Susan Finn 0:08
Welcome to this week's rise above noise spotlight where each week, I have the honor of shining a spotlight on someone in the rise above noise community who is making a real difference. And who's helping others with their business growth. If we've not met yet, I'd love to introduce myself. My name is Susan Finn, I'm a digital marketing strategist, with rise above noise where for over 15 years I've been working with with transformation creators, right? It's service based professionals, energy healers, lightworkers, coaches, teachers, and guiding them with their own their personal roadmap on their own digital marketing journey. And when I say digital marketing, I mean showing up right, so together, we create your own system for showing up in a way that feels generous feels in service so that you can show up with consistency. So the people who are actually already searching for you can find you that way. Your business and you grow with flow, and ease. So today, I'm talking with my friend, Julia Lauren Estes. We met a number of months ago through the success champion network. After our first virtual coffee, we knew that we each had an area of expertise that the other needed help in right, like that's the whole thing with referral network. So I saw that Julie is logical and analytical approach to reviewing our business, our business, finances profit, really, she dives into, where's the profit? Right? Like, where can you build your equity, and she opened my eyes to making sure that I was not only supporting my business, but that I would do the things to help me thrive. With the right vision and the right strategies in place. Now I know that you're going to pick up some great takeaways from today's conversation. So let's get right to it. So rise above noise, right? Where transformation creators, I work with transformation creators, and what you need to do is really know that you're doing the things in a way that you're protecting your time and energy, if time and energy are our most valuable resource, then what are we doing? So the first part of rise above noise is to understand who your ideal clients are. But even more than that, what are your core values? What is your mission? What are your non negotiables. And then when you can know what that is? Now you can go ahead and start creating compelling content that speaks directly to the people that you're here to help. And so if you've heard me talk about compelling content, it's how do you share your cookies? Right? What are the frequently asked questions? And how do you share them in a way that speaks directly to the people you want to also proof of concept? So that's basically your case studies stories people are telling you about you, your testimonials, those are your proof of concept. So organizing and scheduling. Gosh, we could talk about this for days and days and days on end, there are so many things that we can use, do you schedule your posts? Do you have a virtual assistant? Do you have a system? Do you watch your time? How quickly how much do you watch your calendar today? Topic is in organizing and scheduling. Because when we talk with Julia, what I loved about my session with Julia is she helped me look at my own assets, my own way of working with clients and charging with clients and moving money as energy around my business, so that I didn't waste that resource. So time energy, and let's talk about money today that's in organizing and scheduling. And of course, where I spend most of my time is in keeping in touch I talk about email marketing until people want to just throw me out of the room but really like it's the highest return on investment and time energy, do it make money. And all of this is so that you show up. Right let's so let's not even say marketing. Let's say you show up instead. And that's so that you can be of service. So that's my soapbox. That's my GPS, you guys that's where i i Stop and look at with any of the clients with any of the work that I'm doing. Where am I fitting in in those five pillars of rise above noise? And so let's let's get to it right let's talk about Julie so hold on, I lost the thing. As much as I tried to prepare. I have now lost asked what I was looking for
please hold it went away. I had an official bio for Lauren for Julia, only I have misplaced it. So let me just tell you what I know about her. So Julia, do you mind that I put on the on this marketing that you said you are a numbers nerd and she said, No, she's proud about being a numbers nerd. And with her company profit and equity, what I love about it is She is helping all kinds of business owners. But I would say in my experience, it would be a solopreneur, who has is wearing all of the hats and wants to make sure that they're doing things properly. I and I'm going to let her go into a little more detail on her own stuff, because I didn't have her bio here. What I will tell you, is I asked Julia, what her zone of genius is like, what is her superpower? And she said that it's making change? Easy. And so let's jump off there, Julia, go ahead and tell me like what does that mean
Julia LoranEstes 6:15
to you? Well, and everybody fears change, at some level, it's just part of human nature, we like things to be safe and comfortable. And what we know is comfortable. And a lot of times, those things are unfortunately things that are not necessarily in our best interests. So, you know, learning new habits, and going out of your comfort zone, and all of those things, people have varying responses to that, especially when it comes to their money, and how they handle their cash flow and their business. So I make that transition as painless as possible for people, whether that's taking baby steps, whether that's someone who just wants the whole thing thrown out, and let's start fresh. I'll meet them where they are, and make sure that they're comfortable with what's happening in their business with their money. At the end of the day, that's the most important thing to me.
