Making smart money decisions is more crucial than ever. That’s why I’m thrilled to share a topic that’s close to my heart and has transformed the way many approach their financial decisions.

It’s called the Gains Decision Making Model, a framework I’ve developed over years of guiding clients through their financial journeys. This model is not just about crunching numbers. It helps coaching clients to understand the deeper value of their decisions, focusing on what they stand to gain while preparing for the shifts ahead.

Purpose of the Gains Decision Making Model

At its core, the purpose of the Gains Decision Making Model is multifaceted:

  • To help people make confident financial decisions.
  • To understand what a big decision is really about.
  • To think through what the decision might cost you in an effort to minimize or navigate those costs more effectively.
  • To focus on what you gain from the decision.
  • To begin to mentally and emotionally prepare for the shift that is to come.

The History of the Model

The Gains Decision Making Model was born out of countless conversations with clients, where the goal was to navigate through complex decisions—decisions where the outcome wasn’t directly tied to my input or benefit. Traditional methods like weighing pros and cons felt superficial. It became apparent that the real challenge was the inherent nature of decisions: the costs are usually tangible and immediate, while the benefits are often intangible and require a leap of faith. This disconnect between tangible costs and intangible benefits led to the development of this comprehensive, five-step model.

The Five-Step Framework Explained

Step 1: Identify the Costs

First up, we examine what the decision will cost you. This isn’t limited to just the financial aspect; it includes time, energy, patience, lifestyle adjustments, and more. Recognizing these costs upfront gives you a clear starting point for your decision-making process.

Step 2: Address Your Fears

Next, we look into the fears associated with the decision. These fears could range from the financial implications to the potential for slower progress toward other goals, the fear of reduced options, lifestyle changes, or even judgment from others. Understanding and articulating these fears are crucial for making an informed decision and for the success of any coaching or program you decide to engage with.

Step 3: Focus on the Gains

This step encourages you to shift your focus to what you will gain by making this decision. It’s about envisioning the positive outcomes and the long-term benefits, such as freedom, peace, confidence, and the opportunities that may arise. This forward-looking perspective is vital for moving away from what you’re running from and toward what you’re running to.

For example, it’s easier to focus on the sacrifices we might have to make today, rather than focusing on the freedom and peace that we want to achieve a month or year down the road. When we are running away from something it’s easy to tell ourselves that it’s not bad enough yet, which is why so many people don’t make a change until they hit rock bottom or before things get so much worse and they are forced to do something about it.

Step 4: Assess Your Belief in the Gains

It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not. How much you believe these gains are possible plays a significant role in the decision-making process. Drawing from past achievements or leaning on the belief of a coach can bolster your confidence in realizing these gains.

Step 5: Weigh the Gains Against the Costs

The final step involves comparing the tangible and intangible costs and gains to determine if the gains justify the costs. Going through this process is just as much a mental and emotional exercise as anything else. By going through these steps, a person can more clearly see the decision they’re facing. This step culminates in a decision that aligns with your values and goals, empowering you to invest in your future confidently.

The Gains Decision Making Model is more than a decision-making tool. It’s also a mindset shift that encourages a focus on the positive, potential outcomes of financial decisions. It’s designed to provide clarity, boost confidence, and ensure that decisions are made with a comprehensive understanding of their implications. By walking through these steps, individuals can approach their financial decisions with a greater sense of purpose and direction, ultimately leading to a more fulfilling financial journey.

Remember, it’s not just about whether you can afford a decision but how you can make it work for you. Keep these steps in mind, revisit your notes regularly, and let the vision of your gains guide you through challenging times. Here’s to making informed, confident financial decisions that pave the way to a brighter, more secure future!

Want to learn more? Find out about THE Financial Coach Academy® and how to use tools like this to grow your own coaching business.