I'm back with my very own coach, Julia, but this time to lift the lid on our businesses and finances 💰
Sharing unpopular opinions, things that scare us in business, and some of our biggest learnings to date....
My guest is Julia DeWolfe, she is one of my coaches, a certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapy practitioner, and what she calls an 'everything coach' for entrepreneurs.
Julia is a regular guest on the podcast and together we explore the more emotional side of business ownership and dig into many of the things that I've personally struggled with or overcome in my own business.
Connect with Jordan Schanda King:
Connect with this week’s guest Julia DeWolfe
38# Real Talk | Revenue, expenses, and product suites with Jordan + Julia
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.
Alrighty, in this episode, I am chatting with Julia once again. We're diving into all things money, and this took a little bit of a different turn than we were expecting, but we, we had a lot of fun. We dived pretty deep onto into my approach. on structuring my product suite, some of the mistakes that I've made, how I've changed things based on the expenses it's taken to fulfill different types of offers, how I think about money, different tips and strategies, and I mean, we cover it all.
I hope you enjoy this conversation. . Welcome. Welcome everyone, and welcome Julia, back to the podcast
Julia: as usual. Hello. Hello. Nice to be here as usual. Great.
Jordan: Well, let's talk about money. And we've been sitting here for probably 30 minutes, procrastinating to start this conversation and I think because , even though we talk about this all the time, it's still kind of overwhelming to dive this deep onto this topic publicly and transparently, even though we're pretty, we're pretty opinionated about the importance of that.
I am, I'm quite
Julia: opinionated about it. Maybe that's why I'm procrastinating, cuz I don't know if people are ready for my opinions. .
Jordan: Well, here we go. Where should we start? Should we talk about actual figures first? Should we talk about our philosophies? What do you think? Let's,
Julia: let's go for the t. Let's talk about actual figures first.
We'll get that out of the way. We'll give the people what they want. I think you'll do the figures because I think there's a lot of value in there. I know personally, when I was starting out in business, maybe you felt this too. I, I wished that people were more open and transparent about where money was going, especially when we hit the time of year where people are sharing, you know, their celebrations at the end of the year for the money that they've made and, and all of that.
And I always wanted to know, because at first I thought when I was. Kind of newer, like, oh, they must be taking that amount home. And then you realize what the expenses are and then the more you're in business, then you start to realize like, those expenses are quite high or you know, okay. That that's a good option.
Right. So I, I know on my side I run a quite a leann thing because I like, I like having more take home pay, but I think it's helpful for people to talk about what's actually going on, what's the actual income, what are the numbers? So that way, you can get some perspective on how things work as business grows.
Jordan: Yeah, totally. And that's what I really loved about the mini-series that we did this month already when we were talking about money there. Because I think it's so important just to see the different ways that people can approach business. Like I know you have a very lean business. I do not have a very lean business.
And, there's pros and cons to both, I think. And it. ultimately depends on what you're actually trying to build. But that context and that, that, like behind the scenes look at how these different types of bus businesses are ran and what that requires on the financial side, and then how that plays into your growth trajectory.
How fast you're growing, like how much you're working, all of those things. It's all very intertwined and it's all very mysterious , you know, and that's the thing that I think is frustrating in this space is that there's just not a lot of information. And I have always felt like so confused about like, is what I'm doing normal?
Is it right? Is it good? Is it bad? I have no idea. And maybe I'll start with sharing. I, I just recently hired a new financial firm who's doing. , all of my accounting, bookkeeping, tax strategy, tax filings. I have like a C F O. Like all, all of these things, they're, they're like an all-in-one, like one-stop shop situation.
And that works for what I need right now because I needed it all to be under one roof rather than me having to be the go between to a bunch of different people involved in my finances. So, just started working with them a few months ago and on one of the initial calls that we had, after they had done like the full build out of my QuickBooks and looked all at my numbers and everything, they were like, okay, well how do you feel like you're doing?
And I was like, oh gosh, I don't know. Like it terrible. It must be awful like this. This can't be good. And they were like, actually, you're doing pretty well, especially considering that you are. in the, like you just had your first full year in business first, like full calendar year in business and here, like they were showing me that where they kind of want people to be in an ideal world with like net income.
and I think this was before taxes and it's like 30% is kind of what, where they want people to sit. And especially like businesses like mine in particular, and I was maybe at like 12% or something. They were like, that's, that's like really good. Like you're profitable. They're like, a lot of times we sit down to have these conversations with business owners and they're in the negative.
Jordan: So the fact that you're profitable already in this first calendar year of business, you've been doing a lot of growth. It, it was like so comforting to hear that because I'm looking at it being like, holy shit, okay, I made over $300,000, but I spent, you know, over $250,000. And part of that includes like what I paid myself.
But still it's, that's a, that's a lot of money going out. The door, you know, and that can be kind of scary to look at. It's not lean , it's not a lean business
Julia: That is scary. But it's also really helpful to get that perspective from people who are working in a bunch of different businesses, right? That that's what they do. They specialize in that to let you know, okay, these are the numbers I can't even remember. Or actually more accurately, I don't know what the turnaround is now expected for a business to be profitable.
Right? It used to be there was quite a few years leeway before they would say, okay, yeah, that's when you're in this really profitable space. That's changed some now because of the way the online business goes and it can change like your, the structure and the. income of your online business can literally change in like a day.
you have a couple things go right, and you go from zero to hero the way that you feel. So, it's good to get that kind of perspective. I also think it's even helpful for people at different stages of their business to know that there are firms out there that exist just to be that kind of firm that comes in and takes care of your money that way that they're there and they're gonna be all of the operations officers that you need on that side of the financial thing.
that is really helpful for people to know as they go, that like, you're not gonna be expected to know how this all works forever and ever, because the money management side of things can be really overwhelming. For entrepreneurs, I think it's helpful for them to even know that something like that
Yeah. And what I think is cool too is that there's so many different options in that space. Like we've had Kimberly, people listening, if you've heard the podcast before, you've probably heard one of Kimberly's episodes. She's been on a couple times. She's one of our clients and she's a tax strategist.
