Easy Scaling with Jordan Schanda King

Money | Running a lean business with Katie Bambrick

February 08, 2023 Jordan Schanda King / Katie Bambrick Episode 36
Easy Scaling with Jordan Schanda King
Money | Running a lean business with Katie Bambrick
Show Notes Transcript

For the full show notes and access to resources mentioned in this episode visit https://www.easyscaling.com/blog/episode36

This episode is part of our mini-series all about money. Tune in as we get deep in the weeds about how much we're making, how much we're spending, and how that's evolved since we started. I'm very appreciative of all of my guests who were brave enough to show up on this series and talk transparently about all things money.

In this episode, we’re talking with Katie Bambrick. Katie is a Sales, Marketing & Business Coach, helping online entrepreneurs grow and scale their businesses with organic sales & marketing strategies. It's her mission to help business owners 10x their sales confidence, create and launch offers that sell and increase their income and impact.

Topics discussed:

  • Experiencing the feast and famine
  • Knowing when to quit her job
  • Being a one-woman show
  • Budgeting for the month ahead
  • All her investments

Links/Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Jordan Schanda King:

Connect with this week’s guest, Katie Bambrick:

*some links above are affiliate links which means I will get a small commission if you make a purchase with my link, but you will not pay any extra. I personally use and recommend these products!

Love what you heard? Reviews really help us out! As a thank you, you can get my 90-Day Planning Formula ($97 Value) by submitting a screenshot of your 5-star review at easyscaling.com/podcastreview

37# Money | XYZ with Katie Bambrick

Jordan: Hello. Hello. Welcome to our mini-series, all About Money. We are getting deep in the weeds about actual figures, context, full transparency on how much we're making, how much we're spending, how that's evolved since we started. And when I say we, I mean myself and all of my guests who are joining me for this series.

I'm very appreciative of everyone who. who was brave enough to show up on this series and talk. transparently about their revenue, their expenses, how much they're paying themselves, all of the things. I think this is really important, and I hope that it makes at least some type of teeny tiny dent on our industry to get us closer to sharing openly about this and being honest and giving the full context of how we've done what we've done.

What our business actually looks like on the financial side so that we can set realis realistic expectations for other people in the online space. So I hope that you really enjoy this series.

All righty. In this episode I'm chatting with Katie Bambrick. Katie is a sales, marketing and business coach. She helps online entrepreneurs grow and scale their businesses with organic sales and marketing strategies, and it's her mission to help business owners 10 x their sales confidence, create and launch offers that sell and increase their income and impact.

And I love chatting with Katie because she's got a really cool, lean business and is just as passionate about being transparent and sharing context all around money stuff in the online space. So I hope you enjoyed this conversation 

Welcome. Welcome everyone, and welcome Katie to the 

Katie: podcast. Thank you so much, Jordan. Thanks for having me. Yeah. Well, 

Jordan: I'm excited to have you here and I'm, I'm really like, I'm excited for this whole series and really grateful and. , like impressed and proud of everyone who's showing up on this series because it's kind of a difficult series.

Like be interviewed for, and it's been tough to find people willing to fully, transparently, honestly share this information about money. Like no one wants to talk 

Katie: about it. What is that about? It's interesting, isn't it? I think money is still, even though we've come a long way in terms of how we speak about money, and actually in the online space that we're in, it's spoken about a lot.

but still probably quite surprising how many people, even in that space still are a bit hesitant, trepidatious about sharing their figures. So yeah. Let's, let's dive in. I'm excited. Yeah. Okay. 

so let's set the stage for people, a little bit here, right at the front, which is tell us about, How long you've been in business, what, what that trajectory has looked for you in terms of revenue and 

Katie: where you're at now.

Sure. So I have been in business for around two and a half years now, and. I initially started out, so my business was a covid business baby. I'm sure so many people are in the same boat, and I think you were in the same boat, weren't you? It was yours. A covid business baby. 


Jordan: it wasn't, yeah, I have actual covid babies, two of them and Oh wow.

