About two weeks ago, I attended another Wimbiz RoundTable meeting where Arese Ugwu was the Speaker of the month. At this meeting, she shared some of the ups and downs of her journey to becoming a best selling Author of The Smart Money Woman, a sought after Speaker and respected voice in the field of Personal Finance in Nigeria and beyond.
In case you didn’t know, Arese Ugwu Arese Ugwu is the author of the bestselling and ground-breaking The Smart Money Woman, the finance book presented in a novel format but which address various aspects of financial literacy . This book was released in 2016 to wide acclaim locally and internationally. Arese has gone on tour with this book across some states as well as Ghana, South Africa and the UK.
She has with the Smart Money Movement empowered young Africans with relatable financial intelligence thus helping them to make smarter money decisions and build a sustainable financial future. Arese holds an MSc in Economic Development from University College London (UCL) and a BSc in Business and Management from Aston Business School, Birmingham. She also sits on the board of a number of House of Tara, and the Nigeria Higher Education Foundation and of course, she is an Associate Member of Wimbiz
After coming face to face with a marriage breakup and financial challenges therefore and a young child to care for, Arese decided to take control of her financial situation and turn things around.
One think that has always struck me about her every time I’ve heard her share her story is the fact that she had self doubts but still went ahead to take on territories. Her story is one of inspiration, boundary-breaking and taking new frontiers. I was able to capture her for a very, very brief chat afterwards in which she shared a couple of things. Enjoy.
You could have pursued any line of work with your impressive resume, why Personal Finance and financial literacy for the individual?
It was something new I kind of fell into, I worked in financial services, I think with things I learnt there I just figured out I want to do something that requires expertise, and I knew how to break down financial jargons to average man’s understanding.
At the Wimbiz Round Table
The Best selling book – Smart Money Woman
You decided to take your message further and write a book and the book has become a huge movement. Was this what you planned and what has the experience been like?
Yes, when I was writing the book I wanted people to have conversations about it, talk about it to their friends, sisters, family, I wanted it to be a movement. So Yes. I didn’t expect it to be this big, but I hoped that it will have impact, and the fact that it has gotten to this level is actually amazing.
You have a bestseller, especially in an environment where books do not sell, how exactly have you been able to achieve this in one sentence.
I got creative about solving problems, leveraging relationships and opportunities.
Listening to what you said at the event, you expressed that you had personal doubts about your ability. How were you able to overcome those personal hindrances?
Firstly, I think about why I’m m afraid, create a plan that counters it, and then also surround myself with the best people. I had the support of my friends who believed in me and repeatedly cheered me on.
What is the one key thing to remember on the issue of finances in this economy especially as a woman and I know your message is not just for women is for everybody?
How you spend your money should match your values.
I’m sure even you have made finance mistakes in the past, can you share a bit of that?
Over spending, I’m naturally an impulsive spender, but I just learnt to work around it and you can’t be perfect. For me, it is about creating a system around my money that removes me from the equation, that makes sure that I am meeting my goals and is not about me is already stated. To stick with what u can afford. Doing something your income can support.
Are you going to be writing any more books in the future?
Oh yes, that’s the plan.
Tell us fun fact about you.
I love traveling.