A tax coach. And she is amazing at, at what she does. And she like just does tax strategy, which I think is cool cuz she can get really in the weeds on it. And then there are other people that just specialize in the accounting side or the bookkeeping side. And I was kind of shocked, this was literally like a few weeks ago that I was like, , I didn't even realize what all of the different definitions were of like bookkeeper versus accountant versus CPA versus like, there's all of these different labels and they do not mean the same thing, which like maybe makes me sound stupid, but I just didn't really even think about it until I was like, wait, what do I need?
And then I started looking into it and seeing the nuance between the different labels and the different like certifications or like education and, and all of that. So there's lots of ways that you can get help and on, on the financial side. And I think most of the time a bookkeeper should be, like a bookkeeper or an accountant is like a non-negotiable, at least it has always been for me, I hired someone to do all of that stuff for me right when I started this business because I did not wanna have to think about it.
I wanted to know that it was taken care of and she was absolutely amazing until we just grew to the point where I was like, I need, I need more, right? Like I need. I need all these different pieces and preferably I need it all under one roof. so I think that's cool too, that you, it can, it can change and you can adapt your team as you
Okay. But I wanna shift gears back to something, that since we're talking about like my finances, something that I've alluded to on several episodes since we're gonna get into the weeds about like money stuff.
maybe I'll give some like facts and figures. One in particular that I can throw out there is that in 2022 I paid myself about $60,000, which is interesting cuz I thought it was gonna be way more. and I remember on some episodes at the end of last year, like I was talking, I was talking through what I was paying myself, and then I had gotten to a point where I had like significantly increase it.
Jordan: And I was talking about that. And then I did this crazy thing and I totally redid my entire business structure and offer suite. And I don't pay myself that much anymore. . but I think that's important to talk about too, is. , the differences in how, like how you do your, your work and your product suite is drastically impacts the financial side.
Obviously this sounds so dumb, but like in particular, the expenses. So for those who don't know, we started as like an agency. That's what we started with. So we were very team heavy from the, from the beginning and I was pretty sure that I wanted to grow a massive agency. Like I was all in on this vision, like this is what we're doing, this is gonna be awesome.
And we started doing it. And there's parts of that that I really love. , there's parts of a growing agency, especially as it gets bigger and bigger that, are quite the headache. It, it just adds, like a lot of, it adds in a lot of things that can break, you know, because you're so reliant on your team and your people and if one person doesn't end up being a good fit or if one person decides to leave or whatever, that can like, break your business.
And that was kind of terrifying for me. In the middle of last year, we, we just went through a bunch of like, team related, I wouldn't say like, not even necessarily just like transition, it was just that we were trying to grow because. , I dunno, this is gonna sound weird, but like finding clients has never really been a problem for our business.
Like we, we are very fortunate in, in that, I think like what we do is so unique that it's like pretty easy to find clients. What's always been, what's always taken the bulk of my time, energy, effort, and money is building out the infrastructure to support the clients that we have to make sure that what we're doing is high quality and that we can even like, support that capacity.
It's always about growing capacity and that was tough. I would say between like August and November. It was like all that I was doing was trying to like figure out how to put this piece, this puzzle, together on team and org structure and client delivery and ultimately, Hmm, okay. This is a ton of work.
It's a ton of energy to like figure this out and make sure everyone's in the right seats and that our clients are supported and all the right people are on the team and it's a ton of money because our revenue shot through the roof and we were consistently doing like 40 K months, but our expenses also shot through the roof.
They were, they were significantly lower until we started growing this team more aggressively. Cuz that's the other thing you have to, I know I'm going on like quite the monologue here, but you have to like proactively grow the team cuz you have to keep up with the capacity and the clients that you're bringing on and have a little bit of a buffer in case something doesn't work out.
You don't want to then start from scratch trying to find someone new. So you have to like almost over. when you're building out this agency model. And so our expenses shut up a couple months. They were over 30 k a month in expenses. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Everyone should see your eyes. That's probably exactly what everyone else just did.
That's a massive amount of money going out the door every single month. Now that's all inclusive of all of our expenses. So tech, advertising, marketing, contractors, employees, everything was in that. But still, I was looking at the numbers being like, okay, , this is a lot of work and our profit margins are lower.
Like, mm, I'm not into this anymore. So that's why I then had to stop paying myself as much and totally redo our entire business. We, we actually fired some clients. We totally got rid of, an offer that we had like nixed it. It's gone. We don't do it anymore. And, and now, Things look totally different on the financial side and it's way less work.
So I don't know, where do we wanna go from
Julia: there? Which part was scarier for you when you were going through it? Was it that, was it scarier to consider keeping that up and sticking with it or scarier to like navigate mixing the offer?
it was way scarier to think about trying to maintain, maintain what we were doing.
Jordan: It was just way too many moving pieces and it was almost like, I remember talking to you a lot during this time being like literally every, every day something's broken. Every day there's some kind of issue with someone on the team issue with a client issue with like every single day I was fighting fires.
I'm like, Uhuh, I'm not doing this. This is not what I signed up for. I love managing a team, but it's way easier to manage a team that's supporting we we now. . So full transparency, we started with what we call our COO and team offer, which is an agency based model, but it includes time with me. So it's kind of like one-on-one consulting paired with our Done for You agency.
That's where we started this entire business. What I thought was gonna be a good idea was, hey, we'll take me out of it because our team is awesome at implementation, we can lower the cost, because I won't be doing any of the strategy stuff. We can just let people come in and access our agency team and get the implementation that they need.
It'll be great cuz it'll be more affordable for people. Like we can help more people. All this stuff. Yeah. No, no, no. That doesn't work. partly because we had like 20 agency clients last summer, which is a ton of agency clients and I wasn't involved in with any of them, you know, so they weren't getting any of the strategy.
And it turns out that actually what, what makes what we do really unique and valuable for people is the combination of the strategy and the implementation. And so you take the strategy out, all of a sudden now the implementation, it's valuable, but people don't know how to, they don't know how to use it effectively themselves.
You know, not that like, I don't know, this is what people pay me to do. Right? So that's, that's why I know that they get more bang for their buck when I am the one saying, here's where I think we should focus our time. This is gonna be an effective thing for you to spend time and energy and money on and let's forget everything else.
Without that, they're just hiring kind of like an overpriced. , like VA agency, not, I don't wanna compare us to that cuz that's not what we do, but that's how it, I think felt to them because they were just having to like assign out the task and it didn't make sense. Right.
