About Ian

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Overview

Like many of us, my life has had more than its fair share of ups and downs.

My childhood did not set me up for the world, and therefore my adult life has been a continual journey trying to find who I am and what I am missing.

That investigation has led me to the recognition that I’m not the only one fighting a considerable number of unnecessary battles, and the chances are that there are parts of your life that you wish had gone a bit easier or were going easier right now!

For some reason, I have remained a very positive, but realistic person. So instead of complaining about what is wrong, I have spent my life looking for why it is wrong and what I can do about it.

I now believe that the solutions all lie within education. Simple information and support that is typically not provided in our formal education system, and due to a poor education system, is often found lacking in our home lives as our parents didn’t know much better either!

It has taken many years and unnecessary struggle to learn what I now know. To save you a similar struggle, I am keen to share what I have learned. This is what has led me to help create the Real Wealth group of sites.

Please read the following with a smile. I am not looking for sympathy. I am simply saying things as they are. Maybe you will relate to one or two of the challenges I have faced, or maybe you have faced other significant challenges. Just realise you are not alone. Underneath the surface many of us just need a warm hug, and a confirmation that all will be ok...

Family

To the outside world I grew up in a normal family on the ‘right’ on side of the tracks. Thoroughly working-class, but no history of any family member who went off the rails.

Of course, this wasn’t exactly the case. My mother’s father was physically handicapped and had turned to drinking and gambling. My mother’s mother might have been described as ‘simple’. The biggest ‘heart’ you have ever seen, but she probably had the intelligence of a typical 10-year-old.

The effect was that my mum knew nothing about how the world worked.

My dad’s parents were more middle-class but suffered the tragedy of losing their first child at a very young age. When my dad came along a while later, they worshiped him like a god, and he learned he was able to get whatever he wanted.

Both my parents were only children, so they had no levelling influence from brothers and sisters.

Fate somehow brought them together and after a while my sister was born. There was difficulty with the birth, and as a consequence she suffered from a number of serious conditions both mentally and physically that were not detected at any time during her childhood.

A while later, I was born.

With my parents background, neither of them taught either of us much about the world.

My mum didn’t know much that could have helped us, anyway, and my dad ruled the family with stereotypical Victorian values such as children are to be seen and not heard, and you do not know enough to make decisions for yourself; so you do exactly as I say...

School

For some reason I appear to have been blessed with a decent amount of ‘brains’. But not having the background to base anything on, meant that I did not have a clue what to do with them!

I found school to be absurd. We were just taught to learn a bunch of useless information and remember it so we could repeat it parrot fashion. Anything that took a little bit of brains, such as maths or physics I found ridiculously easy so I was bored, and at a loss for 90% of the ‘lesson’.

With no home support as a child, and no encouragement to find my own interests, I just became more and more angry at the world. This first came to a head as I was finishing my last compulsory school year. The school explained to me that I did not have to go to college.

I felt that school was such a waste of time, so why would I want to go to college? For the first time I stood my ground, and was told, that I must get a job instead.

My ‘Career’

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I didn’t understand the world of work, so when I was told ‘go for this interview’ with one of the National utility companies, I did.

In hindsight this was one of many ‘mistakes’ I made along the way, due to a complete lack of understanding of how the world works.

I got the job, which included an apprenticeship in an area that was obsolete by the time the apprenticeship ended! I was never encouraged or supported in finding a role that was suitable for my abilities.

Due to my childhood I had a very strong perfectionist streak, and would not leave a task until it was finished to a high standard. This meant that people dumped more and more of their work on me, and I never had the time or support to learn about getting promotion or advancing my career in other ways.

This went on for around 20 years, with me making occasional desperate leaps toward what appeared to be better opportunities.

I suffered many stress-related illnesses during this time including a failed suicide attempt, panic attacks, a resting pulse rate of around 120, and finally a complete breakdown.

During my convalescence in response to this breakdown, I was told that the entire group I was working with was no longer needed, so was made redundant...

Relationships

I had never been taught about relationships, and my only reference was two parents that did not appear capable of communicating with one another, so I was actually in my late 20s before I started to find any sort of connection with someone special.

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After a number of failures, for which my lack of knowledge was clearly partly responsible, eventually I ended up in what appeared to be a real relationship at age 31.

In hindsight, the best way to describe this relationship is that it takes a ‘messed up’ person to understand a ‘messed up’ person!

I gave everything to this relationship, and more, but it was never enough, and after around six years it finally fell apart from the last time.

