Take Control of Your Financial Wellbeing
Let's talk about money.
It's an eye opening statistic that 90% of women will, at one point in their lives, be completely responsible for their own finances, yet so many women, even in this day and age, still rely on their partners or others, to maintain their financial wellbeing.
It's time that we learn to have a better relationship with money and understand how to make it work for us, rather than becoming trapped deeper and deeper in to consumer debt, or relying on others to make financial decisions for us.
In this interview, Ann Wilson, aka The Wealth Chef, discusses the importance of learning how to control our money flow, why it is not as hard as we are made to believe, and that financial freedom is possible, no matter your starting point.
It's time to adopt some new money habits and beliefs, and there's no time like the present to make a start.
Ann Wilson, The Wealth Chef Ann Wilson - best-selling author of The Wealth Chef, Wealth Expert on the new hit Channel 4 TV series “Save Well – Spend Better”, trainer, speaker, entrepreneur and financial empowerment activist – helps people master this vital life ingredient called money and use it to create freedom of choice so they can live the life they really want.
Ann’s first career was as a civil engineer during which she worked all over the world on mega transport infrastructure projects including Hong Kong’s West rail programme, the Panama Canal widening, being Head of Asset Management on the London Underground’s multi-billion-pound upgrade programme and GM Commercial on South Africa’s biggest infrastructure roll out programme.
Achieving all she wanted to in the engineering world and having created her own financial freedom by learning how to invest and create assets – Ann decided to leave the infrastructure world and instead focus on helping thousands break free from debt, financial restriction and anxiety by teaching people how to manage money better and learn how to create real wealth generating assets.
In the process she became a bestselling author, TV star, an internationally renowned speaker and created a million US$ online training business through which she is also helping other speakers and thought leaders master the digital world to get their voice out into the world.
Contribution is very important to Ann and 100% of the royalties from her best-selling Hay House published book, The Wealth Chef, are donated to The Small Enterprise Foundation - a foundation dedicated to eradicating poverty by empowering women through micro loans combined with financial literacy and 10% of the profit from her training programmes goes to Caring4Girls an organisation providing sanitary pads to girls in poor communities so they can attend school.
She has been featured in The Sunday Times, The Sunday Express, Psychologies, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Woman’s Health, The Huffington Post among others and is regularly interviewed on radio and TV around the world.
How to Contact Ann
For more details please visit:
The Wealth Chef Book: https://amzn.to/3eBOTYF
Quiz: What Is Your #1 Financial Freedom Saboteur?: https://thewealthchef.com/assessment
Details of the
Financial Freedom University
Sign up to the Clarity Junction newsletter to be the first to know when the FFU opens.
Gillian Duncan: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the Clarity Junction podcast. I'm joined today by Ann Wilson. Ann is the bestselling author of "The Wealth Chef", published by Hay House, and wealth expert on the TV series, ‘Save Well - Spend Better’. Ann’s goal in life is to help people master their money flow in order to create financial freedom so that they can live their best life.
In this episode, Ann shares her own personal journey from being in debt and having no clue about how to manage her finances to learning step by step, how to best use her income so that it served her life better. Today, Ann has been financially free for 15 years, and has made it her mission to teach others how to become more competent and savvier when it comes to their financial wellness.
So, keep listening to discover the advice and knowledge that Ann shares on how to start your own journey towards financial freedom.
My name is Gillian Duncan, positive life and wellbeing coach, inspiring women to live the life that they want., and I am delighted that you're here with me today.
Hi Ann. Welcome to the Clarity Junction podcast.
Ann Wilson: [00:01:19] It's so great to be here. Gillian, and just talking about this foundational fundamental element in the life called money.
Gillian Duncan: [00:01:27] Exactly. You are here to encourage the followers of Clarity Junction to take control of their financial wellbeing. It's a big scary topic to many of us, and I know that too many of us women, we bury our heads in the sand when it comes to sourcing or finances, and then before we knew it, we are struggling with debt and we’re there and we're trying to survive from one day to the next on that one paycheck. So first off, I know that you weren't always financially savvy yourself, and I know that you experienced your own financial workup call. I was just wondering if you could share just a little bit of that story with us just to let us know how you got to where you are just now.
Ann Wilson: [00:02:09] Absolutely. And you know, I just wanted to sort of jump in and say for, for anyone who is feeling anxious about their money, stuff, scared about it, confused about it, uncertain or just there's an underlying anxiety about, "Am I doing the right things, to look after my financial wellbeing, even the short term, medium term, long term?". Or you know, wow, you know, big shakeups happen in the world and it can reveal some real foundational cracks in our systems around money, around resilience, about our support structures. Just if, you know, if any of that’s spinning there for you, I really want to say, you know, I'm now a place where I don't feel any of those things.
I, I, I love talking about money. I feel deeply grateful for, for money, for the role it plays in my life, and it's very much a relationship of money in service of me and my life. But as you said, Gillian, it wasn't always that way. I think like most people I was, I grew up in a family where we were told, you know, money, doesn't grow on trees.
We didn't really talk about money the way that you were going to be "okay", not even thriving, was work hard, get a good job. You know, forget about your passions. Forget about any of those things like, heaven forbid. You'll go and get a good job. Study hard. But the greatest tragedy is, is that model, well, that model has never, ever actually worked.
The model, it was sort of designed for industrial age, post the second world war to try and get and build this industrialised kind of, um, factory or have humans doing stuff. But it's actually been obsolete for years and years and years. But we’re still told that. And so this dysfunction and disconnect with what is real wealth, how to actually get money working for us, we're finding these greater levels of disassociation, disconnect, financial, um, financial devastation happening because we've got this, these out of sync, um, messaging we've got. So, I went and studied engineering. You know, my father had died when I was quite young and I'd watched my mum struggle with the day to day, and I vowed, you know, I never wanted to be that vulnerable. So I thought the solution was not only study hard, work hard, but get a job that was less ‘inverted commas’, say, a ‘man's job’, because they seemed to have this money stuff sorted.