Julia: Like, what are we implementing? If you don't have the strategy, then you're just like throwing spaghetti at the wall.
Exactly. But you have 10 people also taking your spaghetti and running with it. Yes. And so then it's just chaos. Instead of having the benefit of the strategy of this happens, then that happens. Yeah, that's,
Jordan: yeah. You're so good at that. Yeah, and I don't wanna, like, our team is amazing and lots of people did get tons of value from the agency only offer.
It just didn't make sense because of how, because I didn't feel like the value was up to standards for me, on the client side. And because it was such a nightmare, I was still having to be involved in the back end all the time, you know? So it didn't actually. get me out of it. And it was way more money to like facilitate, you know?
So that's why we're like, okay, no, we're just going back to the COO and team offer, which is one-on-one consulting and the implementation. And usually it's a higher amount of implementation, because we were letting people come in on the agency only side at like 10 hours a month. Well that's not really enough for us to even do anything for you.
Like we write you an email sequence and do a couple of other tasks and you've used all your hours for the month, you're not gonna see a ton of value from that over time. So unless you've also got the strategy piece, right. So that's gone. We went back to our original COO and team offer and we have a capacity for only five clients and that's what we will stay at because that's what I can manage on my end, you know, and we don't need a huge team.
We're cutting, we're drastically cutting back. We had seven employees at one point. We're gonna have three as of this month, you know, so that's a huge change in expenses, and we can operate way more efficiently. And so expenses are, you know, we're gonna cut our expenses in half from what they were for like most of the last half of 20, 22.
You know, that'll feel good. That'll feel really good. Okay. Oh, it already does. It's fantastic. Yeah. , it's, it's good on all fronts. It's good for clients, it's good for us, it's good for expenses, it's good for everyone. And that's how you
Julia: know you have a win. You know, when you were talking about, what it felt like when you were offering something that allowed you to have more capacity for all these other clients, but then on the back end, you guys were running around.
Something that I say a lot to everybody is when something doesn't make sense, it's because something doesn't make sense, right? And so you may look at something and be like, this offer should be perfect. It should be working great. But when something's not, then that means something doesn't make sense. And so now it's time to go through and figure out what needs to change.
Yeah. And so then when you're looking, because you can force something and really try to make it work. Yeah. Sometimes we need to give things some time in order to hit their momentum and hit their stride. But if it's thing after thing after thing and you're miserable and you hate it and it's costing you a lot of money, now it's the time to do that risk analysis and think about what's it look like if I were to do this the way that I want to and that I would feel really good about it, and then what would I charge for it?
And you also mentioned in there that what you're doing now is better for you guys, but it's also better for your client. And so it's a better value for them. And the pricing is gonna look different on that because of the, it's more hours. It's a higher touch thing. It's, it's gonna look different for them too, but the actual value of what they get.
Is so much better than the lower price ticket. And so that's something that I think we need to wrap our head around too when we're talking about money, is that sometimes the fairest thing to do is to charge more because you will be showing up better. You'll, you'll be able to give your time in a different way instead of being like, well, I need to have 40 people in order for this thing to run.
If you can, if you can lower that, but give away better service, well then your client is getting a way better deal. Yeah. In the long run, it's really important to
Jordan: remember that. Yeah, for sure. And that's why we, we redid our offer too for the mastermind a little bit. We, we reworked that because again, like this agency model I thought was gonna be the way to go.
And now that that was coming off the table, I was like, okay, well now we gotta figure. we're, we're not gonna scale this business just through the COO and team offer. We know that that's gonna be our core offer that's gonna have limited capacity that like, we don't have spots for that right now, nor will we have spots for that.
Maybe all of 2023. We'll see. Because when people come in on that offer, they stay. A lot of our clients who are in that offer right now have been in that offer since we started this business. You know? So that isn't even an offer that we promote. Typically. Every once in a while someone will roll off. So, so that is just kind of like set, it sits there.
We don't talk about we, we don't promote it, and we have the capacity to fulfill that and don't have to grow on that side of the business. Then it was like, okay, well how can we take this strategy and implementation combination and make this more accessible? And that's where our mastermind comes into play.
And honestly, I hate even calling it a mastermind. I've been talking about this a lot lately because I feel like when people hear Mastermind, they think something specific and it's like, yeah, but that's not exactly what this is. So. , and this is not a sales pitch for the Mastermind. but I think this is important to like, think through like our approach to changing the offer suite to make it work for me and to make it work for our clients and to make it work for our team and profitability.
It's like all critically important and it all comes down to your offers typically. So what we did with the Mastermind is we massively simplified. We used to have several options for people to come in on as like, oh, you can do just the Mastermind. You can do the mastermind and a bucket of implementation out.
Like there were all these options, different price points. No, no, no. That's all done. We have one option for the Mastermind. It's a set price. It's higher than it was originally and it includes five hours of implementation a month. Everybody gets that. The cool thing is when you come in, you're in the Mastermind, you can add more hours anytime.
So it kind of is this like perfect sweet spot between what we originally wanted with the agency offer in that people can have 10, 15, 20 hours a month of implementation. , but they still always have access to me through the mastermind for the strategy. But in a group space where we can go, we can go deep into the nitty gritty on any of their problems or questions or anything, but it's in a group setting, so it's actually scalable and other people learn from everything that people are asking anyway.
So it's actually more powerful, I think, than one-on-one. but that's now the two like core offers, COO and team, and then this mastermind and then of course our membership, which is like totally different. So
Julia: you've done a lot of work on, you know, figuring out your money, knowing where your money goes, having all of that support.
And I think that you also are very good at that. You have a very strategic outlook on things you're. , you're very good at knowing when something's working, when something's not working, and what the path out is. If you decide like, okay, we're gonna change your mind, you're like, so quick on that. What's one thing that you wish every business owner knew about the money side of things?
Like whether it's about knowing their numbers or planning something out. What's one thing that you feel like everybody should know and or implement?
Jordan: So I don't know if this is necessarily like what people should do, but I'll tell you what I do that I think is helpful, . So, I keep a pretty close eye on, well, I'm bad about keeping an eye on my expenses because I'm getting better at it. I'm getting better at it, but I'm, I'm bad at kind of keeping an eye on that in the moment.
