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Welcome to, helping independent business owners better handle the personal side of money, so that they can create fulfilling lives both now and in the future. We talk about money in the context of your life and cover topics such as emotions, habits, behaviours, vision, mindset, personal debt and planning.

Who is BeanBag for:

Small business owners, freelancers, soloprenuers, cont­ractors, bootstrappers, entrepreneurs, mumprenuers and anyone considering starting up in business.

Why do we need help with our personal finances?

As a business owner, you’re solely responsible for cashflow. Your turnover determines your level of income. You have to provide enough income to cover the needs of you and your family today, while also putting some aside for your future needs. No one else pays your salary, provides maternity, sickness or holiday pay. No one takes care of your tax and national insurance or pension contributions. It’s all up to you.

Which means that it’s vital that you manage money well. Good financial management is a key ingredient to building a sustainable business. The more you’re able to stay on top of your personal affairs, the more sustainable your business will be.

We’re not taught how to handle money and, for all kinds of reasons, we don’t always behave rationally when we deal with money. Now add to the mix the complex issues of having to deal with self-employment, like managing the ups and downs of cashflow and setting aside money for tax and pensions (or not!), and it’s easy to see how we can get ourselves in trouble. It’s all too easy to mix up personal and business finances, and many of us struggle with both.

We understand the challenges you experience as business owners and we want to help.

What’s In It For You:

Our aim is to help you:

– Gain confidence in understanding the world of money
– Take control of your emotions to make better money decisions
– Improve your attitude to money and take charge of your mindset
– Feel inspired and motivated to take responsibility for your future
– Take action that will help you create a meaningful life

What is BeanBag:

BeanBag is a resource being developed by Simonne Gnessen and Graham Sherry.

Having worked together for over 5 years in a coaching relationship, we felt we could make a difference in the world if we were able to share our mutual knowledge and experience with a wider audience.

Our mission is to have a positive impact on people’s relationship with money. Technology provides the perfect platform to help us communicate ideas, share tools and teach strategies. We aim to create a community where people feel connected, inspired and supported.

Who are we:

Simonne and Graham share a passion for helping people gain control of their financial lives and move towards creating financial freedom.

We combine our shared experience, insights and knowledge with Simonne’s experience working with clients on money issues over the past 25 years and Graham’s in depth capability in the field of technology, and his real world experience of balancing business and life, particularly as a startup founder.

Simonne Gnessen

After more than a decade of working as an Independent Financial Adviser, I began a journey of personal development, leading me to quit my job to fulfil my life-long ambition of travelling the world. I returned after a year away with a different perspective about my work and with a deep desire to make more of a significant difference to my clients’ lives. I became frustrated that the financial advisory world concentrated mostly on wealth creation for people who already had a lot of money, leaving behind the vast majority of the population. Good quality advice was only available to those who could afford to pay high fees and usually in need of a financial product, and most people were increasingly distrustful of the industry.

In 2002, I decided to step away from the traditional industry, remove advice on financial products from my portfolio of services, and provide a totally impartial and unique approach to helping people with their money. I became interested in why we don’t do what we know we should and explored ways to help people create behaviour change and challenge obstacles along the way. This inspired me to study different coaching tools & methodologies and behaviour change programmes, which eventually led to me becoming a Certified Life Coach in 2006, a Master Practitioner of NLP in 2008 and a Registered Life Planner in 2011.

Since founding Wise Monkey Financial Coaching in 2002, I have successfully coached more than a thousand individuals and couples across the globe. I’ve developed a training programme and I’m now spreading the reach of my work to other like-minded professionals setting up their own financial coaching practice. My book, Sheconomics – co-authored with Professor Karen Pine and published by Headline in 2009 – has helped thousands of readers resolve their money problems and improve their relationship with money.

Graham Sherry

Graham Sherry

In 2010, as a consequence of the banking crisis, I was forced to shut down a technology startup. Having expended all of the business capital, I also tried to save the business with personal funds. After the closure, I felt it necessary to take action to correct this, for the benefit of my family. It was recommended by a mutual friend that I turn to Simonne.

Since beginning to work with Simonne in 2010, I have combined consulting for global brands, advising other startups and developing my own online software products with travelling across Europe and the United States, homeschooling my children and living a minimalist lifestyle. I have also re-ignited a passion for creative pursuits.

Simonne not only helped me re-balance the books, she also helped my family find the direction and meaning in our lives specific to our circumstances, helping us re-balance our priorities to find and act upon what was most important.

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