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About Cyndi Garza

She is a multi business owner and a senior leader who has recruited, coached, trained and retained over 200 loan officers who have closed multi billions in sales. 

She began Optimized Success Coaching five years ago where she and her team of employee Success Strategists focus on helping women create multiple streams of revenue along with growing their corporate role and finding more time to take care of themselves. She owns The Marketing Firm, an agency that not only assists finance and mortgage companies to become familiar names on social media but also helps individuals create their personal brands inside big companies. Cyndi also owns Mortgage Girlfriends and Loan Officer Magazine, both providing membership training and resources to partners in the finance industry. 

Most importantly, she has mastered a harmonious balance between life and career. She has two grown daughters who also own multiple businesses. Cyndi has been happily married to Andy for 35 years and has recently developed a love for Pilates and learning more about fashion and decorating.


In this episode Jason and Cyndi discuss:

  • How to create harmony in your life 
  • Building your personal brand 
  • Setting intentions daily 
  • How to move forward when you feel stuck


Key Takeaways 

  • We think that by earning a lot of money that our life in other areas will just magically be alright. Reflecting on yourself, creating a connection, and giving back to your community is the way towards growth. 
  • Be in touch with your authentic self by creating your own personal brand even if you are employed in a company. 
  • When starting your day, don’t go into it blindly. Set your intentions daily. Write in your journal and reflect at the end of the day. 
  • Whenever you feel that you’re stuck in your career or business, try surrounding yourself with wisdom from other industries. Give yourself a boost and a fresh set of ideas from an unfamiliar environment, it might just be what you need to get going again.

“Build your own brand, it will make you valuable in the corporate world and it will help you reflect on who you truly are.” - Cyndi Garz

Connect with Cyndi Garza:


Connect with Steve and Jason:

LinkedIn: Jason or Steve

Website: Rewire, Inc.: Transformed Thinking 


Show notes by Podcastologist: Justine Talla

Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You're the expert. Your podcast will prove it. 




Listen to the podcast here


How To Build An Intentional And Self-Serving Personal Brand With Cyndi Garza

I am excited about our guest. I have got a guest that I have observed from afar over the years in the mortgage space, Cyndi Garza. Cyndi, welcome to the show.

Thank you for having me on the show, Jason.

You are very welcome. When I saw your name appear on my schedule, I was like, "I know Cyndi." You are famous in the mortgage space for all kinds of different reasons, and we are going to get there. You said you've read a few episodes of the show. Here's one of the initial questions we like to ask to get us focused and centered and facing in the right direction is this idea of gratefulness. As we engage each other, what is something that you are particularly grateful for?

I'm grateful for this life I have created for my family, for the balance I have been able to find with my career and life and for taking care of myself. The list can go on and on. I have a heart full of gratitude. I'm grateful to be here with you and to meet you.

Thank you for answering that question. I have had some guests that are like, "Yes, I do have some things," but you are like, "No. This is what we have got." I kidded around in the opening about being famous, but in the mortgage circles, you are. For the people reading this who are maybe in a different part of the country and may not have heard your name, tell us a little bit about Cyndi Garza. Who are you, Cyndi?

I am a passionate believer in great leadership. I started my career as a salesperson and a loan officer. I had this aspiration to be in the top ten in the country and worked hard to get to that point. One day I was going about my business and my manager at the time asked if I could step into her office and witness for her to terminate an employee.

Everything paused for a moment, and I had never witnessed anything like that. To sit there and feel the heart of the gentleman being released was a pivoting moment for me because, at that point, I realized how important leadership was. Being a peer to this gentleman, I knew he had so much potential, and he needed that advocate in his corner and somebody to support him and help him grow. To be in that room was horrible.

After that, I made it my passion to push leadership, study it, learn it, and embrace it. That's what led to my career. I ended up recruiting, coaching, and mentoring a team out of Michigan that closed $1 billion. Probably over a 7 or 8-year span, I never lost an employee. Years later, most of those employees are still with me. It's not only mentoring and coaching them but also retaining them. I ended up taking that to other states in the US and got a pretty big division in that I was helping regionals recruit and grow their areas.

When COVID hit, I did some reflection. I always hear that we are only operating at 10% of our capacity. I studied the science behind that and realized a lot of it was subconscious beliefs and limiting patterns. I reached out and purchased a couple of businesses. I started a couple more businesses, and then in January of 2022, I went to my corporate position and asked to take a different role. That was pretty enjoyable for me. It was scary because working all these years growing and mentoring people and then stepping aside and doing things a little differently was enjoyable. I wanted to take some of the skills I have learned along the way and bring that out to more of the mortgage community.

