In the final of our four-part series in conversation with Ian Richards, founder of Work to Live Financial Planning, we meet the man on a mission to promote the concept of ‘working smarter not harder’ to clients and entrepreneurial IFA peers alike; a mantle that’s proving even heavier to carry during these times of global crisis. 

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In contrast to many traditional IFA websites, Ian Richards’ company, Work to Live Financial Planning, leads with the ‘why’ as opposed to the financial credentials and qualifications of its advisers. The copy invites visitors to “Explore Opportunities, Make Dreams Reality, Create Memories & Live Your Best Life!” then goes on to lay out Ian’s manifesto; “At Work to Live we feel that it’s not about being rich but living richly. That’s why we treat money as the fuel not the destination. We put you and your family’s hopes and dreams at the centre of the financial advice we provide, helping you live the life you want, full of freedom, possibilities and opportunities.”

Encapsulating the Work to Live way, the recently-revamped site also frames services around solutions, such as, ‘Helping you to worry about money less’. Fully aware of his uncommon approach to financial advice and his status as one of the industry’s mavericks, Ian says: 

“Financial advisers have a negative connotation. Even during this time when we’re all worried about money and the economy, people who don’t have an adviser are not seeing the value of it during times of crisis. It all stems from the fact that we don’t teach this finance stuff in school, those in the business of financial education, which is what we as IFAs are, get a bad rap. 

Financial coaches

“People are scared of dealing with their finances and investments and worried about doing the wrong things. They don’t realise some of the stuff that they can do, because the industry has said, ‘No, you need a financial adviser’ when actually, people can open their own private pension but because we don’t talk about money as a society, they’re just not aware of it. 

“I think schools should teach things like budgeting skills. Because they don’t, there is a need for financial coaches, among other reasons. Coaching can help in terms of people getting their head around some of the financial basics or to gain control of poor spending habits, assigning a portion of your income to a savings or investment vehicle and some of the benefits of paying into a pension early and the compound interest associated with that.”

Ian shares more his own journey with coaching and how his perceptions of it evolved:   

“Going back to coaching, even though that kind of service is ingrained into my business now, I used to be quite sceptical about it and thought I was just going to end-up doing mantras and chanting motivational quotes, haha!  

“My sister set-up a coaching business and went very full-on with the spiritual side of things, whereas I was rolling my eyes at that a little bit because I feel you have all the answers inside you somewhere. It’s not about having someone who’s going to get those answers out of you or get to the bottom of why you think and feel a certain way.

“Now I realise that there’s a lot of science behind coaching methods – if you’re saying negative things like, ‘No one’s going to work with me’ or ‘I can’t be successful’, that’s probably going to bear out. Professional athletes visualise, you know, their races or visualise positive outcomes because by believing that it can happen, you’re more likely to achieve it. 

“So whether you buy into it or you think it’s ‘wishy washy’, it does actually work! The concept of the self-fulfilling prophecy is something I agree with. Definitely.” 

To win a copy of Endless Referrals by Bob Burg, simply like, react to or share this blog post on LinkedIn or Twitter. Winners will be picked at random in the next seven days and notified via social media 📲😀