Hard-Earned Lessons From The Military To Coaching With Alice Bromage


Everything happens in our life just as it should because they help build you into the kind of person you are today. Alice Bromage believes that everything matters, even the little things. In this episode, she joins Tony Martignetti to share those moments in her life, the flashpoints, that turned her into who she is now—a business, resilience, and leadership coach. She takes us to her incredible journey from serving in the military to then helping soldiers create financial freedom and entrepreneurs develop sustainable businesses. Putting her hard-earned effort into coaching, Alice gives some of the lessons she learned across her experiences, empowering success for more and more people and helping them thrive through adversity. 


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Hard-Earned Lessons From The Military To Coaching With Alice Bromage

It's my honor to introduce you to my guest, Alice Bromage. Alice is a leadership and resilience expert following a seventeen-year career in the British Army, coupled with a wealth of hard-earned experience as an entrepreneur and business owner. She brings a practical output-driven approach to the global projects she tackles. As she grows you and your business, she will teach you how to become resilient and strong. These strengths that she uses, she will bring business reviews, one-on-one coaching, team development and motivational speaking to her practice. Alice has led teams of greater than 100 people, providing analysis and support to decision-makers running organizations of 5,000-plus strong within Middle East, Europe and Africa. 

Global politics influx and business and security situations across the globe required dynamic responders. Alice can help build essential skills around resilient leadership and effective change management. In her spare time, Alice is the UK Ambassador and motivational trainer for the world's first female anti-poaching unit called the Black Mambas. She's one of the counsel for TINYg, which is an international counter-terrorism organization, and Dream Tank, a US NGO that empowers youth to help solve global problems in support of the UN's sustainable development goals. She's also part of the Harvard University Crisis Leadership Alumni, which is part of the NPLI, the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative. Alice, welcome you to the Virtual Campfire. Thank you for coming. 

People fight for something that they love. 

I can't wait until the day it's an actual campfire and we can be up in the hills somewhere. 

I would be thrilled for that. That's so fantastic. 

Thank you for having me on. What a great treat. 

I'm so taken aback by the effectiveness of your background, the stuff that you get yourself into, and the fact that it's impactful and needed. Thank you for coming. 

That's how I've ended up here. 

We're going to focus on sharing your story of what brought you to this moment and doing the work you're doing in the world. We do that by way of sharing what's called flashpoints. These are the moments in your life that have ignited your gifts to the world. Along that way of sharing your story, when you share what you're called to share, we'll pause along the way and see what shows up. Without any further ado, Alice, I'm going to give you the floor. You can take it from here. 

It's been interesting exploring the flashpoints because as I started to think about them, they didn't come out chronologically. Would you like them in chronological order or impact order? 

Whatever you feel is appropriate. I've done so many things on the show that have gone from out of order. 

When you said, "What are your flashpoints?" the first thing I thought of was as the aircraft is landing and you can feel the wheels coming down. We were bumping along coming in Nairobi, Kenya. I finished my final tour in Afghanistan and ironically sat in Kandahar Airfield. I came across a peer of mine who I'd been sailing with many years ago. He said, "Alice, I'm being posted to Kenya next." I was like, "I'll be seeing you once I finished my tour. I'll see you there." I came back from my tour, got into London, found someone else going to Kenya and said, "Do you know this guy? I've told him I'm coming. I've got my tickets, but I don't know how to tell him. I can't get a hold of him." I said, "I agreed that with him in Kandahar six months or whatever." 

As we touched down into Kenya and I didn't even know if I was going to get a hold of the person, I was hoping to be my host, I felt like I was coming home. I'd never been to Africa before. In fact, I'd been on a West African tour in Sierra Leone with the Army, but that was slightly different. I'd not been to East Africa before. I had no expectations. I had no family there, nothing. My father had served a national service in there. One of those moments of feeling like you've come home, it was the most bizarre experience. I looked at this red soil and I know that not everyone believes in Darwin's theories in evolution and everything else, but I know this is where I've come from. 

What has been beautiful for me is that in my very South of England, UK Caucasian upbringing, we didn't have many different shapes or sizes of people. It was a very small community in the middle of nowhere. To arrive in East Africa to this bright sunshine, crazy animals, bright red soil and feel that it was a homecoming was a real welcome for me. From the moment I arrived, I have loved working in Africa ever since. I've now done tours out in Somalia as a civilian for five months, training up their security forces. I loved it. I'm living in Mogadishu. People were like, "Again, where?" I was like, "Yes, it's great. I get to run on the beach." 