I have got 3 or 4 questions right off the bat. First of all, I said, "Who is Cyndi Garza?" We then went because I faced you in that direction of the business, which I have got a bunch of questions about that. Before we started, you pulled up a sign that said harmony. We are going to go down the business and leadership path for sure. Do people have signs like that close at hand for a reason? What does that mean to you, harmony?

In the mortgage industry, we were led to believe that if you build this incredible business, all other areas of life will work out so well for you because you focus so hard on your business.

Do you mean it doesn't work out like that?

I had to flip it. Once I made that shift where I started taking care of me, pouring into my family, giving back to my community and different things, all of a sudden, I was more in tune with what my true value was, and my business started to excel. Unlike anything, it wasn't hard. It wasn't that grinding that push. It was coming at me a lot easier. I believe that it's that harmonious balance. We tend to think more money and business will take care of a lot of things, but doing a lot of self-reflection. Also, it's about studying all the people that I have been around all these years. I can totally see that shift. I think you would agree.

Many people think that more money means more business, and this will take care of a lot of things. But through self-reflection, this now calls for a mindset shift.

I have a lot of thoughts on that. Maybe one day you can interview me on my thoughts on that, but now, I have more questions based on what you said. You said self-reflection. How did you go through that transformation when you say, "The more I focused on me, the more I was in tune with exactly the value that I brought to the marketplace and family?" Describe some of the how-tos around that.

I started journaling. People talk about journaling, and I didn't know what to write about. I started with what is important to me in a personal relationship, and I started writing that down. I then started thinking about what's important to me in a business relationship. I started writing those values down. I took it even a step further and thought to myself, "What are some values I learned growing up that I still believe are important?" I listed that. I looked at the three lists, and where did I see the parallel? It was love, trust, loyalty, and growth. I knew those were probably my top four values. I'm going to love on people. They are going to be able to trust me, I'm very loyal, but I'm going to push them to grow.

If you think about that, it feels a lot different than somebody who maybe their value is wealth, risk, and communication. I started to dive deep into that and focus on what each of those words or values meant to me, and I started talking about it. I started projecting that, and that's what started coming toward me. I believe in the form of the Law of Attraction. It became easier because I'm surrounding myself with people with those same types of values rather than trying to be something for everyone.

I asked you a how-to question, and you gave me a very specific how-to answer. What you described is that the questions you asked yourself and the things you wrote down don't necessarily take hours and hours or thousands of dollars. Anybody can rip off a notebook sheet or go to their phone in the notes section and answer the questions for themselves that you answered for yourself. The love, trust, loyalty, and growth, I wrote that down. Those are your values, and then you started living that out. That's great.

I want to go back now to business. You mentioned, "I bought some businesses. I started some businesses." Tell me a little bit about that. What are those businesses? What do they do? I have been to some of your websites. I know you have more than one business, so you have a lot of things going on. Tell me about those.

I have four businesses. The first one I started was Optimized Success. It was a way to build my library and resources with things I have learned over the years, bring that out to others, and help them grow and build from there. We started that. We have two daughters who are very successful in the social media world. They started as influencers before it was even a thing. They have built amazing careers. Seeing that from the marketing standpoint, I have always felt that it's important to build our own personal brand. A lot of times, we start at a company, and the easy thing to do is promote that company. Somebody then will move and go to another company, and they are promoting that company.

I try to help people identify their own brand, build their personal brand, and showcase their corporate, but that's not the end all, be all. Build your own brand. It will make you more valuable in the corporate world and help you reflect more on who you truly are. We started the marketing firm which specializes in helping people figure out that brand and build their brand. We work primarily with financial institutions. We have compliance attorneys and other people on staff to help with that. We got those two things going. When COVID hit, I had been a member of Mortgage Girlfriends. I thought that would be such a great opportunity to be able to help women. I found that this can be a pretty male-dominated field for us, and we can take on a lot of that male energy.

Graphics - Caption 1 - TII Cyndi Garza

Personal Brand: Building your own brand will make you more valuable in the corporate world and help reflect who you truly are.


