How often do you practice the power of positive thinking? The thoughts we think create our reality, so if we want positive outcomes in our life, it’s important to think positive thoughts. This is especially true when it comes to facing challenges, as marketing & operations professional Francisco Oller Garcia explained to me during our recent interview.
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On this episode of the Live. Love. Engage. Podcast:
- Francisco explains why he’s a big advocate for transparency and empathy when you communicate
- How Francisco uses social media as a catalyst for developing deeply meaningful relationships
- What to do when you have moments of self-doubt
- Why a positive mindset is so important to deal with life’s challenges
Connect with Francisco:
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Gloria Grace Rand: [00:00:00] Namaste, and welcome to Live. Love. Engage.. I am Gloria Grace Rand, and delighted to be with you again and bringing to you another. Interview with an interesting person. And I’m so blessed to be able to have the most amazing guests on the show. And, this young man is no exception. His name is Francisco Oller Garcia and he is a marketing and operations professional who works with forward thinking consultants, advisors, and executives to design innovative group health strategies that measurably improve health outcomes and deliver a strong ROI. And within his work, he pierces expertise in healthcare with, uh, his passion for helping others. And that’s what has allowed him to actually excel as a subject matter expert in guiding employers to ideal health solutions.
[00:01:03] Primarily through structuring health plans that offer the highest quality care at an affordable price. And I know that can be a challenge for a lot of companies and, and their employees these days. So it’s great that, Francisco is able to help them out. He not only transforms the idea of healthcare from employees, but he’s also enhancing their company culture.
[00:01:27] He’s also been recognized as a rising star by Employee Benefit Advisor. He’s a deeply analytical thinker, goal oriented problem solver and lifelong learner. And, you know what, and then other things that I’ll put on here, I’ll probably put in the show notes, but just too talented young man. And it’s a pleasure to meet you, especially I got to meet you through LinkedIn.
[00:01:52] So, which is always cool to be able to connect with people that way. So welcome first off and Francisco, is that what you’d like to be called? I don’t know. Sometimes if you have a nickname or anything, but if that works.
[00:02:06] Francisco Garcia: I like Francisco. And one of my fun facts that I like to say is from the movie, the movie Elf, that was Francisco is a fun name to say.
[00:02:15]Gloria Grace Rand: Okay, I like that. Very good. So I thought like I’d get started a little bit in just talking about the healthcare industry and why you’re so passionate about it because I know I’ve. In talking with you, we’ve had conversations before, and I’ve seen some of your talks that you have done, that you, have a unique perspective in particular when it comes to health care.
[00:02:42] So, but would you share with the audience why that is.
[00:02:47] Francisco Garcia: Absolutely. I think it’s so important that when you find yourself in any line of work, right, that it speaks to your why, that it speaks to your purpose because then every day becomes much more meaningful. It’s still a job, but it’s a job where you feel renewed and renewed and rejuvenated because you’re doing something that has a societal impact.
[00:03:10] Right. And for me, Working in the health care and health insurance industry is directly tied to my life experience as someone born with a physical disability, I navigated the complex, the complex healthcare system. And by com it’s complex in many ways. But one of the ways is that because sometimes we don’t understand how to use the benefits that were offered by our employers.
[00:03:38] It becomes kind of like this, like. It’s great that we have it, but if we use it, then we may go bankrupt or we may explain to other financial difficulties. Right? So it’s part of, part of the work that I do every day is removing that barrier, removing the barrier of cost, but more so removing the barrier to high quality and affordable care because by getting that care at the right time, at the right price, at the right place, Then you’re preventing, medical conditions from getting worse and, or getting ahead and getting the treatment you need to live a fulfilling, productive, and healthy lifestyle.
[00:04:23] Gloria Grace Rand: Hmm. Well, I, yeah, I can definitely appreciate that because it is healthcare, especially even right now. I mean, healthcare is on everybody’s mind because as we’re recording this, we’re still can’t believe it’s the middle of June already. And we have been, you know, dealing with this pandemic feels like forever, but the last few months.
[00:04:45] So, is there anything. Uniquely challenging maybe even for you, even from dealing with your employers are, or, or with your company and how they’re handling, managing, dealing with the pandemic at all.
[00:05:04] Francisco Garcia: I think one of the, the biggest things and then something that I’m a big advocate for is transparency and empathy when you communicate people understand that you don’t have all the answers, right? Because it’s an evolving situation. What we know today, Changes so rapidly because of we’re getting all this information and we’re trying to process it and we’re trying to analyze it. But when we communicate with empathy and we communicate with transparency and we open an environment and we create this environment where it is a conversation and not just statements being thrown out.
