Anything to do with money can be downright scary.
You’ve seen some success in your business, people are raving about what you do, but financially it’s feeling like a bit of a let down..
The actual practical nuts and bolts of your business and personal finances are leaving you feeling like you are wearing boxing gloves to thread a needle.
And then when you dare think of where you want to be financially your money mindset crushes you down and income generation seems like a pushing a ten ton elephant up a hill.
Throw into the mix that you have this nagging feeling it’s time to look yourself in the eye about it all…but don’t want to do it alone.
……so where do you start with choosing a money coach?
Quick start guide
There are 3 steps to choosing a coach, and this doesn’t just apply to money coaching but to other areas you might seek a coach for. After all coaching is one of the way to get where you want to be faster and with more ease. (Don’t just take my word for it – the International Coaching Federation Global Coaching Client Study (conducted independently by PricewaterhouseCoopers) found that 86% of coachees made their investment back)
BUT…how do you know if they are any good? Are they going to teach you something you don’t know already? Indeed will they teach at all (some coaching styles are such that you seek your own answers). There are also some really good marketers out there – but are they good coaches?…
I’m going to outline the 3 steps here and talk about them in more detail.
The 3 steps
- What do you want to get out of your coaching?
- Research potential coaches
- Then take them for a test drive
The full details
Step 1 – What do you want out of coaching?
This really is the most important place to start. It’s like going to the supermarket without a list otherwise – you can get enticed by the end of aisle special offers and realise you have come out with nothing for dinner!
Ask yourself this one question to find out what it is that is really important to you.
Ask yourself how your life looks after coaching
Then brainstorm the answers to these questions:
How could your coach best support you?
Are you looking for training, mentoring or coaching?
What sort of style/manner should they have?
How do you want to be held accountable?
What sort of technical knowledge should they have (if any)?
What timescales are you looking at? Number of sessions? Format? Price?
Are there any specific things you want to learn?
So how does it work in the real world?
When a client comes to me it might be that they generally are looking to feel better around money, they want to earn more, feel less guilt around spending and saving and have some systems to manage it all in place that don’t feel like hard work. They are looking for someone to support and facilitate the change they want to bring about.
Typically my clients has a mixture of training – so specific actionable steps and answers to their technical questions, but also coaching – to discover some of the deeper issues at work that have been eluding them and keeping them trapped in a cycle with money and the way they are with money and importantly how to change these.
The sessions themselves are two hours (which allows for us to get into the meat of the matter) and over Skype for location flexibility. My clients tend to be busy people (aren’t we all!) so I help keep them accountable with an action steps email after the session, and a check in between sessions. Sometimes we do sessions bi-weekly, sometimes monthly.
The reason I blend training and coaching together is that my technical knowledge of personal finance is really strong. I’ve spent 23 years (as of 2017) working in finance and a good number of those as a financial advisor both here and overseas. Although now I am not a qualified financial advisor ( that simply means I can’t sell you any financial products! Nice ) I retain my keen interest in all things personal finance and I’ve seen hundreds of different financial situations over my time so can answer from experience and knowledge.
My style is part taskmaster, part cheerleader. I’m an ace at seeing peoples hidden strengths and helping them use those to take the next steps. The taskmaster part comes in because I believe that things don’t happen without action – we split those down in to the teeny tiniest of baby steps in order to get moving and I keep you accountable to it.
This is what happened to Andy after he took some of my training/coaching.
“You prompted me to think about what I’m REALLY good at and enjoy, that would be a useful service others need to generate another income stream. I just needed the prompt and push that you gave me to do something about it! So I joined the Society for Editors and Proofreaders and just completed the online study requirements for full membership. And I have the first two of my own clients already! Thanks again for being so generous with your time and ideas.”(Andrew Mitchell)
What else happens?
Then there are other clients who aren’t keen at all at looking at the practical details of money – logging into internet banking is a sweaty heart racing moment, and they run like Forrest Gump at the thought of a spreadsheet. I take all that burden away and clients come back loving the strategic plans I put in place for them, the simple systems that allow them to take a confident driving seat when they are ready.
I’ve had other clients report back to me improved relationships with their partners – talking honestly about money and what they want in life for the first time (maybe ever). That they have been sleeping better, have more energy and life has it’s bounce back again.
“My energy levels are higher too, and I’m more excited about life, the day to day stuff, and the future. I felt like I was hearing advice from a great and wise friend. I highly recommend her as a coach.” (Maria Stephens, Corporate Manager)
But I don’t know what I want!
Don’t freak out if this is you. Sometimes all we know is that this can’t go on the way it has been but we are so stuck we can’t work what is next. This is where a coach can help you get unstuck and create new thinking. Often times even just having a free clarity call with me can be enough to start getting things a little clearer for you.
Just move onto the next step for now and trust the answers will come.
Step 2 – Research coaches
Here is a list of things you could consider in your potential coach:
What are your first impressions?
What experience do they have?
What credentials do they have in place?
Where else are they on the net – publications, podcasts, newspaper articles etc?
Have you googled their name?
I trust that I come across as I am – which is friendly but firm with a raft of great ideas and experience. I love sharing my 20 plus years of personal (some international) finance experience, as well as that of working for myself since 2008, where I have created multiple income streams, been 2nd in the world for the organisation I worked under the umbrella of (self employed). Doing my Post-grad in personal and business coaching on top of my financial qualifications for me brought the money coaching alive. I really enjoy reaching further out with podcasts & newspaper articles. All of this you get access to whether you work with me personally or online.
Things to look out for
As in any industry there are things that are always quite what they seem. So here are just a few things to look out for. Money is an abused topic – and a very emotive one!
- Look out for Financial Advisors who call themselves a Money Coach. This might be the right fit for you if you are looking for someone who can advise and sell your products as well but make sure that it is clear that is a possibility. For me having no financial products to sell brings a whole level of clarity and difference to the conversation as the outcome isn’t a sale or becoming a financial advisory client. I look to get my clients in a position of knowing if they want to outsource some of their financial management and what they want out of that relationship.
- Look out for income coaches who are trying to sell you their one system. There are multiple examples out there and I am all for adding a potentially passive income stream into your income generation BUT what you don’t want it just the one way of doing it – what works for someone else may not work for you.
Step 3 – Take for a test drive
Why do we still head into the shops to make a purchase? We sometimes like to touch, feel and experience first hand what something is like – and coaching is no different.
You can experience coaches style, ways of working in a number of different ways before you commit:
Are there any videos you can view to give you a flavour of what they are like?
Could you listen to a podcast of theirs next time you are out running/driving/doing the washing up?
Do they have an active Facebook Group?
Lastly if you are seriously thinking of working with them 1:1 then it is essential to have a free clarity call before you commit to paid sessions.
I have all of these so people can get a taste of me before they buy.
What to expect from a free clarity call
What you want to get from a clarity call is a sense that you and the coach would be able to work together and that they can help you get further than you would on your own, easier and quicker! There should be great rapport but also focus. An outline of the solutions as they see it too. Ask yourself do they resonate with you? You might feel that push of coming out of your comfort zone – that doesn’t mean not to work with them, in fact it means you probably should – coaching can be challenging.
Ultimately imagine how it would feel to be working with that person. If you have done all your groundwork you can now trust your judgement. Enjoy your coaching journey and the transformation it can bring to your life.