Because when I looked at in society, there was this other message was that men seem to look after the money stuff. Men seem to be the ones responsible for the overall financial wellbeing in their families, in their partnerships. There was this sort of role in women was sort of maybe, maybe they looked after the, the, the house money, the short-term budget.
So, there was this weird, indoctrinization, socialisation message that I got around who did and didn't handle money, what we could and couldn't talk about. So as you say, I just followed that path, but I quickly got myself into a debt hole because another wave of messaging came is that I needed all these different things to be successful, but more than that, that actually somehow being offered a credit card and overdraft, a store card, a loan, a mortgage. somehow that was success. You know, I was being told that I was a good citizen? Like "Whoa". It was almost like getting a star on my forehead, like, 'Oh, because you're such a good client. Here we go. We'll give you this overdraft facility"
Gillian Duncan: [00:05:34] It's almost like a coming of age, isn't it?
Ann Wilson: [00:05:37] Absolutely. It's this devastating message, which is just as insidious, it's, it's like drug pushers out there. Like, "Come over here and have this little taste". And so, like so many people, I got caught by this deeply socially acceptable, devastating parasite that people are taken into, which is consumer debt, and got myself deep in this debt hole. And I feel very, very grateful that, towards the end of my twenties, I suddenly had this real wake up where I realised I was getting up every day and I was working for everybody else except me. My dreams had long ago been put in a drawer. That I was getting up and just working for the bank, just to pay off these loans, that the car dealership, the, the mortgage repayment, the this or that. And that essence of life, of, of resilience, of joy, of actually being able to be present with what is available to me was no longer there. And, as I'd mentioned, my father had, had, had died when I was relatively young, but I'd had the chance to sort of be with him and he had told me, “You know, Ann, life goes past in a heartbeat. Before you know it, it will be over. Get out there, explore, do these things, get really clear on, on what you love and do those things".
And I think many of us have had this, have had a reminder of that right now, through this crazy tumultuous time, where at some level or another, we've been called to just examine, "Are we awake? Are we choosing the life we’re living or are we just following some unconscious checklist that society, our parents, the media, has told us we should be following. And this is what I think is so exciting. When we have these big times of transition, there is this moment, there's this opportunity for us to press the reset button.
And so, I remember this conversation with my father, and I chose to reset on that debt button and realise that actually, I could never be free. I could never live my fullest life with this burden, the sack hanging, dragging it around where I’d effectively had sold my future. And so, I made a choice. I've made a choice to break free.
And I knew that I had to take a whole lot of different actions. And, I won’t say it was tough because when I focused that I was giving myself the greatest gift of breaking free from debt, I could do the, what some people might see, tough things. I could make the spend choices. I could squeeze that juice. I got rid of stuff because I knew it was just a short-term radical shift to fundamentally first free myself of this baggage, but also change my money flow patterns, change by behavioural side. And so that was so liberating, but here’s the thing, Gillian. So now I’d went, "Okay, no more consumer debt", which is an absolute key part of creating a wealthy life, and it's a key pillar that everybody needs to have in their own financial resilience framework, is getting free of consumer debt, staying free of it, and realising that that is not a way to be, um, a consciously wealthy and, and, and live your life. But I had now, all I'd been taught was, "Okay, earn, earn well, you know, save and don't use debt".
But I had not been taught how do I, how did I actually create wealth? What actually was freedom? And so, I then just went into this other extreme of trying to not spend. How to deprive myself. And it was a stage of, I had no idea how much was enough. I had no idea what, where ‘there’ was. So, there's always this endless, sort of carrot dangling in front of me that I could never get to. It was the ‘when, then’, you know, "When I've got enough, then I can do the things I want", but because I had no idea where ‘there’ was that same anxiety, that same feeling that I wasn't living, my life was still there.
I'd broken free from debt. And so, at this point I was married and in a relationship, well married and everything was about what we couldn't do. And this anxiety built up and it all just blew up in a big, messy money drama. And, um, and so my marriage ended and the money that I'd been saving up and holding on to walked out the door, together. And really, this was, I think my biggest wake up. I'd had this, this the I’d had these other sort of, let's say, micro wake ups and shifts, but this was a real profound dropping down and going, "Okay, there is something fundamentally missing in my relationship with money and my knowledge. That there's something that I haven't been taught. This isn't just because I'm a woman. This isn't because I'm blonde. You know, let me let go of all the self-judgment. It's not because I'm stupid.
Gillian Duncan: [00:10:26] Yeah.
Ann Wilson: [00:10:27] "There is something I have not been shown. There has to be a point way of where I can live a beautifully conscious, alive, aligned life where I'm doing the stuff I love, where I'm really connected with it, where it's not putting my life on, on deferral and on hold to some point that I have no idea when it is. I also. You know, I know that there can be this centre point where it isn't about just consuming money. I don't have, and using debt and anxiety, but what is that and, and what is there, what is enough and how does that even work?".
And so, I had you heard about this thing called investing and the stock market and property, but again, that felt like there was a club for the other insiders that somehow maybe had been taught that by their rich parents, cause I had certainly never been taught that. But I thought, "Hang on, maybe, maybe, this is the in between gap". And this, the ability to be able to go, "Hang on, I committed to find another option and then, act, not just settle and say, "Well, you know, this is just the way the life is", really took me on a journey of deep inquiry and curiosity into what I now call, you know, I discovered the ‘World of Assets’. The wonderful world of asset generated wealth.
