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Financial Tips for Your Side Hustle

Here is the final installment in our “financial tips for” different industries—Financial Tips for Your Side Hustle. This article is for anyone building a business on the side of a full-time job or on the side of another business.  Creating a side business and growing it to allow you to replace your 9-5 and go full time into entrepreneurship is an exciting journey. Here are a few financial tips to help you make that happen.

 

Financial Tips for Your Side Hustle

 

 

Start Your Separate Personal Financial Identity immediately

 

From day one, treat your business as a business. Separate your banking, get a debit card for business expenses, and have all income from all sources deposited into the account. Just point your PayPal, Stripe, Square, or whatever you use to the business account.  Pay your expenses from that account. You will file a different tax schedule when you own a business. Keep receipts and treat it like the real business it is right from the start.

 

 

 

Have a Pricing Strategy That Gets You Into Profit Quickly

 

Many times, when entrepreneurs begin side businesses they start off with pricing that is often too low to make much of a profit. This can be because there is the feeling that the venture is for “extra money,” so making even just a little bit is “fine.” Yet, the best strategy is to be priced correctly from the beginning, so you aren’t just breaking even or worse, losing money with your side hustle.  You are in business to make money, and that means pricing yourself to include your real costs, your paycheck, and some profit to make sure you have capital for growth.  Follow this link (Mastering Your Cash Flow (kartra.com)) for my free three part pricing formula.

 

You don’t have to lose money the first few years in business. See this blog post (5 Tips for Maximizing Business Profits (entremoneycoach.com)) more tips to maximize your profits.

 

 

Set up for your Self-Employment Taxes and pay them at least quarterly

 

Part of treating your business like a business right away is to set yourself up to file your taxes as a business. In the U.S. if you are a sole proprietor that means a schedule C.  When you file that report of self-employment you will need to pay your self-employment taxes. Make it a habit from the start, and you will always be in compliance with the IRS. I learned this lesson the hard way, and ended up owing over $27k in self-employment taxes back the year of my husband’s accident when we lost our consulting business.  We did not set ourselves up, and taxes were an afterthought. Oops.

 

It’s easy to set up to pay your taxes online, visit https://eftps.gov and register. They have to snail mail you a PIN so it takes a few days to set up, but once you are enrolled you can easily make online deposits into your “tax account.” You should deposit 20-30% to start, based on your other job, tax bracket, etc. Visit your accountant to figure out exactly what is best for your situation. But just do it. I withhold when I take a paycheck, I don’t even wait for quarterly anymore!

 

 

If you are going to scale and leave your 9-5 have a plan

 

As you are scaling and building your side hustle to become your full-time gig, I always recommend having a plan. It won’t be perfect, and it will probably change, but you should know your numbers, have some money squirrelled away, and keep debt down so that the payments, if any, are manageable on your new entrepreneurial salary. Plan your income and profit each quarter, knowing how much you need to make to pay everything, including yourself.

 

And know that sometimes businesses take off faster than expected, sometimes they take longer.  Have a real conversation with yourself around what the minimum number of sales or clients you have to consistently have to make a move. It doesn’t always have to be a calendar date! Make your plan around events that happen inside your side hustle and celebrate every milestone.

Financial Tips for E-Commerce Sellers

For the past few weeks, I have been doing a Financial Tip series. This week, we will be focusing on Financial Tips for E-Commerce Sellers. In this blog, we will tackle 4 topics that would allow E-Commerce sellers to take their businesses to the next level. 

 

 

 

FINANCIAL TIPS FOR E-COMMERCE SELLERS

 

 

Know what you are REALLY being charged to use the platform

 

If you are using a shopping platform such as Etsy, Poshmark, Shopify, or E-Bay, know that there are considerable fees that can be a part of each transaction. If there is an embedded payment service, there are transaction and interchange fees for taking payment. Then there are fees for listings, advertising, and renewing items on the platforms. These are common, and the cost of doing business with these services. Just know what they are. I had a client one time on Etsy who ended up paying almost 40% of an item with advertising (someone bought through the Etsy ad link), listing, shipping, and payment. When we looked at the numbers she didn’t realize it was so high.

 

 

 

Get your shipping down with pre-paid services

 

I got this tip from a friend of mine who mails out about 100 packages a week! There are places to buy pre-paid labels for the postal service here in the US to get shipping costs down. My husband has used Pirateship (Free USPS shipping software | Pirate Ship) to ship some packages from his coffee business, and it saved his customers anywhere from $1.50-$4.00 per package. That’s significant!

