I was around 15 years old the first time I went to the gym. Two of my very dear friends are brothers, and they had started working out at a small local facility. My Dad had a small set of weights in our basement that I used at home, but I was ready to learn more and add variety to my workouts. When my friends invited me to tag along one Saturday, I was very excited.
The gym was in a local strip mall, and it had the feel of an old school dungeon. If you have ever seen the movie “Pumping Iron” with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno, you can probably imagine what it looked like. The decor was from the 1970’s, there was equipment piled everywhere, and there was not a lot of room to move around. I loved it!
Although it took me a few years to get really consistent with my workouts, the gym became a very special place for me. It didn’t matter where I worked out, I thoroughly enjoyed being there. When I started this business, I thought a lot about the concept of the gym and helping people apply it to their money. You may never thoroughly enjoying managing your money, but I am sure you can relate to some of the following points.
The Gym as a Sanctuary
I consider the gym to be my sanctuary. When I worked in my corporate career, I could not wait to hit the weights after a long day at work. After sitting in a cube for hours dealing with the usual aggravation at the office, I desperately needed an outlet. The gym was something I looked forward to every day and that helped keep me going. When you think in terms of a sanctuary being a place of refuge or safety, it certainly fit the definition for me.
Science indicates that exercise has a powerful effect on our brain. I certainly can relate to the positive effects on mood and overall well-being. It is one of the reasons I have maintained an exercise routine all of these years. I feel that is essential to my health and my outlook towards life. If life gets in the way and I get out of my routine for a few days, I really notice a difference.
When it comes to your money, I think it is important to find a reliable place for advice and encouragement. We are surrounded by negativity on a daily basis. There is an incredible amount of emotion around financial topics. All of us have a unique relationship with money, and our attitudes have been formed from a young age. If you follow financial news networks and internet sites, you probably notice that doom and gloom sells. It is very easy to get caught up in the fears and worries that come along with money.
Finding Reliable Advice
Regardless of your current money situation, you need reliable advice and a source you can trust. The whole reason behind my work is to help people build financial fitness for a lifetime. I want my work to be a financial sanctuary for people who want to use their money to fuel their personal goals and desires. My goal is to help clients find solutions to the issues that are most important to them.
I have financial clients that have overcome some huge obstacles to change their relationship with money. It is so exciting to see the dramatic changes they have made. It is just like some former personal training clients I had the pleasure to work with. Several of them lost over 100 LBS and completely changed their health and overall well-being. It is amazing to see people who previously hated working out and thought change was impossible become passionate about maintaining their lifestyle. If you have had a love/hate relationship with money, please know that success is always possible.
The Gym as a Therapist
One of the other reasons I love going to the gym is for the encouragement and comradery. Working out has done so much for me on a personal level. As a teenager, I was constantly sick with asthma and other ailments. Not only has training been a huge benefit to my overall health, it has given me confidence and a place to really fit in.
I love being around people, but I also have a shy, timid side to my personality. Going to the gym really taught me to be comfortable around all kinds of people. It has helped me to be less tense and get to know others I previously might not have approached. One of the nice things is that I used to get intimidated by some of the people who were very advanced in their training. After I got to know them better, I found out there were often the most giving people around. They were quick to offer advice and encouragement, and enjoyed helping people achieve their goals.
I see so many similarities in my financial planning business. In our society, talking about money is often viewed as a taboo subject. We know there is a great deal of emotion around money. I am sure you can agree that education around personal finances is lacking as well. Because of these many environmental factors, people find it very difficult to discuss topics that are essential to their financial well-being.
Meaningful Money Discussions
Money can be very intimidating. If you have struggled with poor money skills in the past, you may feel some shame and embarrassment. Those kinds of feelings can prevent you from getting the assistance you need. Discussing money is so vital to your emotional wellness. In my experience, I find that many couples even have trouble talking about money. Sadly, money problems and divorce go hand-in-hand.
