Harborough Hustle Podcast

Podcasts are an easy and effective way to promote your business. People buy from people and in the Harbough Hustle we get to know a bit more about the people behind the business. This is absolutely not a “buy my product or service” hard sell – we want to get to know a bit more about you – but it’s often said that people buy from people and in getting to know you better, it will of course increase the profile of you and your company.

Abi is a busy mum, financial advisor, and self-described life juggler. She’s here to share her experiences and perspectives on a range of topics, from gender bias in the workplace to the complexities of handling pension assets during a divorce. Abi’s insights highlight the need to see people as individuals, challenge unconscious bias, and strive for inclusivity in all aspects of life. Join us as we delve into her inspiring journey and gain valuable takeaways for our own hustle.

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Our Guest

Abigail Brown – LinkedIn

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Guest Bio

Abi is a financial planner who brings excitement and creativity to a typically dry topic. She acknowledges her nerves as she starts her own podcast, being unsure if she can match the brilliance of others who have shared their experiences. However, she is determined to make the topic of finance engaging and enjoyable for her listeners. In her daily work, Abi sits down with people from various backgrounds, assisting them in making financial plans and providing guidance whenever needed. Outside of work, Abi is a devoted mother to her daughter Alice, whom she couldn’t imagine life without. Despite the challenges of being a busy working mom, Abi cherishes her role and feels blessed to have her daughter in her life.

Show Overview

Welcome back to the Harborough Hustle podcast! In today’s episode, we have a special guest joining our host, Martin.

Please give a warm welcome to Abi Brown. Abi is a busy mum, financial advisor, and self-described life juggler.

She’s here to share her experiences and perspectives on a range of topics, from gender bias in the workplace to the complexities of handling pension assets during a divorce.

Abi’s insights highlight the need to see people as individuals, challenge unconscious bias, and strive for inclusivity in all aspects of life.

Join us as we delve into her inspiring journey and gain valuable takeaways for our own hustle.


rcareer breaks, personal choices, grouping, unconscious bias, women, expertise, stereotypes, individuals, unfair comments, workplace, undervalued, interrupted, appreciation, intentional, nervous, bucket list, finance planning, busy mom, work-life balance, oyster, Japan, crochet, meditation, yoga, career day, military career, divorce, pension assets, analysis, planning, saying no, self-employed, gender dynamics, mentor, mistreatment, certifications, qualifications, clients, influence, working together, redundancy package, data analysis, financial services, tax saving, achieving goals, information gathering, gender disparity, unconscious bias, positive influence, financial products, regulation, understanding.

Full Transcript

Martin [00:00:00]:

Hello. I’m your podcast host, Martin Robson. Harborough Hustle proudly sponsors local charities. Check us out on marketharboroughbiznetwork.co.uk, where you’ll find a transcript of today’s podcast, all the links that, mention posts you can share on social media to spread the word. Everything you need to know to help our local charities and find out more about our lovely sponsors. Today, I am going to be talking to Abigail Brown from Wealth Management. But before we get into that, Let’s just have a word from our lovely sponsor. Sponsored shout out.

Martin [00:00:42]:

Today’s sponsors are Tax Assist. Don’t wait until for the January tax deadline. Get your tax return in now, with the friendly professional advice of your local Tax Assist Accountants in Harborough, Lutterworth, Blaby, Kettering and Lincoln. See how they can help your business to thrive. Tax Assist also provide accounting, payroll and accounting services and give a free consultation. Check them out now on taxassist.co.uk and Paul Simpson Tax Assist on LinkedIn. Thank you very much for sponsoring us. Welcome to this episode of Harborough Hustle, where I’m delighted to be chatting with Abigail Brown from AFH Wealth Management Abi. How are you?

Abi [00:01:24]:

Morning. Morning. Morning. It’s lovely to be here, Martin. How are you?

Martin [00:01:29]:

I am yet again slightly suffering. I got back off a plane, and, I seem to have picked up some bug. It’s nothing to do with the Consumption that happened over the weekend on my football tour. But we’ll we’ll battle through. So

Abi [00:01:45]:

Well, you know when you did Paul Mark’s podcast, you said his name incorrectly?

Martin [00:01:51]:


Abi [00:01:52]:

You said my business name incorrectly.

Martin [00:01:54]:

Yes. But you know what? When I did that on Paul’s the show with Paul

Abi [00:01:59]:

You did it on purpose, didn’t you?

Martin [00:02:01]:

Yeah. It it became a kind of, like, you know, a good bonding point, and we actually ended up saying his company name way more than we would normally do. So I thought, you know what? Why not do the same thing? So ladies and gentlemen

Abi [00:02:13]:

I’m sorry. I know you’re not feeling very well, but I couldn’t resist.

Martin [00:02:17]:

Oh, yeah.

Abi [00:02:17]:

F h Wealth Management.

Martin [00:02:19]:

What did I say?

Abi [00:02:21]:

You said AFPH or something. I don’t know.

Martin [00:02:24]:

Oh, there we go. There we go. Yeah. That’s the sub branch, isn’t it? I forgot about that. So, Don’t worry.

Abi [00:02:29]:

It’s a pleasure to be here, and you’re looking as gorgeous as ever, Martin.

Martin [00:02:34]:

Oh, Thank you. I I’ve been told many times that I I do have a face for radio. So, yes.

Abi [00:02:40]:

Well, you can tell them to go away because I think you look lovely.

