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Value in Coaching

Published by: Jay Slagle, CFP® Date: April 13, 2015

In 2014, I took a step out of my comfort zone that I had been considering for several years and joined a gym that offers personalized coaching. I have remained active since college but over time I came to the realization that I was not achieving my fitness goals by myself. It’s not that I didn’t know what I needed to be doing, but I found it next to impossible to reach my goals on my own. Well-designed plans, doubled-down commitments, and sheer force of will simply were not enough to get me where I wanted to go. I suspect many of us have shared these frustrations in fitness, our finances, and other areas of life. This past year I have come to appreciate the importance of working with great coaches and have experienced the value of professional advice.

I’ve observed that great coaches:

• Listen well
• Are passionate about what they do and how they can help others accomplish their goals
• Have the heart of a teacher and desire others to learn what they know
• Use their unbiased perspective and expertise to keep us on track
• Reaffirm our plan when we feel uncertain or uncomfortable
• Provide helpful feedback in areas we can improve
• Encourage and help us see the progress we’re making

In my experience progress is rarely, if ever, a steady march to our goals. In reality, it seems we often take two steps forward and one step back. It’s easy to get caught up in the here and now and lose sight of where we are trying to go. Having someone that can get me back on track to thinking long-term when I can’t see past my present frustrations has been the difference between quitting and continuing to move towards my goals.

Whether we’re trying to improve our physical or financial fitness, I believe we can all benefit from working with great coaches. In these challenging areas of our lives, emotions often get the best of us and make us short-term thinkers rather than maintaining focus on our goals. Daily, I get to help people make smart decisions with their money. By asking lots of questions to understand what is most important to our clients we are able to measure the distance between where they are and where they want to go. A financial plan is never static; rather it’s an ever-evolving plan requiring small adjustments along the way to get us to our destination.

I value the opportunity I have to listen, teach, and offer both empathy and an objective perspective on life and money to clients. My own experience in working with great coaches has been incredibly powerful and has affirmed my belief that great advice isn’t expensive, it’s priceless.

Jay Slagle is a financial advisor with Rather & Kittrell. He can be reached at jslagle@rkcapital.com .