Pay Yourself Six Figures

How Much Revenue Does Your Business Need to Generate So You Can Pay Yourself Six Figures

This week I’m sharing an interview I did with my buddy, my dear friend, Meg Casebolt, founder of Love At First Search, and the host of the Social Slowdown Podcast. Meg is one of my absolutely diehard favorite humans and we work together in my business.

I hired Meg and her team to support us with SEO strategy. I know there are a lot of women in The Bold Profit Academy who are also delighted with her expertise in generating leads away from social media. Who doesn’t like the thought of being away from social media? I mean, y’all know I have a complicated relationship with social media, that’s why I love unpaid growth strategies, working with Meg around SEO, and being able to unplug myself from the matrix.

Meg knows her craft inside and out. She is a bonafide expert with SEO and organic-led generation through targeted content strategies. That’s why we love each other. We speak each other’s love languages. Our focus over here at The Bold Money Podcast and The Bold Profit Academy is to show women, small-business owners, just like you, how to get paid like the expert you are and how to create a bold-profit business without burning out.

In this conversation with Meg, we talk about how to get super clear on how much money you need to make to pay yourself six figures, how to use your Revenue Goal Calculator to do that, and why it matters to start from this point. I really enjoyed digging into why having a big audience to make large revenue is a myth. I always love busting that one, and how, when you create the right product for the right audience, you really can start to get paid and build wealth finally.I am excited to be hosting a webinar in a couple of weeks with Meg. We’ll be talking about why you don’t need more leads to make more sales. Join us on August 23, 2022.

Meg Casebolt: Hello, Tara. I am so excited to have you here to talk about different ways that we can market our business and be really profitable in our businesses without necessarily needing to have super-bloated expenses. I feel like you are the person to talk about this with. Really briefly, why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself and your business and who you help?

Tara Newman: Sure. Well, first of all, I’m really excited to be here with you today as well. You’re one of my favorite people. You are smart as a whip. I always get so much out of our time together. So thank you for having me on.

Meg Casebolt: I know we’re supposed to do quarterly planning sessions. Sometimes it’s like, “Well, let’s just complain about things.” Sometimes you need someone who’s aligned with your values in such a way that it’s like, “We just understand each other I think.”

Tara Newman: For sure, for sure. Well, I’m Tara Newman and I am the CEO and founder of The Bold Leadership Revolution. I think just to be quick about this, my mission is to really do maybe three things. One, take women from being fearful around money to being financial powerhouses. That is beyond a mission at this point. This is a mandate.

The reason why I actually use the word financial powerhouse is in a 2018 survey put out by American Express, the State of Women Small Business Owners, they do an annual report, and they talk about how basically, few women are making money in businesses. 88% of women small-business owners are making under $100,000 in revenue.

Meg Casebolt: So gross, top-line revenue. Not take-home pay, we’re talking about what your entire business makes.

Tara Newman: Yeah, so let’s be clear for a second. This was a 2018 survey. I don’t think it’s improved much since then, to be quite honest, and at the end, they talk about only 1% of women have businesses over a million dollars. What they say is that when you get to that point, you’re this real financial powerhouse.

I was with them the entire survey and study until they said that. Because I think anytime that we can give women an understanding of how money works at any point, they become a financial powerhouse. It may or may not lead to necessarily a million dollar business, but it leads to a heck of a lot more good in the world than we have today. That’s why I specifically use that term “financial powerhouse” because it really stuck in my craw a little bit from that survey.

Meg Casebolt: I want to really quickly hop in here. I have a Master’s degree in International Development. I don’t know if you know this about me. One of the things that I wrote my master’s thesis on is this idea of how when women get money, whether it’s in the developing world or here in the United States where you and I are, when women get money, entire communities are impacted. When men make money, it goes into boats and bank accounts. It tends to be more insular.

Whereas when women make money, they hire other women, they invest in their communities, they make changes to the way that their households are run. I don’t want to use the term empowerment because that feels like it’s being pressed into somebody as opposed to coming from within, but it really does make a difference in not just that one person’s life but also for the greater good around them. There’s research around that. This idea of being a financial powerhouse just resonates with me so much.

Tara Newman: Yeah. There’s a lot of truth to that one, men and women think about money differently and use money differently for sure. I’m a Profit First Certified Consultant so I work very closely with Mike Michalowicz and the team over there at Profit First, to help them with their mission of eradicating entrepreneurial poverty.

But it was really interesting that through my journey—I’ve been certified for a little over a year—through my journey of working with women in this way in our program The Bold Profit Academy, what I started to realize was his book starts way ahead of where we actually are; that when you look at what is happening in the female small-business ownership space, it’s a very unsexy thing that’s called the lack of financial literacy and a lack of business knowledge.

If we can just plug some holes there and give women competence in business and money, then their confidence will grow truly actually and be embodied and not be fluffed up like what we’re seeing in some of the online space today. It’s very important to me to democratize business education for women, and to do it in a way that reduces anxiety, is calm, and is a safe place for worn out and weary women-business owners to land.