I'm working with the members. Another pivotal point is seeing an advert in a women's military forum that said, "We're looking for a trainer for a poaching unit." I didn't know it was a ladies' poaching unit. They were the first set of all women I'd ever worked with. It's very interesting now I'm a civilian because I left the Army a few years ago. Everyone presumed I must have worked with a lot of women because I'm a woman. Not so much. That was a massive pivotal point too because I answered the ad. I didn't know it was going to be for a ladies' unit. 

Going through the interview process, arriving and not expecting. I haven’t had exposure to culture difference. I've been very fortunate. I must have cloudy glasses because I don't necessarily tell the difference between many human beings as long as they're kind, nice, honest and genuine. That's what I look for. When I was expected to go out and live in the bush with the girl members from day one when I was in the camp, I didn't quite understand why. The guy running it is a British guy who's now in South Africa. I said, "When do I go out in the bush with the girls on patrol?" He said, “What?” I said, "You've asked me to come here and train them. I can't train them inside the camp." 

They went through all of this fandango. When you were asking about those moments, one of those moments was then seeing a bed, mattresses and a whole load of kit on the back of this Land Rover. I was like, "What on earth is happening?" I said, "Who's moving?" He said, "That is for you." I was like, "What on earth do I need a bed for? Why are they trying to give a white woman in the bush a bed? This doesn't make sense." 

What I didn't realize is that the girls live out in the bush all the time. They've structured it so that it is off the ground. That whole thing of scorpions, snakes and all the other stuff that I'm not used to dealing with in the UK was a heady reminder. I was like, "Don't worry. I can just sleep on a roll-out on the floor." They were like, "Are you okay?" It was like, "Why would you be doing that, you crazy human being?" Four years later of working with them, my last week in the Army was working with the members. I flew into South Africa still serving and I flew out and touched down in the UK as a civilian. That was pretty cool. 

On that theme of travel in my current years, another piece would be, unfortunately, we lost a helicopter full of some of my team when we were in Afghanistan. I remember hearing the news because I was on leave in the UK for an R&R, which is rest and relaxation and you come home. The commander said, "Alice, if you can get yourself back to Helmand back into Southern Afghanistan, we'll fly you back for the repatriation service and the memorial." I was like, "Absolutely." I was so fortunate. This was when we were talking about team development, trust, building teams and making sure that you look after each other through thick and thin. 

They sent me a Chinook to come and pick me up so that I could be with the rest of the team as we were doing their memorial service and sending them off back to the UK to go to his family. I helped do the repatriation, went onto the plane with all of the caskets and prepared everyone. The rest of the team was mortified and they were having to carry the four caskets into the aircraft. For me, that was such a fundamental moment looking out at the back of the Chinook as it was going off. There were various people who have got better intentions for not being in the air, so they got another man down if they're able to take another one out. 

They were putting the team above safety. It wasn't because it was unsafe. Don't get me wrong. The main thing was ensuring team coherence was upheld. That was probably halfway through my tour, but that was a running theme. Whenever we lost a member of a team, be it mine or part of the task force, that unifying aspect meant that the next time the boys went out the door, you knew what would be happening for you. That was in 2014. Now, I still keep in touch with the family. It's still a galvanizing aspect. I can only thank the commander for giving me that life-changing experience of what great leadership was because they phoned me up at home, "Team, rally together." 

When I came to work in Somalia, one of the guys I was training as a counter-terrorism specialist got assassinated two weeks after I'd left. What was interesting was seeing the contrast, but also knowing how to train the team to respond to it. I was like, "Make sure you go and look after everyone. Make sure you go and look after his family." Even though I'd left, I was being able to do that remotely. During COVID, that has been a strong theme as I'm dealing and coaching with different CEOs, partner directors and partners in businesses going, "How are you coping if your team members are losing family, if they're having sickness, if they're wavering? How is their mental health? How are they coping?" I'm bringing some of those experiences into day-to-day life, so they don't think it's just something that happens in a battlefield far away. It's a different environment, but humans are the same wherever we are. 

