I'm Dolly — a Nashville based branding photographer for small business owners & a systems + workflow educator (and Podcast Host) for creatives who want to be more streamlined and organized with Systems, Workflows & Dubsado. I'm here to help you look awesome (for your photos) & feel great about workflows!
Are you still struggling to figure out the finances of your business? Maybe you set up a business bank account, but looking at it is intimidating, and you can’t get yourself to sit down and dive into those numbers. In this episode, Sarah Becker, CEO of Becker Talks Money, shares how to develop a system for your finances for 2023 and beyond. If you are ready to get a step-by-step plan for creating healthy financial systems for yourself and your business, this episode is for you!
The Systems and Workflow Magic Podcast is brought to you by Dolly DeLong Education. This podcast is for creative business owners who want to learn tangible steps to automate their business through workflows, systems, tools, and strategies to go from scattered to streamlined with purpose because even muggles can become automated wizards.
Sarah believes money doesn’t have to be scary, that curiosity is more important than correctness, and that everyone can become an expert of their own money. (With a little bit of help — that’s where she comes in.)
When not crunching numbers, you can find Sarah renovating a river cabin with her partner, Barry, taking my dachshund, Gus, for a long morning walk (with a London fog latte), and planning to have Asian food for dinner (again).
Are you ready to automate the backend of your business with systems and workflows…but you have no earthly idea where to begin? Well, the Systems and Workflow Magic Bundle is coming out again in February of 2023 and this time the theme of the bundle = is The Systems and Workflows of All the parts of a Funnel! Doesn’t that sound like FUN(nel)?
To get on the waitlist for the Systems and Workflow Magic 2.0 Funnel Edition head on over here or go to (remember this opens up only ONE time a year and the 2.0 version is jam-packed with Systems and Workflow magic centered around Funnel Trainings!) https://systemsandworkflowmagic.com/
Introducing Sarah Becker (2:45)
Financial system tips for beginners (8:30)
When to start thinking about becoming an S-Corp (10:11)
Knowing your goals and your “enough” number (12:01)
The steps that follow after determining your number (17:46)
Having software for tracking your income and expenses (20:50)
Tips for the established business owner (27:37)
Reevaluating your income and expenses (34:31)
Consulting with a CPA (36:32)
Sarah’s contribution to The Systems and Workflow Magic 2.0 Funnel Bundle (38:08)
The Systems and Workflow Magic 2.0 Funnel Bundle https://systemsandworkflowmagic.com/
Waitlist: The Foundational Funnel Training Private Popup Podcast
Investment calculator: https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/investing/investment-calculator
Money routine checklist: https://beckertalksmoney.com/money-routine
Financial Foundations Checklist: https://beckertalksmoney.com/financial-foundations
15 Entrepreneurs Money Advice Checklist: https://beckertalksmoney.com/entrepreneur-money-advice
ALL freebies: https://beckertalksmoney.com/resources
Dolly Delong 0:01
Hello, and welcome back to the systems workflow magic podcast. I am your host, Dolly DeLong, and I just want to say I hope you’re having a wonderful and happy new year in 2023 so far! So I’m gonna be honest and transparent, at the time of this recording, we’re definitely not in the new year yet and I’m definitely still breathless with baby number two inside of me. So when this episode does air, I’m really hoping that I will be at home snuggling baby number two and I’m just pretty much future projecting. I’m hoping that as you are listening to this episode, 2023 is amazing and that nothing too weird or crazy has happened. And overall, I just hope that as a creative business owner, you have a sense of excitement about the blank slate of the New Year head. Speaking of a blank slate, a lot of creative business owners sometimes use the beginning of the new year to hone in on a goal or goals, and I think one of the best goals, which again, doesn’t necessarily have to begin at the beginning of the year, you can begin at any time of the year if you have a goal you want to work on yourself for yourself and your business. But a goal you can begin to create is honing in on the finances of your business and life because that’s so important. Now, as you know, I am not a money or financial expert in any way, shape, or form. Although I have been making traction and learning more about money in my own creative business journey, I think it’s always important to point you the listener towards the directions of actual experts who can hold your hand over this podcast and help you develop a system in whatever topic we’re covering. So, again, I want you to develop in this episode, I have an expert who is going to help you start developing a system for your finances for 2023 and beyond. My expert this week is Sarah Becker of Becker Talks Money and if you don’t know her yet, by the end of this episode, you’re going to be a huge fan of hers. I’m just going to let Sarah introduce herself, and share who she is, what she does, and how she serves other business owners, especially female business owners. So, Sarah, I’m gonna let you take it away.