 

A few others to check out are:

 

If you are reading me in the US, another thing to do is to contact your local business development specialist at the United States Postal Service. They can give you referral codes for vendor partners to create your shipping labels at no cost! My husband had a short conversation with our local post office and had promo codes for five vendors the same day!

 

 

Maximize profits with good pricing and good transaction records

 

I frequently see pricing mistakes in this industry, and often it is because entrepreneurs just double or triple their wholesale costs. It would be better, and more accurate to do a breakdown of operating costs and labor that should be included above the wholesale price of an item. Finally, I like to see an added profit margin.  If you need a good pricing formula for any product or service grab my free resource.

 

Often times I see labor as a sticking point in pricing goods.  If you are a reseller, don’t forget to include the time it takes you to shop, take photos, upload and list items, and pack them, when you calculate pricing.  If you are selling items that you make, know how long it takes you to create the item you sell, and make sure that is considered above your operating costs and the actual wholesale cost to make, photo, list, advertise, and sell the item.

 

Once you figure out your operating costs, please include the costs of using the platform that we talked about above, consider adding a flat labor cost to every item, and then a flat profit amount. For example, you can add $10.00 to an item to cover labor and profit above what you need to recover to make the sale. If that isn’t enough, you can go up, if it’s too much, you can go down.

 

 

Another key to ensuring you are maximizing profit is to keep meticulous transaction records. If you need to pay to relist the item, that additional fee is coming out of your profit margin. Know exactly what to pay for everything you make and everything you sell. If you paid $23.00 for a designer item to resell on Poshmark, you need to record that amount.

 

Estimating what you paid or what it costs to make something is an easy way to lose money in your business. What you paid is the starting place of your pricing structure to make money in this business. You can use a spreadsheet, just a notebook, or some software, whatever feels good for you, but don’t skip this step.

 

 

Check your expenses and margins quarterly

 

A lot of things can change in 90 days in ecommerce. Set aside time to review the expenses in your business. Look at the time you are taking to create and list your items. See if your shipping rates are still working. Look at your platform expenses and make sure that you adjust prices as necessary to cover any new increases.

 

Take the time to check your profit margins as well. Is one platform outperforming another in sales? Are your margins staying relatively consistent or are you going wildly up and down on certain items? You can take an average sale at your average price in a few categories and look for trends. If you typically sell items at $35.00, $60.00, and $85.00, look at a few sales in each of those price ranges. That’ll keep you from feeling overwhelmed at the idea of reviewing 1200 transactions! Make sure everything you sell makes a profit. Likewise, limit your losses. Because I know that sometimes lose a little bit to move something stored in inventory for a while.  

 

There are million-dollar eCommerce businesses built every year around the world. People love point-and-click convenience. The ability to get items that aren’t readily available where they live and unique online finds.

 

Creative Business

There are many, many handmade creative product businesses. Whether you make jewelry, paint pictures, created wooden or porcelain gifts, or make something else, you are a creative product business. I have clients who make soaps and lotions and clients who make artwork and gifts. I find there are a few key areas where creative product businesses lose money, and I have a few tips to help your business stay profitable.

 

Creative Business

 

 

 

Tips for Creative Product Businesses

 

 

 

 

Know your actual costs to create your product and include your labor

 

  • Include all the items it takes to create your product, paint, paper, beads, yarn, wood, labels, shipping boxes, lotion bottles, etc. and your operational costs. For my easy formula for pricing anything guide visit:  https://entremoneycoach.kartra.com/page.pricing .

 

  • Calculate how long it REALLY takes you to create each product, and then calculate your labor cost, per piece, that you want to recover in your pricing. Don’t shortchange yourself, the number is the number. Make sure you have the true costs so you can make pricing decisions that reflect your actual time spent.

 

  • Make sure to also include your shipping materials, tissue paper, bubble wrap, stickers, boxes, and any other items you use to ship your items above actual postage. A flat handling charge may be a good, transparent way to do this, or if shipping is included, add it into the price.

 

  • Finally, know your fees for Etsy, Shopify, eBay, etc. if you use any of these selling sites. These can take a pretty significant chunk of profits if you use all their features and advertising offerings. Think also about the table at the fair or the farmer’s market booth. You must consider the cost to sell your product in your pricing.

 

 

 

 

Have a custom option available for customers and charge appropriately

 

One way to increase the price of an item is to have a custom option available. I’ve worked with clients who personalize items, and clients who create custom items for occasions such as weddings. Having some sort of customization available for people to buy can increase your revenues and margins. This can also be a way to resell to customers who need your custom item again in the future, such as for gifts.

