Reflecting Over The Last Decade:
- What was the hardest thing about starting up your business?
Making the decision to give it a go. Lots of self employed people will relate to this. It’s a giant leap to move away from the security of your ‘job’ to become vulnerable and start something new. It took months of convincing before that first step. Ultimately, I had nothing to lose. I was working in hospitality making minimum wage. It finally clicked for me that if I tried and failed, I could always go back to hospitality but if I never tried, I’d die wondering. The rest is history.
- What have you learned about yourself?
The hardest thing about starting the business was understanding that making mistakes is part of growing and that those mistakes are what have made me successful and reputable. Every time I did something wrong, I felt like a failure but what I didn’t realise was how incredibly important those mistakes were. They were teaching me very valuable lessons and they continue to do so.
- Besides this moment, what is your proudest moment?
My proudest moment was only recently. I met a lady whose life has been so tumultuous and shocking that her story brought me to tears. For most of her life she has been taken advantage of sexually, psychologically and financially. She had and still has many obstacles to overcome and when she was introduced to me, she had almost $100,000 in credit card debt. She was skipping meals and living in squalor to pay for these credit cards she should never have been approved for in the first place. I made it my mission to have these debts waived entirely and shared my progress with, friends and family on social media (anonymously). I laboured over her file for hours, days and weeks and I argued, pleaded and begged creditors to see reason. Eventually, I had 100% of her debts waived. It changed my life as much as hers.
- What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
That’s an easy one. Have faith in yourself. I seem to be the only person that doubts my abilities sometimes. I’m slowly learning that I have a good reputation not just with my peers and referrers but with creditors too, because I am diligent, persuasive, competent and ethical.
- What do the next 10 years look like?
I’d like to become more formally educated in insolvency and/or financial counselling. As much as I avoid bankruptcy or debt agreements for my clients, understanding that side of things could help me and my clients make better decisions.
I want to create an education programme to implement in schools. One with no strings attached. There are banks that fund education programmes, I don’t like that. I want to educate our children in the dangers of credit, the importance of saving and budgeting and thinking about the future. People don’t realise that our children will not receive a pension. Teaching them good spending and saving habits NOW will help them have a comfortable and debt free life.