And I realised that this was the first fundamental missing piece that we're not taught in school. We're not taught in universities and our training. Most of us are not taught by our parents. Most of this whole area we have just been told is scary. Fearful. People are told, and especially women, you know, "Outsource your financial wellbeing. Hand it over to a financial adviser, because darling this is scary. You're going to mess this up and then you're going to be ended up destitute sitting on a park bench or, you know, sleeping under it."
And so, there's this whole financial industry that has thrived on telling us was stupid and keeping us scared and ignorant. Um, but I stepped into that world and I realised that actually, this is, this is the only way we can ever actually fully experience an aligned and free life when we have investments, when we have assets working for us.
And so, I dive in and I first started with stock market investing, understanding what it is, understanding the difference between investing and trading. And it was like, "Oh my". As soon as I pulled that curtain back, it did feel a bit scary because it was very, still felt very masculine, very ego driven and it's scary, but I think when we have a big enough ‘why’, I had a big enough ‘why’ and I went, "You know what? My life is too precious. My life is too important. My dreams and goals for me to not do this. Even if it feels confusing and scary, all I need to do is take one step at a time." And that's what I did. And I learned, and I applied, and I learned, and I took action. Started with the stock markets, then I started understanding investment property, then low input businesses.
And from that day of sort of ending my marriage, being, having zero, I'd been working for over 10 years by that stage in engineering, supposedly, you know, supposedly successful, but with nothing to show for it and just a whole lot of anxiety and worry and self-judgement. It just took me eight years to create financial freedom where and what, so here's what the, "there" is, the "there" for everybody is one: there is a money destination is having enough assets that can earn income and grow in value that can pay for your chosen lifestyle indefinitely, without giving you the choice of whether you want to work actively or not for money. So when I say it took me eight years to get to freedom, it was to that point, and that is now become my mission to help as many people as possible experience that, create that for themselves, but one of the greatest realisations I had in this, this journey was that my life didn't start when I got there. My freedom happened as soon as I chose "Me". My freedom happened as soon as I realised that there was a path, there was a plan and I took action and I put it together.
When I knew my numbers, when I knew the destination, I started understanding how these assets work. That's when the anxiety dropped away. And that's when I realised, "Oh, it's an and". And through those eight years, I and I, you know, I had, I had travelled, I had loads of fun. I realised that was also needed to be a vital part of my freedom plan.
One of these vital pillars that it's not about waiting for, life to live. And just to sort of wrap up on the story to help people know, I have now been through, this is my 15th year of freedom.
Gillian Duncan: [00:15:11] Wow.
Ann Wilson: [00:15:12] Um, it, you know, and I share that, you know, it took me eight years from complete clueless to become financially free, and now I could do it much faster knowing, that was from really not even having a clue, and now what I know. But I also, it's been maintaining that freedom through different ups and down markets. Through the dot com crash, through the 2008 credit crisis, through the, you know, the and right now is to feel looking and riding the whole Covid and the worldwide craziness we've been seeing going on, and what's been happening is when, and so I share that because when we truly understand financial resilience, what are the elements we need to have in place and, it's these assets, but it's also the habits, processes, and systems. It's things like our protection and our safety nets. This gives us the most extraordinary foundation to live our greatest lives.
And when we understand this, it lets us ride all of the storms life can bring and does bring, and not only ride those, but also be present for all of the joy and the opportunity and the fun and the extraordinary life that life also brings our way.
Gillian Duncan: [00:16:29] Life is certainly amazing and it's there to be experienced.
You have really covered a lot there just by telling your own, and sharing your own story, and I think a lot of our listeners will have been able to tune in and find and identify a lot in your story that relates to their own life. I'm listening to you and I'm thinking, yes, this is where I started. I started out in a ‘masculine’ career.
I had the same thoughts as you. You know, I was taught from my parents, you know, if you want to, earn and if you want to live a good life, you need to be in a really good job. So, you spend all the time studying, getting a great career, and you expect the wage to come. And when the wage comes, well, you start off, it's not there at first, you've got to build that up. And then you think, "Well, when I get to this level or that level, I'll be able to pay, you know, for my everyday things without having to worry about it". But that day you're always chasing because the cost of living rises with your wages, in fact, sometimes your wages use don't even rise, but the cost of living does.
And you know, like you were saying, you're always trying to reach out and you have dreams and goals, particularly when you're young, and all of a sudden you find that you've put those dreams on hold because you are saving every single penny, and it is, it's the littlest amount that you can save every single month to think, "Oh, maybe one day I'll be able to afford that."
And of course, we stick it into savings accounts. Saving accounts. I mean, I got an email this morning saying, "We've just lowered your interest rate on your savings." Great. I don't think there was an interest rate anyway to begin with. I mean, what point zero zero percent are we going to now?
Ann Wilson: [00:18:09] Yeah, there's only so many zeros after the zero that makes zero difference.
Gillian Duncan: [00:18:13] Yeah, exactly.
I may, I may as well of been stuffing my, my money under the mattress, to be honest with you. It didn't go anywhere. And then, you know, we're talking as well about the fact that women, we are terribly guilty of feeling that masculine vibe on us and, you know, maybe not standing up to that, that feeling, and that, that fearful feeling of, well, you know, "Only men can understand this, or it's only men that do this."
Really, that's nonsense. We are all capable of running and dealing with our own finances. We've all got this ability. We might, it doesn't need to be anything to do with maths. It doesn't need to be anything to do with anything. I mean, I look back and I think about my grandmother and my grandpa would come home at the end of the week, he would hand in his wage to my Gran and she would, she had tins, her system was tins. She had little tens where she put her money in each little pocket every single week, so she always had enough to cover her bills and then some leftover. Um, so that's how she dealt with it.
