This week I spoke to Simone Richardson – Co-founder of Tall Poppy Wealth about her story on how she went from an 18 year old single mum in Ireland to the owner of a successful wealth advisory group. Here is some of our conversation;
DH: Simone – tell me about your rock bottom ‘ah ha’ moment.
SR: It was probably when I was in Ireland. Being overseas can be isolating – amplified when you’re 18 and trying to raise a child on your own. I worked in a local bar where I would earn enough to pay bills but not a great deal more. One warm day I bought an ice cream and dropped it. I wanted it so badly and couldn’t afford to buy another one – so I picked it up and ate it. That was a juncture for me; I didn’t want that life!
DH: Oh you poor thing! When you came back to Australia, did you know what you wanted to do? How did you decide your direction?
SR: When I returned to Australia with my daughter I knew educating myself would be my only opportunity for a better life. I chose to study business; more than anything because it was a well-rounded degree and a good springboard into a career. I was fortunate to be offered a role in a family oriented financial planning firm. It took 10 years but I eventually completed both an economics degree and advanced diploma in financial planning – whilst balancing motherhood.
DH: I would imagine your experiences would make you quite resilient. How do you cope with setbacks today?
SR: Yes it definitely has! The hardest part of being a woman is trying to juggle everything. Wanting it all, but always feeling you are never doing anything as well as you could or should. You’re not the best mum you can be because you work, but then you’re also not the best professional you can be because you’re a mum.
I try not to worry about things outside of my control. It sounds cliché but often daily stresses are trivial when put into perspective.
DH: What do you love mostly about your work and your life now?
SR: For obvious reasons I love working with women and do a lot of work with women going through divorce. Often it’s a very emotional period and my role is to provide objective advice. Quite often a woman has taken time to raise a family and as a result has had a broken work life. Taking control of your financial independence is an empowering an essential step forward during a divorce.
DH: What advice would you give to single mums out there who feel stuck in their financial situation – but want a better life for themselves and their children?
SR: It’s easy to fall into a poverty cycle. Use this as an opportunity to fulfil your potential. Have big dreams but set small goals to achieve. For me I needed to educate myself first. For me completing a university subject was another step closer, every promotion another acknowledgement of my perseverance. I was always conscious of my daughter watching and learning from my example.
Tall Poppy Wealth is an advisory group based in Melbourne who help their clients have a financial plan around building wealth and working towards that. Contact Simone: firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to set up a free consultation to discuss your financial goals.