Angela is the director and owner of Wilton Associates, a passionate and experienced financial consultancy business specialising in the pensions industry. She is also the CEO of charity organisation New Ways. Currently living in London after a four-year stint in New York, Angela values the importance of home. Angela grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, one of nine children. Her mother’s wonderful example and generous spirit was cornerstone to Angela growing up happy, fulfilled and full of faith. Helping others was instilled in Angela through her mother and this continues to inspire Angela to live the same example. She is a huge admirer of those who have devoted their lives to others. Throughout her professional life, Angela has been conscious of doing a good job and being able help others to retire with a good quality of life. Through her charitable work, Angela emphasises that helping others has made a tangible difference in her life, getting back as much as she gives. Giving and family represent Angela’s heartfelt passions.
Angela balances her commitment to New Ways and other projects with the demands of running her consultancy company. She says, ‘It is always a challenge to manage the two but when you know that you’re truly making a difference to the lives of others, there is no better reward.’
Angela’s advice to her nephews and nieces
BETTER BUSINESS —Everyone Can Win
When it comes to creating a better business, the key is that at the end of the day everyone involved in your business needs to be happy and fulfilled. Whether that is from buying a product or service from your business, or your employees and yourself feeling that what we do every day matters and enriches us.
We have a responsibility to develop the skillset of those involved in our business and that includes the owner! Investing in people pays huge dividends. I have learned that everything in life is a negotiation, not just at work. A successful negotiation means both parties are happy with the outcome.
Many say the customer is the most important person and as an employee or business owner success comes from delivering the best product or service to that customer. But the real truth is that everyone involved needs to feel satisfied, and maybe even delighted, with what’s happening in and around your business.
We also need to try to be aware of our unconscious biases which tend to build up over the years. Being self-aware helps us to change and we should try not to let the negative ones impact our businesses and our life. My first professional job was with a stock-broker in Edinburgh and I was the antithesis of what they normally recruited so I had to manage my career while understanding this.
So, here’s the point—we have to put ourselves in other people shoes while still carrying on focusing on doing the right thing.
BETTER LIFE — Put on Your ‘Positivity Pants’
When it comes to creating a better life, let’s start with this thought: you can’t change the past you can only look to the future, so learn from past but don’t let it define you.
Someone asked me recently would I change my life if I could start again. But, I wouldn’t be who I am today without all those experiences whether good or bad. The things that influence who we are today generally are based on our interaction with other people. It means walking away from some of those influences simply isn’t possible.
So always remember that you are fantastic! That you can achieve anything you set your mind to. The strength of the human spirit is immense but there is nothing weak about asking for help – that’s what family, friends and colleagues are for.
Life is precious, so ensure you enjoy it and spend time with those you love. Then whatever happens in life you will have no regrets.
At one point in my life, my greatest sadness was that I would never have children but one of my sisters pointed out that I had so many nieces and nephews I could have the fun without the hassle (joking)! The key was that I had to look at my life in a positive light, not one filled with regret or sadness.
I was talking to one of my nieces recently about her future and it brought to mind a course she did as a youngster. The key takeaway from the course that she remembers was that every day we need to put our ‘positivity pants’ on. Yes, positivity pants!
Sadly, we meet many people who can be a negative influence but if we remind ourselves that we are amazing and can achieve what we want, then we can counteract those negative feelings.
None of us should give people power over us – easier said than done sometimes, but it will hold you back from achieving all you are capable of. I was probably thirty before I realised that I was smart; I hope all the young people figure that out before they’re ten. Of course, there is a fine balance between confidence and arrogance, so believe in yourself but ensure it is never at anyone else’s expense. And finally, you need to love yourself – you deserve it! And all the rest will follow as our happiness is in our hands.
BETTER WORLD Choose Kindness – The Rewards Last Forever
Being kind to people costs you nothing and makes the world a better place.
That reminds me of my brother Stephen who has been enormously kind to me in helping me write this —without him it would have been challenging. Just a little time or a few words can make a big difference to someone.
My mum, who has always been the most important person in my life, gave me a bookmark when I was about ten-years-old. It said, ‘If you see someone without a smile give them one of yours.’ That’s a great thought and I still have that bookmark.
It’s important to remember that those in difficult circumstances are very aware of their circumstances, so treat them as if they are not invisible. This helps their road to recovery. Even to acknowledge that they have asked for help is better than pretending they don’t exist.
No matter what our circumstances are, we can all give someone a hand-up, rather than a hand-out. We all have some time and talent, so it is not all about giving money, although that can help sometimes too.
My experience of working with others who need help and support is perhaps surprising. I discovered that people who need help can often teach you a lot about yourself. And also, what can happen when we don’t have a support network and awful things happen.
I once volunteered in a hospice in New York, I did some bereavement counselling amongst other things. What I realised later was that voluntary work helped heal me. I hadn’t really recovered from my mum’s death three years before.
So, remember to give to others because in giving you receive back tenfold, and your own life is enriched.
Bottom line is: care for others and our world – you will get it back with interest!