[00:05:42] It makes such a difference because people want to be seen and they want to be heard and they want to be valued. And I think that’s the biggest thing. That’s important whenever you’re dealing with any sort of crisis and or challenging situation where you’re kind of thrust upon the decision is you, you, you obviously have to be very tactical and very careful and very strategic in how you approach it.
[00:06:07] But as you do that, communicate and be honest and be transparent because I think that one of the most challenging things is if people don’t understand where you’re coming from, then that makes it hard to understand your point of views and why you’re taking the actions that you’re taking.
[00:06:25] Gloria Grace Rand: Absolutely. And Interesting that you’re mentioning misunderstandings in particular with communication because, ss I mentioned earlier, we connected through social media and that can be a really challenging place sometimes for, communication, because there often is a lot of miscommunication sometimes that’s out there.
[00:06:47] So how, how can people use social media as a catalyst for really developing deeply meaningful relationships and not having it be just a place where people are spreading misinformation,
[00:07:05] Francisco Garcia: That’s that’s a thought provoking question, right? Because we, when we think about the premise and the purpose of social media it’s to facilitate the connection of people through. You know, doing a way with the usual challenges of distance or industry or job function or any other, you know, thing that would prevent us from interacting with someone.
[00:07:32] That’s kind of, kind of to, to give a high level view of what I’m going to talk about next. And I think you have to communicate with purpose and you have to communicate with intention, right? If you see very interesting point of view or very interesting post that somebody does, comment, but comment in such a way, or it’s not just one sentence, right?
[00:07:54] My golden rule for commenting on social media is more than two sentences. And to put a question at the end, because then you’re creating a conversation. It’s not just this, like, here’s this information, but here’s this information I’d like to know your thoughts on it, or let’s build off of this. Right. And it’s also being mindful to be that when we’re on social media, we kind of have to have a heightened sense of a respect and a heightened sense of communicating, because we don’t have the advantage of being able to expand a point, expand upon a point. If somebody doesn’t ask us to, right? So we have to be very mindful and thoughtful about what we talk and what we say.
[00:08:42] But at the same time, it’s this like playground for creativity and innovation and thoughts and meaning and purpose. And the more you nurture it, the more you can grow it. And the more you will find your life renewed. Right? Because for me, and I always love to say this is, our lives are made richer by the people we meet and the stories we hear. And social media is one way where we can do that every day.
[00:09:09] Gloria Grace Rand: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, not even, I mean, certainly right now, the, the world has moved online in a big way and social media is a good part of that. But even when things are, not quite so challengin, ssocial media is clearly here to stay.
[00:09:26] It’s going to be a way for us to connect then. And I’m grateful because it has really allowed me to meet people from all over the world and people that I would not have had the opportunity to do in necessarily, or at least not as easily. And so,when it is used for good, and when it’s used for creating authentic relationships, I think it is, an awesome tool.
[00:09:50] So, and I have seen like some of your posts and I, I, I do appreciate the thought that you’re putting into those comments because you have to too often, people will just be like, Oh yeah, I agree. Or, yeah, that’s a good point. And then they leave it at that. But I love the idea of being able to really expand on that conversation and, and then, and then make it a conversation by asking another question. Cause you do that in person with someone too, wouldn’t you? Have, have you found any though, challenge sometimes still in, in using social media, maybe that or, or like, how would you maybe, what other advice would you have for, for someone?
[00:10:37] Maybe some mistakes you’ve seen people make other than like, you know, just like a one sentence reply.
[00:10:43] Francisco Garcia: I think they, I think the. Not the biggest mistake, but the biggest hurdle that we have to overcome is, and I face this is that we sometimes say, what do I have to say? What, what, what meaningful piece can I add to this post?
[00:11:01] Or what meaningful say, can I talk about today as a post? Right. And for me facing this, that I face as about like, a few months ago when I was starting to get active on social media and the way that I, this is kind of my, my strategy and the way kind of revealing like a little bit of a secret behind my, the way, the way that I work at the engine behind my, my brand is pick one day a week and pick a topic for that week.
[00:11:34] Right. For me, it’s been gratitude Sundays and gratitude Sunday. You’ve been a part of one or two I believe I tagged you in it. And what gratitude Sunday was, was my way of showing recognition, appreciation and gratitude for all the people that I had met with throughout that week or the week before in showing explicitly the impact they had had on me, what I have noticed. And what I’ve learned is that when you champion people, people want to champion you. I think that’s the biggest thing, you know, when we’re starting out in our careers or even in our personal lives. Right. We can sometimes. It becomes, we sometimes think that we are alone in this journey that we have this big burden on top of us.