Sarah Becker 3:09
Thank you so much, Dolly. I’m so excited to be here with y’all. This is just I mean, my favorite topic, obviously, is money. So thank you for having me on. I have been in the creative entrepreneurial space for over a decade now. I started off by photographing weddings, as many of us did still love doing that do it every once in a while, and I did that in New Orleans for a decade. In my mid-20s I got involved in real estate, I purchased a property with a couple of other investors that had been blinded after Hurricane Katrina and was just still sitting empty. So we turned it into a guest house, which was an amazing experience and I learned so much about money through that. Then I also started a third business with my best friend Logan, an elopement planning company, which we have now sadly had to say goodbye to because I’m all in on Becker Talks Money, and Logan is now the CEO of the School Styling, which is incredible. So yeah, a little shout-out to Logan. She’s doing all the things. So I really started talking to my colleagues and fellow entrepreneurs about money. I’ve always been the person who has been like, well, like, how are you gonna pay for that? Or like, what are you hoping to make this year? Like, is that gross or not, you know, super fun at parties and so, when the pandemic started, I had so many friends who were like, Okay, should I apply for PPP? Should I apply for unemployment? Like, what are these relief grants, we’re all trying to figure this out and through that experience, kind of learning about the resources that were available to all of us and walking people through them. People started saying, you should really be charging for this or you should really do a course or you know, something like that. So, last year in January 2022, I officially started Becker Talks Money, and it’s just been the best.
Dolly Delong 4:53
I love that. Sarah, I have to admit that I did not know that you had a background in wedding photography, that’s so cool. Well, I love that so much. I love learning new things about my guests. So thank you for sharing that, of course. So if you are listening to this episode live, I have some time-sensitive news to share with you today. After listening to this week’s episode, I really want you to head on over to the show notes and get on the waitlist for the systems and workflow magic bundle 2.0 funnel edition today. Yes, you heard me the popular bundle is back but in 2.0 form. So if you are ready to sprinkle in some systems and workflow magic of funnel building into your business in 2023, get ready my friend coming February 6 through February 10 of 2023. You are going to have access to over 30 plus experts who are going to be contributing different funnel-related resources to help you grow your own top-of-funnel, middle-of-funnel, bottom-of-funnel, and beyond-the-funnel strategies for 2023. This bundle includes resources from experts such as Ellen Yin of Cubicle to CEO, Ashlyn Carter, Linda Sidhu, Krista Miller, and Kate Doster, just to name a few, and so many more amazing experts and industry leaders. You don’t want to miss out on the systems and workflow magic bundle 2.0 funnel edition. So head on over to systemsandworkflowmagic.com or head on over to the show notes. Either way is 2023 the year you learn more about funnels and how to apply them to your own business? I certainly hope so, and as always, stay streamlined and strategic with your workflows, you amazing muggle you. I’ll see you at the funnel bundle. Well, again, I’m so happy you’re here. And I know like we are going to be talking about a topic that people are always so curious about and not everyone really enjoys diving in more. It’s like, yeah, it’s both sexy and unsexy.
Sarah Becker 7:33
People have a lot of baggage about money, there’s no one that doesn’t have a little baggage and some stuff to work through. So it’s a loaded topic.
Dolly Delong 7:40
It is. And I’ll even be open to admitting that it’s loaded for me, and I don’t have as much baggage as I used to, but I still carry around some baggage. Especially as a creative business owner, I think it’s more important than necessary to dive into this topic. Because more women need money, not just so that they can just have money just I think it’s important to be empowered and confident to know that you can have a working relationship with money, and not let it consume your life and be so icky feeling like you can have a really good relationship with money. So this is another reason I’m really happy you have agreed to be on the podcast today, I have a feeling like this is gonna resonate with a lot of female creative business owners, and it’s gonna help them out a lot. So do you mind sharing some tips on what sort of systems one needs to get started with financial systems? And maybe this could be a two-parter. So speaking to the newer creative business owner who just is now getting started, and then speak to the quote, unquote, established business owner who may look successful and could be successful, but they’re also drowning in that, you know, that baggage that luggage of money mindset so, can you speak to both groups?