Martin [00:02:44]:

We should have you on every week, I think. I don’t remember Paul saying any of these things. No. No. Indeed not. Anyway, crack it going. So the the first first question we were gonna go for is a little bit about yourself. What do you do? A nutshell version because, you know, obviously, we’re gonna dive deeper.

Martin [00:03:02]:

Bit about who you are, where you live. What do you do when you’re not doing work for whatever that company you work for is called.

Abi [00:03:11]:

Well, I’m slightly nervous actually about this morning because, I have avidly listened to all of the other podcasts, and I didn’t go on the Polar Express, And I haven’t done all of these wonderful things that other people have have have brilliantly, explained on their podcast. So, hopefully, I should be at least a a little bit, exciting. Usually, when people sort of say, I plan people’s finances, it kinda sucks the air out of the room, so hopefully, that won’t happen this morning. Essentially, for, all of my, Talents, I do sit down with people from all walks of life, and help them plan their finances. That might be a specific thing that they want to do, or it might be me guiding them on what they’re supposed to be doing. But, essentially, that’s what I do day to day, for my job. Out of my job, goodness me, I’m a busy mom To Alice, and I couldn’t live without her, but some days I think for myself, why why? Why why why did I do this to myself? No. Seriously, I couldn’t live without a blessed cotton socks, but, yeah, working busy mom is, Well, has its has its challenges.

Abi [00:04:35]:

I’m an avid baker, cooker, cooker, baker, chef, Whatever you wanna call it. My, better half, other half, superior half, as I’m sure he’d love to be called, is French, So we’re massive, massive foodies in our house. And between us, we can concoct the most Extravagant of meals, and also coupled with that, I do like to bake, so I make some really nice desserts and cakes. Not very good at decorating the cake, so I’m not, you know, bake off category, But they do taste very nice. And I like to grow things, as can be seen with a couple of my plants that are sat behind me. Pretty much, that’s me in a nutshell, a very busy working, financial planning, mother house orientating, plant growing baker. There you go.

Martin [00:05:30]:

Fantastic. Now that that merits an extremely wide business card, I feel. Yeah. All beyond there. And normally I like to be, you know, roughly where they’re where they’re based as well. But off air, based on the fact that, that you cook and bake a lot of cakes. I will be drilling down slightly into exactly where you’re based right down to the very address, and then you’ll find me just, well, I don’t know, 20 minutes after the podcast standing on the door with a little kind of Oliver look on my face.

Abi [00:06:02]:

Excellent. Yesterday, I did make a ginger cake. So, I do have a very sticky Jamaican style ginger cake downstairs, which you’re more than welcome to pop in for a slice of.

Martin [00:06:14]:

Fantastic. I do believe they’re medicinal.

Abi [00:06:16]:

Yes. They are. Ginger’s very good, and if you’re poorly, you’d be very, very it’d be very good for Yes. Very good point, Martin.

Martin [00:06:22]:

There we go. Brilliant. Alright. That’s a lovely start. So, How did you get into what you do? And and you can pick any one of those things, you know, from from wealth to ninja cakes and Answer the question appropriately.

Abi [00:06:37]:

No. We’ll we’ll leave my hobbies, at the side for the time being. Now when you sent me the, question potential kind of suggestion that you might go through for this podcast, And I saw this question, and I thought, how much detail do I actually go into on this? So I’ve I’ve practiced summarizing it. So I read law at university. I did a master’s in international business law, And then I qualified well, I did the exam to become a barrister, and I don’t need to tell anybody who’s been to university, tea, in my age range, that that’s a very expensive endeavor. So after 6 years of study, I was, In a nutshell, skin. And I was working in a NatWest call center at the time. And my boss, because I explained my woes and how I couldn’t afford to complete my pupillage.

Abi [00:07:38]:

He said, why don’t you, be one of our investment managers For 12, 18 months, earn some real capital, start paying back these student debts, and You can return and complete your pupillage after that, and it won’t be to any surprise to anybody that I never returned and completed my pupillage. My background, I think, set me up really well because I have the ability to crunch a huge amount of data very, very fast, which has allowed me to, I suppose, expand my skill set in trusts, pension trust, anything particularly complicated seems to come very easy to me. So when I landed in Financial services purely by accident. I stayed because, one, I really liked it. I really liked the ability to analyze, Assess and recommend things, but I also love the client contact. I I I like being able to, You know, start the day thinking, right, I’m gonna do this, this, and this today. And then I I kinda sit back when I’m having my dinner in the evening and think, oh, do you know what? I achieved that today. I’d save that client, 11,000 in tax.

Abi [00:08:53]:

I’ve sorted that client out in in their outgoings and blah blah blah blah blah. So I I I I’ve stayed in financial planning because I do feel a sense of accomplishment. Does that make me sound like a bit of a? But it wasn’t it wasn’t a career that I wanted to go into, and I’m sure every other financial planner, adviser, architect, or whatever random business name they said tend to call themselves. Anybody that works in financial services, I think the majority of them have landed in it accidentally Or is a 2nd career?

Martin [00:09:25]:

Yeah. No. I I don’t I mean, going back to the the the side of it, it’s it’s interesting. I mean, you know, when people go, what do you do? And I go, well, I I do web design, etcetera. But, it’s the bit where you can actually help somebody or their business to to get to the next stage of where they need to be and and have a positive effect on on their lives. And it’s often their personal life as well as their business life ticky, you know, when you’re Dealing with smaller businesses. So, you know, that whole thing about being able to help people to, you know, Get the most of what they are or get rid of some stresses that are stopping them, you know, from from enjoying life fully.