Susan Finn 7:08
Well, I I love that that's, I love that that's your what you yourself for self professed superpower is because you think about that with dentists, right? Like that's a big advertising point for them, right, like painless dentistry, or something like that. And as much as I love tech, and I love working with numbers, there's something about looking at my business numbers. That makes me uncomfortable, it is a little painful. And, you know, I keep looking at it as a solopreneur. Right? Like, who do you talk to? Well, maybe you have a mastermind group where you maybe you talk about it with your spouse, or your partner or whatever, there was something about going over it with you, knowing that you are going to have no emotion around it like you were just going to give me clear, analytical advice, that that kind of put me at ease. Right, yeah. And
Julia LoranEstes 8:08
I do try to make sure that it is a very approachable information. And what I mean by that is someone, it's hard, like, when you tell somebody about their kid, they're immediately on the defensive. And for a lot of us, our businesses, our baby, this is something we created from scratch, it's a piece of us. So it's very hard for someone to kind of let somebody in to see the backbone and the background and the inner workings and the guts of the business that most people don't see because they literally, blood, sweat, and tears went into that. So you know, it is a very sensitive subject, and you kind of have to approach it with a very, you know, diplomatic approach. Yeah. So if, as you're as we're
Susan Finn 9:02
learning, right, as business owners, like you said, you said is no one teaches us how to manage our money, right? We kind of figure it out. And it's trial and error. How do you, when you go into somebody's business, let's go through that, like, where do you start? And I know you have five steps to mastering your cash flow. So maybe that's a good place to talk about it. Like what is? What's the process? And what is how does it show up at the end? What's gonna happen at the end of our time together? Sure.
Julia LoranEstes 9:34
So you know, everybody has a business, everybody has money moving through their business. And the first thing that I try to encourage people to do in their business is tracking that spending. They're spending money, whether they you have to they need to, they want to whatever that is, whatever that form looks like. They are spending money to run their business. Those things need to be tracked. It's so easy just to say Oh, it'll be on the banks. Amen. Oh, it'll be you know, I'll just show this receipt in a box number look at it. But you really do need to intentionally notice what you're spending your money on. And make sure that that is tracked somewhere documented somewhere, that you're taking the action to document not relying on the bank statements, not, you know, just shoving a receipt in a box, but actually intentionally writing it down somewhere. Does that mean taking a piece of paper and a pen, and for some people, that's what it looks like. For others, it's actually going into their bookkeeping software and typing out $20 at Petco, or whatever it was, you know, it's, it's just has to be an intentional action and get into the habit of knowing what you spent money on by literally taking the time to write it down. And that, again, is is very subjective for a lot of people what that's going to look like. But I highly recommend that somebody does this every single time they spend money on their business, even their bills that are automatically taken out. They need to be tracking those things. Those are the dangerous ones, to be honest with you. Yes. So that's the first step is you're going to be spending your money you need to be tracking it. And whether that's in your, your bookkeeping, or on a piece of paper, or an Excel spreadsheet, whatever that looks like where you're comfortable, then you need to actually look at it. Once you've written it down, once you it's in your bookkeeping software, being able to match those transactions being able to move forward, you got to have some way to actually look at the data. Not line by line, but as a whole. Okay, how much should I spend on my utilities? How much should I spend on my advertising on my payroll, it's a big one for a lot of people. And being able to look at that data in different forms. Now, if you have a bookkeeping software that takes care of a lot of those functions right up front, if you're choosing to use Excel or some other form of bookkeeping, which a lot of people do when they first start a business, you need to be able to manipulate that data. And that might mean getting somebody to help you that might mean doing a little bit of learning. But it's important that it's not just a page full of numbers, because your bank statement tells you nothing about the health of your business. Mm hmm. So,
Susan Finn 12:18
so you're talking about like when I, for instance, I if I'm going to spend anything on my business, it's going to be either sometimes in my Pay Pal, but more likely, it's going to be on my American Express. And so when I look at that statement, and I categorize it, I can say, Oh, this was from marketing, this was for networking. Is that is that kind of that next step that
Julia LoranEstes 12:39
you're talking about? Yes, yeah, you need to be able to put data into some form of usable information, it's doesn't help you to know that you spent $40, on PayPal, that's not going to help you make any decisions in your business. But it will help you to know that, you know, 46% of your revenue is going to pay well. Yeah, that's something that will trigger. And you'll be able to say, wait a minute, that should be a little bit lower, that should be a little bit higher, why am I spending, you know, $10,000 a year on food. I'm not a service this. So it really does kind of open people's eyes when they can see that data gathered in certain ways. So the reporting is really important about it and from we get the budget. And most people think their budget starts with their income and it doesn't. Your budget starts with what you spend, and being able to write it all out. And no, every month, these are the bills I pay every month, these are the incidental expenses that I pay, whether it's your morning coffee, whether it's the fuel for your car, the you know, incidental fees that you pay for certain people to come in and help you with things on the spur of the moment. And then you look at really honing in on what are your yearly expenses as well, such as taxes, and all of the other things. By looking all of that together and gathering your expenses, you're able to say what your budget should be,
Susan Finn 14:14
then you can so then you would be like alright, so I know, well, I guess some people pay something, remember to pay their quarterly taxes. So that would be something right or for me, I guess it would be like my annual subscriptions to such and such. And so budgeting that out, month to month
Julia LoranEstes 14:36
would be not so much, but just have vert. I'm talking like step by step in a budget. The first thing you need to do is gather all your expense.