Sarah Becker 9:05
Absolutely. So the first question I get from people starting a new business is, what do I need to do with my money? Like, do I need to separate it right away? When do I get an LLC? How long can I wait? because people want to avoid it right? Before you make your first dollar, go to the bank, start a business bank account, and get your EIN, an EIN is an employer identification number. It’s just like a social security number for your business. So you can get it through irs.gov, it’s super easy, it’s free, and you’re gonna get it the same day. You’re gonna need that to get the bank account, okay? So get that first, get the big account separate immediately, and you will be so grateful that you did because you cannot know what’s going on with your money in your personal life or your business life if they’re put together, right? Knowledge is power. We’re trying to get the correct information, so we need to split that up. If you’re choosing this stay a sole proprietor, you still should split it up. If you do the LLC, it’s going to make it even easier to split it up, get that business credit card, pay it off every month, and start there. When it comes to more established businesses, well, first of all, I think a lot of people who have decided to be an LLC should also be electing as an S corp at tax time and are not doing so. So that is a big, big, big money savings, I had a client come to me who was making around $300,000 a year and was still an LLC, she was losing about 10%, you know, a year just off of not being an S-Corp. So if you’re making around $70,000 a year, it’s time to start thinking about becoming an S-Corp. So that’s another really important system to have in place. If you were established, if you’re like, Okay, well, I’ve got that if you’re listening to this podcast, and you’re like, check, check, check, like I’m awesome. That’s I’m so proud of you, I’m so excited. Another big thing to start thinking about once you have some discretionary income, right, you’re not just scraping by is saving for retirement. Because as entrepreneurs, we don’t have an HR department, like we’re not given a form to sign for our 401k, right, like, we’ve got to figure this all out on our own. So I always recommend people start out with a Roth IRA, the max is $6,000 a year, don’t wait until you can max it out to start it, start it and put $50 a month in there, like just getting started, the magic of compound interest is going to help you so much, and remember, I mean, as entrepreneurs, you know, we have to hold all these roles and wear all these hats you know, insert idiom here, but this is a really important one. I always tell people, that if you are investing in your future self, it’s a good investment and retirement accounts are an excellent investment.
Dolly Delong 11:48
Awesome. Wow, that was a lot of information. That’s notes. And I’m like, okay, so you divided that up really? Well. Thank you so much. So do you mind if we backtrack a little bit?
Sarah Becker 12:00
I wouldn’t love to, yes.
Dolly Delong 12:01
So let’s say there is a listener listening to this podcast, they may be either one year in or under one year in, a new, established business or they are planning on going into full-time business. So can you like actually hold their hand and tell them okay, what is step one? What should they do to start off that system?
Sarah Becker 12:26
So to have a system, you have to know your goals. So I always start out with people, I call it an “enough number”. So if you have a traditional job, let’s say you get a job, you’re gonna make four grand a month and this job, you’re like, amazing, I have four grand a month, how am I going to spend it? As an entrepreneur, we have to reverse engineer that and we have to say, Okay, how much do I need to pay my bills? If it is three grand a month, okay, how do I make that? All right? Not how do I spend it. So we always start with that and I always tell people, your “enough numbers” is based on how much you’re spending right now and how much you need to be spending right now. So we might have to look through some of your bank statements and be like, okay, like, was this target run? Well, what was this for? We really need to figure out exactly how much you need, then we can add on a little bit of padding, I always add on about 20% for like, more discretionary items, and then we’ll know how much money your business needs to make, right? Because if you don’t have a system for figuring that out, you’re not going to know if your business is successful or not, and this differs for everyone, you know, especially women in our age range, having kids, I mean, I have some clients who are like, all my business needs to make is 15 grand a year because I want to take a couple of great vacations, I want to pay for my kid’s daycare, that’s all I want to do. Then some people are like, I need to make 150 grand a year, my kids are in private school, you know, it’s a different cost of living. So that’s another reason why an “enough number” is so important because we hear a lot in the entrepreneurial space about a six-figure earner or a six-figure year, look, and let me tell you, very few of us need to be making six figures to live a happy, fulfilled secure, responsible life, right? My enough number is 70k. If I make that I am Golden, and I’m still saving nearly half of that for retirement. So I really like to dig deep on what are people’s enough numbers, and then we can put a system in place to figure that out. As a plug for me, I have a little money routine checklist that kind of goes through, it’s like okay, what should you do every week, month, quarter, and year? And I think I can send you the link for that for your show notes. And it’s really great. Because seeing that checklist, you’re gonna be like, here’s what I need to do. And I also have a little financial foundations checklists for people who were just starting, that’s literally like, first we’re gonna get the EIN, then we’re gonna get there. We’ll see how to do this. Because it is overwhelming. And what I find a lot of feedback I get is like, oh my gosh, I set aside an afternoon to do this, and it just took an hour, it didn’t take all day. It didn’t take a week to take a month. But I think the avoidance factor because it feels scary, right when you’re dealing with the government and when you’re dealing with money so people avoid it, which I totally understand what got us going.
