Get to know your coach…
I spent over 20 years working as an information specialist in the UK and Africa, before becoming part of the online learning revolution at the turn of the Millenium – setting up some of the first computer-based learning centres and eventually managing over £80m of government funding. I subsequently set up a successful organisational development consultancy where I developed my love of coaching, working closely with many senior executives.
I was initially attracted to financial coaching because I have been very fortunate to receive help managing and planning my finances over the years, which has put me in a comfortable position financially. As a business owner I’ve also seen first-hand how greater financial literacy has helped my employees wellbeing and overall health, and allowed them to be happier in their work.
There’s still a stigma attached to talking about money, so I love working with clients to break down these fears and provide a safe environment for them to discuss their finances without fear of judgement. I often break the ice with one of my own money stories – back in the 1980s people told me I was “daft” to pay £18k for a small house in a trendy Manchester suburb. I ended up selling it for £60k 5 years later! I don’t get it right every time but it’s a fantastic feeling when your due diligence and thorough financial planning pays off.
My coaching style places a great emphasis on developing genuine empathy for my clients and their situations, whether they are deciding how best to invest a windfall, or worried about paying off their credit cards. I give them a safe space to consider their options from all angles, showcasing different scenarios. Many things we discuss have more than just financial considerations, so I like to take an holistic approach to financial planning, factoring in my client’s personal circumstances and lifestyle preferences.
Away from work I’m an avid reader. In particular, I love anything by John Steinbeck. He’s a master of descriptive prose and has an incredible way of perceiving the human condition. If I had to choose only one of his books, it would be East of Eden. I couldn’t recommend it more highly!