Cat Ivison passion is helping women feel and be wealthier. As both a certified financial coach and a certified accountant with over 20 years financial experience, she draws on her expertise to empower women with the confidence and knowledge to manage their own wealth.
Thank you for interviewing with us today, can you introduce yourself to us?
I’m Cat Ivison, I empower women to take control of their business & personal money today so that they’re confident they’ll always have enough, now and in the future. I’ve worked in Finance for more than 20 years for large corporates. Now I’m using my financial expertise to help women feel more money confident. As well as being a qualified accountant, I am a certified financial coach and I combine practical financial strategies with coaching techniques to help women understand and alter their relationships with money (aka their Money Mindsets) so they feel wealthier and actually are wealthier.
I’m a mum of 2 (my daughter Ellie is 9 and my son Nathan is 6) and I’m also passionate about changing the way we teach money in schools. I live in Sheen, South West London with my husband and children. I grew up in Australia (in the outback) but am about to celebrate 20 years from the day I landed at Heathrow intending to work and travel from the UK for a year or 2. Sure I miss the sunshine but I love my UK life and family too much.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
I trained and worked as an accountant for large corporates. Around 5 years ago I went back to work from maternity leave after having my second child. I was doing the working mum juggle that many of your will be familiar with (juggling commuting, childcare, sickness, having my pre kids career, and be always present for my family and relationship). At the time, nobody else at work had kids and I felt like I had to keep doing everything, and I never felt like I was doing anything well (nobody but me thought that btw – it was all in my head). I was lucky in that I was able to access coaching through my employer and had some amazing realisations on that growth journey, in brief that I didn’t prioritise myself and that I constantly felt like if I didn’t do more stuff (volume not quantity) I’d lose my job and my family would live on the streets (a big leap I know but that was my money mindset seeing lack of financial security).
That journey helped me see deep value in coaching and a couple of years later I certified as a financial coach because I really wanted to help people but around money, because money is such a cause of anxiety, guilt, shame and conflict in our lives.
And money is just a thing – it’s not good, bad or limited. Having money enables us to live our lives and gives us choice in what we do. It doesn’t change us as a person. Our Money Mindsets (or our relationships with money) give money power. So if we have abundant positive money mindsets we increase our wealth (financial & non-financial). If we have negative money mindsets we will decrease our wealth.
These days I have the most rewarding job in the world, I help women feel confident with money. Whether my clients are business owners or in corporate careers we focus on feeling deserved and confident to:
- ask for what you’re worth (pay rises/negotiations, client quotes, chasing client debts);
- accepting money graciously (client fees, bonuses, inheritances, client feedback/fees);
- investing in yourself & your business/self development;and
- using money in ways that grow wealth and are aligned to what they want in their lives (learning to balance spending money today (it’s important) on things that are aligned to your values with investing for for your future self and giving according to your values).
Since starting, have you made any changes to your business model?
No significant changes to my model but earlier last year I listened to my own advice and started charging what I’m worth.
Have you ever had a mentor?
If so how has this benefitted you either personally or professionally?
My background and expertise isn’t marketing so my business coach has helped me clarify who I want to work with and how I talk to them which has really helped in generating more quality leads. On a more personal level, I’m very driven by results and have mindset that gets negative when I’m not seeing results, both my coaching training and my business coach have helped me to address my mindset and recognise when the negativity is cropping up and use strategies to reframe my mindset.
What outlets do use for marketing?
My overall hope is that I can eventually work from networking & referrals alone (I currently am a 2023 Times rated coach and a member of BYO and Athena) but am currently also using Instagram and LinkedIn to create visibility. I also have an email list where I nurture my prospective clients.
What or Who has inspired you most recently?
Two clients and a colleague I’ve worked with this year have made such huge growth and transformations in their business and personal lives – seeing their effort and rewards has kept me going through the sometimes lonely early days of growing my own business.
What is the best piece of business advice you have received to date?
Focus on one priority at a time and deliver it well and set and stick to boundaries between my personal and business life.
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
Strict diary management. I block out specific times where I’m not available in my business (and that includes keeping my personal diary clear on what needs to be done (and share that with my partner) and I now do a weekly activity list so I’m clear each day on what I need to achieve. I’m quite an action driven person but if the actions I need to take aren’t clear, I procrastinate and get nowhere so I force myself to spend an hour prioritising actions and then I carry them out.
I don’t work weekends (that’s for family). I also have a cleaner and doggy daycare 2 days per week and have committed that as my business grows I will increase the dog daycare too. I have 3 exercise sessions per week in my personal diary and they aren’t negotiable for family or work.
Name a seminal point in your career so far?
Realising that working harder doesn’t mean I’ll be more financially secure (I actually believed that) and that compromising my family time and my mental health is not worth it for a little bit of praise (that might or might not come).
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
Clients testimonials like this where I can see my clients life is better, “My anxiety around money has plummeted and I’m viewing my interactions with family members about money through a new lens, which is making me happier and improving our relationships.”
Are there any leading entrepreneurs or SME leaders that you admire and if so, why?
Catherine Morgan has had a big impact on me for bringing the emotional side of money to real people and leading in making women wealthier, disrupting the stuffy, formal, antiquated approach to personal financial services.
I really admire a lady called Karen Crump who runs my local group personal training sessions, she started this business 10 years ago, is always sold out and makes every single client (and she must have 300 of us on a weekly basis) feel like we are getting constant personal attention. If I am even half as professional and amazing at delivering to clients as her I’ll be a very satisfied entrepreneur.
How do you define your own success?
Feeling & Being wealthy. And everyone’s definition of wealth (and I mean financial + non-financial wealth) is different. For me it is having enough money to enjoy my life with my family now (including investing in myself and treating myself and my family regularly) and to provide for my future self (pension/retirement), super-satisfied clients, a healthy family and time to enjoy my life with my family.
My aim this year is never to say “I blinked and missed it because work/life/stuff got in the way.”
Finally, what can we expect from you next?
I am about to launch a new intensive financial coaching programme,
“A month to feel in control of your money” to help women feel confident managing their money in 2023 and against the challenging economic circumstances. And I’m looking to really grow the number of women I can work with in my 12 week programme “Unearth the Wealthy You” to embrace abundance & feel empowered to control money holistically & flexibly, your way. To feel financially safe, secure & thriving. You’ll take control of your money today so that you’re confident you’ll always have enough, and that you’ll thrive now and in your financial future.