Susan Finn 14:44
Okay? Okay, so we're not even there yet. Okay.
Julia LoranEstes 14:47
Once you get all your expenses, you now can break that up that total for the year into a monthly fee. Gotcha. So don't try to break up each one into a monthly fee. Just gather at all Up, figure out how much you're spending every year, and then divide it by 12. Gotcha. Thank you. That's your monthly expenses. When you take that number, multiply it by six. That's what you should have set aside in savings in your business. Oh, oh, snap,
Susan Finn 15:18
what? So, so six months budget worth, yes, I should have been savings. Yes,
Julia LoranEstes 15:31
I birthing. And honestly, six months wouldn't have been enough to help some businesses with the COVID crisis, for example, okay. But it would have at least given them a chance to pivot. Or to re establish a different way to run their business that wouldn't be dependent on people walking into their brick and mortar facility. So it gives you a little bit of wiggle room, it gives you that buffer to react to be proactive to try to get ahead of when you see that downturn coming. And that's what it's really for. The other side to that is then looking at your income. And every business owner owes, you cannot necessarily plan your income very well. Unless you're you know, even if you have monthly clients or things like that they can leave at any time. So we really do have to have that number in mind of what is our goal? What is our, you know, benchmarks that we're looking for, to even to get to that break even point and then get into the profit zone of our business. And that's why having that budget is so important, because that's going to give you those numbers, then you're able to really figure out, Okay, here's my revenue, how much of this? Do I put into savings? How much of this circuit aside for taxes, which you should absolutely be doing? And how much of this can I pay myself? Because that's always a huge question. For a lot of business owners, they don't even know how much they should be making? Or how to how that looks. If you're an LLC versus an S corp versus a corporation, what are the different ways that that revenue gets into your pocket? Or you get
Susan Finn 17:26
getting there? We're getting juicy now. All right, so So we're figuring out what our expenses are. We're Hold on, I'm putting the notes in the Facebook group here. So we're figuring out what the expenses are, don't wait for the bank statement know what they are. And then once you know all of that you create your budget, don't forget to include the yearly expenses and break it out. And then that gives you your monthly budget, you have to have six months in like a savings bucket is what I had, right? And then you're like, Okay, now how much do I need to make to not only cover those expenses, but also pay myself and maybe put some profit into the business? Am I saying that all correctly? Yes,
Julia LoranEstes 18:09
exactly. And the biggest part of what I do is helping people figure out where they are in that process, and how to get to their goal in that process, which is typically having all of these things in place. You want to have the six months of savings, you want to have a profit account, you want to have your taxes set aside, you want to be paying yourself enough money, you want to be charging enough. Those are all questions that I help people with step by step, to go through a process to get to a place where their business is COVID proof. They have time on their hands now because all of these things have been put in place. So there's a routine they have a they don't have to sit down once a week and go through their books. Yeah, that's already done. Okay. So that's really cool. And watching people get to that point is just really, really exciting. Typically, we start the savings at about 10% of your revenue. Just to give you a jumping off point. Some people like to start a little heavy because they want to get that bolus built up. Other people, they're happy with the 10% Some people have to work up to 10% It really just depends on where you are in your business and how your margins look.
Susan Finn 19:27
So you said for a jumping off point get your savings to 10%. of of what
Julia LoranEstes 19:34
of your revenue. So in other words, whatever money comes in, before it gets put anywhere it should 10% of it should go right into your savings.
Susan Finn 19:44
Do you do like the profit first kind of idea? I know Yeah. And I would imagine that's a habit Right? Like I think these that we're talking about habits that at first feel me Be a little uncomfortable or strange. But then, then they become a habit. And so then it's easier. Yes. And then you can build on that habit, I would imagine.
Julia LoranEstes 20:14
Exactly. And I think, I think the biggest downfall of education in this sector is that nobody ever tells you what those habits should be. No. Yeah.