I want to pause for a moment because there's so much to what you described. There are a few things about the way you described the story. You're dealing with so many heady issues, but you're also dealing with such courage. Maybe it's hindsight that allows you to see it in the way that you are. The first thing that came to mind was, what brought you to want to do what you did? What was it about your childhood that brought you into the world of wanting to go into the service? Where does your courage come from? 

Every time you go to a war zone, it's financially-based and power-based. 

How did I ended up in the military was because I didn't work hard enough? When someone said if I want to spend a week having a look at wherever it was that got me a week out of school, I was like, "Yes, that sounds great." All I had to do was run around, jump over an assault course, throw myself through some boots. I was like, "I can do this. This isn't that hard, for better or for worse." As a child, my parents ran their own hotel in Devon. They've always been business owners. Both of my parents were the business owners. There wasn't one parent that had primacy over the other. Even this idea now that one would lead more than the other is complete anathema to me. It's something I find very hard to understand. 

Even though they're now 80 and 87, they were both chefs. They went to the business as a newly married couple. They've got four children. All of that stuff of bringing up a family. One of my other pivotal moments is helping my mom pack up Christmas presents because Christmas and New Year was one of our busiest times, and seeing her go out to the door on Christmas morning dressed up as mommy Christmas while my dad was cooking breakfast for everyone in the hotel, but then thinking, "This is great." Many people could paint that as, "Poor you, you're left alone on Christmas Day." I was like, "On Christmas Day, I have to get into clothes and get smart. This is a winner. I get to eat all my chocolate, open all my presents, have a great time and watch films all day." At 4:00, we'd all walk down to the hotel and go and sing Christmas carols and that kind of thing. 

That's very much given me a background of the idea of service, but also the power of being able to make someone smile and knowing that my mom made all those people smile and happy on their Christmas morning. She's a very cheery person anyway, but that we were all a part of that. She'd buy special presents for all the ladies and men. I get to help pick the children's presents. We were fully engaged with essentially creating the hotel of 25, 30 small guests in a country house hotel in Dartmoor to become a big and close family. We'd go to the races together on Boxing Day. 

From that aspect, "Where does my childhood take?" I was in the middle of nowhere. I spent a lot of time wandering around in the woods by myself building dens. My parents were working hard. My mom would occasionally drop me on the top of Dartmoor, which would probably be seen as completely crazy now. She dropped me on top of Dartmoor, which is like a big, open, expansive granite and moorland. I'd have to walk home. I'm very good at being able to navigate but not with a map. It was all through your head. You had to recognize everything and know where you're going. If you got the wrong valley, it was an extra three-hour walk, which I did do once. I never did that twice. I'd navigate the rivers, nowhere to go. 

I ate a lot of carrots because my family were cooking fantastic food. Ironically, I then became the nighttime navigator. It was one of the reasons I wear glasses now. I've never had my eyes lasered. I always say, "Can I keep my night vision?" They were like, "What?" I said, "I can drive a car without my glasses on." I can drive at night with no lights on. I can take people into harbor at night. I can navigate around our house at night. I still do to this day. If anyone fancies coming to attack me at home, believe me, it's not a good idea. 

From that aspect, I've never considered that courage. It's just been self-sustainment. It's what we do and the peace of seeing people smile when you serve them and when you look after them. My grandmother was a Quaker. As you can imagine, that's pacifist. Me going into the Army was a complete shock. Before she died, she was like, "Alice, when are you leaving?" I told her I was going to sign off. She promptly died afterwards because she probably knew that by then, everything she needed to do was done because I was now out. 

From that aspect, things from my youth. My grandmothers have been phenomenally strong. I have three grandmothers. I'm very lucky because my grandpa married twice. He was a bit of a not so perfect gentleman. One of my grandmothers was the Quaker who grew lavender and had bees. I would help sell those at the end of her garden gate and see the happiness of people walking away with these amazingly naturally produced items that mother nature had given us. I got used to that kind of financial transaction, seeing happiness for giving a product. I love the ability to create value from what we have around us. 

When I did my MBA, my favorite term was the bricolage approach, which is making the best use of what you have around you. I got extra mocked for using that because they were like, "What is that?" I was like, "It's making the best use of what you have." My other grandmother was from Central Europe. As Europe was closing down, she and her family fled with her father going one way, her mother going another way, her brother going another way and her going another. The idea was that they would meet in England. That meeting up didn't happen for many years later, but she always did her investments. 