Meg Casebolt: Yeah. I think there’s a lot of shame around these conversations.

Tara Newman: Tremendous amount.

Meg Casebolt: Yeah. It’s not just what’s your top line revenue, it’s like, “Well, how did you not know that?” Then we feel so guilty and shamed for not having these foundations. But so many of us, we don’t have MBAs. We’re not going through these processes of coming up with these business plans. So many of us are bootstrapped, home based.

This wasn’t something that was the plan when we went to college. I mean, some of us have advanced degrees; therapists, coaches, and people who have really great trainings, but the trainings that we’re talking about do not include business training. So you can be an interior designer, and pass the acid exam and have no idea how to price their services and have no idea what your markup should be, and how to get clients. That’s missing, but because we’ve gone through this educational process, because we have these skills, we don’t want to acknowledge that there’s a knowledge gap there.

Tara Newman: Correct. That’s why I really love working with experts because I work with female experts who are amazing at what they do. They have done the schooling, they have done the years of professional development, they know how to get their clients results, and it’s so frustrating to see them struggle financially to make money, to grow their business, and to get clients, at the same time, I know how sensitive it is because they’ve been rewarded for their being the expert, they’ve been rewarded for being all knowing, they’ve been rewarded for being seen in that way and they have to have all their sh*t together, they have to have all the answers.

The reality is they don’t even know what they don’t know. That’s terrifying. I’m not here to be a guru. I am not here to be better than anybody else. As a matter of fact, please don’t work with me if you need me or you’re looking for a savior. I’m here to stand shoulder to shoulder as an expert in what I do, partnering with you as the expert in what you do, and making a really great team.

Meg Casebolt: Yeah. I think you make a really good point, which is that we are experts in our industry having that insider knowledge of what it is that we do best but the marketing, the sales, and the delivery is not always something that’s easy to understand so, when you’re in that space of “I am an expert, but I don’t know how to get clients,” the narrative that is being sold to you in all of the places that most of us online-business owners are looking is, “Well, here’s the formula. Here’s the solution. You can go create this funnel, and then if you run Facebook ads to it or if you have a really thriving social media presence, then people will go into the funnel and they will just automatically become your clients. All you need to do is be visible.”

There’s that term of visibility that I feel like I hear all the time and I’m like, “Visible to whom and for what?” is always my follow-up question. One of the things that you told me on our first call many, many months ago now is “I work with experts, not influencers.” I would love to hear you make that differentiation of how you define an expert, how you define an influencer, how the ways that they make money can be different.

Tara Newman: Yeah. Listen, this is just one girl’s opinion. We’re going to set that up right now. I’m not pretending to be an expert on this at all. But I’m just an observant person. I think what’s happening—and maybe you can lead some insight to this too, and I just talked about this on a podcast episode that I did yesterday—is that experts are using influencer-marketing tactics and it’s the wrong tactic for the business model.

Influencers, if you want to go into the Wayback Machine, if you’re like, “Where this all started?” and get a really cheeky view of it, go watch the Joneses with David Duchovny, I think it came out in 2009. I don’t know if you saw that but they were basically these influencers where they were driving around in all these fancy cars and and their neighbors wanted to be like them. Meanwhile, they didn’t have a pot to pee in. They were being subsidized by all these brands. Anyway, it’s a really cute look at influencers.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with influencer marketing. I actually think that it’s a revenue stream. It’s an option for people that’s viable as long as you understand what it is and you are knowledgeable in it, and you know how to use the appropriate strategies. Influencers are selling their lifestyle, their identity, to promote a product or a brand that they use. Honestly, a lot of us do it. A lot of us just do that. If I’m recommending a product, I’m being an influencer, whether I’m being paid for it or not.

Meg Casebolt: But I think there’s a difference between being an affiliate for a program that’s deeply aligned with our values or being somebody who is saying, “This is a product that I use and therefore you should use it and I am going to get sponsorship for the fact that I’m doing this.”

Tara Newman: Listen, there’s sleazy and slimy crap in every industry and everything. But if you’re an influencer, it’s a lot of inspiration content. It’s a lot of “Look at my lifestyle. Look at how I use this thing. Look at what I’m doing here. Swipe up and here’s my link. I need 10,000-plus gazillion followers because that’s how I get my brand sponsorships,” and things like that. It’s a different model.

If you are an expert who’s charging a premium price for your expertise in your service, you don’t need ten of thousands of Instagram followers, who are mostly bots by the way. Go watch Fake Famous on HBO Max. You don’t need that many people. You need to be using your social strategy to make sales. How do you make sales using a social strategy?

Here’s where I think people get off. We’re missing a gap. If everybody’s like, “What are my blind spots? Here’s your blind spot,” you are applying a tool without having a system or a process. In The Bold Profit Academy, we teach that sales process. What are the steps in a sales process? How do those steps align with your buyer’s psychology, with the way your buyer is thinking so that you can meet your buyer where they’re at, so we’re selling from a place of empathy? This is what we teach.

