What Is Holding Your Credit Union Back From Growth?

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FEAR! Wait, I know if you’ve read my articles before, you’re likely thinking, “NOT AGAIN!” Stick with me. I want to take a deeper dive into this thing called “fear” and provide some resources that can help you or your team get unstuck and push past the fear.

First, fear in the credit union leadership office or boardroom doesn’t usually look like fear. It usually comes in the form of a new, uncomfortable idea. In a recent credit union strategic planning session with Riverfront Federal Credit Union, CEO Tim McLeod shared how many peers will ask about some of the innovative strategies and technologies his credit union has adopted over the last year, then is met with comments like, “We could never do that,” or “That is too expensive!” Hold your horses!

Those comments are made with zero perspective on what it took to bring that new strategy to life or how much that new technology cost. Their limited mindset instantly goes to “new technology = too expensive.” It’s not just Riverfront getting met with these comments. Time and time again, I’ll see our best practice credit union clients who see long-term success prodded by peers about what they are doing, and then met with comments like, “I don’t know how NCUA is letting you get away with that,” or “Gosh, that’s too expensive.” Those comments are nothing but fear, and fear is a lack of perspective. How the team at Riverfront and many of our other best practice credit union marketing clients gain perspective is by removing fear and making good decisions.

Let’s put it this way: Most things we fear are rooted in similar ignorance (or nicely put, lack of data or perspective). If you don’t know what a tornado is or what’s behind an earthquake, it may well seem like the wrath of an angry or vengeful god. But, if you step back and learn about atmospheric pressure or tectonic plates, it’s not quite as scary. You have facts and understand what the true nature of these events. Of course, it can still hurt you, but you’ll be both better prepared and less likely to take it personally.

A recent passage from Daily Stoic summed it up nicely:

“We are afraid of what we don’t understand. We are vulnerable to what we can’t grasp. This is why science and history and good ole’ personal experience are so essential. They make us wiser but also braver. Because now we know, and once we know, then we can know what to do. We can know how to prepare.”

Implementing AI at your credit union isn’t as scary when you dig deeper to understand how it works and how others are using it. Technology may not be as “expensive” as you think, especially if you look at the impact it could have on growing your credit union.

If you need help gaining some perspective and getting unstuck to move your credit union closer to its goals, we can help. Over the last 15-plus years, I have helped hundreds of credit unions find opportunities and implement marketing strategies that led to growth and created a positive impact for their members and their community. My team can do that for you, too.

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Reh Harvey

Vice President of Digital Strategy

Reh Harvey, our Vice President of Digital Strategy, leads with diligence and fervor. Having previously been a member of Team YMC, he is excited to return to such an amazing culture and even more amazing people (his words)! Through his experience in the marketing world, he’s found the key to success is to stay on the cutting edge and to always keep evolving.
 
Although originally drawn to marketing for its lack of math, Reh now finds himself doing more math than he would’ve bargained for. But his self discipline and positive attitude make it easy for him to laugh and take it in stride. Hoping to one day visit Japan and enjoy some premium Sushi, Reh lives life by his creed: Be a good human. Do good work. And above all, just keep going.

Hailey Madej

Graphic Designer

As YMC’s in-house Graphic Designer, Hailey possesses an eye for detail and a drive to innovate. It’s no surprise though since being creative runs in the family! Inspired from an early age by her mom’s work as a Graphic Designer, Hailey is a seasoned expert whose talents bring vitality and accessibility to every project. As a UX/UI designer, she expertly blends the intuitive and the creative for all to enjoy.
 
In addition to the occasional freelance project, Hailey also lends her abilities to supporting art initiatives within her community, such as the Belleville Mural Project. Her favorite aspect of joining the YMC team is the friendly, uplifting culture and breadth of design tasks. When it comes to marketing, she believes in pushing boundaries and maybe breaking some rules to capture her audience’s attention. Her advice to those just starting out? “Always seek quality over quantity.”

Dexter Ochoa

Development Assistant

When it comes to blending logical thinking and creative problem solving, Dexter’s abilities are undeniable! Beginning his career as a Web Developer, he’s no stranger to the wide world of Marketing and Advertising. Calling Biñan City in the Philippines home, Dexter has a burning desire to visit the Alpine peaks and valleys of Switzerland. While that journey may be far off, he is still no stranger to international travel. While visiting Japan, he was able to enjoy his favorite delicacy: Sushi and Sashimi. He also learned unexpected facts about Japanese Yen, specifically that it has special markings for the blind to know its value!

Living life by his motto to “Do good even if the world is unfair,” Dexter would also advise his younger self, “It’s hard, but you’re doing good!” Whether he’s enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning or the occasional Pale Pilsen in the evening, Dexter is eager to work with the talented professionals of YMC, and we’re just as eager to add his talent to the team as well! His marketing words of wisdom? “Be creative, and just do what you want!”

Andrew Wyche

Copywriter

Hailing from the NC state capital (that’s Raleigh if you didn’t know), Andrew is YMC’s Copywriter extraordinaire. That’s why he knows that “The verb form of ‘reconnaissance’ is ‘reconnoiter.’ The former is, strictly speaking, a noun.” Seriously, he knows his words and he’ll use those words to get bold and weird (in a good way) with his copy. Fuelled by a love for pasta, shellfish, a good single malt, or a meal consisting of all three, Andrew navigates life with a motto engraved in his heart: “Choose kindness. Always.” It is this guiding principle that has led him to explore the realm of marketing, driven by a desire to connect with people in meaningful ways. As he continues to chase his dreams, one bucket list item stands out above the rest – a pilgrimage to Scotland. With his heart set on adventure and his pen poised for creativity, Andrew’s journey is far from over.

Alex VanHaasteren

Senior Web Developer

Alex is YMC’s Senior Web Developer and, as the title suggests, she is an absolute pro! While she initially started in graphic design – working long and hard to expertly bring concepts to life – she also felt drawn to technology and applying her natural ability to problem solve. Web Development proved the perfect blend of her creative passion and technical savvy.

When Alex is out with friends – including her YMC colleagues – she’s up for Greek cuisine or some good pulled pork BBQ washed down with Diet Coke. Or an Old Fashioned, if the occasion demands. Someday, she hopes to go to Africa on a safari. Hopefully she’ll see a giraffe in the wild, because – as she’s pointed out – its neck is too short to reach the ground!

When she isn’t jamming out to T-Swift, she’s happy to impart some marketing words of wisdom, “Aim to create something unforgettable.” For day-to-day inspiration, she would remind you of two fundamental truths: You decide your happiness, and Ice cream is its own food group—not just a dessert.

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