A covid business 

Katie: baby. Yeah, a lot happened. A lot of babies during Covid. . I've just got a business baby, no actual babies and. . I started during Covid and my hours at work were cut down part-time and I had always wanted to run my own business and I thought, okay, this is a perfect opportunity. I had very low living expenses at the time, so I was like, right, this is, I'm doing this.

So for the first six months I was. Doing part-time my business and part-time, that other job. And then eventually I went full-time when I was making enough to just sort of sort of cover my living expenses. So it probably would've been making around two to 3000 pounds, which isn't much, but it was enough for me to be like, right, okay, my rent's covered.

I can. Buy food. There's a roof over my head. Just, you know, I couldn't, I've had some savings as well, so I quit when I felt at a point where there were sales coming in consistently and there was some sort of, yeah, consistent revenue that I could forecast that was gonna be coming in. And then from there, in my first full year, going full-time, that was more of a rollercoaster, I'm not gonna lie,

Some months were, Really high. And then some months took a bit of a dip. And I actually remember there was one weird month, and I'm not sure if you've ever experienced this before, but I may, I think I had like a, you know, a 5K month or something like that. And then the month after that was like a 1700 pound month that I was like, what is going on?

Like, so it was a little bit up and down. Yeah. And I think I learned the, the, I learned a lot about myself and about business within. First full year of being full-time. There were lots of highs, but lots of lows, and I think it required a lot of mental resilience to make it through that, that first year.

But I made it through and my second year in business was a lot smoother sailing. So maybe I should say like the year and a half to two and a half year mark. Has been much smoother sailing. the, the revenue is much more consistent. My income doesn't fluctuate as much month on month. It's pretty stable, usually anywhere, usually at least 5k.

To about nine, 10 K a month is usually what I'm earning now. So it's much more reliable and more stable and consistent. So yeah, that's been kind of the journey, since, since I started. I 

Jordan: love it. This is, this is great. And you touched on a couple of things that I wanna talk about. One is, deciding when to quit your job?

Yes. Because I know a lot of people who are in early stages of their business, that is like always the turning point. And I remember that moment for myself. It wasn't with this business, it was with a previous business, but that is like a huge decision. So I wanna dive into that. The other thing is around, just like the type of business that you're growing, as you're talking about it, it.

and I know I have a little bit of extra context based on like information that you gave me ahead of time, but it sounds like you're building like a pretty lean business, right? Like I would not describe my business as lean and our revenue is like, Very high. Like typically, you know, 30, 40, 50 k months.

But our expenses are also equally high, right? Like not, I mean, we're still making a profit, but that's a very different type of businesses. So I want to talk about why you're growing the, your business, the way that you're growing your business, and what you think about that. So pick and choose where you wanna start.

Well, let's 

Katie: start with, maybe we'll go in chronological order. Great. We'll go with me. Quit deciding to quit. So, . I have to be honest. I was very fortunate. during the time when I started my business. So long story short, I had been living in London and I came home to Perth in Australia for a friend's wedding for two and a half weeks.

Ended up being there for two years because of Covid. Wow. So I ended up staying with my parents for the first year. So I wasn't paying and they were very generous. I wasn't paying rent or anything, so I have to be totally transparent. Like I was definitely in a very fortunate, privileged position to, to be able to do that.

And I had some money coming in from the other job, so I was. Save a lot, which gave me a nice little safety net so that if and when I decided to leave that part-time job and go full-time with my business, I had at least six months worth of savings that I knew. . If it was a huge, big fat failure and I never landed another client again and I had to go out and find a another job, then I would be okay.

And I think I always recommend to my clients if they are considering, so some, most people I work with are full-time in the business, but some people that. I work with a knot and they're still working on leaving the nine to five. I do recommend leaving at the point where you feel like sales are a bit more consistent.

You have savings behind you, and you are making enough to cover your living costs because. I, some people thrive when they, when they do the full like screw it up it, you know, up it to the man, up it to the man. I don't even know if that's the saying, you know what I mean? Suck it, stick it to the man is what I'm trying to say.