Ann Wilson: [00:19:17] And I love that, because I think, just, and I think it's not all women, there's you know, many women are, are, can also be the ones who feel over need to control. But when we rarely just aren't having deep compassion of the socialisation that we've been given and, and, you know, research shown that women are actually way better investors than men.
Gillian Duncan: [00:19:39] Yeah? There you go.
Ann Wilson: [00:19:40] And this is not a man or woman kind of competition,
Gillian Duncan: [00:19:43] No it’s not
Ann Wilson: [00:19:44] but it's about us also of liberating ourselves from the is this generic story of, of whoever is the primary earner should also be the one who takes responsibility for the longer-term financial wellbeing. Now, this happens in both dynamics, so there's another underlying story. There's so many. devastating stories we’re woven about money and so much of what I do is there's unpick these stories and see which are true or not, and what's actually the story that is the most generative for you and take that on.
So, I encourage everybody to differentiate between earning, so that's the bringing in, versus creating wealth. And when I really understood that earning and creating wealth were two fundamentally different acts, yet we are indoctrinated to be told that earning is how you create wealth. So, we are completely brought up to worship at the altar of income, and this can happen for wage earners for go and get that good job.
I see this happen for self-employed from entrepreneurs, from business owners. We can get fixated on the inflow. Income. "If I could just earn more than I'll be okay. If I can just get that next contract." But you, you hinted at that, that what happens there actually, what for most people, there's two big what I call, you know, dysfunctional money flow patterns that happen.
One is the ‘break even’. You’ll find that when we’re focusing only on the inflow, uncannily, the expenses just always seem to match, or get higher. And when we start understanding it's not a money problem, it's a behavioural and a money flow problem. We can start shifting our process because if we keep believing that more money is going to solve our money problems, we are going to forever stay in a poverty cycle.
So, this ‘break even’ becomes the name of the game. It's as though the money game we've been told is, "Work damn hard for money, and then work even harder to get rid of it as quickly as possible", because we don't know what to do with it. So, I really want to get this across to everyone. Money flows to those who value it the most. Money flows to those who value it the most.
Money is essentially an energy. It's an exchange of value. So, if you do not know how to give money an ecosystem and environment where it can stay in your life, where can expand and grow, cause money naturally wants to expand. We live in a, in a universe of expansion.
It wants to grow in value. It wants to work. If we do not know how to put money to work and service of us, our goals, our life, our family, our dreams, it will flow out of your life and go to somebody else who does. And so when I say it flows to those who value it most, it flows to those who understand the potential of every dollar, of every pence, of every pound, of every euro, of what it can become, because of we only know how to earn and spend, we don't truly understand this extraordinary magnifying effect of compounding that when we plant, that dollar, that euro, that pound and, and convert into an asset that can actually liberate the potential of that money, then it will flow out of our life and go to somewhere else. And this is so important to know.
Gillian Duncan: [00:23:09] I just got so caught up in that. It’s just such an amazing fact that you just declared there. You're so, right. The energy in this whole transaction is there, and yet we all seem to think particularly fear in, in a negative state of mind with money, which you know, is, is a lot of us, let's face it, a lot of us don't have that mindset towards money.
We tend to, you know, it is, it comes in and we think, "Oh my goodness, it's like a hot potato. We've got to get rid of it." We don't know how and what to do with that money at all. And it's such a game in a way, that we either play it and the fact and the thought that we will, you know, we never have it, we always lose and it never happens to us.
Or we can turn that around and think, "Actually, I've got this, and I can make it work for me. I can make it do so much more than what it's doing at the moment. And, I can turn this game into something more and more enjoyable, and I can watch this expand." And even, you know, we've been talking as well about the situation that we're in at the moment, the whole world is upside down and trying to get back on its feet after this Corona virus situation. But even still. You know, there's still ways of expanding that income. It's, the doors are not shut. There's still people expanding and taking, you know, not taking, but making a positive out of the situation. They’re, you know, turning things around. They're turning their businesses around. They’re looking out to what, what can we do next, where, where's the positive in this situation? And I think we have to look at that as well with our money situation. And one of those things we talked off air about just, you know, before recording our podcast was how, and you mentioned it also in your own story, how it's really important to make that money work for us while we can.
So, while we are earning and we can, we are able to put money aside and to invest that money, and grow that money, it’s so important so that we have this emergency reserve. So, in times of things like now, in times of emergencies and times of things are so unforeseeable, you know, it could be, um, an injury or an illness like I have personally gone through.
Ann Wilson: [00:25:34] Yeah Gillian, you had your, you know, your own story about what you were sharing with me that by reading "The Wealth Chef" book,
Gillian Duncan: [00:25:41] Yeah.
Ann Wilson: [00:25:42] you, you got some of those foundational pillars in place, your cash safety net, which really caught you.
Gillian Duncan: [00:25:47] Oh, absolutely.
Ann Wilson: [00:25:48] when you needed it.
Gillian Duncan: [00:25:48] Absolutely. Because you know, getting poorly, it's not something you, you know, you plan to do, and you know, if you, all of a sudden, lose your job because of that, it's such a scary, scary thing because all of a sudden, you know, you've, you've still got bills to pay, you've still got mouths to feed. You still need that income. And yes, after reading your book, so I’ve got to thank you so much for that advice, um, you know, I, I followed your advice and I put that money by into an emergency fund. So, I got my investments set aside. So, I, I did all my research and I did all my work with that.
And so, every month my, my wage was coming in and you know, and I still do. So, when my money comes in, I still have the pots that everything goes into just like my gran. Just like my granny did, but the difference is, you know, I didn't just save it in tins. You know? I don’t just save my money in tins, they go, it goes out into investments.
