Q&A With Justin Bennett From Strong Tower Consulting
When the Conroys (our FPU mentors) told me that I needed to meet Justin Bennett, a financial coach, I will admit that I was skeptical (heck, I didn't even want to pay for FPU when we were thinking about taking that, and now look how far we've come). But I've met with him three times now and he's helping us get focused on the baby steps again. I guess most of my reservations came from ignorance, which is why I wanted to ask Justin to share a little about what he does via a Q&A.
How did you get into financial coaching?
The first job I had in the financial industry was being a collector, calling on people who were behind on their house payment. I really enjoyed finding creative solutions to get people back on track. Years later, after following the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University model, I wanted to change lives (like Dave). That is what I do now every day. Helping people go from being broke and scared to having hope with a plan.
What do you love most about what you do?
Seeing changed lives. Whether it is working with a young couple, a single parent or anyone else who is stressed out with their finances; giving people help and hope is very rewarding. Sometimes it is watching someone pay off thousands of dollars in debt (in a short period of time); other times, it is seeing a couple work together with their finances and watch their marriage become stronger.
I've always been curious, if I am trying to get out of debt, how can I justify paying you to help me?
I will advise potential clients during their FREE 30 minute consultation that if the only thing holding them back is the fee, we can find a way to fit the fee into their budget. If the fee has to be justified, then it will seem like an expense. However, if the fee is looked as an investment into one’s financial future, it takes on a whole new meaning.
Do you do more than just financial coaching?
Yes. I have financial workshops that I present in the workplace, churches, for other financial professionals, etc. I also coach small business owners who want to take their businesses to the next level or need advice on how to start a business (cash-flow planning, business planning, setting financial goals, etc).
If I lived in Idaho (common misunderstanding, Iowa and Idaho are two different places), could I still use your services?
Absolutely! I can do coaching over the phone or video conferencing using SKYPE or Oovvoo (both are FREE internet streaming video services).
What's your favorite Bible verse?
I have so many it is hard to choose. My favorite financial Bible verse is I Timothy 6:17-19
17 Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant or to set their hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God, who richly provides us with all things to enjoy. 18 Instruct them to do what is good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, willing to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good reserve for the age to come, so that they may take hold of life that is real.
What's one piece of advice for young adults trying to stay on budget?
It takes time. Like learning how to ride a bicycle or driving a manual transmission automobile for the first time, you are going to make mistakes. The good news is that if you keep practicing, over time you will be able to master it. The same is true when living on a budget. The first month will be a disaster. However, if you stick with the process, in 90 days you should be able to do the budget process well.
Eric here: I just want to say how impressed I am with Justin's services. We've met with him a few times and it's very clear that consulting is his passion and where God wants him to be. He is very helpful, challenging and encouraging all at the same time. If you need some guidance with your finances contact him for a free 30-minute consultation.
What questions would you ask a financial consultant?