[00:12:25] But the truth is, is people want to be there. They just kind of want to know how, and through this initiative in the power of LinkedIn is that by me tagging that person, they get visibility into my community and I get visibility into their community. So it’s always about finding ways to drive reciprocal value.
[00:12:47] And if you can do that on social media and you’re well on your way to success, but start with just one time a week and one topic, right? When you think about the topics that people like to talk about, leadership, authenticity, gratitude, appreciation. These are topics that you can expand upon. You can find articles online and you can put your own 2 cents about it and you have something that people understand because when people see your values, who you are, what you stand for, it makes such a difference in all the relationships you make, because if you’ve connected on a personal level and not just on the surface.
[00:13:29] Gloria Grace Rand: That’s so awesome. I love that. And yes, I did see that, that you were tagging me. So thank you for that, but I love the gratitude and it’s, it’s interesting. Cause I was actually talking about gratitude this morning on Facebook. So I. Cause I think it’s so important that the more we show others gratitude, it, it does then come back to you. So I love that you’re doing that. One of the things that I think, especially though, in particular like entrepreneurs, and I know, I think a lot of, a lot of people I deal with are entrepreneurs.
[00:14:04] My clients are entrepreneurs and, and then intending that people listening to this are also entrepreneurs. Especially people who are, well, I think any, it doesn’t even matter if you’re, if you’ve got a small business or you’ve got a large business, sometimes you’re going to have moments of self doubt. So how, how do you deal with that? How, how have you found to manage it or corral it, or what do you do about it?
[00:14:34] Francisco Garcia: I think the, you know, the biggest thing that when it comes with challenging times is back then is that they steer us away from what we know and from what we are confident in, right. Even the things that we are really, really good at a little start to kind of like.
[00:14:49] It’s like that little sprout of doubt, we’ll kind of just like balloon quickly. Right. And one of the strategies that I use is to, to ask it. It depends on the situation one morning is to ask myself a question because then I’m not leading myself down a path of just assumption, assumption, assumption. Right.
[00:15:10] And it can be any kind of question, but I think the questions that drive the most value in that help us reset our mindset towards a positive place for questions. Like what is one thing that I’m grateful for today? What is one thing that I’m looking forward to this week? If it’s the weekend and then with these things where you can start to kind of get momentum in other situations.
[00:15:34] And another strategy I’ve used is sometimes we feel kind of that the idea is too big or that a path isn’t clear. Right. So then when we start writing it down and we look forward and we reason back and we create a path and we create little digestible pieces, right. Goal one, goal two, goal three. And we put deadlines, not deadlines, but like timeframes to them.
[00:16:01] Gloria Grace Rand: Yeah.
[00:16:02] Francisco Garcia:That can, that can get us also on a path, but it’s also important to, and I think this is something that we must be very cognizant of is that plans are evolving documents that change. Right. And there’s, there’s no. There’s no drawback to having to adapt and pivot as you gain new information. Cause nothing is set in stone.
[00:16:24] I mean, there’s some things are set in stone, but that there are some eventualities in life taxes and other, and those are other things comes to planning. The beauty of it is, is as we go on this journey of discovery, you learn new information. And with that information, you can learn latch on to a new trajectory that could yield even more than we thought originally.
[00:16:48] Gloria Grace Rand: Yeah, absolutely. It’s interesting that. Self doubt is definitely something that comes up. But I do like the idea of gratitude and one thing that I’ve, even in coaching my clients, I’ve always reminded them to keep a record of like client testimonials so that when you have those days where you’re like, ah, you know, I don’t know.
[00:17:13] Um, you know, you’re just like, ah, I’m not sure if I’m good enough. And then you go back and read and it’s like, Oh wait, I did help them do this. Or, and I did accomplish that and it can go a long way towards lifting your mood, because I know for me, I definitely think that having a positive mindset is, is super important.
[00:17:37] What are your thoughts on that? Cause I know, especially cause you’ve dealt with some challenges in your own life and I think one of the ways maybe that you, I think have overcome it possibly has been through mindset work. So why do you think positive mindset is so important?
[00:17:52] Francisco Garcia: Yeah, definitely. So to kind of give you like a little bit of background. So I was born with a physical disability and basically what it means is that I’m in a cool chair, which makes me possible to say fun puns like, no matter where I go, I’m always on a roll. But besides that being a funny pun, it shows the value of perspective, right. Like I was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
[00:18:21] I went to college in Rhode Island, which if you can imagine, wheelchair Rhode Island, snow, blizzards, all that fun stuff. Right.