 

You need to charge more for the extra time to tailor the product to your client’s specific wishes. Anytime you veer from a standard item, you need to have a charge. Whenever someone orders something custom, please get a deposit. It doesn’t have to be half, it can be a smaller percentage, but get some financial commitment from the buyer before you start creating your one-of-a-kind work.

 

 

 

 

Watch your discounts, coupons, and bonuses

 

I see creative entrepreneurs constantly markdown items, which cuts into the profits.  A coupon for signing up for the email list, then free shipping, then a bonus trial size, then some other thing, and all the sudden you lose money on the sale. I know that many, many people try to compete on price in the creative space, but what you create is unique because you create it.

 

I don’t recommend discounting items often, or buyers will expect them and just wait to purchase until you markdown again. Offering a 10% off coupon with a newsletter signup may be ok, or even a free shipping option on a minimum purchase. Just make sure you have the margin to offer them. I worked with a client one time who barely broke even after offering her discount coupon, after the Etsy fees and advertising costs.

 

 

 

 

Have policies on product changes, returns, and refunds, and stick to them

 

Things can happen in shipping, the item ordered may not be exactly what the customer expected, or there may be another reason for items to need replacing or returning. Protect yourself with clear policies on shipping and tracking shipments, how long you will accept a return, and when an item will be replaced at no or little charge.  Create a policy that all sales are FINAL on custom items.

 

When people order products online, they have several guarantees offered by payment vendors such as PayPal. They can begin a chargeback or complaint and receive their money back- from your account.  Unless you have clear, understandable policies in place, you probably will lose any dispute and be out however much your item cost plus the additional vendor fees. 

 

There is always a demand for beautiful handmade items for gifts or for any occasion.  I know someone who buys a great pair of new handmade clay earrings every other week. She just loves them. Too many creatives under charge for their items and lose money in their business. Following the tips above will help you stay in profit and have the money to keep on creating what you love. Do you have a specific question related to your own business? Reach out and let’s chat!

raising prices

I am not from the school of thought that believes in raising prices often. Yes, I am a coach and yes, I have raised my prices over time, but raising them was not my first response to making more money. I believe it is what you keep- not what you make- that matters. This means that if you can have good margins at lower prices, that should be a consideration in your formula. Here are a few reasons, however, that you should consider raising your prices as a response to market changes.

raising prices

 

 

 

Raising Prices

 

  1. Your margins have gone down, and your expenses have increased.

 

It is expected that increased expenses should be passed onto the customer and client. If your costs have increased, your prices may have to increase to match. Sometimes costs go up temporarily, for example,  gas prices in the summer, but if there are permanent price increases from your suppliers and service providers, you have to increase proportionally to stay in business. This can be a tough thing for businesses to do. Alternatively, look for lower pricing in your costs.

 

 

 

  1. Your financial goals require a price increase.

If you are at maximum capacity and availability in your products and services, the only way to make more money is to increase your prices. For example, if you coach 20 hours a week, and that is your maximum availability, the increase from $100.00 an hour to $200 an hour is the only way you can make more. This increase needs to be attached to a goal, and you can do the math to figure out how much you need to go up. I’m not necessarily a fan of a 100% price increase, as I used in this example, but I AM a fan of increasing to meet your financial goals.

 

 

  1. Your expertise and value in the market demand it.

 

Finally, sometimes you have to raise your prices because your value demands it. If you have a waiting list for your products and services and cannot keep up with demand, raise your prices. As your expertise grows and you are able to perform at a higher level, your value in the marketplace also increases. Raising your prices to match your increased value is important to keep up with demand.

 

 

AUTHOR’S NOTES:

 

Raising prices can feel scary. But it is a necessary step for maintaining margin, making more, and addressing your market value. Happy Entrepreneuring!

“I don’t know what I am going to make.” I hear this statement all the time, and when your business is fairly new, I get it. But even from the very start, you should understand your capacity and availability to predict your revenue.  Whether you are a business or a service, you should be able to figure out how much you can make in a given time and create a path to get there.

 

 

It is so important that you figure out a predictable revenue at every phase of growth. Using these numbers can help you make the best business decisions regarding whether it is time to scale. The first thing you have to do is get your pricing right. If you need a pricing formula that will help you price any product or service for profit, you can find it in this blog: How Do You Calculate Selling Price? | Entre Money Coach .

