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(K + E) x R = W

Musings of a financial coach in the shower....

We financial coaches, at least the Ramsey Preferred Coaches, talk a lot amongst ourselves, sometimes over coffee (and sometimes we get “verklempt” I dating myself here?), via Facebook and in group or one-on-one Zoom chats. (And yes one of them is known for her very distinct Joisey accent.)

It’s fascinating to learn the different perspectives on coaching from people with vastly different backgrounds, careers, ages, and experiences.

We all agree that we make each other better as coaches. We “complete” each other in many

ways, as we teach our clients to “SHOW ME THE MONEY!”.

Ok, yeah I just watched Jerry Maguire again yesterday, actually. What a great movie.

So it got me thinking about things like knowledge, experience, and wisdom.

Some younger coaches fear not being taken seriously by older prospects or clients. Some older coaches fear not being able to relate to younger clients. But age is only one small factor...pretty insignificant for the most part but not totally irrelevant.

No matter what age, we all have strengths and weaknesses, and we rely on other coaches to fill in some gaps sometimes. Together, we are all gaining WISDOM, and that is what we ultimately are providing to our clients.

So how do we gain wisdom? Nobody is born with it, obviously.

I figure it requires two main ingredients...knowledge, and experience.

Knowledge is what we can learn by having the sheer will to learn’s what formal education is supposed to impart, and traditionally has (until recently but don’t get me started). It takes time to accumulate knowledge and retain it, but the time required can be shortened just by hard work and dedication. In this digital age, it’s pretty easy to find information, as long as you can also weed out the misinformation.

Experience, on the other hand, cannot be force-fed or jammed into a short time period. It just takes time, and by time, I mean on the order of years for most things.

Time to test-drive and apply knowledge, and see what the results are.

Time to succeed, and time to fail, and to learn more from failure than from success.

And sometimes it just takes luck (good or bad), or fate, or happenstance, or cosmic coincidence, or divine intervention....nothing that any of us have any control over.

Some people accumulate vast amounts of knowledge, but never apply it in a way that provides them experience as well.

Some people accumulate lots of experience, but have little knowledge to go with it, and so often don’t gain anything from the experience.

But there’s one more factor that multiplies the effect....reflection.

If you actively seek out knowledge, and apply it throughout life, whenever possible as circumstances provide opportunity, you will also gain experience. But when you consciously REFLECT on the intersection of your knowledge and experience, actively, repeatedly, as a matter of habit, THAT’s when your wisdom will rapidly grow.

Too many people are book smart and know stuff, but never use it except to show off what they know. They might win on Jeopardy, but otherwise are of no help to anyone.

Too many other people have experienced a lot of stuff but have nothing but stories to tell as a result – and some are those who repeat the same experience over and over and expect different results.

It’s the ones who have both knowledge and experience, and intentionally take time to reflect on both, who grow in wisdom.

That doesn’t mean they are the be-all, know-all guru sitting cross-legged on a mountaintop waiting for seekers to find them. It’s a never-ending process of gaining knowledge, gaining

experience, and melding them together. And that doesn’t happen sitting on a mountaintop by yourself.

I think that is what is at the heart of the best coaches, and the coaches I know. And I have been privileged to get to know some of the best, at least in the personal finance space.

I guess this all sounds like Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey....sorry, I’m showing my age again. You youngsters should go look up the oollllddd SNL stuff, back when it was good.

But I do believe that (K + E) x R = W.

Knowledge plus experience, multiplied by reflection, equals wisdom.

Can you hand me a towel?

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