Yes. I have this emergency fund put by for that time, and it was, again, I managed to put it into an ISA. What we, over here in the UK, we have ISAs, which is a tax-free investment facility that banks have for us. And so I was able to put my money past every month, and so that when I did get poorly, and when I wasn't working and all of a sudden the wage stopped, I had that safety net. And I can't tell you how it made me feel because you know, at the time of being poorly, you've got so many other things to worry about. You know, your first consideration, obviously your health and what you're going through and maybe the pain or how you're going to get better. How are you going to get back on your feet?
And also, you've got your family to worry about as well. So, it's extremely, it's an extremely hard time. So, the last thing you need to be doing is worrying about money and how you're going to put food on the table and a roof over your heads. So, definitely, I've got to thank you, Ann, for that wonderful advice.
Ann Wilson: [00:27:37] An absolute pleasure, an absolute pleasure, but you took the action.
And I think the key thing here is, you know, we're focusing on, you know, maybe the, the catch or the emergency or the, the safety net aspect of having solid financial foundations in place, but it's also, by having an understanding, these, these core elements that we need in place for our, the ecosystem of our financial wellbeing, it's also so we can respond to opportunities. So we can be investing more. So we can take this action. It all it does is give us choice. At the end of the day, when we choose to master our money stuff, when we choose to understand these components and these elements that we need in place and we take steps consistently do that, what we're giving ourselves is the ultimate freedom. Freedom of choice. Freedom to be present with life in all of its reign. Some of it can be, as you said, some of the can be perceived or, or classified, the scary of it or the not so nice stuff, and others can be opportunity, but all they are is just being able to be present with life, without being deep in anxiety and worry and frustration or just disconnect or disassociated because we're in this, you know, treadmill of trying, of being enslaved to money. And so, it's about changing the relationship from being a slave to money, trying to work harder, trying to earn more, trying to get there, trying to hustle, to actually getting money to serve us. And you know, part of that, that and serving our life, one of the most important pillars, and the first pillar we really need to get and understand, Gillian, is really get clear on what a wealthy life is for each of us.
Because at the end of the day, having worked now with thousands and thousands, thousands of people to transform their life and their whole relationship with money and create wealth, one of the most exciting things to do, but sometimes the most difficult, and, and, and for women it has another layer around it is to go, "What actually do I want? What the bleep do I actually want?"
Gillian Duncan: [00:29:45] Yeah, absolutely.
Ann Wilson: [00:29:46] "What Is a wealthy life for me? How much of my life am I doing to please others to participate, to do the right thing that I've been indoctrinated to do?" Women are taught to, you know, the martyrdom passed down from mother to daughter intergenerationally. Make sure that everybody else is okay first and then there you're a good daughter, mother, um, woman.
What a bullshit story, and this goes into the money stuff. The number of emails, the number of messages I get from, you know, from older women saying, "Ann. I'm in this desperate financial situation ‘cause I spent my whole, life first making sure my kids were okay. Then my partner, and I gave, and I bailed this person out and I did that."
All running the story that that's what it is to be a ‘good woman’, and that is a story we have to change because there is nothing great about being financially depleted and being empty because then we're not bringing our fullest self to the world. So, we've got to really get clear and own and take the deep work to go, "What is wealthy for me?"
And this can feel so selfish because we've been so indoctrinated as to what is a ‘good girl’, but actually when we realise that the most selfless thing we can do for ourselves and the world and our family and our community, is to take care of our own financial wellbeing. Because then you will never have to rely on somebody else just for your survival.
You know what's terrifying, Gillian, is irrespective of what's just gone on in the world, prior to this, two out of three women, statistically, in the developed world, would have to rely on their kids, their family, the charity of strangers or heaven forbid, the government, just to survive.
And that's just not on, and it doesn't have to be that way because it's just simple education. But we have to first choose ourselves. We've got to go, hang on, I'm no longer going to participate in the story that finances, investment is complicated, difficult, something that somebody else should do. This, this fairy tale that we're told that some knight is going to come, clunking in on a white bloody horse and then pat us on our little back, you know, head in a patronising way and say, "There we go, darling. You're never going to have to worry about that nasty, nasty stuff, money again." Bull shit. We claim that back.
Gillian Duncan: [00:32:12] Yeah. Indeed.
Ann Wilson: [00:32:14] And then with that, we get out, and then we also strip away all the stuff that isn't our truth. Where are we spending money just to fit in or just because we've been told that that's what success looks like? Whether it's, you know, the education we feel our children have to have or the home we live in, or the clothes we drive or the look we meant to be having. Um. and go, "Hang on. What is what is truly wealthy for me?", and this is so exciting. Where we can go, "Hey, you know what? Wealthy for me is living in a simple cottage in the woods somewhere with growing my organic vegetables or wealthy is for me, having this big kick ass mansion on my private Island with my private jet and, and my yacht. But make sure it's our truth.
Gillian Duncan: [00:33:00] Yeah.
Ann Wilson: [00:33:01] Not somebody else's story. And then we work on creating that. That is liberation. That is freedom.
Gillian Duncan: [00:33:09] I love that, Ann, and when you were telling the story, I, I can hear this on so many levels on different areas, not just money. When I coach and when I talk to women, um, but one of the, one of the things that I, sort of sprung to my mind is when we go out and purchase a car. Now, I've had this conversation with my husband before. We’ve sat there and I said, "Oh, wouldn't it be nice to have this car or that car", or whatever, uh, you know, a little sports one, and I would turn around and say to him, "That would not serve us. It would be a lot of money. It would consume a lot of fuel. We would never use it. We'd have to pay all the bells for it. It would be sitting in a garage. It was hardly get used, because we have kids, we have a dog, we, you know, we need a car that serves us".
