Episode 171: Accountancy, parenthood and Bitcoin journalism: a radical career reinvention – with Susie Violet Ward

Everyone wants to be passionate about the work they do, but what can you do when you’re stuck in a career you’re no longer passionate about? 

Susie Violet Ward was in a prosperous but unfulfilling career and knew the only way she could get out was by being made redundant. 

She explains how she got made voluntarily redundant, built a job around something she was passionate about and why she doesn’t have a Plan B.

Today’s guest

Susie Violet Ward

LinkedIn: Susie Violet Ward 

Twitter: Decentra Suze

Substack: Decentra Suze

Forbes: Susie Violet Ward

Susie Violet Ward is a journalist and financial analyst specialising in bitcoin.  She is a co-founder and Head of Mining and Sustainability at Bitcoin Policy UK.  Susie also writes as a bitcoin columnist for CityAM and a contributor at Forbes.  Her research is centred on the benefits of bitcoin mining for renewable energy.

What you’ll learn in this episode

  • [1:30] How Susie explains what she does for a living.
  • [2:10] What it means to be a bitcoin journalist. 
  • [3:32] How Susie became a bitcoin journalist. 
  • [6:27] The different ways to become an accountant and the benefits of not going to university. 
  • [9:10] The IT aspects of accounting. 
  • [10:22] The challenges of moving to part-time work after having a child.  
  • [15:05] Why working part-time can make your job more enjoyable. 
  • [16:33] The challenge of working from home and homeschooling at the same time. 
  • [18:43] How to know when it’s time to make a change in your job. 
  • [19:59] The benefits Bitcoin has over other cryptocurrencies. 
  • [21:37] Why Susie got interested in Dogecoin. 
  • [22:30] What made Susie want to work in Bitcoin journalism. 
  • [25:47] How Bitcoin can be good for the environment. 
  • [26:47] How Susie managed to get made redundant by asking her boss. 
  • [30:33] The way redundancy gave Susie the freedom to start a new career. 
  • [31:15] Building a career around writing. 
  • [33:32] How Susie’s parents reacted to such a big career change. 
  • [35:05] The pros and cons of focusing on a future career. 
  • [37:00] How to manage criticisms around a career change.

Resources mentioned in this episode

Please note that some of these are affiliate links and we may get a commission in the event that you make a purchase.  This helps us to cover our expenses and is at no additional cost to you.

Episode 171: Accountancy, parenthood and Bitcoin journalism: a radical career reinvention - with Susie Violet Ward

Jeremy Cline 0:00
Is there a cause about which you were so passionate that you'd give up your job and make it your life's work? Is there anything which feels just so important that you'd like to devote yourself to it? How can you do that and also earn a living? Well, that's what we're going to talk about in this week's episode. I'm Jeremy Cline, and this is Change Work Life.

Jeremy Cline 0:36
Hello, and welcome to Change Work Life, the podcast where we're all about beating the Sunday evening blues and enjoying Mondays again. If you want to know how you can enjoy a more satisfying and fulfilling working life, you're in the right place. A radical change of career is exciting. But it could also be pretty scary, especially if you're looking to leave a secure, steady job for something where there's much less certainty about when and possibly even whether you'll get paid. How do you manage that sort of transition? That's what we're going to find out from this week's guest. Susie Violet Ward is a financial analyst with a background in accountancy, and a journalist specialising in Bitcoin. She writes for CityAM and Forbes, and is also a co-founder of Bitcoin Policy UK. Susie, welcome to the podcast.

Susie Violet Ward 1:24
Thank you for having me.

Jeremy Cline 1:25
So, when someone asks you what do you do for a living, what do you tell them?

Susie Violet Ward 1:29
I'm always quite hesitant. And I don't actually like the question, because when I say Bitcoin journalist, often nobody's even heard of Bitcoin. So, it's very, very difficult to explain. And there's so much nuance involved in Bitcoin that it's difficult to even start to explain the concept.

Jeremy Cline 1:46
Okay, so journalist. So, that's how you describe yourself, leaving aside the subject matter?

Susie Violet Ward 1:52
Yes. But generally, I do specifically say Bitcoin journalist, but I could say journalist, but I know that they'll just ask me what I write about. So, I just go upfront, Bitcoin.