Even though she'd been an immigrant, she joined the Foreign Office during the Second World War and was one of the people getting the final literal trains of Jews out of Berlin. She was on the second to the last train out of Berlin before it was all closed down. She spent most of her time in East Africa, which is maybe why I then felt quite at home because I'd heard some of her stories. I'd heard some of my father's stories. My uncle used to be in Jordan. He'd helped set up the journey of Jordanian security forces back in the '50s. If you'd listened to his telephone. It was Arabic first, English second. 

Even though I've had a very normal upbringing in the UK, I've been surrounded by people who have served other nations. For me, I was doing consultancy and training with Jordanian security forces. I loved that. I felt at home. It has given me that ability to feel at one wherever I am. Everywhere you go, if you smile at someone, they smile back or most of the time they smile at you first, usually, it's probably because I'm dressed badly, doing something stupid or said something they don't understand. 

Alice, you embody this element of paradox. There's an element of paradox that is amazing. You have inner strength. Your strength comes from being able to be on your own and survive on your own, but also seeing so much strength in teams and being part of a team. You saw this strong lineage that you come from and you've respected and owned it, but then you also blazed your trail and did your own thing. You smile powerfully and silly in a good way, but you also can be a "badass." That's what is remarkable for a person like you and what you're bringing to the world. I'd love to shift gears and talk more about when you left the military. What happened after that? What was the moment that you said, "Now I need to do this?" 

Ironically, it was slightly before. I'm just finishing up on the grannies. I know this might sound slightly circuitous. My other grandmother, who is my father's mother, tried to run her farm. My uncle was an epileptic. The only way that she could therefore employ him was to try and work out how they could buy a farm and look after him. When she married my grandfather, he was in the Indian police. What I think is interesting for those who enjoy the slightly more theoretical side of humanity and how we develop, there is a theory that whatever has happened within our generational past, the next generations will either repeat it or fix it, which I didn't realize until a couple of years ago. 

One person's vulnerability is another person's strength. 

This amazing lady who’s a friend of mine's wife. He's an ex-military guy. A lot of the ex-military guys often married very ethereally interesting ladies who will go and find these interesting things. My grandmother in India used to have an elephant called Nikki, which I love. Another random story is about my grandmother was going to try and track a crocodile. The guy who was riding the elephant, seeing that the crocodile had turned around and was starting to track her, he said, "Shoot the crocodile." She used to go out hunting tigers. 

Now, part of my inner drive for conservation is probably because I've seen the extent of what happens where we did things in the past and we're now living through the second and third order impacts. When you were asking how have I got to where I am now, I was brought up in the middle of nowhere. I naturally spent a lot of time in nature. Creatures were my friends, if that makes sense. That's another living creature around you. I was like, "Yes." The trees being around you, green is meant to be very calming for our eyes. It was a very rugged environment but a very peaceful environment. 

I went to a school in the Highlands of Scotland in Gordonstoun for my sixth form, which was all about throwing you out onto the hills, realizing that for better or for worse, I have a very strong constitution. My size, I'm 5'7.5". I used to be 5'8". I've shrunk a bit over time. I was fully grown at age 13, 14. I could carry another child if I needed to. When the girls got tired, I could literally pick one up and carry her. For one of the girls, we didn't realize when we were sent out into the Cairngorms that she had a curved spine. I walked for the three days that we were meant to be transitioning the Cairngorms on exercise with a backpack on the front and on the back because she couldn't carry it. She was a Canadian lady. The school was like, "No, everyone goes out." The idea was, "Everybody could go." I learned from that I had a very strong constitution and then going to war a lot. 

What I learned was every place we went was beautiful. I genuinely believe that people fight for something that they love. There's not a single country I've been to in the world that is not phenomenally beautiful. Going across Southern Iraq where they have got these grassy waterways with water buffalo and the guys’ dugout canoe style things. You're going over to what should have been Babylon that is no longer there. You come back to Europe, where so many of these pieces were brought by the archeologists. You can go to Berlin and see what some of those old, amazing Ishtar Gate, which is abound by lions. You think now in the Middle East, they don't have any lions. They don't have any of those animals, yet in those years they did. 

