Award winning financial and life coach, Patti Fagan, has helped women with their finances throughout her entire career in various ways. After retirement she set up her own business to help other women create financial security for their retirement. Read our interview with the lovely Patti below…
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I’ve always loved the idea of running my own business ever since I was a little girl. In fact, I started my own cleaning supply distributorship when I was in the fifth grade. I went door-to-door selling Jiffy, an all-purpose household cleaner. People bought my product (maybe because they felt sorry for me, lol) and I loved making my own money. When I was 27 years old, I opened a 6,000 square foot estate liquidation and consignment store, which I opened with no money of my own. I negotiated 6 months of free rent with the landlord who eventually became my business partner because he loved my business plan. I filled up the store with antiques and upscale home furnishings belonging to people who no longer wanted these items. I found them through the classified ads. I called them and asked if I could sell their items in our store for a commission. People loved the idea, and I opened with a store full of gorgeous inventory in four weeks. The store did well from day one, and we made $10,000 in sales our very first month in business. We then opened a second store to sell the more upscale items. For most of my adult life, I’ve pretty much been in business for myself. I love being my own boss and not having to answer to anyone else.
Tell us about your business.
Eight years ago, I started doing retirement planning for school teachers. I became one of a handful of advisors authorized to work within local public school districts, helping teachers and administrators plan for retirement. Then I started working with women business owners. All this taught me what I know about women and money, which I found fascinating. I wanted to help women with their money in a more meaningful way, so I retired as an advisor a few years ago to become a financial and life coach. I specialize in helping women transform their money story. Through my coaching I help women step into their personal and financial empowerment, so that they can create financial security for their retirement. I do that through my financial education on my blog, 1:1 and group coaching and workshops for women.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
I recently created the Transform Your Money Story Toolkit, which I’m super excited about because it includes many of the financial tools and exercises I’ve been using with my retirement planning and financial coaching clients for the last ten years. It can be accessed at: www.MoneyStoryToolkit.com
Where is your business based?
Pebble Beach, California, U.S.A.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
The first steps I took to launch my coaching business was to call several women I wanted to coach, told them what I was doing and asked them if I could offer them a sample coaching session. The first three women I called all said yes! From there they became my first clients.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Public speaking has always been the best way for me to get clients. Attending networking events or business conferences has worked well for me, too. People who know what I do send me referrals. I also get clients through inquiries from my website and private messages on Facebook.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Working alone as a solopreneur can sometimes be a challenge because sometimes it can get lonely working from home. Also, disciplining myself not to spend too much time on social media is something I continue to have to pay attention to.
How did you overcome these challenges?
When I feel that way, I just reach out to a friend or colleague to set up a coffee or lunch date, or even a phone call. As far as social media goes… that’s still an ongoing challenge (lol).
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
Through the most difficult times, my strongest motivation comes from my relationship with God. I love reading my bible, praying and listening to worship music. I always feel a wave of peace and love come over me when I do these things, which I practice on a daily basis.
How did you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
What I do as a financial coach is unique in that I am not an advisor (anymore) so my clients don’t need to worry about me trying to sell them financial products. And, as a former advisor, I have an advantage over other money and life coaches because I have financial planning training and experience that coaches do not, which brings immense value to my clients that they cannot get anywhere else. Also, I’ve been told that I am a blissful person, which I think makes dealing with finances a lot less intimidating for the women I work with.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
A business mentor recently told me that since I have so much content, I need to focus on building an offering of digital products. As a result of doing what I’ve been doing for ten years, I have a ton of resources, information and expertise that women from all over the world could be benefiting from if it was available in downloadable digital format. For instance, I wrote a couple of ebooks that I have been meaning to turn into Kindle books, but I just haven’t scheduled it on my calendar to get it done. (Shame on me!)
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Stop comparing yourself to others in your field. We each have our own journey and life story, which means that even if it’s been said before, it has never been said by YOU. The world needs you and your unique way of sharing your message.
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
My favorite business tool has been my website WordPress theme, the Get Noticed Theme. It was created specifically for authors, speakers and coaches to build their platform. It has made blogging a lot of fun for me because it’s so easy to use. Another favorite tool of mine is Canva (Canva.com) for creating social media quote images. I recently used it to create two ebooks as well. It’s fun and easy to use. I use it almost daily.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
Prince Charming Isn’t Coming: How Women Get Smart about Money by Barbara Stanny. I LOVE everything Barbara Stanny has written. She not only addresses the financial habits women need to adopt in order to build lasting wealth, but she also talks about the psychology behind money for women. Very enlightening!
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I’m always learning. Currently, I’m still learning Instagram. And, now I’ll be learning about creating Kindle books (or, I might just hire someone to do that for me!).
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
I’m super excited about a couple of goals:
- One is to launch a Vision Board Workshop. I’ve never taught that before, but I’ve always wanted to.
- The second is to launch a group coaching program for women who want to transform their money story and increase their earnings, doing what they love. I’m working with business coach to keep me on track.