What I do keep a really tight focus on in my business is revenue. So I have a revenue spreadsheet that is like literally the most simple spreadsheet ever created in, in the history of spreadsheets, and I'm happy to share it. If anybody wants to see it, just DM me on Instagram. I'll share it with you. But I literally just track.
When payments are expected to come in during the month and how much it is and who's paying it, so that I can see at the bottom a tally of what is expected for the month. And if we get a new client, I go add their payment in. and then I have like an estimate of how much I think expenses are gonna be that month.
And so I can see what our profit is gonna be any given month. And, and that's it. That's like the only thing that I really spend time on. But it's, it's really helpful for me to have my, my mind focused on here's how much is coming in. I think, you know, you wanna get woo-hoo about it. I think it's actually kind of a cool thing to focus on.
And because as my mind is always like expecting to add new things to that spreadsheet and expecting to see that number grow all the time, it's just kind of how I've set it up in my brain. And the other thing that I do is I have a revenue projection spreadsheet. and I have all of my offers on there.
I have the price points of all of my offers. I have, the capacity. So this is really important too, for like understanding your capacity cuz I've done this with, I've done this with people in quarterly planning intensives or annual planning, intensivess and even, you know, current clients that we have when we do quarterly planning where we look at it and say, okay, well what's your actual capacity for this offer?
Let's plug all this in and make sure that your numbers are even gonna come out right for a year. Cuz you said you wanted to make X and you wanna pay yourself y well then we have to have way more mem like members or people in each of these offers then you've got now. So like, how are we gonna do that?
And would it be easier to shift our focus to getting this many clients in this offer because it's a higher price point instead of spreading yourself thin and trying to get a hundred people in this offer. That's like those times types of things of like actually looking at per offer. Based on what your capacity is or your projections on how many people you're gonna have by that thing in a given year, what's your revenue gonna look like and how's that gonna contribute to your overall revenue?
I think people just kind of assume, well, I just need to get more clients. Well, but for what offer and for and and why, and what's your price point? Is your price point. I mean, there's all kinds of things that can break down on that one simple spreadsheet that can be really enlightening and Totally. It, it can totally change your offer.
Sweet. If you look at it.
Julia: Absolutely. I don't even love the number side of things, but those are the numbers that I do love. Mm-hmm. , and I love talking to people about what's going on with that in the business. Like how do you plan on making that happen? I have a similar, I don't use a spreadsheet, but I do a, like a Gantt chart timeline.
Mm-hmm. kind of thing. Mm-hmm. , I have that set up so that way for me, I can see. What's happening so that way I can see who's overlapping, where may I have some space because I have a wait list. So like where could potentially somebody be coming in or do I project that that person's going to continue because most people do, right?
So then I can kind of see where it is and then I can also see if there's gonna be any gaps in income. So that way I know what's going on. I'm a very visual person, so I like to see, I used Notion and so then I could have it for the whole year that I could see, but I'm sure you could do something like that in Excel.
I am not quite proficient in Excel, , so I like using notion. and then you were talking about adding things in and how good that feels and getting it in there right away, that's not even woowoo, that's just literally psychology and how our brain works. I was just talking about this before I got on this call.
our brain at any given time, , he's processing millions of pieces of information. It's our own thoughts. It's things that are going on in our environment, what's happening around us, what we hear outside, how our clothes feel. Like all these different things that our brain is processing, it can only actually make sense of and like sound in a small amount of those.
Julia: So when we have decided at the beginning of the day or whatever, like this is the focus, or even just overall in our business, like I, you know, I'm finding clients. I keep hearing about all these leads. I'm getting all these leads when we've decided that. , our brain is going to sound in on the evidence to prove that that's true.
When in if our focus is, it's really difficult for me to hit this revenue amount, all we're doing is tracking every day that it's like, oh, it wasn't there. It wasn't there. But when your focus is, I'm doing it, I'm taking the steps towards that goal every day or every few days, when you get a new amount come in, that's proving the fact that, yeah, we are stepping closer to this.
So what you've decided to focus on there is the, what your brain will look for the evidence to prove. So when you have like a positive goal that you're working towards, instead of just this floaty like, well, it would be nice to do that when instead you have the specifics with it. Now you actually have something to work with.
Like you were saying too, like, are, are we looking at, is it, is that the offer? Do you need to raise the price on that offer? Is it even physically possible for you to make that amount with the offers that you have? Or do we need to be reworking this? You don't wanna get to the end of the year and just be sad.
Mm-hmm. because you never really had the plan and you just kinda let stuff go wherever. So getting some specifics and that's coming from the voice of someone who absolutely hates sitting down and doing the numbers. And I'm telling you that once you start doing these numbers, it's actually so much fun.
Those are the fun numbers.
Jordan: It is, it is. And I like to even cuz we do this, I do this all with my clients, but I do it for myself too. I run good, better, best projections using this like revenue tracking spreadsheet that I've got. And I think that can be a really cool way to look at it too. I don't, I don't think I've talked about this on a podcast, but I think that that's a really cool way to do it because I just had this conversation with a.
And she had, she had done this one run through of projections and she was like, I just don't believe it. Like, you know, like, it's just like, yeah, I don't think that's actually gonna happen. And that's not a good way to set yourself up for the, the start of a year. You know, like, you don't even believe your projections.
That's not good, we're, it's not gonna happen. So doing it as like a good, better, best scenario and putting that one that she had create as her best case scenario, but then backing then into a good and a better case scenario. You create this bookend, this range that you feel safe falling somewhere in there.
And the good, once you look at it, you're like, oh, well I, I'm gonna do that. Just like, without even trying, you know? So then you've got this like, sense of safety to be like, okay, I think I'm gonna go for, for more. And that better area starts to feel like really comfortable to hit. And then who knows, maybe you'll be so comfortable, you'll, you'll hit the best goal.
But I think that's a really helpful way to frame it. .
Julia: I like that. I like that a lot. Money, mindset, how we feel about money. Especially maybe you've had your own business for a while and you've had some years that are stellar and then you've had other years that you felt like the bottom fell out and you don't even know how you're still in business.
That can be really, really stressful. And at the beginning of the year when we're starting to make these projections in, in my experience, I found that a lot of times when people are like, I don't even know if I can believe it. I just don't believe it. That's because they've probably had some experience in the past making projections.
