Faculty Focus: George Blount
George Blount brings his insights as a financial therapist into the classroom to empower Tufts Gordon Institute’s students.
Our faculty are the cornerstone of Tufts Gordon Institute, supporting our students in and out of the classroom with lessons gained through their wealth of real-world experience. We interviewed some of our faculty members to highlight the unique perspectives they bring to the classroom and what inspires them to teach at Tufts Gordon Institute.
George Blount, Lecturer at Tufts Gordon Institute, is a financial therapist, meaning he helps people understand and navigate their emotional relationship with money, and studies the intersection of individual financial decision making and microeconomics. George teaches the course “Mastering Money: Developing Financial Literacy” as part of our Foundations for Future Leadership Minor, in which students gain greater financial awareness, making them more effective money managers of their personal and business finances.
Who inspires you the most and why?
Gen Z and beyond inspires me the most—I love the energy of our younger generations. As educators, we work with a group of young people who are gaining an awareness of themselves and the world faster than they are maturing in years. They are aspirational and understand it’s their responsibility to change the world, and I’m here for it.
What is your role as a financial therapist and how do you help people with their money?
Financial Therapy is an evidence-based discipline that helps people think, feel, communicate, and behave differently with money. As a practitioner of the discipline, I help individuals understand the aspects of their money past, which impact financial decisions in the present, and can limit opportunities in the future. We then align the money past, present, and future to make better decisions aligned towards concrete financial goals.
What is the most enjoyable part of teaching in the Foundations for Future Leadership minor?
I use financial therapy and traditional finance concepts to help students understand the real-world ramifications of financial decisions but also the unlimited potential they have. Before I teach money concepts, we first address the mindset; our mindset can make us blind to opportunities, wealth, and information so we start there. The strategies of overcoming fear that I teach complement other leadership traits in the program, so I have a chance to be a part of that value chain.
Why is it important to start planning your finances when you are an undergraduate?
The decisions you make in the first five years of your career will determine the remainder of your working career. So many people graduate from college and have no idea what they want to do, what their degree can actually do for them, or how to talk about themselves outside of the degree they’ve earned. Trying to imagine the lifestyle you want to have means getting the job, doing the work, and exceling as soon as possible.
What is the single most important takeaway that you hope your students take from your course?
You were not born to work and die—in fact you were born to thrive, and money fears often keep you from achieving your dreams.
What is the best piece of advice that anyone ever gave you?
Be where your feet are. A keynote speaker said this once and it resonated with me for a couple of reasons. One, our minds are often never where we are, our mind dwells in the past, tries to predict the future, and even creates alternate realities. If you simply focus your mind on the present, you can make clearer decisions.
What is the one thing that you know now that you wished you had known when you started your career?
Once you hit the ground try as much as you can to do things and gain experiences instead of being quiet and waiting for people to tell you what to do.