Hillary Seiler of Financial Footwork: “Coaching is not a get rich quick scheme”

Coaching is not a get rich quick scheme. It takes patience, dedication, and hard work. A successful coach knows that good things take time to build the right way. The coaching industry is now tremendous. It is a 15 billion dollar industry. Many professionals have left their office jobs to become highly successful coaches. At the […]

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Coaching is not a get rich quick scheme. It takes patience, dedication, and hard work. A successful coach knows that good things take time to build the right way.

The coaching industry is now tremendous. It is a 15 billion dollar industry. Many professionals have left their office jobs to become highly successful coaches. At the same time, not everyone who starts a coaching business sees success. What does someone starting a career as a life coach, wellness coach, or business coach need to know to turn it into a very successful and rewarding career?

In this interview series, called “Five Things You Need To Create a Highly Successful Career As a Life or Business Coach” we are interviewing experienced and successful life coaches, wellness coaches, fitness coaches, business and executive coaches and other forms of coaches who share the strategies you need to create a successful career as a life or business coach.

In this particular interview, we had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Hillary Seiler.

Hillary Seiler is a Certified Financial Educator (CFEd®) and coach, who teaches people how to win with their money. She is the founder of Financial Footwork, a financial education platform that coaches people through overcoming the stress and failures that stem from limited to no financial education. Using the athlete mindset, her program translates the strategy of winning at sports, to winning with money. With hundreds of professional athletes and individuals helped through her program, Hillary Seiler is always looking to make an impact.

The Financial Footwork program was birthed from Hillary’s seven-year heartbreak of watching her family struggle emotionally and financially through her mother’s terminal illness. Her perspective of what happens when life hits — and thousands of dollars in medical bills, years of lost wages, and family stress brought on by financial strain, come to a head — fostering her mission to help others understand and establish financial stability.

Hillary Seiler is a professional speaker and author of three books on financial training and development. She has a current YouTube segment, Convos with Coach Hill, approaching its second season where she interviews NFL players on money, life, and the game. She has recently been interviewed on three podcasts, The List TV, Micro Empires, Good Yvenings, and Vision, Hustle, Grit & Gratitude. For the past four years has been the go-to financial education resource for more than seven NFL teams.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Accountability/consistency: I learned what it meant to truly show up, when my mom was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder in 2007. For seven years, I watched my dad show up each and every day for the woman he made a commitment to. Those seven years were rough, but my father did not waiver. He was, and continues to be the epitome of accountability and consistency; for my mom, for my family, for his clients, and for me.

Watching my dad through those trying times taught me that nothing is too great to prevent you from doing what you say you’re going to do. Accountability and consistency breed success, and if he can do it each and every day for seven years, what is there to stop me from bringing that same level of consistency in everything I do?

An iterative mentality: For me this means always being open and willing to learn, grow, and improve. This value serves me on a daily basis — I’m never above constructive feedback, learning, or even reworking to reach the best possible outcome. A great example of this has been the flow and grow process of our company Financial Footwork’s website and digital learning platforms. By approaching the process with an iterative mentality, we have reworked and even modified our platform several times; but by being open to new solutions and improvements, we have come up with a more cost effective, accessible, and streamlined final product to better serve our customers.

Be the example: This trait has been heavily imparted upon me by my chief mentor, Douglas Rupp. He has served as my manager, mentor, and today as a good friend and business partner. Douglas exemplifies always showing a team process and expectations by actions, rather than telling. Through my personal interactions with him as a leader, it has taught me the value and impact of leading by example.

How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?

My daily habits are a huge part of my journey and success as a leader. One of the best ways that I’ve been able to harness my habits for success are through my morning routine.

I have the same routine every single morning. Whether I’m at home or on the road, I always implement that routine. For me, that routine is 60 minutes I take entirely for myself to set and align for the day.

Every morning I wake up at 6:00 am. I immediately make my bed, start coffee, get a 20 to 30 minute workout in, take a quick shower, and get ready. Then I grab my cup of coffee, read a chapter in whatever book I’m conquering that week, and dive into my daily flow. (Aka — THE CHAOS!)

