Having started her career in banking and finance, best-selling author and coach Beverley Fray now helps women achieve personal, professional – and financial – success. She explains how changing your relationship with money can transform your life.
As a black woman working in the UK banking and finance industry in the 1980s, Beverley Fray was ahead of the times. Gifted with a love for numbers, she enjoyed the flair and fast pace of working in London, first as a broker and then as an underwriter.
But in 1987 her lifestyle changed overnight when the stock market crashed. Beverley Fray saw crippling mortgage interest rates and major job losses in the financial industry the following year. She was left with debts that her finances could not cover. On top of that, she faced redundancy twice and her savings were running out fast.
“I was coming up to my 30s,” she explains. “I thought, what would I like to do? I knew that I needed a different path. I saw that health and wellbeing had become important to me, so I went away and trained in many therapies in that industry, focusing on my self-care and personal development. ”
Over time, Beverley’s career path changed again. She began working with more women who had suffered violence and domestic abuse and moved into voluntary work. “Running a project gave me more leadership and entrepreneurial skills.” This led to a part-time career with Citizens Advice for 23 years, being of service to people in a different way, supporting them with their challenges and getting known and trusted by management.
Over the years Beverley Fray has faced many challenges. She found her own money story was wrapped up in childhood trauma, followed by endometriosis, miscarriages, motherhood, stress-related illness, burnout and menopause. All these health challenges caused highs and lows in her finances.
“I knew I had to find my self-worth and value,” Beverley Fray says. “The list of my challenges are difficult enough to talk openly about but when it comes to money that is an even bigger taboo subject, causing trauma both for those who have it and those who don’t.”
Once she learned that money was not the true essence of who she was, but currency given as an exchange to celebrate all that she is here to contribute, experience and give, she was able to empower and inspire herself to think differently.
As Beverley started having conversations, sharing her knowledge, and learning with others, a double healing process began: she began to heal her relationship with money and herself. As she worked with more women on their journey through life and with money it amazed her that she was not alone. In fact, many were suffering in silence.
“I could see the gaps that need to be bridged. We as women want things but sometimes feel disempowered to go after them, for fear of how it might affect others’ thoughts or feelings about us. When it comes to money, being paid less depending on your status in life should no longer be acceptable but still happens and is impacting women the most. Research shows that very few women have conversations or talk openly about money. Is that because it’s felt ‘un-ladylike’ to do so, or is it because others will find out your darkest secret?”
The impact of this, explains Beverley, is that we don’t have money conversations with our significant other, our children or other family members, nor friends for that matter. The ripple effect is that no one is talking to anyone, so we all stay stuck in our money stories.
Beverley believes that financial education is the key but there are also major missing components that few want to talk about. She realised that the money story for each of us goes much deeper. It’s personal, it’s emotional, it’s cultural, it’s societal and it shapes us.
“If you don’t believe that you can earn more, you’re never going to earn it, because you will either set your own earnings ceiling or allow someone else to do this for you,” she says. “Making more money starts in the mind – you have to let go of beliefs and programming that could be unconscious and stopping you from living the life you want!
The key to her philosophy is powerful. “You have to know who you are, what you want, and what you stand for,” she says. This is something that she’s waved a banner for all her life. “Being, in some instances in my career, the only black woman – the only black person in some of the organisations I worked in – it was important to hold my position, to ensure that my work, my ideas, my opinions, were taken on board.”
Beverley went on to work for other not-for-profit organisations while sticking to a common theme. “I’ve always had a passion for helping women succeed in their careers and business. I love helping women overcome self-doubt and earn the money they deserve – because you can never make more money than you think you deserve,” she says.
At 50 Beverley found out she was dyslexic. Having a barrier with saying and structuring words has been painful but she has worked with this hidden disability because she knows she has a lot to say. She has overcome her fear of writing to co-author a book, Permission: To Do Life & Business Your Way, and now works with women as a Life and Money Breakthrough Coach.
Now living her best life, or ‘life in full colour’ as Beverley describes it, is something she wants to ensure that every woman can do.
“When I look at my journey, there have been times where I’ve needed to stop, take stock, and plan my next phase of growth. When I’ve done that, I’ve always created a more exciting stage of my career – and increased my income.”
“In the last twelve months, I have achieved more than I dreamt possible, from becoming the bestselling co-author of Permission, winning the 2021 Global Intrapreneurs Institute award for Outstanding Entrepreneur, to achieving additional coaching and mentoring qualifications”.
Beverley is now helping others to do the same. “Women have grown up thinking negatively about finances. I help them create a better relationship with money so that they can find the confidence to ask for more and manage it better,” she says. “Money is a tool to be used and you get to decide what wonderful things you want to do with it.”
Beverley Fray’s Five tips to improve your relationship with money:
- Begin to recognise that it is NOT always about the money
- Start to look deeper at what triggers you when you think about money
- Establish what’s important for you to resolve right now
- Talk to someone about it
- Never give up on your vision to create financial independence for yourself
Follow Beverley Fray on Instagram at @beverleyfray for regular updates or have a look at her website here for more information about her work.