Then apply whatever tool you want. Use Instagram, use a webinar, use an ad, however you want to use it, but at least understand where it fits in your process. For example, I think social media is a great sales tool. Back in the day, if somebody was going to come in and make a sale, say in a B2B environment, a business-to-business environment, they’d pick up the phone, they’d say, “Hey, can I come in and make a presentation about my product?”

If they got through on that cold call, they’d say, “Sure, come on in,” then they’d open their PowerPoint, and they’d walk you through a consultative selling experience where they are understanding what your needs are, they’re positioning their solution, they’re overcoming your objections, and they’re making a sale.

All we’re doing now, or what we should be doing, is using technology and online tools to do that. You no longer have to come on site and do a PowerPoint presentation. You can outline your PowerPoint presentation on Instagram. You can outline your PowerPoint presentation in a set of blog posts that are found through SEO. You can outline your sales presentation in a webinar. They’re tools for a process and we are missing that.

Everybody’s like, “I need to jump on the latest fad. I need more eyeballs on my things so I’m going to do Reels because Reels is adding a gazillion followers to people’s accounts in a very short period of time.” No, you need to understand how to walk your buyer through a decision-making process to make a sale.

Meg Casebolt: The tool that you’re using for that is irrelevant.

Tara Newman: Irrelevant. I mean, it’s relevant in the sense that you want to pick a tool that your best-fit client is using.

Meg Casebolt: Yes, but it’s not that everyone should be using LinkedIn because that is the best tool. It’s if you’re working with corporate clients, you may want to post on LinkedIn, you may want to have a way to reach those people. Figuring out who your buyer is and where they’re hanging out and finding a way to connect with them, but it doesn’t have to be millions and millions and millions of connections in order to make a single sale.

Tara Newman: No, I mean, that’s overwhelming. I get folks who come into my programs who have been following some of these more traditional online-marketing strategies webinar to funnel kind of stuff and running ads and they have hundreds of new contacts being added to their ActiveCampaign, but they’re not converting.

Now, they’re managing all of these contacts, and trying to figure out how to engage them and they wind up just getting dumped, essentially and ignored, because there’s no strategy or it feels too overwhelming for them. I have an incredibly small email list, but I use it very well because it’s one of my primary sales tools.

Meg Casebolt: It’s not the size, it’s how you use it. But I think it’s true, you can have an email list that’s tiny and has a great conversion rate. A much larger percentage opens, they click, they buy, you can have a much more profitable email list that’s small, or you can have 10x or 100x and have people who aren’t opening, who aren’t clicking, who aren’t buying, so what’s the value of having that larger “audience”, wherever it’s hanging out in your email service provider or on your social media or wherever you’re collecting that information? But then if nobody is engaging with you, if nobody’s buying from you, then you’re just absorbing the cost of having a larger email list because there is an expense to the size.

Tara Newman: Yes. That’s really my biggest concern. I want women for their sanity. Let’s just talk some facts for a second. One of my favorite things to do with social media is to do research, to listen, to ask questions, and to have polls. Some of the data that I’ve got from my Instagram community is really telling. 91% of them feel like social media is not accurately portraying small-business ownership; that they’re glorifying small-business ownership. My Instagram community is brilliant.

Meg Casebolt: Well, they’re following you so they must be doing something right.

Tara Newman: 86% of them responded that they feel like the online-business culture promotes that your revenue is tied to your value as a person and as a human being; that your revenue and financial success is now creating an identity. That has also been discussed on this Coffeezilla, he’s got a YouTube channel, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of him, but he interviewed a professor at Copenhagen Business School about fake entrepreneurship.

The reason why entrepreneurship is that we’re actually seeing a decline in valuable entrepreneurship which is actually a problem because it’s become so identity based, about their identity. “I just want to call myself an entrepreneur.” There’s a status to that and he talks about it in there as well.

Then 100% of my Instagram population said that in 2022, prioritizing their mental health is mission critical and we have to really consider how our financial situation and outcomes impact our mental health, our level of stress and worry. Gallup has done a poll in women small-business owners. 61% of them have reported experiencing daily worry, which is dramatically higher than their male counterparts and linking it to money-related issues, including things like access to capital, money knowledge, and things like that.

Meg Casebolt: But I think to a certain extent, the worry would also come from that lack of financial literacy; of “If you don’t know what your cashflow is going to be that month, you’re going to worry about whether or not you can pay your expenses or pay yourself. Or if your expenses are so high that you aren’t paying yourself, then you’re going to be freaking out about the fact that your business isn’t making money.

But if you don’t even know what your profit numbers are, it’s something that I struggled with for my first couple years of business too, where I could tell you what my top line revenue was, I could tell you all the money the business was making, but it wasn’t until I got to tax season, then I was like, “That was not a great year for me.”

But I wasn’t keeping a finger on the pulse of how much I was taking home because I wasn’t paying myself regularly. I just let the money sit in my business banking account, or I would take money when I needed it but it wasn’t on a regular rhythm of now I pay myself on the first of the month and I pay myself through Gusto so I know that I’m going to be paying my taxes.