Abi [00:10:02]:

Indeed. Indeed. I can’t get that. I can’t get

Martin [00:10:04]:

what you’re saying there. Yeah.

Abi [00:10:05]:

Having a positive influence on someone just makes me happy because, unfortunately, in financial services, Everything seems to be written in Chinese, and I speak to a huge amount of people. And this is no disrespect To anybody, but a huge amount of people who really have no clue what pensions they’ve got, what their life insurance He covers them for you know, because, the the industry is so highly regulated. All of these policy documents, Statements and whatever you get through the post is geared for what the regulator wants it to say, not necessarily in a way that would help The person on the other end read it, if that makes sense. So even if I’ve just gone out to explain a piece of paper to somebody, I feel like I’ve achieved something. So but, yeah, positive influence on other people’s lives is a is a big key factor for me.

Martin [00:10:59]:

Yeah. No. It’s fantastic. I mean, it’s it’s a great great reason to motivate you to get up and and and do well at at what you do, isn’t it, knowing that you can Help other people. So, I mean, talking about people not really understanding, you know, what pensions they’ve got and investments and and all the other sort of things that you mentioned, Is there anything that you think people don’t really think enough about, you know, when they’re starting to deal with, with either an IFA or wealth management or or anything, you know, within that sphere of of business and life.

Abi [00:11:32]:

I think Having done this job now for too many years that I’m prepared to say on a public podcast, that The majority of people think things are a lot easier than what they actually are. And what I mean by that is is that, you know, you you can’t achieve a specific objective Without understanding all of the moving parts. And I thought about this in In a great dig far too much detail probably because, you know, I can’t advise a client unless I know all about their own jigsaw puzzle. So a lot of people don’t really grasp the concept that us advisers aren’t being nosy. You know, we don’t want to, you know, ask for your blood type and your inside leg measurement because, you know, necessarily, we want to know it. We don’t need that information. This is just me being, ironic. But we do have to gather a huge amount of information, And a lot of that information comes from external sources.

Abi [00:12:42]:

So for example, if I was approached by a client Who sadly is going through a divorce or happily going through a divorce, whichever way you want to look at that, and they’re They’re trying to work out what to do with all of their pension assets, for example. I have to do a full assessment on what all of those pension assets may be, and that can take some time, and there’s a lot of analysis and detail that goes into that because with pension schemes, they’re all different. They’ve all got different benefits and add ons and all of these different little things, you know, and sometimes people don’t Understand the amount of time and analysis that does go into it because they think it’s a simple case of, Abby, I’ve got this problem, and I just want to sort it. Can you get me the paperwork by tomorrow? No. I can’t do that, because I need to think about it, and I need to get it right. And I think that’s the the worst thing, I think that people don’t really understand when they they have you know, somebody strategizes and and plans for their future. There’s too many moving parts, you know, and you have to look at all of those moving parts to be able to say the right thing. So if anybody’s gonna ask for advice for anybody, not It’s me.

Abi [00:14:04]:

Just bear that in mind.

Martin [00:14:07]:

No. Well, hopefully, while they listen to this, they’ll have a better understanding of of quite, you know, like you say, the the work that goes on behind the scenes, in order to to make sure that you give them the best possible advice. So, I mean, that was looking at Things that perhaps people don’t think about enough. You did mention you’ve been doing this job for for a number of years, and and that number is gonna remain I’m saying.

Abi [00:14:30]:

Did you say it’s over 20?

Martin [00:14:33]:

I wasn’t gonna wasn’t gonna mention any number at all, but there we go. So Abby’s been doing this Job, in case you didn’t catch that for more than 2 years now. I think that’s what she said.

Abi [00:14:41]:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Martin [00:14:44]:

Is there anything that that you wish you’d known earlier, you know, in this journey, and you can kinda give a message to a a younger Abby if you like.

Abi [00:14:55]:

I wish I’d have learned from a much earlier stage, and I think I should have learned that not just in my self employed Lloyd independent status that I am now, but also when I was working in the banking network, because that’s where I started my career. I wish I’d have learned and understood the knack of saying no. And what I mean by that is is that I’ve had many, many years where I’ve struggled because Somebody asked me to do something, and I’m far too quick to say yes. I’m far too quick to say, yes. I can do that for you. You know, of course I can, and, unfortunately, that then adds to my workload, which then makes me a very, very busy lady very, very, very quickly. And I’ve developed a skill or at least I’m developing a skill, and I’m still learning to this day. Everybody oh, every day is a school day, the it is important to say no to people sometimes.

Abi [00:16:00]:

No. I can’t do that for you because of this, this, this. And this this is is something which is very important in my industry because The industry is ever changing. Regulations are ever changing. So what used to be something that maybe a previous adviser could have done for a client It’s not actually quite as simple to do now. So this little skill that I’m developing myself that I should have developed years years ago, to be fair, is now coming into its payday because I’m having to sort of think, actually, that task is gonna take me this many hours. Are you prepared to pay for that? Are you prepared to wait for the time, etcetera, etcetera? And I think that’s an important thing that I should have learned much earlier in my career. Does that make sense?

Martin [00:16:52]:

Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, I’m a member of several online communities related to to my industry, you know, website design. And it’s it’s an ongoing question about, is it okay to fire a client if the client is unsuitable? And that can be for their benefit as well as for yours. You know, particularly in in the nature of the work you do, you know, the relationship management on both sides is very important. So, obviously, if that that’s not clicking, Then it’s probably beneficial for both parties, you know, just to go, okay. Let’s not do this. But I also know what you mean about, you know, saying no.