Dolly Delong 15:01
It feels so good when you get it done. All right. Totally agree with that statement. And unfortunately, I don’t know if you feel like this. But whenever it comes to, like, tax season or like getting the numbers together, I feel like the government makes it so complicated too, I don’t know, my husband and I are both like, why is this is so complicated? Because we just want to do everything right, and not go to jail, and you’re probably;y laughing at me, she’s like, you’re not going to jail, because you’re paying everything. I’m like, Well, I just want to know if you will send me a package if I ever go to jail.
No, yeah, it’s very important to remember that you’re not going to go to jail over taxes. It’s wild to me, you know, I have a past client who moved to Europe and you know, in the European country she’s in, she gets a bill from the government, if she owes anything, the government figures it out for you over there.
Dolly Delong 15:52
Tell me what I need to pay instead of guessing. Okay, so I love that you started off with like, reverse engineering, your enough number and tuning off the message of “well you need to be a six, seven-figure business.”
Sarah Becker 16:11
The new number right now is seven and eight figures, like we had six figures but it isn’t even good enough anymore.
Dolly Delong 16:16
Well, I guess I’d be happy.
Sarah Becker 16:24
Yeah, and something I’ll say about hiring is that it is unsustainable, and many of my clients who decide to do it are like, I’m going to do this for two years, and I’m going to buy my dream house cash, and then I’m going to have this much in retirement and I’m going to peace out. So I think that is a little dangerous to say, get a six-figure month and get a seven-figure month that takes so much and for most people, it is not their core value. So if you’re thinking, you know, because I talk about money all the time on Instagram, I get all these Instagram ads, and it’s like, level up to seven figures. You know, and I’m like, Okay, you’re not listening. But I think that if you were tempted by those, really think about what is it that that money signifies for you that you really want. Is it the security? Is it freedom? Is it the flexibility? All of those things can be managed without that insane system, which again, I also have to say like, probably less than 5% of people who buy that program are actually going to make that. That is an insane amount of money. You know, I love it, every couple of years, a new study comes out that shows like, if you’re making around $80,000-$90,000, once you make more than that your happiness does not increase, to be able to not have to worry about money is huge, and that is such a privilege, and it’s what I want for all my clients. But once you hit that point, we don’t have to worry about it. It really doesn’t make a difference if you’re making double that.
Dolly Delong 17:46
That’s true. Oh, that is so true. I love that. Yeah, you guys, if you need to rewind, go back 20 or 30 seconds, really listen to that, like, you just need to find what is enough for you. Then, again, reverse engineer, as a business owner, then what Sarah was saying that extra padding of 20%, then once you have established your number, and what’s the next step that you would suggest?
Sarah Becker 18:13
Okay, so then the next steps are typically service or product-based businesses are going to have a couple of different offers, and I definitely recommend that right? You don’t want to be selling a high ticket offer only but you also want to be selling a low ticket offer only. So for a wedding photographer, this could look like okay, I’m shooting $5,000 wedding packages. I’m shooting $2,000 packages, and I shoot $400 portrait sessions or you know what have okay, so we’re mixing it up. And I love calculating like, Okay, if your enough number is, you know, 50 grand a year, then you need to book 10 of those $5,000 big events, or then you can toggle and you can see like, Okay, what if I only want to do five then how many limits would I need to do? How many portrait sessions would I need to do? And I recommend checking in on that every quarter because then you can see, I’ve only booked two so I need to book more lower ticket or oh my god, I’ve already booked eight so I don’t have to do many sessions this year. Or you know what have you. I mean, I have a client who was service base, she was working five days a week, Monday through Friday, and she realized she can work 80% of the time and make enough money and now she takes Fridays off. She hasn’t read a Friday in over a year. That’s huge for her. When she talks about six-figure months, she was like I want the time, I want Friday to do whatever I want before my kids are home for the weekend, and that is amazing. She was already able to do it, she just didn’t realize it.
Dolly Delong 19:29
Oh, that is awesome. I love that. So yeah, the first thing that comes to my mind when you say a variety of offers is like a ladder, and yes, it is. Isn’t it?
Sarah Becker 19:42
Yes, it is. It’s definitely a ladder. I think that diversification is really important in how people are finding you and purchasing from you whether you’re a service or a product, and I also think it just adds security to know that you have a variety of offers for a variety of people. financial situations at the time.
Dolly Delong 20:01
Gotcha, and I would say it’s also good to hone in on what your actual offers are, instead of like us being, I don’t know, I can’t even think of one.
Sarah Becker 20:15
Like throwing spaghetti at a wall with like 25 different things. I don’t overwhelm people, I want to direct them, but I think it’s really valuable to have a couple of options.
Dolly Delong 20:23
I was gonna say, don’t be a buffet to everyone. Like, I’m praying, right now, as we’re like, doing this like, word like, oh, food, like, what analogy? What can I do with food? No, right?