Jeremy Cline 2:04
So, what does it mean to be specifically a Bitcoin journalist?

Susie Violet Ward 2:09
So, a lot of people have a very dim view of Bitcoin. And it's because, since its creation on the January 2009, there's been a lot of misinformation and fear, uncertainty and doubt around the assets and the protocol. So, journalists don't always write factually correct articles, because it takes hundreds if not thousands of hours to fully understand the network, the philosophy, the ethos, how it works. And journalists just get given assignments. So, oh, could you just write an article on this? Or could you write an article on that? And they haven't done the work, they haven't, they haven't put in the proof of work. So, when it comes to writing articles, they're often ill informed. And so, I want to completely dedicate my time to learning about it, and only that, because then I know that I can write accurate articles that inform, rather than mislead.

Jeremy Cline 3:19
I'm definitely going to want to ask you some questions about that in more detail. But I do want to start by going back a bit and talk about how you got to where you are. So, I mean, your early career, where did that take you?

Susie Violet Ward 3:33
Well, I started at McDonald's, if you want to go. So, after that, I became a secretary and then an assistant accountant, and then a management accountant, and then a consolidation accountant, and just went through lots of different accounting roles. I loved it, actually, I thought it was absolutely fantastic. It took me to New York, I managed to do all sorts of wonderful things, I worked with amazing people. And then, I just started learning more about the systems side of accounting, and I was that bridge between the finance team and the IT team. And then, I slowly started moving more into IT with a knowledge of finance. And I've worked on several systems, including CODA, Oracle, Cognos was the main one that I would work on, and I would become a developer for said system, and I would help to support it. In 2010, I had my daughter, and I was managing a finance systems team at the time with several applications. But I wasn't able to do that and go part-time. So, I had to take a demotion to be able to work three days a week. So, I ended up working on the team that I used to manage. And that was fine, and that worked for a long time. And I was just happy that I was doing what I knew, and I wasn't having to work in a shop or do something else that offered part-time opportunities. But the problem with that is, I didn't grow. And I didn't have the same opportunities as my work colleagues, because I felt like a tick box. Great, we've got a part time mummy in work, doing what she knows how to do, great, tick, tick, tick. And I suppose after the pandemic, I mean, during the pandemic, or before the pandemic, rather, I loved the social aspects of work, so I forgave the fact that I wasn't growing in my career, because I would skip into work, make a coffee, big smile on my face, everybody else would be really depressed, and I'd be like, 'Yay, work', because I was at work less than I was at home. So, the balance was incredible. Everything about it was fantastic. But it just didn't lead to anything new. It started to become a problem. And then, during the pandemic, we had to work from home. And then, everything that I loved about my job just disappeared. The interaction with people, having a laugh at your desk, all of the lovely things that you do, chinwag by the coffee machine, all that jazz.

Jeremy Cline 6:13
So, going to your becoming an accountant in the first place, I mean, one fairly tried and tested rule is that people graduate from university, and then, they join an accountancy firm as a trainee and go that route. But it sounds like your route in was perhaps a bit more organic, a bit more of unexpected maybe, I don't know, I'm guessing the 10-year-old Susie wasn't going up to mommy and daddy going, 'I'm going to be an accountant when I grow up.'

Susie Violet Ward 6:40
Definitely not, no, I was going to be Madonna. For a long time. I was just trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I left school when I was actually 15 with very little qualifications, very few. School didn't suit me, because I was being told what to do, and I find that really hard. So, if I find something, then it's completely different. I have so much driving energy, and I can absorb information, I can absorb so much information about the subject. But if somebody tells me what to do, I just shut down. I can't do it. So, school wasn't good. And I was working in McDonald's at the time, and mum and dad were really quite worried and trying to get me to do some A levels, and I thought, no, no, no, don't send me to do A levels, I'll have to pick three subjects I don't care about necessarily, and I won't do very well, and it'll be a waste of my life. So, I said, leave me alone, and I will find my own way. I promise I will find my own way, don't hassle me, and I will do it. So, I was looking through a college prospectus, and I saw accountancy, and I thought, well, I just knew that that was something that I would be good at, because I was very good at budgeting, really good with numbers, liked looking at data and figuring stuff out. And so, I just went to college and did evening classes. And because I then became a secretary on a finance team, because I was studying evening classes, it gave me a little bit of an extra edge to be a secretary within that team. And then, they just kept teaching me, and the rest is history. It was just a gradual process. But what was so great about that is, a lot of my friends went to university, and they came out of uni with no work experience and a whole load of debt. By the time I was 21, I had owned a home for two years, I was building up a career, and I'd already been working since I was 16. And I had the qualifications, because I went and did them at evening classes. So, I would actually say that the best thing I ever did was not go to university.