Susan Finn 20:30
Hmm. So when you start working with somebody, and I know my experience, right, but I'm really just a solopreneur, I don't have a lot of in and out. But with larger companies are like some of my clients are growing now. Right? So now they have more employees, they have more expenses, they're traveling more, there's a lot more going on. And, you know, maybe they've done this work, but maybe they haven't, what would you say would be the biggest challenge of all the things that you've talked about that entrepreneurs are having?
Julia LoranEstes 21:06
biggest challenges? Well, not to be cliche, but it's always that first step. actually becoming mindful about their money, of not just assuming that oh, all I have to do is save this box of receipts. And, you know, make sure my bank feed is hooked up to my QuickBooks, and the accountant will take care of the rest of it. That's not bookkeeping, that's not going to tell you anything about the financial health of your business. And if you don't know the health of your business, how can you get it healthier? So the first step is to actually become aware of the health of your business, the status, the financial status of your business, then move towards getting it stronger. Perfect. That's so perfect. Alright, so
Susan Finn 22:02
how do you work with people? And how can they reach reach out to you?
Julia LoranEstes 22:07
Absolutely. So I work with people virtually all over the country. And they can reach out to me by setting up a call with me. I provided the link earlier. Yep. Like that in the chat. I also have another link for you, a checklist that I created for people to use in their business. And it just breaks it out into daily habits, weekly habits, the monthly things that you need to be looking for, which is the big one, the quarterly things just breaks it out a little bit. So people have a guideline of what they need to do when
Susan Finn 22:50
awesome, I put in both of those into the notes here. I know that, you know, pricing is part of my issue, gosh, is it worth $10? Is it worth 10,000? Like, I sometimes I feel like money is such a construct. You know what I mean? Like, you go to a store, you get milk, right? It's whatever, it's whatever. But when you go to service providers, there's such a wide range. And I think that what you helped me figure out in looking at mine was, well, how much do you need to make a profit? Right? Like you can't keep charging this amount? If it doesn't cover your monthly expenses, right, like there's only so many hours in a month. And so that was how you helped me back into some pricing. And I appreciated that. I think that's a really great lesson for anybody who's listening. And they're just like, I don't even know, I don't even know.
Julia LoranEstes 23:48
Right? It's true. It's true. And I mean, that's a very, very simplified way of looking at it. If you know that you have $10,000 in bills, for example, just to have a very round number, and you only have, you know, 100 hours in a month. Well, then you know what you need to charge per hour.
Susan Finn 24:11
Grabbing your link now to because I realized we didn't even because I didn't read the bio. I didn't say you can find Giulia at profit and equity.com. And if I hadn't put that in the notes here, is there anything else that you would really want us to remember? As we kind of wrap up and go along with the rest of our week? I
Julia LoranEstes 24:32
think the biggest thing I say to people all the time is don't be afraid of your books. Your numbers are there to help you. And so many people ignore the fact that there's so much information they can learn about their business just by looking at their numbers. Don't be afraid of your books. Don't be afraid I'm not there to help you
Susan Finn 24:53
so much Julia. I'm so glad that we had this time together. And if you are See this on Facebook and you have any questions, let us know where Julie is always available. She's one of those people that answers her emails, like right away. So if you have any questions, get on a call with her look her up on her website and connect with her because she has answers. I know y'all have questions. So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed this week's rise above noise spotlight as much as I did. Did you grab some takeaways from today's talk? Yeah, I sure did. Some of the ones that I can say and you'll find the others in the show notes is that Julia helps us recognize that our business is our baby. And we might be resistant to some changes. But she reminds us to make habits to become mindful of our finances and and really be on top of know the health of our business. And UK is Julia strict and you'd want her to be right. She wants us to know, what is our income goal, right? What actually is it? How many clients do we need? Do we want how much new business do we need to bring in. And we need to be clear on what the benchmarks are to get us into a comfortable profit zone. So you can see that our rise above noise community, and our members are revolutionizing how service professionals show up in their marketing and in their businesses to make a real difference in the world. If we say that, as I often do that our only true currency in this life is our time and our energy. Then while we're working in our building our business we really need to practice efficiency and flow and set up systems that allow us to shine in our zone of genius without without having our precious time and energy sucked away from us now, more than ever, our world needs you. We need transformation creators to be successful in what you're doing to show up in service and make a real difference in our world. Well, thanks for joining today. I'm glad that you spent your time with me and I look forward to seeing you in a rise above noise community and sharing my next rise above noise spotlight with you
Transcribed by https://otter.ai