Today we’d like to introduce you to Brandy Baxter.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started working in personal finance when I realized I had gaps in my financial education. My husband and I married and suddenly we had a mountain of consumer debt. It seemed no one would give information without trying to sell a product. The accountant wanted to do our taxes before he would help us understand debt and the representative from our bank wanted to sell us insurance before helping us manage our debt.
Unfortunately, we weren’t ready for those products because the debt was top of mind. So, I decided to do it myself and I began reading everything I could on how to manage personal finances. Naturally, I began sharing what I learned with others and they were surprised by what they didn’t know. I decided to go to school and receive a formal education so I could legitimately share my knowledge as a business endeavor. I later was awarded a fellowship with the Association of Financial Planning and Education to become a financial counselor.
The training I received was the missing link between what I had learned on my own and what I needed to know in order to help others. After completing 1000 practicum hours with clients, giving presentations and attending conferences, I was awarded my accreditation as a financial counselor. I launched my business and began spreading the word. As a woman veteran, I am involved in several groups of veterans. A fellow member of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) was also a Board member for a local non-profit that wanted a female veteran to teach personal finance as part of their program for women veterans.
It was a perfect match and I began giving an hour presentation once a month. When the Executive Director decided to expand the veteran program, I was offered the position as Program Director. In this role, I coach women veterans on how to be more confident and have greater self-esteem. I still teach the one-hour financial presentation and I have been able to see how financial knowledge can make one feel more confident in life.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No, it has not been a smooth road. When I started my business, my family was new to Dallas and I did not have a network to help me spread the word about my business. I was also a startup at the time, so I didn’t have a lot of financial resources to grow the business, so I did a lot of work pro bono or volunteer. When I started working full-time, I didn’t have a plan to work and grow my business, so my business didn’t grow for almost 2 years.
Living Abundantly – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My business is Living Abundantly, a personal finance company. I coach clients as they develop financial habits and achieve financial goals. I do not sell financial products because I enjoy working with clients as they discover their money mindset and the behavior that triggers their money decisions. I work primarily with women and couples.
I am most proud when my clients achieve their goal and the excitement I hear in their voices when they realize they did it the way they wanted to and it still worked. One of the advantages of being a financial coach who has actually been trained in coaching, is I interact with my clients in a way that truly puts them in control. So, I do not/can not accept all the credit for their victories.
I am set apart from others because I bring a very laid back, non-judgmental attitude when working with clients coupled with my energetic personality. I have also walked the path many of them are on, so I can relate on a deeper level.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I measure success by the sense of accomplishment I feel when I do what plan to do. I also measure success by the satisfaction I hear from my clients when their financial situations are better than when they first contacted me.
Lastly, I measure success by the smiles on my children’s faces when I push back from my laptop and play goofy games with them, realizing they will not be little forever and time is more precious than money.
- My coaching programs (Basic Budgeting, Credit Plus and VIPremium) range from $250-$2000.
- Website: www.Time2LiveAbundantly.com
- Email: Brandy@Time2LiveAbundantly.com
- Instagram: 2LiveAbundantly
- Facebook: 2LiveAbundantly
- Twitter: 2LiveAbundantly
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