Jeremy Cline 8:49
Accountancy is one of those professions which is incredibly broad. You can go into doing all sorts of different things. What led you to more of the IT side? Was that just circumstance of where you happened to be working at the time? Or was it a bit more deliberate than that, as you found out more and more about the profession?

Susie Violet Ward 9:11
I think I like problem solving. And I like solving puzzles. So, IT felt like it lent itself to that more. And I worked on a project, and I liked it. So, I was seconded onto a project by my manager for an implementation of Oracle. And after that, I just thought, 'Oh, this is interesting.' It's like a new bridge between two little worlds, and I can have one foot in either camp and then speak to both sides and help each side understand the nuances of the other.

Jeremy Cline 9:48
And that's an incredibly useful skill to have, isn't it, where you've got knowledge in two different areas and can act as that kind of conduit between the two, which I guess is kind of what you're doing now with Bitcoin as well.

Susie Violet Ward 9:59
I suppose so, yeah.

Jeremy Cline 10:01
And moving up to the bit where you had your daughter, came back from maternity leave, and you said that you could no longer lead the team that you were leading, you had to effectively become a member of that team and no longer leader of the team, how was that presented to you by your employer?

Susie Violet Ward 10:23
It was a case of, if you want to go part-time, this is the role that you can have, we can't offer you a part time position as the manager of that team. And I was fine with that at the time. I mean, I really thought that I was going to end up working in Marks & Spencer's, which I was quite excited about, because I hear that they get a really good discount. But I would have preferred to stay in the role that I knew and loved, because I've been working towards that career since I was 16 years old. So, I didn't want to have to leave it just because I'd had a baby. But at the same time, I didn't want to work full time, because I wouldn't have been able to be a good mum and work full time. I just felt that that wouldn't have suited me.

Jeremy Cline 11:06
And had you taken the decision to go back to work full time, presumably, you'd have been able to do what you'd been doing previously. Did you ever think about that?

Susie Violet Ward 11:14
No, it wasn't an option. Because it would have been too stressful, I can't cook, do the washing, pick up, I would have had to have put my child into nursery five days a week, and the guilt, the mummy guilt that I would have felt doing that, because you drop them off at eight and pick them up at five, and they're there, it's a long day for a little person, so I just didn't feel like it was something that I could do. I would have sacrificed my career to have been there for my children, rather than the other way around. Unfortunately, the burden of childcare often falls on the woman. I know things are slowly changing. But nothing changed for my husband; he went back to work, and life was exactly the same. All the difficult decisions had to be taken by me. I know that that's changing now, which is good. But we've still got some work to do, I guess.

Jeremy Cline 12:05
It's interesting that, I think, whoever is, if you like, the primary carer, assuming that it's not a nursery or some other childcare setting, you kind of can't, or it's very difficult to do that job, bringing up a child, and also doing something which could be particularly demanding on your time, in terms of, oh, we want you to go out to, I don't know, Geneva or something on a few days' notice to work there, or now we need you to do something at 10 o'clock this evening, or that kind of thing. It's just really hard to do that at the same time as doing childcare.

Susie Violet Ward 12:42
Yeah, absolutely. What we worked out in the end was, my husband went part time, and I went part time, and we only had to send our daughter at the time to nursery two days a week, rather than five days a week. And it worked out brilliantly. But it was only because my husband had the flexibility to be able to do that. I know from when I was working in the office, I would speak to a lot of daddies and ask them if they would go part time if they had the choice. And many of them said yes. But there's a social aspect to that, and there's another financial aspect. Because when you look at the gender pay gap, and women earn less than men, so when two people have a baby together, they look at their salary, and they say, 'Well, I earn more, so it should be you that goes back to work.' It's a logical thing. But if you're working in a world where there's a gap in pay between genders, then that's most of the time going to be the case. But I was just lucky that my husband had the ability to work part time. In an ideal world, childcare should be shared between both parents, and employers should be able to accommodate it, whether you're male or female.

