“I don’t want to make money, I just want to be wonderful!” Marylin Monroe.
Fashion icons such as Rihanna and Lady Gaga have made a monumental impact on pop culture by changing it up and wearing the latest thing, sparking new trends and inspiring women to replicate their look. As influential as they are, I’ve always loved old Hollywood and there’s just something about it that just seems perfect to me – glamorous, feminine, bold and vintage all at the same time. Marilyn Monroe, Jackie O and Audrey Hepburn all had a classic sense of style, not only in the way they dressed but in the way they talked, walked and even socialised with people. Rather than conform to the defining looks of their time, these muses cultivated their own image. Their sense of style has stood the test of time and still shapes the world of fashion today.
My personal style which I have carefully crafted over the years transcended to my career in commercial interior design. Inspiration was drawn mainly from the iconic modernist designers such as Eames, Johnson and Van der Rohe and their cutting edge interior and furniture concepts. Their influence became the driving force during the years where I was creating and redefining spaces utilising innovative design, playful referencing and creative imagery driven by the need to realise the client’s visions.
A couple of years ago, a major change in my life caused my own style to be thrown totally off balance. I surprised my family and friends by leaving my career as a commercial interior designer to become a financial planner. They thought I was crazy and I have to say I agreed with them. I was petrified as I was faced with the new challenge of trying to somehow mesh my old career with my new career with a focus on developing a new style…my Financial style, while still keeping my own personal style in mind. Spoken like a true designer, I had never ever used the words ‘money,’ ‘style’ and ‘fashion’ in the same sentence! So this became basis of my new found woes.
Firstly, I had to understand the difference between style and fashion and how it became important when considering your lifestyle and finances in the long-term. Could this knowledge make all the difference? The words ‘Style’ and ‘Fashion’ are often used interchangeably but in reality they shouldn’t be. This is because style and fashion are two completely different things.
With this knowledge I thought my style would permeate with ease into every aspect of my life. I was so wrong. In my 20’s, my financial style was far more ‘fashionable’ than ‘stylish’. I felt restricted by fashion as it was not a reflection of my individuality. It was an exciting pursuit of the latest trends and conforming to a particular expression even if it didn’t suit my personality or my body shape. The outcome was that I was putting my next pair of shoes over having a place to live. In the words of Carrie Bradshaw, “I will literally be the old woman who lived in her shoes!” Imagine working from 15 years of age and having nothing to show for it? Omg! The money that has passed through my hands!!
I have been taught a lot of things about money over the years and although I should have aligned my personal style with my financial style a lot earlier, I got to a point where I really needed to be taking my finances much more seriously. The truth was that there was always some excuse to push it aside. Haven’t you ever caught yourself saying “I’ll deal with it later”? These were the limitations I was placing on myself while missing out on countless opportunities. I was just far too busy living life.
Could I still become financially stable, yet still be in tune and express my creativity?
From all the books I’ve read and talks I’ve heard, the not-so-secret secret of being financially independent is “Budget 101- ‘spend less than you earn’. The problem for me was that I wanted financial freedom without giving up the things I love in a world where fashion is ever-changing, always new, always luring me to buy something new…how on earth could I do that for me let alone my clients?
To make sense of it all, I worked and studied tirelessly but the answer I was looking for was staring me in the face all along. The design process is the ‘roadmap’ which navigates the designer in understanding and achieving the client’s expectations. Could its fundamental principles work in the financial planning world too?
Clients from either world crave the same thing. From the brief to realisation, the client expects a creativity where the professional understands and respects the rules, yet has the freedom to knowingly define and break them and interpret them as they please. They desire someone to identify their feelings and emotions with sensitivity and a deep empathy so they can experience that comfortable ‘it was made for me’ feeling. After all, they are sharing their attitudes about money, their fears, their thoughts and their dreams with you. I think Roosevelt was onto something when he said “No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” The innovative solution in every case needs to feel effortless and timeless where style transcends fashion with a core theme running though.
Your financial goals should be a reflection of what you value the most. There are no right or wrong answers. Whether you want to travel, start your own business, buy a house or a car, you need to decide what motivates you. The truth is finding your financial style is going to be hard, tempting, interesting and trying to say the least so you are going to need a little bit of help along the way. Even the most famous style icons and sportspeople have a team of professionals who style and coach them. A financial advisor who is ‘in tune’ with you can help define your signature financial style by assessing your
current situation and showing you ways you can improve it by modifying and ‘tailoring’ it to suit your own personality. If you are working together for something that’s important to, you will be more likely to succeed without giving up the things you love.
“Style is not about impressing other people, it’s not about fashion or about wealth; it’s about how you live your life with what you can have…” Hooman Majd.
By Angela Giokaris
[Angela Giokaris is now a frustrated interior designer and qualified Financial Advisor. As one of the Principals of Waypoint Financial, her goal is to engage, educate and empower people of all ages to take charge of their lives and their finances, while keeping the discussion fresh, fun and thoroughly modern. Angela welcomes the opportunity to ask her some questions, give her some feedback or discuss your current situation over a cup of coffee. ]T: 02 9529 8181 M: 0413 057 372 E: email@example.com W: www.waypointfinancial.com.au Like’ Waypoint Financial at https://www.facebook.com/waypointfinancial