You go to Africa or Afghanistan. Flying over the mountains in Afghanistan and seeing how beautiful it is. Quite often, you'd fly at night. You touch down in the middle of Hindu Kush and bathed in nothing but moonlight. It's breathtaking. Don't get me wrong. You're in some crazy aircraft not knowing who's going to survive or who's not. That's always quite entertaining. Still, you're looking down and going, "Why wouldn't you fight for this? This is your home." That's probably where I am now from a global piece of wanting to help people appreciate what they have because so many already do, which is why they fight for it. That's one of the enactments of humankind is we fight for what we love, which inadvertently creates this almost into a position where we destroy it. 

From the business perspective, it's from dealing with soldiers. From the first team I had, every time there was a problem, it was usually financially-based. Every time you go to a war zone, it's financially-based and power-based. You look at your beautiful elections ongoing, it’s power and money. It distorts our decision-making. The more ability I have to help people create financial freedom, I know that's a bit of an overused phrase, but we develop investment portfolios for the soldiers. They'd work out. When they'd been on operational tour, are they going to go and drink it down in town or do you help them save for a house deposit? If you've told them before they even go on a six-month operational tour, "What are you going to do with your money?" so they've helped plan it out. 

I used to make sure they took all their leave, but they had to give me a leave plan, which often involved either buying a house or we'd always trying to get them to buy the investment while they're on tour because that's when they couldn't spend anything on anything else. They'd be coming home and doing up homes, looking on how to support their families, and working out how to upskill. I was very fortunate I had a team of 85 in my company that I had a chance to run, where you are the master of your own destiny effectively. We were running a capability for the Army, which no one else had. It means you've got quite a lot of control. Everything was about upskilling, making them happy and keeping the wives happy. Happy wife, happy life. 

It was all about making sure that they were looking after the family unit. That's not sexist. It's because we didn't have many ladies who were married. A few lady soldiers we did have are unmarried who were also trying to look after their families, but it was less of a time-consuming aspect. That then meant that I did a lot of coaching about long-term aspirations, putting everything that you want into a field of you that works for you, and knowing that no two people are the same. No two people's aspirations are the same. The wonderful part about that when you're running your own company is if you've got 85 different versions of what good looks like, you can either see that as chaos or as amazing strands that you conduct them together and create a strong mesh. 

Realize that you don't have to be competitive or ambitious. By looking after each other, you can become more high-performing. 

If you've got a mesh of these beautiful skills and different aspirations, that mean you can build on each other. One person's vulnerability is another person's strength and you get them to bond. As you have with a rope, you can get it to bond together. It's the same with the plastic rope how it goes like a piece of plastic at the end. If you heat it up and put them under pressure, you get a diamond. That's how you create a diamond. You put it under pressure. It's the same with a team. If you put a team under pressure and galvanize them together, they are so much stronger than those individual strands. I loved doing that and seeing their success, and then realizing that people would say, "Alice, I would pay you for this." I was like, "Really?" I was like, "I'm doing it anyway. It feels like okay." 

I came home to the UK. That's the end of that stream. I then came back from serving a lot of time abroad. Nearly every year, I get deployed, which I loved. My company commander was in Germany. That was wonderful. I love Germany. That has taught me so much about looking after the environment and having a very different view on life. I came home and found everyone miserable. I came back to UK where you're meant to have your family, home, car and all of these things that you're shown pictures of what good looks like. I felt cast out into the distance as if I was being buffeted by the wind. I was like, "This isn't what I relate to." I can now understand why people arrived at me feeling very underwhelmed as if they've not achieved, and yet you have a roof over your head. You have food every day. We have predominantly a stable environment to be in. I found it very belittling coming back to a place where it was all about your watch, outfit, shoes and what name was on the bottom. I was like, "Who cares? Are they comfortable?" 

The interesting piece to me was I love the coaching now because I can help people work out how to develop sustainable businesses, so they make more money. That's the most wonderful part. That's why I've got from my Quaker granny growing with the bees. You should never buy bees. You should buy the equipment for the bees. You should never buy bees because they are there and working because they wish to be so. Imagine if we can always get every team, we have that wants to work because they love being there and they want to be safe. 