Martin [00:17:33]:

It’s It’s I think the longer you’ve been in business, the easier it is because you realise that you you don’t have to take every single piece of work going on. You know? It is one of those things about being Self employed. But, you know, you’ve got to go and find new work

Abi [00:17:48]:


Martin [00:17:48]:

Whilst you’re doing work. And and so

Abi [00:17:51]:

You put the nail on the head

Martin [00:17:52]:

for that. Isn’t it? Yeah. It’s very easy to go yes all the time, which isn’t always the right thing.

Abi [00:17:57]:

When you go self employed, you think that you have to say yes to everything,

Martin [00:18:01]:


Abi [00:18:01]:

you you need all of that type thing, and then you end up bottlenecking yourself. Does that make I’m I’m sure that makes sense.

Martin [00:18:08]:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. You know, for you to be able to help, as many people But to a good quality way, you can’t help everybody. You know? So, you know, to have the best influence on the most people, You’ve got to know how to say no.

Abi [00:18:28]:

Indeed. Yeah.

Martin [00:18:30]:

Yeah. I’m gonna go slightly, sideways now, from from some of the things that we’ve been talking about because one of the things you said was, like, learning to say no and and not taking on too much, and yet you are recently, the new face of Market Harborough Business Network. Yep.

Abi [00:18:49]:

For my woes. Yep. Twitch.

Martin [00:18:51]:

Yeah. Really. It’s, For those who don’t know, it’s a a networking event that that takes place once a month. But but needless to say, there’s quite a bit of work Involved behind the scenes on making that happen, and I know you are particularly involved with with getting the incredible set of venues we have. So Tell us a little bit about that.

Abi [00:19:16]:

I think this is a skill set which actually boils down to the whole working mom scenario. And I mean no disrespect to my male brethren. I love you all immensely, but women have a knack of doing about 20 things all at the same time. And when, Natalie, Produced Life, very well, gorgeous baby. She had to step down from the network, and it was Really an obvious choice for me because, I love the Market Harborough Business Network. I love the people. You know, it’s it’s One of, in my opinion, despite the fact that I’m now helping to run it, but it’s one of the best networks in my area, if I do say so myself, purely based on the people that do attend it. So it was an easy choice to me.

Abi [00:20:07]:

When Natalie mentioned it to me, I was like, yeah. Of course. I’d be more than happy to take over and and and organize a network for you. I do have negatives, As in technology is not my area of expertise, which is where the wonderful Martin Robson comes into account because, he’s Basically announced that I organize it, but he organizes it as well. But, yeah, my skill set is that I’m very, very good on the telephone. I think that is a a female thing. I’m very, very good at organizing and scheduling things. So being the the person behind the scenes that finds the venues, Organizes what month is what, etcetera, etcetera, the attendees, etcetera, you know, and and that that that’s just right up my street in terms of my skill set.

Abi [00:20:56]:

So it was a natural thing for me to do, and honest, Martin, and I’m very much enjoying it. We’ve been in charge now since June. I think we’ve been in charge since June, and I’m absolutely loving it. I have set myself up with a little bit of a a mountain because, you know, 2 of the venues that I’ve organized have been absolutely amazing. So I’ve kinda sort of set a little bit of a rod for my back here, but I will continue to do my utmost best when it comes to organizing venues. But yeah. So Along there, continue. I’m very much looking forward to November’s meeting, and all the ones thereafter.

Martin [00:21:35]:

Brilliant. I’m I’m glad you’re in enjoying it because it it does seem to be going, quite well, and I know it’s quite a bit of work. I’m just gonna take this very quick opportunity to mention Paul Marks as well because he is

Abi [00:21:45]:


Martin [00:21:45]:

3rd member, and and the well, he would say in his own words, the face

Abi [00:21:52]:

of Yes. The face. We are the 3 musketeers of the Market Harbor Business Network.

Martin [00:21:57]:

Bless you. Right.

Abi [00:21:58]:

You are the brains. I am the organization. He is the face. There you go.

Martin [00:22:03]:

Wow. Wow. Yeah. So many things I could say there, but okay. With that little hybrid monster, in our our minds, let’s switch back to, to Abigail Brown, and ask you about, if you know, on on your journey within your business, if you had a mentor in the early days, anyone you looked up to took care of you?

Abi [00:22:33]:

In honesty, I’m gonna struggle with this one, because my industry’s not the easiest industry free to existing. And I’ve been in the industry long enough now to be able to definitively say But it’s very much a male dominated profession, and I’ve had all the usual complications with that, but I’m gonna breeze over that for today. But the 1 person that does stand out, before I went self employed, I worked For, Leicestershire firm, and one of the partners there was Integral, I think, in helping me understand the landscape, Helping me understand, what my job is, essentially. But he did it in a way that Didn’t make me feel like I was in the wrong place. I was always part of the team. He was always very patient with me, and The skills that I learned from him have been irreplaceable. And if I had to choose somebody That would be a mentor. It it would be him, because, like I said, he didn’t Look at me and think, oh, I’ve got a newly fledged independent financial adviser here, doesn’t know what she’s doing.

Abi [00:23:56]:

You know, she’s female. She’s this. She’s that. You know? And didn’t make the initial judgmental opinions that other people had made in previous lines of my career. So that was really refreshing for me And gave me the confidence to know that, actually, I’m really good at my job, and, you know, I can bring a lot of value to a lot of people. So, yes, he he was he was the mentor. Obviously, my mom. Everybody says they’re mom, but my mom Was amazing.