Jeremy Cline 14:03
And it's interesting that it's often things like the relative salaries that ends up being the determining factor. So, if the husband is earning more, then it is more likely that they will carry on working, carry on earning, and maybe be less involved.

Susie Violet Ward 14:21
Yeah, it makes financial sense. But then, it creates another divide. There are all sorts of social issues that come from that. I mean, we know that the cost of living has risen exponentially more than wages, which is why we are in a position where two people have to work anyway. So, it just makes sense to look after all working people in the same way and treat them in the same way, so that people can make decisions for their families that are based on their circumstances and not what has been a social norm.

Jeremy Cline 15:00
When you went back part time to your job, did you at the time have any feeling about whether this was just a stop gap, or whether this was a long-term solution, or did you just not think about it at that time?

Susie Violet Ward 15:17
No, I just felt exceptionally lucky. I didn't think about anything else other than how grateful I was to still be able to work in my chosen career, and earn a decent wage, but three days a week. I just felt like I'd won the lottery.

Jeremy Cline 15:36
And it sounds like there was also a genuine interest in the work.

Susie Violet Ward 15:40
I loved it. Yeah, I really did. I really enjoyed what I was doing, I liked everything about going to work. And what made it even better was that I was there less than I was at home. So, I think that most people don't enjoy work, necessarily, if they don't have the balance right. And it is all about balance. I think everyone should work part time.

Jeremy Cline 16:02
As someone who has worked part time for a few years, I wholeheartedly agree with that. It opens up your eyes. But on the other hand, I'm also in quite a privileged position that my salary is such that, even on part time, it's still quite manageable, which is nice. So, you're loving work, you're loving the job, you're loving the social aspect, and then, the pandemic happens. So, what is it about the pandemic then that creates such a radical shift that you're starting to think about do I really want to stay doing this now?

Susie Violet Ward 16:37
It was working from home. So, working from home and trying to home-school broke me. It absolutely broke me. I was an absolute wreck. I had so many health problems during that time, so many things, my body broke. Because once again, that mummy guilt comes in, I know that I've got to meet my children's needs. So, that's education, food, washing their clothes, love, attention, all of those things. But I've also got to work. And I can't do both. So, you have to prioritise. But you need to do both, because there's an expectation on me. And so, the stress was, while I was watching, I remember watching Good Morning Britain, and Piers Morgan was on there at the time, and he was saying, 'Oh, people are sitting at home, watching Netflix, moaning about it', like, I'm not watching Netflix, I'm tearing my hair out. I've never been more busy. It was horrific. But then, after that, and then people started working from home more, childcare clubs stopped, there were less options for the kids to do, which meant that I wasn't as easily able to go into the office, and so people then worked from home more, but the only part of work I enjoyed was going into the office, but the pandemic had changed how everything operated, what was available. And so, everything had to be completely reworked out.

Jeremy Cline 18:06
So, if we look at this now in hindsight, yes, more people are working remotely, or they're doing some kind of hybrid model. But in terms of schools being open, after school care, that kind of thing, everything seems more or less to be back to normal. So, I'm curious as to your thought process about something's got to change, versus, well, maybe once we're through all this, it'll be back to normal, versus your motivation for deciding, no, I can't carry on doing this job.

Susie Violet Ward 18:40
Well, it's back to normal now, but it wasn't straightaway. It took time, which meant that I was spending far too much time at home. And the best part of my job had disappeared. And so, you start searching for other things. And it was during that time that I found Bitcoin. And I realised that I couldn't stop reading about it, learning about it, it was so interesting. Every aspect of it was a different angle that I hadn't considered within the world of finance. And because I'd come from a financial background, this was a new type of finance, and it absolutely amazed me. And so, the more that I looked into it, and the more that I learned about it, the more I wanted to learn about it, and the more my old world just seemed like a hinderance, rather than a help. So, the social aspect had gone; I'd found a new interest. And the only thing that was holding me back was this job. Which it was a job; it wasn't a career anymore. And that was the problem.