I didn’t have that knowledge that that was something that I should be setting up or how much I should be paying myself. There was so much hesitation about doing things wrong that I just wasn’t doing them at all.

Tara Newman: Yeah, and we’re at an inflection point. I know a lot of women small-business owners don’t take in as much news, business news, economic news, and financial news beyond what they are getting in their feeds, which is largely based on algorithm, is largely based on recycled content, is largely based on confirmation bias because they feel like that’s overwhelming and that’s scary.

I’m not saying they’re bad people because they don’t take in this information, I’m saying I understand this as a pain point but we’re also at an inflection period. When you look at what’s happening around us, I’ve been in the online space for 10 years, you could spit and make money in 2014-2017, it was really easy. You didn’t have to have a lot of business knowledge. You didn’t have to have a lot of business acumen.

I mean, heck, I’ve watched people just have one lucky break in a Facebook group where the Facebook group owner of a 10,000 person Facebook was like, “Hey, you should go work with so and so because she’s amazing,” and the next thing you know, her business was 10xing overnight. That’s not reality.

But these are the things that were happening and that’s slowing down. That’s not happening anymore. Your buyers have been scammed. They have been grifted on. Especially women, because women are the largest group of people who are entering small-business ownership. If you don’t think the marketers know that you are a prime target for them, they are getting real crafty with the way they market based on identity. If your business has problems, you’re bad and wrong. It’s something wrong with your mindset. 

Meg Casebolt: Right. It’s not that your business model isn’t working a certain way.

Tara Newman: You can sit down and do a math problem and it’s becoming self reinforcing. We’re watching these messages become self reinforcing. Lots of people like talking to over thinkers and as somebody with ADHD, I’d like to give this the big middle finger, like “You’re an over thinker. Stop being such an over thinker. That’s a mindset. We need to fix your overthinking.” I don’t know, maybe I’m just a deep thinker. Maybe processing my thoughts is my genius.

Meg Casebolt: Yeah, that’s really concerning. I haven’t seen that show up but I’m also trying very hard to not take in this kind of input for me right now. But I think that overthinking is a strength of mine, maybe not overthinking but processing information, gathering information from a wide variety of sources and trying to find patterns in there.

If somebody tries to tell me “Stop overthinking and do this instead,” that’s a red flag for me. Because I’m like, “Well, what am I not thinking about? What are you not thinking about if you think that there’s something here?” What are you trying to keep me from knowing about how things are actually working by gaslighting me into believing that there’s something wrong with me or that I don’t need to know that piece of things? I believe in simplification, but I’m concerned about people over-simplifying to tell their own narrative and to shut you off from information that can be valuable.

Tara Newman: Right. What’s happening is we have a mass amount of women who are looking for the new frontier of business, and they’re flocking to the internet in droves, like the pioneering days when people are flocking out west for The Gold Rush. We’ve got women flocking to the internet. The internet is a big place. But they’re finding social media, and they think that is the internet and that is the way.

Now they’re in the matrix, and now they’re taking in all these messages about how bad and wrong they are. They don’t know what they don’t know. But they know they have some blind spots, and they’re so willing to trust somebody else over trusting themselves, that they wind up buying into all of these marketing tactics that are very expensive, and don’t really yield a result. That is where their profitability is flying out the window. Why aren’t business influencers and web celebs talking about profitability? Who benefits when you don’t profit?

Meg Casebolt: They do because you’re spending money with them.

Tara Newman: Who benefits when people tell you that you’re in scarcity, you have a scarcity mindset. Don’t be scrimping and saving, scrimping and saving is bad. I think saving is the best thing ever. Because when I am more discerning with my dollars, I don’t have to f*cking work as hard. I don’t have to work as hard. I’m keeping more of what I make and then I’m not chasing all the new dollars in the door.

Meg Casebolt: Yeah, and there are ways you can use your money to make money passively that aren’t passive income, it’s called investing your money. But that’s a totally different conversation.

Tara Newman: How do we unhook people from this? I think what was really interesting, and again, I said we’re at a real inflection point so I’m bringing a lot of things together here. I was watching the LulaRich documentary. What I found most fascinating about the LulaRich documentary is if you’re an MLM, fine, I don’t care. Make money how you want to make money.

I think that lots of people start in MLMs and realize that’s not the way and there’s a better way, but they like being independent and they like making their own money, then they start small businesses. I’m not judging anybody how anybody makes money. But this is my point. They enter into an MLM and they’re told, “You’re running your own business.” You’re not.

Meg Casebolt: You’re a distributor.

Tara Newman: You’re a distributor for somebody else. It is not your business. Then they’re hyping them up around lifestyle, hyping them up around abundance. Since people don’t really understand what wealth is, especially in this country, we associate it with more things so they start to go that path and then what was really fascinating in LulaRich was that then they started to encourage them to have their husbands retire because then if you are out there buying all your Louis Vuitton, your trucks, and your husband’s retired, guess what?