And they end up quitting and just going full throttle in their business. And that works for some people, but for others it can create a lot of financial stress. And I think if you can alleviate that financial stress by just knowing that you've got some money coming in. And you're stable and there's some savings there just in case then that is a good time, I think, to quit.

For me personally, that is what I would recommend and that's what I chose to do for myself. 

Jordan: Yeah, that's great. And I love the context because this is what I'm big on, like I think. Context is one of the most important things that people contact should be sharing in this space when it comes to money. But when it comes to anything like, I, I don't know, I may have talked about this on, on an episode before, so sorry if anyone's hearing this again, but I got an email from someone who was like, oh, I only work three hours a week.

I'm like, . Well, like what does that mean though? Like, and how did you get there and Yeah. You know, there's so much context to anything that anyone's saying about where they're at in their business now. and I think it's so important to talk about the resources that we had or have and the, the privileges, like you said, or just the different, the different like leg ups that we had to get us to where, where we are, I think is so important.

I, I did not wait until I had. Consistent income or really any in income before I quit my nine to five. Yeah, you were the first, you were 


Katie: first member of the people that were like, screw it 

Jordan: for doing it. Yeah. Yeah. I'm like, if I'm gonna do this, I'm just gonna go all in and I don't want the safety net, but mm-hmm.

the context here is that I was married and my husband was making good money and we didn't have a lot of expenses and really we could have. just fine on just his income. And, and so that in and of itself is like a huge safety net. Right. . Exactly. So, so I did still have it, but, I think that's really great.

Does that's great advice. Yeah. So tell us about the other, the other piece on like how you're building your business. 

Katie: Yeah. So it's, I love that you called it Lean . Yeah. You describe it like that to me before, but it is, and the reason why I'm growing it this way is just because this. Kind of just how I envisioned my business being ran.

To be honest, that might sound like a really overly simplistic answer, but I like that it's just me. I do have, someone, I put a VA that helps me with some tasks as well, and I do want to expand it further and further, but I never envisioned it what I do. Being an agency, I like keeping it pretty small.

Who knows, it might end up evolving over time. I may end up wanting to hire other people that will end up coaching and then I'll be doing more of the front end staff and who knows where it will go. But that's just the way that I wanted it to it to run. And I've seen people run businesses where it becomes more like a company and it looks amazing, but it just didn't seem like it was something that I wanted to do.

Katie: Mm-hmm. , if I'm being honest. Yeah. I quite like it being like a one woman show and then having contractors to help me with other. Bits and bobs and yeah, it just works for me. 

Jordan: Yeah. Yeah. This is great. And I've talked about this a lot too because, I do think that our personality and what we're wanting to build in the long term is usually what plays into this.

And I love that you framed it in like, well, I built it the way that I actually wanted it to be. Like, of course, that makes so much sense when you say it out loud, right? Yeah. and I'm definitely more on like the other side. Like I like having a big team. I like having employees. I, I like having lots of things, projects, things to juggle, which is why.

I built it the other way. Like I immediately, immediately off the bat was like, we're gonna build a team. Like we're gonna have a team of a dozen people like tomorrow. Let's go. Yeah. You know? So I think it, I, I think that's a, that's an interesting thing and a cool thing to, to touch on around, well, what are you actually trying to build?

What do you want in the long run? Yeah. What do you want it to look like? And just start there. And, and you can start with it being big or you can start with it being lean, I think. Yeah, 

Katie: either is cool. Yeah, and I'm open to seeing where it goes as well. I'm not married to the idea that it will always look this way, but at this moment, and I do run my business quite intuitively actually.

So at this time, , this is what I'm enjoying. If I want to change it later, I'm open to that. Yeah. So I'm just seeing to see how it naturally evolves, I 

Jordan: suppose. Yeah, totally. And I am, I am the same way. And I'm actually now going through kind of the opposite swing in that we built something really, really big right off the bat and it was, it was great, but.

The life stage that I'm in right now, like I'm moving across the country again for like, this is like the fifth state we've lived in, in like three years. Like, there's a lot going on and I'm like, Hmm, maybe I do want like a simpler business, simpler life. Yeah. Yeah. And like that's, that's what's cool about owning your own business is that you can adjust in real time based on what's going on.