And then the year was a little floaty and they got nowhere near close or things came up and they weren't able to get to it and it Their dreams were broken. Yeah, they were really sad about it. And so they're afraid to let themselves get their hopes up again in the future. And it's so understandable.
It's like the most understandable thing in the world because. , it hurts also, your brain is trying to get you to feel prepared for like, okay, but if that doesn't happen, what are we gonna do? We have to have a plan in case that doesn't happen because that's what you had to do when it happened. That's, that's one of those examples of, you know, it's a business trauma, but it's also quite traumatic in our whole life when we don't know how we're going to meet our needs or we're really, really stressed about money.
So when, if we're finding ourselves in that spot where it's like, oh yeah, that sounds nice, but I just don't even know. It's really important that we look at why are we feeling that way? We really need to validate the emotions around that. Okay. I'm feeling like that because I have this evidence. , this didn't work before.
And so that's making me feel like this. What am I doing differently this time? What, what have I learned from that, that I'm bringing forward and setting up differently this time in these offers? Or how do I feel like my, the energy I'm bringing to this, like how I'm showing up, you know, to sell it or to talk about it, or my own personal belief in myself, how is that affecting how things go moving forward?
It's really important to validate that, because, like you said, that that's not gonna be a fun way to bring it in into the space. That's something that people can even, you could have contracts signed and still be like, are those numbers right? Really no way now? Mm-hmm. , right? Like, there's still that, that feeling.
And so that's where looking at like, what's your mindset around. , you know, where's this money gonna go? What's the plan for it? What are you gonna do? And then let yourself move on to, okay, and then what are we gonna do after that? The good, better, best thing, right? Of like, you've hit this, so what's even better than that?
What's the best thing? Now you have a direction to move in. Instead of just really living in that timeline of, one time I thought I was gonna do it, and then it all fell apart. That's not the situation that you're in right now. And so it's important to get yourself in the current timeline that you're in and, and learn and move forward instead of just floating.
Jordan: Yeah. I wanna harp on this good, better, best thing a little bit. So I resonate so much with what you're talking about, and I, if I think I, I don't even know if I ever put this together, but if I think back to my very first business that I owned, I was definitely just like setting a goal. Like, oh, I'm gonna make, you know, this was, I was, this was a decade ago and I didn't know what I was doing in my business and I was just getting started.
And so a lofty goal to me at that time, and I know as a lofty goal still to some people who are just getting started and maybe haven't hit this milestone, was, I'm gonna make a hundred thousand dollars this year. You know, like that. I remember so vividly setting that goal a couple of years in a row where it was like, I'm gonna hit a hundred thousand dollars this year, and then falling short and being so devastated and like, wow, I am such a failure.
And that's just like my personality too. If I set a goal and I don't hit it like I'm gonna feel, I'm gonna feel bad. and it wasn't until my second business and I gotta give Anna Rapp. I gotta give her credit on this because she, she was my coach at this time and she's been on the podcast a couple of times.
Everyone should go listen to the episodes that we've, we've done with her because they're really great. But she was the one who suggested doing good, better, best financial goals. And I mean, I was like, mind blown. I was like, oh, duh. The other thing that she suggested was doing like quarterly goals instead of monthly, because everyone in this online space knows that months can fluctuate massively, especially if you're doing any kind of launching, you may see a bunch of payings or a bunch of people sign up, in one month and then like have a huge massive dip in revenue the next month.
So I thought that was so genius to set good, better, best quarterly financial goals. And that honestly, I mean, I don't know, that may have like been the thing that like drastically changed my money mindset in, in this business space because it was when I was in a mastermind with her that I did that when I was running my second business, that I, for the first time ever hit some of those financial goals that I had and I was like, whoa.
Oh man, I can actually like make the money that I wanna make. This is crazy. Like let's set it higher, like, and then it kind of, you feed off of that energy and it kind of snowballs, I think. And now I don't know, my, my approach to money and money mindset and my thoughts and feelings around money, around money are so drastically different than they were then I think because I have so much evidence for what's possible that my brain couldn't even like comprehend when I was running those first two businesses.
but still having the good, better, best financial goals I think is really, really important. And also thinking about things quarterly. So speaking of paying myself, that's what I'm doing this year is I'm actually gonna start paying myself quarterly because things can change drastically month to month.
Jordan: And I have different goals this year around money. And it's not just about how much I'm paying myself each month, it's also about cash on hand. And I'm doing like, I have some savings goals and I have all these other. Goals around money. It's not just about how much I'm paying myself every single month.
So I'm trying to balance all these different moving pieces on the financial side. And what feels safer and easier to me and kind of cool is to wait and see what did I do in a quarter, and then how much can I pay myself based on how much I wanna allocate to some of these other places. I'm obviously in a very fortunate position that I can do that because of my husband's income and our financial situation.
not that, not that we don't need our money, my money, but we can, we can budget accordingly based off of his, his income and then allocate my income to other things that we wanna do on a quarterly basis around savings and investing and those types of things. So we can split things that way. And I know not everyone can do that, so I wanna make sure that that's like clearly known.
but anyway, I, I think. That quarterly focus and that good, better, best focus is, is an absolute game changer. If you're not doing that, you should be doing that for sure. Yeah. Because if we
Julia: have a goal that we don't hit every time we set a goal and we don't hit it, it just knocks you out at the knees.
Yeah. But if you set a smaller goal and then you hit that, now you're, hi, now you're hyped. Now you're ready to go. And then you're ready to set the next goal. And so it's so much smarter to say, okay, how would I, how would I break this down? And quarterly is awesome because you also have these natural checkpoints happening then because when we set the big goal, you know, what is the, a goal with no plan is just a wish, right?
Where you can throw it out there. But just because it's like, okay, here we go. If we don't have checkpoints along the way, if you don't. , you know, if you make $10,000 for the whole entire year, what's your plan to make $90,000 in December? Like we, we, we need to have checkpoints along the way and breaking that down.
So I love the quarterly goal side of things and, doing some, some like, okay, you know, I like this quarterly paying yourself idea too, where you can look at the overall thing and say, okay, what do I get? What do I get to take home? One of my favorite things also Anna talks about is her, the freedom fund, right?
