4 Things That Mean Your Business is Ready For a CFO

So now that you know what a CFO is and what they can do for your business, you’re faced with another big question: How do you know your business is ready for a CFO?

Today I’m outlining 4 things that mean your business is ready for a CFO:

  1. You Don’t Know Where Your Money’s Going
  2. You’re Tracking Numbers But Not Using Them
  3. Your Tax Return Surprises You
  4. You’re Paying Yourself Peanuts (or Not At All)

  1. You Don’t Know Where Your Money’s Going

The first big signal that you’re ready to bring on someone to steer your financial ship is that you find yourself asking, “where the hell is my money??” You’re making consistent sales, the money is coming in. You know you have some solid revenue, but somehow there’s nothing left in your account at the end of the month!

 

  1. You’re Tracking Numbers But Not Using Them

If you know how much money you have coming in, or how much you’re making from a launch for example, but you’re not looking at ALL your numbers- you might be ready for a CFO. Revenue is just one piece of the pie- and how all the pieces fit together best is a puzzle your CFO can tackle faster and better than you can.

 

  1. Your Tax Return Surprises You

If you send your taxes off to your accountant and the return you get back surprises you, it’s time for a CFO. Your tax return should never ever be a surprise! If it is, that’s a sign that you’re not paying attention throughout the year and you’re just winging your taxes- in case you were wondering, that’s bad.

 

  1. You’re Paying Yourself Peanuts (or Not At All)

If you’re not paying yourself a proper salary, or you aren’t paying yourself at all, you need a CFO to manage your numbers. You should have a regular salary, whether it’s a taxed salary or a dividend. If your business can’t provide you with a reasonable living, something is wrong- yet another reason to get a CFO on your side!

If any of this sounds familiar, let’s chat about my personalized CFO service– it could be the best decision you’ve ever made for your business!

What Is A CFO- and What Does A CFO Do?

Unless you work for a large corporation, the term CFO probably doesn’t come up much in your world. CFO stands for Chief Financial Officer, which essentially means a senior executive that controls all the financial actions of a company. But what if I told you that your business could benefit from a CFO- even if it’s still small! You’d probably have some serious questions- what is a CFO, really? And what do they do? Today’s post is going to answer those questions and set the stage for Part 2 of this series- How Do I Know I’m Ready for a CFO?

So, let’s dig in.

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5 Reasons to Make Gratitude Your Next Financial Goal

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know I’m ALL ABOUT gratitude. It’s the cornerstone of my financial coaching and something I feel very, very strongly about.

But why is it so important to your financial future? Stick with me, rock star, and you’ll find out.

Today I’m breaking down 5 Reasons to Make Gratitude Your Next Financial Goal.

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How I Went From Corporate Finance to Money Rock Star

On any given day, you can find me working with crystals on my desk, essential oils diffusing in the background, following personal rituals of meditation and journalling to focus my energies and increase my productivity.

If you browse through my website, you’ll likely see me talking the talk about abundance, energies, and mindset. This is part of the package with me; what you see is what you get!

But when people meet me these days, they’re often surprised to find out how I started out in the white collar world of corporate finance.

How I Went From Corporate Finance to Spiritual Money Rock Star | Michelle B Cooper

MY STORY BEGAN JUST LIKE ANY OTHER ACCOUNTANT

I followed the traditional route of financial education; received my degree in accounting and my CPA designation through all the traditional channels.

I worked my way up the corporate ladder, working for Citibank in London England and specializing in strategic growth plans for businesses.

For the most part, the businesses I worked with saw great success following simple, tangible growth strategies. But I found that there were some entrepreneurs who, no matter what, would start to see growth and immediately crash and burn.

It didn’t matter what plans I made for them- their mindset was off, and their generational money story dictated their behaviour and ultimately their self-destruction.

 

Meanwhile, in my own life, I was still making the same financial mistakes I help my clients to overcome.

I let my own money story dictate my behaviour- hiding my spending, covering up or backing out of investments in my business, and failing to be accountable to myself.