And I think that that's, you know, start with what you. . See how it feels. You can always change your 

Katie: mind. Like that's what's cool. Exactly, yeah. You're never stuck in st. Nothing's ever set in stone. Yeah, you can, you can change things and things can be malleable, which is what I, which is what I really like.

I like having the flexibility to, to decide what my day's gonna look like, what I wanna do. It's a big, a very 

Jordan: high priority of mine. Yeah, yeah, for sure. So talk to us on the money side. Talk to us about a couple of things. how much you're paying yourself on a consistent basis in kind of how you approach that.

Are you salaried? Do you, just do owner draws? And I know that there's like different things in different countries, but just kind of generally how you approach doing that. And then maybe we'll dig into like expenses and what you think about that. 

Katie: Yeah, sure. So again, In terms of what I pay myself, I don't set aside a specific amount per month because my income is much more stable, even though, of course I've got a variable income because I, because I, I'm self-employed, but it is more consistent.

I can forecast what I'm gonna be bringing in and I know what my. Cost of living is, and I know how much I want to spend. Like I sat down and I did a budget for, okay, this is how much I usually spend on eating and drinking out, and then this is how much I'm gonna spend on food shopping. So I did work out a budget and I move across an certain amount of money every month.

So maybe like not, not even that much really. Like in terms of like for my rent and cost of living and things like that. Maybe like two and a half grand. I allow a month for everything. And then the. Just stays in the business account and I don't necessarily pour it into everything all at once. I sometimes make investments, whether that be in mentorship or something like that, which is huge.

Usually the biggest expense for me is mentorship because. There's no real other overheads. So a lot of my money does go and investments do go into mentorship. and I know we'll talk about expenses in a moment, but yet everything else stays in my business account. So I know exactly how much is there.

Tax money comes out immediately. that's something that I've always made sure to do because I know some people do not do this and they end up at tax time having a massive panic attack. So that comes in straight away. I've got, I'm with a bank. . Literally the money comes in and I don't even touch it and straight away it takes up 25%.

Oh, that's cool. And puts it in another account. Nice. So that's really helpful. Yeah. That's 

Jordan: awesome. Yeah. Yeah. Mentorship. Mm. It's a, it's a, oh yeah. Dozy for sure. It's a dozy . I remember when I did all of my calculations and, did a masterclass last year where I went through exactly. What we've done over the last year and a half, what the expenses are, all of the things.

And I looked at how much I had spent on like coaching. I was like, dang, that's like a salary for someone 

Katie: for an entire year. . It's eye watering, isn't it? Sometimes you're like, oh my God, this is humbling. What, on a . Yeah. Yeah. And if you're not in this industry, and if you're not an entrepreneurship, Like, I've had friends that are like, and how much was that?

And I'm like, I don't really want to say . Yeah, yeah, yeah. If it was 10 grand and they're like, 

Jordan: yeah, my husband's like, they don't get it. What? , I don't understand. Well, don't get it . It's just part it. Hey, it works. it works. It works. It's critically important, and I talk about this all the time, so I won't, I won't harp on how important support is.


Katie: knows how I feel about that, and I do it. That's what I do. So . Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Same. I I definitely understand the importance. Yeah. 

Jordan: Yeah. Same. That's why I call it putting my money where my mouth is. Mm-hmm. , when I talk about how much I spend on mentorship and coaching and all the things. Yeah.

Practice lunch. So talk to me about the expenses then. Like how do you. What to spend money on in your business? what are some of your consistent expenses, 

Katie: that type of stuff. So my consistent expenses are a lot of the programs that I use. So I use Kajabi for my online courses, which is pretty spinny. I will say.

It's about, oh, like off the top of my head, I think it's about on 200 U S d, yeah, A month for Kajabi. But that hosts my emails, it hosts all my online courses, it hosts everything. So it and my website. So it is, it's worth doing. And then I have other things like, you know, the usual, like I've got like Canva and everything like that.