Meg Casebolt: You are dependent upon that income stream.

Tara Newman: You are now enslaved and you don’t have a choice. However, what can solve this problem? A little bit of business knowledge, a little bit of business literacy, and a little bit of financial literacy. I watched a woman on the show spend $55,000. I’m going to pull out my calculator, I wasn’t planning on doing math right now.

Meg Casebolt: Live math happening now.

Tara Newman: Because this really fascinated me. This was when I started to feel this is a mandate for me and not just a mission. Some of them were making six-figure checks from enrollments each month. These women who got in early were making a lot of money, and one of them went and spent $55,000, took her $55,000 check and bought a new truck and then winds up going bankrupt by the end of her tenure as a LuLaRoe distributor.

Now, if she took that $55,000 and instead put it in just the total stock market index fund, she was in her 30s, so let’s give her 30 years for retirement, and their compound interest over the last 50 years is on average about 11%, let’s be conservative, say 7%, she would have turned that into $418,000–

Meg Casebolt: In 30 years by investing it.

Tara Newman: Yeah, and instead she’s bankrupt—I’ve been bankrupt—and now needs to spend 11 years repairing her financial situation from declaring bankruptcy. That was just one check. They were getting multiples of these.

Meg Casebolt: Oh my gosh.

Tara Newman: Listen, this isn’t just happening in MLMs. Go watch some of these cult documentaries, these MLM documentaries, and you start to draw the parallels between that and the online-business industry.

Meg Casebolt: Our friend Maggie has been talking about this a lot too.

Tara Newman: Yup. Maggie Patterson and Michelle Mazur, hosts of the podcast Duped. If we can just get more of this knowledge and talk more plainly, and be willing to be beginners and not experts, and not go, “Well, I know that already,” or “Learning something new is scary,” or any of those things, but if we can just be the slightest bit brave and take a tiny step, we can be keeping so much more of our money than we are and using that to generate greater wealth passively.

Meg Casebolt: I also think like maintaining our wealth, holding on to our income, but also making more by charging more, it’s okay if your business model is low cost, high volume, but you’re going to have to hustle to get the amount of people into your funnel to do a $50-product, $100-product and sell thousands and thousands and five thousands of them, or if you’re an expert, which is who you are talking to, the folks who have this high level of expertise, don’t sell $50-products, sell $50,000-contracts, you only have to sell one.

Tara Newman: Right. Let’s unpack this for a hot second. There’s nothing wrong with low-dollar products per se and this is where we lack a lot of nuance in this conversation. Membership sites, low-dollar products, those are great if you’re working a nine-to-five and want a side hustle, another revenue stream, all for that.

Those products are great if you already have established, consistent revenue coming in and you want another revenue stream. Great. As long as you’re doing it because you want another revenue stream and it’s fun, and you’re not doing it because you’re trying to get the people to pay you who keep telling you you’re too expensive, they are never going to buy from you, stop.

Meg Casebolt: Let me just say that again to make sure that we hear it. If you are currently running something that is a higher-price offer, and people are saying you’re too expensive, then making something less expensive does not mean that they will suddenly buy from you; the objection is not necessarily the cost of your service, it’s how they portray the value of what it is that you’re trying to give them.

Tara Newman: Correct, and they’re not valuing you, and you never want to work with them ever, ever, ever. Because we don’t work with people who don’t value us ever. Period. End of story. Don’t do it. There’s a place for these offers when you might be ready, when you might be considering it, but they are a lot harder to sell, they’re a lot harder to sell than a higher-dollar offer. If you’re going to be spending your time somewhere, I’d like to see you spending your time on selling a premium offer.

However, here’s what the marketers know. The marketers know that you don’t want to sell. The marketers know that you don’t want to have difficult conversations. The marketers know that you don’t feel comfortable or confident communicating your value and owning your area of expertise. So they are giving you a let off. They’re saying, “No problem. You don’t have to do any of those things. Sell a $47-product, people are just going to click on a link and buy, you won’t even have to talk to them.”

You go, “Awesome.” It’s going to take some time and some work and women love work. Women love to work, women love to work for free. Women have been conditioned to do all the free work, all the annoying little tasks that nobody else wants to do, women will raise their hand over and over and over again. So they’re like, “No problem. I got this. Hold my beer.”

Meg Casebolt: Yeah, I can hustle I can do the work. Watch me.

Tara Newman: I can do it. I can sell 4,011 the $147 products to get to a revenue that will actually allow me to feed my family and then have to do it year after year after year.

Meg Casebolt: Month after month after month.

Tara Newman: Right. Hold my beer and then they go, “Oh wait, I can’t afford beer so don’t worry about the beer.” You’re being manipulated. They’re using your internal psychology against you. If you’re not willing to do the work to reverse your own internal psychology, and by the way, this is the work because as a business owner, you have to constantly fight against human behavior. Think about it. Human behavior is comfort seeking.

Meg Casebolt: Protect yourself.

