked Truth, Beckwith joins more than a dozen other C-Suite professional women from across the mortgage, real estate, and finance industry for frank discussions about what it takes to succeed as a woman in the top eschelon of business in today’s world.

Are you a reader who likes to share the wealth and benefit received from consuming a great book? Just as we welcome Peter Weitmarschen and Leora Ruzin to these pages as book reviewers, we would be delighted to welcome you as well. We consider all submissions. Reach out to us at and let’s talk books. –Editor



On this episode of Mortgage X, Michael Hammond joins Christine Beckwith and Jason Frazier to discuss how after his many years in the industry he decided to stop being the guy behind the scenes by being front and center by creating content. Michael also talks about how others in the industry can learn from you and get value from your stories. Don’t be held back by the naysayers because they won’t matter when you execute.

Christine Beckwith of 20/20 Vision for Success Coaching and Jason Frazier of Mortgage X Creative bring you the Mortgage X Podcast. Guests range from visionaries working hard to evolve our industry to meet the needs of the modern consumer to the industry’s biggest producers, advocates, legends, thought leaders, partners, and lenders.

Dalila Ramos to Head #NEXTsteps

Dalila Ramos, host of the popular mortgage industry-centric weekly LinkedIn video series, Taco Tuesdays, and noted DEI evangelist, has joined forces with NEXT to lead the next stage of growth for #NEXTsteps, NEXT’s career offering.

In addition to growing visibility and readership of #NEXTsteps’ weekly newsletter, which includes job postings and career announcements, Ramos will lead the launch of #NEXTsteps’ executive search and placement services.

“Dalila embodies so many of NEXT’s values — we’re thrilled to be working with her,” said Jeri Yoshida, co-founder of NEXT. “She’s passionate about helping great companies find great people because she knows that this is a path to improving and elevating the industry. We’re looking forward to the opportunities that will unlock as these great companies and great people come together.”

Elizabeth Green named CSO at Appraisal Logistics

Appraisal Logistics has tagged Elizabeth Green as chief strategy officer. Green, an industry veteran and collateral valuation expert, will oversee all aspects of customer acquisition, technology advancements, and collateral valuation initiatives.

Previously, Green served as chief data & product solutions officer for LoanLogics. Before then, she was president of Centric Technologies, a hosted-technology solution for DIY appraisal quality review for residential real estate appraisal.

Truist Promotes Sherry Graziano

Noted mortgage executive Sherry Graziano is continuing her forward career trajectory with her latest promotion at Truist. Graziano was promoted to head of digital banking and contact centers after less than a year and a half as the company’s head of digital commerce.

Truist was formed by the 2019 merger of SunTrust Bank and BB&T Corp. Graziano joined SunTrust Mortgage in 2011 as a senior loan officer and has consistently earned several promotions since then.

ICE to Buy Black Knight in Massive Deal

New York Stock Exchange-parent Intercontinental Exchange (ICE.N) will acquire Black Knight (BKI.N) in a deal valuing the mortgage-lending software and data analytics firm at $13.1 billion. The companies expect to have the transaction closed in the first half of 2023. The acquisition of Black Knight, which provides software, data, and analytics to the real estate and housing finance markets, is the latest in a string of deals since 2016 by ICE to support its mortgage servicing business as it bets on a windfall from the automation of the home financing process.

ICE announced a deal to buy Ellie Mae, a cloud-based platform that supports all aspects of mortgage origination, for $11 billion in August 2020. That followed a $335 million deal for Simplifile in 2019, and the acquisition of MERS, in which ICE took a majority stake in 2016 and bought outright in 2018.

Self discovery is now part of the buying process. Pre-framing can help you control that.


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