Are you feeling overwhelmed and like you’re spinning your wheels in your financial coaching business? You’re working hard, trying all sorts of things, but not seeing the kind of consistent results you want. You might be feeling the pressure and wondering if you’ll ever figure it out.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Many coaches struggle with this, especially when they’re first starting out. But here’s the good news: there’s one key thing you might be doing that’s contributing to this stuck feeling and slowing your progress. Even better? It’s fixable.

Signs You’re Spinning Your Wheels

First, let’s talk about what spinning your wheels can look and feel like:

  • You’re trying lots of strategies but not seeing significant, consistent results
  • You feel overwhelmed, like you’re always in “figuring it out” mode
  • You’re constantly hopping from one idea or tactic to the next
  • You second-guess your decisions a lot and feel like you’re just winging it
  • You beat yourself up for lack of progress or results
  • You feel like you’re expending a ton of effort without really getting anywhere

Sound familiar? If so, know that you’re not the only one. I’ve been there too, and it’s not a fun place to be. But there is a way out.

The Difference Between Erratic and Strategic Trial & Error

Often, the issue lies in how you approach making business decisions, specifically when it comes to trial and error. Because here’s the thing: trial and error is a normal and necessary part of building a business. But there’s a big difference between erratic trial and error and strategic trial and error.

Erratic trial and error is when you make too many changes at once, hopping from one thing to the next without really analyzing the results. You might try something new for a week or so, decide it’s not working, and scrap the whole thing to chase the next shiny object.

Strategic trial and error, on the other hand, is about making small, calculated adjustments and carefully studying the impact. You choose one aspect to tweak, give it dedicated time to play out, and then analyze what worked and what didn’t before making the next change.

This applies to both your own business strategies and your clients’ financial journeys. Just like how you encourage clients to commit to a new budgeting method for at least 30 days to really evaluate its effectiveness, it’s important to give new tactics in your business a fair shot before deciding if they work or not. Focus on refinements, not massive overhauls.

Client: Nothing’s Working

Imagine a client comes to you saying they’ve tried everything to fix their finances and nothing works. When you dig deeper, you find out they’ve hopped from one strategy to another, never giving any a real chance to take root.

Sound familiar? It’s the same pattern many coaches fall into with their businesses. Just like you’d guide that client to pick one method and stick to it for a while, tracking what works and what doesn’t, it’s important for you to bring that same diligence to your business experimentation.

The Importance of Analysis in Trial and Error

The key step most people miss in strategic experimentation is analysis. After making a small change, stop and assess what’s working, what’s not, what you like and don’t like. Then analyze the results of that specific change. Did it help? Make things worse? Neither?

This analysis piece is absolutely crucial. It trains you to dissect problems, identify root causes, and evaluate solutions. It keeps you from throwing out strategies that are 80% effective because of a 20% issue.

Even more, it boosts your creativity and innovation by pushing you to find solutions tailored to your unique business and audience, rather than just copying what someone else is doing.

Tips for Strategic Trial and Error

So how can you actually implement strategic trial and error in your business? Here are a few tips:

  1. Think of it as a controlled experiment, not random actions. Have a hypothesis and a plan.
  2. Focus on continuous refinement vs. huge changes. Evolution, not revolution.
  3. Look for specific steps to improve, not scrapping entire funnels or programs at the first sign of trouble.
  4. Make one small change at a time, then analyze results before moving onto the next change. Patience is key.
  5. View it as a way to enhance your overall problem-solving skills. This is a practice that will serve you throughout your entrepreneurial journey.

My Recommendation: Start with a Proven Framework

If you’re a new financial coach, my top tip is to start by adopting a proven framework like the one provided in my Financial Coach Academy® program. Use the provided resources like questionnaires, worksheets and email templates to build out your initial client journey. Work that system to start attracting clients and getting income flowing.

Then, as you gain real-world experience, begin making strategic tweaks to customize it to your unique preferences and audience. Pick one piece at a time to modify based on your analysis and observations. Chances are, a large portion of the framework will work well for you out of the gate, allowing you to focus your experimentation on select areas rather than reinventing the wheel with your whole coaching system.

Avoid the temptation to make sweeping changes based on a single client’s experience or results. Bring patience and a strategic mindset to your trial and error process, making small, intentional adjustments over time.

The Client Creator Challenge Example

Here’s an example of what this looked like in a recent round of the Client Creator Challenge. One of the coaches was getting plenty of leads through an engaging Facebook group, but was struggling to convert those leads to client calls.

Instead of scrapping her whole lead gen system, we looked at the specific step that wasn’t working: the messages she was sending to invite people to calls. We tweaked just a couple pieces of that process – the questions she asked, the way she framed the invite – while keeping everything else the same.

After making those small adjustments and testing for a week, her conversion rate improved, without having to overhaul her whole funnel. That’s the power of strategic trial and error.

Shifting from erratic to strategic trial and error is key to stop spinning your wheels and start seeing real, consistent progress in your financial coaching business. Slow down, make intentional changes one at a time, and prioritize analysis over action for action’s sake.

Start with a proven method, then customize strategically as you go, ensuring each tweak is improving your results, not just changing things up. Bringing this patience and intentional experimentation to your business will hone your problem-solving skills and set a powerful example for your clients on their own financial journeys.

Remember, building a successful coaching practice is a process. Iteration is part of the game. But by trading haphazard changes for calculated refinements, you’ll find traction so much faster. You’ve got this, coach!