Meet Tyler


Show Notes

Steve Nay interviews co-host Tyler Smith about building a financial coaching practice while pursuing a career as a localization professional.


[00:00] Steve: Hey there. I'm Steve.

[00:02] Tyler: And I'm Tyler. Welcome to It's Not About the Money, where we discuss a wide range of topics like entrepreneurship, leadership, productivity, and maybe even money.

[00:12] Steve: We're not here to bore you with financial or jargon or the tax code, although we might.

[00:18] Tyler: But if we do, it won't be on purpose.

[00:21] Steve: We're just a couple of small business owners trying to make sense of the world one podcasts at a time. On today's episode, I will be interviewing my co host, Tyler Smith, a localization professional and a financial coach. So that's a good place to start. Tyler, what is a localization professional?

[00:40] Tyler: Great question. I get asked that a lot. Almost to the point where when people ask me what I do for a living, I say something else. A localization professional is someone who works in the language industry and is involved with adapting products and services that were created in one language and culture so that they can be used by people who speak other languages or come from a different culture. So practically speaking, what that looks like is I work for language services companies, or my career has largely been working for language services companies who provide translation, interpretation, and localization services.

[01:16] Steve: Okay. And you are not doing the actual translation parts of it. You're more in the middle the management kind of a position.

[01:25] Tyler: That's right. Actually, relatively early in my career, I moved from being an individual contributor to being a manager. And so although I started hands on with translations and moving them in and out of software products and interfaces, I quickly learned that I was more interested in the business side of things, and I've enjoyed a lot of different management roles since then. That's great.

[01:51] Steve: I know you have mentioned to me that your position is in the procurement division of the company, and I'm curious what procurement means and how localization fits into that.

[02:06] Tyler: Sure. Maybe I can back up a little bit and give you a brief tour of my career to explain how I got here.

[02:13] Steve: That would be great.

[02:14] Tyler: So my first job once I graduated was working as a localization engineer. Like I mentioned before, that's a very technical role involved with translating software and applications into different languages. After that, I went into operations management, where I was managing a team of project coordinators who were working on translation and localization projects. And I've been in operations roles a lot since then. But about five years ago, I began working for a company who was large enough that they had need for a separate role in purchasing and procurement that was separate from the project management and the operations team. So purchasing and procurement is basically buying what the business needs to function. So specifically right now, I am buying all of our indirect services so the things that we need to purchase so that we can fulfill the orders of our clients. In our case, that's translation services for the most part. It's kind of like the opposite side of sales. Sales is out there prospecting and looking for clients to bring in revenue. And purchasing is out there prospecting and recruiting vendors who can provide the services that we need. Negotiating those contracts, trying to save money on rates and costs and making sure that we find the right resources so that our project managers can complete their projects on time and with good quality.

[03:37] Steve: Okay, that's really interesting. I had always thought of procurement as like, this is going to sound simplistic, but like buying the printer paper and the equipment and those kind of things. But the way you describe it, where your business? A lot of the inputs are translation services. That is what you are in charge of procuring. Does that make sense?

[03:57] Tyler: Yeah, and you're not wrong. Procurement also covers all the direct spend of a business too. And so it's been kind of exciting for me as I've been in the localization industry specifically for over ten years. I'm adding a bunch of skills to my skill set that are related to more to purchasing more broadly. So I'm exploring and learning about other purchasing categories in addition to translation.

[04:21] Steve: That's great. So in addition to your career as a localization professional, you have recently started a coaching business doing financial coaching. I'd love to hear more about that. Why coaching? Why now?

[04:36] Tyler: Yeah, if it's okay, I would love to start with the why now question because it's something I've been thinking about a lot lately and I think there are a few reasons that now is the time for me to start my own side business, or side hustle, if you want to call it that. One thing is that as I've looked at my own career and my own personal finances, especially as someone who works in procurement and a big part of procurement is driving down costs and becoming more efficient to kind of increase the margins for the company. Right. Well, I've been exploring doing the same thing in my own life. I'm a bit of a budget nerd, so I've been budgeting actively my personal finances for ten years or so. And I'm learning both through my job and in my personal life that cost management only gets you so far. I mean, it's great. Penny saved is definitely a penny earned, or even more in some cases, but.

[05:34] Steve: There'S a limit to it.

[05:35] Tyler: There is a limit to it, exactly. Yes. Especially if you are interested in having a degree of comfort in your life. And I'm not saying that I do anything lavish at all, but you can only eat rice and beans for so long before you want to try something else.

