Meet the Money Coach: Amanda Dewoody
Tapping into the creative energy flowing throughout Austin, Amanda Dewoody understands the desire to start a business. An entrepreneur at heart who helps organize monthly meet-ups for aspiring business owners, she used her own business savvy to transition from a career in healthcare IT consulting to coaching.
Now a certified money coach with the Capital One Money Coaching program (which is free and open to the public at select Capital One Cafes), Amanda's tools of the trade include helping customers access their inner resourcefulness, overcome fears and tackle challenges. Of course, soaking up the vibes in her East side neighborhood—which she calls "the cool side of town"—helps.
What inspired you to become a money coach?
Previously I had tried to start a business, but in a field I didn't enjoy, which was not a good idea. I was working on projects I did not love and was spinning my wheels. I had always been responsible financially, but I lost a lot of money and didn't know how to move forward—so I went to see a coach. In seven minutes, she changed my perspective. I went from feeling worthless to knowing I did the best I could with the tools I had at the time.
Then, I signed up for a coaching class—my background is in IT, so I didn't intend to actually become a coach. I went back to my job in IT, but at the same time I used my new coaching skills to help my sister, who had just finished her Ph.D., find an amazing job. That's when I said, "I think I'm supposed to do this," and started the certification process.
What did you learn in IT consulting that helps you as a money coach?
As a healthcare IT consultant, part of my job was helping transform paper systems to paperless systems. There's a lot of turmoil in that process, so much of my job was training and coaching and that was the part I enjoyed. The beautiful thing is that money coaching lets me do that. The financial industry has some of the same components—it's highly complex, with lots of jargon and high stakes. Money coaching is helping people figure out what's really important to them to make their lives better, just by shifting perspectives.
How have the money-coaching tools helped people impact real change in their lives?
One person had a huge, unexpected, ongoing expense in his family. It was really overwhelming; his responsibilities went through the roof. Through the money coaching process, he was able to get a better picture of what some of the near-term and long-term hurdles would be, and see how he could overcome the near-term hurdles first. He saw that he had more resources than he thought, and he saw a pathway through.
How does coaching create an environment in which people are open to sharing such experiences?
I work hard to create a safe space. I explain what coaching is, I explain the tools and I ask for their agreement: Will you co-create this experience with me? The customer is in the driver's seat throughout the process. The money coach is observing and asking questions and serving as a mirror, but we're not telling people what to do.
Has money coaching had an impact on your own beliefs or goals?
I've gone through many stages of my relationship with money—I started out very frugal, then not at all, and now I'm in a responsible place. Now I'm creating a budget that fits with my lifestyle—I knew that before, but now I'm more motivated to do it. I want to add some structure, in a way that works for me.
What are people talking about right now in Austin?
There is so much creative energy here—we have artists, musicians and tech entrepreneurs. It's an optimistic, lively environment, but the livability of Austin is a huge conversation. People are trying to do things like a buy a home in a city that can be so expensive. Also, in Austin everyone wants to start a business. Entrepreneurs want to make a positive impact; there's a sense of wanting to do good through business. There's also a desire for financial freedom. The city is such a good fit for money coaching.
What are you most looking forward to as Capital One money coaching expands in Austin?
Helping people! I love seeing how money coaching changes people's lives. I'm an entrepreneur, so I like being at the cutting edge with Capital One. It's executive-level coaching offered for free, which is such a wonderful gift to give to people. I talk to everybody and say, "I have the most amazing job, come on over for money coaching!"
For more information on Capital One's Money Coaching program, visit capitalone.com/local/moneycoaching.