During the same time period, I was competing at a very high level in roller derby. Our coach had just begun a new kind of work with us- visualization and mindset work.

I was anxious to improve my performance after a series of concussions had left me with a slower than ideal reaction time, so I jumped into this new training with both feet.

 

And friend, let me tell you. I. Was. Blown. Away.

I saw drastic improvements in my performance, just from implementing visualization into my routine. My reaction time improved- I was faster and better. I was training my brain to achieve the results I wanted.

Don’t believe me? Check out this article about the science of visualization- it’s not just woowoo, it’s legit stuff!

In his book The Big Leap, Gay Hendricks talks about blocks to success and the fact that people will self-sabotage to avoid discomfort.

It sounds crazy, but people get uncomfortable when they start to achieve previously unknown success. Lottery winners often blow their money, subconsciously trying to move it out of their lives and return to their comfort zones. I was witnessing the same behaviour in clients who sabotaged their own growth plans, rather than move outside of their learned patterns.

After seeing the inarguable results in my roller derby performance, I started doing some research into this world of mindset.

I started to apply what I was learning to my work… and again saw the results. Exponential growth, incredible abundance. I went from 5k months to 20k months for the first time.

 

Shifting my mindset and embracing the feminine energy of money changed my business and my life- and I began to coach my clients to do the same.

Today, my work revolves around the marriage of masculine and feminine money energy. I have crystals on my desk, I journal, meditate, and read tarot. Perhaps most importantly, I help badass business women get out of their own way and achieve incredible success using the same methods.

 

 

If you liked this article, do me a favour and Pin It, would you? Thanks girl.

WTF is Woo Woo- and How Does It Fit Into Your Finances?

Have you ever heard the word “manifest” and wondered WTF it meant? Do you hear people talking about crystals, energy, and essential oils and wonder exactly what’s in those diffusers?

 

If so, you’re not alone. The world of woo woo can seem straight-up weird if you’re not familiar, but I’m here to break it down for you and explain explain exactly why woo woo needs to be a part of your finances.

 

So, WTF is Woo Woo?

 

Woo woo is used to describe just about anything new-age, paranormal, occult, or pseudoscientific. In practice it means different things to different people- but the mainstream world of woo woo is mostly about manifesting, affirmation, crystals, essential oils, and meditation.

 

If you’re new to woo woo, this can be off-putting- but when you really think about it, all of these emotion-based practices come down to one totally normal thing: mindset.

 

Woo woo work is mindset work, plain and simple.

 

And let me tell you, friend: Mindset is the difference between being broke and finally achieving the abundance you’ve been looking for.

 

What Does Woo Woo Have to Do With Money?

 

I know what you’re thinking, I do.

 

“OK Michelle, you can be woo woo if you want- but keep it away from my money!”

 

That’s a totally understandable reaction- except for one thing:

Woo woo is what’s standing between you and your wealth.

 

Bringing woo woo into my world of money quadrupled my income.

 

That’s right, quadrupled. And it’s done the same for my clients.

 

Because woo woo isn’t just fluff- it’s mindset. It’s rewiring your brain to change limiting money beliefs and destructive money behaviours- and once you start doing that, the money will start to flow.

 

Money Has Both Masculine and Feminine Energy

 

I believe that money has both masculine and feminine energy.

 

We tend to focus on the masculine energy; tangible, factual aspects of money management like budgeting, targets, and spreadsheets.

 

The feminine energy of money is about mindset- positive money affirmations, meditation, crystals, and manifesting.

 

In order to be successful financially, you must marry the masculine and feminine energies.

 

You must be realistic and clear about the tangible, factual state of your finances in order to start changing your money mindset.

You can’t just manifest money

 

Many people are sucked into woo woo by the impossible optimism of manifesting. Vibrant, beautiful people with endless abundance will teach you how they manifested their wealth- usually for a fee.

 

But you can manifest your little heart out- without real life awareness of your money story and the state of your finances, nothing is going to change.

 

Before you can even begin to call in more abundance, you must acknowledge what you have and don’t have.