You've tied it up like a bow because everything you described was visual. I was there following the story entirely. There was this element of changing people's perspectives about their situation, no matter where they are. Once you get them to see what they truly want to achieve, they can achieve anything together. I loved how you brought that together about unifying their goals in a sense to bring it together. It makes complete sense. I don't know why we don't always work that way. It seems like it would solve much more problems if we could get more people to say, "How does your aspiration, dream or goal of what you want in the world align with this person's dream, goal or what they want in the world? How can we get them all to align together? 

Unfortunately, a lot of that comes from fear, especially if we're driven to be competitive. I worked in this quality specialist task force arenas, things like your beautiful Stanley McChrystal. I worked with him when I was in Iraq and then worked with a different team when I was in Afghanistan. They are alpha-driven human beings, but they drive forward as a team. For me, that ability to realize that you don't have to not be competitive or ambitious by looking after each other, you can't get more high performing than that. That has set the boundary of confidence for me of going, "I'm never going to be working with a team better than that." I'm very fortunate. I don't know if you've come across the Young Presidents Organization, the YPO. 

Nearly every company that I've worked with has been aligned to that, for better or for worse. Also, what I love about that is nearly every company has a philanthropic arm. As they do better, other people benefit. It's a growth mindset. It's exploring. I love that because that's what we've been doing with the Harvard team. A big shout-out to them because I know you're in Boston. It was an amazing crisis leadership course for anyone interested. It was a mixture of both public and private companies too, but a big piece of that was looking at growth mindset. It was looking at the fact that if we support each other, you create a greater good. You don't have to compete. 

Interestingly, in things like Afghanistan and Iraq, because for each of us as company commanders, we would have a different capability. You can only fight well if those capabilities integrate well and yet when we come home and go to a promotion board, we have to now fight against each other. It was my peer group that had essentially turned around and said, "You're not about to try and divide us,” because part of when we were younger and more junior, it was like you need to try and beat them. I was like, "No, I don't." I already know where they're strong and where I'm strong and we're different. 

You promote us for different reasons. If that person happens to go before me, I'm fine about that. If that person goes behind me, I'm not fine about that because I know you don't have the guts to do X, Y or Z. We all knew each other so well that we could celebrate when the person who's worked the brim and hardest in the entire world, of course, they deserve to get the promotion first. Why wouldn't I celebrate that? For me, they deserve it more than I did. I think it's also trying to ensure that we remain grateful and supportive surround us. 

It makes me think of the old African proverb, which is one that brings our story to a place where we're coming back to the beginning. The African proverb of like, "If you want to go farther, you got to go together. If you want to go faster, you go alone." The reality is that it seems like what you've learned has been that proverb. It amplified the sense that you built these teams. You've been part of these teams that see it as like, "We are going to go farther together by working together, unifying our visions together, and seeing that's the way we all survive and thrive." There's something empowering and beautiful about that. That's great. 

From that perspective, you did ask as well what I thought the gift of the world was. My absolute gift so far has been that every human being I meet is different to somebody else. I do lots of public speaking about the member's work. What's wonderful is I go to different companies as I speak. I specialize in the anti-money laundering arena. If you can't move the money to pay for the poached or illegally transported animals, then you can't pay the poacher. I do a lot in the AML, the anti-money laundering space.  

When you're going to see these techie guys who normally are the computer whiz, they are amazing because every single slot, every piece of that data, every piece of that puzzle matters. If you guys don't put the data in right, we don't get the data out right. We can't do the targeting to go and get those poachers. It's the same with the girls on patrol if they don't get up early and get up ready to be on patrol at 6:00 in the morning, every single one of them and what each one of us does, matters. 

That's the other wonderful part. It's the more we can remind ourselves of wherever we are and whatever we're doing, if somebody genuinely doesn't go and grow the food, how can I eat it? If it doesn't rain, how can I have a nice bath? Every aspect brings a different piece to our life. It's celebrating that. My jumpers came from the States. My bracelets came from Zimbabwe from a guy who gave it to me. These tops came from Norway. My tracksuits came from Scotland. My t-shirt is from when I did a trek in Canada at aged eighteen and it's still going. 

You mentioned about we have to fight for what we love. Everything that you have on you, somebody put love into it. That was their labor of love. When you start thinking small, all the little things in your life, everything matters. Somebody put this together. This was their labor of love. It's what they did. They build a company around it. They put their hard-earned effort into it. It makes you think to appreciate some of the things you do have, even the material things that you have. It's powerful. 