So a few of those. Subscriptions I have, and another big expense of mine is my va. And that ends up being, I mean, he's not actually too expensive. He does around, 10, 15 hours a month for me. So again, not a huge amount, but anything that I sort of don't really want to do myself, like email sequences or building a website page or something is what he does.

Yeah. So that ends up being around 400, 500 pounds a month for him. Yeah. So it is quite a lean business. It's lean, it's not, yeah, it's lean. It's a lean. Yeah. So I don't spend a whole lot on that, but . But going back to what we were saying earlier, the mentorship is something that I do spend a lot on and learning and development.

So recently I invested in a neurolinguistic programming, which is a, a type of mindset coaching. I invested in a program to become an NLP coach. because I want to delve more into the mindset side of things in business. I also have a mindset and business coach, which cost about 10,000 U s d. So a year. A year?

Yeah. Oh, sorry. For six months. For six months. Oh, and earlier on last year, again, I, same thing. I had hired a business coach and it was around 7,000 U s D for six months. Mm-hmm. , so, You know, I, it is a lean business in terms of, yeah, monthly expenses coming in and out, but I have spent a shit ton of money on learning and dev.

Sorry, am I allowed to swear? Yes, totally. I have. Yeah, totally. Okay, good. No, it's, I've spent so much money on mentorship and on learning and development. That is the biggest expense for me, but it always comes back in. In droves. You know, I always, it's an investment for a reason. Like I always make the money back on it.


Jordan: sure. For sure. Yeah. I'm gonna harp on Kajabi for a minute because I am a Kajabi evangelist. Like I am obsessed with Kajabi. That's what we use, that's what most of our clients use, so, mm-hmm. , everyone listening, I will put my affiliate link in the show notes, because you should go sign up for Kajabi.

Click plug plug with any of your platforms, like, just get an all in one and I, mm-hmm. know this from experience. operations is what I do. It will make your life easier anyway. yeah, this is great. This is great. I, I think that this kind of, like this approach is really cool and I do think, I don't, I don't hear people talking about lean businesses like this very obvious, you 

Katie: know?

Yeah. I don't know. That's interesting because I think I surround myself with a few people that run the business similar to me, so Yeah. 

Jordan: But they don't talk about like, I don't know, maybe, maybe it's just because people don't talk about this generally, like behind the scenes of like, what are you investing in?

What are your expenses look like? How are you paying yourself? I don't know. I remember I was in a group one time where I was trying to figure out how much to pay myself, and I asked, and like no one would answer me. I was like, oh dude, I'm looking for he here. Like, I don't even know what to do. Like I just want some, some like data, some benchmarks, like how is everybody else doing it, you know?

Mm-hmm. . Yeah, well hopefully we're changing that 

Katie: a little bit with this podcast. Yeah. I think it's important because as you said earlier, we sort of just see. the tip of the iceberg. You know, we see people. I just had a 20 K week. Yes, yes. But it's, no, that's what I was wonder. There's no context. There's no context.

How much did you spend on mentorship? How many hours did you have to work for that amount to come in? How long have you been working on it? What was the month before that like? There is so much information that we just don't have. Yeah. It's kind of useless , to be honest. Yeah. But it's se it's sexy and it sells and it's actually messaging.

I try and stay very. away from, I'm happy to talk about money, but I only speak about it with context. I don't just say, this is my huge big win. Like I always give context because otherwise you're setting people up to feel like failures and that's something I'm really passionate about. 

Jordan: Yeah, and I think that's kind of what I was getting at is like people don't talk about these numbers like this.

I think because the people who are talking about money publicly are throwing out. Ridiculous numbers. And I'm not saying that they're always not true. I think some of them are not true. But even the ones that are true, it's kinda like you said, it's kind of unhelpful for people to be talking about like, oh, like I built a million dollar business in like 30 seconds and, you know, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Without the context because like, yeah, I can tell everyone that I hit a 50 k. In like six months of business. But that was part of a launch, so it was a lot of cash all collected at once. And I had a team of like 12 people like, come on, like, yeah, I had tons of expenses. , like, it's just, yeah, it's the context.