 

Once your pricing is where you need it to be, we can talk about your capacity to make products and services for predictable revenue. I’m going to use a recent example, a client of mine who is starting a coffee roasting business.  We calculated his pricing based on operations, cost of the beans, labor, packaging, and shipping. We also figured out both a wholesale and a retail price for his products, because part of his model is to be on consignment in small local stores.  Here’s how we went from pricing to predicting monthly revenue:

 

 

 

 

  1. Capacity and Availability

 

Roasting coffee takes a certain amount of time per batch and based on the roasts and origins times can vary. But we averaged the time it takes to roast a batch, and the number of bags of product he can make in each roast cycle. That number alone will limit his capacity to make more than a specific amount of product each day. 

 

So, based on roasting time and resting time before packaging, we calculated the maximum amount of product that can be made per day, and then per week.  The cool part is that you can decide how much and how often you work. My client wanted to be part time to start, so the amount of product produced was also determined based on his availability and the number of hours he wanted to work.

 

 

 

 

  1. Number of items of each type to sell at each price

 

My client has two package sizes of roasted coffee beans right now, a 3oz size and a 12 oz size. How many of each size he makes, and sells, each week can help him predict his income. Some will be sold at wholesale, some at retail, with pricing at each size. Based on the number of wholesale and retail orders, plus the product he makes, without orders, to sell that week we can predict how much he will make each week, then month, then quarter. These numbers need to be reviewed at least every quarter.

 

For example: He sells 20 12 oz bags and 10 3 oz bags in a week.

 Ten 12 oz bags at $10.00 wholesale becomes $100.00 and ten 12 oz bags at $14.00 retail is $140.00.

Adding ten 3 oz bags at $2.50 wholesale is $25.00. With this mix of products, he will gross $265.00 this week on 30 total bags, mixed in size and price.

 

This is his “predictable” revenue. He can make more or less by selling more at a retail price instead of wholesale. This is just one small example of how knowing your “mix” of capacity. That and knowing your availability, audience and price can be brought together on paper. Doing this will allow you to predict how much money you will bring in.  I want to note that this isn’t actual sales at this point, but a very solid estimate.  You CAN predict your revenue, even as a new business.

 

 

 

Ready to plan your revenue for Q2 2021? Join me Saturday, March 13th for the three-hour Revenue and Profit Planning workshop! Visit https://entremoneycoach.kartra.com/page/quarterlyintensive for more information!

 

 

Money management should align with your personality and the way you like to do stuff. Radical, right? I believe one of the biggest obstacles that business owners face when it comes to money stuff is the idea that there is only one “right way” to do it. This software. Or that spreadsheet formula. Or these guidelines. But if we are really honest, there are actually very few things that have to be done a specific way. Tax and employment filings, sure, but the way you track and manage your business money is up to you. The method you choose just needs to be in a manner that protects your business records and would stand up to an audit, just in case.

 

 

 

What is Aligned Money 

Management?

 

 

So, what is aligned money management? Managing your money in alignment with your financial style, so you stick with it (even if you never learn to enjoy it).  When we try to force ourselves to use a system that doesn’t naturally work with our style of doing things it rarely works. This is a common issue, and it often creates a struggle and resistance to doing the things that support our business growth.

 

A great place to start is with your financial personality (If you don’t know which personality you best identify with, visit this blog to learn more).  It’s important to know how you currently relate to your money. Particularly your business money. For example, do you ignore or obsess over your financials? Whichever it is you can then begin to work with your money in a way that feels relatable.

 

 

 

MONEY MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES

 

Next, we need to examine your comfort level with different management strategies. How are you tracking other things in your business now? Are you a pen and paper person? Do you prefer software or spreadsheets? Do you like more automation or are you comfortable entering data points regularly? Your natural comfort level with certain approaches can easily translate to your financial tracking.  There are templates for paper and pen tracking, apps and software, spreadsheets, and computer formats available for anyone and any budget.

 

Finally, it’s time to start trying things out and being open to tweaking your approach. If you know that pen and paper is how you like to do things, grab some templates, and try them. If you like automated software,  start shopping for one that feels pretty intuitive for you. Many have free trials, so try them. If you like spreadsheets but don’t know how to set one up, get some help creating one that works for you. If you are really at a loss for where to start, hire a money pro to help you. Ask your accountant or have a session with a financial coach.

 

 

 

AUTHOR’S NOTE:

It can take three months or so to get into the habit of managing your money if you don’t do it now, so make sure you build in some grace and room to make mistakes or forget stuff. Particularly your internal processes. If you are worried about the most important compliance things like taxes, turn them over to your accountant so you have the knowledge that they are done correctly. You CAN create a money management strategy that works for you, your needs, your personality, and your organizational style. Making sure your money approach is comfortable and aligned will help you stay consistent with your finances.

