How to Deal with Loneliness with Katie Braden
We all struggle with our mental health and loneliness is affecting more people than ever. Katie Braden shares her personal experience and talks about some practical ways to cope and overcome it!
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About the Episode
LifeBlood: We talked about how to deal with loneliness, ow more and more people are struggling with mental illness, the importance of people speaking up about their struggles and how to address it in your life with Katie Braden, CFP, Founder and CEO of Innovating Advice, host of the Innovating Advice podcast and operator of the Video Creation Masterclass.
Listen to learn some practical ways to cope and overcome loneliness!
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Come on. will afford this is George G and the time is right welcome today’s guest strong and powerful Katie Braden. Katie, are you ready to do this?
Katie Braden 0:19
I am ready, George.
george grombacher 0:21
All right, let’s let’s let’s go. Katie is a CFP. She is the founder and CEO of innovating advice. She’s the host of innovating advice podcast, she co runs the video creation masterclass. excited to have you on. Katie, tell us a little about your personal is more about your work and why you do what you do.
Katie Braden 0:41
Yeah, thanks, George. Personal life I actually over the summer, I decided to kind of take the month of July off and get my private pilot’s license. So I try to go flying my husband’s a pilot. So we do that for a bit of fun, something very different from financial planning. And I actually got my degree in photography in Australia. So George, I am all over the map, I tend to be a contrarian, I look at what everyone is doing. And I just tend to go the opposite. So I’ve been in financial services for 16 years, started one of the first completely virtual financial planning businesses back in 2013. I’ve traveled and work with financial planners in 35 countries. So I do a little bit of everything. Doors, try to keep it interesting.
george grombacher 1:23
Yeah, well, amen to that private pilot’s license photography degree in Australia. Awesome. Well, you and I were just talking off offline about, about this epidemic, or just this huge problem of, of, of loneliness that many of us who are experiencing and you share with me that something that you’ve been experiencing, and you were a little bit frustrated that it seems like a lot of people are talking about but not doing anything about it. And that motivated you to to actually write a social media post about it?
Katie Braden 1:57
Yeah, I did. And it’s something I’ve been thinking about for weeks. And it’s interesting, because I have a lot of energy, I’m a very energetic person, but I get that energy from other people. Like, as soon as you and I started talking Georgia, like, you know, you’re passionate, and I picked up on that, and I kind of feed off that, and I need that. And my husband has gone half of the month, and we don’t have kids or pets or anything. So you know, half the time I wake up in a house by myself, and then I just have to, like, get motivated to go sit at my computer and work all day. You know, I think that’s really challenging for a lot of people. Again, knowing that, you know, I like to be more, I don’t know, active and out there. And I do I keep seeing all these articles now. And I was scrolling through social media. And I was like, it’s still all these posts about, you know, I’m honored that I won this award. And I’m so thrilled I get to do this. And I was like, I just don’t believe that I’m the only one feeling this way. So I did a post and I even wrote on there. I was like, I’ve been debating this for weeks, worried it might hurt my brand, whatever that is. And that was just last night, George and I’ve had over 100 messages, emails, direct messages, comments on the post. Everyone else is feeling this way. But nobody seems to have a solution. There’s just a lot of you know, kind of commiserating around the problem. But that makes me even more passionate about finding a solution.
george grombacher 3:17
Yeah, I appreciate that. And I’m grateful that that you are do you feel? Is it a function of that you’re comfortable enough with yourself to share this?
Katie Braden 3:31
You know, I was actually gonna write in there. And then I realized people might take this the wrong way, I have kind of gotten to the point of like, I have nothing to lose. And I say that, like from a brand perspective, right? I was like, what I’m doing isn’t working, you know, and even over the weekend, like the amount of times I’ve spent just staring at my computer, and it’s even projects I’m excited about, but like, my energy is nil. And kind of since the pandemic start, I feel like time has lost all meaning. So yeah, I just thought about it. I was like, I can’t keep going like this. So I’m gonna put it out there. And, you know, something that I’ve always I’ve done a lot of coaching over the years, and as a financial planner, talking with you about what is the worst that could happen? And I kind of think of the worst that could happen is that, you know, nobody responds, the post just floats out there in the ether. You know, okay. Like, that’s not the worst thing.
george grombacher 4:20
Yeah. Big deal.
