Start making money in your business. Stop living in fear.
Last week I wrote a blog post on how I structure the finances in my business.
I got a few emails asking me something along the lines of: after your burnout, how did you START making money again and STOP being in fear?
I absolutely get the fear – the fear is REAL. I started my business in 2015. I spent almost three years consistently in financial stress, earning far less than $20,000 / year. No wonder I was burnt out in the end.
So I don’t discount the power of fear and anxiety. It can be very debilitating.
I’m conscious, when you’re in a state of stress, hearing someone’s ‘positive recipe’ for getting out of fear can be annoying and frustrating.
So acknowledge where you are at. Read this with an open mind. Take away what appeals for now and just leave the rest.
This is how I did it:
1. Create bread and butter income
We’re all familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. As an absolute baseline, we need our physiological and safety needs met first (food, water, warmth, rest, security). In the society we live, it’s a fact we require money to make that happen.
If you’re consistently wondering where your next pay cheque is coming from, then you’re consistently questioning whether your baseline needs will be met and this creates HUGE stress on your nervous system (hello adrenal fatigue and burnout).
The wisest thing I did, after returning from my trip to Vanuatu, was create some bread and butter income (b&b income).
What I mean by that is: finding a way to generate a small amount of cash every week I knew would consistently be coming into my bank account without fail. Enough to cover food and rent – my baseline needs.
The easiest way to do this is to get a part time job. Yeah yeah, I know. It doesn’t sound ‘sexy’, does it? But just take a moment to feel into the idea of having money come into your bank account consistently. Feel the relief in that. Doesn’t that feel good?
Most of the business women I know have – at some point – worked some form of a part time job. We should talk about this more! There’s no shame in it.
When we think ‘job’, we think long commutes and sitting in a stuffy office. But it doesn’t have to be that way. I know women who have worked in a coffee shop, taught English classes, gave massages, did after school child care or freelance writing.
And having b&b income isn’t just for when you’re getting your biz off the ground. One of my very successful (and profitable) clients generates b&b income by providing lucrative corporate coaching. This gives her flexibility to play, pivot and take risks in the other areas of her business because she knows she’s got her baseline covered.
I personally have an online business services job – I work 10-15 hours each week for one beautiful woman supporting her in all her business needs. I know that money comes into my account without fail and it’s enough to pay all my baseline bills, even on weeks where I might not be earning anything else. I found this job through a Facebook group.
How can you generate some b&b income?
Once you’ve got your b&b income happening, you’ll be out of immediate financial stress and these other steps become a whole lot easier…
2. Stop reacting
When we’re in financial stress, we react to try to generate money. We force and push and leak our energy all over the place. This leads to rushed projects that don’t get results, more anxiety and, eventually burnout.
We have to break this continuous cycle of doing more more more.
This can be a difficult habit to break because it’s counter-intuitive to what we’ve been taught as a society. Don’t have money? Work harder! That’s what we’re told.
It’s an act of rebellion to no longer behave in this way.
Notice the dis-ease in your body when you’re reacting from this place of fear and lack. When you’re pushing to make something happen. Feels gross, doesn’t it? That’s a sign something is off. And I can guarantee, your community smells your desperation and anxiety a mile away too.
Stop and regroup. Allow yourself the space to re-centre before taking any action.
I like to ask myself this question: has reacting in this way in the past ever given me the results I want?
So why would it be any different this time around?
3. Create space
I’ve made how I feel a priority. I want to feel good. I do that by: meditating, dancing, listening to a LOT of Abraham Hicks, walking, making sure I get enough sleep, eating a healthy, plant-based diet, staying away from sugar (creates so much anxiety!), saying no, working no more than 5-6 hours a day.
I also do nothing out of obligation or because I think that’s what I should be doing for a successful business.
I only post on social media if I’m inspired to. I only write blog posts when I feel something flowing. Fuck the marketing strategies that tell us we have to show up all the time – that’s why there’s so much “noise” in the online space. I’m over it, are you? I certainly don’t want to be contributing to that.
I’ve created spaciousness so I can feel my way through my business. So I can allow creative insights to come through. So I’m responding to my intuition (and my communities needs), rather than reacting out of fear. So I’m creating a sustainable and intentional business.
This is a constant daily practice and commitment.
4. Find opportunities to easily make money
I always had women coming to me asking for support in their businesses. But I’d discounted this, because it came so easily to me. I didn’t see the value in my skills.
When I returned from my Vanuatu trip, I thought I was going to have to go back and get a corporate job. And then women started asking for support again and I started to think… maybe… maybe I could earn money doing this…
What comes easily to you? What do people ask you about? We often discount the things we are naturally good at – but herein lies your opportunities to make money easily, in a way that feels natural to you.
Business isn’t meant to be hard…
Also – can you go back to past clients and ask if they need your help? Or can refer you to someone else? Past clients trust you and often want to work with you again – you just need to ask. Almost all of my client work comes from women who I have worked with before, have purchased my online programs or who have been referred to me by a past client. Treat your past clients like gold.
5. do you need to restructure your business to support you better?
How is your business structured now? Are you invoicing upfront so you don’t have to chase dollars? Do you have packages? Are there opportunities to work with you ongoing on a regular basis? Do you have add-ons or extra things people can purchase on top of your bigger offerings? Are you charging enough? Are you responding promptly to queries about working with you?
One of the best things I did in my business was put retainer packages in place – these are four-week commitments to work with me for at least two hours each week – paid upfront. This allowed me to schedule my time better, know when projects were finishing up and better manage my finances.
The other thing I did was start saying no to problem clients or work that didn’t feel aligned. Once I had my b&b income in place and I’d found a structure in my business that worked, I felt strong enough to start saying no. Which frees me up to do work I really love!
You might think you have to overhaul everything… maybe not… it could just be you need to reshuffle and restructure a little bit…
6. keep it simple
We think we need some big offering to make the big cash. Let that belief go – it’s a lie.
Simple offerings can be highly valuable – for you and your people.
I’m currently loving Dani Gardner’s philosophy of slow business and tiny projects.
At the end of last year, I offered a simple ‘end of year’ podcast review package to my Ignite students. I thought it would be fun to listen to my student’s podcasts. I knew I could offer some really useful feedback to these women. I knew it wouldn’t take me a lot of time but would give a LOT of value to my students. So I sent one email just to see what would happen… That one simple email, made me close to $2k.
Implement a philosophy of experimentation and play. When you create simple offerings and throw them out there without any expectation other than to serve and see what happens, it’s a liberating feeling! You’re no longer attached to the outcome AND you get some good data collection / feedback on what your community really wants.
I encourage you to pick one or two items from this list and start to practice them in your business. I would love to hear how it goes for you.