What I realized is things that will fuel men will drain women. We have to have that balance and talk to each other, communicate and work in our own ways. At that time, I reached out to the owner of Mortgage Girlfriends and asked her if she had ever thought about selling. It was so funny. She said, "I made two calls. One was to a business broker to sell the company, and the second one was to my tax accountant to get all the paperwork in order. I literally hung up the phone, and you called."

We purchased Mortgage Girlfriends in 2020, and we are having a blast with that. There are about 10,000 women in the community. There are a lot of men in there, too, surprisingly, but they want to hear and learn to be able to support the women in their organization. We love and embrace that, and that's what we are doing.

Optimized Success, the marketing firm, Mortgage Girlfriends, and did I miss one?

Loan Officer Magazine. It's a membership website we have.

You held up a sign that said harmony. You have a lot going on, personally. You've got four businesses. If I don't ask the question, how do you do it all, I would be remiss. What is the Cyndi version of how she does it all? That's a lot.

It is a lot. I still have my corporate job as well, which I absolutely love. It goes back to the fact that we have a lot more potential than we realize. We tend to play small and tend to think, "Later I will do this. Later I will do that." I became intentional. I had to dial into my calendar what I wanted my ideal day to look like. It's so funny because working my corporate job for so many years, I felt stressed and didn't have time for anything. I couldn't get it all in, but it's about taking a couple of steps back, reflecting, and knowing I have a lot more potential. I have been able to fit it in. My days are less stressful than ever before, but it's being intentional. Every single morning, I say, "What's my intention for today?"

TII Cyndi Garza | Personal Brand

Personal Brand: Take a couple of steps back and reflect on your own potential. Be intentional every single morning.


It's easy to sit there and think about all the things we have to do. It's hard to pick one intention of the day, but that's part of it. I have a little process that I use with my calendar. I create two hours every single week for the projects that I have always wanted to get done. I walk out the time and do it. It works, but by putting myself first, my family and other priorities, it's all formed together.

When you say set the attention for the day, walk me through the micro elements of that. How exactly does that work?

Sometimes we can look at our calendar and think, "I have this appointment. I have this. I got to get that done. I have to do this," and we focus on our to-do list, but I try and think, "How do I want to show up today?" Maybe it's with a teaching mindset. Maybe it's with a servant mindset. Maybe it's with gratitude, but that's how I want to show up now. Now, my intention was to illuminate. I want to try and light up people I'm talking to and feel their energy and give some of my energy, and so that was my intention now. Every day, it's something different, and it's a lot of fun figuring that out rather than focusing on what I have to get done.

You and I are talking in the morning, and I can tell you have already succeeded in your intention. You are illuminating. I have been feverishly writing notes. You are teaching. This is good. There are four businesses. You said the corporate job and corporate job, meaning still in the mortgage, correct?


We had a personal branding expert. It's one of my favorite episodes. I have so many questions about personal branding, which I am going to ask one. I also want to get to Mortgage Girlfriends because that one intrigues me. In personal branding, we have clients who are always talking about, "I love the company that I'm with, but people do stuff with me because of me, but I don't know how to express that in my personal brand." When they think about their personal brand, where does one start to figure that out or the next steps with creating, exploring, or even getting out to the market with their personal brand? Where does one start there?

That's so fun to walk that journey with people too, but I'm going to go back to the values that we spoke about. That's a great way to center yourself and know what you stand for. You then start thinking about the people that you are serving and where are some of those challenges. What I have noticed quite often is a lot of people in our industry market for our peers. They are not marketing for the people they are serving. It's for the peers.

They get caught up in that like, "That's great. I'm going to repost that. I'm going to share that. I'm going to do that." If I'm the consumer out there, is that hitting home? Are those some of the challenges I'm facing? Is that what I'm thinking about? There are some that are nailing it and doing such a great job, but I always like to remind them that they don't know the acronyms and they don't know our industry. A lot of times, we get caught up in talking about price, and it's the only industry where we always talk about the price.

TII Cyndi Garza | Personal BrandPersonal Brand: Many businesses are marketing for their peers instead of the people they serve. Doing this will never connect you with consumers and understand their challenges.


People aren't buying a house or refinancing a house based on price. It's usually life. It's an addition. A divorce, a marriage, a birth, an empty nester, or it's college. It's all these things. It's life, but we tend to go that route of price, and so we like to spend time with people. It's a pretty long process. We walk them through to get to that branding. They think it's colors and logo, but it's so much deeper than that, and we walk them through that. The content flows because it's who they truly are.

