Mentoring for Personal and
Economic Freedom

More about Paul Counsel

The man and his mission 

In 1992, when Paul Counsel was an impoverished potter living in Kalgoorlie, he was invited to display his work at the 1994 Festival of Perth Visual Arts Exhibition at the Crafts Council.

With high expectations that he could make $20,000-$30,000 by selling his work, he beavered away for two years to produce 44 pieces for the exhibition. By exhibition close, he made sales of just $4,500, one-third of which went to the gallery in commissions and one-third to the taxman. He walked away with only $1,500 which did not even cover the cost of the clay he used in his sculptural works.

In the wash up of this experience, he decided then and there that he was going to become a wealthy person no matter what it to. Exactly three years and eight months later he was a millionaire.

“The transformation was almost instant. I took on the identity of a wealthy person – it just happened in my mind. Although I did not adopt the outward trappings of wealth such as flashy cars, I seriously believed I was a wealthy person, so I became a wealthy person,” says Counsel.

“I started to study – reading, attending seminars, talking to people – and I'd made my first million by the end 1997.”

He took on four part-time jobs which paid him more money than one full-time job, worked seven days a week and started in real estate, buying his first house for $109,000, with the aid of a personal loan of $5,000. He taught himself DIY before doing it up and having it revalued at $210,000 six months later.

“I just worked like a person possessed, making pots and going to every craft market I could find to sell them.”

While learning his new craft of wealth creation, Counsel remained an artist potter and in 1997, he was invited to join Edith Cowan University to teach a degree course in visual arts.

While teaching the degree program in visual arts during class contact time, “I told the students if they wanted to learn about wealth, I was happy to teach them the general principles if they turned up early at 7am until lectures started at 9am.” The students loved it for the first six months but the university had other ideas and closed this little forum down.

Not to be outdone, Counsel and four of his students started to share their ideas and experiences in public forums and went on to found a company called “Wealth Educators” – giving free seminars to whoever wanted to turn up. But is often the case, few people found value in free tuition, so Counsel decided that if people didn’t value free information, perhaps they’d value it more if they had to pay for it. With this in mind he started charging a fee for his presentations.

“The very next seminar, that's when 120 people turned up. We were all potters - we didn't have a clue about business, but we understood that most businesses went bust after five years, so our only rule was to see how everyone else ran their businesses and then not do it that way,” he says

Five years later, Counsel gave away what had turned into a multi-million dollar company and went on to other adventures. Since then, he has established a well-earned reputation as one of Australia's leading wealth educators and mentors, giving regular seminars on wealth creation, the Psychology of Trading, Money Mastery, Entrepreneurial Mastery, internet income, optimal wellness and his other passion, the importance of Play for children.

Counsel believes that when people make decisions they generally have one of two motivators at work – they do something for pleasure, or, in a given context, they do something because they are suffering too much discomfort.

“Sadly, the primary motivator for most people is pain, so most people don't seek to gain financial freedom in their lives until the pain of their current results becomes unbearable. Most people live in a space called the 'comfort zone' – but if they correctly named, it would be ‘the amount of discomfort they can satisfactorily handle on a daily basis zone’.

“What many people do is seek out the immediate gratification of pleasure as a means of distraction from the daily discomfort they're experiencing. Some even go to the extremes of drugs, alcohol and/or entertainment.

“My fundamental motive for helping people is the joy I get from seeing people solve their financial challenges, remedy their problems, end their frustrations, achieve their goals and enjoy their adventures. When you’ve got the ability to help people get the results they want in life, to my way of thinking, there is no greater gift that you can give people. Give to people what’s valuable for them”, says Counsel.

“If I look at my history I've probably reinvented myself half a dozen times over the past 50 years so I know what it’s like for people wanting to change. And I know the fears they feel because I have felt them also. Because I felt claustrophobic doing day in and day out mundane jobs, I decided to become a potter when I was 33 years old. From the security of a job, to the insecurity of a craft, most people can’t imagine how fearful this is…

“Before that I was a recreational officer working with the 'Life Be In It' campaign in the 1980’s and prior to that I was in the military for nine years, working in an operating theatre. I was also a member of National Trachoma and Eye Health Research program,” he says.

