Message from the CEO – It’s not a Job…It’s a Purpose

Hello FinGym Friends and Family,

I’m not sure if you know this, but I still work one-on-one with clients. As the business has grown, I have taken progressively fewer clients, but I’m fortunate enough to be on the financial journeys of about 40 clients, with many of whom it’s been over five years now; and no matter how busy I get, I will always be here for those clients because at this point, they are beyond clients, they’re family. 

This past weekend, I had quarterly reviews with two couples who both share 7-year anniversaries of working with me. They started with me at different points in their lives/families and careers, but both have accomplished so much over this time. 

The first couple started working with me in their mid-20s right before they were about to get engaged and wanted to figure out how to plan a wedding, buy a $400,000 condo in California and eventually have a family all on the limited incomes they had. Fast forward seven years and they planned a beautiful wedding (on budget), ended up buying a home worth close to $700,000, upgraded parts of the home, traveled globally, and this past weekend, their daughter, who was born in February, joined us for her first quarterly review.

As mom held her beautiful baby girl up to the computer camera, I almost balled like a baby myself because I know just how hard her parents have worked to build a life together, to build a home that they could raise her in and all of the sacrifices they made along the way and will continue to make so that she has a financially stable home to grow up in. I felt like the proud aunt in that meeting, and the meeting felt nothing like a job, it felt like purpose. 

Later in the day, I met with the other couple, who started working with me right after my client finished medical training to start working as a full-time surgeon. Their son was four, and they wanted to eventually buy a big home, pay off the almost $300,000 in student loans and the future surgeon wanted to drive a BMW. Fast forward seven years, and I saw their now middle school aged son in the background, they live in the bigger home, she drives a Tesla (thankfully because gas prices in California are insane) and this week she will officially be student loan-debt free, with plenty of cash to start planning for early retirement.

As I sat there, walking them through the decision to sell investments they own to pay off the debt and start rebuilding the investment portfolio, I had chills on my arms. I know what a burden this debt has been on them for the past seven years. I know how hard they’ve worked to cut costs, to make more meals at home, to drive the paid off Toyota in the surgeon’s parking lot when everyone had a BMW or Mercedes. I felt like the proud big sister in that meeting, and the meeting felt nothing like a job, it felt like purpose.

Nine years ago this month, I left a secure six-figure job at Merrill Lynch on a journey to help people get financially healthy. I had no way of knowing the challenges that laid ahead with raising money, hiring employees, building gyms only to have to close them due to a global pandemic, navigating social challenges as a company and working through the Great Resignation wondering if every employee would quit to make more money, because we all could make more money doing other jobs. 

What my team has come to realize, as I have, is that the work we do here is not a job, it’s a purpose; and when you find your purpose, it’s near impossible to walk away from it, no matter what headwinds you may face. You’re invested in your client’s journeys, you celebrate their successes as much as them, you mourn their losses as much as them and you’re motivated by watching the compounding effects of years of working with people. It’s amazing what people can accomplish with time, focus, belief, and fortitude.

I’ve worked with a number of teammates over the years, and I can say without a doubt that the team at the Financial Gym right now is the most passionate and motivated to help people live their best lives, whatever it looks like for them. If you’ve ever wondered about working with us, or buying a gift certificate for someone to work with us or recommending that your company works with us, the best thing I can say is that you’ll be working with a team of individuals who are working in their purpose, and I’m not sure how many financial services companies you can say that about. 

There are a number of global challenges now making it difficult to live your best life, so I believe now more than ever, you need a B.F.F., or Best Financial Friend, to help you through it: what are you waiting for? I hope you’ll schedule a free warm up call to find out more about how we can help you. If you think that this type of work may be your purpose, you can apply to be a full-time trainer here, or you can join our Certified Financial Trainer Licensing program and do this as a side hustle. 

I’ve been on this journey for nine years now, and 72% of Americans still live paycheck to paycheck, the average American has over $92,000 of debt, and 64% of Americans don’t feel on track for retirement savings. We’ve had clients start in these places, but they don’t stay there. There is power in investing in your financial health and having the right team—a team with purpose—in place to support you is everything. I hope we’ll hear from you soon!

Founder & CEO
The Financial Gym, Inc.

Message from the CEO – It’s not a Job…It’s a Purpose is written by Shannon McLay, Founder and CEO for

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