What Does It Mean To Know Your Numbers

What Does It Mean To Know Your Numbers

Before we start today, I want to share something quickly. I just checked out the stats of the podcast and we’re growing so I know that there are new people here and I just want to do a little bit like “hey, about me,” and I’m seeing some things and I just want to comment on them before we get into this conversation around knowing your numbers as a business owner.

Why do I talk about money? 

For those of you who are new, maybe you’re not so new and my message has been evolving and you’re not 100% sure why I’m here talking about money, so let’s talk about it. I have really sunken in over the last 18 months as I’ve been evolving and growing my business into the confidence that I have around talking about money and really deepening why I’m here to do this. 

What I’ve started to shift from in my evolution is going from having what we would typically call a mission, a purpose, a business mission to something that I feel so passionately about talking about that I have to talk about it unapologetically, not let up, be a dog with a bone, like it’s a mandate at this point. I have a mandate to talk about money.

Here is our mandate, we are here to transform women from fearful around money to financial powerhouses, who pay themselves an expert-level salary, fully utilize their small business to create wealth, and make a significant contribution to social change without running themselves into the ground. 

As I become bolder in my messaging around money, there are some things that I want you to know about me. Knowing these things will help you understand how to relate to my company, my mission, my message, and me as a CEO. Whether you agree with me, disagree with me, have similar perspectives, don’t have similar perspectives, there’s something for you to learn and take away from these conversations, but I want to be clear. I always want to be as clear as possible about the position that I’m coming from.

First, my social identifiers. I am white. Privileged. Hetero. Able-bodied. Jewish. A female, raised in the suburbs of New York. I was raised by a small business owner. 

I fully acknowledge the immense amount of intersectionality when it comes to money, and a portion of my continuing education is spent learning about this. I come from a long line of refugees and immigrants who came to this country either as indentured servants or with nothing. I talk about this I believe when I talk about my money story. I want you to also realize Ithat there are things about that part of my story that serve me well and that sometimes come and bite me in the behind. We all have these aspects of ourselves, we cannot ignore these generational lines and lineages that impact our money.

I hold an undergraduate degree in psychology and a master’s degree in industrial-organizational psychology and a certification in Profit First. I am a learner by heart. I believe in continually improving myself. I am growth-oriented and I love to pay people to help me learn and grow and educate me. That is something I got from my dad. He was a small business owner and he had no formal education but he paid mentors, advisors, consultants, and people to help him grow his business and to learn about business. 

In 2010, after five years of debilitating business failure, my husband and I had the privilege of declaring bankruptcy. I have been bankrupt and we have bounced back. I talk very transparently about this time in my life.

Both my husband and I own small businesses. John runs a three million dollar manufacturing company with almost 20 employees, and I run a much more simple service-based business because I can. John and I have both grown up working for our families. I was working in the family business at age 14. John was working in his family business probably even younger. Then we have both gone out and worked for other people in their businesses. Manufacturing businesses as well, we come from a product based manufacturing based background. 

I have two kids. They’re both teenagers. I’m really truly enjoying the teenage years. I have two pups, Bradley and Bailey, who require a lot of maintenance and a lot of money to keep them happy. They’re rescued and it’s my greatest joy to give these pups a safe home. I really have a passion for rescue pups.

My free content is here and it’s meant to serve as education, it’s meant to serve as thought provoking, it’s meant to serve as perspective shifting, it’s not meant to be direct advice. We are not in a paid relationship, you’re not in one of my programs if you’re just simply listening to the podcast and consuming it, which is fine, but I do want to be straightforward about that. What I hope to show you is a side of business ownership, money, and wealth that you don’t see on the internet. 

Between my husband and I, we have owned four businesses at this point. We have experienced the worst of what small business ownership has to offer and we have experienced the very best of what small business ownership has had to offer. One of my core values is transparency and being transparent. That’s really what I’m hoping to show, a side of business ownership that is maybe more real, more tangible, and really temper expectations and really help everyone who is a small business owner really look at the expectations they have of themselves, of their business, of money, and all that jazz. As a business that is closely tied to my personal values, finances, and goals, that is really what I’m hoping to depict for all of you, that this business that I’m running is really closely tied to these things to ensure that my family is well supported, that I’m taking actions that positively impact my wealth, my net worth, and that I’m using my money to be a force for good in the world.

Too many service-based businesses are driving revenue in ways that create cash-eating monsters, debt, and tremendous worry that doesn’t need to exist. Really, that’s why I’m here. This is really where I want to help you in your business. In case you were wondering, I’ve mentioned this before, but I am an Enneagram Five, and my top five strengths from StrengthsFinder are Arranger, Maximizer, Command, Responsibility, and Relator. I am obsessed with my Peloton and I’m an introvert and a major homebody. I usually joke that my life just isn’t that Instagramable, but I’m trying because I want to normalize what having a simple life and running a business look like.

