It’s the grit stupid!
When it comes to money the question isn’t always around income or wealth
From a very young age, resilience, that indelible ability to take a hit and stand back up, was highly valued and actively encouraged in my family. The fact that I could be anything, and achieve anything if I worked hard enough and wanted it badly enough, was a cornerstone of my upbringing.
But there was a counter.
The universally acknowledged truth that no matter how good you are, how fast you are, how rich or entitled you are, eventually you are going to get knocked down.
It is in that moment that resilience gets you back up, or keeps you on the mat.
Having exercised resilience my entire childhood I assumed everyone else did too and was shaken when I discovered this was not the case. Especially when it came to money.
It was my mother’s commitment to financial capability — regular conversations coupled with practical action — which led me down the path to Blackbullion. While the viability of the business is recent, the fire to get it there has been smoldering for decades.
Borne of the belief that a financial story is not told by income and wealth — but rather the ability an individual has to respond well to financial shocks and withstand the natural (and unexpected) peaks and troughs of the economy. The freedom and ability to make choices without fear of catastrophic financial fallout.
I have long believed that money has value — not for the stuff it buys but the freedom it affords. Having a solid financial foundation I was able to make my own choices (move countries), forge my own path (leave an unsatisfactory job in favour of pursuing my true purpose) and be true to my values (by walking away from an unhealthy relationship).
I was able to risk getting knocked down because I knew that I could get back up if that happened.
While having money doesn’t mean you’ll never have problems; marrying money with the capacity to recover from financial uncertainty means you can survive, maybe event thrive, in the face of financial shocks.
We know in our hearts that feeling more in control leads to being more in control. There is sound logic and anecdotal evidence — and we all know for ourselves that we sleep better when not feeling overwhelmed. Especially about money and debt.
We are starting to see UK-centric data explicitly tying financial health with mental health and we see plenty of anecdotal evidence in the stories we hear from the services we partner with in our community.
In fact our own surveys show that after engaging with our learning, 60% of students felt more in control of their finances and 71% of them feel more likely to make positive changes to their money management
While more data can, and should, be pursued and analysed it will only tell us what we already know; that young people who feel in control of today are more likely to believe that tomorrow will be better and so more likely to pursue education, life and opportunity with greater vigour than those who feel helpless.
It’s why we do what we do.