Music Mondays – I Smile


He Gets Paid to Make People Smile

This week on my podcast, I am talking to Colin Ryan a standup comedian turned motivational speaker who specifically talks to groups about money, and as far as humiliating jobs are concerned, I think stand-up comedian has to rank pretty high on the list. I like to think that I am a funny person, and I can make people laugh from time to time, but I would never want the pressure of a group of people expecting me to make them laugh, especially because you have no idea what makes your audience laugh and smile.

Despite the fact that it is one of the most difficult jobs on the planet, I am thankful for those men and women who are willing to humiliate themselves night after night in the name of making people laugh and smile. I wrote a few months back about a huge financial setback that happened and how I ultimately had to “Shake It Off,” but I also believe that when you go through tough financial times, you need to smile, and not just for yourself but also for those around you.

Importance of a Smile

I learned the importance of a smile, 22 years ago when I worked the morning shift at a bagel store. At 6 am, people dragged themselves in for their first cup of coffee of the day and a bagel, and I greeted them with a smile. I had my fair share of grumpy responses like “What are you so happy about?” but more than the grumps, I had people repeatedly say to me that they felt as though their day started off on the right foot because it started with a smile from me. My co-workers nicknamed me “Sunshine” and for five years, I shared sunshine and bagels with hundreds of people.

I took the bagel store lessons with me when I worked as a cashier and customer service rep at Best Buy while I was in college, and I frequently noted that I had less angry returns than the partners I worked with and I attributed the results to my smile strategy versus their indifferent strategy. When you have to deal with a customer service representative, wouldn’t you rather them start the interaction with a smile than a face of indifference?

We Need to Smile Through Our Financial Ups and Downs

I still consider myself in the customer service business and I try to help my clients smile through their financial journeys. Many of them start their journey with me scared and afraid of what they are capable of financially, and when I smile and tell them that I am confident in their potential for success, I see them start to believe it themselves. It’s not all sunshine and happy days, but a smile does have the potential to change the emotional trajectory of the moment.

I love Colin’s mission to help people gain comfort in their relationship with money through comedy, and I urge you to find the humor in your financial journey even when it’s difficult. Kirk Franklin wrote the song, I Smile, not long after the financial crash of 2009 and it starts with the line “I dedicate this song to recession, depression, and unemployment. This song’s for you.” It’s a great reminder to smile even though you may not want to and for no other reason than the fact that you look better when you smile.

What makes you smile? Do you feel better when you smile or see other’s smile?

If you need some motivation to laugh and smile this Monday morning, here are some things that work for me.



Previous articleLife Insurance Basics
Next articleDo You Have Financial Vampires?
Shannon is a financial planner who left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym, because she felt traditional financial services firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt. She realized that the key to long-term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. Through her blog, Financially Blonde, her book, Train Your Way To Financial Fitness, her podcast, Martinis and Your Money and The Financial Gym, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for everyone.

Leave a Reply