Message from the CEO - The Government Shutdown Has Impacted Our Family

Hello FinGym Family,

I never wanted to start a company. I worked for 13 years in financial services, simply collecting a paycheck with no intention of changing the world, I was just interested in making money. I never wanted to start a company until I saw such a massive need for a financial services company that would work with people without having to sell them a product to work with them.

Working as a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch gave me an insider’s view into just how flawed the financial services space is, especially when it comes to financial planning; and the idea to change it literally consumed me to the point that I left Merrill Lynch to figure out how to fix it.

My answer has been and always will be The Financial Gym, a financial services company that actually provides a service. Over the last five years of building this, I’ve realized that our business truly is the antidote for everything wrong that I witnessed at Merrill Lynch.

I never wanted to start a company, but one of the perks of being the founder, CEO, and the Chairwoman of the Board, is that I get to make the decisions on the type of company that I run.

We are a for-profit business, we have investors; and those investors expect us to deliver certain performance metrics around client growth and revenue. However, I will never let those metrics supercede compassion and integrity.

I set out to change the financial services space by giving people a trusted place where they can work through their financial challenges; and the last thing my company will ever intentionally do is add to the financial challenges of our clients.

We’ve had clients over the years who couldn’t make payments to us because their accounts were overdrawn, or clients who lost their jobs, or clients who lost loved ones and suffered financially, in all of these situations, we have never worried about our monthly membership rate; and trainers didn’t stop talking to clients because they couldn’t pay us. We simply paused our billing until our clients got back on their feet.


Does this make my investors happy? Probably not. Do I give a damn? Hell no! I refuse to build a business that doesn’t have integrity and it starts with me and filters to my team.

Yesterday morning, a trainer let the group know that she has a few clients impacted by the government shutdown. The trainer said in our group chat, “Would it be reasonable to put their membership payment on temporary hold until the government reopens? I feel terrible charging them at a time like this.” Immediately upon seeing this message, I authorized all trainers to pause membership fees for clients impacted by the government shutdown but not pause service.

We are in an accelerated growth period and I need to show large revenue growth for new investors, but honestly I don’t want to show it by earning it on the backs of individuals who can’t afford to bear it. We will get new clients, we will find another way, but we will not kick a family member while they are down. Because that’s what we are at The Financial Gym, we’re family. It’s my honest hope that all of our clients feel that way, because I know that’s how my team thinks about our clients.

So, I wanted to send this email to make sure that if you are a client and you are impacted by this shutdown, please let your trainer know and we will pause your membership, but not your service as long as it continues. If you are someone who thought about joining, but can’t because of this shutdown, please join and we will pause your fee until you can cover it. We know more than anyone that during financial challenges like these, you really need a B.F.F. on your side to help you figure it out. We are here for you.


Shannon McLay

Founder and CEO

Caitlin Lyttle