Katie Braden 4:23
Yeah. How do you feel we go,
george grombacher 4:26
right. Okay. Yep. Perfect. And that’s, that’s, that’s the thing. It’s like, right? We’re all in agreement that there’s a problem here done. We can wash our hands and kind of move on and get back to posting pictures of ourselves and our success and our awards and our cars or whatever kind of nonsense that we’re posting. So do you have what as you’ve been thinking about this, how have you been thinking about what is the way forward? How do we actually go about making real human connections that are not just on the internet
Katie Braden 5:00
Yeah, and I mean, I think it’s okay if it’s on the internet, you know, we we do live in a virtual world and even you know, having virtual meetings, I can get energized by that I love doing, you know, walk and talk so that you’re outside and communicating and everything, but knowing that you’ve got a real community there that you can turn to at all times, that also has that transparency and honesty, you know, not a community of everyone just constantly sharing their successes. But knowing that you can go after you’ve, you know, done a great presentation, and then all of a sudden, you know, the virtual meeting ends. And you’re all alone. Like that those roller coaster moments are really tough. And so one of the things I’ve been thinking about for a while George is, you know, there’s that Jim Rohn quote, on you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. And there are articles out there that say that’s not true, some of the say that are but regardless, it’s a good starting point, I think, because I also think so many of us have a lot of acquaintances. But that’s not the same as deep connections, you know, and the people that you can call when you’re just feeling terrible. So we need to build more of that and open these conversations and talk with people that also aren’t exactly the same as us. So we know that’s a challenge, I imagine in any profession, but being in financial services, you know, we go to conferences, and we all talk to people that think like that, like us and run businesses like us. And there, there can be a lot of value in that. But I think we also grow and innovate by talking with people who are different and come from different backgrounds.
george grombacher 6:36
1,000% so you, are you are you, I would imagine you consider yourself to be an extroverted person. And it sounds like you’re actually like, charged and fueled by human interaction.
Katie Braden 6:50
I’ve actually been thinking about that as well, because I would say yes, but also too much of it, and I’m just exhausted. Like, I need a balance, I can, you know, I actually do really well, in normal times by myself, you know, and I value my time, I don’t need to be around people all the time. So what does that there’s an introvert and extrovert. Anna, is an ambivert?
george grombacher 7:11
I’m not sure. Probably, there’s probably lots of verts. Right. But I was just thinking, it seems that as if trying to help people along this process is to do your best to, to, to know what what you really enjoy. Because if you’re somebody who is not, if you’re an introvert, and you’re not, you’re not sort of filled up by by interaction, and maybe that’s draining, you would need a different approach. But I think that the more that we can know ourselves, and what we crave and what we need, and we’re all going to have a different spectrum of that, that might be a first step. But I love the Jim Rohn idea of finding your five and I think it’s really important to cultivate relationships with people that have a different thought process than you have different not necessarily different values. I think that that it’s possible to have friends and relationships with people from every different walk of life and background assuming that you do have similar shared values. That’s that’s maybe the kind of glue that holds it all together.
