Message from the CEO: Mission Impossible is Just a Movie

This summer, I splurged and saw the latest installment of the Mission Impossible movie series in the theater; and while I found the movie entertaining, I spent the last 20 minutes of it convinced that Ethan Hunt’s mission was truly “impossible” and all characters were sure to die. Spoiler alert: they all lived and yet again Ethan defied just about every law of physics to accomplish his task.

I left the movie thinking about our clients. Many people receive their financial plan from their trainer and probably feel like me during the last 20 minutes of this movie, this is Mission Impossible. I’m sure they say to themselves “There’s no way I can save $600 a month.” “There’s no way I can make $120,000 a year.” “There’s no way I can pay off $255,000 of debt in two years.”

We are a family over over 1,100 members now, and my guess is that more than half of them felt like their trainer was assigning them Mission Impossible when they gave them their financial plan. If you are one of these people, or you have yet to join and you one day feel like this, I hope you will remember my words today (as borrowed from Audrey Hepburn).

“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I’m possible.”

I’m not going to kid you. The plans that my trainers give to clients are not easy. If getting financially healthy was easy, we’d all be millionaires without having to win Mega Millions. The goals we give our clients are challenging, but none of them are impossible. All it really takes is a commitment from our clients to attempt the goals we lay out for them.

I have been getting clients and watching clients get financially fit for over 7 years now, and one of my greatest joys is watching missions turn from impossible to reality.

Two years ago, a couple came to meet with me on the advice of their friends. They were speaking to a divorce attorney, speaking to a marriage counselor and sitting on over $245,000 of debt split between student loans and credit cards. Our first session was one of the most intense and uncomfortable of my career. There was a lot of finger pointing and animosity between the two. I delivered their plan, and honestly thought I would never see them again.

Three months later, they asked for a check in meeting where we discovered they added on another $10,000 of credit card debt. They were clearly moving in the wrong direction financially; and I gave them the only “F” for a quarterly review I have ever given. I didn’t shame them in that meeting, I just expressed my disappointment because I knew they were capable of so much more. Like all of my trainers do in times like this, we created a plan for how they would come back from this setback and how they could commit to getting financially healthier as a team.

For the past two years, this busy couple has consistently committed to their quarterly reviews; and for most of them, they never received anything lower than a B+. With each quarter, I saw a change in this couple, not only financially, but emotionally in how they treated and respected each other. No longer were they pointing fingers, they were accepting their choices and making smarter ones as a team.

Last month, this couple came in for their two year review, and I had champagne waiting for them as we toasted the fact that they were officially debt free. Over the past two years, they have paid off $255,000 of debt; and now we’re planning the next and debt free chapter of their lives. I sat across from them, as I am now writing this, in tears. When I gave them their plan two years ago, I honestly thought it was a Mission Impossible. I didn’t think they would stay married let alone accomplish what I laid out for them; and thankfully they proved me wrong on both fronts.

This is one story of over hundreds that we witness every single day at The Financial Gym, clients accomplishing what they thought was impossible. There is nothing more fulfilling as a trainer than to witness a client who started as a nonbeliever become a whole new person thanks to the focus on their financial health.

The journeys are not quick and they’re not easy, but they are without a doubt possible. The only thing that truly limits our client’s success, is our client’s mindset. Every trainer delivers a plan with the hope and belief that their client can make it a reality.

If you’ve received a plan from us, every playlist has the same first two songs and one is “I Believe In You” by Michael Buble; and this is intentional. We add this song because every trainer truly believes their client can achieve anything they put their mind to; and we believe this because we’ve seen enough success stories to know that there’s no such thing as Mission Impossible except in the movies.

If you’re a client who’s thinking this about your plan, don’t give up. You’re capable of so much more than you know. If you have thought about joining the Gym, I hope you’ll join with the belief that nothing is impossible no matter how stressed you feel about your current situation.

All you need is to believe in yourself and make the commitment to living “your boldest, wildest, never-in-a-million-years-thought you’d get here kind of life. Anyone can do it. Yes, even you. Financial Gym - What are you working for?”*

*PS: This is from our company manifesto

PPS: The pic included is from our HQ’s 2nd birthday. Some venture capital investors thought this accomplishment was a Mission Impossible last year, I never did.


Shannon McLay
Founder and CEO, The Financial Gym

Caitlin Lyttle