 

Facts and Figures are Just As Important

 

One of my most successful programs, Money Date, is centered around your money mindset and combines working with masculine and feminine money energy.

 

As I tell my clients: Money is like a best friend- it wants to hang out with you! If you ignore it or disrespect it, it will leave you. If you make time for it and give it the attention it deserves, it will stick with you- and more will come.

 

The masculine part of the work is sitting down each week to write down all your numbers; income, outgoings, money owed by you, money owed to you- everything.

The feminine or woo woo part of the work is taking those hard numbers and journalling about how they make you feel, meditating on them, and visualizing the next step.

This program is so successful because it combines hard facts and accountability with proven mindset work. Over time, participants reach a state of rest and repose when it comes to their money- they are fully aware of it, but not agitated by it. They can approach their money management from a place of gratitude and not anxiety, which allows them to develop money habits that increase their abundance.

 

Money Date is proof that woo woo fits into your financial plan- be sure to subscribe below to be notified when the next Money Date course opens up!

 

With gratitude,

 

Michelle

Why Your Creative Business Needs An Accountant

As an alternative or creative business owner, you may find yourself struggling with the gap between your core beliefs and the structure and system required to run a business.

What’s an alternative or creative business, exactly?

If the nature of your business is purely creative or spiritual, you may fit into this category. Maybe you’re an artist, or an intuitive, or an alternative health practitioner. Maybe you knit custom scarves for rescue cats.

Whatever the nature of your business, your core belief may be that the universe has your back.

And if the universe has your back, then why do you need to worry about things like money and accounting?

Well, here’s my take: The universe may be looking out for you, but YOU are co-creating your own life, and YOU have the ability to make decisions that have impact.

One of those decisions is outsourcing your money management, which is why I’m here today to tell you why your creative business needs an accountant!

Your Belief

As a creative or spiritual business owner, your core belief is probably that the universe has your back no matter what. You probably prefer not to think of your business as a business at all, and perhaps consider it more of a calling or passion.

If so, you’re not alone. Many creatives struggle with the structure and system necessary to run a financially successful business.

You are likely driven by a need to create, or heal, or serve- and not by the dollars attached to those products and services.

Your lifestyle may also be at odds with the concept of capitalism itself- which makes running your business like a business totally counter-intuitive!

It’s likely that you don’t worry about the administrative side of your business, because it’s just not important to you- and you’re not in the driver’s seat anyway, right?

Wrong.

How Money Fits Into It

So often, I see creatives struggle to reconcile money and money systems with their lifestyle and values.

Creative industries are prone to what I call the “martyr olympics.” In other words, it’s a competition to see who can suffer the most in the name of their art. Who can live with the least money, the least material things- and who can prove their true creative soul by shunning success.

As a result, so many people I work with struggle to overcome the mental blocks they have put up to achieving abundance- in fact, they’re running in the opposite direction!

 

Common Money Problems for Creative & Alternative Business Owners

The BIG THREE problems for creative and alternative business owners are just what you might expect:

  1. Debt
  2. Taxes
  3. Payment Systems

 

Let’s start with Debt.

The reality of our lives today is that spending money is unavoidable. If you ignore this reality and stick your head in the sand without paying attention to your income vs expenditures, it’s very likely that you will end up with hefty amounts of debt. And if you then avoid THAT reality, you’ll soon find yourself in a pretty tough spot with no exit route in sight. The universe may have your back, but the universe isn’t going to handle those debt collectors for you- YOU have to take back control.

 

The Tax Problem

Unfiled taxes are the number one problem I encounter with creative and alternative business owners. So many creatives do not understand or see the value in submitting properly prepared tax returns; they have no idea what they make in a year, or what their business costs to run. It’s overwhelming and contrary to their way of thinking…so once again, the reality of taxes is avoided, and the creative business owner’s head is in the sand.

 

Receiving and Making Payments

I know some outrageously talented creatives who produce the most incredible art you’ve ever seen. But if you try to buy it, you’ll quickly encounter a headache unless you have quick cash on hand. In many cases, there might not even be a rhyme or reason to how an item is priced, which leads to customer confusion and often lost revenue.

