Money... it's a topic I never, ever write about. It's something I rarely bring up in conversation, and shy away from when people ask me questions about it. Because the truth is, I get questions from you all asking about money related issues ALL the time. I see them, I read them, and I shy away.
Because the truth is that I still find money just as tricky as all of you!
I have something called "dyscalculia." I was "diagnosed" (not sure thats the right term for it!) when I was 16. It's essentially dyslexia with numbers. Here's a link to a bit more information about it. I was super lucky to have a maths teacher at school who knew about the symptoms, and screened me for it. I'd never heard of it before, and I was actually the first person in my school to be screened for it at all. So you can imagine that when the results came back "off the charts" I had mixed feelings of relief, and anxiety. Here I was, being told that after all of these years of feeling really, really, really stupid when it came to numbers, there was a reason! I wasn't stupid, I was trying very hard, but something in my brain didn't quite line up properly. I was also worried, because would this mean that I'd be doomed to struggle with numbers for the rest of my life?
I kept that worry in me for a very long time. In fact, almost 10 years.
I actually managed to pass my IB maths exam, amazingly, thanks to the help of a wonderful maths tutor, who tragically passed away just before my exam. I was shattered that he never saw me pass it, but felt immensely proud of myself, and so grateful to him. I went on to uni, and when I realised that I wanted to run my own business, the fear that money and numbers would have to be a part of my life became hugely present in my head.
I finished uni, and started to work like crazy on Atlas Magazine, the magazine that I co-founded with my best friend, Megan. The magazine did well, but I didn't cope well with the numbers. I was on my own, trying to understand how to sell a product, and not a cheap product at that. I had HUGE bills coming in, bank charges flying at me, accountants to pay, let alone try to figure out how to make a profit or pay for myself.
I'm proud of what I achieve whilst running Atlas, but it wasn't for me. I learnt a lot, but just couldn't handle the pressure at the time. It lost it's spark a bit, and I do think that has a lot to do with the huge amounts of pressure the financial side of the business brought with it.
So I stopped, and I focused on my photography... which thankfully, I was feeling very inspired by, and ready to pursue.