I would like to add, that I would never say anything unkind about this girl, as something that has come natural to me is to love unconditionally.

I would also add that if you ever feel that someone has wronged you in some way, consider what must be going on in their world for them to treat you that way. I believe the more that someone lashes out at the world and the people around them, the more they need your unconditional love.

This especially applies in the relationship we have within ourselves...

My lowest period

At age 37, whilst trying to get over my breakdown, I lost my job, I lost my long-term partner, my parents finally divorced, and shortly after, my mum died. Unsurprisingly, my self-esteem was at an absolute low.

I had no confidence to look for a new job, but I had also learned not to look for help from anyone else.

The particular job I was being made redundant from was being canned due to one of those ridiculous corporate decisions. We were being blamed for the incompetence of a middle manager, whilst our role was still seriously needed!

Working for myself

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My limited knowledge led me to the initial route out of my breakdown. I felt my only choices were to either give up with life entirely, or to set up my own business and offer services back to my previous employer. I would have to teach myself how to run a company, as I wasn’t good at asking for help!

I went for the second option, and for the next 10 years I ran this business with as many as 15 staff, supplying quality orientated services such as training, auditing, and design and process consultancy to the main players in the industry and their suppliers.

As I had always concentrated on the highest quality of work and had not had the knowledge to nurture relationships, I had very few people that could do me any favours, so nothing came easily.

It was always a losing battle. As soon as we would get some steady work under control, there would either be a major re-organisation and we would have to start again from scratch, or the work would simply be taken away from us and given to some big corporate supplier.

Salt was always rubbed into the wounds by the corporations being allowed to change many multiples of what we are allowed to, even though their timescales and quality were inferior to ours...

Setting up and running the business could only be described as a real nightmare. 90% of our work was red tape and planning, and there were always numerous hoops that required jumping through.

Learning what was important

After about 5 years of this battle, and feeling that I wasn't really getting anywhere, I took a major review at what mattered to me. Well, at least the areas of my life that I could have direct control over.

I realised what mattered to me was to be able to have the freedom to live where I wanted, and to choose my own working hours.

I sold my house and moved to live by the coast. (A bit of a change from living under a flight path, by a motorway junction, on the outskirts of London!) I feel very privileged as I now have one of the best views in the country!

I also started to look for more reliable ways of earning and protecting my income, and equally important creating in income that would last into my retirement years.

Looking for real opportunities

With the previous work becoming hard to get, and even harder to make a profit, around late 2009 I started investigating my other options full-time.

To look after the money I had from selling the house I needed a bank account that would at least cover the losses through inflation and the taxation on the interest I was earning.

I also learned that there were opportunities on the Internet to provide me with an income. I could also juggle an Internet business around any existing work I was doing.

As always, I was not good at asking for help so I did everything by myself. After a lot of research I concluded that there was no bank account anywhere that would actually look after the purchasing power of my savings.

On the positive side, I learned that beyond the scams and dodgy products, the Internet did provide real opportunity. I am sure you recognise that high Street shops are disappearing, and more and more products are now sold over the Internet.

Finding my way

Early on, I learned the most suitable strategy for me would be to create my own products, and then get others to sell them.

My challenge was that having grown up in without the concept of choice, I have never found a particular hobby that I am really passionate about. Well, not passionate enough to want to create products around.

My work knowledge was very specialised, so the market would be very small, and I already knew that they were unlikely to buy. To put it into context, you could help me by pointing me in the direction of anyone who runs a mobile phone network, and wants to improve the quality of service without spending any money!

As I investigated why my money was not protected in the banking system, I learned a lot more about how governments and banks have worked together to effectively destroy the wealth of the Western world. Much of the pain is yet to be felt, but like a wave out in the ocean, it is guaranteed to reach the shore at some time.

I chose to investigate ways of preserving my wealth rather than protesting about the existing system.

Finding like-minded people

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In time I met a number of people who were also trying to set up their own businesses. I have always seen the value in people sharing knowledge, so I started looking for people that would be interested in setting up an Internet business together.

I had many failed attempts which appear to have two main themes. The other people either did not have the stamina to keep persevering, or they had too many projects competing for their time.

Paul and myself met in one of the largest teams I joined at the beginning of 2011, and our working relationship has been slowly growing ever since. We have found that although we have completely different backgrounds and different family structures, we have the same vision.

We believe that there is amazing potential in everyone.

 

We believe in the power of shared knowledge.

We believe that together we can help you, to unlock your dreams and help you to be all that you can.

 

We believe that with our help you can take back your power.