Darren Collins, Educator, Coach and Footballer
We are pleased to have Darren Collins, personal finance educator, coach and former footballer out of Sittingbourne, England share with us some of his “First” childhood money memories.
Welcome and thank you Darren!
In His Own Words – About Darren
Hi! My name is Darren!
Previously a youth professional soccer (footballer in the UK) player for Norwich City FC, who had a semi professional football career cut short due to a knee injury (snapped Anterior Cruciate Ligament).
Undeterred, the last last twenty+ years has then seen me share my previous experiences as a soccer/ football coach and help youth soccer players (girls and boys) in the UK and USA to then achieve their full potential. One of these experiences saw me gain the privilege of working with top English Premier League football club Chelsea FC as a coach for their hugely successful ladies team.
I believe our future is brighter when we invest some time in understanding finance, a future that ultimately can provide all people a greater Independence, Freedom and Security that they can look forward to. As such, I am on a mission to encourage financial education with the young, old, and everyone in between.
A Coach and Teacher at Heart
Coaching/ helping people achieve their potential is very much part of my core, and it is this particular drive that led me to feeling the need to perform a similar role to the best of my ability in personal finance.
Growing up from humble beginnings in a working class community within East London UK, sport & Football (soccer) in particular provided so many sporting and travelling opportunities I never envisioned when starting out.
Knowing that personal finance in both the UK and the rest of world could be better communicated, it was this reason 6 years ago, that made me feel the need to pivot my teaching/ coaching energies.
Instead, I now concentrate on teaching/coaching the subject of personal finance where I feel I can make a bigger difference.
Constantly Seeking to Improve and Share Knowledge
So, in short, apart from currently training for a full Iron Man (in Cork – Ireland August 2022), which by the way I am using to help fundraise for a UK Financial Education Charity (myBNK.org), much of what I do involves constantly improving my knowledge of current personal and global finance/crypto trends.
My aim is to then share this information in the best way possible with the various students/ clients I work with.
A First Money Memory and Experience
My first experience of money or the impact of money was when I moved from primary school to secondary school (high school in the USA). Not only did I change schools, our family also moved to what was regarded as a more affluent area so I could attend this school.
All of sudden I was exposed to peers and parents that ‘appeared’ to have much more money than we did. It was eye-opening to witness people having more expensive trainers / clothes / cars than what I was used to.
As a pre-teenager at the time, I remember being hugely intimidated. It was this ‘wrongly intimidatory perception’ of money combined with the loss of initial opportunities I experienced that caused me to be ‘hell bent’ on ensuring other people have greater control and a better understanding of money at the earliest age possible.
With work and education I was able to overcome my initial fear based emotions related to money. Since that point in my journey, my relationship with money has totally changed. Today, I am certainly more into the opportunities it provides.
I feel life is a journey. Along the way I have learned there are some principles that I’ve used to grow that anyone can adopt if they seek to gain greater control over their money now and in the future.
When my school friends were working and earning much more money through their part time jobs than I was, I still had to find a way of earning money between 16-18 years of age.
I chose to earn money via a paper round, even if I was slightly older than the typical paper round person. However, I was not going to forego the opportunity of playing football (soccer) at the highest level for short-term money gains.
For me, it is important to focus on long-term opportunity rather than a bit of short-term pain.
This experience certainly helped me be a better investor, because it is key to concentrate on the long-term opportunities when it comes to investing in stocks and digital assets!
Control Your Destiny
Having the discipline to save/ invest for something you may want in the future, is something that provides you the platform to be in control of your own destiny.
It’s a case of, would you rather have a piece of chocolate now, or would you rather have the whole box of chocolates later.
I know which one I would rather have, and this is a viewpoint I adopt when it comes to investing.
I ask myself and encourage you to ask yourself and teach your kids to ask themselves – Where in your life could this way of thinking help you?
It has worked for me. I think it will work for you and your children. It will give you more control of your financial destiny.
When growing up, I made reference to being intimidated by the peers and parents that had all the designer clothes and cars.
The question I ask myself now but did not then, is were they truly able to afford this?
I wonder for example, how many of those people that have really nice cars are doing it at the expense of owning their own property?
Here is what I realized, if one is going to purchase a designer/ luxury item, then they want to be sure to do it from a position of strength (money on assets), rather than a position of weakness (taking out more and more debt).
A Memorable Money Mistake
I made the mistake in my late twenties of purchasing a luxury car I did not need. And I did it with a car loan I could not afford to pay because I thought it would look good and be a signal to people I was doing well.
Why? Because, my friends (the Jones’) were doing the same.
Trying to keep up with the Jones is a bad idea and one that will divert you from you game plan and goals. It will only increase your debt. So, don’t do it. Don’t make “look good” purchases unless you can truly afford them!
A Favorite Money Book
Rich Dad, Poor Dad was the book I read at the time of purchasing the car mentioned above. The book that made me realise I had to sell the car within months of this purchase.
This book was without a doubt my first proper money mentor! Although I was in my late 20’s when I read it, the book helped me move my own compass needle for the better.
I encourage everyone to read it. It could make a significant difference in your life too!
Start Today. It’s Never To Late
So, if you’re a parent thinking it’s too late to begin to save/invest, that’s not true!
Today is the best day to begin! There are so many benefits to getting in the habit of saving! Beyond the obvious growth of your money, consider the ‘discipline’ is builds? What a benefit! ‘Discipline equals Freedom!’ This is a quote from retired Navy Seal and podcaster Jocko Willink! I have it ingrained in my brain. It is a statement that has so many truth attached to it.
It is very basic. If you know what you need to do to achieve your goals – do it! Perform the required tasks in a disciplined fashion. This means it is YOU that is in control and no one else. That means you are the person creating your freedom.
When it comes to budgeting, saving and investing, if you stick to your plan diligently, you can create your current and future freedom.
So, start now. Start small. Do your planned tasks. Save and invest regularly and your situation will steadily grow and improve. One day your results may even compound!
Get Your Interest to Compound
Warren Buffett – the famous rock star investor is a huge advocate of compound interest. Now, whether this be in life or with saving/investing, the power of compounding cannot be underestimated. Small percentage increases make huge bounds later down the line, whether those increases are daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly.
So, with this in mind, let me leave you with the great quote in bold below.
And please don’t hesitate to get in contact if you do have any questions as a result of anything I have shared.
Just 1% a day…
Whatever you want to get better at, do 1% more a day.
1% a day, compounded, is 3678.34% in a year.
Have an amazing day… make it happen.
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