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Aleka's passion is to share knowledge and resources that allow women, families and the black community to seek financial advice and help without the fear of shame or reprieve.

Aleka encourages businesses to start on the right foot and plan from the money up. Setting up and training on the systems, policies and activities that lead to stress free and productive results.

All information and links were correct at the date of original publication on
12 Dec 2012

What was the catalyst that made you decide to go into business?

I quickly realised that working in a corporate environment was no longer suitable for my ambitions and the needs of my family.

Having been a victim of corporate bullying and discrimination, I realised that the only way to move forward and work in an environment that was nurturing, encouraging and prosperous would be to set up alone.

What was holding you back from being an entrepreneur at the time?

The 3 F’s – Friends, Family and Fear.

The 9-5 culture offers you a false sense of stability and security.

Also a regular income and a great job title is a good incentive for anyone to stay in a unfulfilling role.

When I realised that this was all it offered.  I made calculated steps to ensure that I could work independently and follow my own dreams.

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What was the best business advice you were given?

Don’t procrastinate, just do it!  If anything you will learn from the results whether they are favourable or not.

What is the most exciting thing happening in your sector right now?

The recession and the lack of trust that people have towards the banks and the banking systems (and antics).

For me it enforces my belief that banks, that their aggressive sale practices and not customer focussed service is often leading people to places they do not understand or are not ready for.

The systems around financial advice and the provision of advice are changing in the favour of the customer and that’s great for businesses like mine who want to provide a less aggressive service.

What are your customers demanding more from you at the moment and how are you / the business responding?

Due to the current economic problems, people are seeking more knowledge; they are seeking advice and looking for new ways to make money and make their life easier.

I have responded by making financial information accessible and 2013 will bring a supply of programmes that help:  start-up businesses, the security of the home and the protection of the family.

What social media tool are you using at the moment?

Twitter – it has allowed me to understand what people are doing, what companies in my industry are talking about.

140 characters means it’s short, concise and to the point which is allowing me to explore further.

What is your take on personal business failures?

I believe that you will always have failures but what you do with that knowledge makes all the difference.

What is difference that is making the difference for success in business at the moment?

I think my USP is making all the difference… I am honest, unique and genuine. I am a women and a mother, my understanding for my clients and their situations add value.

Whenever I say I’m a Financial Advisor people step back and say “oh!….", but when I follow up and say I give the ‘Financial HUG’ they lean in and say I need one of those.

Who are you following on Twitter and why?

I have followed a few, but my inspiration would have to be Patrice Washington – she has a company in the USA that promotes wisdom as a key to wealth.

We have similar ideas and the same mind set for Money…. But she is about 2 years ahead of where I am currently.

I also follow women of inspiration – as it brings a smile to my face and has given me reason to continue when the road gets hard.

What book would you recommend for entrepreneurs?

The Good Small Business Guide from the Federation of Small Business and Build a Service Firm by Robert Craven

What is your favourite quote and how are you applying this in your business?

My favourite quote is from William A. Ward; 

“Before you speak, listen.  Before you write, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you invest, investigate.  Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try. Before you retire, save. Before you die, give.”

I apply this with clients; listen before I speak… they are the centre of my work.

This is good advice for everything, it teaches us to take a step back and act wisely as every action and decision has an impact if not now, in the future.

What next for your business?

More workshops and more creative sessions around the topic of money.

I would love to see regular meetings that feed knowledge and growth.  Finances will no longer be the taboo but the ‘to do!’

A huge thank you to Aleka for taking the time to talk to us.
If you want to keep up-to-date with Aleka, you can follow her on Twitter, where she’s @alekagutzmore