3 Things I Wish I Knew About Money Before I Started Coaching

3 Things I Wish I Knew About Money Before I Started Coaching


If I could go back in time and shed coaching wisdom on the younger me, the list would be long. When thinking specifically about what I wish I knew about money when I started coaching, I can think of dozens of lessons; but I will limit it to these three:

  1. Pay attention
  2. Appreciation comes with labor
  3. Connect your revenue to your impact

Before I dig into these, I think it is important to give a bit of context as I am a believer that our perceptions around money come from our personal experiences. I come from a family that would be considered low income by an American standard. I did not grow up in a household where finances were discussed. Rather, I learned through observation that you have to work your butt off and your efforts are a direct reflection of your earnings.

When I started coaching, I got lucky and had early financial success that was not a direct reflection of my efforts. This was followed by a reality of struggles and led to me learning from those struggles, making some changes and leading to financial success. 


Here are those three learnings.


#1 - Pay attention

Money is an uncomfortable subject for a lot of young coaches. Due to this discomfort, it is easy to “trust” that if you do a good job with your clients and add a few more a month then everything will be just fine. This is obviously not the case and is where a lot of coaches get into trouble. They don’t pay attention to their finances. 

I would tell my younger self to hire an accountant, but to put in the work and allocate my own financials first prior to sending them to my accountant to ensure I understand what is happening in my business. I would know my expense structure, how much revenue I am bringing in monthly, my average price point per client, and how those are all trending year to date and compared to the previous year.


#2 - Appreciation comes with labor

Sometimes when we have financial success without working hard for it, it sets a bad precedent. As I mentioned earlier, I had some early success in coaching and this led to me forgetting the lesson I learned as a young man that you have to work your butt off to have financial success.

I would tell my younger self to appreciate and to be grateful for the early success, but to not be fooled and that I should work harder to keep the momentum going. I would have appreciated the continued financial success, would not have let my guard down, and would have not become complacent. But hey, lesson learned.


#3 - Connect your revenue to your impact

We coach to improve the lives of those who we work with. If you don’t coach to serve others, I would argue that you are in the wrong profession. If we coach for money and money alone, we will have little or short-lived success as the inspiration and fulfillment to serve others is what is in the heart of a great coach (in my opinion, of course).

I would tell my younger self to lead with positive impact and to look at a growing or shrinking bank account as a direct correlation to the impact I am having in my community.

I hope at least one of these lessons learned is relevant for you and prevents you from making the mistakes I made as a young coach.

In fact, helping coaches learn from my mistakes so they can have great careers helping their clients is exactly what I do in the OPEX Coaching Certificate Program. This extends beyond financials, as I cover everything from program design to nutrition to marketing. 

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