Growing up in Barrow-in-Furness, you either build nuclear submarines or leave. Chris Gawne chose the latter.
In Episode 3 of Humans Of Tech, we speak with Chris Gawne, the founder of Eurikah, to hear his story from adoption to building a business and finding his way to financial freedom.
Chris’s life didn’t start like most people’s. Born to a 16-year-old mother, he was immediately adopted by a local family.
But it wasn’t bad. There was no crisis of identity, resentment, or yearning to find out more about himself. There were no strong feelings at all. His adoptive family were honest and open. Choosing not to push him towards a particular path, all they cared about was whether he was happy in whatever he was doing.
Growing up in Barrow-in-Furness, you either build nuclear submarines or leave. Chris Gawne chose the latter. Not seeing a future in submarine building and preferring city life to country life, he left. Eventually founding Eurikah.
In this episode, we’ll cover Chris’ journey from why he desired financial freedom and the pragmatic steps he took to start a company and achieve it.
No stranger to hard work
Starting at a young age, he understood the value of money. From the age of 13, he started building a strong work ethic - whether it be delivering milk or papers, he’d be up early and working.
“I could see from an early age, people with more money could do more things, but I didn't understand how it worked at all. But what I did understand was that I could go and do things to get money to save that and then have the opportunity to do more things with it.”
It’s what sparked the flame in entrepreneurship. But it’s not greed that drives him nor the material gains. It’s the freedom that money provides that captured his attention.
“Find a way to become as financially dependent as early as possible because if you still want to work, great, but if you want to go and do something else even if it's just as a temporary measure, then I want that freedom. I've always wanted that freedom”.
Success isn’t a zero-sum game
“I think that's the starting point where I realised that this is not a zero-sum game, like for me to succeed, I need other people to succeed with me.”
Being good at something for the sake of being good at it isn’t enough for Chris. Because you alone are not going to be the one that makes a difference. But your team working together will.
It’s why Chris thinks being competent at the technical side of things is the least you should do. As anybody can quickly improve their technical skills within a few months, what’s much more important is having the people skills needed to strengthen those around you—something much harder to learn.
“The bit that will make good people great and great people fantastic, is the interpersonal side of things, knowing the ways that different people react to different things, knowing how to influence, negotiate, do you be quite assertive, do you try and bridge, are you more paternalistic, authoritarian?’’
Insight from the financial sector
Jobs in finance tend to pay better than most. However, they also give incredible insight into the nuts and bolts of an industry. You go from consumer to being on the other side of the fence, soaking up a tonne of useful experience.
It’s this experience and desire to strengthen those around him that guides his decisions at Eurikah today. This is why Eurikah only charges a flat fee rather than a percentage.
“So what we do is charge a flat £5 a month for everybody regardless of the portfolio size. And by doing that, the amount of money we can save in fees… So we've got a case study, over 40 years, we looked at the average pension, so 1.85% average pension fee, let's just take that as a hypothetical. The average salary is about £31 000, and the average employment is about £340/ £350 a month. In those two scenarios, exactly the same investment, exactly the same performance, the difference between 1.5% fee, and the £5 amount is £155,000 over the lifetime of that investment.”
Chris sees things differently from the status quo of the financial industry. He prefers to see each relationship as a long-term investment as he believes supporting clients throughout their entire journey leads to better outcomes for everybody.
“The way we've built our portfolio, you can look at them, and you can see how well they perform. You can see why we've picked the kind of asset classes we picked, etc. And I should say our portfolios are all based on a century's worth of data”.
This episode is jam-packed with actionable insight and it was an absolute pleasure to sit down and speak with Chris. Make sure to watch the full episode here, and subscribe to the podcast for more enticing stories.
Download or Watch the Full Episode Now
These were just a few snippets from the wealth of knowledge Chris shared in this episode.
To get the full picture and understand how you can get started on the path towards financial freedom, head over to your favourite streaming platform, or watch via our site, here.
Watch the full episode here.