Olivia Stefanino is the author of the ‘Money Types Guidebook’ and creator of the ‘Money Types’ emotional profiling system. She is the founder of Be Your Own Guru, and works in tandem with an independent financial planning practice called Libertas and together they help individuals and couples to get a grip of their finances to achieve financial freedom. Olivia often works with women who work for themselves and who have used their talents and abilities to grow businesses or consultancy practices.
Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?
I’ve been on the fringes of the world of finance for nearly three decades – initially as a financial journalist and subsequently as an executive coach and leadership trainer – which has given me a massive insight into why some people succeed while others fall by the wayside. In my first book, “Be Your Own Guru – personal and business enlightenment in just 3 days!” I shared the story of how a three day programme I ran with a high street bank saw one business team’s sales results improve by a massive 330% over the following nine months. Achieving this wasn’t actually difficult – it was just a case of helping the individuals understand themselves at a deeper level, encouraging them to let go of any emotional baggage and enabling them to align their personal goals with those of their employer.
More recently, my book ‘The Money Types Guidebook’ introduces people to my key belief, that money is a medium for life – and when we begin to understand our emotional relationship with money, everything else in life suddenly starts to make sense too.
How did the idea come to you for the company?
Looking back, I was very good at helping other people to make a lot of money and I wanted to unpick what made some people successful while others were less so. I found that it’s often a blend of mind, body and spirit – and it’s only when we get these aligned that the magic seems to happen. In 2013, I devised the ‘Money Types’ emotional profiling system to help people – through the medium of money – to understand their own unique gifts and talents better (but also to see how their shadow sides might be tripping them up in life!).
How have you been able to gain funding and grow?
I have been fortunate not to need external funding for the business, and have grown organically from the ground upwards. But, that doesn’t mean accessing funding isn’t right for everyone else… it’s a personal preference. I know loads of successful entrepreneurs who have sought out seed funding or borrowed to get themselves started.
What are the key successes?
I’ve already mentioned my book, ‘The Money Types Guidebook’. This was a real milestone moment for me and getting it out into the world feels like a real part of my personal ‘purpose’. But equally it’s those BIG moments where I am able to help someone make a fabulous – and fast – transformation in their lives that really excite me. I remember ‘personifying’ Money for one woman a while back – and after just 20 minutes, she completely shifted once she realised that her problems with money stemmed from the abysmal relationship she’d always had with her mother.
What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?
Possibly like every business owner, I found that running a business meant having to be good at everything – whether that be marketing, writing, building websites, social media, finances… there was always so much to do. At a certain point, I realised I needed a team around me and thankfully I now rely on a small but perfectly formed group of people who are exceptional at what they do. It’s a constant source of joy to me that I can let certain tasks go, and focus on what I know are my strengths.
What are your plans now/for the future?
I have got so many plans for 2023, it feels like a year of big evolution and creativity. I’m launching a suite of exciting new products – and services – and I’m really looking forward to them making a massive difference for many people.
What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?
Discover your ‘Money Type’ and save yourself huge amounts of time and energy! I’ve worked with so many people over the years who have a genuinely fabulous business idea but who hit stumbling bocks because they don’t know how to harness their strengths and overcome their potential blinds spots.
Can you share your top tips for entrepreneurial success?
When you are thinking of going into business, it’s always worth focusing on and spending time really understanding your offering and how it will help your customers. I also like to consider creating six wins: for you, those closest to you, your clients, the community, humanity and ultimately, the planet.
Who are the 5 people who inspire you the most and why?
Nigella Lawson – I love her approach to both life and cooking, who wouldn’t want to have dinner cooked by her – and with her as a dining companion?
Helen Keller – born deaf and blind, she taught herself to speak – and went on to inspire many around the world – with the help of her amazing governess Anne Sullivan, who is absolutely another rather more unsung heroine in my opinion.
Wayne Dyer – although no longer with us, his sunny and inspirational common sense approach to life really appeal to me and have definitely coloured my way of thinking.
Maya Angelou – committed to equality, her wisdom spoke to everyone.
What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes?
“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows.”~ Helen Keller
“You can be gorgeous at thirty, charming at forty, and irresistible for the rest of your life.”~ Coco Chanel
“I raise up my voice—not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard. … We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.”~ Malala Yousafzai
“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”~ Nora Ephron
What are your Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn social handles and also website links so our readers can connect with you?
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