Maria: Tell us a bit about yourself:
Parkey: My wife, Lisa, and I live in Cumming, Georgia, with our three children - Kayla, Morgan, and Micah. I'm an active member of our church, where I teach, volunteer, and serve on various boards and committees.
Over the past 15 years, I've held various leadership positions across multiple companies, including General Electric, and IBM. In 2005, I decided to use my skills to help others improve their personal and business financial situations.
I am a certified financial counselor, and love helping my clients navigate through challenging financial decisions. I enjoy motivating and helping families, individuals, businesses, and churches envision and achieve their dreams. Over the years, I've had the privilege of contributing financial articles to local magazines, and newsletters. In 2008 and 2009, I was the Money Coach on "Mornings with Lorri and Larry," nationally on the FamilyNet TV and Sirius radio.
More than anything, my family and I live what I teach. We are debt free and live without credit cards!
Maria: Wow! Now that's an accomplishment I'm sure all of our readers hope to achieve! How did you get started as a financial coach?
Parkey: I started coaching others after my wife and I began to get our finances in order. I really had no intention of coaching people to do anything, until I realized that people needed direction with their finances and we had really made a big change in our household. Initially, I began helping people I knew and/or had friendships with, and that subsequently moved me to start Financial Focus. If you had told me 30 years ago that I would be coaching people with their finances today, I would have told you how wrong you were. My final push to start this business and become a coach was from my pastor. In response to a game question one night, he simply asked me, "What are you waiting on?"
Maria: Sounds like a great beginning. What services do you offer?
Parkey: I offer several programs and services through Financial Focus including six-month programs to assist and direct people over a period of time to make the changes that they need to move ahead.
Additionally, pre-marital financial counseling, personal financial assessments, credit negotiations, and hourly coaching are available. Most recently, I have added pieces of career and life coaching. All of my services or programs are intended to help people make the necessary changes in their lives to get them where they want to be
Former Dallas Cowboys' head coach, Tom Landry, once said, "A coach is the one who makes you do what you don't want to do, so that you can be what you want to be." My services in one way or another, help people achieve the change that they want and need.
In a nutshell, my services offer the planning, process, mechanics, discipline, and accountability to change - finances, careers, and life direction.
Maria: You certainly offer a well-rounded host of services! How has your relationship with Jesus Christ impacted your business?
Parkey: Definitely more faith and prayer! As a small business owner, I saw my income reduced when I left the 'stable' corporate world. My faith has increased as I've grown to become more dependent on the One who is able to provide for our needs, and to bless me and my family.
Additionally, I believe the Bible is very clear about the direction we need to take regarding so many of the issues we experience each day - including finances. Applying proven biblical principles works! Planning, goal-setting, discipline, and more are all right there in His Word.
I truly believe Matthew 6:33, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you," (KJV). Putting Him first is key.
Maria: Great testimony! What is the most important advice you give your clients?
Parkey: First, develop and live by a plan! Too many people just want to think about what they could do - put an action plan together and get it done. Second, people are not alone and they are not failures. We all make mistakes - learn from them, and move forward in the right direction.
I have yet to find someone, who is committed, who cannot get out of his/her situation or improve his/her position.
Maria: That's VERY encouraging advice. Give us a brief description of how to set up a family budget?
Parkey: Simply project your monthly income, spend it all on paper, and then live by it. Repeat this process every month. It does sound and seem easy, but it never is. Discipline is crucial to rein in spending, and it's required in order to live by the plan you create each month.
When you begin to get your plan on paper and live by it, things WILL begin to change. Accountability is a critical component to success!
Maria: I've noticed the words 'discipline' and 'accountability' keep coming up. Thanks for sharing the budgeting process and these two keys to success! What recommendation would you give for beginning a savings plan?
Parkey: Like Nike, just do it. Part of getting started is realizing where your money is or has been going. A budget will not only help you determine where to spend, but it can also show you where and how much you have been spending.
Once the picture is developed, begin to manage your money with a plan that will work toward achieving your goals - one step at a time.
Maria: Breaking the plan down into a series of steps, makes it so much less daunting. Good advice. What goals do you have for the future? Any plans to write a book about finances?
Parkey: I want to continue to build my business in several different areas - coaching finances, career, and life. Likewise, building the speaking side of this business is exciting and I'm working to open more doors in that area.
Yes, I do plan to write a book and have actually started by laying out an outline of chapters. My goal is to finish the project over the winter. Maybe next year will be the year to publish.
Maria: Sounds like exciting days ahead for you! What words of wisdom would you like to leave with our readers?
Parkey: Stay focused. Stay focused on every area of your life - financially, physically, spiritually...There are plenty of distractions that can take away your joy if you lose focus on what is important and, in many cases, crucial.
Maria: More great advice! Thank you so much for joining me today, Parkey. I wish you the best with your business. God bless~
Connect with Parkey:
Phone: 678-648-9940 or 866-369-5086
Great news! Parkey offers a free 30-minute consultation for anyone who is interested. Contact him
via email, website, or the phone numbers listed above.