Abi [00:24:30]:

My father died sadly when I was very, very young. So, you know, single parent, She did everything. We always had a reef over our heads. We always had food on the table. She taught me to be resilient, to be independent, And that I have to create my own destiny, and I owe her a lot a lot. God love her. She’s no longer with us, but you know? So so yeah. So Two very important people have shaped my world now.

Abi [00:24:56]:


Martin [00:24:57]:

That’s it’s really interesting. And, you know, obviously, I mean, with these, podcasts, you know, we we try not to make them too long, but so at the risk, if if it isn’t possible to answer this next question, You know, without huge backstory, then then please just go, let’s let’s move on. But you mentioned a couple of times about being very male dominated industry. And I’m conscious of the fact that, you know, when I was speaking to Guy and he was talking about, you know, ACH and, how We could find ways to be more inclusive as employers and and therefore get more benefit from the workforce. Do you think there’s things that within your industry. It’s not just yours, but let’s focus on that, where they could something they could do to to right the the imbalance of it currently exists.

Abi [00:25:44]:

That is a very, very good question. The answer to that Could be a dissertation lasting about 5 working days.

Martin [00:25:53]:


Abi [00:25:55]:

I suppose if I had to do a couple of snapshots, And I must stress this. These are very much snapshots. These are not the be all and end all, and I have got the answers to all of the world’s problems. But, the first thing I think I’d like to say is that it is definitively better than what it was. Unfortunately, when I started my career, despite my background, I was often seen as the, you know, the tea maker. I’ve had a number of bosses, colleagues, so called peers, that If I’m offering my opinion, they’ll actually interrupt me halfway through a sentence and finish that sentence, which in itself is A definitive illustration of how they just didn’t value my insight. A lot of the individuals And people that I’ve come into contact in the past don’t do this consciously. This is just something, unfortunately, that Did happen, but it is very much getting better.

Abi [00:27:00]:

I don’t know what the actual statistics are today, But when I looked into this, I think it was the beginning of last year. I think of all the financial planners, advisers that were in the UK, Only 11% of them were female, which is a big disparity, especially where you do have some individuals who do prefer to work with ladies, and some individuals that prefer to work with men, Equal proportions, but in terms of a ratio, that’s a pretty stark ratio. And I think there’s a number of reasons for that, and you get this with all professions. You know, we take time out to have the babies. We, you know, have to interrupt our careers, and that’s not anything That’s a fault of men because it’s just biology and and and how we have to do what we have to do. But I think in order to change the way a lot of people have that unconscious bias, I think you need to, see people as individuals rather than group them. And what I’m kind of alluding to there is, and you’re not allowed to do this anymore. You know, when you do, an interview, you can’t ask somebody if they’re of bearing age or anything like that.

Abi [00:28:22]:

You can’t ask their religious status, you know, and and we’re very much moving into a very woke society. Sometimes that’s a good thing. Sometimes it’s a bad thing, but I think people need to start stop grouping people. Yes. So what so what if somebody’s taken a career break for whatever reason? They might have had a sabbatical to go and climb Mount Everest. You know? It’s just that more often than not, it’s a career break where it’s been something to do with children, which inevitably means it’s It’s a, you know, a lady, a woman that’s done that. And I think if you stop grouping people together with that Terminology with that kind of unconscious bias that that’s to be expected, And because they may not have worked as long as their male brethren, that they are not as experienced Or whatever. I just think if you start grouping people together like that and see people as the individuals that they are, that would help Eradicate the problem entirely, and also from a, you know, a female perspective It’s that we overcompensate, and we disregard when comments are made, and we smile it off, and, You know, we kind of try to ignore it because we don’t want to be that 1 in the workplace that says, oh, that’s not fair.

Abi [00:29:46]:

You can’t treat me like that because then you get a little, You know, reputation. And I can sit here and say with absolute, I don’t know what I’m trying to describe here, but I mentioned my mentor being one of The partners of a previous, you know, company that I worked for. I’ve also had the displeasure of working underneath, you know, a boss that Completely bullied me for 4, if not 5 years. And I let it happen because I didn’t want to be that one, To be that, you know, individual that, actually, you can’t speak to me like that. You you know? But, you know and I think Sometimes you have to stand up for yourself, and the only way to stop this, you know, Sometimes completely subconscious way of looking at the world, is to actually stand up and say, actually, no. I’m here. You know, please please don’t refer to me. You know? Let let let’s let’s listen to my opinion.

Abi [00:30:53]:

You know? Let’s, you know, do this together as Post me following from what you’re you know? And sometimes it’s not just the one side that needs to not think about Others in a specific way, but sometimes that group needs to stand up for themselves a little bit more. But by Like I said, this is by no means, you know, me trying to solve world hunger. This is just my impression. I recently and my sister-in-law won’t mind me telling you this. She was recently made redundant, and she was offered something like £12,000, which was Her redundancy package, and I basically looked at this paperwork, and I thought, no. This is not ex this is not at all what you’re owed. And I managed to argue £32,000 for her. Now I’m not a an employment lawyer, and I don’t profess to have that skill set at all, but it just goes to show that, you know, you just have to look at the data, understand what you’re dealing with, And make the appropriate conclusions, and sometimes that just gets lost in a sea.

Abi [00:32:05]:

Again, if you work in a male dominated profession, and my sister-in-law did as well. She works in the building trade, and it it was. It was just completely lost.