Mm-hmm. That when you get used to paying yourself a certain amount, and so what kind of a fund do you need to have? I think she suggests is it saving up $20,000? I think this are, I think true. Yeah. Yeah. And having that in savings, that, that's a game changer. If you can really look, because now your income's not going to be so affected by these lower months or you know, you have these big, big months, things start to start to stabilize off.
And so then you have that sense of security instead of. , oh, the, you know, feast or famine, that, that gets really exhausting and you can't, you can't really support your life off of that. You can't, you know, buy a house. You can't, you can't have a car or anything. If this month you're making a ton and then n and you spend it all, and then next month there's nothing coming in.
And so having that kind of stability and, and knowing what your numbers are is a huge benefit. And that can happen at any stage of your business, whether it's, you know, baby beginning of your business or you have a much larger business learning, like you were talking about with the cash on hand side of a thing.
That's something that if I could go back and tell myself at the beginning, like, Hey, start this a lot earlier, that would be one of the biggest things that I would be like, here you go. Yeah. This is the gift. You know that,
Jordan: that's the gift. It's so tough though, because like, there's just so much to balance and that's.
to go back to this whole agency model thing. Another reason why we're getting away from that, as our court offer and really keeping that side of the business small is because agencies are a cash hog and cash flow is a nightmare with agencies. And once I heard that, that was not an uncommon cuz I was like, oh my gosh, we're doing something wrong.
And then I talked to several people and someone told me, they were like, yeah, no, there's like million dollar agencies close to billion dollar agencies that still struggle with cash flow. I was like, oh hell no. I'm not gonna deal with that Uhuh. I I do not, I can't deal with that stress on a monthly basis worrying about cash flow.
It's just not any fun. So, that's why this year partly, you know, we read on our offer suite, so that cash flow isn't much of a, isn't as much of a problem. And our big goal on that side is to always have 90 days cash on hand. Now that's gonna take us. Several months to build back up to that now that we're cutting some of our expenses.
but that's our goal by the end of the year to always consistently have 90 days cash on hand. And that's a best practice that was told to me by our new financial firm that we're working with. So that came from them. Again, another perk of working with someone who knows what the hell they're talking about.
not that, not that anyone I was working with didn't know what the hell they were talking about, but I just wasn't even, that stuff wasn't even on my radar because I was just so in the weeds of the business, just like trying to make sure the expenses were paid, trying to pay myself, trying to like, you know, manage everything that when you're in it, you can't, I don't know, don't make yourself feel bad is all I'm saying.
Jordan: If you're like just doing the best that you can and you haven't, like, been allocating money to savings, if you have, great, if you haven't, you, you know, you'll get there. Make sure it's on your radar at some point. and maybe something needs to change so that you can. Focus on that, but I think that's important too on the, the personal side.
Obviously we've got investing and savings goals on the personal side, but just within the business, 90 days cash on hand was the, the role of thumb that was, given to us, which is just like, you know, three X your monthly expenses.
Julia: Yeah. Because things can happen and you, you don't wanna be in a make or break situation.
Yeah. And the thing with money is we all need it , but we don't actually come from a healthy place when we're thinking about it as much as most of us were maybe thinking about money mm-hmm. . And so learning how to get it into a spot of like, okay, this is good for what it's good for. I have it set up so that way, you know, there's safety here where my business isn't gonna fall apart.
I'm supporting my life in this way. That's the, that's the comfort side of things, right? Because then you get to do your job and then your job is what you wanna be doing, not crunching the numbers all day long to make sure, like, yeah, can I still do this job? So, especially for most of us who have these businesses, there's an aspect to our business that's very different than the, the number side of things that that's the part that we got into the business for.
Right? It's the, for you, it's the strategy. It's, it's coming up with these ideas so that way other women's businesses can thrive. Right? You're really in that hands-on spot with that. That's a lot of fun. And so then making the money is fun too. But when that becomes the driving force of, I need to find another client because I need this money, or else everything's gonna fall apart, nothing feels good.
Nobody feels happy when they're in that real scarcity place. Mm-hmm. . And sometimes we are there because, things happen and stuff gets tough, but if we can do what we can to have a plan in place so that way we don't have to think about it so much, it's so worth the maybe small amount of sacrifice and maybe you're, maybe you're not paying yourself as much and some of it's going into savings, so that way future, you has a cushion, and you know, there's, there's some sacrifice there, but it's so worth the planning and the looking into it and maybe the investing in someone to help you figure it out, so that way you don't have to feel so focused on that because it's just not the way that we're meant to
Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Yeah. I think the other piece is just getting comfortable experimenting with it too, and being willing to change it if it's not working. And that's, I think, the thing that a lot of people don't look at the numbers. they don't look to see, oh, okay, well I'm spending a massive amount of time on this offer.
I would need a hundred people in it to meet my goal. I'm only at 10. And, actually that's really not even contributing that much of my revenue. Like, there's all kinds of things, like I said, that can break down, or present, I guess present opportunities to, adjust or tweak that can make your business easier and more profitable.
And so I just, ah, man, it's just so important to look at that and be willing to play around with it and get rid of something or change something, raise a price, you know, many ways to, to tackle it. but sometimes it doesn't mean an offer needs to go and that clients need to be let go and like they're, it's not gonna be necessarily easy, but, it's so worth it if you can spend the time to really assess it.
you. honestly, and cut things that need to be cut or add things that need to be added or raise prices where they need to be, raised so that you can, like you were talking about earlier, actually feel good and show up and deliver the highest quality and not have to worry so much about, well, oh my gosh, I need like double the clients to meet my goals.
so you're so focused on that. You can't have, you can't even actually show up and do the stuff you need to do really well.
Julia: Has that amount of change surprised you? Like, did you think, okay, here I have this offer and this is, that's what you do. You build a business, you get the offer, and then the offer just like rides off into the sunset forever.
Did, did that surprise you that there's this kind of metamorphosis along the way so much?
Jordan: No. No. it, it didn't, I think it surprised me at how, I don't know, this felt like a. , much bigger and costly and time intensive experiment that I'm used to when it comes to an offer, because I make tiny tweaks all the time.
I'll put an off offer out there and then like a week later be like, Ooh, actually I want it to be like this. You know? So I just naturally do that. I like to experiment and tweak kind of on an ongoing basis. I've changed the price of my mastermind like 10 times. Okay. People probably don't know that because a lot of the ti, a lot of the times I don't even put it out there yet and then I tweak it a little bit.