Have you come across happy money? 

No, please share. 

The idea of happy money is the fact that when you are happy to exchange it, for example, when you go to pay for coffee. Essentially, if you're doing a transaction where you're grateful for what you're receiving, then you hand over the money because it's an exchange of energy. It's being able to say thank you and it's happy money. In comparison to if you've committed fraud or somebody has killed somebody to hand you over money, that's not happy money and it will never bring happiness with it. Especially, given the fact that I do a lot of coaching in the city here in London. The guys there are helping businesses raise finance, but those businesses then are the ones that give us a TV or that enable us to go and have jewelry because they might support a mine somewhere. 

Every part of this when we're then looking at it as a kind of an ecosystem, if we're making sure that the people who are running who we're doing the due diligence on the businesses that they're supporting, but that they also know that the funds they're raising enable to ground your grandpas so that they have a decent pension fund. It helps bring that cycle of knowing if you're doing the right thing by your business, if you're doing the right thing by your team, you're creating an ecologically and environmentally sound product to the best of your ability given the technology we have now. There was gratitude in that because then we're driving technology and different jobs spectrums. 

One of the crazy guys I was dealing with was busy making lettuces. In fact, they have to wait now. They're just raising funds for it. It was hysterical. Up here in the high lands, when I was first here, it's where one of my folks are. When I was little, there were no salads. It was very cold for a protracted period of time. If you've got fresh fruit and vegetables every two weeks at that stage, it was a bonus and everything arrived a bit limp.  

The idea that you could have these hydroponics is game-changing because you don't need to have oodles and oodles of air miles and travel for all of your fresh fruit and veggies. It's things like that is so exciting but every person's idea of where we could go and start everything we now have. The idea that you and I can talk between the UK and the US for free, and I can talk to you in real time, and that we can share this across the globe afterwards, isn't that amazing? 

Yes, exactly. Things we take advantage of, we take for granted. I think it's amazing that every day this is happening, every second of that. 

It's from a few random cables on the seabed. That's what we don't consider is that some poor soul had to go out and put that cable down onto the seabed between our two nations. How crazy is that? If we all think it's magically up in the sky, it's under our seabed. Some poor little mollusk somewhere is about to move over for a very a lot of cables to go in. 

Alice, you're full of so much energy and make me laugh all day. I want to ask one more question. What is one book that has had an impact on you? It can be more than one book if that's something that you'd like to share. People break rules all the time on the show. I can't contain them. 

I definitely would say Ask Forgiveness Not Permission, although I did almost get shocked when I did that outside the White House. I couldn't understand why I wasn't allowed to walk on the grass. Someone caged up, waving a weapon up and I didn't quite understand that. Anyway, one for another day. I was in DC for a year or so. I loved it. I would say my formulative book has been Dr. Seuss' Oh, the Places You'll Go! I hope that you will all look it up online, even just to look at the crazy pictures of the idea that wherever you go, sometimes it will be good, sometimes it will be bad. Things will be up. Things will be down. Wherever you'll go, you'll always find an adventure. I had this wonderful exposure. It's a big multicolored book. There are not many words. It's very simple and I love it. There a few words on each page. It's also the idea that it's not going to be perfect and that sometimes you will have challenges. Sometimes there'll be up. Sometimes there'll be downs. I've loved that book forever. It said an A4-sized book. It's lovely, big, colorful and imaginative. It allows you to explore. 

Even when people in lockdown or they're in places where they can't travel, we can travel in our minds. All you have to do is shut your eyes and imagine. Very briefly where I've done that, I think probably the most powerfully was on our final exercise at Sandhurst where it was pouring with rain when you talk about slightly crazy minds there. We'd been out in the cold for God knows how many days. The girl next door to me was like, "This looks so cold." I was like, "Close your eyes. Imagine you're on a beach and you can hear the lapping waves. It's lovely and warm. The sprinklers are all just the water coming in off the breaking waves." She started bawling her eyes out. She was like, "Now I'm wishing my boyfriend is next to me. He's not here." I was like, "There's no hope for you. I'm trying to get you to imagine a beautiful sunny place here." 

