This is a story about how I followed my dream, got things wrong, fell into debt and tried to run away from it; it’s about how I clawed my way out and swore I would NEVER get in to debt again, only to find myself there once more; of how I did the same things over and over and wondered why things didn’t change.
And this is a story about the angels I had around me, the family and friends who literally scooped me up when I was unable to stand, held my hand and said : “you’re going to be OK”.
I want to share this story with you to tell you how Debt Angel Solutions came to be here.
I am and have always been an entrepreneur and I have always been a people person. For as long as I can remember, my mind has been buzzing with ideas of how I could make a difference and change things for the better, from volunteering to converting a working wharf into a stunning major Sydney entertainment venue, from working with businesses to help them operate better to launching international brands locally with that special Aussie sparkle, I have tried, and succeeded, in many different transformative ventures over the past 20 years. I succeeded on a professional level, but on a personal level, it was a different story.
As a fresh-faced 22 year-old I thought I could take on the world – so I tried!
I dreamt big and put those dreams into action. But I was naive, and my naivety got me into trouble – $150K’s worth of trouble, $150K’s worth of debt.
I had no idea what to do, so I stuck my head in the sand and left it there for 5 years. It’s amazing what you can do to escape a problem even though in your heart, you know it’s not going away. I avoided calls from numbers I didn’t recognize, I didn’t open my mail so that I didn’t have see what was inside the envelope, I even moved house and didn’t advise my creditors of my change of address.
On the surface, ignorance was bliss. But inside I felt awful. I knew I was lying to myself. In an effort to dull the gnawing feeling I lived with every day, I drank and smoked way too much and spent hours and hours watching mind numbing TV.
After five years of living like this, I knew it couldn’t go on. I knew that if I really did want to make a difference, in the world, to myself and to others, I had to take stock and clean the slate, so I started to investigate my options. The first option I was offered was a Part IX Debt Agreement. I considered this for quite some time. I had been living with the anxiety of massive unmanageable debt for five years – I wanted a quick fix, something to take that anxiety away NOW! But a Part IX didn’t sit right with me, something about it left me cold. It was something around Integrity – one of my core values. I had got myself into this mess – I was going to get myself out!
So I looked for other ways. I started conversations with my creditors, I learnt about what they needed, why they needed it and how they could help me. Over the next five years, I developed strategies and knocked down my six-figure debt to nothing, educating myself along the way.
And ten years to the day when I went from a fresh-faced entrepreneur to someone with $150K’s worth of debt – I was finally clear, I got myself debt free and saved myself thousands of dollars along the way.
Being debt free was wonderful. I felt renewed, facing the clear space to follow my entrepreneurial dreams once again. I put all my energy, time and effort once again into listening to other people’s needs and creating solutions, building platforms, systems and processes to enable other businesses to fly.
At the same time, I used what I had learnt to help friends and family manage their own financial problems, so much so that often they would tell me I should make a profession of it, but at the time I couldn’t listen. Helping those I loved was one thing but stepping back into the world of “debt distress” full-time – I simply didn’t have the emotional capacity at the time. I also became a mother, one of the most important roles and lessons I have ever had in my life.
So now with my hands fuller than ever before, juggling a new family whilst seeking out opportunities to satisfy my entrepreneurial cravings, I approached everything I did with the same energy and attitude that I had 10 years before.
But unfortunately, the energy wasn’t the only thing that echoed my twenties. Every time I produced a new idea, it cost me financially. These financial outlays took me back to a place I swore I would never go again, they put me back into debt. Spending money to make money.
I got caught up in this cycle, over and over again. I put huge time and effort into someone else’s ideas and I paid the price financially, I incurred debt and worked furiously to get myself out again. Build, borrow, pay-off, repeat, build, borrow, pay-off repeat. It was exhausting.
But this time, it wasn’t just my financial world that was suffering. Cracks started to appear in my personal world as well. A damaging and abusive relationship with my children’s father forced me to leave and start over again alone, the sole-parent of two children under three. I struggled to support the three of us, whilst bouncing around in this never-ending cycle of creation and debt. The only thing that kept me going was my support network, the friends and family I had around me.
I existed like this for a long time until I had another set-back, this time physical. A disc in my neck ruptured. In excruciating pain, and on a cocktail of medication, I tried to push on with my life. But I couldn’t.
A specialist told me I needed an operation that involved slitting open my throat to get to the top of my spine. The thought was horrific, I had no money, no health insurance, but all I could think about was getting rid of the pain. I was on incredibly strong painkillers that took away my ability to function. They left me comatose, unable to drive and unable to parent properly. Once again, my support network was amazing, helping out where they could, but depression set in and I began to feel that there was no way out.
One day I reached rock bottom. I got into bed, took a triple dose of medication, I was so desperate to get rid of the pain.
That night, I had a phone call. A long-time family friend, mentor and confidant was on the other end of the phone, telling me he had heard about the pain I was in and that I wasn’t alone, he was going to help me. Within 48 hours I was having (much less invasive) surgery.
Again, my support network gathered round me. The freezer was continually full. I didn’t have to cook a dinner for months! People constantly checked in to see how I was doing and whether there was anything they could do to help. One friend came EVERY morning for three months to take my children to school, others rotating to bring them home to me daily. It was incredible.
Knowing that I wasn’t alone, allowed me to gradually regained my strength.
With all of the love and support that I had from those around me, my mission became clear. I was ready to give back. I wanted to tell others that they are not alone, like I had been shown. I had come full circle and I was ready go back into “debt”, this time by helping others who were in the same or similar financial position that I had been in. It was time to hold out my handand say, you are not alone. I will walk with you through and out this, I will help you get to the other side.
And so Debt Angels was born. Starting my own company, using my own experiences, I knew I could really make a difference to the lives of thousands. Living with debt can be crippling, it eats away at you and keeps you trapped, it destroys relationships, self-worth and prevents you moving forwards. I had angels around me and they helped me climb out of the pit I had found myself in, It was time I realized my purpose and did that for other people.
At Debt Angel Solutions I have gathered my own team of Angels, people who have the same values and beliefs that I do. Debt is something that can happen to anyone, it’s so often the result of circumstance, of situations beyond our control. At Debt Angel Solutions, we don’t judge, we don’t question how or why people have found themselves in the position they are in, we simply support, nurture and Guide. We share our knowledge and expertise as we provide workable strategies and solutions that can help people get out of debt, with amazing results and often in timeframes you never thought possible.
To learn more about what we do and how we help our clients not only get back on track financially but also thrive in their lives please check out our website Debt Angel Solutions, or to speak with me personally, please get in contact.
Kitty Thomas xx
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