So a lot of this stuff is just happening behind the scenes and I'm tinkering with things and usually it's not that big of a deal when you make a change. It's like, oh great, our prices went up a little bit for this quarter. You know, we kind of on a quarterly basis, will release a new service guide.
Usually there's some tweaks made to the offers. Usually there's some tweaks made to prices. Cause I think that's a kind of good time to reassess pricing on things. or a good frequency. , but it's never that drastic. I think what surprised me was how, I mean, changing your organizational structure from seven employees and continuing to grow, looking for, to hire more employees to cutting back to three is a very energy intensive shift.
It's not, it's not just, oh, I'll change the list of deliverables and the structure on this offer. No big deal. It's, Hey, we gotta get rid of, you know, we've got 10 clients that we've gotta put into a different offer, or fire them or refund them. Or like big questions around money and big questions around organizational structure that our, they include a lot of hard conversations and a lot of thinking through.
It's not just a, oh, we'll, we'll put a, you know, three calls in there instead of two. Like that stuff. Everyone should be doing that kind of stuff all the time, I think. But it's the bigger shifts. Shifts that. Are harder to do and harder to see through, especially if it's gonna impact your, your bottom line, which it probably is, at least in the short term.
Julia: I think that's probably the first of many . You know, when you think about how, how business feels, right? When you, you're making those smaller tweaks to the offers of raising your prices, that can feel monumental, right? Or maybe you have a client who's been with you and you have to have the conversation of like, Hey, our prices are going up, right?
Mm-hmm. , that's mm-hmm. , ooh, that's huge. When you have those conversations, that's a hard conversation to have. And then you move into the next phase of business and whatever that looks like, you're always moving into the next level of big conversation when things need to change. And so I think when you get used to doing that with the quote unquote smaller things, right?
Like. those conversations that when you look back, you're like, okay, this isn't gonna be the most fun, but I'm gonna have this conversation. Right. , when you practice showing up for yourself, advocating for your business like that, that's the practice rounds for when you're about to get into the, the scarier conversations or the bigger changes because you've built up all this evidence of, no, I do know what my business needs.
I need, I need to step in and, and stand up for the projection of the business and for myself at this. I need, I need to get in there and have this conversation or make this change. And it's, it's the, all the things that led up to that. And then in the future, this big stuff that you're going through now and restructuring and doing all those things, this is practice for something else in the future.
Great. Awesome. When the time comes. I know. I mean, I don't know, but like one can always, I was hoping that's how life goes.
Jordan: Gotten it done already. I already did all the hard stuff. Yeah. I mean we had to, you did. It had to layoff an employee. We had to lay off an employee that is like, nothing I thought that I would be doing in the first year and a half of my business, you know?
But it was like, well, we hired you to grow and run the agency. Well, if we're not growing it, I'm sorry, but like, we don't need your position. That sucks. But we just don't, and, and I can't afford to have you on and not have anything for you to do. You know, that just, it sucks. Those, those are the types of conversations that are very different than just like playing around with experimenting with your offer behind the scenes, you know?
Right. Because other
Julia: people are involved in there. Yeah, totally. So do you feel like that's changed anything for you moving forward as you decide to maybe in the future grow things? you know, with bringing on more team members or things like that, do you feel like you're gonna have some questions or gut checks that you're gonna wanna move through differently next time?
Jordan: I don't know. Not necessarily. I, I don't think it, it's not one of those situations where it's like, oh man, the writing was on the wall and I shouldn't have done that. It's kind of more. . I genuinely thought that that's the business model that I wanted to build. And I, there's no way to know that. You know, I probably used this quote before many, many times, but my grandpa says, decisions are like clothes.
Sometimes you have to try them on to see what you think about them. And I very much think that that's what this was, is that I had to actually fully try on the outfit that was running a big agency and see how it felt. And it just didn't feel good. It just didn't feel good for where I'm at in my life right now.
I mean, people probably know, cause I talk about it all the time, like I'm moving across the country for the 5000000th time. you know, we've got two very little kids. Like, there's just all of these other life factors that play into how someone might wanna run their business at any given point. And for where we're at in the stage of life that we're in.
I didn't wanna run a big agency at the time and. , I may come back around to it. That's, I'm like totally open to it that this business model, the way that we've structured it for 2023, may change for 2024 or for 2025, or who knows? And that's, that is the experimentation piece that you have to be open to, even if you come out on the other side of it, feeling pretty beat up, you know, from your experiment.
But that's, there's no other way to figure it out. And I think that can be scary, but it just is. It just is. You know?
Julia: Absolutely. And we've talked about that before on another episode about changing your mind, how important it is. Yeah. To be open to that and to the fact that you will need to Yeah. If, if you have everything figured out and you're doing everything a hundred percent perfect every single time, I don't know what's happening.
Right. We will all have times where we're like, this could be a good idea, and then we don't like it. Mm-hmm. , or we just, like you said, sometimes life is happening. And we're like, that just doesn't fit into how I want my life to feel. Mm-hmm. , which is usually one of the most important factors for us. Totally.
To bring into
Jordan: it. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. And, and that it can change. And I know we have talked about that a lot and we've kind of veered off the, off the path of money. Is there anything we should talk about related to money? Do we wanna like rant at all? I feel like we usually rant when we talk about money
Julia: I know ,
Jordan: but maybe this has been, maybe we need to save our ranty episode for like a little, a little short bonus episode at some point.
Julia: I don't know. I think we were money adjacent because how this for sure I felt about money to me is that sometimes, sometimes we, you know, we need to have the data behind stuff.
We can't just float an idea out there and then everything will come together if we don't have a. goal and then a plan, and then something that we're working towards. We don't have anything to measure. And so if you don't have anything to measure, you don't know where you're going or what's going on. So that, that piece of it with the money side of things is really important.
Mm-hmm. . And then it's also important to look at, you know, what's your motivation for this? something that I did wanna add is that, in my experience, most people are undercharging for their offers. Oh yeah. Mm-hmm. . And sometimes they're looking at like, okay, what's everybody else doing? And I, yeah, okay. A little bit.