Implementing a morning routine is a game changer! I’m more consistent in everything that I do and it always sets my day up for success. By allowing that first critical hour of development, I’m able to focus my full energy on the other people and projects I lead throughout the day.

The big takeaway? Mindset matters. Being able to discipline your mind and harness your energy towards achievement is a very powerful tool.

This will be intuitive to you but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain a few reasons why it is so important to create good habits? Can you share a story or give some examples?

Habits are activities a person consistently executes every single day. Something as simple as brushing your teeth or checking your email. Most of us form habits as a result of learned behavior. Creating a positive habit pattern takes a little more work, but can truly impact a person’s overall success.

Going back to the example of reading a chapter in a book every single day. By reading a chapter in a book, you are using your mind in a different way, opening yourself up to a different perspective, and allowing a new idea or concept to take root; But most importantly, you are building consistency.

Speaking in general, what is the best way to develop good habits? Conversely, how can one stop bad habits?

Start small, write down what you want to change, and work on it every single day. Habits take time to develop. On average you need to work on something 21–90 days to actually develop a habit. Then once you hit those markers, you still need to keep consistently building.

Once you master a good habit, focus on reworking a bad habit. Bad habits take more time to correct than forming a new habit because you will need to rethink your approach. It is a different type of mental toughness.

Bad habits and good habits can both be fixed or achieved. I am a believer in focusing on one area of improvement at a time to get it right. No use trying to change 10 things at once; chances are you will feel overwhelmed and lack success. Better to master one thing, and then move onto the next.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

“Your life is an occasion, rise to it.” — Suzanne Weyn

I love this quote because it speaks to personal responsibility and optimizing every moment you’ve been given. This is about the individual; what they can accomplish and how impactful one person can be if they take advantage of what is in front of them. After my mom passed when I was 26 years old, this quote truly inspired me to change my mindset. I had to find my happy, and rise to the occasion that is life.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I am currently working on promoting and expanding my online 12 week personal finance course.

This self-paced, 12 week financial training course is designed to help individuals establish a foundation with daily personal finance and create a positive habit pattern with money. Training 20–30 minutes a week with your money helps establish the basic tools and habits needed to improve a person’s financial game.

Meeting the younger generation in their space is a major part of what I do. People tend to align with perspective from someone around their age. Being in my mid thirties, my sweet spot is the gen X and Z tribe. My mission is to show them that you don’t have to be 60+ to live a successful financial life — it starts now.

The Financial Footwork program is a combination of financial education and coaching, to help users build a lifestyle around their money game. I am so passionate about the program, because it’s helping individuals (and whole company teams) get a handle on their personal finances.

The other passion project I have is the first company I started back in 2016, Seiler FEC. Seiler FEC is a specialty development company that provides financial education to professional sports organizations and athletes across the US.

With the NFL season about underway, we’ll be making a difference in the money game of 7 NFL teams for which we currently provide financial education, coaching and training. Working with these guys makes my heart so full — some of the success stories are just incredible. (Fingers crossed we get a chance to travel this year and get back to in person coaching sessions, I think the world is zoom’d out, and I miss our guys!)

Here is the main question of our interview. Many coaches are successful, but some are not very successful. From your experience or perspective, what are the main factors that distinguish successful coaches from unsuccessful ones? What are your “Five Things You Need To Create a Highly Successful Career As a Life or Business Coach”? If you can, please share a story or an example for each.

It is my belief that main factors which distinguish successful coaches are consistency, authenticity, and goal setting.

