This is part 4 of a series I’m calling ‘How to start a Lifestyle Financial Planning business from scratch’. If you are new here, welcome! For context, it would make sense for you to start with part 1 which can be found by clicking HERE.

Last week I detailed my transition from military service into financial services.

So, let’s continue…

A long time ago, in a call centre far, far away (…in Dearne Valley 😐)

As a proud homeowner, the first thing I noticed was not the freedom it brought, or the sense of achievement…it was the fact that I was skint – constantly!😤

Also, my car was on the blink. 🚘

I needed more money! 😬

I was working for a large bank in their mortgage call centre, helping people apply for additional borrowing on their mortgage so they could buy shiny things they didn’t need. It was a cultural thing that was very much in-vogue at the time. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Our annual pay review was finally upon us, but only 2 people from our team of 10 could get a pay rise. I was a solid performer – so I knew I was in with a good chance, and BOY did I need the cash! 🤞🏻

There was this one girl on our team who was an absolute brown-nose😇, so she was nailed on to get a raise. But the second spot was up for grabs between me……and my girlfriend!! 👫

Naturally, I was an absolute gent and ‘allowed’ her to get the raise. 😩

I was unprepared to spend another year on this salary and so, I was on the job hunt once again.

I got a job working for Powergen (remember them?!) selling Gas and Electricity to businesses from their call centre in Dearne Valley. It was brutal. I used to get there at 8am every morning, spend an hour studying for my Mortgage Adviser exams before hitting the phones.

After a few hours of constant rejection and abuse we would have a 10-minute break, during which I would stay sat at my desk and study for my exams. 🤓📚

Then, another 2 hours of abuse before lunch. Again, I would remain at my desk with a sandwich in my hand and my head in the books. Then, back to the abuse.

I did this for a year until I passed my final Mortgage Adviser exam on the 12th June 2007. 📜

At which point I applied for a job working for a secured loans company in Sheffield.

They were starting a new Mortgage Advice arm to their business and they were looking for a trainee Mortgage Adviser.


How to win friends and influence people

I learnt a lot about how to deal with people whilst working for Powergen, I had to! Otherwise, I wouldn’t have got very far.

When I was selling Karate (discussed in last weeks’ blog) my sensei gave me a book called ‘How to win friends and influence people’ written by Dale Carnegie in 1920’s America. The title sounded too ‘American’ and cheesy for me – so I think I read the first chapter and then left it to gather dust.

But whilst working at Powergen (and struggling to get anywhere) I picked it up and started reading.

The principles of the book sound obvious, it suggests things such as; ‘Don’t criticise people’, ‘Become genuinely interested in other people’ and Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view’. But when I read it with an open mind it got me thinking about how I had always approached my relationships with people from a defensive position and on the back foot.

I realised that I was just like everybody else, all I really cared about were my problems and my points of view which (if I was completely honest) to that point – hadn’t got me very far. So I felt it was time to see if I could learn more about improving my character, as well as learning how to be a Mortgage Adviser.

“When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.”

– Dale Carnegie

I had never really considered that I could improve or develop my character up until that point, but after reading this book it made complete sense to me. If I could go to the gym and build muscle, if I could learn how to play the guitar, if I could study to become a Mortgage Adviser – then why couldn’t I work on improving my character? 🤷🏻‍♂️

I have been hooked on personal development ever since.

Next week I will tell you more about how I managed to get a job as a fully qualified Mortgage Adviser working for a sub-prime mortgage brokerage…..just in time for a sub-prime mortgage crisis and the worst financial crash in post-war history! 🤦🏻‍♂️📉💸💸💸🏘

Until next time…

 If you are looking for a collaborative partner to help you and your family succeed financially, then hit me at and let’s see if we get along!

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