How An Accountant Addresses These Problems

Think of an accountant as the left brain to your right brain, the yin to your yang. An accountant is a numbers person; a person with an analytical nature that understands business systems and structures and, crucially, taxes.

If you’re a creative or alternative business owner, a good accountant and bookkeeper that gets you and your vision can help you:

  • Track and manage your money flow- incoming and outgoing.
  • Identify your debts and allocate funds to repay them.
  • Ensure your accounts payable are up to date each month.
  • Help you set up an easy system for receiving payments.
  • Prepare and file your taxes every year.
  • Provide guidance to help you make smart business decisions, without pushing you too far from your values.

It’s key to understand that believing in a larger guiding force does NOT mean that we are not in control of our day to day decisions. We are co-creating our own lives- the money choices we make are within our control and the consequences of those choices are our responsibility.

The money challenges faced by creative and alternative business owners are common and easy to address with the right support in your corner. An accountant with a good understanding of your core values can take the pressure of those decisions off of you and leave you to focus on your real passion, whatever that is!

For more money advice, check out my upcoming book launch!

 

How to Price Public Speaking

So, you’ve become an expert in your field. You have an angle you want to share with the world- and people want to hear it! You’ve spent some time getting speaking experience and feel ready to start marketing yourself as a paid speaker…. But how do you decide how much to charge?

In today’s post, I’m going to explain exactly how to price public speaking.

There are so many factors that go into pricing public speaking, but for the most part they can be separated into two columns:

  1. What the speaking engagement is going to cost or take away from you, and;
  2. What the speaking engagement is going to do for you.

 

Let’s start with number one: What the speaking gig is going to cost you. There are several things to consider here, including but not limited to:

  • The location of the speaking gig
  • The length of the gig
  • The prep time you need to put into the gig

 

We can break this down even further.

When it comes to the location of the speaking gig, you’ll want to consider:

  • The actual dollar cost of travelling to the event
  • The travel time- can you work while travelling? How much money could you have made during this time?

 

When you consider the length of the gig, you’re looking at:

  • How much accomodation you need and its cost
  • Whether you need a rental car when you get there or other transportation
  • How many business days the gig takes away from your regular work
  • How much work you’ll be able to get done while away
  • The costs of food and drink while away
  • Whether it’s a one day event or a multi-day conference

 

Preparation for the event includes things like:

  • Communication with the organizers
  • Preparing speaking material
  • Practicing your material

You need to attach a dollar value to one hour of your time, then figure out how many hours all of the above will take and add it to the actual out of pocket expenses.

The number you come out with is probably pretty high, right?

You might be feeling like no one would or could pay that to hear you speak.

The good news is, they probably don’t have to. There are many benefits to public speaking that are not direct compensation- and they are equally as important to consider when pricing your public speaking.

How to Price Public Speaking IG

Which brings us to column number two:

What the speaking gig is going to do for you.

There are many reasons to explore public speaking outside of the cash revenue. For example, public speaking engagements give you the opportunity to:

  • Make connections
  • Secure new clients
  • Become more well-known
  • Sell your products
  • Position yourself as an expert

Some of these will result in direct pay for you, some of them are long-term benefits to your career and ultimately your bank account.

Depending on the stage you are at in your speaking career, you may value each of these benefits differently. It is up to you to decide what each opportunity is worth to you, and apply that value to the price you set for your public speaking.

For example, you could be asked to speak at an event with 200 attendees in your ideal niche. The event organizers could offer you a booth to sell your products and services from, and time after your speech to promote yourself directly to the attendees. In this case, it may be worth attending for a nominal fee, or even for free- as long as your travel and accommodation is covered!

On the other hand, you could be asked to speak at an event with a variety of attendees that don’t really fit your ideal client. You might be able to sell some coaching sessions, or some books, or secure some clients- but it’s a maybe. In this case, it would be appropriate for you to charge more for your services, because you are less likely to see a return on your investment of time.

