I have been working through some steps and trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I grow up. I keep coming back to the idea of Financial Counseling (coaching). I love to help people out and give people hope when they believe they are in impossible situations. The problem I am having is how to get started. I feel like it is a business that I would need a lot of schooling to learn the necessary tools to be able to help people. I plan on going out to Dave Ramsey's training when I save up the funds and get some free time to go. Other than that, I am not sure what other education to focus on or what the minimum amount of knowledge I would need in order to get started. Ideally I would like to start it out slowly while I'm learning and build it as I go. I am curious to see if anyone out there is already doing it and what other advice you'd have for me to get into this career.
Thanks Justin! I appreciate your story. It is very similar to mine and quite encouraging that it can be done! I especially liked the part about getting permission. I have had this idea for awhile and it is weird how we don't act until we get confirmation from others that tells us we should go for it.
Justin, I was not sure whether you need any certification before starting financial counseling or do you get certified after you start? I saw that you need experience in the field to get certified as financial counseler.
You don't need to be certified to help people, Vaibhav. Dave Ramsey's program hasn't offered certification for a number of years now.
Some states do require a certification to call yourself a counselor. I've always been a coach.
Your website is really nice. I always wanted to do it but thought we needed certification.. Thanks for clarifying that.
How fun to be looking for your passion!
We have a similar passion on wanting to help people get their finances in order as we have had incredible success on eliminating a ton of debt the last three years (see our story at www.fieldofdebt.com). I too love to see people turn the impossible into possible.
While I don't have any official training (other than listening to Dave Ramsey's podcasts for almost three years straight for 3 hours a day), I know I can help people by sharing our story. Although I don't consider myself a writer, I am a author. I attended Dan's Write to the Bank conference last September and now have my first book out (if you have even the slightest interest in writing a book, I highly encourage you to go to this conference).
So how do I plan to build my platform as a expert in the area of debt elimination?
In building our platform, I have been meeting with people to help start their budgets. In addition we are in the process of writing a book related to our finance journey and I am attending Kent Julian's Speak It Forward bootcamp this May to excel my motivational storyteller career which I am just starting out with. I have been blogging right along as well. Later this year, I will be starting a podcast.
All the above has been totally out of my comfort zone, however, I am having a blast learning.
So my advice, get out of your comfort zone. Don't wait to be a "trained expert" to start. If you love helping people see that the impossible is possible, consider starting to blog to build an audience, practice your writing skills, and help glean what you are truly passionate about (i.e. mine is eliminating debt...some other people might enjoy the investing part of it, etc.).
Scott, good luck!!! Let me know if you have questions.
Live Beyond Awesome!
It is funny, but I have also been listening to Dave Ramsey a lot lately. We finally took his Financial Peace University class last year and it has changed our lives. We can see the end of the tunnel and I can't wait to help other people get there as well. I can certainly start helping people with their budgets and I can start a blog. Those are good places to start. They seem like things that I should be doing for free, which I don't have a problem with, but at what point do you start charging and how in the world do you set up your cost structure? :)
When I was catching up on reading, I came across Dan's recent blog and thought of you. Loved his advice on what to do to become an expert.
Thanks Jen! I went and checked out the blog, downloaded The Flinch and am having a hard time putting it down. So far in the first chapter or so it is totally how I feel about starting this adventure :) I can see the flinch in plenty of aspects of my life. It is going to help a lot just realizing what is going on and pushing through it.
As far as my comfort zone, I am already outside it asking for advice and thinking about starting out on my own :) I have always been 'loyal' to the jobs I had and stayed for a long time even when I hate it for the simple fact of not wanting to change. The crappy job is at least something I know and is consistent, but it is in no way fulfilling. I have thought of writing, but where do you start and why would people want to read my book when there are thousands out there? I could blog, but it is the same, there are tons out there :) Speaking publicly makes me very very uncomfortable. All of these things have held me back in the past, so I have plenty of stuff to work through and fears to face lol. Anyway, thanks for the reply, it is already helping me see things differently!
That is awesome! Love your response!
I could be in a very "stable" comfortable job myself, but I am NOT passionate about it. The great news is that when you are not doing something you love, it gives you time to think about what you do want to do and then move those energies into something you love.
The great thing about blogging is that it is free and gets you writing. It gets your name out there and more importantly gives you material to work with in the future. You may find you really like it or you may find it isn't your thing...either way, it gets you moving into narrowing down what you are wanting to convey to people.
Ha! That is fun about the public speaking. I am the SAME! I was a deer in the headlight before I started Toastmasters 2 months ago and am much more comfortable with it.
Perhaps neither is something you are interested in, however it is a great way to build a platform, help narrow down what you want to convey, gathers material to use, etc.
You are totally on the right path for asking Scott. I say good for you!!!
Live Beyond Awesome!
I too have had people ask my advice on many different topics. I love the idea about a business page on Facebook. When you say you coach through your website, do you mostly do all your coaching electronically? or is it just a site that directs people to you personally?
Wow! Thanks to everyone for their quick replies and advice! I am just checking up before I go to bed (I just got back from my factory job *ick*) I'll have to check out all the links and I'll certainly have questions. I am excited that there are others on this site that have done the same thing. I can't wait to get started!