Sarah Becker 20:37
No, absolutely. And the offer should be consistent with your brand and should make sense for your ideal client, for sure. But you know, I mean, I have ideal clients who have purchased all three, you know, small, middle, and big and that should make sense to all of them, you shouldn’t be redundant.
Dolly Delong 20:50
Okay, I love that so much. Okay, so let’s say, because like, I just love everything in like steps. So you have your enough number figured out, you have all your offers figured out, and you have the small, middle, and large. What is another system and another step in this financial system?
Sarah Becker 21:11
So when it comes to tracking all of your income and expenses, that’s really important, because if you’re not tracking, you’re not gonna know how many of each offer you’re getting, you’re not gonna know how close you already are enough number and any of that information. So it doesn’t really matter what kind of software you use a lot of people like QuickBooks or FreshBooks, I use Wave Accounting, and it’s free, which is amazing. It is really easy to kind of go through and categorize stuff. So I recommend doing that once a month. I do it once a week, but only because it’s my job and because it’s fun for me, right? You do not need to do that and when people set up, you know, like a retirement account, I’m like, you can just check this once a year to pull your statement for your accountant. It’s detrimental to be watching, right? So a system for your income and expenses is really important but for investment, you can be much more hands-off.
Dolly Delong 22:00
And I’m just writing this all down. I love taking notes while I am talking with guests. And you guys, the notes will also be in the show notes of this episode and blog post so that you can go back and read through your listening because this is a lot of information. But these are steps like I wish somebody had walked me through the beginning of my creative business journey instead of me figuring it out.
Sarah Becker 22:28
So I know if we’re figuring out enough, right, like, let’s try to make money easier.
Dolly Delong 22:32
Yes, I would love that early on. So okay, so that’s awesome. Do you want to add anything else to this? I guess the system is a checklist for beginner business owners.
Sarah Becker 22:42
No, I think that’s probably plenty for you guys. That’s enough homework for today, you’ve got a good homework assignment.
Dolly Delong 22:49
Hey, friend, if you are listening to the systems and workflow magic podcast, I just want to say thank you for allowing me to bring some systems and workflow magic into your earbuds every single week. It seriously means so much to me that you are tuning in. As a thank you to all of my listeners, I have a special gift for anyone who wants to take their system and workflow strategies around funnel training to the next level. Are you ready? I have created a free private pop-up podcast dedicated to the systems and strategies of funnels. It’s called the foundational funnel training private podcast. If you try to look it up in your favorite podcast app, you won’t find it because it’s a private training. So here is what is inside this free, fantastic foundational funnel training private podcast. You’ll get access to four episodes, all dedicated to teaching you the different digital funnel parts and strategies which you can, in turn, apply to your own creative business in 2023, and hopefully beyond. So day one is dedicated to the top-of-funnel strategies. Day two is dedicated to some middle-of-funnel strategies. Day three is dedicated to you guessed it, the bottom-of-funnel strategies. And finally, day four is dedicated to more of a continuation of funnel strategies meaning what should you do with your new leads that have come through your funnel so that they are not scattered but streamlined and want to continue to get to know you? And the best part, I have invited over 20 different industry leaders who are experts in these different parts of the digital funnel. So it’s not just me that is going to be educating you, you are going to be learning from some amazing female business owners who are not only encouraging, but they are so knowledgeable when it comes to these specific strategies at the top, middle bottom, or a continuation of the digital funnel. Again, this is all for free. And you’re probably wondering, well, what’s the catch, Dolly? Well, because one, I just want to give you a behind-the-scenes look at the new systems and workflow magic bundle, the 2.0 funnel addition, coming later in February of 2023. And I wanted to give you some strategies to use straight out of the gate when you begin planning and strategizing for your business in 2023. So I want to give you some free education. The fun begins on January 31. And again, as a reminder, each episode drops until February 3 of 2023. But don’t worry, I’ll have replays up until February 11th of 2023, then it does go away forever. Not kidding, it really does go away after that. So if you are wanting access to this private podcast, then make your way to the show notes and snag the first intro episode. And that way you can get the episodes all queued up for January 31. When they drop in, then they will stream to your favorite podcast app. Again, go to systemsandworkflowmagic.com/private-funnel-training-podcast, I realize that’s a really long URL, or just simply head on over to the show notes and get on the foundational funnel training private podcast waitlist, so that you will get instant streaming to the four days of digital funnel training when they dropped. And again, if you sign up today, meaning before January 31, you will get instant access to that first intro episode. So let me ask you, what are you waiting for? Are you ready for some fantastic foundational funnel education? I truly hope so. I look forward to seeing you in the private podcast reading. Until then stay streamlined and automated you magical muggle you. Let’s switch gears and let’s focus on the established creative business owner. Like, let’s say they are making six figures a year yet. But yeah, there’s this sense of like still fear with money or baggage or they don’t know where their money is going. But they know bringing in money speaks to those business owners because I still think there’s importance in education. Even if you’re Oh, yeah, six or seven or eight figures a year, you should know where your money’s going. Maybe that’s just me, but I’m like, know where your money’s going?