And I think that is a sort of moral to put out there for everything. Where, you put your energy should be something that serves you. And your needs and what you have in your life. Sure, I might want a sports car later on when the kids are older and you know, I've got the time to go out, you know, having nice drives in the countryside, but at the moment that's not, that doesn't serve me, and all it will do is drain me.
Ann Wilson: [00:34:20] Yeah. I love what you're saying there because it's about, at the end of the day, really understanding that we create our life by where we choose to spend all of our resources, and you've just articulated that so beautifully that this, when we can really come from an energy, this isn't about deprivation, this is about, I can't have that sport car.
Gillian Duncan: [00:34:44] No. It's not.
Ann Wilson: [00:34:44] Its about becoming this beautiful, empowered, conscious truth where we realise that our, that our life isn’t created by what we earn. It's not created by what we bring in. Our life is created by how we spend our resources. And our key resources are: our money, so our wealthy life. Are we conscious? Are we consciously choosing to get the best value for the money that we let go out of our life? Are we conscious about it? Are we making it sure that it's aligned to our truth, our life? Is it ready what we want? Or are we ticking some "should" box?
Our energy. Our energy is one of our greatest resources. We can call it a life force. This whole thing about where are we choosing to focus our life force, our time, our attention? Are we sitting, you know, flicking through negative social media feeds, bitching about how bad life is? Is that where we are spending this precious life force? What are we creating with that focus? You know, how are you spending that?
And the other, and the final resource we have, is our time. That is something that we can never, ever get back. Every second, every minute, every hour tick past is gone. What are we doing with that time? How are we spending it? And when we get that our wealthy life is actually a combination of how we spend our money, our life force and our time and whatever is going on in our life right now is a result of how we chose to spend that in the past.
Right now. We get to realise that what we're doing now, and the skill sets we have to manage those resources brilliantly and with great leadership, define our future. So right now, how we consume and how we spend those resources is busy creating our future.
Gillian Duncan: [00:36:30] Absolutely. I just want to reach out as well to those listening, and you can help me Ann, because I'm sure there'll be women listening saying, well, this is all very well for us to be talking about this today, but perhaps they've lost their job. Perhaps they've, you know, look at the debts. Uh, perhaps they don't feel that there is anything left to invest. Uh, you know, never mind finding out how to. Perhaps you've got words of encouragement and motivation to them just to say, "Look, this is doable". You know, we've, we've both been there ourselves and it's doable.
Ann Wilson: [00:37:06] Yeah. I think it's super important that wherever we are in the journey, we acknowledge where we are. Not with shame, but also be careful to drop into pity. There is a beautiful practice which I know served me, continues to serve me. All my clients have really starting to understand, that it's, and this is, this is a, this is one that we need to remind ourselves over and over and it might not even feel true for a while because we, it’s not the message we get given.
But to truly know that there's nothing that I can do, be, have, create, own debt, you know, whatever circumstance that is in my life, what we might want to label, good, bad, indifferent, that can define who I am or my self-worth. Our worthiness, you see my cat is agreeing 100%, she's like, she's like being the cheerleader behind this is saying, that who we are, our worthiness, our very life force is not defined by our circumstance.
So when we're able to separate our worthiness, our sense of self-worth from the circumstance, that includes people who get their identity or get their significance from their net worth or the house they drive or the cars, whatever those circumstances are, as I say, good, bad, we are now able to really come to truth, so to keep reminding ourselves, I am not my circumstance.
There's nothing I can do, be, have, create, experience that defines my worthiness. I am already enough. There is enough. I am worthy beyond measure. And this allows us to get perspective over what is going on in our world. Now we can separate out and uncouple our ego, our sense of self-worth, our emotional wellbeing from what's going on our money world.
We can go, "Okay, great, cool. I'm over here. My money stuff's over there", not from a disassociation but going, "Now I can look at it cleanly because I'm not believing it says any story about me. There's no failure here. There's no brokenness. There's just an ‘is’. Okay, great. Now I can take stock."
Because Gillian, we can only take a step from where we are. And in order to take that step, we need to take stock and we need to see, well, what is the truth? What debt do I have? Let me take stock. Who do I owe? How much? What are the interest rates? Great. What investments do I have? With whom? What, you know, how are they performing? What are the costs and the fees? This is all part of these different pillars and steps to take.
What are my expenses? Where is my money going? What income is there? What options do I have around that? So, we now can put that on a table and go, "Fascinating. These are now pieces of the puzzle that I get to work with", to start getting it, if it's looking, if it's, if it's dysfunctional, if it's not healthy, we can now go, "Okay. With this information, I now know where to focus. Okay, cool. We’ve got a whole bunch of consumer debt here. Fantastic. This information tells me that's where my focus needs to be. Maybe I've got some assets and investments, but I've no idea how they’re performing. I've outsourced my freedom to a financial adviser. I've got no idea what my charges are. I've got cash sitting in an ISA when instead it should be sitting, working in index trackers. Wow. I've got a whole exciting bunch of knowledge to be gained in this area. How fascinating. Gee, my expenses are all over the place. I don't know where my money's going or, you know, I'm spending a lot in this category, not in that category. Fascinating. Income is looking like this. What are the other options I have?"
This now gives us choice, and so this is the first step is just un-couple who you believe yourself to be from your money stuff. Keep breathing. You might have to remind yourself every minute to keep doing that and go, you know, "I am not defined by this. I am already whole, complete, amazing, worthy, capable. Now let's see what's going on", and then take stock. Take stock. Because many people want to dash out, start something, create something, and in times of anxiety, we can quickly become an octopus on roller skates, taking loads of actions and all over the place, but with no plan.