[00:18:31] Gloria Grace Rand: It’s not going to go well together.
[00:18:35]Francisco Garcia: But what it comes with is that what we don’t know can be our greatest asset. Right. And that’s part of that mindset thing is. Because when you don’t know something, something it’s not a detractor because we’re going into it with this yearning to learn.
[00:18:54] We want to learn all of it. At least that’s kind of my style. All right. When I don’t know something or I know every single little thing about it, but at the same time, you know, as a person with a physical disability, one of the things that I’ve been very, aware of is that life, there are no limits.
[00:19:14] There are only opportunities and possibilities. And by that, I mean is my path or what I do may not be the same as others, but it leads me to different perspectives into different ways. And ultimately, what is not what it’s not, what happens to you in life, but how you react to it that matters. And that’s one of my favorite quotes from the Greek philosopher Epictetus.
[00:19:42] Gloria Grace Rand: Awesome. Now I know that, you know, part of what we talk about occasionally is, you know, offering practical advice from a spiritual perspective. So, I understand like Providence college is, I think a Catholic college. So does your. How does your faith help you maybe with, even with your challenges or helping you even cultivate a positive mindset?
[00:20:10] Francisco Garcia: Absolutely. And that’s a great question. And what it has done is, you know, one, one thing is that it has instilled in me a desire to, to give back and to live a purposeful life. And, you know, part of that is the understanding that. No, no, no matter what our time on this earth is, is limited, right? Because of that’s just the nature of life for human beings.
[00:20:37] So what that has gotten me towards is that in everything that I do, I want to do something positive. Right. And that manifested itself. When I looked at the year 2020, I sat three things for my software roles, our themes, and number one was. To be a charismatic and collaborative partner in everything that I did and do, to, to be a champion of lifelong learning, encourage and three, to build community.
[00:21:12] And in those three things, because they’re kind of touching back upon what we said, right. They’re things that I can accomplish every day, are things that I can use as little victories to drive me to bigger victories. Because what is a breakthrough, if not the accumulation of all the knowledge we have gained from previous attempts that did not go the way we thought that’s one aspect of it.
[00:21:38] And then the other from my undergraduate education is being very reflective and very introspective and very, you know, asking questions, right? Like that, that practice is deeply centered in a very spiritual belief of going beyond myself into kind of touch a little bit upon something we discuss is. Self doubt is something that will be a constant throughout life and when we have a why that goes beyond us, then we find and feel everyday to rise above the challenges.
[00:22:14] Gloria Grace Rand: That’s awesome. So when we’re wrapping up here. I would like to ask you one last question, which is, what advice would you have for people who are dealing with challenges in their lives? Other than what we’ve talked about. Any, we’ve kind of talked a little bit about that already, but is there anything else, maybe any other important point you’d like to make?
[00:22:37] Francisco Garcia: Absolutely. When we think about life, life in its simplest form is a series of challenges that we get better handling. But if we look at those challenges as opportunities to grow and to thrive, then we’ve unlocked a secret sauce. And that is, that is why mindset and intention are so important is because that is the groundwork for everything.
[00:23:06] But then if we combine that with purposeful action, Then we truly are on to creating unstoppable momentum. And if there’s one thought I would like to leave with everybody today is my favorite quote from the writer of Winnie the Pooh, who says you’re braver than you believe and stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.
[00:23:30] Gloria Grace Rand: I like that. I’ve always loved Winnie the Pooh. That Is awesome. Share that one more time. I want to make sure people really, really hear that.
[00:23:39] Francisco Garcia: Absolutely. You’re a braver than you believe and stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.
[00:23:46] Gloria Grace Rand: Awesome. I love that. Thank you so much before we go. If people want to be able to learn more about you and what would be the best place for them to be able to connect with you, how can they find you?
[00:24:00] Francisco Garcia: They can connect with me on LinkedIn. I’m always excited to meet more individuals and to really be impacted and influenced by you. And if there’s something that I always like to say, let’s make today extraordinary for others and ourselves.
[00:24:20] Gloria Grace Rand: Awesome. Great, great advice. Thank you so much, Francisco, for being here really appreciate it.
[00:24:27] And thank you everyone who’s listening and watching. I really appreciate you as well. And until next time I am Gloria Grace Rand. And as always, I encourage you to live fully, love deeply, and engage authentically.