Martin [00:32:15]:

Yeah. Yeah. Like like you say, I mean, there’s some really important points in there, and I’m sure, you know, plenty of people listening are gonna resonate with with a lot of what you’ve said. And, you know, the flip side of that, of course, is that I say we we only have so long for for this particular one, but it is perhaps a subject in itself that we could come back to in in a separate episode. But, but at the risk of trivializing, which is obviously not my intent at all, I’m gonna move on as well.

Abi [00:32:45]:

No. No. That’s fine. Like I said, that’s a that’s a very, very serious topic, and I think we could talk all day about that. So I think that’s best left there, and we we move on.

Martin [00:32:55]:

Alright. Let’s let’s flip across this. This this could be serious or it could be quite, Again, could be quite flippant. It depends on on what you think about the answer, but tell me about one of the biggest mistakes you ever made in business.

Abi [00:33:09]:

When I was young and naive and a bit wet behind the ears, I followed the money, and it was the biggest mistake I’ve Evermade. I was working for 1 company doing very, very, very well, and somebody headhunted me, offered me a load of cash, Joining bonus. Oh, yes. We need to have you on our team, Abby. Blah blah blah blah blah. I was blinded by the pound signs, Went and worked for them. I worked for them no less than than well, after I’d finished the induction, Actually, foot on the ground, I’d worked for them 4 days and realized I’d made the biggest mistake of my life. And I then had to continue working for them, and they put me on the front desk in a bank Because I essentially said that, no, you’re you’re not treating me like this.

Abi [00:34:00]:

But yeah. So for 5 months And 26 days, they put me on the front desk because I couldn’t put my resignation in for 6 months. And then on my 6th month, the morning of, I gave my resignation in, and didn’t work my 3 month notice period. They just put me on garden leave. Yeah. That was the biggest mistake of my life, and I learned the hard way that money is the root of all evil, and it is not going to solve all of your problems.

Martin [00:34:35]:

Again, wise words. Let’s let’s do 180 from that and and talk about your proudest business moment. Oh,

Abi [00:34:50]:

I really genuinely am gonna struggle with this one because I suppose there’s a lot of people in my industry that would, you know, pull out the big guns and say, getting chartered status, you know, getting step qualified, registering themselves with, you know, all of the that you can have in my industry and blah blah blah. But I would like to think my greatest Achievements are actually focused on my clients. You know, and I I could mention to dozens of things that I’m really proud of, you know, saving a client a load of tax, you know, helping a client, retire early because they were in really ill health, helping a client. And, again, I’m not gonna be male or female here. I had client 1 who was my client, who was going through a divorce, And then her sorry. Their their partner hid 3 Incredibly lucrative pension schemes from the divorce settlement. And had I not have clocked them, she would have missed out on something like 506,000 in pensions, and that’s an incredible amount of money that he was that they were trying to hide. You know, and and I think things like that where I’ve had such an influence over somebody that it’s actually changed their course of life.

Abi [00:36:26]:

So so, yeah, so professional accreditations are fabulous, and I did not wish to take it away from anybody who focuses primarily on those. But I think my greatest achievements have been the impact I’ve had on clients, you know, saving significant amounts on corporation tax, you know, finding pension schemes that weren’t there. Oh, yeah. I had 1 chat. It’s really funny story. He, asked me to find a tiny little pension scheme through the pension tracing service from about 10 years ago. But when I was on there, I actually found him a defined benefit scheme that he was in, like, 45 years ago, and that turned out to be an annual income for him of 8 £1,000 a year. And had I not have tried to find anything for him, he would still be oblivious to that pension scheme being in existence.

Abi [00:37:20]:

And it’s frightening, actually, because you think the amount of people out there that could potentially have other pensions that they’re completely unaware of. But, anyway, that’s another point completely. But yeah. So I think my greatest moments have been for my clients in the impact I’ve had to them.

Martin [00:37:38]:

Yeah. That’s brilliant, and that does tie in that does tie in with, you know, what you were saying right at the start about, you know, motivation for for doing the job, you know, once you’re self employed, what keeps you going, etcetera. And, again, it comes back to what we were talking about, being able to help people and and see the the outcome of the help that you’ve given them. So, yeah, that’s lovely. If you weren’t working in the finance industry, what else would you like to be doing?

Abi [00:38:05]:

When I was 16, I went to a career day, as you do when you’re at school, And they got us all to fill out the psychometric questionnaires, and it took about 40 minutes. It was horrendous. And then they plotted all of these answers on this computer system, and mine came back. And my ideal occupation Would be an RAF pilot, an officer in the RAF. And I always think back to that day because, and I suppose my my better half, my significant other, will attest to this, that I can be, at times, a little bit sergeant major, and I do think I would have excelled As an officer in some kind of military institution, albeit the RAF, you know, the navy, whatever. And it’s funny because I I I wrote a series of short stories in my thirties, and it was all about a female for some. And I’m I’m not gonna focus on that because that was very much in the past, and they are not very good. But, You know, I always used to think, could my life have been so much different if I’d have followed that careers adviser and actually went into the military? Yeah.

Abi [00:39:27]:

So there you go.

Martin [00:39:28]:

That’s that’s that’s the

Abi [00:39:29]:

best news news. Were you?

Martin [00:39:31]:

I was not expecting see, that’s what what I love about it. I mean, the whole point of the podcast is It’s to try and, you know, get a little bit of behind the surface of of people and their businesses, learn a bit more about them. And some of the people, you know, I know a fair bit about. Some people, I I don’t. But, yeah, it there’s always something comes up like you say is a total surprise From from Natalie being able to twist her tongue upside down, to you being a potential RAF officer with stories about it. Yeah. Who knew? Who knew? There you go. That’s the whole point.

