There was a pivotal moment in my journey, while I was still in the corporate world, when the fear of not pursuing my passion of financial coaching overpowered my fear of failure.

Despite the limiting thoughts like “What if I’m not cut out for this?” or “Can I really make a living doing what I love?”, the dread of living with regret for not trying was far more intimidating. So, together with my husband Michael, we established a “dream fund” and set a one-year plan to launch my financial coaching business.

The Power of a Dream Fund

Let’s sidetrack for a moment to talk about something I find incredibly powerful: the concept of a dream fund. It’s something we, and many of our clients, maintain as a financial cushion for when those big, life-altering aspirations are too loud to ignore. Whether it’s making a significant career change or starting a business, a dream fund represents a commitment to your future self and your belief in your own potential. And having a dream fund already in place allows you to take action now rather than having to wait until you can save the money to fund it.

Bootstrapping Your Way to Success

That first year was all about maximizing every resource I had, stretching every dollar in my dream fund to its fullest potential. The experience taught me invaluable lessons about the essentials of starting a business – insights I wish I had someone to share with me back then. So, here I am, hoping to be the guide I never had for you, aiming to streamline your path to success by highlighting what you truly need (and don’t need) to get your financial coaching business off the ground.

What You Really Need to Succeed in Financial Coaching

Belief in Yourself, Not Certifications

  • You do not need letters after your name. You do not need someone to tell you that you are qualified to do this. There is no certification that is required for financial coaches.
  • What you are looking for when you are looking for a certification is someone to tell you that you’re qualified. So what you really need instead is belief in yourself.
  • When people ask about certifications, they’re essentially asking, “Can I trust you?” I’ve learned that establishing trust doesn’t necessarily come from certifications but rather from how you present your knowledge and connect with clients. In an upcoming discussion, I’ll dive into what I call the Trust Triad, a method for building that crucial trust without relying on formal credentials.

Simplicity Over Complexity

  • Starting out, you don’t need a flashy website or a professional logo. When you first start, you need a place where people can connect with you. If you are listening to this episode on your cell phone, tablet, or computer right now, then you already have a way. You can give people your email or phone number to start with.
  • Don’t let the idea of having some fancy website overcomplicate this step or be a distraction to you. Going down the rabbit hole of learning tech is the biggest time suck for new business owners.

Local Compliance Over Formal Business Structures

  • Before worrying about business checking accounts or LLCs, focus on understanding the local requirements for starting your business. A simple call to your local corporation commission or Secretary of State can provide clarity on what’s necessary to legally operate your coaching practice.

Depth Over Breadth

  • A depth of one topic is better than a variety or a plethora of a whole bunch of different little pieces of info. Think about going deep on one topic versus covering a wide array. Instead of trying to cover a whole bunch of different topics in one session, what I would rather have you do is, in one session, pick one topic and cover it in a really deep way. Really go into the depth of it, tackle that topic from a whole bunch of different angles, a whole bunch of different perspectives, and ask a whole bunch of different questions. Tackle it from the past, the present, and the future.
  • Tapping on all those details provides way more quality in your session and you’re going to have a bigger impact on the client. And the client’s going to see better results.

The Ultimate Ingredient: Experience

In the end, what transforms a good coach into a great one is experience. No amount of theoretical knowledge can substitute for the insights gained through actual coaching sessions. So, if there’s one thing to prioritize above all else, it’s getting out there and coaching. Every interaction, every session, is a step toward honing your skills and making a meaningful impact on your clients’ lives.