[05:52] Steve: Sure.

[05:53] Tyler: And I've never been particularly frugal, but I've been very interested in optimizing my costs. Okay. So I started looking for options to how I could increase my top line or my income, basically. Right. And if I were following conventional wisdom, the advice would be change jobs every few years, right, to get those big raises. Since if you stay in the same job for a long period of time, you're probably only going to get incremental increases in your salary, if anything at all. Right. And so there's a lot of talk about job hopping and leveraging your experience at one company for a bigger compensation package at the next company. And I had a problem with that approach, which is simply that I really like my job. I've got a great manager, I've got a great team, great company culture. It provides for my needs plus some I have really no interest in switching jobs because there are a lot of non monetary benefits to the job that I currently work. And so I needed something else if I wanted to augment my income a little bit. And so that's kind of the reason why I chose now is the time to explore starting a business on the side.

[07:01] Steve: That sounds like a great problem to have.

[07:03] Tyler: I think it is, yeah.

[07:05] Steve: You love your day job enough that you want to stay there and also do something else.

[07:09] Tyler: Yes. And then as to your question, why coaching, there's a little bit of luck in just the way that life naturally unfolds. I'm a big dabbler. I've tried lots of things in the past, everything from starting a few YouTube channels to looking into affiliate marketing on social media, blogging, those types of things which serve not only as a creative outlet, but also an attempt to kind of earn some more money. None of those ever really worked out for me or I would get bored or quit. But last year I was introduced to the idea of coaching through a company called You Need a Budget, which is a budgeting software that I've used for many years. And they offered a coaching. That's right. That's one of the things that you and I have in common. We connect on budgeting.

[07:54] Steve: Yes. Why never?

[07:57] Tyler: Great. Initially, I thought I wasn't even thinking of doing coaching as a business. I just saw that they were offering a certification and I love their product so much that I wanted to be involved with it. And as I took the certification course, I started to get these thoughts about, hey, maybe actually I could be a coach, right? I mean, maybe there's someone out there who'd be willing to pay for this service. And it's kind of developed since then and it's kind of the perfect side hustle for me because it's very low effort in terms of time that you have to spend on it. So yeah, that's why coaching, a little bit of happenstance, a little bit of luck, I guess you could say, on the timing, good timing. And then it's been a great fit for me to be able to fit into my life on top of my day job without feeling overwhelmed or working too hard.

[08:48] Steve: That's fascinating. I love that you came to coaching through something that you already loved. It wasn't that you set out to turn that into a business, but that you loved this thing and there was an opportunity and you took it and then made something out of it. Love that. Also the fact that I think the biggest constraint that someone has already working a full time job is time. So the fact that this business works really well with your schedule, that you're able to have a large impact with a small time investment, that's really great.

[09:26] Tyler: That's right. Yes. I've heard coaching described as a high touch, low volume type of business. Meaning you work with a low volume of clients and it's very hands on. Right. It's very custom. Every client has their own unique needs and will require their own unique things. But you're only dealing with a few at a time, and you're only really working when you're speaking with that client or when you're thinking about how you can help them.

[09:53] Steve: Those are good axes on which to evaluate a potential business. The volume and the touch level, I guess high touch low volume versus low touch high volume. Where I'm in the tax business, for example, and you can go both directions in that business as well. You can be like an H and R block franchise where all you do is tax returns day in and day out during the busy season, and your goal is just to get as much volume as possible and that's how you'll become profitable. Or you can go the other way and focus on a particular niche where it's a lot more high touch. You're much more involved with your clients in giving them advice, but the volume is much lower and you can still be profitable in that way. It's just a different structure for the business.

[10:42] Tyler: Right? Yeah. And have you thought about which one of those models you want to pursue for yourself?

[10:47] Steve: I'm definitely leaning on to the side of high touch, low volume. Although eventually by selecting a niche, I'm hoping to be able to systematize a lot of that so that it doesn't have to be bespoke for each individual client. The way you're describing with coaching, where I know generally these are the kinds of things that my clients are going to need because they're in a similar sort of business as each other. And so I can package those up in a way that is less work on my end, but still gives them a lot of value. So it's sort of in the middle, but more on the high touch, low volume end.

[11:25] Tyler: Yeah, that makes sense. That's great.

[11:28] Steve: Wonderful. When did this coaching business start to feel like a reality and not just an idea?

