Parents in business: Financial Adviser Claire

Claire Sweet is an award-winning financial adviser and money coach and Founder of Peace Together Money Coaching.

Claire lives in her dream property in the Kent countryside. You’ll find her just as happy pottering around with her family and 8 alpacas in the garden, as travelling the world on global adventures…

What is your business and what does it offer?

I help owners of fast-growing businesses to organise their finances and create a wealth plan to grow their assets to £500K or more in the next 3-5 years. Alongside Peace Together Money Coaching, I have worked for fifteen yearsas a Financial Adviser and a Mortgage and Protection Adviser helping hundreds of clients to plan for their futureretirement, protect their families and buy their dream homes.

Building on my successful career primarily helping high-achieving female coaches and consultants, I now support them on their financial independence journey by coaching them to maximise their future wealth, without needing to go without holidays and things that make life fun.

I haven’t always had the financial security and independence – it’s something I have fought for, having suffered through two traumatic divorces and having left a heavily controlling relationship. I never seemed to have a voice or choice. All of this came with an emotional and financial cost – but when I was 22, I had a light-bulb moment of realisation and determination that my future and my finances were going to be handled by no-one else but me.

I am in the fortunate position of now being financially independent, but when discussing my situation with friends, many of them were so afraid of what would happen to them if they found themselves in similar circumstances. I realised then that what I wanted to do is help women gain their financial wings!

What did you do before coming up with your business idea and how was it making the transition?

Seeing me confidently working my magic in the finance field, you might be surprised to hear that it wasn’t until I reached my 30s that I decided what I really wanted to do with my life.

I’d worked hard at grammar school to get good grades, and had got a place at a Russell Group university to study pharmacy, which was suggested as a good career by my parents and teachers. I worked for Boots for a total of 17 years, progressing through clinical specialist roles to running a store and managing a team.

I enjoyed my job to start with. There was so much to learn, every day was different and I met so many interesting people. But over time the corporate focus became more target-based than customer-centred and I knew it was time to look for another career path, something where I could focus on incredible customer service and really make a difference in people’s lives, but on my terms.I needed something that was more flexible so that I could stop missing out on seeing my daughter grow up and where I didn’t feel under pressure to conform to someone else’s idea of what life should look like.

Then I had a dream. Literally woke up with this crystal clear picture in my head of a new career and better future in finance. A sign from the Universe – a message from God – whatever it was – I knew it was the right path and something to explore. It actually felt right, and as I considered the possibility of making a change, I realised that I was making a decision on my own for the first time.

After enrolling in a course to get the qualifications that I needed, I set up my business initially as a mortgage and protection adviser and then going on to offer financial planning and money coaching.

What is a business highlight?

I have always wanted to write a book and knew that my debut book ‘Have Life Your Way’ would be another tool in my kit, as I continue on my mission to help others take action, delve deeper into their own money matters and start seeing everyday changes within their own finances.

It’s a way for business owners at any stage of their business to make a start on organising their finances and building their dream, even if they’re not ready to work with a financial adviser or money coach yet.

I was so thrilled when it flew straight in at Number 1 on the Amazon bestseller charts in 6 categories including Financial Retirement planning, knocking New York Times Best Seller Dave Ramsey off the top spot!

How do you fit work in with the family?

Fitting everything and everyone in around running a business, training new staff, raising 2 children and caring for 8 alpacas…. can be a juggle…

For me, it’s always about coming back and reconnecting with my why – I remind myself daily of how I have created a life I love.

I get very passionate once I get going with something and love to get things finished.

It’s also important to set clear boundaries – I run a multi-six-figure business, whilst working four days a week.

I think it’s important to put a plan in place – I planned for what I wanted my life to look like, and then worked backwards to make the finances enable this. This is what I want to support others in achieving.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Work out what YOU want to do with your life, rather than choosing the career your parents or teachers suggested might be a good idea. I loved working with people in my previous career as a pharmacist – but struggled with the lack of flexibility over working hours and holidays – so I made the jump into the world of finance and set up a business that works on my terms.

What impact do you want to make?

I am passionate about giving every woman (no matter their age, location or career choice), the opportunity, not just for financial security, but for financial freedom.

I passionately believe that understanding your money is the first step to building the life you desire, but so many of the finance books out there are jargon-heavy and take hours to plough through – often leaving the reader no further ahead than when they started. With more women than ever being the main breadwinner (or being in charge of the household finances) it’s crucial that they have accurate easily digestible and accessible information, so that they can make the best possible choices for their families future.

And if I can do that in a fun way, with real stories that they can really relate to – all the better!!

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