Martin [00:40:05]:

Who knew? Brilliant stuff. So, I mean, have you got anything left on your bucket list then?

Abi [00:40:12]:

Oh, goodness me. Left on my bucket list. I’ve got millions of things left on my buck bucket list ranging from, being able to eat an oyster, because to this date, I just haven’t been able, and I’ve always spat them out, to going to Japan for 3, 4 weeks, Because I want to see the the the the blossom trees there, which I know is very difficult to time exactly and blah blah blah. So there’s there’s several, several things on my bucket list, but I’ve already achieved one thing on my bucket list, which is to Spend more time with my child and not be, you know, an 8 till 7 working mum. You know, so I suppose in that respect, there are I mean, everybody’s got different bucket lists, don’t they? And they range from the fabulous, I wanna drive a Lamborghini, I want to, You know, kiss Kylie Minogue or whatever, but I suppose my bucket list are quite simple and straightforward. I want to learn how to crochet, and I know that sounds completely stupid, but I I don’t sleep very well. And, I’ve got a couple of, best Friends who are very much into meditation and yoga and all of that, and I Absolutely do not want to take that away from them. It works brilliantly for them, but sadly, it doesn’t work for me.

Abi [00:41:36]:

My brain doesn’t shut off. And somebody who I actually met at a networking event, said to me, why don’t you try knitting or crochet? Because you’ve clearly got the type of brain that needs to focus on something else in order for it to shut down from what you were previously thinking about. So yeah. So I’ve I’ve tried to learn it Without success, I have now got a friend who is teaching me very, very slowly. So I say that I’m mad clever, and I can process data, and I can analyze stuff really, really quickly. But when it comes to learning something simple like crochet, it’s Absolutely horrendous. So that that’s an immediate thing on my bucket list. I want to retire by the time I’m 60.

Abi [00:42:23]:

That’s another thing on my bucket list. You know, everybody’s bucket list is very, very different, I suppose, but mine’s for the simple things, you know, like being able to eat an oyster without spitting it out.

Martin [00:42:35]:

Brilliant. Okay. I’ve I’ve I’ve actually got a colleague, in the States, and she does web design and and coding And a lot of very high-tech stuff. Super smart lady. And she started learning crochet a year ago. Similar sort of thing. Just yeah. How can I switch off? I’m gonna go into this.

Martin [00:42:56]:

And and she came on to a a Zoom meeting, you know, one of these virtual meetings, about 3 months ago. So 9 months after she started, and she’d made this small scarf, crocheted it completely. And she was super happy with it, and it was really good. And she’s like, I’ve done this over the past 9 months. You know? I mean, she’s done some amazing things in in her business, but the thing that she’s really wanted to show everybody about. So, we’ll we’ll kinda circle back

Abi [00:43:26]:

to I’m not gonna show you my attempts Crocheting so far. We’ll we’ll wait for that next time next time.

Martin [00:43:32]:

We’ll be here down the road. You know? So We’ll we’ll come back in, in 2024, and and we’ll see what it is that we’ve got, you know, from the from the Abbey School of Crochet. So, anyway, how do we find out more about you in in terms of, you know, social media?

Abi [00:43:52]:

Well, this is an interesting one because I’m not on Facebook. The only reason I’ve recently joined Facebook is because you told me to, and I had to set up a profile in order to help you manage The Market Harbor Business Network Facebook page. Up until that point, I don’t use Facebook. I do have a profile that I set up years years years ago, but I never never ever log in to it. But I am a big user of LinkedIn. I do like LinkedIn. I do like it because I can connect with people that I wouldn’t Ordinarily me in my usual daily, you know, tasks, and, you know, From my meetings and introductions that I’ve had on LinkedIn, it’s been really productive for me. So I do do like LinkedIn a lot.

Abi [00:44:45]:

You know, the company that I work with, AFH, they do have a fabulous website, which I have a landing page on, you know, Or you can just contact me directly. You know, use the phone. Let’s go old school. You know?

Martin [00:45:00]:

What what is this phone thing that you speak of?

Abi [00:45:02]:

Yeah. You know, And I I’ve done it myself actually then because I take the Mickey out of my daughter for this. This is the phone symbol, and I have literally just gone like that, haven’t I? Because normally, you know, my age range, that’s the symbol for making a phone call. Yeah. I’m a little bit old school, and I do like to speak to people. So, a lot of clients will contact me on WhatsApp and things, which is fine, but I do like to make a phone call.

Martin [00:45:29]:

Okay? So everybody listening, Abby’s personal number is 01858. Alright. Brilliant. Just before we let

Abi [00:45:39]:

you go, is there is

Martin [00:45:40]:

there anything else that that I should have asked you that I didn’t?

Abi [00:45:45]:

I don’t think so. I suppose my final thought of the day oh gosh. That sounds a bit corny, doesn’t it? I wish more people would pay themselves before they paid their bills, comment lie, and then if anybody wants to ask me about it, they can do.

Martin [00:46:02]:

Brilliant. That’s fantastic. I like having that, a kind of a little hook to to end on. So, you know, if you wanna find out more, then get in contact with with Abby or contact the show and and see what that means. Abby, it’s been brilliant.

Abi [00:46:17]:

I’ve I’ve loved it. So My pleasure.