[11:37] Tyler: To be honest with you, I might still be a little bit in the phase where it feels like an idea.

[11:43] Steve: Okay.

[11:44] Tyler: However, there have been a few moments where it stopped feeling 100% like a dream and more like a reality. And I think one of those moments was and perhaps this is no surprise, but the first time that somebody hired me, somebody traded money to me in exchange for my services as a coach, that was a bit surreal. I was like, yeah, this could work. Somebody finds value in what I do. They're paying me money. I'm giving them the value that they're hoping to find. This is great. That was one of the moments, for sure. And then more recently, I've been having more and more moments working with my clients where I'm able to see them experience breakthroughs. Whether that's something that's been preventing them from understanding something in their personal finances that they're finally understanding, whether they have a realization about a belief that they had that was holding them back, or if it's something as simple as, like, hey, I didn't know the software that I'm using could do that. Thanks for teaching me. Starting to see the work that I do have an impact is, first of all, really rewarding, and it's helping me believe that what I'm doing is real, if that makes sense.

[12:56] Steve: It does, yeah. That's very rewarding, seeing an impact on your clients life. What has been the most exciting part so far for you?

[13:06] Tyler: So I can think of a specific moment where I was the most excited, actually. It was on a call with a client, and we were talking about his money. And it's interesting, I'm kind of starting this business as a financial coach, which is a niche in a sense, but it's not just about the money. And I realize that's what our podcast is called, and we'll probably talk more about that later. But money is a tool, and you use money to create the life that you have. You earn money, you spend money in a certain way. Anyway, we were having a discussion about with this client. I had asked him something along the lines of, what do you stand for? What are your values? Because we have to understand those a little bit before we make some decisions about how you want to spend your money.

[13:58] Steve: Right.

[13:59] Tyler: And he just became silent for what seemed like a really long time, and then he started getting a little bit emotional. And then I started getting a little bit emotional. There were no tear shed or anything, but it was a powerful moment. And I realized that the conversation that we were having was creating an insight for this person that could potentially change their life. And so far, that's been the most exciting part of my business.

[14:28] Steve: That's wonderful. Coming back to those breakthroughs again, I imagine as a coach, that's kind of what you're going for is helping people change their lives. And so seeing those breakthroughs, those realizations, is a big part of knowing whether you're successful.

[14:47] Tyler: Yeah, I think it is. And it's tough because you can't manufacture those moments. So you might have a lot of conversations or a little or few conversations before you experience one of those moments. But I think that is the goal. The goal of coaching, as I understand it currently, is transformation is for the client to experience some kind of transformation. Their life is never the same. What I'm finding is that as those moments happen, I'm also experiencing transformation. I mean, these are meaningful conversations, right? And they affect both participants, I think, in big ways. So it's very cool, very exciting to me. It makes me think of times earlier in my life where I've enjoyed similarly what do you want to call it? Deep, deep conversations. I guess when I was a kid, a teenager, I worked as a counselor at a Boy Scout camp. And I just remember having these conversations around the campfire late at night about whatever it is that teenagers dream about or are worried about, et cetera, and kind of being a mentor in that scenario. And in a lot of ways I feel like these conversations are similar to that. It's two people sitting down, having an open conversation about their beliefs, essentially, and how those beliefs are creating results in their life and the connection between those beliefs and the results and how to change them if they need to be changed.

[16:13] Steve: You mentioned that it is difficult to or impossible. I don't remember which word you used to manufacture those moments of connection, but you juxtapose that with this is Your Business, where you're trying to help clients have those kinds of transformations. And I'm curious if you maybe you don't have an answer to this yet, but how do you build the business, build your skills, structure the conversations in such a way that those things are more likely to happen? I suppose part of it is the connection that you're building with the individuals. But what would you say?