Tara Newman: Fear avoidant. Risk avoidant. It’s our brains.

Meg Casebolt: We don’t want to change. Our brains want to keep us where we are. They do not want us to change anything about our lives because that is a fear of the unknown.

Tara Newman: Right. Fear of the unknown, fear of uncertainty, all those things. Every single thing that a business owner has to face every single day. You cannot let them manipulate your internal psychology, you have to control that. That is the one thing you actually can control. Inflection point, we’ve got inflation happening. People are like, “Oh my gosh, inflation.” Freaking out. Freaking out about inflation.

You can’t control inflation, but you can control how you think about inflation and how you run your business during inflationary periods. You can control the way you think about it. Why are so many people allowing marketers into that protective safe space in our brains? I don’t get it. Why are we letting people tell us how to think?

Meg Casebolt: I think because it’s scary to blaze your own trail and it’s much easier to follow somebody else’s framework. If somebody can promise you that their system works, then there’s comfort in knowing that someone has been there before you. If you don’t know your numbers, which is why you and I really get along, if you don’t know your numbers, then you can believe someone else in saying, “Oh, it’ll just work out.”

Then you chase every sale, chase every sale instead of “How much money do I need to make overall? How much money do I need to live on? Then how much money do I need my business to make in order to have the take home pay?” It requires the math and math is a lot.

Tara Newman: This is what’s interesting is that marketers will tell you that people won’t buy information or knowledge, they won’t buy competence. They’ll buy confidence. We’ve got all these “feel good, feel good about your business, feel good about your money, feel good, feel confident,” it’s all manufactured. But really you need to be buying competence.

That’s why, for me, it’s about democratizing business education. It’s about selling competence, skills, tangible, things you can take away and use forever and ever and ever. Nobody can take your skills away from you.

Meg Casebolt: No one can take your knowledge away from you. The tools that you can use can go completely under. When I think about the product launch formula that everyone for years and years was doing the three videos, each of which has an email, they talk about the same pain points because they’re following this formula and it worked really well for a short amount of time. The half life on that was about a year.

For about a year, we saw everybody doing these three-part video series, then over time it started to peter out because it stopped working as well because everyone was doing it. But the skill of knowing how to talk about what it is that you sell does not go away. It’s just the format of the three-part video series. The tactic versus the strategy, you were talking about sales processes, it’s nothing about the sales process has changed, it’s just the way that you’re packaging it up can be different.

The tools, whether that’s the three-part video series or the webinar with this format in your slides or the social media to go into the DMs or whatever that is, those are going to change all the time, but the skills of knowing how to position your offer so that way your audience is interested in knowing how to price your offers so that way you’re actually making money from it, knowing how to track how profitable that offer is, how much time are you actually spending on that service? What is your conversion rate for that product? How many people do actually need to get into your website and into your email list in order to make a sale? Knowing that information is not something that people can take away from you or wave a hand at and say, “Oh, no, no, my way is better. You’re overthinking it.”

Tara Newman: Right. Here’s what this boils down to: there’s a cost to making money, there’s a cost to selling, and there is a cost to delivering. What we need to find is the balance, the harmony between the cost of selling and the cost of delivering. Where you’re picking up a lot of cost in selling, a lot of cost in money, a lot of costs in time, and a lot of costs in energy is when you are putting out reams of content, new content all the time, content-content-content.

I want you to log your hours that you spend on content creation and include that into all of your working hours, not just the delivery of the service. I tell you, you’re better off working at Starbucks. I can almost guarantee it. Why are we putting out so much content? Well, that’s what the marketers are telling us to do. Or, okay, we are going to sell this low-ticket offer, we’re going to enroll you through a funnel, through a webinar, and we need to make five sales a month.

Do you know how many people you need to get on the webinar to convert to those sales? How are you going to get those folks on? How are you driving that traffic to a webinar? Paid advertising? Wait, allow me to bring up some statistics and data on paid advertising, if you will, just for giggles.

Meg Casebolt: I am here for statistics.

Tara Newman: Okay, so Scott Galloway, I adore him. I don’t know if you know him. He writes the blog No Mercy / No Malice and he did a blog post called Carcinogens. It was epic, he quotes in there—I didn’t know this existed—but he quotes and references the World Federation of Advertisers that they have this report called The compendium of ad fraud knowledge for media investors.

Meg Casebolt: That is a mouthful.

Tara Newman: It is but why are people who have no idea that this exists running ads? In this report, 88% of clicks on ads are fraudulent. I was blown away. Click farms, bots, pay for clicks, 88% of clicks on ads are fraudulent. It makes a lot of sense because Facebook has no regulation around this. It’s a slot machine. You put money in and you hope you hit a jackpot but the lights are always on over there for Zucks. He has no control over any of this.