And I, I just, I almost feel like though those, all of those big numbers create this weird situation where people don't wanna talk about real numbers. Like, I don't know if you feel like this, but when I was in my first, like in the first year, And I was hitting these milestones and, and you know, some months making 10 K or some some months making 15 k.

And those are still pretty big numbers. But I actually didn't know that those were big numbers. I was like, wow, I am like kind of a loser. I'm only, you know, making this amount of money . And I'm like, there would be months where I didn't pay myself. And because no one's talking about what the money actually looks like for most businesses.

I actually had a fairly, like successful business in my first year and had no idea because all I was surrounded by was people talking about these numbers that were just kind of outlandish, you know? 

Katie: Yeah, and that's the problem. It's that there's zero context. People look at that and think, I only made two grand and, but maybe they had no expenses and they probably actually made more of a profit than that person that made a 50 K month.

Exactly. Had to pay 12 people. Exactly. We just don't know. It's just all relative. And I think that this is a huge problem in the industry that we're in is that, yeah. Great. Speak about money, be. But do it in a way that's open and transparent. Don't just say the sexy, cute thing. Like sometimes I feel like this industry is a bit like, Barbie becomes an entrepreneur and it's like all the high level.

Do you know what I'm saying? Yeah. Like, yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh, cute. Entrepreneurship boss, babe. A hundred K months. And it's like entrepreneurship is hard. Yeah, it is hard. Yeah. And there's, so it's amazing and I wouldn't change it, but there's so much more depth to it. And I think. People want to start their own online, online coaching business just based off seeing these numbers and seeing these people that are allegedly killing it and then they realize that actually it's a lot of work and a lot of money that goes into it, and a lot of time and energy and, 

Jordan: yeah.

Yeah, totally. It's a lot of work to do the business side and then. . I think what also gets missed is that a lot of these businesses, coaching businesses, service-based businesses, people get into them because they see other people doing them online, but then they don't realize like you're creating a business to help people not to hit income goals.

Like if you don't wanna actually do client work and coach people or like do a service or do whatever. Like, you maybe shouldn't get into this business. You're not in it for the right reason. That's not, I don't know. I get frustrated with that because people make it out to be like, I don't know. I am not 

Katie: impressed.

Well, you're in a service-based bus. Yeah. You're you're in service. 

Jordan: I'm in service. Right. And, and I do like most of what I do client work-wise isn't behind the scenes actual implementation anymore. I don't really do that. I do strategy, but that still means that I. on with clients on calls or in Slack, you know, DMing or voice messaging.

Mm-hmm. . I still do a good amount of client work every week, and when I see people being like, oh, I am, you know, making seven figures and all I do is two hours of calls a month, I'm like, Well then are you really helping people? I don't know. I just don't know. 

Katie: Like that doesn't feel, yeah. We have questions

Yeah, we have questions. We've got some questions. . 

Jordan: Well, I didn't mean for the, to nothing but it, it often does because I've felt really spicy about this lately. yeah. Okay. Anything else you wanna share with us about money?

Katie: I think the main message, and I'm sure I'm fairly sure it's come across quite strongly in this, in this interview, , is that I think it's really important for women to talk about money, and I say women in particular because I think, uh, That we are socialized to not, and then it impacts the gender pay gap, and then it impacts us not asking for raises and negotiating.

So I think speaking about money is really, really important for women. However, I think we need to do it with honesty, transparency, and context. And I think that is something I'm really passionate about and I make sure that you don't get sucked into this. Language that we see all the time online. Just because that seven figure business coach speaks about money like this doesn't mean you have to do it as well.

Find a way that feels good for you and that is reflective of actually what's going on , and not setting people up to feel like a failure. It, we don't want the filtered version of business. I think people want what it really is like to run a business and. That is what I've got to say about money . 

Jordan: I love it.

I love it. You really summed up the whole episode. That was fantastic. , you may just like clip that out and use it for the intro. Great. I can be the sound 

Katie: bite. Great. Yeah. , 

Jordan: this was great. Seriously, thank you for coming on and sharing so openly. I appreciate 

Katie: it. Thank you so much, Jordan. I loved it. Loved our chat.