Jeremy Cline 19:55
What got you interested in Bitcoin in the first place?

Susie Violet Ward 19:59
So, first of all, I wanted to buy some Dogecoin. And so, I wanted to work out how to do it, and I thought, well, you can't just buy it with a credit card, can you? So, I decided to look into the mechanics of how you buy cryptocurrency. So, I found an Exodus hot wallet, went through all the setup, realised that I1 had to buy Bitcoin to be able to then buy Dogecoin on this particular app. And it was the process, just the process of buying and purchasing and selling and transferring, that was all I was interested in at that point. But then, it grows. And once I started realising that actually Doge wasn't a good thing to hold, and that all the altcoins were just, most of them, pump and dump schemes, and the same top 10 cryptos this year wouldn't be the same top 10 cryptos next year, but the 50% dominance of Bitcoin, there or thereabouts, remained the same. And then, I started realising that Bitcoin was the only decentralised cryptocurrency, and all the other ones were centralised companies. And so, the more I started learning about the difference, the more I started thinking, 'Right, okay, well, alts are not what I'm after in terms of learning', and started completely focusing on Bitcoin.

Jeremy Cline 21:29
And what interested you in Dogecoin, way back that first interest. I vaguely remember it being talked about in the press, and Elon Musk was very pro it. Was it just press interest that made you think, 'Oh, I'll have a bit of that'?

Susie Violet Ward 21:43
Yeah, so lots of articles, you read articles, you think that you're learning, but then, you don't realise that it's all part of one big marketing scheme to get you to buy this altcoin. And in actual fact, it's just all one big distraction. But it's a journey, that's another journey that you have to go on to really understand the difference between the two.

Jeremy Cline 22:03
And for people unfamiliar with the terminology, altcoin basically just means anything that's not Bitcoin in the crypto sphere.

Susie Violet Ward 22:11
Yeah, an alternative coin to Bitcoin. Yes.

Jeremy Cline 22:14
Okay, so you discover it, and you start learning about it, and it really fascinates you. When does that then become, I want to make this my job, it's more than like a keen hobby?

Susie Violet Ward 22:32
So, as I mentally checked out of my old job and started reengaging in a different way in this new world, I begged my boss for redundancy, just begged him all the time. Make me redundant. Because I knew that if I didn't have any money behind me, I wouldn't be able to start a whole new career from nothing, which is essentially what I needed to do. My old career was dead in the water. I was not going to get another part-time job doing that. Every time a recruitment consultant phoned me, I'd say, 'Oh, I need to be part time', they'd pretty much hang up on me. So, I knew that I had to carve something out that was completely different. So, yeah, that's what it is.

Jeremy Cline 23:18
So, what were you thinking was going to be your job, so to speak?

Susie Violet Ward 23:24
I didn't know. I just knew that I needed to do something that felt like it had purpose and meaning. So, what I mean by that is, all the effort that I have put into all of the companies that I've ever worked for means nothing now. No one remembers what I did; no one remembers the late nights. They don't remember meeting quarter end and having to stay for three weeks in a row to work until midnight, and then go to bed and then get up and do the same thing again. It's all my energy and my time that I've poured into these companies, and I was just a number. So, I knew that I had to do something that had purpose, that was meaningful, that would actually make the world a slightly better place. Because I've got children, and they will always be my focus, and they will always be my priority, and I don't like the world that they're going to inherit.

Jeremy Cline 24:23
I've kind of got this voice which is going, 'Well, yes, but why not do that alongside work?' People donate to good causes, or they work on a voluntary basis for charities in their spare time or with that kind of thing. I mean, why quit your job and go, 'No, I'm going to pour all my energy into this, I don't quite know what this is going to be yet, but this is my future place in the world'?