How to Price Public Speaking pin

In summary, here are the big questions you need to ask event organizers in order to price public speaking:

  1. Where is the conference or event located?
  2. How long is the conference?
  3. How large is the audience?
  4. What is the cost of the conference to attendees?
  5. How many speakers are there?
  6. How long are the sessions?
  7. Are talks recorded?
  8. Do they want a topic you have previously covered, or new material?
  9. Are there events before or after the conference you are required to attend?

Once you have this information, you can make an informed decision about your price point based on everything we’ve talked about above. Always remember to understand your own value and avoid selling yourself short! It’s your time to usher in abundance and share your sphere of genius with the world.

Want more straight-up advice to help you become a Money Rockstar? Check out my author page and don’t forget to subscribe to this blog to get awesome tips and teachings straight to your inbox!

How to Manage a Deposit or Lump Sum Advance

As a creative, or an entrepreneur of any kind, you will often take deposits or receive advances for work you have not yet started.

Depending on the size of the project, this can mean a juicy chunk of change headed your way before you’ve even lifted a finger- but it’s not as sweet as it sounds!

Failing to properly manage your deposits and advances is a recipe for disaster and one I can help you avoid, if you pay attention to three simple tips.

HOW TO MANAGE DEPOSITS LUMP SUM ADVANCES

Here’s what YOU need to know to manage deposits and/or lump sum advances:

1. Realize It’s Not Your Money

The first thing you have to do when you receive a deposit on a project or a lump sum advance is get yourself in the correct mindset.

That means, you need to realize right away that the money you just received does not actually belong to you.

Repeat after me:

IT.
IS.
NOT.
YOUR.
MONEY.

It’s not your money! That money is for work you haven’t done yet- for a project you have yet to start.

Literally anything can happen between now and the completion of that project.

The client could pull out of the project. You could incur unexpected expenses. You could find yourself unable to start or even complete the project, or the timeline could change.

Bottom line- until you have done that money’s worth of work… that’s not your money, honey!

2. Put It In A Different Bank Account

As an entrepreneur, you need three – yes THREE – bank accounts to manage your money flow correctly.

First, an operating account- this is for your day to day transactions and completed project payments.

Second, a savings account…you know, for saving!

Third, and very importantly, you need a DEPOSITS ACCOUNT.

This account will the home of all deposits and advances you receive in your business. You will not touch this money, until such time as you need to cover project expenses, or you have completed the work.

By placing this money in an entirely separate account, you are tucking it out of sight and out of mind. You can’t accidentally spend it and it’s not artificially padding your savings account. If anything changes, the money hasn’t gone anywhere- and your ass is covered!

3. Track Your Expenses & Revenue for The Project

At some point in the course of the project, you’ll need to access the deposit or advance. You’ll also need the client to make additional payments into their project to fund your continued work.

In order to manage this properly, you must be tracking all your expenses and revenue for the project accurately and consistently.

The way you do this can be as simple or as advanced as you like- what’s important is that you do it without fail.

Ideally, you should have no more than 10-20% of the project balance owed to you by the time you are finished. This ensures that you have not gone out of pocket on the project, but protects you from spending money that isn’t yours yet.

So, what have we learned about how to manage a deposit or lump sum advance?

  1. Realize It’s Not Your Money
  2. Put It In A Different Bank Account
  3. Carefully Track Cash Flow For That Project

By being honest with yourself about your cash flow and separating deposits and advances from your daily operations, you can avoid the potential pitfalls of receiving lump sum payments.

Proper management and awareness of your money flow is key to achieving abundance- if you want to know more, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Five Steps to Setting Up Multiple Revenue Streams

One of the biggest questions entrepreneurs have as they grow in their business is how to access other streams of revenue.

Sure, your bread and butter is paying the bills- but what can you do to take things to the next level? Well, you asked and I answered- with Five Steps to Setting Up Multiple Revenue Streams!

One of the golden rules of business is to find your niche and stick to it. The old idiom, “Jack of all trades, master of none,” comes to mind, and it’s true.

You can’t specialize in everything- and trying to can actually drive away your ideal customer and cost you revenue!