[16:53] Tyler: I think listening, active listening, is a key skill for a coach. That's something I'm learning. I've been practicing a lot and by actively being interested in what the person is saying, instead of thinking about what you're going to try to teach that person, I think that is one way that you can create good soil for those moments to grow in, if you will. A lot of the words coming out of my mouth are sounding a lot more woo woo than I'm used to, that I'm comfortable with in my life up to this point. But there's a lot to it. So listening has been a big one, right? Just not talking, me being quiet while the other person talks and being curious about them and having compassion for them. And of course I think those are key elements. But also what I'm learning is that as a coach, I need to be constantly growing and improving myself, whether that's through reading good books, good literature, consuming film, the latest thoughts in the industry about certain things because I don't think I am capable of taking a client deeper than I've gone myself on any given topic. That's interesting and it's a bit intimidating, honestly. I'm new at this. I've been in it probably less than six months. I'm currently working with four clients, and one of the things that I'm learning is that people who are smarter than me, wealthier than me, and honestly more interesting than me still need what I do, which is kind of an objective third party perspective on the problems that they're facing coaching. I also think it's interesting coaching kind of comes the idea of coaching comes from the world of sports or maybe even the arts, where you hire someone to take you from being a good athlete, a good performer, to being a truly great one, even if the coach themselves is not necessarily the most in shape. This is a really bad example, probably, but they have that experience, they have the patience, they have the sympathy and the perspective to push you further than you could go yourself.

[19:07] Steve: That makes sense because you're bringing a depth of technical knowledge about personal finance, but you're also bringing the emotional depth, the capability of forming those connections, the connection with yourself, understanding emotions, all of those kinds of things, and bringing that to bear on whatever problem presents during these conversations.

[19:32] Tyler: Yeah.

[19:33] Steve: So our podcast title is it's not about the money. And you've mentioned this already. How would you say that that applies to your current business in financial coaching?

[19:45] Tyler: Yeah, I realize it's ironic to start a business and trying to have a mindset of it not being about the money. I mean, you could easily argue that the point of any business is to generate profit. I talked earlier in this conversation about how one of the reasons that I'm starting this business right now is because I wanted to increase my income. Right? So there are definitely ways in which it is about the money. So the title of our podcast is not about the money. It's a mindset that I'm consciously trying to pursue because I don't need this money just like nobody needs coaching. It's definitely optional, right? But someone might want coaching and someone might benefit from the coaching. And for me, I'm trying to make it a focus on that connection and on the service that I can provide to people in a way that could potentially change their lives. That's the goal. And I'm trying to develop a mindset where I am satisficing or being satisfied with the work that I'm being able to do and the amount of money that it's bringing in, rather than being on a hamster wheel out there, posting on social media every day, running ads, just kind of in the rat race of trying to find new clients. I'm trying to let this develop organically and grow through referrals and through natural conversations and connections. So that's one way for me, that the title, it's not about the money relates to what I'm doing. And I think there's a big part of me that's doing it for the adventure, not just the money. Right. I'm very lucky to be in a position where this pursuit is optional. Like I said, I have a day job. It's giving me a safety net where I can pursue things like this. The potential to increase my income comes with some risk. Right. I'm spending money on a business license. I'm spending money incorporating on some software and some things that if I never make any money as a coach, that would be a loss, but it would be a fun loss. It'd be an adventure. It'd be trying something new and developing myself in that way. So that's another way, I think. And also, I think coaching is good for everybody. I will be able to apply the skills that I'm learning in my coaching practice in my day job, where I'm a manager of people who need coaching and who could benefit from coaching to grow and develop in their own careers. So that's a nice benefit to it as well.

[22:19] Steve: Yeah. I love the idea of it being for the adventure. As I look back on my life so far, the things that I did just because they interested me or just because it seemed like a challenge that I wanted to take on, those have been some of the most rewarding things that have ever happened. That I have great and terrible memories about, that I've grown a lot from. I think that's a great reason to do something, especially if you've got that safety net under you where failure is okay. So you might as well try.

[22:51] Tyler: Yeah. And can we talk a little bit about something that we mentioned in our conversation in our last episode where we were talking about your business? Sure. I think it came up where we talked about the concept of pursuing your dreams or pursuing your passion when it comes to making a living versus pursuing something that you're good at that can just pay the bills, even if it's not the most exciting in the world. So to me, this is kind of a paradox. I actually wouldn't say that coaching is my passion. I think it's way too early in the journey for me to say that I'm still learning how I feel about it. All signs point to it being pretty awesome, not going to lie. And so I think the adventure is a key aspect of it for me. It's like, can this work? I don't know, but I'd love to find out. And as we talked about in our last conversation, now that I'm starting to see money come in from this that's kind of igniting or validating, I guess you could say. Well, what am I trying to say? I don't know. It's like a flywheel effect, I guess you could say. Right. So trying something out, putting something out to the world that's valuable to others, having people recognize that value and exchange money for that value is very exciting. And I think that kind of what I guess I'm trying to get at, is it helps it helps me be more passionate about it to see it being successful.