Sarah Becker 28:13
Yeah, absolutely. I think something that established business owners really struggles with is when do I make certain investments in their business, and how do I decide when the right time is. I would say the first piece of information we know for that is that you need to know how much money you have in your business to spend and that might sound super simple, but a lot of people don’t really know. So I really recommend if you’re an S-Corp, you’re required to do this by law. If you’re an LLC, you’re not but I recommend it for both, and what that is, is pick a monthly amount. That’s your personal quote unquote, salary every month, and have it auto pay from your business account, then you’re going to be able to see like, Okay, if you need two grand if you need six grand again, that’s the “enough number”, okay, so pull it into your personal account, and then give it a quarter and see what you’ve gotten your business count. Now, this also depends if you’re seasonal or not, right? Like as wedding photographers, we’re definitely seasonal. There’ll be a couple of months where I’m like woah, and a couple of months where I’m just, I’m wealthy. I’ve made it in a couple of months where I’m like, do I need to get another job, this system really helps with that. Because if I have a huge month, I don’t spend any more money personally, it’s just in my business bank account. If I have a bad or you know, a lower expense, I don’t want to put a moral good or bad on how much money you make. If you have a less lucrative month, it doesn’t matter because you have that built up. Then at the end of each quarter is a really good time to assess, okay, how much money is in my business account? If it’s nothing if you’re just breaking even, it’s time to start thinking about okay, am I either going to lessen my personal expenses? Or am I going to up my business prices or my business output like something needs to change, right? If you have a good amount of money in there, then it’s like okay, well, was there a course I really wanted to take is there you know, a mastermind that I want to join? Does it make sense to put that money towards that? Also, does it make sense? Like, do you need a little money in your personal life? Are you saving for a car or house or something like that, then you can put give yourself a little bonus, you can bonus yourself out at the end of each quarter is kind of the system that I recommend. Because I think entrepreneurs especially, I don’t want to be limited to a certain monthly amount. And I’m like, oh, no, you’re and that is just a baseline, right? You can always pull more if your business is super successful, like good for you. But having that system is really important, then you can kind of see trends, and no investments are hard to decipher, I think that risk-taking is something that is important to get comfortable with, especially as an entrepreneur, you really have to stay flexible. And I mean, I know you know this because you have invested in courses, and you’re a big advocate for that, and you’ve been in masterminds, but like leveling up your business is also really important. You don’t want to stagnate, and I also find that there are years where I’m spending more on that. For instance, in 2019, I spent $350 on education, in the end, that’s it. And then the next year I spent like $3,000, right? So again, it’s because I had a really great year in 2019. I was like, You know what, here are some things I’ve been really wanting to learn, I’m going to invest in that, and that really leveled up my business in huge ways. It’s just making sure, do we have the money to do it and do we have the plan to pay for it. Like, is the money going to be coming in? Is this investment going to make me more money? A very nerdy little exercise I like to do sometimes is I’ll pull up an investment calculator and be like, if I invested this money today in the stock market instead, how much would it be in 10 years? And if I’m like, Okay, it’s still worth it. I’ll do it. But if not, I’m like then no I won’t.
Dolly Delong 31:36
Do you mind sending that link to the investment?
Sarah Becker 31:41
Absolutely. I mean, and again, money is not everything. It’s not the thing. It’s not the only value we have in our lives. So don’t base every decision. Not that but I do find it helpful sometimes when I knew I probably shouldn’t spend money on something.
Dolly Delong 31:53
Yeah, that’s good. I’m glad you brought that point up. Because like, I grew up in a very conservative-minded house, and we weren’t really allowed to ask or talk about money. So that kind of like, I don’t know, that really inhibited. Like, I don’t want to say I was a victim because I wasn’t like I just, I don’t know, it took me a while to like start having a healthy relationship with money, treating it like this is really personal and bad, and that’s another reason why I think it’s really important to talk about it create these healthy systems for yourself like Sarah was saying, it’s okay to like, assess this every year. And yes, you assess and see, oh, I can’t logically pay for this mastermind for, yeah, the next six months and don’t do it, you can assess in the next six months. And you might do so yes,
Sarah Becker 32:48
Absolutely. Also, you know the “enough number” has changed so much over the years too. And you know, like this year, we purchased a home and there are a lot of improvements we wanted to do with it. So I’ve really had to go back and be like, okay, yeah, we’re gonna pay for this, figuring that out, and then figuring out that we could do it.