5 things you need to create a highly successful career as a coach:

  1. Don’t go in blind. Research and understand your target market, what they need and want from their coach, and what it will take to develop a successful plan.
  2. Second, be authentic in your style of coaching. Fake it ’til you make it DOES NOT WORK in coaching.
  3. Coaching is not a get rich quick scheme. It takes patience, dedication, and hard work. A successful coach knows that good things take time to build the right way.
  4. Continual learning. As a coach, I have a coach! Every bit of information that I consume can be something I turn around and use to help my clients. If I am not learning, I am not growing. If I am not growing, how can I help my clients grow?
  5. Ask for referrals! If you are not asking for business for the people that already know what you are capable of, you are doing yourself a disservice. Ask for referrals and put in the work to thank you customers every single time.

What are the most common mistakes you have seen coaches make when they start their business? What can be done to avoid those errors?

There is not a one-size fits all for any person or business. Often I see people trying to replicate another coaching style or curriculum, when in fact it’s not their brand or even their personality. When you are taking your experience and coaching others, I think it has to be authentic to how you would approach things. The more authentic you are, the easier it will be to find your ideal client and make an impact in their life.

Based on your experience and success, what are a few of the most important things a coach should know in order to create a Wow! Customer Experience? Please share a story or an example for each.

The ability to listen with the intent of learning and formulating meaningful questions. As a coach, I firmly believe that leading your client to take the necessary steps to get to their goal is more powerful than just telling them how to get there.

As a coach, the focus should be on helping your client plan a path, and then letting them take off! As roadblocks come up, you help them navigate them. It’s not your job to drive them down the road, that is up to them. You’re in the backseat along for the ride.

My clients who arrive at their destination by doing the work themselves with guidance and navigation along the way, always feel that WOW experience. It builds confidence and trust in both parties, the coach and the client.

Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of any business, and particularly in coaching. What are the best ways for a coach to find customers? Can you share some of the strategies you use to generate good, qualified leads?

The majority of my business has been referral based. I ask everyone I know and or work with what companies or people they know that could use and benefit from our services. This has been the best way for me to find quality leads and people who can truly benefit from my services.

The first couple years in business started slow, I had to build relationships with people across my network and in outside organizations and groups providing resources and coaching for little pay until I truly built up my reputation and my network. For me, relationships are everything and the value those relationships bring have been unparalleled when building my business.

Coaches are similar to startup founders who often work extremely long hours and it’s easy to end up burning the candle at both ends. What would you recommend to your fellow coaches about how to best take care of their physical and mental wellness when starting their business?

I’ve done this, heck — I still do this from time to time. I am guilty of 20 hour days and powering through. That said, I’ve made it a point to workout every morning and do some sort of yoga/stretching before bed, even if it is just for five minutes. I found that by breaking up my day and focusing inward on myself and my well being, I am more productive, I feel better and my stress levels stay in check.

I think anyone — coach, entrepreneur, student, or career professional — can benefit from finding balance in the “me time” portion of your life. A small amount of time to focus on what you need and how best to relax your body and mind should be a part of your daily routine.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

Is it corny to say that I am 100% entrenched in my passion project which I genuinely believe can change peoples lives? I created Financial Footwork so that EVERYONE can get as much out of their financial life as possible. To be able to live my passion for helping people get their money right has been humbling. Everyone sees finance as boring or scary, I want to make it a lifestyle choice and something we get motivated to talk about.

We are blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why?

That is a tough one! I’d love to have a private lunch with Jessica Alba or Kate Hudson, both powerhouse women who’ve created business empires that serve a huge community of people in an incredible way. I also think it would be an absolute blast to sit with Elon Musk for an hour and pick his brain. Can you even imagine the conversations?! The guy is a genius and risk taker, makes for the ultimate entrepreneur.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Subscribe to our money tips! You can do that at our website financialfootwork.com, (which is another great way to stay in the loop with blogs, press, and new product/coaching offerings.) There’s also our Financial Footwork YouTube channel, (where we drop helpful financial tidbits and do interviews with pro athletes on money, life, and the game through Convos with Coach Hill), not to mention our other social channels. IG @financialfootwork, Facebook private groups, and twitter. We love offering motivation and inspiration along with news articles and usable personal finance insights for everyone, so make sure to link with us.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!

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