[24:13] Steve: Yeah. I like the flywheel analogy of this is something that you think you might already like, but it may not sustain on its own unless there are, I don't know, multiple reasons to do it or sufficient reason to do it. And the flywheel of, hey, this idea has been validated in the market. Folks are willing to pay me to do this for them. That is a big factor in that.

[24:42] Tyler: One of the other interesting things for me about coaching, as opposed to some of the other projects I've dabbled in over the years, is I feel like whether or not it works out as a business, I will have left the world a better place for trying. When that comes to some of the past things that I've done, whether it be like blogging or social media posting and affiliate sales, those can all be really good and legitimate businesses that provide value. But I'm not convinced that my mind or my heart was in the right place in those efforts or that I left the world a better place for having tried. But every single conversation I have with a coaching client or a potential coaching client, even if they never hire me, I can feel pretty confident that I've left the world a little bit of a better place.

[25:31] Steve: Yeah. So if someone were maybe this is you a year ago, or someone who's thinking about, could I be good at coaching? Is coaching something that I might enjoy doing? How would you counsel them to figure that out? What kind of skills or aptitudes or do they need in order to be successful at coaching?

[25:59] Tyler: That's a good question. Well, bearing in mind that I'm still relatively new at this, based on what I've learned so far, one of the ideas that I'm coming to believe strongly and live by is that coaching is what sells coaching, not some of the things I mentioned before, like ad, social media, blogging, all that stuff. And it's also something that requires practice, as I'm learning. So if you want to be a coach, if you're interested in being a coach, just do it, for lack of a better phrase. And there's ways to do that. I've read there's a book that's had quite a bit of influence on my approach to this called The Prosperous Coach. There's another coach that I have kind of adopted as my virtual mentor, meaning he has no idea who I am, but I listen to his podcast and apply what he says. Mark Butler and both of those sources, for me have been influential in helping me understand that I can connect with people in normal natural ways all the time and have coaching conversations and develop those skills and provide powerful service to people in everyday life. One of the tips that both of them have taught me though is not to coach people uninvited or unsolicited. No one wants advice and that's not what this is. And so one thing that I've adopted after learning that is if I'm having a great conversation with somebody where we're connecting and it's having an impact, I will not just start coaching them, I will ask them if they have enjoyed the conversation and if they'd like to have more of a conversation about that. And if they say yes, then we set up a separate time where I can try and help them with whatever it was that we're talking about. That's been a good way to kind of separate things out and avoid being like giving unsolicited advice or sounding preachy or selling anything at all. Right. You're just having a great conversation and inviting them in a separate time to have a coaching conversation if they want.

[28:11] Steve: Sure. So you get to practice the human connection all the time. You're just being a human being, a good friend, a neighbor, a colleague, and also uncovering those opportunities for where mutually you both want to engage in that kind of a coaching conversation, then you can also do that whether that's them paying you or it's just you practicing for the experience. That's right.

[28:38] Tyler: And as part of my certification to be a budget coach, they required that we coached a certain number of clients as practice, which I think is a great idea. And so I was offering to do that for free for a lot of my friends and family and had some really awesome experiences doing that. I guess that's become full circle. If you want to be a coach, there's no regulation around it. There's nothing stopping you from going out and being a thoughtful, engaging person and trying to have meaningful conversations with people. You can offer to do it for free, you can even offer to give them something in return for the hour that they give you if you're really starting to find someone to practice on. So yeah, just do it.

[29:21] Steve: That's great advice. As you have been starting the business, what has been the biggest hurdle? I would have imagined that finding clients would be one of those things, although it sounds like maybe that is a thing that will flow organically as you're building relationships with people. What would you say has been your biggest hurdle?

[29:41] Tyler: Finding clients has definitely been one of the biggest hurdles. I can tell you about a few things that I've tried and that have not worked. Some of the things that are working and I've alluded to this a little bit already, but one of the first things I tried and this was very early on before I really even knew what. I was trying to do was social media marketing. So I spun up a Twitter account dedicated to personal finance and financial coaching, and I created a lead magnet, and I did all the things you're supposed to do to grow on Twitter, tweeting five times a day, replying to a billion comments a day, like all the things right. And there's a huge community on social media and on Twitter for sure. That's the platform I was on dedicated to this. There's people out there telling you that's what you have to do. There's people telling you that you can earn six figures within a year if you just do all these steps. There's also people who sell booking services, so you can hire someone to book your calendar with sales calls, basically. Right. I didn't try that, but I tried a lot of the other things and it was terrible. It's a lot of energy, it's a lot of work, it's a lot of time. And for me, well, I can't say there were no results. I did get one client through all of that, but I decided pretty quickly, it just wore me down. So that's something I've tried.

