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Written by JJ Barnes

www.thetableread.co.uk

I interviewed financial expert and author Claire Sweet about her career, what inspired her to write, and the work that went into her new book, Have Life Your Way.

Tell me a bit about who you are.

Hello! I am Claire and live in my dream property in the Kent countryside.  You’ll find me just as happy pottering around with my 8 alpacas in the garden, as travelling the world on global adventures…

I am an award-winning financial adviser and money coach and Founder of Peace Together Money Coaching (https://peacetogether.co.uk). I help business owners to organise their finances and create a wealth plan to grow their assets to £500K or more in the next 3-5 years. 

Claire Sweet, author of Have Life Your Way, interview on The Table Read
Claire Sweet

Alongside Peace Together Money Coaching, I have worked for fifteen years as a Financial Adviser and a Mortgage and Protection Adviser helping hundreds of clients to plan for their future retirement, protect their families and buy their dream homes. Building on my successful career primarily helping high-achieving female coaches and consultants, i now support them on their financial independence journey by coaching them to maximise their future wealth, without needing to go without holidays and things that make life fun.

I haven’t always had the financial security and independence – it’s something I have fought for, having suffered through two traumatic divorces and having left a heavily controlling relationship. I never seemed to have a voice or choice. All of this came with an emotional and financial cost – but when I was 22, I had a light-bulb moment of realisation and determination that my future and my finances were going to be handled by no-one else but me.

I am in the fortunate position of now being financially independent, but when discussing my situation with friends, many of them were so afraid of what would happen to them if they found themselves in similar circumstances. I realised then that what I wanted to do is help women gain their financial wings!

When did you first WANT to write a book?

I have been passionate about writing a book for a couple of years and knew that I wanted ‘Have Life Your Way’ to give every woman (no matter their age, location or career choice), the opportunity, not just for financial security, but for financial freedom.

I knew that my book would be another tool in my kit, as I continue on my mission to help others take action, delve deeper into their own money matters and start seeing everyday changes within their own finances.

When I went into the world of finance, I always wanted to be a different sort of financial adviser – and in the same way, I wanted to create a different sort of finance book. Something user-friendly and easy to follow, that feels more like a holiday paperback than a business or financial guide – but, something that is packed with actionable steps that make a massive difference to how the reader feels about their money and their wealth-building journey.

When did you take a step to start writing?

Claire Sweet, author of Have Life Your Way, interview on The Table Read

I first spoke to Abigail Horne at Authors&Co in October 2020 and came up with the concept of a finance book that felt like a holiday paperback. I was all set to start on my book in January 2022 when I got offered the opportunity to take part in a charity book collaboration project with some other amazing female entrepreneurs  – When Women Heal.

I thought by writing a chapter in a book, I could try out writing and see how I got on with it before committing to writing a whole book of my own. The feedback I got from the editor about my chapter was phenomenal, and the book shot to number 1 in 11 best-seller categories, which gave me the confidence to start on my own book.

How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?

I drafted the outline in June 2021 after the successful launch of When Women Heal, so about 7 months in total.

What made you want to write Have Life Your Way?

I know that this is a way for me to have an impact in the lives of thousands of women by providing them an easy to follow process, written in a light-hearted way using everyday language.

I passionately believe that getting on top of your finances is the key to building the life you really want because you can’t focus on growing your business or having fun if you constantly feel like you’re juggling money around. This happens no matter how much money you earn, if you don’t get the foundations ROCK solid™ – it doesn’t matter if you earn £30k a year or £300k.

Many women don’t seek support from a money coach, or have a financial adviser as many still have a picture in their head of a grey-haired bloke in a shiny suit who bamboozles them with jargon and tries to trick them into buying products they don’t understand – and I need the world to see that financial advisers can be fun!

What were your biggest challenges with writing Have Life Your Way?

The biggest challenge was carving out the time in my diary to write the chapters around running a business, training new staff, raising 2 children and caring for 8 alpacas. I found that once I got started writing in each chapter things flowed well as I get very passionate once I get going with something and love to get things finished.

What was your research process for Have Life Your Way?

Financial advisers complete a higher level qualification plus a minimum of 35 hours of continuing personal development each year, so I’m confident that my technical knowledge is up to date – but that then needs to be explained in a way that makes sense to the reader.

Claire Sweet, author of Have Life Your Way, interview on The Table Read

So I drew on my experience as a financial adviser having worked with hundreds of clients over the last 15 years, plus my own financial journey to allow me to provide real-life examples of concepts that actually work for most people.

Using case studies helps the reader to see what might be possible for them and how to implement the processes that I describe, plus provides a chance for the reader to get a feel for me as a person.

How did you plan the structure of Have Life Your Way?

I worked with the team Authors&Co to create a book that filled a gap in the market, different from other technical guides and reference materials currently available and decided that the book needed to be in two parts.

Initially I discuss the problems that the reader is facing and how they affect their day to life, moving on through why people struggle to deal with these things and then offer a solution.

Each chapter provides a self-contained task that can be completed to move the reader forward in their financial confidence journey even if they just dip in and out, rather than read it cover to cover in one go.

Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did Have Life Your Way need?

I went through a process of self-editing before submitting it to a professional proofreader and editor to critique. In the end every few changes were made, some of the sentences were joined together and the odd bit of punctuation corrected, but just minor tweaks overall.

Claire Sweet, author of Have Life Your Way, interview on The Table Read

What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a book?

Get clear on why you want to write the book, what do you want to achieve from it (publicity, book sales, sales of other products/services) and what the reader will gain from reading it. Choose a topic you passionately believe in and write about that -but remember to look to see if there is a market for what you want to write about.

Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?

I really enjoyed writing it and have had amazing feedback so far, so I’m sure another book will come at some point – but it’s too soon to say really. Lots will depend on what happens as a result of this book over the next couple of years.

And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?

I was so thrilled when it flew straight in at Number 1 on the Amazon bestseller charts in 6 categories including Financial Retirement planning, knocking New York Times Best Seller Dave Ramsey off the top spot and Small Business Accounting and Finance overtaking ‘Booking and Accounting for Dummies’. Other categories she hit No. 1 in were Investing, Business Accounting, International Business and Finance and International Finance.

Pop all your book, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:

  • Claire’s book is available via https://book.peacetogether.co.uk/have-life-your-way/
  • Peace Together Money Coaching – https://peacetogether.co.uk
  • You Tube: https://bit.ly/ClaireSweetYouTube
  • message me here >> https://m.me/ClaireSweet01
  • Facebook >> https://www.facebook.com/groups/itstheplacetobe
  • Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/peacetogethermoneycoach/
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