Katie Braden 8:11
Definitely. Yeah. And that was one of the things we you know, George, I stopped reading the news that’s going on a year ago, you know, October of last year, I think we know there were a few things going on in the world and certainly here in the US and just seeing all of this polarization I was like, I can’t do it I realized you know, for my own mental health anytime I would read the news, I felt so much worse after like Find me a person that has felt better after reading or watching the news. It just doesn’t exist and it also just made me so sad for humanity you know, just seeing everyone goes so much further one direction or the other. And you know, again, I don’t actually believe that that’s a true reflection of humanity it’s what makes the news you know and and so stepping away from that but we need to find you know, more people that are willing to say this isn’t working and to find a solution people that Yeah, have those shared values the whether it’s the open mindedness or whatever, you know, come back to just some more that human transparency even Yeah,
george grombacher 9:18
agreed. So I think there’s you can push back or agree disagree, figuring out and being a good steward of your self care so being a good steward of what I’m letting into my head because I totally agree I stopped getting on Twitter because my wife was like, can you please stop looking at that because you become a real jerk. So being a good steward of what so from a mental standpoint, what what is it that I need to do to do way less of what what do I need to do more of and then from a physical standpoint, we talked a little bit about going on on walking meetings or whatever but if it’s, you know, flying lessons or if it’s having physical hobby, and then from a just from like, a spirit For just a peace of mind perspective, I feel like if we could figure out ways to, to sort of fuel ourselves, and if there’s a way to incorporate other people in that. What are your thoughts on that?
Katie Braden 10:14
Yeah, well, you know, on the Twitter thing, I’ll also say, I’ve had this conversation a couple of times in the last week, and I did it myself, you know, notice in yourself, whether you’re scrolling through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, whatever it is, there might be people. And this does not have to be a rational thing. But people for whom, when you see their posts, it just kind of gets at you. Right? Whether you find yourself comparing yourself to them, or you know, you roll their your eyes or what they post or that it makes you angry, whatever it is, unfollow them, you know, and you can you can unfollow in a way that you don’t have to disconnect that way. If the person would notice, and it turns into a whole, why did you remove the connection? Just unfollow them, you know, on Facebook, you can mute stuff for 30 days, and just see how that feels? Right? Just stop, stop getting those messages? Because I know, you know, we’re not going to completely disconnect from social media. And I don’t think that’s a reasonable thing to propose. Because when you find the right people, there is a lot of value in that. But that also gets to your point, George of finding the right people. And that that can be hard.
george grombacher 11:22
Yeah, finding community 1,000% can can be very, very difficult. What, what have you tried to do? Or what are you currently trying to do?
Katie Braden 11:33
Yeah, so I actually started a community, sort of based here in the US, again, I’ve worked with financial planners all over the world. So we do have people from around the world, but it’s called the innovating advice community. So it’s really for those financial planners that are forward thinking and are always trying to say, Okay, how can we be better and improve? And we focus on leadership and growth? Definitely on that wellness? How can we encourage each other to kind of get out there, and that could be even, you know, encouraging people do like the post I did yesterday and saying, yes, let’s just have some radical honesty, and not pretend that everything is okay all the time. So, you know, working on that, and one of the things that sort of makes it different is a lot of communities in the US, understandably, and for good reason, sort of, you have to fit in one of those boxes. And, you know, for those that aren’t in financial services, again, we’ve got all this division. And we’ve got people saying, you know, if you’re not a fee, only financial planner, you’re terrible. Or if you do, Commission’s, you’re terrible, you know, and it’s just like that isn’t helping the profession that isn’t helping anyone, anywhere, we’ve got this division, I just try to find some of those bridges, and realizing that it’s about what’s in your heart and your mind and your actions, and bringing together those people. So that gets back to the shared values that you mentioned.
george grombacher 12:53
Yeah, I certainly appreciate that. So I can just think about the the places that I’ve found community in my adult life and the places that I find it now. I was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity as an undergraduate. And I’ve been active with that group over the last 20 years. And that’s been an enormous part of my social network. And that’s people that are happened to have had the experience of being an undergraduate Sigma Chi and are still still Sigma Chi and happened to be living in Phoenix, Arizona, I lived in Orange County, California, so I was able to tap into that network there. I’ve always done volunteer work. And so if it’s working for a nonprofit organization, and there’s numerous and so I’ve developed a lot of a lot of social contacts through that as well, because that is, you know, sharing that sort of values with people that are interested in working there and your professional networks over the years that I’d probably no longer qualify for. So that those are groups that that have, you know, are attracting people that have a certain background or are interested in impacting a certain cause? What are your thoughts on that?