Here’s another quote from that article by Scott Galloway: “A study by MIT professor Catherine Tucker found that even targeting something as basic as gender was unsuccessful more than half the time (i.e., it was worse than random). A Nielsen analysis of a household-income-adjusted ad campaign found that only 25% of its ads were reaching the right households. As much as 65% of location-targeted ad spend is wasted. Plaintiffs in a class-action suit against Facebook have alleged its targeting algorithm’s ‘accuracy’ was between 9% and 41%, and quoted internal Facebook emails describing the company’s targeting as ‘crap’ and ‘abysmal.’”

Meg Casebolt: So you’re spending a lot of money on ads that aren’t getting the people that you want to get, and then you’re spending that money and you’re driving them to whatever your sales process is, which may be a Facebook group, maybe a webinar, or maybe an automated-email series, but it’s like not calories in, calories out, but junk in, junk out, if you’re not getting good leads, then you’re not going to make good sales, they’re not going to be a good fit for what it is that you’re doing.

Tara Newman: Right. So let’s talk about solutions.

Meg Casebolt: Yes. I was just going to say I feel like we’ve been a little bit pessimistic and we’re not usually this bad.

Tara Newman: Honestly, I think this is all great.

Meg Casebolt: Yeah. You got to know the lay of the land.

Tara Newman: I think this is great because now once we have information, we can make better decisions.

Meg Casebolt: Yeah. So what’s the alternative to this?

Tara Newman: Here are alternatives, speaking to experts running service-based businesses, because we need to know what the business model is and apply an appropriate strategy. That’s one. I’m not against ads. I think ads can possibly be helpful. I haven’t personally run any. But if I were to run ads, one, I obviously want to know this information and know what I’m getting into, and know that I’m gambling, is that the risk that I want to take? Maybe it is. Personally, for me, I have a really high actual-lifetime value of my customer so I can afford some ad spend to see what happens. I can afford to play around. But most people don’t have this data.

Meg Casebolt: Yeah, if you don’t know what your average sales cycle is, what your customer lifetime value is, or what your cost per acquisition is, then how do you know how much you can spend?

Tara Newman: Right. We want to focus on the most-profitable strategies to get you to the revenue that you need.

Meg Casebolt: How do you know how much revenue you need, Tara?

Meg Casebolt: Not the shiny objects. Not the million dollar. Listen, if you want to do that, you got to pass a whole bunch of benchmark steps anyway. You’re not going to leap from a $10-business to a million-dollar business, you have to get through $100,000, $200,000, $500,000.

Tara Newman: Right. Along the way, you’re going to be able to make better decisions about whether or not that’s the responsibility that you want to take on. For most people and most women, it is not. What women are looking for is they are either looking for the ability to provide for their families, provide the upgrades, pay for college for their kids, take some fun family vacations, and whether they’re thinking about it or not, I want them to be building wealth.

I want them to consider that they don’t have to be 65 to retire. They could be any age to retire as long as they’ve built the wealth to do so. I want them to realize that we do not want you at 69 years old, shaking your ass on reels.

Meg Casebolt: Nobody wants to see that.

Tara Newman: And feeling like you’re in this dire need for money. We want to utilize your best-earning years now and leverage that for later. I think people just like talking about retirement, it’s really unsexy, but I’ve decided I’m done at 55 and I think that’s sexy as hell. I’m just going to cut 5-10 years off of that.

Meg Casebolt: But recognizing if you want to retire at 65, at 60, whatever that is, then you need to be putting aside money now which needs to come out of your business. In my household, we contribute $50,000 or $60,000 a year to our retirements now because we do want to retire early, but that also means that my business needs to make $100,000 to be able to put $50,000 into my retirement accounts.

Tara Newman: Yes. People don’t realize the intricacy of their personal finances to their business finances. Usually, I see this as a giant disaster in my entire career when I’ve been in businesses where the CEO spends more than he earns or spends as much as he earns, and then what happens is he needs that money. Where’s he going to get that money from or she going to get that money from the business?

Now we have chaos, because we have to go “Make more money, make more money, make more money, because I got to pay for the car and the house, and this and that, and all the things, my luxury lifestyle.”

Here’s the other thing, we have a lot of people who their business is not able to support even their basic needs because they’re so focused on the luxuries that they may have one day. We need to cover things in order before we can have this huge income and impact.

Meg Casebolt: It’s like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in terms of what your business can do. You need to pay for your food, your shelter, and your water before you start worrying about what are the self actualization, the luxury vacations, or the fancy cars.

Tara Newman: But people don’t want to buy that. The web celebs and the marketers are marketing self actualization before basic needs. That’s why we’re all getting so messed up because we can’t actually hit these things because we’re too focused on this nebulous goal out here, this thing.

Let’s just get honest with ourselves and look at what it is that we need to provide for our families, what are those luxury upgrades that you want, what do you need to thrive in your life. This isn’t about scrimping and savings, it’s about living a good life, but what do you actually need and then how can you translate that into salary and into revenue? If you’re like, “How do you do that, Tara? Help me,” I do and it’s free.

