beautiful christmas decorations
December 13, 2022

It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times

Start Courageous Conversations About Money This Christmas

The headline for my latest story was first written by author Charles Dickens in 1859. And yet it could describe pretty much the last three years for us all. In many ways it’s comforting to know that yes, this too shall pass. There have been pandemics, wars, and natural disasters many times before. As humans, we are adaptable and resilient and the work I have been doing with my beloved investment community in Wicked Problems has shown me that giant minds all over the globe are deploying capital and resources into solutions to save our planet and equalise great inequities.

But having said that, it doesn’t take away the emotional toll that circumstances have had on us all. There is a heaviness in the air this year, as we go into Christmas in an environment of high inflation and interest rate hikes. People are worried, and we are all trying to look into the future to see what’s coming next before we commit or invest in anything new.

So rather than trying to see the bright side in everything (yes, I am a Pollyanna and proud of it) I thought I would use my last article to reveal what I have learned about myself and business over the past year that has helped me.

Everything I have ever told over the past 23 years at evolution media (EMG) has been created with an outcome in mind.

To help you understand your own potential when it comes to money.

To help you define how to live a life that is defined by your values, rather than living someone else’s.

How to overcome the challenges of your childhood and the lessons you need to unlearn.

To give access to understanding money to everyone, regardless of education level or geography.

And of course, it has been about me finding out these things too.

As someone who grew up in the town of Gunnedah, the coal miner’s daughter of an immigrant father from Eastern Europe, and an Australian mother who grew up in the bush, I have had a lot to unlearn about money I was lucky enough to be raised by parents who encouraged education, access to opportunities like music lessons and a belief that I could be anything I set my mind to.  That with hard work and a never give up attitude I could achieve all my goals.

However, as the years have passed, three kids have been raised (and continuing to be raised, I realise now it’s a lifetime gig!) and life has given me more than a few kicks in the proverbial, including lessons in money and business that have been very painful, and quite frankly I am so grateful are behind me. The financial pressure of running my own business, the juggle and dance of who does what in marriage when you have three kids, and the regret of making some decisions that put us back financially and resulted in having to sell our family home.  All very real lessons that have helped me understand and relate to what everyone else is going through every day.

Our stories are all different, and hold their own pain and triumphs, but when it comes to money, the older you get, the more you realise that living true to your own values is what living free is all about. I learned that a big house (with a massive mortgage) did not bring the happiness I thought it would. Seeing our kids get access to education opportunities and moving to the mountains for five years to slow life down did give us immense satisfaction.

When you have been in a relationship for many years you realise that it is a partnership and a journey that ebbs and flows. Sometimes it is great, sometimes it’s average and other times it’s the pits. Compromising and listening to each other is the only way I have found to stay together. And when it comes to money, you need to have shared goals and a vision for your future. Otherwise, you’re out of balance and it will cause rifts and separations.

Money can represent power in relationships, not just with your partner, but with your extended family and friends. I have learned to really look at my own relationships with those around me and money. Who pays for and organises family gatherings, who contributes more at work and in your relationships. These can lead to resentments involving money that take an emotional toll. Looking at each aspect of my life has helped me assess where I am investing my time, effort and money – so I can decide which are good investments that bring me joy, and which are draining me and need to be left in the past.

I have learned to value and treasure those who show up in your life when things are tough. They are true friends and should be kept tightly to your heart. It is very easy to get on board when things are good. I have also learned that your word is your bond, and when it comes to money, people have very long memories.

I have always been ingrained with an internal compass of honour with money. Call it karmic law or something more tangible like reputation, but in 23 years of business I have forged some incredible (and profitable) relationships with people based on transparency and delivering on what was promised. You can never go wrong running your life and business this way. While it may be tempting to act like those who have no honour  – especially when people hurt and betray you – karma will catch them in the end. I have seen it time and time again.

As I head to the momentous age of 50 in 2023, a practical thing I have learned is that carving out time for myself every day helps me stay on track with my own goals and aspirations. Even if I have to get up at the crack of dawn to do it, creating the space for listening to motivational and inspiring music, journaling, and mentally preparing for what I want to achieve keeps me moving forward. (Check out my playlist)

So, I wish you all a Christmas filled with the people you love, gratitude for all you have achieved this year and a knowledge that everything will work out in the end. And I hope that in 2023 you decide to invest in yourself and start the process of designing your life the way you want to live. You are so worth it.

Vanessa wants you to start courageous conversations about money this Christmas. Access the first chapter for free here.

Until next time,


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  • From Kids Debit Card on Changing Conversations You Need to Have with Your Kids

    The goal of the following article is to assist parents have meaningful conversations with their children about money and financial literacy by providing them with practical guidance and useful recommendations. The author discusses goal-setting, budgeting, saving, and investing, and offers advice on how to have these discussions with people of varying ages. The essay is informative and easy to read, making it a valuable tool for parents who want to teach their children about money.

    For More Info:-

    • From admin on Changing Conversations You Need to Have with Your Kids

      Thanks for your comments!

  • From Gale Pickles on It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times

    So enjoyed this, I will share if that’s okay with you, many of my friends will benefit from your journey.
    Many Blessings for 2023

  • From ScottViabe on Three ways to embrace change to improve your life

    Hi all! This is a good site.

  • From David Horton on How Finfluencers are teaching millennials and Gen Z about money

    And once again the regulator finds a way to stop ordinary people from getting advice by placing high costs on people who do the right thing. If a finfluencer is actually trying to scam someone, it would not be hard to operate outside Australian jurisdiction.

    • From admin on How Finfluencers are teaching millennials and Gen Z about money

      They definitely have a place. People need advice and many are working on it to be more accessible. Watch this space!

  • From Camelia on IT'S NOT TOO LATE FOR YOU

    It’s never too late to learn something new and to start all over again. Unless you’re dead, you can do it.

    • From admin on IT'S NOT TOO LATE FOR YOU

      So true

Each day I wake up excited to inspire everyday people to open up and take control of their money, regardless of their history, goals, or savings amount. About Vanessa >>


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