The other one is for when you're wanting to understand the differences between human beings. My mom and dad are two very different human beings, but they're about to have their 60th wedding anniversary. For their Christmas, I bought them this little book, which is called A Lovely Love Story. It's about two dinosaurs. Essentially, it helps explain why the dinosaurs are so different. I'm going to read you little extracts. I've got it here. "I liked this dinosaur,” thought the lovely other dinosaur. “Although he's fierce, he's also tender and funny.” He's also quite clever. I will not tell him this for now.  

The male dinosaur says, "I like this lovely other dinosaur. She's beautiful and different. She smells so nice. She's also a free spirit, which is a quality I much admire in a dinosaur.” “He can be so distant and so peculiar at times," thought the other lovely dinosaur. "He's quite heavily fond of things." Funny enough, he's then looking at a walkie-talkie like how many of you boys with all your funny widgets and gadgets. "Her mind skips from here to there so quickly, but she very patiently put up with me tonight,” thought the dinosaur. "She's also uncommonly keen on shopping. Are all lovely other dinosaurs uncommonly keen on shopping?" "I will forgive his peculiarity and his concern for things," thought the lovely other dinosaur, "For they are part of what makes him a richly-charactered individual." It continues along those lines where they learn to love the differences in each other. I love the idea that it doesn't come with any shape, size or variety unless you want to be a bright green dinosaur. 

I'm thinking that's going to be a perfect gift for somebody that I know. I'm going to pick up a copy of that. This was amazing, entertaining, insightful, warm and inviting. I thank you so much for sharing your story, insights and being in our presence. This is so powerful. 

Thank you for inviting me. It's been so much fun. What a great way to spend this time. What more could we want? 

I want to make sure that people know where to find you if they want to learn more about you. Where is the best place to find you? 

If we support each other, we create a greater good. 

My resilience leadership and coaching is through Empowering Success. Essentially, if you look for the lion, that's usually the easiest thing. On LinkedIn, if you look for Alice Bromage, I don't have a picture of me. I've got a lion's head, as you can probably imagine. I take people swimming to all coasts. For some of the team development and the leadership development, I take them up into the Arctic. You'll see a little pair of fins and a beautiful orca in front. That was one of my moments. I was looking at an orca in the face, but I didn't get into that one. That'll be for another day. You look for the lion. 

Similarly, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, if you look for Empowering Success and look for our beautiful lion, come and join us. I'd love that. We have a Facebook group for leadership and for developing visionary leaders of the future. That's also called Luminary Leaders. Come and join us because it's a wonderful world to be in. I genuinely believe that we thrive through adversity. If we survive, then we thrive. If not, then hopefully it's going to be nice on the other side. 

I'm so happy that we've had this time with you. Thank you, readers, for coming on the journey with us. I'm sure you're going to be learning more from Alice. 

Thank you so much. I'm on YouTube. There's also the lion on Empowering Success. If you crazily want to listen to more of my ridiculousness, I do lots of little widgets quite often in the morning on the beach, all about leadership team development. Look for the lion. 

Thank you, Alice. 

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About Alice Bromage

Alice BromageEmpowering Success was founded by Alice Bromage in December 2015 to formalise the workshops and mentoring she was providing to friends and colleagues.

Her focus is to help you develop your business, and yourself, so that you can achieve FINANCIAL freedom as well as personal, professional and financial RESILIENCE.

Having been fortunate enough to work with and meet many amazing people across the globe, Alice recognised a trait in highly talented individuals frustrated that they were not 'achieving' as much as they had aspired to in their lives either personally, professionally or both.

Alice has been developing her own property portfolio for over 16 years, been brought up in a family of business owners, and completed her MBA in 2013; helping people run their businesses and lives as efficiently & profitably as possible is her passion.

Alice’s talent for helping people optimise their finances, whilst regaining a lust for life and enabling them to flourish and achieve their dreams, is something she knew she should offer to a wider audience.

With a natural flair for helping people develop their financial acumen, Alice decided to combine the two and start business coaching with an emphasis on getting you and your business to flourish!


Always believe that people want to work hard, do their best & are kind. There’s room for everyone to be a success. We all have our own special gift to offer. Compete to the best YOU can be. Build a team around you that optimises each other's strengths and builds resilience (the power of many, is stronger than the power of one).


‘Serve to Lead’'There is more in you than you think'' Protect those that cannot protect themselves'' There is always 'enough' (add time, resource, money etc.)

When you live by a mantra, it will shape your life!

Choose your own mantra carefully!


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