Susie Violet Ward 24:55
If I have had the spare time, I wouldn't have taken the demotion. So, I don't have spare time. And I had to put all of my effort into something, otherwise, it would be a half-hearted attempt. And so, I managed to finally get my redundancy. I lived off a shoestring, still am, and just worked so hard to try and find my way. And I knew it had to be in Bitcoin, but I didn't know what, I didn't know where I fitted. So, I started going out to London and going to Web3 events, realising there wasn't much Bitcoin representation there, did you go to the conference in Edinburgh?

Jeremy Cline 25:43
No, I didn't, no.

Susie Violet Ward 25:45
So, that was my first Bitcoin conference. And that was actually this time last year, funnily enough. And I saw on stage, I'd written an article at that point just for Substack on how Bitcoin could be helpful for the environment, talking about Bitcoin mining and how it could use waste energy. But I didn't know it was actually being done. I just thought it was a theory. So, when I went to my first proper big Bitcoin conference, I saw on stage there was an environmental panel, and I couldn't believe that these people were doing what I had written about. So, I rewrote the article to explain, not what hypothetically could happen, but what is happening. And so, then that was the article that I said, well, first of all, it was a Central Bank digital currencies article, I submitted to CityAM as an opinion piece how Bitcoin is saving the environment. And then, from there, they asked me to write a few more opinion pieces, and then, it just grew into a column.

Jeremy Cline 26:45
Just going back to the redundancy thing, so you begged your boss to make you redundant. This is going to be interesting to some people. Because generally, when people think of redundancy, they think about it having done unto them, a company is entering into a difficult period, it needs to cut costs, and so it makes people redundant. Can you just talk a bit about what it looked like for you in terms of this voluntary thing?

Susie Violet Ward 27:15
So, it wasn't necessarily voluntary redundancy. But what was happening at work was, the system that I worked on at the time, which was Cognos, was being phased out, and they were implementing a new system, which would be on Oracle. So, if they would have found me a new role, they would have found me something to do. They would have just retrained me in a different system or a different department. And I just couldn't cope, I couldn't retrain doing something. Because it goes back to my school days where I can't be told what to do. I'm not very good at absorbing information and being good at something, if it's not something that I want to do. It's not me being stubborn, my brain just doesn't work if you're trying to tell me that this is what I have to be interested in. In fact, I used to really resent being at work and having to do those training courses where you'd have to learn about gifts and hospitality or insurance. I don't want this in my brain. Why are you making me read this stuff? Why are you making me learn this stuff, and then testing me on it at the end? And it was all these things. I thought, I want to learn things that interest me. I want to spend my day learning things that really interest me. How wonderful would that be? And so, the idea of retraining onto another system or into a different department just made me feel really quite depressed. And so, that's where I knew, I thought, right, okay, I know there's an opening here, I know that they'll find me something if I want something else, but I don't want something else. And so, therefore, that's why I was just like, 'Please, let me go.'

Jeremy Cline 28:58
So, from your perspective, I can understand how redundancy could be attractive, because there is the option for a potentially sizable upfront payoff. And you get your notice, possibly tax-free, possibly with a bit on top. So, yeah, it kind of makes sense. I'm curious as to what led them to agree with it, rather than them saying, 'Susie, you can just hand in your notice like everyone else and work your notice', rather than agreeing to redundancy.

Susie Violet Ward 29:30
Because I knew that I wouldn't go. And my boss knew that I had to. He knew my situation, he knew that I had to take a demotion. He knew that they hadn't invested in me. He knew that I was unhappy. And he knew that I wasn't going to hand my notice in. Because I couldn't, because I had nothing else. I had nowhere to go. I couldn't take my skill set and put it into another job. There were no part-time jobs. I was trapped. So, it wasn't that I didn't want to hand in my notice and go and find something else. I had no options open to me at that time. So, I was stuck there.

Jeremy Cline 30:11
So, what might have happened, if they had just said, 'Well, it's up to you, either you hand in your notice, or you carry on working for us'?

Susie Violet Ward 30:17
I would have carried on working, I would have had no choice. I mean, we all have to do things that we don't want to. I say that to my kids all the time. And I'd just put it down to that, this is just one of those things that I have to do to earn money. People do it all the time. I'm no different.

Jeremy Cline 30:31
Okay, and so what redundancy then did for you presumably was give you a bit of runway with what you do now, so you don't necessarily have to be earning immediately from day one.