Talking about money isn’t easy, especially for women. 

It’s taboo. It’s deeply personal. It requires a lot of bravery. Experts typically don’t like to admit they don’t know something. I work with a lot of experts and they want to appear like they have it all figured out, which can really stand in the way of getting help. Women feel behind in so many ways and money is just one more place where there’s a story around not being far enough along. 

If at a minimum, you DM me and share an insight from a podcast, or if you are curious about The Bold Profit Academy and ask me some questions, you share what’s going on for you and your business, what you’re saying to me is a number of things: One, you’re telling me you are in the top one percent, and I know that some of you might not like that language, that might not feel good to you, or you might not have ever seen yourself in that light. But by DMing me, sharing an insight, being curious about The Bold Profit Academy, sharing what’s going on for you and your business, the reason why that puts you in the top one percent is it’s showing me that you’re coachable, that you’re an open communicator, which is basically a requirement for being great at sales and great with money. You have a desire for better and different. 

You’re open to exploring what support would look like for you even if now’s not the right time or you don’t feel quite ready. That takes a tremendous amount of courage. I promise you that just that action alone will shift things in your business.

Frequently, when new subscribers join my email list, I send a personalized video welcoming them to my corner of the world, introducing myself, offering to answer questions about the Revenue Goal Calculator that they just signed up for, and letting them know that they’re not just another number to me, that I see the human in them. What I find very interesting is that very few people respond. I want you to think about that energy if you are a business owner and your job is to build relationships with customers and clients. It’s closed off. It’s not welcoming. But by engaging in these conversations by just reaching out and getting to know somebody, that has a tremendous amount of value for your business and it’s a huge skill when it comes to making money, making sales, and navigating a small business. Even if it feels horribly awkward, I want to encourage you to find me and start that conversation. I’m open. Are you? Are you willing to be open, a good communicator, coachable, and an action taker?

The purpose of this conversation is twofold. I’m watching a lot of business-oriented content out there telling people to know their numbers but not really saying anything about what numbers you should know. There are lots of numbers in business that we can talk about, but I’m specifically talking about your finances and money. When I ask women why they want to make money, a lot of people come back, probably half to 75%, said for the extras, the icing on the cake, vacations, a higher quality of life. To me, this is a bit nebulous. What are the extras? What is the icing on the cake?

I want you to go back to the episode from the other week about the Thrive List. If you’re still needing clarity, I want you to keep going back to that episode. Then when pushed to clarify or talk deeper about money, we get really jarred and confronted. A lot of times, I hear, “Well, I’m just not that motivated by money.” That’s not necessarily true because if you’re telling me that you want the extras, the icing on the cake, the vacations, the higher quality of life, that all costs money, space, time on your calendar. 

We buy back our time with money. We need to get comfortable having this conversation but I want to have this conversation in a really zoomed-out way because the way that we’re hearing about money and finances is often when we talk about “get clients now”. Or you might have more clients than you know what to do with and they’re sucking you dry. Or you might be in that time of your business where you’re considering your options to scale so you can make money with less effort.

If we’re talking about you having more clients than you know what to do with and they’re sucking you dry and you’re just putting one foot in front of the other and you want to burn it all down, now we’re in survival. If you are having a conversation about “is this the time in my business where you want to consider your options to scale so you can make money with less effort?” now we’re flipping into thriving. At any moment, we can be in one of those mindsets—scarcity, survival, thriving—they’re all relevant and valid but I want to have a zoomed-out conversation and stop talking about these things at such a microscopic level. Because our relationship with money, finance, cash, our business, our scarcity mindset, our ability to thrive, it’s all an evolution. The goal isn’t always more, the goal can be to evolve, deepen, and savor, but we have to have clarity.

Let’s talk about what numbers you need to know, why revenue isn’t the only, or most important, number, and as a matter of fact, if the only number you’re concerned with is revenue, that metric has most likely been reduced to a vanity metric. 

Revenue is only important in relation to your business’s money management system. On its own, it’s really just a lot of noise. Here are some numbers that I want you to think about: Financial freedom. What is your financial freedom number? What does financial freedom mean to you? Financial freedom is probably the extras, the icing on the cake that women talk about, but what specifically do you mean when you say that? Is it a one week trip to Bora Bora? Is it six months of expenses in the bank? Is it to be debt free? Is it knowing your child’s college education is paid for? Because honestly, that’s not extra, that’s a good chunk of cash right there. That’s some money, honey.

Once we know how much that is, we can start putting a strategic plan together for your business instead of women freaking out and going, “I need clients now,” and that webinar funnel training is showing me all these testimonials of people making seven figures running webinars, do you need seven figures or do you just need actual financial goals with clarity and an action plan around that amount? What’s that financial freedom number? What does financial freedom mean to you?