And so, there's no traction. We don't get anywhere. Just a lot of energy is depleted. We really need to have a structured step by step process and the first process is taking stock. Where am I now? Where do I need to be? What is wealthy to me, and what is my financial freedom number, and then we can go, great, what's that next step?
What's that next step? Because that freedom also comes from knowing that there is the step by step process.
Gillian Duncan: [00:42:00] That’s amazing. It's just a case of, you need to take that breath, that big, deep breath. You need to face that fear that, you know, in fact fear’s even worse it’s because you're not addressing something.
You have pushed it to one side, you have to face up to it. You have to come out from under your duvet because it's not going to get better if you stay there. By ignoring a situation that you're not happy with is only going to make it worse, and I think what you've just said, you know that taking those steps, baby steps each time, you know, take a break in between, but gather all that information down and once you've done it, it's done and it's so much easier to refer back to and add to.
Ann Wilson: [00:42:41] And maintain.
Gillian Duncan: [00:42:42] Yeah, absolutely. You're more in control and that control, even though the situation may stay the same for quite a while, you're in control and that feeling is of empowerment. The feeling that you know, where you stand, it gives you that confidence to do something about it. It really, truly does. I've been there, and I can honestly say that just having that information, it's, it's king for a whole lot of things, so definitely come out of that duvet. Just do it now. Get out. Come on.
Ann Wilson: [00:43:13] Come out from under that duvet and you know, there are days when we have to pull on our big girl panties.
Gillian Duncan: [00:43:19] Absolutely.
Ann Wilson: [00:43:21] And go, "You know what? I can do this", because so much of anxiety and the nervous system fear is all made up of movies. We’re constantly running movies in our head. Movies, horror movies, making up stories and so by going, "Okay, I'm going to stop running a movie, instead let me actually see what it is." That itself is so calming for the nervous system. Even if what we see goes, "Oh shit. Okay", but now we go, "Oh, okay".
Gillian Duncan: [00:43:50] Yep.
Ann Wilson: [00:43:50] And so if you are in debt, it's vital. You know, there's five key pieces of information you must know, but now with that, you can start calling people. You can start negotiating reduced interest rates.
You can start looking at settlement figures. You start knowing what action to take. But when everything is just sitting in this big fog in a big horror movie, in your mind, all it does is just deplete your energy.
Gillian Duncan: [00:44:16] Yeah. I mean, there, you're taking action. You're taking the steps to call and to, to get in contact with the people who you need to get in contact with, rather than waiting for them to contact you and say, "Hey, your bill's due", or you know, "This is how much you owe us", you are turning that around, you can say, "I know how much I owe you", or, "I know how much the bill is going to be. What can I actively do to, you know, get to that point where I can afford to pay it and to knock this debt on the head?" It's brilliant advice.
I want to move on, Ann, and basically to let people know that, you know, to find more information about what you've been talking about today, you have got a wealth of information on your web page and on your YouTube channel and also on your social media pages.
But, I know that if they really, really want to learn how to manage their financial wellbeing and to start that journey to become financially free, that, you know, just get over that feeling of overwhelm and knowing where to start, the best place for them to be is at your Financial Freedom University.
For sure. It's the best place to be. Would you be able to tell our listeners more about your university?
Ann Wilson: [00:45:31] Absolutely.
So, Financial Freedom University is the most comprehensive financial wellbeing and financial literacy and financial freedom training experience program that, that there is ready in the world. It's a comprehensive university of, of 10 core modules, which we deliver in a variety of modalities and the, and there's live components with me walking through.
So, registration for Financial Freedom University only opens once a year. So, we will be going to be opening that in July. And I know you'll be sharing with your tribe how they can connect with that. And that is, a truly life-transforming experience training, which you also have access to for life. So, it takes you through every aspect of creating your freedom no matter where your starting point is. And so, look out for that message from Gillian of when Financial Freedom University starts.
We also do a, a fantastic free, workshop around opening the University, so you can get a real taste and feel of the training, the experience, what's available for you then. And in the interim, and to get you started, so maybe consider, well, go out and get your copy of "The Wealth Chef" book and, um, at low cost, you can get that from Amazon, from Barnes and Nobles from whichever, um, online shop or in bookshops.
And with that, you can also head on over to the wealthchefbook.com and with the book you can get a 30 day money make-over to just really get you started, and get you ready for Financial Freedom University. To just keep taking those baby steps. To keep your focus on where you want to go and where you want to be is free of financial worry and anxiety. Getting yourself empowered with skills and knowledge of how to be a great leader and manager of your money. How to invest. How to grow those assets to create your own financial freedom ultimately, so that you are living your truest, greatest, juiciest version of your life, no matter what life is bringing you.
Gillian Duncan: [00:47:40] That's amazing. I absolutely love, I mean, I got to know you with your book. That was the first step for me to get to know you, Ann, and your book really has changed the way I think about money. It's taught me so much, and I've got to say as well, it is written in a way that is easily understood. So, if anyone's thinking, "Oh my goodness, there's no way I'm going to start this financial malarkey. I just, you know, I just. The, the words, they'll be too big for me. I won’t understand where to start. I'm not an accountant. I just, you know, don't do maths". Honestly. Ann’s book is written in such a clear way that anyone can understand what she's talking about and what to do. It's very clear, the step by step processes, all the chapters are all, oh, um, obviously "Wealth Chef" so we're talking kitchen theme and food theme. It's everything that we can relate to and I just absolutely love it. It's a great book. It's one you can definitely work through and, and put steps into place at each, each page. Each page has lots of information for you and lots of mindset work as well that we'd talked about earlier.