We have a free a calculator, Revenue Goal Calculator, and what you do is you put in your expenses—and I have a 15-minute video that walks them through—you put in your expenses, and it tells you how much money you would need to make on a yearly basis. Then what it does is using Profit First numbers, it does Profit First math for you and tells you what that would equate to in revenue. If you need to make $100,000 a year take home, bringing home your CEO–

Meg Casebolt: Putting in your bank account, not your business but your personal bank account.

Tara Newman: It’s going to tell you that you need to be earning about $200,000 in revenue in your business if you’re going to operate on a Profit First model. The calculator will also tell you at that point how much you have for expenses, how much you’re going to pay in taxes. This is a calculator that you’re going to want to download and use over and over and over again as your personal-financial situation changes, as your business-financial situation changes.

This is really amazing what is possible for us when our money has a purpose, what’s possible for us when we have enough because that’s when more than enough happens. But everybody’s chasing more than enough without having enough.

Meg Casebolt: Yeah. I love this calculator too, because my husband and I sat down and looked at it together—what you were talking about earlier if you get a big check, then you should retire your husband play—we sat down and looked at how much is his salary from his full-time job and how much would my business need to make to not just cover our expenses but also replace his salary.

That was a big change in my awareness of what my goals should be. It doubled what I want the business to make next year. Not that I want to retire him right away but that I want to have that number. I wasn’t thinking big enough. In general, I think pretty big and this doubled the number that I want to make.

Before I started to panic and go, “Oh, holy sh*t, how am I going to make that?” I was like, “Okay, but no, if you know what’s working for you, you can do more of it.” Pulling a revenue number out of the air, I want to make a million dollars or half a million dollars or whatever, what does that mean for your life?

Tara Newman: Right. Here’s the thing, when you have that number, then you understand the strategy. How do you get to $200,000 a year? I’m just using this as the rough.

Meg Casebolt: It’s nice to do easy math.

Tara Newman: Yeah. How would you get there? What’s the quickest path? What’s the most profitable way? The most profitable way to do that is to sell to the leads you already have—you all already have leads, you just don’t see them. But I promise you, they’re there—to really get good at sales and converting warm and hot leads before you go running ads for cold leads.

If you cannot convert your warm and hot leads to more revenue, hell you’re converting your cold leads. It just lights the dollars on fire. It’s not happening. People think that’s going to click and buy. No, they’re not. You have to put them through a sales process. They’re not going to click and buy.

Really understanding your target market, really understanding the free tools you have to help you convert, and referrals, when you focus on the people who are paying you and you get them excellent results, people are going to talk about it. I always tell people, “Just think back to when the internet didn’t exist. What would you do?”

Meg Casebolt: You talk to people you already know.

Tara Newman: My husband was a triathlete and had this triathlon community. A bunch of them were business owners and stuff like that. They would refer to each other. Nobody did anything without checking in with this community. Does anybody know a plumber, a massage therapist, a hairstylist, a bike repair shop, a landscaper, a pool person? Nothing happened outside of this community.

Say the community was 100 people, and then 20 of those people bought from people within the community, then those 20 people, when they’re asked “Who do you know who does massage, who does landscaping?” now you’re referring outside people to inside the community. Now they’re referring, look how big the network gets really fast.

Meg Casebolt: The team that cleans my house, one of them was telling me about it this morning where she was like, “I don’t need to do advertising because my clients just tell other people about me. There’s always somebody looking for a good house cleaner.” My entire street now uses my house cleaning team because it’s like, “Well, they’re already here.”

They didn’t even have to knock door-to-door. I was just telling my neighbors and my neighbors told my other neighbors. They don’t have to go and run Facebook ads, everyone who’s in our Five Town vicinity, they can just tell people to refer and give referral bonuses and have that consistent high-quality service. It doesn’t always have to be super complex.

Tara Newman: Yeah, it’s just not that hard.

Meg Casebolt: It’s not that hard. We might think it’s so much harder than we need to.

Tara Newman: It’s simple, but it’s not easy. The reason why it’s not easy is because it’s not overnight and we’re being sold that these things have to happen overnight or they’re not worth it. It’s a lie. I really just want everybody to make the most-profitable dollars that they can make and it starts with knowing what your best-revenue goal is, knowing what is already working for you, focusing on the people who are already paying you, and understanding how to sell.

Meg Casebolt: There it is. Well guys, I am so thrilled that Tara was able to share so much with us today. Definitely head over to her website. I’ll have a link in the show notes and right there, you can grab that Revenue Goal Calculator and start playing with your numbers and taking a look at how much it costs to run a business, and then maybe taking some time to look at your own expenses, the revenue, and where you can make more and spend less time.

Tara Newman: Meg, thanks so much for having me on because this is not a conversation that’s being had in a lot of places. It’s really confronting for people to have these conversations and it’s like they almost don’t believe it when they hear it because it’s such a different conversation. I just really want to thank you for starting this and allowing this conversation to happen here.

Meg Casebolt: It is my pleasure because I believe in what you do. Thank you so, so much for being here and I will talk to you soon, Tara. Thank you.

Tara Newman: Absolutely.

Join Tara and Meg for their webinar on August 23, 2022.

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