Then we have financial independence, and this is a term that I am taking from the FIRE community (Financial Independence, Retire Early). I’ve talked about them a few times probably in the last couple of podcasts because I actually very much like learning from them. They tend to be extremely frugal and that doesn’t really work for me so I feel like I can find financial independence in a way that feels good to me. 

What does financial independence mean? Do you want to work until you’re 65 or 70 like a lot of small business owners do? This is the conditioning that we have been given in the western world. We work until we’re 65 or 70. Or do you want to be work optional at 30, at 40, at 45, or financially independent and able to retire at whatever age you want to be at? This is a really big idea and one that I hope many of you will start to rethink because if you started a business for financial independence and personal freedom, you want to make sure that you unsubscribe from hustle culture, from revenue as revenue’s sake because this is the antithesis of why you actually started the journey.

I’m seeing business owners say they want financial freedom and personal freedom but the chase, the hook that they’ve been put on around financial freedom, around revenue numbers is actually infringing upon their personal freedom. I have people in my community who say to me all the time, “I’m making less revenue than I was before,” or “I have less clients than I had before but I have more cash, I have more money, I have more profit.” This is the sweet spot. This is what we want. What is your financial independence number? Then we can set your business up to fuel that and not some meaningless online business benchmark. 

There’s math that we could be calculating around your financial independence. Let’s talk about net worth. Because for me, this is really the KPI of a business. If we can get you thinking in terms of your net worth versus your revenue, we can really cut years off of your frustrations, your business growth, and spinning your wheels. This is really where we start to make sense of why we have a small business. 

Is your business contributing positively to your net worth? 

In order to achieve wealth, financial freedom, financial independence, whatever you want to call this, you need to do a few things and those things will impact what numbers you’re considering. Your net worth is your assets minus your liabilities. Your assets could be your business, your assets could be your cash on hand. If you own a home, your home value, your investments, if you have real estate as an investment, real estate as investments, minus your liabilities, your debts, what you owe. This is why I’m concerned it’s because I’m seeing a lot of small business owners, we know 83% of small business owners live paycheck-to-paycheck, they are in debt, they have this cash eating monster, if you’re in the online space, they’re spending a lot of money on things that don’t actually generate revenue and are detracting, ultimately detracting if you follow the path from your net worth.

You need to be able to make money, meaning you need to be able to generate sales, and you need to be able to keep money and then you need to be able to funnel the money you’re keeping into your personal life so it makes a contribution to your net worth. These are three concepts that we are teaching in The Bold Profit Academy. We’re teaching you how to create offers so that you have a vehicle to make money, we’re teaching you sales skills so you can sell the offer you created, and we’re teaching you Profit First so you can keep that money and then funnel it into your net worth. We want to maximize how you spend your money—and this is how Profit First can help you—so you have a clear plan for how to allocate your financial resources.

A great resource we have is the podcast episode we did on creating a Thrive List because that’s really talking about how to help you save money without sacrificing those things that you love or that bring you joy. We want you to invest your money so it generates more money. These are advanced Profit First strategies that help you navigate where you allocate your money to—retirement accounts, investment accounts, purchasing real estate, how are you using that profit to drive your net worth? Let’s take the focus off of revenue and put it on net worth.

We want you to know what financial freedom means to you and if you can put a number on it, let’s put a number on it. The Revenue Goal Calculator that I have will help you do that. Then you need to consider financial independence. When do you want to retire? Are you going to keep going and hope that social security is there for you and you’re 65 and you’re 70 years old and you’ve put your entire life into your business, and all your time, your energy, and your money and then you may or may not have anything to show for it when you get to that point? Or do you want to start planning for that now? Do you want to start getting honest with yourself now? Net worth, how is your business positively contributing to your net worth?

Then we need to understand the components of our business finances. 

Revenue is the money you are making, and until you have some of those other components outlined, it doesn’t matter how much you’re making because you have no idea with the purpose of your revenue, your dollars don’t have a job to do, you don’t know why you’re putting in all that work, you don’t know why you’re investing in the strategies you’re investing in. It makes it very hard to stay motivated because if your motivation for doing this is the sales coming in, that’s a lagging indicator of success, you don’t always see those sales showing up immediately after taking an action. That comes maybe 30, 60, 90 days after you’ve been consistently implementing the plan. But we still need revenue, we need money coming in, we need something to spend and invest. 

When you know how to intentionally allocate your money is when you become a good steward of your money. When you have this revenue coming in and then you know what to do with it, you’ve become a good steward with your money, you’re using it with discernment and as a force for good in your life and in the world, and guess what happens, more money comes to you. More money comes to you when you are taking the action in a discerning way and being intentional with your money. You are showing the universe, God, whoever, that you get it, that your money has purpose.

