Kelsa was featured in Voyage Phoenix
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Check out the awesome spotlight on Fiscal Fitness Phoenix owner and financial coach, Kelsa Dickey

Our owner and financial coach, Kelsa Dickey, was recently interviewed by Voyage Phoenix. You can the entire original interview here.

Here is the interview directly from Voyage Phoenix:

“Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelsa Dickey.

Kelsa, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I learned at a young age that money impacts our life. I was in middle school and I remember seeing my mom sitting at our dining room table, head hung in shame and frustration as she tried to get control of her money. Fast forward a month or two, my mom answers the door and in walks my aunt (my mom’s sister). She and my mom embrace, my mom is crying and my aunt is saying, “It’s going to be okay…” and my mom says, “I had to file bankruptcy.”

I didn’t know then what bankruptcy was but I knew it affected her self worth and overall stress. When I was a senior in high school, a college recruiter asked me what I wanted to do with my life and I said, “I want to help people with their money.” To which he replied, “You should become a financial advisor.”

So I went to college, got a degree in Finance and practiced as a financial advisor for 3 years… and hated it. I decided to get my MBA with a concentration in accounting and went into Corporate America. But as I moved up the corporate ladder, I simply started helping people – one person at a time at my dining room table after work. Some of these “clients” were my employees – as I’d walk around the office saying hi to my team, I often saw employees stressed or upset. When I asked the cause I’d hear things like, “I just got a bill and don’t know how to pay it” or “I got into a fight with my spouse this morning over money” and I’d say the same thing “Come over after work, I’ll see what I can do.”

After a few years of doing that, I was meeting with clients every day after work and all day on Saturdays, simply helping them budget.

One day, I was driving home from my corporate job and I was exhausted, stressed, a bit burnt out and feeling like there was still so much work left for me when I got there in the morning. I got home and had to meet with a client and after an hour of helping them, they left and I felt invigorated and energized and overall HAPPY. I said to Michael (my husband) – THIS was what I was meant to do – when I became a financial advisor, this was really what I should have been doing. But no one was just helping people with budgeting so we spent about a year planning – what would I call myself (Financial Coach), what would my business name be (Fiscal Fitness), you name it. I told Michael, I was on a mission to take the stress out of money and I continue to pursue that mission today.

My last day in Corporate America was 3/25/08 – I’m coming up on my 10 year anniversary!

Now, Fiscal Fitness has grown beyond just one-on-one coaching, although that is still something I do everyday and where my passion lies. I have helped thousands of people pay off over a million dollars in debt (total) and save hundreds of thousands of dollars. I have clients say I’ve saved their marriage, transformed their lives and given them peace of mind. My clients have had a positive impact on my life as well – they truly inspire me. I work with the hardest working, most honest, wonderful people each day. It sounds incredibly cheesy, I know, but I watch people overcome challenges everyday and reach their goals – it’s impossible not to be inspired myself.
Fiscal Fitness also has a corporate wellness program where we help companies create a culture where the employees are in control of their own finances while encouraging support and positive changes in each other. This improves overall productivity so everyone wins!

Has it been a smooth road?
I’m not sure “entrepreneurship” and “smooth” go hand-in-hand! But I wouldn’t change the journey for anything. I’ve been incredibly blessed at some of the opportunities presented to me over these past 10 years. But I can also say that, I’m proud of the courage I showed when these opportunities arose and I would say, “Yes I can do that!” even if I hadn’t done it before. I knew if I kept focusing on helping people and serving them well, it would work out and it has surpassed expectations. One struggle I had along the way was not setting clear boundaries with my schedule. Another struggle was educating people on what a financial coach does – it wasn’t a wildly searched term when I first started. It’s becoming more popular now but 10 years ago, I didn’t know any other financial coaches. There were some points when I felt like I was on an island by myself – I didn’t have another budget coach to bounce ideas off or troubleshoot scenarios with. It is one of the reasons why I created a “Financial Coach Roundtable” this past year, where a group of financial coaches come together to help one another overcome business or client challenges.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Fiscal Fitness Phoenix, Inc. – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Fiscal Fitness Phoenix is a financial wellness company. We’re mostly known for getting clients results with our one-on-one coaching where we craft unique spending plans with clients. We help them put the actions, behaviors and skills in place to execute that plan, keep them motivated on their journey and help them achieve their financial goals. We present an incredibly unique way to budget – our process is very fluid and flexible unlike most budgeting formats which are seen as rigid and restrictive. This approach definitely sets us apart. This method is also future-focused. We don’t track a bunch of spending or worry about what happened in the past – we set goals with future income and ensure the clients feel confident with what they WILL DO with their money coming up.

I’m most proud of our “money is not one size fits all” approach – every client creates their own unique system for managing their money that will serve them well. The client has ownership and pride over their money because of this. I’m also proud of our balance between two things: the analytical and number-crunching side of making financial decisions and the emotional component that goes into these decisions. Financial coaching is unique because it’s analytical and emotional simultaneously and we teach this balance beautifully.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Likes: I like the proximity to things – it’s a big city and yet you can get anywhere fairly quickly. I’m from Michigan where you drive over an hour to go anywhere so Phoenix feels “easy” in this way to me. I like the variety – there is always something to do – from farmer’s markets, comedians, hiking, expos, community events, etc. I love the weather and I love hiking and just being outdoors in general. I love that when I look around, I see active people everywhere. I love that it’s a place where small business owners can thrive. I love that while it’s a big city, so many of us business owners know each other or have heard of one another so in some ways, it’s a small world.

Dislikes: New to me these past couple of years – allergies! I dislike pollution. I miss grass (soft, vibrant-green grass!) yet, I understand xeriscape is so much better for our desert climate.”

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