Let’s have some real talk for a minute. In the world of financial coaching, there’s a fine line to walk when it comes to what we promise our clients. Remember, we can’t be everything to everyone. (I touched on this in episode 49, emphasizing the need for honesty in what we can guarantee.)

Like in my own 90-day Cash Flow Control program, I can’t promise clients will be debt-free because there are just too many variables, many of which are completely out of our control. This isn’t just true for client-facing programs; it’s a core principle of the Financial Coach Academy® too.

Balancing Dreams and Realism in Coaching

As financial coaches, I think a lot of us have two sides of ourselves that actually give us the ability to take a very balanced approach to this profession. And if you gain anything from this episode, I hope that you will embrace both these sides of you…

First, we are coaches.

As coaches, we believe in the power of our thoughts and the potential that comes from committing our time, energy, and minds to our dreams. We see the ideals people often aim for when they decide to invest in themselves. We believe in peoples’ aspirations and their ability to make them reality.

And second, we have a keen financial side that keeps us grounded.

We are realistic, practical and logical. We believe in peoples’ goals but we balance that with a healthy dose of reality. We are acutely aware that simply wanting something doesn’t make it so.

As a coach, I can hope you make 6-figures in your first year in business and as a financially-minded individual, I can also see all the things that you’ve got to get right, and all the things that have to come together to make that happen.

I believe it’s possible because it HAS happened, I’ve even seen it happen, but I’ve also seen the people who do everything right and not reach 6-figures.

I see the potential. I also see the hard work. And I see the risk. And sometimes even just damn luck.

No matter how good we are at planning, or how much training, experience or expertise we have — there are things none of us, and I mean none of us, can guarantee.

See the potential for your clients. Help them to see the opportunities that exist. But also see the risks they take on with each of those opportunities. See the hard work it will take and don’t shy away from bringing that into the conversation.

The Coaches Coaching Coaches Spectrum

Katie Setckly once shed light on what she called the “spectrum of deceit” in the coaching industry. On one end, you’ve got genuinely passionate coaches, and on the other, those who are, let’s be honest, just after your money. Most coaches who are coaching other coaches fall somewhere in the middle.

As someone who’s been in the trenches of both financial coaching and coaching coaches, I’ve seen this spectrum up close. It’s a reminder to stay vigilant and committed to offering real value.

I’m all for people taking their legitimate experience, packaging it into an offer and giving it to people so they can learn from it in order to improve their life or business – so long as you are offering something of value.

In other words, has the coach who is coaching other coaches actually owned a legitimate business in something other than their business where they coach people on having a legitimate business?

This is important because I can tell you first hand that offering a coaching program to a client in my Fiscal Fitness business is not as easy, and takes longer to build trust, than offering you, a coach, a program like The Financial Coach Academy.

And even at Fiscal Fitness, where we offer a program to individuals/couples and another one to small business owners, the small business owners sign up for coaching more quickly and with less effort than individuals without a business as a motivator.

Honesty Over Hype in Coaching

There’s a big difference between coaching someone through something you haven’t done yourself, and being open about that, and pretending you have actually done the thing. It’s all about honesty. And in the coaches coaching coaches space, this distinction is crucial. We’ve got to resist the lure of hyping up our experiences to gain trust. Transparency and integrity are non-negotiable.

When I launched the Financial Coach Academy program, I was making over $20k per month as a financial coach all by myself (and my one assistant).
I’ve been there.

And I am still a financial coach today running a financial coaching business.
I am there.

Sometimes I think “Kelsa, you are running two businesses… you’re making things harder on yourself.” But honestly, I love financial coaching. I am a financial coach.

At my core, I believe in the power of what money coaching can do for people. I witness it every single day. And I wish more people could experience it which is why I feel just as passionately about helping other financial coaches do this work too.

While Fiscal Fitness and Financial Coach Academy are run pretty independently of one another behind the scenes, they are equal parts of me. Having both is often times what keeps me incredibly connected to you and my ability to best guide you on this journey.

The businesses may operate separately, but their missions are linked and they make each other stronger.

The Allure and Pitfalls of Scaling

In the coaching world, scaling your business can be a siren call. It’s tempting to shift focus from coaching clients in your niche to coaching other coaches. While this can be a legitimate path, it’s essential to remember that it’s not the only way to grow. At Fiscal Fitness, for example, we scaled by expanding our team and services, not by diverting our focus. This approach allowed us to maintain our integrity and stick to what we do best.

Fiscal Fitness, my financial coaching business, has been a real-life lab for understanding the nuances of growth and integrity. We recently took a step back to reassess our direction and ensure we stayed true to our brand promise. This period of reflection was crucial for maintaining the authenticity of our services and our commitment to our clients.

Looking ahead, both Fiscal Fitness and the Financial Coach Academy are poised for thoughtful growth. The focus remains on impactful, integrity-driven services. For Fiscal Fitness, this means a more measured approach to client intake, ensuring quality over quantity. For the Financial Coach Academy, it means continuing to provide resources and support that are as dynamic and evolving as the coaching industry itself.

The Heart of Our Mission: Honesty and Transparency

In the end, what matters most in the coaches-coaching-coaches arena is our commitment to honesty and transparency. It’s about constantly checking that our practices align with our values. Both in Fiscal Fitness and the Financial Coach Academy, this commitment to truth and integrity forms the bedrock of our operations and our relationships with clients and fellow coaches.