Once you have that revenue coming in, that’s when we apply Profit First, and we put profit first. Profit isn’t what you have leftover at the end, which is what a lot of people believe profit is. The Profit First equation is sales minus profit equals expenses. That’s why we also teach you how to sell because you need that money coming in. Then you take your profit—I’m going to talk about that in a minute—and then what you have leftover, we’re forcing constraint you spend on the business.

Profit. What is profit? Mike Michalowicz talks about taking your Profit First as a way to reward the business owner for the time, effort, and responsibility that it takes to be a business owner. That’s what you use your profit for. I have people in my programs using profit to save for maternity leaves, to build wealth, to send kids to college to reward themselves with something that they really want. I spent some profit this year on some artwork. I’m not usually attracted to art, but I found this woman, and I was immediately attracted to her art and I spent my entire quarter planning how I was going to use my profit to purchase this art. That is a reward for you as the business owner.

CEO pay. After you take your profit out of your revenue, you are going to pay yourself. Your pay is to provide you with the lifestyle you desire. If you want a Lambo lifestyle, then you crank up the revenue so you can buy the Lambo. Your lifestyle directly dictates your pay, which is why we have the Revenue Goal Calculator because we want you to find the sweet spot of how much work you actually have to do to have the lifestyle you desire and create the wealth and financial freedom that you want. When we’re talking about knowing your numbers, we need to know your revenue, your profit, how much you’re paying yourself.

Taxes. What are taxes? People get all messed up around having to pay taxes, and I’m fully acknowledging that in countries not in the United States, your tax burden is heavier and higher but I also want to remind everybody that it’s not in the United States that your health insurance is probably costing you a lot less than what health insurance costs us. Family health insurance could cost $24,000 to $30,000 a year. I like to think about taxes as the gratitude I show the government for allowing me to be a business owner. We need to know what your tax responsibility is to make sure that is covered, easy breezy, reduces a lot of worry and stress when you know that number.

Expenses. What are you spending your money on in your business? To be honest, I like to think about this as investments because I just went through my credit cards and looking at my transactions and what I’m looking for is “Am I spending my money on people? Am I spending my money with other small business owners where there’s a mutually beneficial relationship where I am powering an economy with my money?” That is an investment, not an expense. Even if this is a service or a SaaS product, like we use Hello Audio, shout out to my friend, Dr. Lindsay Padilla, who’s a CEO over at Hello Audio, that is a system that allows us to take whatever content we have in The Bold Profit Academy and turn it into a secret podcast so that you don’t have to be logging into the MemberVault. Also shout out to Mike and Erin Kelly, small business owners who I support their product, MemberVault. They don’t have to always be going into MemberVault to access the information, also, using Hello Audio allows me to create a much more inclusive learning environment. When I look at these things I’m like, “Oh, man. I feel awesome that I’m using Hello Audio. I love Lindsay. She’s smart as a whip. She’s a great CEO. She’s a woman who runs a business,” whatever. These are investments in people. I don’t think of them as expenses.

Now when you connect your revenue goals back to your personal financial goals, your business has a lot more clarity. The numbers that you need to not obsess over—because I know when people here know your numbers, their heart goes pitter-patter—but to be curious about. If you’re one of my peeps and you’ve already implemented Profit First with me and now you’re looking at how you can deepen your knowledge and do some of the advanced stuff, which we work on, a little bit in The Bold Profit Academy but much more in The Bold Money Mastermind, start thinking about go back, go think about your financial freedom, your financial independence, your net worth if you have not done that yet. It’s never too early to think about some of these more zoomed out bigger concepts. 

I actually think it saves you time, effort, and energy to know those numbers before we actually even get into the nitty gritty of revenue, profit, CEO pay, taxes, and expenses. But if you want to be running a profitable, sustainable business that is not going to grind you into the ground, these are the numbers you need to know. They are going to dictate your business strategy. They are going to set you up for success with a lot less wheel spinning and effort.

Inside The Bold Profit Academy, we have a curriculum and themes. In the next few months, we are really diving into implementing Profit First, which is a critical component to your financial freedom. It allows you to utilize your revenue to its fullest potential to help you turn your business into a money-making machine. If you’re looking to create a simple system that allows you to manage your money with ease so you can focus on more strategic financial goals, then The Bold Profit Academy is for you. 

Now think about what you can accomplish with your money in the next three months to set you up for a breakthrough in 2022. I get a lot of people who wonder like, “Is it too late for me? I’m 40. I’m 50. I’m 55. Is it too late for me?” No, it is absolutely not too late for you. My own journey has taken lots of twists and turns. I’ve ramped up, I’ve had to pull back, we’re ramping up again. It is not too late but you want to get started, you want to take action now. Whether you need to clear some debt, set some goals, save time, or all three, we are going to hands-on support you as a service-based business owner to go from fearful around money to a financial powerhouse.