Sháá Wasmund, 48, fixed her sh*t then wrote a book with the same name.
From a working-class background, she went on to be the publicist for boxer Chris Eubank in her twenties, to a multiple business owner.
But despite being a multi-millionaire, she is careful with her money, even working from her shed office at home.
What was your attitude to money in your youth?
Growing up on a council estate, my attitude was pretty simple. I knew we didn’t have much and so I wanted to figure out what I had to do to change that, not just for myself, but for my family too.
I was conscious that our life was very different to most of my friends at the local school, but when I won a scholarship to City Of London School For Girls, the gap turned into a chasm.
There were some girls in my class arriving at school in chauffeured Bentleys, while I was taking a 90-minute journey just to get there every morning.
Did you take positives from your upbringing?
I also think growing up on a council estate was the making of my attitude to money and creating financial freedom.
We didn’t have a home of our own for a long time and growing up like that made me determined to buy my own property early at 21.
It also made me determined to change my own financial future; from a very early age I was conscious of creating generational wealth, not just buying nice bags. For me it was about empowerment.
What was your first job?
Cleaning out stables, and I was paid in horse riding lessons. We couldn’t afford lessons and I was desperate for them so it was my only option.
I am also highly allergic to horses and by the time I got home every Saturday my face would be covered in big red marks and I could hardly breathe. My next job was washing dishes in a hospital and I think I was paid £5 an hour.
I’ve done everything; worked behind the bar when I’ve never drunk alcohol, worked in McDonald’s as a vegetarian and even cleaned hospital toilets. I’ve never looked down on any job.
What did Chris Eubank teach you about money?
A lot more than you might think. Of course, the headline is he was super- extravagant and that’s true for sure, but that would just be the superficial take on it. What I learnt was that everything was possible.
To know your worth. Ask for it. And don’t back down. He also gave me a whole heap of confidence in my abilities to change my future, both by his own reality, but also by the faith he placed in me.
Chris spent a lot of money – I remember him buying shoes that were £600 at the time and the moment they got a crease across the toes, he would give them to charity.
But he also invested a lot into property. He must have told me at least once a day that I had to hurry up and buy my first place. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve had.
How did you fix your sh*t?
Ha! Who said I’d fixed it? Of course not, it’s always a work in progress, but recognising that is half the battle. The book (How To Fix Your Sh*t) was written for all of us trying to juggle life in what seems like an ever-frenzied world.
It’s hard to have it all and I don’t think that should be our goal. That should simply be to fix the sh*t that bothers us and enjoy the rest.
What is your attitude to money these days?
I used to think that you had to sell your soul to the devil to make money and that money made you selfish. The truth is money is a magnifier.
If you’re generous with no money, you get to be more generous. If you’re a douchebag, you get to be a bigger douchebag. So just don’t be a douche.
What has been the best lesson you’ve learnt about money?
That time, not money is our most valuable commodity. I’ve sadly learned this first hand. My son’s Dad passed away when he was only three-and-a-half years-old.
I can always make more money, but I can’t make more time. I know that’s a lot easier to say when you have money, but it doesn’t dilute its truth. I’d give up every penny just to have him back for a day.
What’s been your most extravagant purchase?
Aside from my property? A Triple Black Range Rover, which then got stolen from my driveway. I learnt my lesson and have gone back to my Volvo – no one’s going to take that.
Are you a spender or a saver?
I’m a maker. I’m a spender to invest and create to make my money work for me.
Are you quite frugal?
Not sure I’d call myself frugal, but I’m not one for flash cars or bags or labels, but I would happily spend £10k on a holiday, or more. I guess I just don’t believe in wasting money that I’ve worked for.
Happy to spend it on creating memories, though. That’s what it’s for at the end of the day. Memories with people we love.
What would be your ultimate purchase?
A massive villa on the Sandy Lane estate in Barbados so all my friends and family had somewhere to retreat to.
Do you learn more from success or failure?
Both in equal measure; depends on what you take from it. If you let success go to your head it will be short-lived, but it also gives you a benchmark for what’s possible.
Failure teaches you that you are strong and capable and resilient. You get back up and go again.
What annoys you about other people when it comes to cash?
That far too few people know how to really make it, let alone keep it. That we are not educated about money in schools, let alone in the workplace.
That far too few business owners ever realise their full potential because they are held back by limiting beliefs and a lack of support to show them a different way.
What makes you happy?
Life; I’m grateful to be here, but beyond that my son Jett, my partner Drew, my friends and family. Whitstable and Barbados. Put me and my people in either of those places and that’s all I need. And work, I can’t lie, work makes me happy, too.
To order Sháá’s book, How To Fix Your Sh*t: A Straightforward Guide To A Better Life, go to shaa.com.
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