Katie Braden 14:15
Yeah, and it’s something I’ve thought about for years, and I realized, as I reflected back, this isn’t just a challenge of the pandemic, you know, the world’s been kind of moving to this lonelier and lonelier place for a long time. And I do think we can largely, very largely blame social media and our amazing smartphones for that, that it’s kind of taken us in there. We lived in downtown Denver for five years, up until a year and a half ago. So this was recently and I kept struggling to find something that I could be part of. And it was so interesting, because I feel like there’s so many things for kids, right? And parents that have kids, they’ve got you know, their kids are in all kinds of activities and busy schedules, and then it somehow feels like once you get into you know more of that 65 and a They have a lot of things, but it’s like I feel like is huge, from like your 20s to your 40s or 50s. There isn’t really anything, you know, sometimes you have young professionals, but it’s only for people up to the age of 30. It’s just been so interesting for so long, I was like, what, what do you do and all of these middle decades, and I do think that, you know, we probably are the loneliest generation here in our, you know, 30s and 40s.
george grombacher 15:27
Yeah, I think that there’s that there’s a lot to that. And I’m also concerned that as, as people sort of live in that reality, that they’re not going to be confident enough that they don’t have the skills, or whatever the term is, they’re just not willing to go to a place as a new person, because that is a very uncomfortable thing. There’s no two ways about that of being the new person showing up and having to walk up to strangers, we’ve all had that experience going to a networking meeting of some kind, that it’s an uncomfortable thing. But that’s, it’s making a change in our lives, if I am feeling lonely, and which many of us are, I think that gaining an appreciation of this is these are the people these are the five that I’d like to have, to your point, these are the relationships I’d like to have, figure out where those people are spending time and potential groups that they’re a member of, or a part of. And then fighting through that. And getting up and taking a deep breath and saying I am committing to go and doing this, even though it’s going to feel crappy, I can see down down the road that I’ll develop new relationships.
Katie Braden 16:42
Yeah, and I think it’s, you know, that that other quote on kind of the eye, when the idea of things staying the same is scarier than the idea of them changing. You know, that’s when you’re really ready for change. And that’s probably where I was at, when I did my post yesterday. And George, you hit on a really important thing there with confidence. And that’s something that I have been seeing a lot more lately, especially with young financial planners coming into the profession is this lack of confidence to, you know, have that first one on one client meeting, or where they have to close the sale, or people starting their own business, huge confidence issues out there. And again, I think, if we can acknowledge that more, and not have people feel like, okay, you’re gonna come into this community where everybody’s super successful you, that’s where so much of the intimidation comes in, I feel like so many of these things are built for, you know, people wanting to kind of be at the upper echelon, and too often we ignore, okay, but there might be blockers that are preventing us from getting there. So how can we make sure that we’re relating to those people and acknowledging that because it is hard when you walk into a room and you you know, you look around, and everybody’s like, dressed really nice and looks really successful? And you know, that that kind of expands the lack of confidence, rather than, you know, helping you feel more comfortable?
george grombacher 18:03
Yeah, totally agree. And I think that I have been throughout the course of my life, be it misplaced, or whatever, it is an immensely confident person, extremely self assured. And I still feel that way when I go into scenarios and what I can, a piece of advice to share. And what I’ve done throughout the years, is I will ask the organization and say, Hey, do you need somebody to sign people in? Do you need somebody to sell raffle tickets? Do you need somebody so it was just give me a job that I can do give me something to do with my hands. So that I’m not just standing there with a cocktail in my hand or coffee in my hand wondering Oh my God, who am I going to be talking to so now I have a role or a job where it’s my job to be engaging and talking with people?
