Kate Thornton is an English journalist and TV presenter. She was the first presenter on X Factor and she’s also presented on Loose Women and This Morning. Kate Thornton has had the opportunity to have 3 different careers and now she has launched TBSeen, the cashback and vouchers shopping deal site.
Refined Currency had the pleasure of interviewing her to ask her what her personal finance and career tips are!
Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m 43 years old, I’m probably half way through my working life now and I’m responsible for a child. I don’t have a partner, therefore, it all sits and rests with me. I’ve learned that you have to have your smarts about you when it comes to money. I invested in a pension, only to receive a letter from the pension fund telling me I can’t have access to my money for another 10 years. I think we owe it to ourselves to be as smart as we can be, not only in preparation for our future but also observe how we spend day to day.
What are three factors that you’d attribute to your success?
- Never hearing no.
Literally never hearing no. So many people said you can’t do this website TBSeen don’t be ridiculous but I didn’t find it ridiculous. I thought this is something I would use so I decided to build it for people like me who would find it useful and helpful and add value to their lives.
- Work hard.
It’s the simplest thing in the world and nothing feels better than achieving something and knowing that you’ve worked for it. Whether you bought the shirt on your back or that experience on your CV, nothing beats that feeling. I’ve always had an appetite and an interest in learning more, doing more and stretching my brain.
- Be curious.
We live in a world that is evolving and changing every day. If I hadn’t dived into technology and IT in the way that I’ve had to build TBSeen I think I’d be really behind the times right now. So I’m excited to work in tech in a way that humanizes it.
What money advice would you give to your 22-year self?
Knuckle down. Don’t spend it all on handbags. Don’t put all your money in your wardrobe but stick it in the bank. Get involved in property, it’s the best thing I ever did. It was so hard to get on the property ladder, it’s even harder now but once you’re in there you understand that money makes money in property, especially in London. Post Brexit and Trump on the horizon; let’s see how that does. Other money advice I would give is plan for tomorrow but also enjoy today. You can do both. A site like TBSeen has been created so you can put a little bit aside when you save on your purchases. You just have to be smart about with yourself and your money.
We spoke about today’s society being too caught up with immediate gratification. What are your thoughts on that?
We live in 140 characters and if a page doesn’t load in a heartbeat then we just don’t look at it. We are so bloody impatient and we forget that life is a marathon, not a sprint. So we have to learn to pace ourselves. It’s important to ask yourself, what are the things that excite and entice you? If your life changes don’t be afraid to take a diversion and step off course once in a while. The worst you can do is fail and failing is where you learn the most. So failing isn’t failing, it’s a lesson and it’s about how you frame it.
You are in the public eye quite a lot. How do you deal with likeability?
I had to learn to develop a tough skin and understand that you can never be everything to everyone. Put it this way, I don’t drink tea but I love coffee. So I may not be everyone’s cup of tea but coffee lovers love me! Understand that you can’t be everything to everyone. It’s hard, though, I can’t pretend, especially when you are quite young. Those comments can really cut deep and I can’t pretend I didn’t struggle with it. It’s human nature because 20 people can say nice things to you and the 21st person can say, “By the way, you’re really crap!” You have to gain perspective and that does come with age. You have to fight a few fires to understand life is like that. You can’t have highs without lows. The things I’ve learned the most have come from my hardest times.
What do you think of so many young women coming up on social media and making it into a full-time career?
I think it’s good. It will be interesting to see where it goes and I think there is a bubble and I hope it doesn’t burst. What I like is that social media has helped women build a business without all the overhead costs or the need for investment and most importantly, it has given women a voice. Freedom of speech is very important so when I see a girl on Instagram pouting I just think, “Speak up! You are more than an appearance. Lend a voice; tell me what you’re thinking because I’m intrigued. You are not defined by your lip liner. Use those lips and open them to form words and opinions that will change your life and somebody else’s.”
More of Kate’s wise words can be found on https://tbseen.com/contributors/kate-thornton
This interview was conducted and edited by Bola.