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What is the most important element of Money Coaching? The coaching part, of course!

By: Steve Demaray

Coaches often don't feel comfortable working in the area of their client's money lives. This is unfortunate since no other profession possess the powerful tools that coaches routinely employ to help their clients create lasting change.

It doesn’t take being a financial specialist to help our clients improve their money lives. With a little practice and clarity of our comfort zone, any coach can help bring at least some improvement in to the money lives of their clients. Let me give an illustration of this, using the example of something that really frustrates people... Budgets!

Most people I coach have tried and failed at budgeting. In fact, from a coaching perspective I consider it a positive sign when I hear people say they gave budgeting a shot and threw in the towel! No, it's not because I'm a sadist. Let me explain:
Even if their efforts didn’t seem to pay off, it tells me that they have wrestled with the problem and in doing so, demonstrated that they brought engagement to their money lives. This is important, because engagement is a one of the 4 building blocks for achieving money clarity. Without engagement, money clarity isn't possible. So while they may feel their time spent struggling with a budget was a complete waste, as a coach, I see it as valuable experience and know that in reality, nothing was wasted.

I don’t believe budgets will work for most of us which of course runs contrary to the advice of many money experts. This was a belief that formed in part, through personal experience. When I was first looking for a better way to control my money, I tried budgeting and failed miserably! Not only did this come as a shock, it was just a little bit humiliating. If a financial services veteran couldn't live with a budget what hope do regular, non-financial type folks have?

Finally, when we see what doesn’t work, we become more open to new approaches that might work. Coaches know that when it comes to making any important change, whether it's losing weight, quitting smoking, starting a new business or taking control of your money, the one universal prerequisite is that we must be open and willing to change.
So, let's just forget the budget question and instead get our client's thinking about the 4 questions below:

  • Is now the right time for you to make positive changes in your money life? If so,
  • Are you truly open and willing to change? If so,
  • Are you prepared to experience the feel of discomfort that often come from adopting unfamiliar behaviors? If so,
  • Prove it to yourself! What is the one discomforting change you could make right now that would bring immediate improvement to your money life?

Through a conversation like this, we help get the client unstuck by transitioning the conversation into a coaching approach we are all comfortable with. If you're interested in giving it a try, find a coaching client willing to be your first test case. Perhaps that someone is working with you right now!

Steve Demaray, aka The Personal Money Coach, is a 25+ year financial services veteran, Certified Financial Planner, advocate for money clarity and graduate of ILCT’s Foundational life coach program. Steve is passionate about guiding growth minded people through a money-life shift that transforms stress and frustration into simplicity and freedom. Steve lives outside Toronto, Ontario with his wife Dorothy and faithful terrier, Spoggles.

Listen to Steve talk about money coaching in this call.