Katie Braden 18:50
Oh, I love that. We’ve been looking at doing some of that with our within our community, we we actually do a speaker and influencer program training people with little to no speaking experience. And we actually put on the world’s largest financial planning conference, it was 36 hours, we went from all around the world. And we’re looking at the plan for next year. And to that point, doors of getting more people involved people that want to learn how to do video production, or social media promotion, or, you know, I don’t know all kinds of different things. Because, again, I think that’s one of the really important things is so often people are bystanders. And again, that kind of just festers on the I feel alone and everything but having more opportunities for people to get involved and feel that they’re contributing and feel valuable. I know. I need that. Absolutely. And I’m, I’m gonna think about that next time I’m at an event. Take your advice on that. That’s very cool.
george grombacher 19:44
It’s interesting as you’re sharing that I thought back to the handful of times that I went to a BMI event and I that’s neither good nor bad, but they are excellent at assigning jobs and roles to people. There’s like a welcoming person, there’s this is your job is to then partner up with somebody. And so instead of just people milling around not having any idea what’s happening next, they are assigning roles. And so people have jobs and tasks. And so I think that there’s a lot of wisdom certainly in that. So yeah, I like it. So here we are, Katie, we’re cruising cruising through the air. We knew somebody who could actually figure out how to land this plane. And to kind of wrap up our conversation. I think that let’s figure out how to sort of challenge perhaps one another and challenge those people who are listening. So if you are feeling lonely, if you’re experiencing this, which which we all 100% feel, these are all emotions and feelings that we’re having. And God bless Simone Biles, and God bless Marty fish who had that documentary on Netflix and God bless. There’s a lot of Osaka, Naomi, Osaka, exactly for really shining a light on the fact that that everybody at every level of society, number one in the world athletes to the greatest of all time to people in business, all are feeling this way and experiencing this. So how can we put a little action behind it?
Katie Braden 21:23
Or do you and I might have more conversations on kind of transitioning into the solution phase, because I think just accepting that this is how, how humankind is these days isn’t good enough? And if we can’t just say, Okay, this is how the world is, you know, you’re alone. But guess what, everyone feels alone. So I would, and you know, that find your five, I’m gonna see if I can do something with that. And I know you’ve got a huge audience storage of people in all different professions. And I think that’s super valuable. So how can we, you know, come together and maybe form little groups? Maybe these groups change over time? I don’t know, I don’t have the answers. I’m just starting with the questions. But I think that’s how we begin to find some solutions. So for other people out there, whether you run a business, you’re, you know, coaching people, whatever, I’d also encourage you to, to allow more of these conversations to happen and be directly open about this, because I think that’s how we start to come up with some solutions together.
george grombacher 22:26
I love it. Well, to be continued, then, Katie.
Katie Braden 22:30
Perfect. All right. GEORGE,
george grombacher 22:33
well, I appreciate you coming on I’m grateful to you certainly as as as well for for taking the action and being vulnerable and and to make your post and then to have a conversation with me today because it is so important. So where can people learn more about you? How can people be engaged, engaging with you?
Katie Braden 22:57
Yeah, LinkedIn is probably the best place Katie Braden, or just hop on my website, innovating advice.com. And I’ve got a little tool on there. It’s a little video of me and you can respond by video, audio or text. So that’s also a really fun way to kind of bring some human engagement to websites. So I’d love to hear from people what you liked about this episode, if you relate if you have any ideas, how we can help solve this loneliness epidemic. I’d love to hear from you. They’re innovating. advice.com
george grombacher 23:29
Awesome. Well, if you enjoyed this as much as I did show Katie, your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas, go to innovating advice, calm and leave Katie a message. I’ll look forward to jumping on that because I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a attack or a feature like that. So I think that’s super cool. And then find her on LinkedIn, as well as those in the notes of the show. Thanks again, Katie.
Katie Braden 23:53
george grombacher 23:55
And until next time, keep fighting the good fight. We’re all in this together.
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