Now a wealthy man in his own right, Counsel devotes much of his time helping other people to become wealthy. “I love working with people who are ready for change because they really get it; they really get that they have to do something different and they’re motivated to learn. Sadly though, most people are not ready for change and they continue to live with ‘the amount of discomfort they can satisfactorily handle on a daily basis’.

“When I ask 80 and 90 year olds if they are financially free as a result of all they have learned in their lives, if they are fit and if they are happy, the answer to all three questions is likely to be 'no'.

“The greatest gift I can give anyone is their wealth and wellness,” he says. “If I’m successful here, then indirectly, I can help them with happiness and connection, but only if they are ready.”

“I can't have a significant impact on the 80s and 90s generation, but I can have a direct impact on the ‘Baby Boomers’ and on Generations X and Y who are open to change in a financial sense, or a relationship sense, or a career sense.

“In order to achieve personal and economic freedom, you need information, you need space, you need support and you need practice. And that’s where I come in; I give people information, provide the space offer the support and watch over their practice.”

Counsel says one of the worst things about wealth is that people keep looking for the secret of how to get rich quick which he says is an illusion that people keep falling for. “It’s just part of our instant gratification culture that’s exploited time and again by mass marketing and consumerism. But think about it, if any of it worked, we’d have more happiness, more wellness, more freedom, more time and more income. But we don’t, we have the exact opposites.

“Everything you need to know about accumulating wealth is actually in the public domain. It's in fine books you can read, it's in the experience of wealthy people. It’s in the experiences of mentors.

“All of our lives we're engaging with this thing called money – yet there are very, very few people who understand how it works.

“All too often, highly paid career people retire with annual incomes of less than $40,000. So what wrong? The fact is that enculturation conditions people to be financial under-achievers, not over achievers.

“The most difficult thing about learning is getting your conditioned self out of the way. We all have access to knowledge and support if you truly want it, we all have access to markets, to assets, to the economy, to money, and to profits – all of those things are available for accessing.

“But the most difficult thing is getting yourself out of your own way – getting your conditioned emotions, your conditioned mind and your conditioned behaviour out of the way.

“People are conditioned by the mechanisms of society to be consumers who exist on wages, not entrepreneurs who are driven by achievement and profits - but you can change if you really want to.”

Counsel says people wanting to move from point A to point B in the financial arena need to get information on board, which can be provided by him or a host of other good mentors/educators.

“The second thing is that you've got to apply some action – there has to be movement. If you're moving, you can always change direction, but if you're not moving you're the victim of inertia.

“You've got to give some time-space in order to be able to pursue the learning that you need. You've got to have environmental and emotional space to support the direction in which you wish to travel. You need physical and financial space for the learning and time space to do the things you need to do.

“All of those spaces have one common denominator – you need money to buy the space. You've got to get information; you've got to start applying that information so you can convert that information into knowledge and positive causality experiences.

“Acquire the space, and enrol into the University of the Mind because everything that we achieve in life has to come through the mind. Unless you optimize your mind, it’s impossible to optimize your results. Freedom has to come through your identity but if your present identity is a limiting one, let's get to work on that identity first.”

Counsel does work individually with people, but mostly with formal groups that last for a few hours or whole weekends.

“Once people decide they want to work with me, once they decide to participate in our Money Mastery programme, they can actually pick up the phone and meet me personally any time they like, for as long as they like. Sharing information isn't about being busy – I call it sheer bliss,” he says.

“I see myself as a facilitator – somebody who has the space and time to share wisdom without being egocentric. I'm not just telling people what they want to hear – I'm not a marketer. I’m telling them what they need to know - the step by step processes to economic and personal freedom. I share with them the system I used to go from broke to financial freedom and I lay the blueprint in front of them. But they have to give me the time space to do this; it’s not a ‘quick fix’ fifteen minute answer.

“Give me the space and you’ll get your freedom”, he says

So does he miss the creative life he led as a potter?

“No,” he replies. “Because I've never really stopped creating. All I've done is change the medium from clay to people - from clay to information and support,” says the author of five self-published books.


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