What I heard you say when I asked the question about personal branding, "Where does somebody start?" you went right back to some of those questions you talked about that you asked yourself that ended up in values. It's some of this starting with your why, starting with core values, and then it sounds like you take people on a journey from there. You are starting with, "Who the heck am I," first of all, as opposed to, "Who does the market needs me to be, want me to be, and I should be?" You are not starting there.

It's so much easier when you find your core purpose. Even with values, we had a discussion with a couple of people and communication came up as an important value. I love communication. There were five people on the call. We went around and said, "What does communication mean to you?" "It means updates every week." The next person said, "It means great energy." I don't even have to hear a word. I can tell it by the look on your face. The other one was, "Going deep into the conversation." Even your values mean something different to you than what they could mean to somebody else. You have to figure out what that value mean to you.

Your value means something different to you than what they could mean to somebody else. 

You then go through the journey of how to express that to the marketplace or the people you want to express it to. We could do a whole show on that. Maybe I will have you back for round two to talk more about personal branding in the marketing firm. Tell me more about the Mortgage Girlfriends. A community of 10,000 people sounds like people are interested in that topic. It sounds like you might have hit a nerve there. Tell me what the main purpose of Mortgage Girlfriends is. Let's start there.

Mortgage Girlfriends is a community, a safe space for women to hop on a call and say, "I'm having this go on in my company. What are you guys doing in your company? How are you handling that?" It's all different ages. Surprisingly, there are some that are starting their career, and they want to hear from the others. "How did you get going?" There are women mid-career that are struggling with that balance, "How do I fit that in?" We are communicating with them. It's a website where it has all these resources where they can learn topics and social media, but more importantly, it's that community.

There's also that third group of women who are in the later stages of their careers, and they are scared. "This has been good money and good security for a long time. I don't know how much longer I can do it. What does that next chapter look like?" We coach them on building revenue streams, being that mentor, and getting their finances straight to be able to have that exit strategy, but never step away completely. It's interesting when I purchased it, I thought of it more as a resource center. What I have learned is it's a community of amazing women who constantly lift each other up and give ideas. They're so generous with everything. I love it.

With the community aspect of it, how do people engage? What happens when they get involved? Are you getting together physically or virtually? Talk more about that.

We are having a big conference in Tampa. It's a two-day event where we are bringing in all kinds of speakers. We go pretty fast with it. A lot of networking but a lot of social media. We have one woman who gets 500 leads per year on Facebook. Not LinkedIn, TikTok or anything, just on Facebook Reel ads. It's all organic, and it's a process. She's going to walk them through that.

There are so many different speakers there. We are excited about it. We meet in person once a year. We host a coaching call once a month for everyone, the Power Call. We have a big Facebook group where there are a lot of referrals back and forth. I had two referrals out of Texas, one out of California, and then another one out West. I can't remember where. They want to support each other, even if it's not in the same company. We had one that needed a reverse mortgage.

She's reaching into the community to find a referral. That is great. If somebody just read this episode, where would they find the Mortgage Girlfriends and find out about registering and all that?

Got to

I want to pull out of the business for a little while. This is airing at least the specific businesses for a little bit. I want to go back to leadership. It's a very different year than we have had the last handful of years. There are a lot of originators that are having a hard time now. What types of things would you say to the loan officers who are having a hard time now?

It's about who you are surrounding yourself with. I will share a quick story. When COVID did hit, that was in March of 2020, I had a woman reach out to me. She saw a lot of our stuff on Mortgage Girlfriends. She wasn't even in the industry. She owned a nail salon in Chicago, and they had to close it down. She's like, "I'm reaching out. I don't even know my next step. I thought maybe I could be around a bunch of successful women, talk to you, and be part of your group." We brought her right in. As we go through different things with leadership, business, and entrepreneurship, her wheels start turning.

Twelve months later, she has created courses where she's teaching nail health and different things with one of the top brands in the world, not in the country, but in the world. She's offered those courses in two languages. This is what's so great. She took those same tools that we talked about, and she took it to landscapers. She helped them create better leadership inside some of the landscaping companies. A lot of them were Hispanic. She speaks Spanish. She created courses in Spanish for them to learn.