Dolly Delong 33:06
Oh, I will brag about my husband a little bit. Here, Ty if you’re listening, both live and recording in the future for this episode. I am so grateful because he’s the one that cast the vision for us with financial spreadsheets. I will have to share a personal story here just because this makes me giggle. A few years ago, when we were paying off all of I’m going to say my student loans. He called me the Excel spreadsheet, I imagine like, can you imagine and it will go and it’ll feel inspired. Like I opened it up for me at the dining room table. This is like when we lived in our old house before we had kids. Can you imagine a presentation? I was just cracking up and dying, but he had it all laid out and it made sense, and it made sense to me. We were out of debt within 19 months. That’s amazing. So I just had to like, throw that like it’s good to sit down and assess your finances like you were sharing. I was like I’m gonna share that story about Ty
Sarah Becker 34:18
It’s like we scripted it but we didn’t guys, I promise.
Dolly Delong 34:24
You imagine make yourself your own imagine presentation and yeah, you can do it. So. Okay, so you had shared that for more established business owners just like some systems have, you need to know how much you have in your business to spend and then pick a monthly amount and auto-pay yourself from that amount, then at another point is at the end of the quarter, you can assess your financial situation if this is working for you, and then what any other steps you would recommend for a more stable financial system?
Sarah Becker 35:01
Yes. So one thing I would say is just because you’re established again, don’t think that you don’t need to reevaluate, we should always be constantly reevaluating. Another tip I have for I mean, no matter where you are in your business is to think about your budget annually instead of monthly. If you have fluctuating income, this is such a great little mindset change. So like, you know, if I have like an Adobe subscription, that’s $50 a month, I’m like, that’s $600 a year, I don’t think about it as $50 a month, right? So that is really helpful. And it can really help too in you know, less lucrative months, like we were saying, feel confident, because you’re like, Well, I budgeted annually, so I know how much I need per year, not per month. So that’s another huge thing. And I know that it can be hard to figure out, like, if you’re budgeting personally, you can find like, a method 70/30 80/20, you know, and it’s really hard to do that as a business, which is why I am creating have created a little business budget boot camp. So that I will walk you through like, okay, exactly how much percentage-wise, should I be budgeting for all of these things, so that you can really determine the health of your business. Then obviously, you can tweak it for what works for you, but I think sometimes it’s hard to see like the forest for the trees, as they say, and if you’re just looking at all these numbers, you don’t know if you’re really where you should be progressing to have a profitable business.
Dolly Delong 36:18
I love that so much. And that’s called the Business budget Bootcamp, and that will be also in the show notes, everyone, I have a bunch of notes to share from you from Sarah, you guys are gonna love it. Okay, so these are both really good points. So if you are a brand new creative business owner, or you’re brand new, starting up a system for yourself financially, please listen in. And even this is for the established business owner as well. Sara shared a lot of things and these are things I am now stepping into myself. I’m gonna have to talk with my CPA about this, so that’s exciting. Actually, with me being transparent, we just started Roth IRA for my own business, and I always like butchered the name of it, so I’m not even gonna say it. So because I don’t want to be even more but that’s something that you really have to sit down and if you have a spouse, sit down and talk with them about it and talk with your, we have financial planner, so we spoke with him about it in my passion planner, then spoke with my CPA, and so we figured out a system that would work for my business. And you guys, I’m not like raking in 6, 7, or 8 figures.
Sarah Becker 37:29
You’re not an eight-figure earner, Dolly. What are we doing here?
Dolly Delong 37:33
Eight-figure business? Like just kidding.
Sarah Becker 37:36
Yeah, next year, it’s gonna be like 11 figures. I’m like, All right, like the Jeff Bezos at all. I’m not interested. That’s like the anti-me.
Dolly Delong 37:50
Oh, my goodness. Well, yeah. So I share that just to be encouraging to anyone who’s Oh, yeah, you like, I’m not making like, I’m like that six-figure yet, because I know myself in my business, but I’m still able to save for retirement. So this is like, very empowering. I’m excited about my future. So anyways, I wanted to wrap up and I wanted to ask you, Sarah. Do you mind sharing what your resource is for the systems and workflow magic funnel bundle? Because Sarah is going to be contributing this amazing, amazing mini-course about finances for your small creative business and she is going to teach it like, it does fit in relation with the funnel, so I’m gonna, like, let her share just a little tidbit about what it is.