Susie Violet Ward 30:42
Exactly that, yeah. So, it bought me time to carve out a brand-new career. So, I think of it as me going to university, the university that I didn't go to when I was a kid. So, I just think of this as a learning opportunity, like university, but I'm just in the real world, like an apprenticeship, but I'm just forging the path for myself.

Jeremy Cline 31:07
So, if everything goes to plan, what's going to be your career, what's going to be paying the bills?

Susie Violet Ward 31:16
Hopefully, writing. That's what I want to do. There's not enough good Bitcoin journalism, because of the amount of time it takes to learn everything. And even then, you don't know, you haven't even scratched the surface. So, it's a 14-year-old asset; Larry Fink has only just come on board and said, 'Yeah, we're going to give this our stamp of approval.' And so, the media is going to pivot, it's going to do a complete 180, and it's going to shift its stance, and I think you'll start seeing a lot more positive Bitcoin articles out there, now that traditional finance has acknowledged it for the amazing asset class that it is.

Jeremy Cline 32:02
Okay, so this apprenticeship education that you described, that's effectively you positioning yourself for when the media realises that they need some people who understand this and can write about it and can explain it to the masses.

Susie Violet Ward 32:16
That's exactly right. And that's what I do. I've got my CityAM column, which is great, I can write my opinions on our broken money, how it's affecting society, I can paint a picture of how governments are creating problems, and then putting more rules on us to fix the problems that they won't admit that they created, I can put all of those opinions and rants into my column. But then, Forbes is the analytical pieces. They're the ones that have to be written and backed up. So, I've got the best of both worlds at the moment, where I can write informative, factual, data-driven articles, and editorial opinion pieces.

Jeremy Cline 33:06
You mentioned your parents' concern about whether you were going to have a career, and then you got this career in accountancy, and this relatively traditional career. Where are your parents now in terms of if, forgive me, if they're still alive? I mean, what are they thinking nowadays? Are they back to being concerned? Are they quite happy with what Susie has done now?

Susie Violet Ward 33:32
I don't think my mum quite understands what I'm doing. I try and send her articles, and she's trying her best to learn about it. But she bought some Bitcoin just at the height of the market, and it's gone down, and for her, she just keeps saying, 'Why is my investment so low?' And I keep saying, 'Mom, it's not about the price. There's a whole financial revolution going on. It's not about the price.' And so, I have that battle with her. And so, actually, I have my mom in mind when I write the articles, because I think, would she understand it, is it simply explained, and does it explain why it's not just about price? My dad died in 2015, and I know that he would have been a Bitcoiner, and it makes me so sad that he isn't here to discuss this with me, because I know that he would have been on board, and he would have probably been coming to all the events with me and absolutely loving it. So, yeah, it's a shame he's not around to enjoy the journey. But hopefully, I can bring my mom along with me.

Jeremy Cline 34:45
And is there a plan B? I'm conscious that that has Bitcoin connotations, but that's not what I'm talking about. I mean, say that this revolution in journalism doesn't catch up, or papers use existing journalists to report on stuff that they don't really know about, which they seem to do in most other areas of life anyway, hopefully that doesn't happen, but do you keep an eye on what plan B might be?

Susie Violet Ward 35:13
I can't focus on more than one thing and be good at it. I don't think anyone can, generally. I mean, you might have a few things. But no, I've got to put all of my focus and my attention into this. I can't worry about if it doesn't work. And if it doesn't, then I'll just have to figure it out then.

Jeremy Cline 35:35
There is a lot to be said for that, that focus isn't there, so dedicating it to that one thing, I guess, whether it ever comes up in your mind that there's like a timeline, like, okay, this is the point at which I've got to make this work, otherwise, I'm going to be dusting off the CV and see what's out there.

Susie Violet Ward 35:55
And I'm really close to that. And I am starting to earn some money, and it's really, really helpful. But it doesn't quite cover exactly what I need per month, but it's still more than it was six months ago. So, it's heading in the right direction. So, I have those concerns and those panics all the time. This hasn't been easy. I've had to take a huge risk, I've had to work so hard for free, essentially, until I can make it work. Because you can't just go out there and say, 'You should pay me to do this.' So, what have you done? Oh, nothing. So, there's been a lot of work, a lot of risk and a lot of worry, it has not been easy. But nothing's easy that's worth having. Is it?