That doesn’t mean, however, that you can only have one revenue stream- in fact, the opposite is true.

So, how can you stick to your niche and still set up multiple revenue streams?

I like to use the example of a bakery. Let’s name our imaginary carb factory Badass Bakery. At Badass Bakery, we specialize in baked goods- obviously. It’s our niche.

Even though we specialize, we have many revenue streams- cookies, cupcakes, bread, and cheesecakes. We’re still operating in our circle of genius- in this case, baking goodies. But within that circle, we are doing many things to pull in revenue.

 

You have the ability to set up multiple streams of revenue, if you follow these steps.

1) Know Your Existing Revenue Streams

The first step to setting up multiple revenue streams is to know what you already have going on.

  • What kind of products do you offer?
  • What services do you provide?
  • How many types of clients do you serve?

Now, you need to figure out what percentage of your total revenue each stream accounts for.

Let’s go back to Badass Bakery for a second. Each month, Badass Bakery generates $10,000 in revenue. Let’s suppose that revenue is made up of $2500 in bread, $3000 in cookies, $3000 in cupcakes, and $1500 in cheesecake.

So, now we know our revenue is 25% bread, 30% cupcakes, 30% cookies, and 15% cheesecake.

 

2. Know What Work Goes Into Each Stream

Now that we know how much of our total revenue each stream accounts for, it’s time to evaluate each one individually.

At Badass Bakery, cookies and cupcakes total 60% of our revenue. They’re relatively inexpensive to make and don’t take much time. All our staff can make them, they don’t take any special skill.

Bread makes up 25% of our revenue. It takes a little longer to make, but the ingredients are cheap and it’s cost effective to produce.

Cheesecakes account for 15% of our total revenue. The ingredients for cheesecake are expensive- and a cheesecake takes about six hours to make.

 

3) Cut Out What Doesn’t Make Sense

You need to look critically at your different streams of revenue- is the amount they contribute worth what it takes to sell them?

If not, it’s time to trim the fat.

It’s easy to see that at Badass Bakery, one of our streams of revenue is not pulling its weight. Cheesecakes are not cost-effective to produce and are very time-consuming. The amount of revenue they generate is not relative to the output they require, so it makes sense to cut them out.

So now, Badass Bakery sells cookies, cupcakes, and bread. Where to from here?

 

4) Look for Logical Alternative Streams

This step requires that you put yourself in your customer’s shoes.

What are your customer’s pain points? What are they struggling with?

Don’t be afraid to let people tell you what they need. You’d be surprised what you can find out by being open to feedback!

Think about the products or services you offer, or could offer in your sphere of genius. Can you offer something that solves a problem for your customer?

It’s tempting here to look to your competition for guidance- DON’T. Your business and your value should never be dictated by the behaviour of your competition. Focus on what your customer needs and set your price based on the value you see in your product or service.

At Badass Bakery, let’s say we’ve heard from our customers that they’re trying to be more health conscious. We’ve noticed customers skipping out on their usual orders to save their waistlines. We know, in our sphere of genius, that we can produce some fantastic and healthy muffins, maybe even some granola – these are logical alternative streams of revenue.

 

5) Explore Collaborations

Partnership is an excellent way to set up an additional revenue stream without significant risk or investment.

Reach out through your network and see who is also looking to try something new. Be open to doing things differently- you never know what opportunities will come your way.

Let’s look at the bakery again. We now have a couple of additional products to sell- but what else can we offer?

Badass Bakery could partner with a party planner to throw kids cupcake parties on the weekends. The baker could offer bread-making classes through a local organization, or partner with a food blogger to teach baking and food photography workshops.

 

The possibilities are endless if you follow these five steps to setting up multiple revenue streams.

Let’s recap:

  1. Know your existing revenue streams.
  2. Know how much work and expense each stream requires.
  3. Cut out the streams that don’t make sense.
  4. Find logical alternate streams within your sphere of genius,.
  5. Look for collaboration opportunities.

Open your mind and usher in abundance; give yourself the freedom to generate revenue in multiple ways.

5 Steps to Setting Up Multiple Revenue Streams