[31:10] Steve: I imagine that kind of prospecting for leads is maybe a bit counterproductive for the kind of relationship you're trying to build with a coaching client where the breakthroughs are going to happen because of the human connection that you're having together. And if you're in a sales mode of trying to put yourself out there and, hey, you should come buy my coaching services, I wonder if that's counterproductive.

[31:39] Tyler: I think it absolutely is, and that's one of the things I've had to learn. So I said finding clients was one of my biggest hurdles. Sub topic to that, I guess, would be a hurdle, has been learning how to sell coaching. So all the things that I just mentioned actually, I think are a better fit for other types of businesses, like affiliate sales. Or if you're selling a digital product, you can sell a course or PDF or ebook or something like that. But again, that's high volume, low touch. So what you're trying to do is amass a huge volume of interactions at a lower price point that requires almost no maintenance. Right. You just have a PDF or a course that you've recorded, you're selling it. I mean, the way that business keeps going is volume.

[32:26] Steve: Right, okay, that's a good distinction to make. Those methods do work for some businesses, but they're a fundamentally different model than what you're trying to go for. And so that's why it hasn't worked for you thus far.

[32:39] Tyler: I suspect it's all a little bit of a science experiment, so it's hard to draw a causation, but it seems that way, yes. I think what you said is right on. The money, which is a coaching relationship, is actually pretty personal. And I have found in all of my tweeting and blogging and ad running and all that stuff that you can't really sell coaching to someone who hasn't experienced the value that coaching provides. I don't want to sell people. On the concept of coaching. I already said earlier, nobody needs coaching. I think it's a value add in your life. It's a way to get from good to great. And it's really only going to work or be attractive to people who feel a need for it or have had a positive experience with it. And so one of the things that I've learned, and it's taken me months to get to this point and a lot of mentoring from the sources that I mentioned earlier, the book and the podcast, to realize that really how you sell coaching is you coach. And so if you were to go to my website right now, you would just see an offer for a free two hour coaching session. It's not I know, it's crazy. Tell me about that. So the idea is to give a potential customer, someone who is interested in coaching. Well, let's just put it this way. If someone's interested in coaching enough to seek it out and land on my website through one form or another, they've got some kind of problem that they're trying to solve and they feel like they could benefit from having someone help them overcome that problem. And so what I try to do in that first session, we don't always spend the full 2 hours, but I want to send a message that I'm willing to invest 2 hours in connecting with them and understanding them and listening to them. And hopefully in that 2 hours I can go deeper with them than they've gone with anyone before on solving the problem that's confronting them. And I even include in the copy on my website that at the end of the 2 hours that might be enough, you might not need or want any more coaching. And so that gives me the opportunity to ask them at the end of that 2 hours, was this good for you? Did you find value in this? Do you want to have more conversations like this? And if they say yes, then we can proceed from there. But first of all, it's way more fun than tweeting. Sorry. I mean, I know a lot of people like to tweet, but I'm a coach. I like connecting with people. So for me, it's like valuable. It's not a waste of time. I get to spend time with people talking about stuff that's really important to them. That's awesome. First of all, and if I'm doing my job correctly and if they are experiencing some kind of insight or breakthrough or even the beginning of a transformation, I think it's just natural that they would want to keep working with me. And so it's totally removed the pressure, basically. I used to get so stressed out because I used to offer like a 30 minutes, what do you call it? A discovery call, right following kind of a more traditional sales script where you find out what their problem is and then you really make them feel the pain. You kind of twist the knife a little bit so they realize how bad it hurts and then you unveil the solution and then you sell it, basically. And I really hated that because I don't think I'm a salesperson at heart. I mean, again, that kind of approach can work really well for certain types of businesses and products. But I found how you get someone to trust you enough to want to coach with you. So for me, the trade off is, yes, I sometimes spend 2 hours with someone who ends up not hiring me. But if I do spend 2 hours with someone and they do end up hiring me, I know it's going to be a really fruitful relationship for both of us.