Jeremy Cline 36:43
And how have you managed that, both internally, and I don't know whether you have friends or family going, 'Susie, what are you doing with your life? You must be mad.' I mean, how do you just manage either the internal or external thoughts, concerns, challenges, criticisms?

Susie Violet Ward 37:00
I just maintain tunnel vision and just keep going. Luckily, my husband is really supportive. And he's a Bitcoiner, which means that I can bounce ideas off him, and we can talk about all of these things. Which, without that, I don't know what I would do. I can't worry about everything. I've just got to focus on getting to where I need to be. And where I need to be is a job that's meaningful and that pays me enough money so I can live. I'm not asking for the moon on a stick. I just want a career that interests me and enough money to pay the bills.

Jeremy Cline 37:37
Susie, I'm going to be absolutely fascinated to see where that goes and what happens next. What has helped you during this journey in terms of external resources, books, quotes, podcasts, that kind of thing, that it would be worth sharing with the audience?

Susie Violet Ward 37:55
A fantastic podcast for people who are interested in Bitcoin and macroeconomics I would suggest What Bitcoin Did, but I always reference Jeff Booth, who's a huge Bitcoiner, when he said we are all nodes in the system, making it stronger. And that's always at the back of my mind when it comes to Bitcoin and the ethos and where it's heading. Because it's a People's Army, and we're all nodes in the system, and we're all trying to move it forward and change the world in a positive way. And we've all got our little contributions, and if we continue to do it in the right way, with meaning and purpose, then we will make everything stronger.

Jeremy Cline 38:41
Fantastic. Well, I'll certainly put a link to What Bitcoin Did in the show notes for this episode, along with a link to my interview with Peter McCormack, the host of that podcast. And if people want to find you, get in touch with you, where would you like them to go?

Susie Violet Ward 38:58
Probably Twitter is the easiest. You can either look me up on LinkedIn, Susie Violet Ward, or Twitter, I'm Decentra Suze.

Jeremy Cline 39:06
Great, links to those in the show notes as well. Susie, thank you for sharing your story, and very best of luck for the future.

Susie Violet Ward 39:13
Thank you.

Jeremy Cline 39:14
Okay, hope you enjoyed that interview with Susie Violet Ward. Susie's is a really interesting story. And it's clearly a story which hasn't finished yet. Leaving aside the subject which Susie has decided to pursue, it takes some guts to quit your job in the knowledge that this cause is something which you're meant to pursue and which you want to devote yourself to pretty much on a full-time basis. And the thing is, I think Susie has the passion and the drive and the determination to succeed. I get the impression that what she needs is possibly just one or two lucky breaks. I don't know what those lucky breaks might be, but I just felt like Susie's gift is this ability to be at the intersection of two worlds, the ability to explain a technical concept which to a small group of people will make perfect sense, but to most of us will sound like gobbledygook without a very clear explanation. And that is clearly Susie's ability, to take that complicated information and explain it to people for whom it doesn't come naturally. So, I'm really interested to see where Susie goes from here. You'll find the usual show notes and transcript for this episode at changeworklife.com/171, that's changeworklife.com/171. And look, Susie's path might not be for everyone, but is it something that you necessarily want to rule out immediately? If there's a cause that you're passionate about, maybe the question to start asking is not whether it's something from which you could also make a living, but how you could make a living from it. Just reframing the question that way could open up all sorts of possibilities in your mind. That kind of reframing, that exploration of possibilities is one of the things that I do with my coaching clients. So, if like Suzy, maybe you feel like there's a cause or some other place that you'd like to make your mark on your world, which isn't where you are now, why not set up an introductory coaching call with me and start to explore what that possibility might be. If you go to changeworklife.com/coaching, that's changeworklife.com/coaching, you'll find a link there where you can book your free 30-minute initial coaching session. In the meantime, there's another great interview coming up in two weeks' time, so if you haven't subscribed to the show already, make sure you do, and I can't wait to see you in two weeks' time. Cheers. Bye.

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