#1 Trait to Reaching Financial Independence: Being Coachable

What is the number one trait to reaching financial independence? Is it intelligence or motivation? Is passion the missing piece to gaining financial freedom? None of these make my cut for the #1 trait to reaching financial independence: Being Coachable

When it comes to hard numbers, the big opportunities to reach financial independence often lie in one of three categories: housing, food or transportation.

I’ve discussed all three of these items before but they still PALE in comparison to being coachable.

When it comes to soft skills, I place being coachable ahead of other big ticket items such as negotiation skills or developing a great work ethic.

We all start off with no knowledge of money, so having a coach or mentor helps us tremendously. Bottom line, it is unparalleled how important a coach is.

Hard Numbers on Being Coachable

Being coachable resulted in me earning an extra 13K in the first 6 month of last year.

Having a smart money coach led me to ditch the car and save 9K each year.

Being coachable helped me cut my grocery bill in more than half.

No tax hack or money trick will outweigh the benefit I have received from being coachable.

In each case, my actions benefited from what I learned from wiser coaches and people more successful than myself.

Hell, even dumb people can be a great coach in showing you what not to do.

How to Find a Coach

Books.

Seriously.

If books are not your thing, then my recommendation is start discussing money with more people.

Radical Transparency is a scary concept for most, but there’s a reason why people benefit from being open about their desired result with people who’ve seen a thing or two.

This is what I did in my life and it opened doors I couldn’t have imagined. Just one conversation about investing often leads to a referral, and that referral, leads to the next one.

If you land yourself in a position with a coach or mentor, then here’s what I learned specifically on being coachable “to the max,” so to speak.

How to Be Coachable

Take Action. The most difficult step, especially when we’re growing outside of our comfort zone. Mentors and Coaches are here to push us to the next level and action is the only way to get there.

Follow up. This is seriously the step where I see countless people MESS UP all the time. When great advice is given and no action taken, the relationship is destroyed. When excellent advice is given and action taken, the relationship grows because both parties experience the value being created.

Be extremely positive. Growth produces joy in many ways so this step shouldn’t be difficult but it is often crippling. I’m not saying we need to put on a clown act for the coach, but we should remember they are volunteering their time for us. Being positive overall shows you’re eager and excited to learn more – plus it brings joy to the process.

Don’t ask questions. If you are lucky enough to find the right mentor or coach, then listen to their advice, implement it, follow up, stay positive, and don’t ask questions.

Trust is key and you don’t want to be spending mental bandwidth arguing over whether the advice is good or bad. Let your actions speak for themselves.

Be helpful in the right way. Mentees often want to EXTRACT value without PROVIDING value. This may seem logical, but mentors and coaches are human too.

You are helpful to them by doing each of the items listed above. You don’t need to do much more and before long, your coach will be eager to share more life changing advice.

Even the best, the brightest, and the most admirable have mentors and coaches. If they still have something to learn, so do all of us.

What have been some of the biggest takeaways you’ve had from coaches? Did they counsel you out of a big money mistake or help you capitalize on a big money opportunity?

-Matt

P.S. For a great example of mentors playing a fantastic role, check out this episode of Millennial Money Minutes Podcast:

4 comments… add one
  • Dividend Diplomats May 14, 2017, 12:23 pm

    DD –

    Nice article and do agree that you need to be open, take action, ask questions and learn from every event, as well as those events from others, hands down.

    -Lanny

  • Your First Million May 14, 2017, 5:21 pm

    I used to hate reading! 12 years ago when I was in high school… whenever we were assigned book reports I would always just look up the cliff notes online to get a quick summary of each chapter so I could write my report. I probably actually only read 1 or 2 books throughout high school.

    Not long after high school I discovered I actually loved to read…. not novels… but I discovered that I loved non-fiction books on personal development, business, investing, real estate and economics. Now I read about 25 books per year or so on average.

    For people who are not big readers (like my wife… she loves reading novels but has a hard time reading non-fiction) I would suggest to buy the audio versions! Many books have audio versions you can order on Amazon…. I like to listen to books while I drive to and from work. I seem to get through a book faster this way as well.

  • Financial Coach Brad May 15, 2017, 7:32 am

    Good stuff Matt! For sure not everyone is coachable. I find that #1 people need to know they have a problem and want to change their situation. #2 is they need to be coachable. A surprising number of people are at #1 but then don’t reach #2. They get stuck in their ways and won’t listen to guidance that will set them on the right path. It’s unfortunate. Thankfully that isn’t everyone – or even the majority of people.

  • AdventureRich May 15, 2017, 7:37 am

    I could not agree with you more. When it comes to the balance between “save more” and “spend less”, the ability to accept coaching and apply the wisdom gathered from others is largely underestimated. Not only does coaching allow you to grow your own skills, but it also expands horizons (who knows when a coach or mentor will open the door to your next big step, etc)!

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