As an admittedly heart-centered entrepreneur, money is one of those things that I've had to gradually become more comfortable within my own business – managing it, planning for it, spending it and receiving it.
So in this post, I'll be walking you through my money toolkit – everything that I use from strategies to resources.
And if you want to download this information in a handy PDF format, I've prepared that for you here too:
1. Money Mindset
Go into any entrepreneurial Facebook group and throw a stone with your eyes closed. I'm willing to bet you'd land on someone talking about money mindset or manifesting.
So, well yes, how cliché – there's also a reason money + mindset has become such a cliché: It's one of the most significant determining factors in how high your ceiling for success is. It's super hard being an entrepreneur and sometimes feeling like your worth is all tied up in how much you charge for your work and how many people want it.
For me, cultivating a healthy mindset around money includes clearing any mental/ or emotional blocks I have, training myself to see opportunities that may be easy to miss, and taking care of my money by giving it the respect it deserves.
When it comes to money mindset, there are some tools that have rightfully become my go-to's:
Money Bootcamp by Denise Duffield-Thomas:
This was my first foray into developing a money mindset, and it felt like I’d walked through the wardrobe and into Narnia when I first logged in. A whole new world and way of thinking opened up to me. I try to go back through the program every year and notice whenever I’m diligent with tracking my income, upleveling other areas of my life and working through my emotional ish around money that the big U responds and sends the most unexpected blessings my way. If you’ve ever thought about joining the boot camp, you can find out more here.
Zena Amundsen’s The Heart of Your Money
I.LOVED.THIS.BOOK. It’s the perfect combination of mindset and abundance along with the most practical system for managing your money that I’ve ever come across. Zena teaches a value-based weekly cash system, and it’s been exactly what I needed to stick to a budget without feeling like I was depriving myself. #GameChanger Plus it’s peppered with stories and examples that make it as enjoyable to read as it is valuable.
And if you buy the book, you also get a free workshop to uncover your money origin story and discover how to change it so it doesn’t hold you back anymore. Click here for the book + workshop bonus.
The Opportunity Grid
Ready to blow your own mind with all the opportunities that are sitting right in front of you? Denise Duffield-Thomas taught this in Amber McCue’s Planathon and I’ve been using an adapted version of it for years now.
Step 1 – Download the grid template as part of the Money-Ful Toolkit or just draw this on a piece of paper
Step 2 – In the first quadrant, write down any opportunities for money or business that are quick and easy. Maybe it’s following up with people, or sending out an invoice.
Step 3 – In the second quadrant, write down any opportunities for money or business that are slow and easy. Maybe it’s finishing the last few steps of a client project and sending in the invoice.
Step 4 – In the third quadrant, write down any opportunities for money or business that are slow and hard. These might be the things that have the biggest potential ROI like finishing up a new offer, preparing a launch of your products or services.
Step 5 – You got the drill now! In the fourth quadrant, write down any opportunities for money or business that are quick and hard. Maybe it’s cold emailing someone a proposal or sending out a promotion email to your list.
Jen Sincero’s You Are a Badass at Making Money
Don’t let the humour of this book fool you – you’ll be laughing and learning some high-impact techniques for increasing your aptitude for abundance.
My biggest takeaway is that it’s okay if things come easy.
For me this section was really powerful. I carry around this story that since I’m a hard worker, things have to be hard. And if they’re easy, well, that’s the perfect time to add a ton of crap to complicate things. Plus her owl story is identical to my own. So be careful what you comment on – your words become your reality
The next thing that has really improved my relationship with revenue is having a revenue plan (ha!) Before it, goal setting would be a little something like this. “I want to make $100K this year.” No how, no when, no why. Then at the end of year, when it didn't magically happen, I'd conclude that money hates me and I'm a huge failure when it comes to business running. So let's try something different.
What does that money goal look like in terms how many sales you need to make? Then what if those goals were spread out over the year? Maybe not so unrealistic anymore, right? I have a free revenue planner here that you can download and access through the Money-Ful Toolkit at the bottom of this post!
The next thing I did to up-level my money mindset was to cultivate an awareness about where my time was going. This involved tracking my time.
You can use something like Toggl for this but I took the opportunity to combine my affinity for the Pomodoro method and this time tracking through using BeFocusedPro.
It's an app that lets me add categories and then work in 25 minute sprints. I can set a goal for how many ‘sprints' I want to complete each day and then get a report on how many I did each day and where each one was spent.
I also use this in my weekly-monthly-quarterly planning process so that I didn't meet a certain goal I can usually discover that it was because I didn't dedicate nearly enough to it. Or if it was a revenue goal, that I spent too much of my time on non-revenue generating activities.
The system that completely changed my approach to money management for my business though was learned in the book my Mike Michalowicz, Profit First.
Following his system, I divide every payment I receive from clients and weekly transfers from Stripe/PayPal and divide into 4 categories:
- 50% for owner's pay
- 30% for expenses
- 15% for taxes
- 5% for profit
At the end of each quarter, I take half of what I've transferred into my profit account (the rest is there as a sort of emergency fund) and use it as a bonus. Usually a bit goes to something personal and the rest is invested into a fun project for my business.
Before using Profit First, paying myself was kind of a joke. And now it’s becoming a non-negotiable (definitely still a work in progress sticking to it!)..
You Need a Budget (YNAB)
This is how I actually use Profit First because there’s a big difference between acknowledging the principals and putting them into action.
You Need a Budget is a tool that lets you allocate all incoming money to different categories.
I have a personal budget and a business budget. Whenever I receive money, I put it through the business budget first according to the Profit First percentages. I allocate it to different expenses, my tax account, profit account, and then finally pay myself.
Here’s how I set it up:
Step 1 – Sign up for your account
Step 2 – Create a personal budget
- Connect your accounts
- Create all of your categories with their monthly amounts
- Create savings (or debt repayment) goals
Step 3 – Create a business budget
- Connect your accounts
- Create all of your profit first categories and then your subcategories with their monthly amounts
How do you handle one-time expenses? If it’s an annual thing you can set it up as a ‘true expense’ meaning that you can divide the amount over the year and save for it little by little. Or you can do what I did for most of these and have a one-time expense category.
My Money Routine
Systems only work if you work them.
So I have a money routine that I follow daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly.
- Track any incoming revenue (Love this quote from Denise Duffield-Thomas about daily money tracking, “Money tracking daily keeps you mindful of what’s actually going on in your life, helps you appreciate the abundance around you, and sometimes gets your butt into gear to make more money.”)
- Track my pomodoros
- Check weekly cash flow account before spending
- Review budget (business and personal)
- Review pomodoros
- Complete weekly transfers and allocations
- Open mail
- Pay bills
- Bookkeeping for month
- Opportunity grid
- Review: revenue plan, budget, pomodoros, pay team (15th)
- Review profit first accounts
- Review and adjust revenue plan
Want the full list of these resources and tools? Download the full Money-Ful Toolkit PDF