But for the most part, I think that you should be looking at the service that you provide. The other thing is, the longer that you are in business, the more valuable you are. And so you need to be upping your prices with your experience as well. So, you know, float it out there, see what's going on. But most people are undercharging and so that is sucking the life out of your business and it's.
stopping your energy and it's stopping you from getting in front of the right people. Mm-hmm. , because the people who are ready to invest in whatever you may be doing, if it's too cheap, they're gonna wonder why ? And so you, you know, you may think like, oh, if I underbid this, I'm gonna get more cash in hand sometimes.
Okay. Here's my, here's my two pieces on this. When you're starting out, I do think that it's awesome to get cash in hand because that, that helps you build up your confidence that yet people do wanna pay to be with you. So I think that you should, you know, be, be charging a fair amount. , but also an amount that you feel comfortable saying out loud.
Yes. That's usually what I say to my clients where I'm like, do you feel comfortable uttering that price and then being quiet? That's what you know, I always grew up, my dad was always like, once you say the price, whoever talks next loses. And when you're in a sales kind of a conversation, right? Like if you say the price and then you feel you're gonna be like, because then you get this and you have this value coming up, and then we do that.
Shh. No more. No more . Mm-hmm . Like you need to have a number that you feel like, okay, this is what I, yep. It's gonna be this for that. And then feel comfortable with that. Yeah. And once you build up some steam saying that, then we re then you're looking at, okay, is it time to raise the prices? Because now you have some experience under your belt.
Don't feel like you need to shoot to the top of the. when you're at the beginning, if you're not gonna be able to confidently state those prices and stand behind those prices, but be ready that you're gonna stairstep your way up and raise your price. And then maybe one day be a market leader. But it's okay to go for the cash in hand thing, but you should be definitely checking on your prices a lot more often than most people
Yeah, totally. I, I totally agree with this. I think it does grow with experience, but it's also the confidence piece. I think that's the most important thing, which you mentioned, and that's what I tell people too, like if you don't believe the price when you say it or if it makes you uncomfortable, people aren't gonna buy it cuz they're gonna be able to tell.
So you've gotta feel comfortable with it. And that's why I like to raise my prices quarterly, every, and I don't always raise every price for every offer, but it's, it's an invitation for me to reassess, do I feel good with these prices? Would I be excited if somebody signed up for this offer? If the answer is no, and I don't want people to sign up for it, that's, that's not good.
Right. So that's an invitation to reassess the prices. And I think having some type of. just like regular cadence that you're thinking about that, whether it's yearly or quarterly or whatever, I think is really important. You had a different approach. I think you kind of, and, and I did this too actually within the first like year.
Ish of my business, every time I got a new client, I would raise the price for the next person because I was like, well that was really easy. And, and that sounds, I don't mean to sound like a dick when I say that. I just mean that, the, the demand was obviously there to support a new price and I knew that my prices were low and I needed the confidence of getting a new client to say, okay, yes, I can up my prices because that was a really easy sale for me.
And, and so then I eventually got to the point where it leveled out and I did feel like this is a really fair price. I feel good about it, it's fair for my clients for what they're getting. And you eventually reach that kind of like status quo on your prices and don't have to raise them as frequently, but figure out what's gonna work best for you for sure on like that frequency of raising your prices, cuz Yeah, I agree.
Almost everyone that I've ever worked with client-wise is undercharging, almost every single one of them. It's, it's never the other way around. It's never like, oh, they're raising their price every time and they're being unethical about it. No, no, no. That's not a thing. At least not with anybody that I work with.
They're always undercharging and they're never raising prices on their old clients. ,
Julia: yeah. . I know, but that happens a lot. Yeah. As far as the unethical, raising of the prices, that's where you'll unlock my rant because most people who are afraid of like, if I charge that much, is that even ethical? People who are unethical, don't stop and ask that question.
No, no. So it's just like, you know, lazy people don't think about if they're lazy, like, you know, imposters, don't worry that they're an imposter. Yeah. All the things that we're like afraid of and we're like, but if I did that, I think it would be like this. The very fact that you're worried about it is enough for us to know.
No, you're you're in the good zone. You're in the good zone. Yeah. Are there unethical pricing behaviors? a thousand percent. And I don't even know if we open, I
Jordan: don't think we should open that. I think we need to do a, a special, yeah, special bonus episode on granting about, money and transparency in the online space.
Because I know we could probably just pull, you know, a couple of our boxer messages back and forth and post those onto the podcast, but, yeah, I think let's do a little mini episode or something on that. That would be fun.
Julia: Yeah. Yeah, that sounds, that sounds like a lot of fun. But yeah, I don't think that those people are, I know for a fact that they're not worrying is this ethical or not?
So if you're like, if I raise this price though, is that even fair? Is that what you know? The fact that you're worried about being a fair person is wonderful. It's great. You're allowed to earn a fair wage as well, . And so you're allowed to be paid for your expertise. So try it out and see. The other thing is if you raise your price and then people are like, whew, man, I don't know.
And you're not feeling comfortable enough with breaking into a whole new market or demographic. Drop it back down. , go back down for a minute. Yeah, you, you're allowed to do that too. You have the flexibility. It's not weak to play with your prices up or down because y you know, if you're looking at, okay, here's my bottom line, we're a little shy, I just need to get somebody in here so that way I can keep this afloat.
All right. As long as you feel good. And you feel like the energy exchange is even there. Absolutely. Cash in hand, but probably up the price. .
Jordan: Yeah. Yes. Agreed. yeah, you can do literally whatever you want. So like, do that. I've done that. I've, I've upped and upped and upped and then gotten to the point mm-hmm.
where I was like, okay. It's been a while since we had like any inquiry, this was before, this was before we had this exact offer suite that we had, but, or that we have now. But then it was like, actually that feels really high. I think I'll pop that back down a little bit. And then that's where it's pretty much stayed.
So, yeah, play around. Do what feels good. You can do whatever you want. There you go. Absolutely the end. ,
Julia: bang, boom, .
Jordan: All right. Anything else we should leave people with on money? I think that was good.
Julia: I think that was good. I don't, yeah, I don't have much left . Okay.
Jordan: That's it. That's all we got folks. we'll be back, we'll be back with some more ranty stuff.
Hopefully this was helpful. thanks for coming on again. Thanks for having me.