I went through those emotions as a young adult. Poor savings and spending habits were a constant struggle. I was still living at home, working full-time, and still had a lot of credit card debt. I felt ashamed that I had no savings or investments, and kept spending more than I was earning. There was a lot of trial and error to find sound financial advice that resonated with me. I always say that money is a cruel master and a wonderful servant. It took me a long time to understand that concept.
Find people that you can discuss money with. One important people work with me as their financial advisor is they know it’s an open environment with no judgement. I am there to help serve them and their financial needs. When I was a full-time personal trainer, it was the same thing at the gym. It did not matter what shape my clients were in or how much they weighed when we started. It was all about helping them make progress and encouraging them to maintain a solid routine.
My mission is to help people get more confidence around money. I want you to get a proper perspective on your finances. Confidence is a very addictive quality. When you start getting clarity on your financial goals, you can work towards achieving them. Accountability is also very beneficial. Just knowing that someone else is there who really wants you to succeed can be such a powerful motivator.
When you take the time to plan, you can feel the positive effects. When I started with a personal training client, we always discussed their goals and the outcome they expected. Having a plan builds confidence because you know where you are going. To paraphrase the great Earl Nightingale, when you lay out the road map and the destination, all you need to do is execute the plan.
Many of my training clients struggled with the “how” when it came to their workouts. They had the desire and the motivation, but were not confident on what they best course of action was. Many of them were intimidated by working out and the various equipment in the gym. Several felt embarrassed by that, but my job was to put them immediately at ease. All of us have to start somewhere and it does not take long to get comfortable with most exercises. I used to enjoy it so much when a client who was previously afraid of certain exercises would be instructing others a few short weeks later.
Find What Works Best For You
All of us have the opportunity and ability to increase our confidence with money. The beautiful thing is that you do not need to become a money guru to win in the end. Of course, knowledge is power. However, the important thing is to find what works best for you personally. It’s the same with exercise. You may never have the knowledge of an elite personal trainer or an exercise physiologist, but you certainly have the ability to get into amazing shape.
Money is an intricate subject, but successful money management does not need to be complicated! I love showing people how simple the financial planning process can be for them. That does not mean you will not have difficult financial decisions to make. It also does not mean that things will always go exactly as you planned them. However, you start to see how everything relates to the big picture. All areas of your money management tie directly to your goals. Just like a good personal trainer, I help provide the guidance and direction.
The last thing I want to discuss is the importance of discipline. The gym has helped me gain so much self-discipline. Working out requires dedication and consistency. Discipline means choosing a work out over the couch and binge-watching your favorite show. It also means choosing a nice healthy chicken salad over a burger and fries for lunch. You become very aware of all facets of your physical well-being.
There is a reason workout plans are called routines. When you build good habits, they start to become a part of your everyday life. The nice thing about getting into a good routine is that it becomes almost automatic. You do not need to give a lot of thought to what you are going to do since it becomes ingrained. Sure, you may add variety to keep your workouts fresh, but you have a clear idea on what you are trying to accomplish.
Discipline and money management also have a strong connection. Financial planning requires that you have a plan for your money and how it fits into your life. I know several people who are wildly successful with money because they are incredibly disciplined. Some of them were willing to go to extremes to obtain the life they envisioned. Whatever your desires are, just know that you can strike a happy medium with your finances. You can manage money on your terms and in a way that fulfills your needs.
Building a financial plan is important, but the execution is essential. I may design the best workout routine ever, but it is valid when it is put into practice. Money works the same way. Part of my responsibility is to not only to design an appropriate financial plan, but to help my clients execute it for a lifetime.
Benefits For a Lifetime
The gym has given so much to me over the years. I have built such a love of working out and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Now I feel the same way about personal finance and financial planning. I see the amazing benefits that it brings to people and the powerful effects on their lives.
Every day I get to work with amazing people who are committed to gaining mastery over their money. My mission is to build a financial sanctuary for people to get sound financial advice. All of us deserve a path to proper wealth management with a personal touch. Total fitness for your money is possible. Establish solid financial goals and put them into practice. I guarantee you will see results.