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A Discussion with Igor Brito on How Knowledge Helps During Financial Challenging Times

My name is Igor Brito and I always was a hyperactive kid, a fast-learner, because I’m very curious. For many years I felt like I was a little different from others. During my life as a student, which I did with a notebook wrapped in my pocket, I faced immense difficulties in studying at school, […]

My name is Igor Brito and I always was a hyperactive kid, a fast-learner, because I’m very curious. For many years I felt like I was a little different from others. During my life as a student, which I did with a notebook wrapped in my pocket, I faced immense difficulties in studying at school, was restless, lacked motivation, was out of place, and was one step away from ending in delinquency. This lack of motivation, it was not for lack of willingness to learn, because I was always very very curious. Probably the pedagogical model of the traditional school was not up to my curiosity … Lol… Schools teach you how to be part of a gear, to keep the wheel spinning, but I’m one of those who always wondered why and how the wheel works. In my life everything was too early, I failed from a young age.

I could not take advantage of talent and opportunities, in school, in the football I practiced since I was 9 years old or in my experience as a businessman started at 18/19 years. Businessman with a company on the way to bankruptcy and father of 2 small daughters to care for and feed, I went through moments of despair. Those were really very difficult times. Sometimes I did not know how I would buy food for my family or put fuel on my car to go to work, due to lack of money. 

Those were challenging moments. Thankfully everything changed, we survived. I’m the father of 2 beautiful teenagers, I wait for the 3rd child within the week and I’m in the best physical shape ever, and the financial issues have been overcome with distinction. Today, I’m getting closer to hitting Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE), so when I look back, I have to be grateful for everything I have and especially for everything I’ve learned. Grateful, with all the successes and failures, things that seem so distant, but I’m sure the first can’t exist without the second. I also share something that many can feel: I always thought I was one of the smartest in the groups I was going through, and so I was “stuck” in my knowledge and curiosity. 

But I really only evolved when my “room” or “bookshelf” became full of books and people with more knowledge than me. I’m a believer, I believe in the human being, that no one tends to hurt someone on purpose and I want to keep a great dose of madness, to make the things that I believe in really happen.

What do you do?

They say I’m CEO of Planning4life Group, composed by HISonia a virtual assistant who aims to return to customers millions of euros in insurance commissions, simplifying and putting the process of having cool and more transparent insurance. At Planning4Life, we are developing technology and methods, with the purpose that all people have their financial coach. This will dramatically increase people’s “odds” of having their personal finances healthy. I feel that my mission is to empower people with financial knowledge so that the social discrepancy reduces dramatically. It is not acceptable for the 27 richest people in the world to hold wealth equal to what 50% of the world’s population produces per year. “Between doing the hard and the impossible the difference is just the time it takes…”

What gives you energy?

Being a father and a businessman and having to set an example. Especially knowing that with the technology we are building we can change the world, giving more opportunities and knowledge for people to have a healthy and sustainable financial life. 

What’s your secret life hack? 

Gratitude. To know that I am privileged, I was born into a lower-middle-class white family in Portugal, so I can consider myself rich from birth, I’ve always been part of the richest 20% in the world. I’m perfect, without any physical disability, I’m not an ugly man and I have a brain that learns fast, I think these ingredients are more than enough to achieve what you want. I also learned that when I share a goal with the world, I give more of myself to achieve it, because I am exposed to the ridicule of failing the objective. It’s a mental trigger that I use and that positively influences me to give a little more and do what I have to do, in those moments when the will is little. 

Name a book that changed your life. 

Hum … It’s so hard … I don’t think I have a book, but I remember some important ones: “Rich Dad Poor Dad” (Robert T. Kiyosaki), “Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose” (Tony Hiesh), “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” [Eker, T. Harv], “Think and Grow Rich” (Napoleon Hill), “The Leader Who Had No Title” (Robin Sharma), “Givers and Takers, Maybe the Switch – Brothers” (Dan and Chip Heath) 

Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you? 

 It’s hard to… I try to control but I spend between 5 and 6 hours on the phone. It’s scary, especially since it tends not to improve. Emails, social networks, conference calls, podcasts, sports apps, it’s amazing how dependent we are on the phone. Regarding sleeping with the phone, it depends, sometimes yes, other times no. 

How do you deal with email? 

It’s a work tool, which I try not to see. The idea is that the emails I receive do not get me out of the way of the things I need to do that day, I feel like I get it most of the time.

You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?

It depends, if I’m working, I’ll probably watch some video, study something new, but if it’s a good weather day, I’ll probably sunbathe, walk a little, walk my dog. 

When was the last time you felt burned out and why?  

The situation that I was closest to, I think it was in 2012, I was in a multinational insurance company where I was a Senior Unit Manager and I was struggling to achieve various goals, I slept little, I had anxiety attacks and I ended up having to stoip and disconnect for a week. 

When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?  

Fail! Lol, an entrepreneur and a father, feel it every other day. Sometimes it’s harder than others, but at the end of the line, we survive. It depends a lot on the situation, at work, it’s part of creating something new, whenever I fail I find a different way of how not to do. Although in professional terms I have learned to manage this, in my personal life, I have to confess that I am still an apprentice. 

Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace. 

Sorry, but I have to share 2 great ideas. “You see, in life, lots of people know what to do, but few people actually do what they know. Knowing is not enough! You must take action.” – Tony Robbins; “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” Albert Einstein.

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