In a meeting this morning my client wanted to understand more about my background. It suddenly occurred to me I’ve never shared the backstory of why I now do what I do with any of you … So here it is.
From the age of eight I was really clear on what I thought I wanted to do for the rest of my life, and that was to be a maths teacher of all things …
I was always good with numbers and where friends at school were struggling to understand the Maths, I was able to help.
Their parents and my teachers at the time would tell me I was pretty good at helping and teaching people, and to me that was a really great feeling.
I thought … if you’re teaching people AND you like numbers, then you become a Maths teacher. Don’t you …?
However, over time, it became clear there was lots of classroom management and politics around teaching that weren’t really attractive to me.
… Then I got the chance to have a meeting with the group Finance Director of EMI Records.
What I heard in that meeting as a young lad was really fascinating, and big business sounded SO exciting.
It was THIS moment that I decided go away from teaching and follow business instead.
What I was born to do
The interest that I had in the subject led me to a Maths degree.
I then trained and qualified as a chartered accountant to get good business skills.
Once I qualified, I then got the most AMAZING opportunity which I LOVED.
I got to spend a one year secondment in the national training centre of one of the big five accountancy firms. I spent a year training people and it felt right, like coming home.
… This is what I’m born to do and it’s what I should be doing.
I was following what inspires me, I was back to teaching … but this time not teaching kids and trying to manage classrooms. I was teaching adults.
I was teaching them about the stuff that really makes business fly!
Yes … you need to have a decent strategy and be good at what you do but it’s the interpersonal stuff that makes big success.
I was teaching people skills like listening, building rapport, empathy and understanding psychology.
It was a great education for me and a really good learning opportunity.
This then took me into the study of Psychology and Neuroscience and onto Coaching.
Coaching for me, was something that was brand new (brand new 28 years ago) when I just thought of teaching as education!
Now I picture it as a spectrum …
If one end of the spectrum is teaching, and the other end is coaching … what’s the difference between the two?
I describe the essence of teaching as, ‘sit down, shut up, listen, and you might learn something.’
Coaching, on the other hand, is the opposite of that. It’s, ‘stand up, you talk, you get an insight from your own answers, I will listen and I can help you.’
I now see that it wasn’t really teaching that I wanted to do. It was more about ‘drawing out’ of people their own experience, their own learning so that they can go on and do something really useful with it.
I was combining personal development work with commercial and business. Work within professional practice led into the corporate world and then for the last 14 years into independent coaching.
I’ve been working with private clients on their businesses, using the personal AND the business stuff to turn those businesses into something that works.
From that … I found my reason for coaching.
When you’ve got a business that’s really flowing, you’ve become resourceful. You’ve got the skills and attitudes to be able to corral a number of resources … one of which is money.
You can then do something with those resources that makes an impact in the world.
THAT is what led to what I now describe as the 3Fs of why we have a business.
… It all leads to the third F, which is fulfilment.
The ability to leave a legacy and to create something that really matters.
When you’re on your death bed, or at your funeral and there’s somebody standing up giving the eulogy, what is it that they’re going to say about you …?
Imagine for example we’ve got Bob … and we are at Bob’s funeral where a lifelong friend, steps up to do a eulogy.
He says … ‘Here lies Bob. Bob was amazing. He was such a great guy and you know what? He doubled the size of his business.’
Is that what you’d want your lifelong friend to say about you …? Is that why we spend so much time focusing on the work that we do?
OR … do we live to create something bigger in our lives?
What most people want to be remembered by is not the success, or the level of business they had. It’s the kind of character you had.
Were you a great partner, lover, parent or child? Did you make a difference in your local community? Did you create something where other people benefited just because you had lived?
This I found to be really inspiring and is what business can allow …
However, you can’t have all the time and the focus that that takes while you’re still trying to look after number one.
It’s important that you do look after yourself first, which is why financial security must come first.
And then freedom, to allow you the time and the resources to then go and do the third F, which is to create your legacy and make a difference.
Gift of The Future supports girls specifically in Uganda who couldn’t otherwise have access to education.
Generation, after generation, after generation there’s rural poverty in Uganda, and that will continue until something breaks the cycle.
What’s going to break the cycle …? Education is a big part of that.
So what we are doing is providing the funds to allow girls to get to school and to get that education.
Once they’ve gone through school, they’ve then got the qualifications that allow them to start their own businesses.
If you would like to come and join that or donate, that would be awesome, but that’s not my point here.
The point is … that we have all got something that really inspires us.
But … if you haven’t yet got the 1st and the 2nd F, it’s really hard to tap into that.
If you haven’t got financial security or the freedom, it’s hard to have the energy and the resources to go and create that legacy.
And that is why I do what I do …
I see SO many people struggling to get the 1st F, financial security.
It’s not necessary … It’s so much easier to get financial security than people tend to experience.
That’s why I deliver the financial security program. To talk people through and say, “This really isn’t as difficult as your experience suggests, you CAN get financial security”.
If you want to find out more about the program, message me.
But again … that’s not the point.
I wanted to be a teacher because I loved teaching. I then moved onto the commercial side of things.
After this, I became fascinated with people, psychology and neuroscience.
When we know what we should do, why do we find it difficult to do those things …?
… It’s because of how the brain works.
There’s all sorts of amazing things to learn about people. But my God, can we do something AMAZING with our businesses when we’ve got them floating and flying?
I would be really interested if any of this resonates with you. Or … if you disagree with this and you think “business is too hard, it’s too hard to make money”. I’d love to get that debate going …
But … that’s why I do what I do. That’s why we built the financial security program to get the results that it does.
Clients get financial security or the 1st F, so they can then build the 2nd F, freedom into the business. And that allows the 3rd F, fulfilment and the legacy of that business and person to be created.
Head over to the3fs.com for more insights on the 3Fs.