Wendy Rhoades from Billions: The Truth About Performance Coaches

Wendy Rhoades
Wendy Rhoades, played by Maggie Siff. Photo courtesy of Showtime.

If you enjoyed “The Sopranos” or “Wall Street” and haven’t seen “Billions” on Showtime, I encourage you to check it out. Aside from being entertaining, it’s a dramatic (and glamorized) look inside the world of hedge funds. More relevant to you, however, is one of the main characters, Wendy Rhoades. She works as a performance coach for the fictional hedge fund Axe Capital, where she is the “secret weapon” for traders, and their CEO Bobby Axelrod.

I love the character Wendy Rhoades because she plays a fictional role that actually exists in real life. She’s brought attention to the industry of performance coaches, which will encourage those who need help to seek it.

What’s a Performance Coach?

It depends on who you ask.

There are no credentials to become an “official” performance coach. I’ve seen a lot of people read a book or two and think, “Hey, I can coach other people…” so they begin to call themselves “performance coaches.”

I don’t have a problem with that, but it’s something to be aware of. In an unregulated industry like professional coaching, you can use almost any title your creative mind can come up with.

I’ve referred to myself by several different titles:

  • Peak Performance Expert
  • Peak Performance Coach
  • Sport and Performance Coach
  • Business Performance Coach
  • Performance Consultant
  • Performance Coach

A performance coach is a professional who helps individuals and groups to improve their performance on a psychological level. On the show Billions, Wendy Rhoades helps traders keep their head straight by helping them work through issues that may prevent them from being successful.

Some are fearful because they’ve made a mistake, and are scared to repeat it. Others have lost confidence due to a variety of circumstances. Bobby Axelrod uses Rhoades to help him work through problems as a counselor of sorts… A trusted advisor who Axelrod can use to sharpen his mind and keep his focus. These are all legitimate reasons to work with a performance coach.

How to Pick a Performance Coach

It’s pretty easy to pick a performance coach once you’ve figured out what you need.

Some performance coaches specialize in specific industries. My specialty is working with entrepreneurs. Others specialize in working with people that have specific job titles or play certain sports. Wendy Rhoades from Billions, for example, developed a niche working with hedge funds.

Here are some questions to ask when you’re looking for a performance coach:

  • What type of education do you have?
  • Do you have experience in psychology?
  • Have you worked with a professional in my industry before?
  • What type of clients do you work with?

After your prospective coach answers these questions, you’ll have an idea as to whether or not you’re a good fit to work together.

A good performance coach won’t accept anyone as a client. They’ll want to vet you to make sure that you’re serious about making changes. Additionally, they want to make sure that they’re competent enough to help you with the struggles you’re facing. If someone claims they can “fix” any problem you have, don’t walk… run in the other direction.

Galel Fajardo: Performance Coach

I became a performance coach for entrepreneurs because I ran into a buzzsaw of issues that could have been prevented had I received the right advice. Now, I want to help as many people as possible by making them aware of these issues.

When I discovered that I had a passion for entrepreneurship and psychology, I educated myself on the brain, habits, and tools to help myself. Then, I went back to school and obtained a Master’s degree in Performance Psychology so that I could be better equipped to help people who want to hire me.

Now, I’m happy to report that I’ve been able to help hundreds of people with their businesses. This has been an incredible way for me to make a living while helping other people improve their lives.

You won’t always be a fit with each person you seek coaching from, which is why I encourage you to talk with a few before making a final decision. If you end up needing help from a therapist due to a clinical issue, a professional coach should refer you to a therapist for assistance.

If you’d like to explore the possibility of working with me, please feel free to reach me by email at galel@galelfajardo.com.

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