Georgette Rowland Osborne – Featured Woman
As a young girl, Georgette turned her back on a career in Hotel & Catering to enter the faster paced world of IT and Corporate Finance in Central London. It was the era of the Yuppie; and everything about her was wrong.
· Wrong age
· Wrong colour
· Wrong sex
· Wrong class
However she thrived there and very soon was managing the the IT and skills outsourcing requirements for companies including NM Rothchilds, UBS, NatWest Bank, Merrill Lynch, Bank of Tokyo, Next Retail & the Ministry of Defence to name a few.. Financial Institutions was her main specialism. It tied in with her accounting training, which she once swore she would never use as it was “too boring.”
She now runs the Financial Gym, dedicated to educating people about business money in plain language, as well as a virtual bookkeeping service for those who just want to hand it all over. Her business mission is to take the fear out of business finances for entrepreneurs while kicking her profession in the butt.
Her life mission is to build a business her children will be proud of and have the most fun doing it.
She runs her business not only from a place of expertise but from a heart that has walked where others often are. I love her spirit in dealing with her customers over touchy money issues. She says: “I deal with customer money issues every day, I advise, I encourage and gently push people to be realistic about what their needs are.
It is easy to start with your financial needs. However I find if you get specific about why and what you need to have happen in your life, then the business and financial decisions become easier to stand by.” This attitude not only makes her successful but equips and protects families!
She is an author, speaker and hosts the Firmer Figures Show podcast. She helps financially overwhelmed business men and women streamline their finances.
1) What exactly is your business and what made you get started?
I started my first business because I had such a great career I was convinced I would never find a company I loved working with as much as the one that I left behind.
Secondly, I believed that the future lay in finding your own path. My first business closed because I underestimated how naïve I was about working for myself. I also learned the hard way that people do not and cannot always do what they promise, so to be careful who you go into partnership with.
It crippled me financially and put my whole family foundations at risk. To make it worse I was the main breadwinner as my partner was struggling to find a job. Plus I had two young children.
My businesses today are the culmination of digging myself out of a personal financial hole and a business financial hole.
The Financial Gym exists to create products, offer services and recommend resources to help entrepreneurs dominate their finances–something I could not find when I needed help.
Precision Services is a “done for you” virtual bookkeeping and systems consulting service for those who want to hand off the day to day burden of tracking the money and want help to integrate their day to activities so their processes run more smoothly
2) What one thing do you do every day to move yourself forward and stay focused? Where do you find your inspiration?
I would love to say I say affirmations or meditate, but I am very inconsistent with those. I need practical routines to motivate me.
I work from a home office mainly, but I get dressed every day as if I am going out to work. I don’t put on a suit or anything like that. It could be as simple as a pair of leggings but with a pretty blouse. I do this because it makes me feel as if I mean business. I also do it to help me feel attractive. If I am having a tough week then there are definitely no slippers allowed!
I also listen to podcasts that have inspirational stories of how people move forward. Not just business related, but also in the personal development and mind-set space.
3) What do you do regularly to take care of yourself?
Once every 3 months I book some time away all by myself. It is usually three nights and two days. And I confess I do some work, but I also enjoy not having any responsibility for anybody except myself. As a mother I cannot switch off at home because, well, I am mother. That is what we do.
I also book very nice places. My husband has decided he can never book a hotel or trip for me because I am too fussy.
4) How do you keep yourself emotionally balanced while you are pushing forward?
I communicate a lot. Which is funny when you think having a home office is quite isolating. My remedy is to socialize. I get in touch with friends I have been meaning to call; or I check up on people to see how they are doing.
Socializing reminds me that the world does not revolve around me and my issues; not to mention, a change of environment and a good laugh are wonderful pick me ups. If I am really struggling then it is a diet of Les Brown videos for a while.
I can say though, it is not something that happens as much as it used to.
5) What’s the best part and the worst part of your job?
The best part is the sense of freedom to do what I want. I get bored easily so variety is a must. But the freedom is also the worst part, because I get cocky and take on too much. Before I know it, I am moaning about being overwhelmed and have to start cutting things out of my life.
I have still not mastered the mythical work/life balance. But to be frank, I like working, so I am not sure I am trying very hard. If I didn’t have a family I think I would lose days at a time.
6) What failure taught you the most and what was it?
My answer to this is never what people expect. Yes my first business went bust. But it was not that in itself that was the lesson.
My father was a businessman who died when I was very young. My mother thought she had met the man who would provide for her (she is of that generation) but he had not put his affairs in order. After he passed, we lost our home, the businesses went and I spent much of my childhood moving from one address to another.
I vowed that I would never become complacent because I had a man. Yet, despite my success in my corporate career, that is exactly what I did. One day, just like my mother, I had small children and I was about to lose everything.
My actions pointed to an independent woman, but deep inside I thought the man in my life would rescue me. I ignored all my talents and experience because that is what I had subconsciously learned to do growing up.
Now I talk tirelessly about women believing and achieving financial independence. I want them to learn from my past mistakes and self-limiting beliefs.
7) If you had to do something different, what would that be?
I would have found a mentor from day one. I did what so many small business people do, and started a traditional business based on what I saw around me. My peers were at my stage or behind, so my perception was limited.
(Picture: Georgette and her mentor Warren Cass)
8) If you had advice to give to someone else who was thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, what would that be?
Every success means your business life will get harder not easier. Small failures are a way of life. If you can’t accept that, you will not survive.
To use a sports analogy; every time you win, it means you get to move up into a bigger and better league. However, to play in the bigger leagues you have to continually improve. The stakes are higher if you lose momentum, and the competition is more formidable; but the rewards are so much greater. For some success is money, others it is time, security, being able to give back to others, etc.
Surround yourself with people who understand this, because constantly justifying yourself will drain you.
9) What did you have to overcome personally to be able to do what you do?
I had to overcome my fear that despite how hard I worked or whatever I achieved, it could all be gone one day. I did not lose my home, my family and I paid off my creditors. I figured it out, put things in place and came back stronger.
I had to understand that my parents’ story did not have to be mine. Ironically, it was a pep talk from my mother about grabbing opportunities that made that really sink in.
10) Any last parting words?
My all-time favorite quote is:
“The bad news is the burden is on you. The good news is the choice is yours”
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