It's fascinating that who you surround yourself with can inspire you to do some different things. One thing I love to do when I'm feeling in that rut is start talking to other industries. It doesn't mean you are going to switch industries. It's going to give you that jet fuel you need to start propelling in a different direction because there's a ton of business out there. I have been in the business so long, and we have never ever started a year saying, "This is going to be a great year. It's going to be fantastic." We always start out doom and gloom. It's going to be a tough year. We are going to grind through. Everybody always needs money.

The people you surround yourself with can inspire you to do different things.

That is so true. That will always be the case. I was coaching a client, and he happens to be doing phenomenally well. He's like, "There are trillions and trillions of dollars of business that's going to happen this 2022. It's all good. You got to go find it." I appreciate what you are saying about community and who you are surrounding yourself with. That is one thing where I have seen people go down a spiral, almost like a rabbit hole where it's too much news and gloom and doom, and they put themselves in a little bit of an echo chamber with other people that are, "The sky is falling as bad," and that spirals down.

The opposite tends to be true too. I love your nail person example there, who ends up doing videos and helping landscapers. As for a mortgage community, that's great. It's not so much about the industry. It's about the community, the actual people that you are surrounding yourself with. I appreciate that.

Let's say you are a mortgage leader, someone who's not originating loans themselves. I'm sure community is super important as well. What might be 1 or 2 things that you would say? Leaders are having a hard time now too. They are like, "We need to make cuts." There are budgeting scenarios. Your originators are saying, "Prices are too high." There are things that are coming at them that may not all be positive now. What types of things might you say to the mortgage leaders out there?

I purposely would take a strong interest in the people. We all want to track the activities, but I have found that sitting down, even doing some business planning and going into all areas of life and getting to know that person as a dad, as a neighbor, and as a friend can help, and bringing some of that into your office and with your leadership group.

Sometimes we have this opinion, especially with loan officers. I have seen and witnessed it where maybe it's a sloppy loan officer. They turn in sloppy files, and everybody in the office gets a little frustrated with the way this person turns in a file. If you can bring your team together, have some team events, and start asking questions to get that person to share some stories of how they are outside of the office, you start to build that team where they see that loan officer as that dad or neighbor, and it's a whole different mindset.

They then start feeling better about themselves inside your office as well. You are building that confidence. You are building the team. You are taking an interest in them. You are supporting them and holding them accountable, probably all the things you do with your coaching, but it's being intentional. You have to be that intentional leader. It's not just shouting orders. I will go back to my values. It's about loving them and pushing them to grow.

Graphics - Caption 4 - TII Cyndi Garza

Personal Brand: If you can gather your team and do some events together, you are bringing a whole different mindset. They will start feeling better about themselves, even inside the office.


I know that's so good, taking an interest in your people. That is such sage advice. That's the third episode you and I are going to have, Cyndi. It's that piece. If we did a long-form show, I could talk to you for a few more hours, but we don't, so we are going to start to round third. We have covered multiple streams of revenue via different businesses, values, and personal branding, starting with your why, the community of people around you, and all these topics I'm gobbling up. Is there anything we haven't touched on that you would like to make sure that we address prior to us hitting home plate?

You covered so many great topics and asked such nice questions to make it easy to answer. Thank you for that. I would say a lot of it's our mindset. You coach on that. It's our thoughts and feelings. It's about taking a look at that, seeing why we are feeling that way, and how we can reframe it a little. I had a text right before this show where a woman reached out to me and said, "I feel triggered right now. Everybody's saying how hard it is and grinding." I'm like, "What are the thoughts we can get around it? How can we reframe that?" It's important to have that mental health now, as well as that physical health, both of those together, to help you excel in all areas.

It's such a great place to end on physical and mental health. Thank you for bringing that up. Maybe that will be the fourth episode is about, the importance of the combination of the two. Cyndi, I have a feeling people are going to want to reach out to you as a result of our time together. How would they do that?

My email is I'm also on social media under Cynthia D. Garza, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, all of it. I love it all.

I have seen your Instagram. I haven't seen you on TikTok yet. My kids laughed at the fact that their old dad is on TikTok, but I will find you. Those are good stuff. Cyndi, you did not disappoint. Thank you so much for giving us some of your day. I will tell you that I'm sure the rest of your day will be filled with illuminating others. Thank you for illuminating me and our audience. We appreciate your time. I can't wait to do this again with you sometime. Thank you.

Thank you. It's an honor to be on such a well-respected show and to meet you and spend some time with you as well.

Thanks so much, Cyndi. We'll talk soon.


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