I’ve always LOVED making things. From making salt-dough-heart-shapes baked on the back doorstep in the hot summer of 1979, to earrings, painting glass and baking cookies. Sometimes I got to make what I was best at - trouble. As a ten year old I was cutting bits of lavender out of the neighbours' garden and trying to sell it back to them wrapped in foil. I left school at 16 to run a stall selling jewellery I made. I invented organic spray-tan and got bored of the whole idea before I’d sold a bottle. I’m a born entrepreneur who got horribly lost and ended up working in finance for 20 years writing about markets.
I fell in love, irrevocably, with learning. I fell in love with behavioural science, and the psychology of selling. Despite avoiding university (I SWEAR it makes me itch), I’ve ended up qualified to give financial advice*, and with a diploma in digital marketing. I just love information. (*don't ask, you probably shouldn't take it, as I'm most likely to tell you to pack it all in and run away to foreign climes with a handsome stranger).
And started my own business. I had modest ambitions to ‘do a bit of writing’. Instead, I’ve created research into how people make decisions, stood in front of hundreds of people to talk about that research, and created training to help people make better decisions. Oh, and created a network for women in the industry and won an award for it.
When you run a little business you say "yes" a lot, and sometimes you should try a big fat "NO". Sometimes, despite yourself, you say yes so much you end up becoming a public speaker when you avoided a whole promotion because you wouldn't do one talk. One five minute talk. ONE.
I guess I have a talent for explaining complex things simply. Unless it's about my feelings, and to a man, in which case...bleugh. A couple of years ago I found a superb group of women on the internet, and they continue to blow my tiny, over-caffinated mind. It’s these little business girlfriends who have supported me, and made me realise that there's a whole load of stuff in my head which might be useful to others. In the ramshackle life of being an little business owner, I found my people (including an obsession with really tiny people, but you've probably noticed that. Ahem.).
As well as reading ALL THE THINGS which help me know things, I experience delight in making people laugh, and although it turns out I’m very bad at improv, I do make my friends laugh. It makes up for some my many failings as a human. At least that’s what they tell me.
I hope MindMafia brings you some small joy, even if it’s only a little one. That's good enough for me.
We taught trustees managing £200 billion pounds of pension money how to make better decisions.
Hannah talking about pensions on Corporate Adviser
Talking to 200 people about pension savings and why hiring good-looking salesmen is a great idea
Talking non-traditional marketing with Brit Kolo of marketingpersonalities.com
And as a thank you, she won this shiny glass award from Professional Pensions in 2018, for being a role model. Which is nice. And a really great paperweight. (flanked by seals of approval).