So definitely. And obviously the Financial Freedom University is that step from that book. It’s that, it's that connection where you're going to get led through it, you know, by the hand, and it’s that action point that you can take. So sometimes we get a book and we say, "Oh, we'll do it. We'll work through it", but sometimes, actually, we put the book down and we don’t. But the university will give you that incentive and that push and that motivation, the encouragement to move forward and sort out your finances and get on that path to financial freedom.
Ann Wilson: [00:49:22] Absolutely. And mostly, importantly also having community. I think Gillian, as, as humans has, we've realised how important connection is, in community is about this time, but also when we're starting a new path.
I think one of the things that we can all agree, we have predominantly a society that is very dis-empowered around money. Most people's money conversations are bitching about that what they don't have, they don’t earn enough about that or this, and it's very hard to have, find empowered communities who know how to have clean money conversations. Who know how to ask about investing and give advice in ways that isn't full of drama and fear or, or BS.
It's also this money world, is also full of a lot of, you know, charlatans, snake oil salesman trying to sell these get rich quick schemes, and so it's super important we also find clean, empowered, conscious communities where we can have these clean, conscious, empowered money conversations because that is how we create clean, beautiful conscious relationships with our money to serve us in our lives.
Gillian Duncan: [00:50:31] Exactly. This is not a get rich quick thing at all. There's no such thing. There's just never get rich quick scheme ever. If you ever think that there is one or you're waiting for that moment, then just don't. Walk away. Get a different mind, you know, thought completely. This is, as we said earlier, this is not a man and a horse coming to save you and pat you on the head and give you some money and say "Don't worry darlin’. There’s more where that comes from", it's not that situation. This is gaining control and the lessons that you learn through this are life lessons.
So once you have learned them and once you have put them in place, it will open up a door for other knowledge and for you to build on that knowledge and just get stronger and stronger on this path. So, it's addressing the fear, it's learning the basics, it taking those baby steps. But most importantly, it's learning those skills for life and having that support around you to help you.
Ann Wilson: [00:51:27] Couldn't have put it better than you did, Gillian.
Gillian Duncan: [00:51:30] Oh ,thank you, Ann, thank you. Well, I'm going to supply these links on the post for this episode so that everybody can find you and they can get to know you more and obviously all the information about your Financial Freedom University is going to be there as well.
There's going to be links to your social media pages because you have great social media and wonderful YouTube videos as well. So little snippets, little bits of information that you can grab, and you've also got this quiz, which is "The Number One Financial Freedom Saboteur". Now, I've done this quiz and it was a bit of a slap in the face for me and a wake-up call, but I did this quiz and then after the quiz, you enter your email address and Ann comes into your inbox and gives you more advice. So how cool is that? It really is a starting point to
Ann Wilson: [00:52:19] And that, and you know what that really helps is to go, "Where should I focus first?" Because I think one of the biggest things can happen, is our financial wellbeing is a whole ecosystem. It does cover, how we, you know, what we earn, how we spend as liabilities and debts and assets, and then the interaction of them. And it's short term, medium term and long term. So, it can feel like just one of those, "Oh my God", areas to climb. And so, what the Freedoms Saboteur quiz will show you is, where is your current biggest saboteur? Where is the area that you need to be focusing your attention on, attention on first? Now. There's, you know, do you have debt drag? Do you have asset atrophy? Or, do you have break even blues? We spoke about that. And so, this really will help you get quickly going, "Okay, that's my next step. That is my focus." So yeah, lots of resources to get connected in. Again, don't get overwhelmed with those. Gillian is going to share a bunch with you, and in July we'll be diving into Financial Freedom University and Gillian will be letting you know about that then as well.
Gillian Duncan: [00:53:28] I’m so excited about this. So, so, so excited, but yeah, it's only open once a year, so it's, this is the time, and this is the opportunity to get on board, now. So, yeah. So super excited about this.
Ann, thank you so, so very much for this wonderful chat. I know that you'll have an inspired all of our listeners to take those first steps towards controlling their financial wellbeing, and I know that this in itself is such an empowering and life changing step. So, I just wanted to thank you for all the work that you do and for taking this time out of your day to chat with me.
Ann Wilson: [00:54:08] Oh, such a pleasure. And thank you to everybody who's, who's been, who's listening. Because it takes courage.
It takes courage to get clarity. It kept courage to be prepared to look at what's going on our life, but also it takes courage to dream. And I just want to so honour you, and I so honour you Gillian for the work you do, for sharing this, and I just know that together, when we all choose to get clear, when we choose to get, you know, master of this money stuff, this is how we actually become an extraordinary force for good. And when we have the power of financial empowerment behind us, there is so much we can do. And I just feel so privileged and so excited to, to be able to share on platforms like yours, Gillian, and with all of you who are listening, because this is how we start creating the change, and the, the life and the world that we truly want for ourselves, those we love, for our community, for, for, for the world as a whole.
Gillian Duncan: [00:55:07] Thank you so much, Ann.
That's all for this episode. My sincere thanks to Ann Wilson for being such an amazing guest on the clarity junction podcast today. I think that you'll agree with me that Ann shared some amazing advice on how important it is to be in control of your own finances and that becoming financially free is an achievable goal no matter what your current situation is.
To find it more about Anne, her book, and the Financial Freedom University, then pop over to ClarityJunction.com/thewealthchef. There you will find links to Anne's website and social media pages along with the link to her Financial Freedom Saboteur quiz to help get you started.
It's my aim to reach out and inspire as many women as possible, so I would love it if you can help me by spreading the word.
Remember to hop over to clarityjunction.com to find out more about our membership for women who want more from life!
Thanks for listening.
Bye for now and keep being awesome!
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