Financially empowering people in recovery
There are Financial Coaches… And then there is Paul Roux. The fact that Paul has chosen to help people in ‘Recovery’ in lieu of a more lucrative option, has seen him emerge as a sought-after Global Pioneer in the field.
“My decade plus experience of being in the financial services industry has provided me with a particular set of skills. This together with my own experience of recovery has strengthened my credibility,” says Paul, who went through the road of recovery himself.
Growing up in Johannesburg, South Africa, Paul struggled with what he wanted to do in life and who he wanted to become, often feeling disconnected from others and the world. He ended up getting his Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Witwatersrand and relocated to Toronto shortly after.
However, he moved back home to South Africa after just 3 years, as his battle with addiction had taken root and his life became unmanageable. But by the Grace of God, in 2011 he got clean and sober after spending 18 months on a farm working a recovery program. He then got a job and studied part time to further his career in financial advisory.
“My dream is to empower others financially and bring new life to their money stories. By doing this, it can set my clients up not only for financial success but to go after their dreams. If there are more people with strong financial foundations living their life on purpose, the broader economy will benefit and endless possibilities await,” says Paul.
Since coming into recovery, Paul found a new passion for helping others. With his experience in financial advisory, his dream has been to empower the recovery community around building strong financial foundations. “Life is filled with uncertainties so it’s important that those in recovery have financial measures in place to protect themselves and more importantly, their recovery,” he opines.
Paul argues that not much attention has been given to personal finances in the recovery community. We know that money affects us emotionally, mentally and even spiritually. This can create stress and anxiety in our lives, affecting us in a myriad of ways including our relationships. People in early recovery are especially vulnerable, feels Paul.
Speaking about how he connects to such individuals, he states, “The spirit of play is fundamental to my coaching style. As adults, we often forget the importance of play and its role in our lives. Studies show that play improves brain functionality, releases endorphins, and stimulates creativity.”
Paul enjoys working with groups and doing individual sessions and is in the process of creating exciting online courses around managing money that will be both fun and engaging. Talking about the passion that drives him, Paul tells us, “Life is a gift and I am lucky to be given another chance. This truth has opened my eyes and given me the strength to be brave enough to do what I never thought I could. One of the biggest joys in life is to witness the fire in someone’s eyes when they share their BIG dream.”
Working in recovery can’t always be easy. How does he face the challenges? “Several years ago, I was diagnosed with an inflammatory bowel disease bringing a host of unforeseen challenges, including the inability to work for months at a time. Practicing gratitude and seeking God’s perspective really helped me. Overcoming life’s challenges brings experience, and experience brings wisdom, empathy and resilience. I always start the day with prayer and meditation followed by some exercise. In addition, recovery meetings, being of service to others, and seeking objective counsel from people I trust, help me bring balance and perspective.”
Eminent and enigmatic, Paul was honoured to have his own story of battling addiction and coming into recovery published in 2020. This anthology is titled ‘The Addiction Diaries: Stories of Darkness, Hope and all that falls in between’, and is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and others. In 2021, he was recognised by the NYC Journal as one of the ‘Top 30 Coaches to look out for’!
Ask him for a piece of advise, and he says, “The darkest days of my life have brought the biggest lessons. The pressures of life can leave us feeling crushed and powerless, but so long as there is air in our lungs, there is always hope for a better future. We can start with our own finances and make the decision to live on less than we earn and give ourselves financial breathing room. This in itself reduces stress and anxiety and gives us permission to focus on what really makes us happy.”