[36:31] Steve: That's amazing. The voice in my head as you're describing this is screaming. This is not scalable. You can't just keep offering 2 hours for free forever. And maybe you won't, but the thing that you said that really drove it home was this is not a waste of time. You're practicing your craft and you're helping people. And if at the end of the 2 hours that's all they need, great. If they want more, then you have demonstrated to them what you can do for them in those 2 hours. You've been really present with them. You've given them what they need. And then maybe something comes of that.

[37:11] Tyler: Afterward and maybe it doesn't. Or maybe it does six months later or a year later. You're right. It is not scalable. I am in a high touch, low volume business model right now where I'm not selling courses. I'm not selling something that's reproducible. It's unique to our relationship. Absolutely. I think that I'm okay with that. Like I mentioned, that's what makes it an easy business to run for someone like me who has a full time job. I no longer need to spend the time on social media. I no longer need to spend the time blogging or doing any other stuff. I do need to spend the time. You could argue 2 hours is a long time. It's true. But I've just got several. Well, I think right now it's two windows, I guess, on my calendar per week where that can happen. Let's just say I was like fully people were flocking to be an end and it would still only be 4 hours a week maximum, basically, that I'd be putting in, which is way less than I was spending tweeting and advertising and all that stuff. And I guess my idea really for now is not to scale. It's just to be small, to have a business that works for my schedule and the amount of effort energy that I want to put into it right now. And I'm okay with that.

[38:31] Steve: There you go. That makes a lot of sense. You might as well spend the time doing the part of the business that you love, the actual coaching part, rather than trying to sell it and market it.

[38:44] Tyler: Yeah, exactly.

[38:47] Steve: Coaching also seems like, at least the way you describe it, seems like a business that will grow slowly at first and maybe forever. But the speed of the growth is not the point. It's gradually building up those that network of folks who have seen the value of coaching and six months down the road or two years down the road, they need it or someone they know needs it, and you're there offering that service to them.

[39:19] Tyler: That's right. And honestly, at some point I'll have to decide what growth looks like for me in a business like this. Do I want growth after a certain point? There is such thing as part time coaches. There's such thing as full time coaches. Currently I'm striving to be a part time coach. Like I said want to keep my day job and all of the things that I love about that and have this be a very part time thing that I do that has a big impact and gives me a method, I guess, to increase my income on top of what I'm earning at my day job. So, yeah, hopefully if I'm lucky, I will have the opportunity to face that challenge of what does answer the question, what does growth look like?

[40:06] Steve: Have you found that the clients who get far enough in the process that they want to hire you are already prepared to talk openly with you about finances? For a lot of folks, that's a touchy subject and I imagine it would be difficult to build just with somebody on the street, build a relationship to the point where, yeah, I'll tell you how much we made last year and we can talk about all of those details and how much I spent on coffee last week.

[40:36] Tyler: Yeah, that's a great question. And you might even say that one of the things that has most surprised me about my journey so far with this business is just how open people are willing to be trying to think. If I could think of some examples. Let me just circle back briefly to that hurdle of getting new clients. I'm in a good position right now because I'm able to be listed in a directory of coaches who provide financial coaching on the Uni to budget website. And that is currently where I'm getting most of my leads. And I'm hoping to, over time, increase the proportion of leads that are coming as referrals, basically from people that are happy with what we've accomplished together. So I don't know, it's like people who are at this point where they're looking for a coach. I think they are feeling some kind of pain. And I know I talked earlier about how my job is not to twist that pain until they feel like they have to buy what I have, right. But they're like, hey, I am experiencing stress. I am unhappy with the way my life is going, and I feel like that's connected with the way that I think about or spend my money. And so far, my experience has been they're ready. They're ready for change. They're ready for that transformation. And, yes, I will say I've been very surprised at how open people are willing to be. I mean, it's like, not long into our relationship where they're popping open their budget and sharing their screen with me and saying, like, hey, let's dive in. Let's see what's going on here. I really value that trust that they have in me. I don't take it lightly. It's really special.

[42:20] Steve: Well, Tyler, thank you for this conversation. It's been really lovely learning more about what you love about coaching and learning how you run your business. Thanks for taking the time to go over that with us. Is there anything that I have not asked you about that you would like to share?

[42:39] Tyler: No, I don't think so. I appreciate your thoughtful questions and giving me a chance to share about my experience so far.

[42:46] Steve: Well, wonderful. And thank you to all of our listeners as well. And we will see you on another episode of It's not about the Money.

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