Martin [00:46:20]:

Dear listener, show some love for for Abby. Check out all the show notes. The links on website, marketharbourbiznetwork.co.uk/podcast. All the notes from the show will be be there, along with a full transcript and lots more information about Abi. If you want, leave a comment, leave a question. We’d love for you to join in. You can even find out how you could be on the show as well. We would love to to meet you and get to know more about you.

Martin [00:46:51]:

If you don’t wanna be on the show or even if you do, perhaps you’d like to sponsor the show as well. There’s some fantastic offers going on at the moment. Again, you can find that on the website. This episode of Harborough Hustle has been sponsored by Roman Britons websites. Check them out at romanbritons.com. Thank you very much, and we will see you on the next show. Goodbye. Thanks, Abby.

Abi [00:47:15]:

My pleasure. You have a lovely day,

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Do you remember hearing?


Challenges of Being a Working Busy Mum: Seriously, I couldn’t live with her blessed cotton socks, but, yeah, being a working busy mum is, well, has its has its challenges.”
— Abi 00:04:2600:04:34

The Complexity of Divorce and Pension Assets: “I think that’s the worst thing, I think that people don’t really understand when they have somebody strategizes and plans for their future. There’s too many moving parts, you know, and you have to look at all of those moving parts to be able to say the right thing.”
— Abi 00:13:5100:14:00

The 1 person that does stand out, before I went self employed, I worked for a Leicestershire firm, and one of the partners there was integral, I think, in helping me understand the landscape, helping me understand what my job is, essentially. But he did it in a way that didn’t make me feel like I was in the wrong place. I was always part of the team. He was always very patient with me, and the skills that I learned from him have been irreplaceable. And if I had to choose somebody that would be a mentor, it would be him.”
— Abi 00:23:1700:23:42

Gender Disparity in Financial Planning: “Of all the financial planners, advisers that were in the UK, Only 11% of them were female, which is a big disparity, especially where you do have some individuals who do prefer to work with ladies, and some individuals that prefer to work with men…”
— Abi 00:27:0700:27:27

Breaking Stereotypes: “If you start grouping people together like that and see people as the individuals that they are, that would help eradicate the problem entirely.”
— Abi 00:29:1800:29:27

Bucket List: “I suppose my bucket list are quite simple and straightforward. I want to learn how to crochet, and I know that sounds completely stupid, but I I don’t sleep very well.”
— Abi 00:41:0700:41:18






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Have you ever noticed how career breaks are often tied to assumptions about having children? 🤔 This predominantly affects women and leads to unconscious bias and undervaluation of their expertise. It’s time we stop grouping people based on their career breaks or personal choices.

Stereotyping and grouping individuals based on career breaks is unfair and undermines the diverse experiences and expertise that women bring to the table. Let’s start seeing people as individuals, with their own unique skill sets, instead of making assumptions based on stereotypes. 🙌

It’s disheartening to see women overcompensate and ignore unfair comments just to avoid being labeled as difficult in the workplace. We need to create an environment where everyone feels heard and appreciated for their insights, regardless of their career journey. 💪

It’s important to note that this behavior isn’t always intentional, but that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable. The good news is that things are gradually improving, and more conversations are being had about the need for equal representation and appreciation in the workplace. 📈

As a busy mum and a financial planner, I face my own set of challenges in balancing work and motherhood. Trust me, my bucket list is full of things I’m yet to accomplish, from eating an oyster to visiting Japan. But I’ve already achieved one thing – spending more time with my child. 🧡

Fun fact, at 16, I went to a career day and filled out psychometric questionnaires that indicated my ideal occupation would be an RAF pilot, an officer in the RAF. I often wonder how different my life would have been if I had pursued that path. 🛩️🎉

In my journey, I’ve learned the importance of saying no. As a self-employed individual, I often said yes too quickly, piling my workload and making myself extremely busy. But I’m still learning this skill and believe it’s crucial to maintain a healthy work-life balance. 🛑⚖️

There have been instances where I was treated disrespectfully and bullied by others. This happened because I didn’t want to be seen as confrontational and wanted to avoid conflict. But now, I prioritize standing up for myself and encourage others to do the same. 💪✊

Achieving goals and dreams isn’t always as easy as it seems. It requires understanding every component involved and gathering extensive information. And that’s precisely what I do to provide the best advice to my clients. 💡🔍

Linked In…

🔑🎙️ Excited to share that I was recently a guest on the Harborough Hustle podcast, discussing important topics related to career breaks, unconscious bias, and the financial services industry! 🎧

🌟 One key takeaway from my conversation with host Martin is the need to stop grouping people based on their career breaks or personal choices. This often leads to unconscious bias and undermines the experience and expertise of individuals, particularly women who are often assumed to have taken breaks for childcare. Seeing people as individuals and not making assumptions based on stereotypes can help to address this issue.

🌟 Another takeaway is the importance of standing up for oneself and being heard. Too often, women overcompensate for unfair comments or mistreatment in the workplace to avoid being labeled as difficult. It’s crucial to recognize the value of our own opinions and ensure they are listened to, challenging the subconscious ways in which society looks at gender dynamics.

🌟 Lastly, my conversation highlighted the significance of proper planning and understanding when it comes to handling pension assets during a divorce. The complexities of different pension schemes and the additional features they offer require thorough assessment and analysis. It’s essential to seek advice from professionals who comprehend the various components involved.

I had a fantastic time discussing these topics on the Harborough Hustle podcast, and I hope you’ll tune in to hear more valuable insights. Remember, together we can work towards a more inclusive and equal future in all industries! 🎙️💼

#PodcastEpisode #CareerBreaks #UnconsciousBias #FinancialServices #Inclusion #Equality



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