Plan for Success with Executive Coaching

Shelley SmithBlog, Executive Coaching, Predictive Index

Oscar Alvarez

By: Jamie McAllister

Oscar Alvarez, a Certified Financial Planner™ in Newport News, has been helping people plan their financial futures for more than two decades. He understands the value of working with an experienced professional, so when he started his own business, Pathway Financial Planning, he wanted an expert who could provide one-on-one guidance and support.

“I had just made the transition to running my own business three years ago when I connected with Shelley Smith through a colleague,” Oscar explained. “At that time there was so much I didn’t know about running a business and I wanted an executive coach who could help me focus on what I should be doing, not just what needed to be done.”



The Big Three

Oscar and Shelley meet monthly at his office for executive business coaching sessions. From the very beginning they have addressed three main topics: accountability, focus, and prioritization.

“Shelley has done a tremendous job helping me get my business on track and keep it there,” Oscar said. “Working with her to set goals and having a deadline keeps me focused and accountable.”

Determining priorities with Shelley’s input is also a tremendous benefit to Oscar. Rather than blindly reaching for his target, he and Shelley create a strategic plan to reach goals. “I can’t put the cart before the horse,” said Oscar. “I have learned how to create a plan that will get me from where I am to where I want to be in a logical manner.”

Families First

 One of the key services Oscar offers is college funding. He is the father of two sons, Samuel and Lucas, and he saw firsthand how difficult it can be for families and students to wrap their minds around the entire financial process. He acts as a guide to help families navigate the jungle of financial aid, taxes, and benefits.

In addition to college funding, Oscar also specializes in helping veterans obtain benefits. The West Point graduate and retired Army Captain wants to make sure those who served their country are able to collect all of the benefits they earned. It was another family experience that steered Oscar to his second niche service.

“My father-in-law in Houston needed to go into assisted living and my family asked me to step in and help,” he explained. “They thought I would be the best choice to advocate for him because I knew which questions to ask. Afterwards I realized helping vets with their benefits would be a great way for me to give back.”

Finance and the Future

 Oscar and Shelley continue to meet every month. “I really enjoy working with Shelley,” he said. “Having her as a second set of eyes and a sounding board to bounce ideas off of still provides so much value for me.”

At some point Oscar would like to hire another financial planner to assist him with his clients. He will then turn to Shelley for human resources advice, too.

“When the time comes for me to hire another staff member I will work with Shelley to choose a candidate and will also call her in to perform the Predictive Index® to make sure I am hiring the right person for the position,” Oscar said.

“Working with Shelley as an executive coach has been a great experience,” he continued. “She has given me even more than I had hoped for.”

Curious about how an executive coach can boost your career? For more info contact Shelley at