As ‘The Ultimate Relationship…the one with yourself. Insights and epiphanies of a 21st century woman‘ has recently been published, we caught up with its author, Fiona Price (Marketing MBA, 1984) to find out more about the book and how the experiences included might help others. We also discussed her impressive career, from a busy life in the City, supporting and empowering women with their finances, to living a quieter life in Wales, and the trials and tribulations that came with that. A very inspiring story, highlighting that the ultimate relationship really is the one with yourself…
Huge congratulations on the release of your new book: The Ultimate Relationship…the one with yourself. Insights and epiphanies of a 21st century woman! Please tell us about it and why you were inspired to write it in the first place?
For as long as I can remember I have been searching for answers to questions. Big ones such as the ‘why, what and how’ of all that there is and my role in it. And practical ones, such as, how to communicate with my body to create good health and repair it when it’s broken, how to be more effective and how to create more of what I want in life.
In the process, I have learned that the ultimate relationship is the one with yourself. What you think and how you respond to every situation defines who you are and what you experience. Realising this is the easy part, living it is much harder.
When I was packing up to move from Wales in 2021, I decided it was time to say goodbye to several boxes of written material that I had carried around for years. They contained journals crammed full of thoughts, insights and epiphanies that had helped me make sense of my life, talks I had given, and articles, diaries and poems I had written. A bonfire beckoned but I felt compelled to read everything one last time. After I had done this, I still couldn’t commit my writings to ashes without sharing the best of what had been so life-changing for me.
The Ultimate Relationship is an eclectic mix of my survival strategies for life, business and everything. It tells my story from the inside out through a bid to take control of my mind, my body, and my world. It also explains how I learned to hone my connection with the ‘invisible helping hand’ – that multi-dimensional part of us which will one day be explained by physics. The book is part narrative and part insight, woven into a guide to practical spirituality and quantum psychology which, I hope, will help the reader to navigate difficult times and become a bigger, grander version of themselves.
I believe we are at a turning point in history. This is a chance to reinvent our world. But we need to think and act differently. It requires a combination of creative intuitive intelligence (a feminine attribute), harnessing our true power and a re-connection to the natural world.
This, I believe, is the next evolution in human consciousness, which will enable us to step out of a ‘problem-reaction-survival’ mode, into something far more elegant. In so doing, we change our lives.
What do you hope the book will achieve?
The material is for everyone. Wisdom does not have a gender, colour, creed, class or profession. However, as many of the insights were gained during the formative years of my business life when I was working with women (I describe this period of my life, in the book), I have dedicated it ‘to my fellow female warriors who have the courage to live their truth.’ We are in an age where a more feminine outlook is long overdue in our world (regardless of gender) which brings compassion to decision-making and unites us.
I also feel that the information in my book is appropriate for our times, as increasing numbers of people (through the crisis of the last few years) are realising they can no longer delegate their well-being to external sources and must, therefore, take personal responsibility for becoming more self-sufficient (in every sense). The book provides a starting point. The first step is to understand what we think, because thought has energy. Thus, it has a cause-and-effect relationship with our own biology and the world around us.
You’ve also pioneered an excellent career in finance, winning numerous awards and being highlighted on many prestigious lists. How did you find being a woman in finance?
I have written about this in the book. Being a woman in the financial world in 1983 was a shock! I seemed to be the only one. So, I went in search of a peer group and became very involved in the early days of business women’s networking in London in the 80s, which was just getting going then. My involvement in networks gave me the idea to set up a business to advise fellow women. Women often lacked confidence with numeracy and, by extension, in dealing with money and finance. I, myself, had struggled with maths and stats in my education. That was primarily because of social conditioning that numbers were not a ‘girl’s subject.
As a result, women often appreciate a financial environment that is empowering and not intimidating and jargonised. At the time, many men in the financial sector thought it amusing that I should set up such a business. But it became successful and I found myself becoming a regular contributor to the personal finance media where being a woman proved to be an advantage, as I stood out from the suited crowd, and talked in plain English!
It sounds like you’ve always enjoyed a challenge! Could you tell us about some of your other positions?
The quest to change myself and the world around me led me to create businesses based on the things I was passionate about. My first long-term business (which began in 1988) was born out of a mission to help women become financially independent, an idea which was unheard of at the time. I also set up a non-profit organisation to promote women in the financial sector, who were an inspirational minority. Later on, in the pioneering days of video online, I set up a website to publish interviews with top UK businesswomen which showcased their different leadership style.
A subscription video website came next. This time, to inspire horse owners through providing insights into how top equestrians trained and cared for their equine athletes. And more recently, a website sharing my own ‘rewilding’ experience in Wales, including the trials and tribulations of living alone in a remote location. These businesses and others, plus my sporting endeavours (two sports at international level) and various NED positions, provided continual challenge and change which has been a catalyst for personal growth. And that brings me to the book.
Looking back, how would you describe your MBA experience?
I was not a typical MBA student, in that I chose to do the course immediately after my undergraduate psychology degree. This wasn’t ideal as I didn’t have a frame of reference for the working world. However, I gained a sense of this from fellow students who brought a wealth of practical experience to discussions and group projects. Meanwhile, the syllabus gave me a theoretical understanding of how the corporate world worked and proved formative in helping me decide to take the path less travelled, that of the entrepreneur! However, the MBA provided an understanding of big business which was useful in advising my personal finance clients who worked in this environment and, later, in the mentoring work I did. Some years after, I found myself on the advisory board of City University Business School (as it was then), contributing my insights, which was a rewarding experience.
What advice would you give to others looking to follow in your footsteps?
I don’t think it’s about following in my footsteps. We are all different and our journeys are unique. However, there are a few things I would suggest. Firstly, question everything. Much in our world, is not as it seems. Also, learn to follow your instinct. It’s the best ‘sat nav’ we have in life and usually gets buried in the pursuit of intellectual excellence, so we must re-discover it. The order of play should be instinct first, intellect second. Be prepared to go against conventional thinking, and also to follow your passion. When you are passionate about what you are doing, it doesn’t feel like work. Also, your energy is infectious and you will be an inspiration to others. This changes lives.
Thank you to Fiona for sharing her inspirational story with us!
Where to buy the book: ‘The Ultimate Relationship… the one with yourself. Insights and epiphanies of a 21st century woman’ is available from online bookstores in most countries. It is in print and e-book formats.