Sarah Becker 38:42
Yeah, absolutely. So very, very exciting. The Business Budget Bootcamp is what’s going to be in the bundle. I chose this because I’m like, literally built it for this bundle, because I wanted something that was applicable for both new business owners who were starting out with a funnel, or more established business owners that are like, Okay, it’s time for the funnel. So I think this is a really good gut check for everyone. We’re gonna go through kind of like the three main budgeting systems I see people use, we can pick, you know, what is best for you. Through the mini-course, there are a lot of spreadsheets, there’s a lot of worksheets, there are checklists, it’s going to be great. And so if the stuff we talked about today about the quarterly check-ins, if any of that feels overwhelming or exciting to you, this will be a great resource for you to really pin it down. And again, it’s a mini-course, it’s video based. So it’s literally me and I’m also always available to my students via DM and email for any questions that come up. So I’m excited to walk a cohort through this program because I really believe in it and I think it’s extremely helpful.
Dolly Delong 39:43
You are going to love this and I know I’m really excited about this as well. Pretty much you all if you’ve been like keeping up with these episodes, you know, I’ve been slowly introducing all the contributors and haven’t even been able to introduce all the contributors because there’s over I can’t even think right now over 30 different contributors now. I’ve been highlighting a new contributor and seriously, all of them are amazing. It is coming out at the beginning of February, but I just want to introduce the contributors to you and just like give you guys a taste. This is going to be value-packed and jam-packed.
Sarah Becker 40:26
Yeah, I’m so excited. I’m so excited to get the bundle and, of course, all the other ones. So I’ll be right with you guys learning together.
Dolly Delong 40:34
So Sarah, how can people find you, work with you, follow you, share all the things.
Sarah Becker 40:41
Yes, absolutely. So you can find me on Instagram @beckertalksmoney. My website is www.Beckertalksmoney.com, and if you add backslash resources there, it’ll take you to all my free checklists and guides and you can just go HAM go crazy. And if you want even more Dolly content, because who doesn’t? Dolly was featured in one of my favorite little PDF ebooks. It’s called 15 entrepreneurs sharing their best money advice, and Dolly is featured in that. So thank you, again, Dolly for being a part of that. And you can find that on that web page as well.
Dolly Delong 41:11
I’m not saying it was really good because I was in it, I would be like very narcissistic.
Sarah Becker 41:17
People are so funny. The contributors like, Oh, my God, you didn’t tell me that so and so would be in here too. Everyone was like starstruck by the other people, which made me feel really good.
Dolly Delong 41:24
I just loved all the contributors and it really was a great PDF resource. So yeah, if you haven’t yet go and download that, then can you tell us about the free resource that you have for my guests today?
Sarah Becker 41:40
Yes, absolutely. Yes. We’re all guests here. We’re all in Dolly’s office at this point. So the money routine checklist is super awesome. It’s going to walk you through, what did you be doing every week, month, and quarter gear for your business finances. And because I go 100% and 1,000%. There’s also the financial foundation’s checklist for y’all who are just starting out. So you know, pick your poison, download both download one, whatever you like.
Dolly Delong 42:06
Yes, but remember, just take it one day at a time and then reach out to Sarah because Lily Yeah, money talk can be very, very intimidating. But Sarah makes it fun.
Sarah Becker 42:16
And yeah, and I’m always in my DMs I tell people to slide on in.
Dolly Delong 42:20
It’s true. I feel like I’m always asking your questions now. About like, I just switched over from one learning course to another learning course Thrive cart. And I have been asking her questions nonstop. And like, Okay, how do you do this?
Sarah Becker 42:38
I love it so much. I’m happy to be an Unofficial Ambassador for Thrive cart. If you’re listening and you want to make it official. It’s Hello, at Beckertalksmoney.com.
Dolly Delong 42:48
So please, like take her up on that she’s really fun and nice and kind and, like, so much wisdom. So thank you so much, again, for tuning you totally. I will have all of the links and resources mentioned in this episode in the show notes!
Sarah Becker 43:09
Thank you. Thank you.
Dolly Delong 43:15
Thank you so much for listening in this week and I look forward to chatting with you all next week. So have a wonderful and happy new year 2023, I’ll talk to you all next week. Bye. Thank you so much for listening to the systems and workflow magic podcast. You can find full show notes from today’s episode at DollyDeLongPhotography.com/podcast. If you’re loving the podcast, I’d be so honored if you’d subscribe and leave a review on your favorite podcast player. Be sure to screenshot this episode, share it with your stories, and tag me @DollyDeLongEducation on Instagram. Until next time, go make some strategic workflow magic.
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