 

 

 

ANNOUNCEMENT!!!

 

Our Book Club for The Profit Accelerator for Small Business begins in a few days! You have free exclusive access to the club when you purchase your copy of The Profit Accelerator for Small Business book on Kindle or paperback.

 

 

 

Recurring revenue creates business stability through renewable products and services.

 

Do you know why memberships, subscription boxes, and automatic renewals are so popular? Because people love to be a part of something and to receive new things regularly.

 

And where there is predictable RR the business owner can relax a little bit because a certain amount of money will be flowing in each month without their having to make any more sales.  This is also the reason payment plans are so popular for entrepreneurs as well. Yes, there is a risk someone won’t meet their obligation, but most of the time people do. As a result, recurring revenue streams can be a great way to grow your business and have “guaranteed” income each month and I recommend having at least one offer to many of my clients.  

 

 

How to Set Up Your Recurring Revenue:

 

1. Create an offer that people want every month.

Many people join memberships and subscriptions because the offer has something new each cycle. I belong to a few memberships where each month has new trainings that I love.  There may be a members-only masterclass, new members-only bonus, some accountability, or other “new” perk that keeps the subscription fresh.

If you don’t already have something that would support a regular renewal, create one. Start with the outcome. What is the client going to receive with this offer? Sales support? A Product box? A new course or masterclass? Why would they choose to work with you each month, what are you giving them?

 

2. For subscriptions, use membership software to minimize your tasks.

 

There are a lot of different kinds of membership software available that will automatically “renew” your members each month and keep your client’s payment information secure.  I don’t recommend manually invoicing or running cards for small payments in a membership. It is labor-intensive and there is a risk of making a mistake, double charging, invoices not being sent, etc.

Invest in a membership portal or software to automate the billing tasks.  I have personally used a single purchase of Memberpress for my WordPress website linked to PayPal for my monthly recurring membership for non-traditional law students. I know that there are other platforms and software products available for you to explore.

 

 

 

A note on payment plans.

You can still have recurring revenue with payment plans for your products and services.  You can decide how many payments you want to receive for each offer. I don’t recommend stretching the payments too far out past the end of your program or service. And I always recommend adding to the monthly payment enough to cover your additional fees and to reduce the risk of someone not paying.

For example, I have an offer that is $697.00. I have a plan for two payments at $365, or $730, and three payments at $250.00, or $750.  The little bit extra in each payment offsets both the increased interchange fees and the risks that someone won’t make all of the payments. Payment plans can be a great way to have a regular income for a few months on a single sale.

 

When you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time” – Zig Ziglar

This is the quote that reminds me to set my business goals, and that includes financial goals.

Some entrepreneurs are a bit timid in setting income goals because they just want to sell as much as possible. Others set super stretch goals that they will never reach with the belief that “if you aim for the moon and miss, you will land among the stars.

I understand both approaches. I want to offer you an approach that falls somewhere in the middle.

 

If you don’t typically set goals right now

 

How much money do you want to make, and in what timeframe? That can feel like such a loaded question.

Does reading that have you thinking, “What if I set it wrong? Too low or too high? Am I going to be disappointed? What if I miss it?” right away.

I hear you. The fact is goals don’t have to be arbitrary or decided by throwing a dart at a bunch of numbers. Here are a few questions to help you narrow down a good goal.

 

1. What am I offering, how much does it cost?

 

How many can I sell? This question will help you look at your capacity to make more money. This may be limited by your time, by your production model, or by your own working guidelines.

If you don’t know the maximum that you can comfortably make with each offer in a month, you can’t begin to set a goal, because you can’t figure out what to sell and how many.

 

2. What is my best sales month ever?

 

What made it so good? Was it a new ad? Did you host a challenge? What was it?

These questions can help you to examine what you did in your best sales month, and whether you can duplicate it or do more now. What are you available to do to hit your goal this month?

 

3. What is the purpose for the money?

 

Having a purpose can definitely help you gain clarity on your goals. If you to make $3,000.00 so you can launch a new thing,  then that’s a pretty clear purpose for the money.

Get laser focused on what you want the money for and what it is going to do for you and your business when it is earned.

 

If you set arbitrary goals that you always miss

 

First, follow the questions above! And check on your capacity, availability, and purpose for the money and the goal.

Then ask yourself if it would be better to keep the lofty goal as a “best” goal, but add in a “good” and a “better” goal that is more attainable.

For example, if you set your goal at $10k for the month, but your best month has been $2k and you don’t have the availability to do more than $6k, you can set a “good” goal at $3k (attainable) and a “better” goal of $6k, the “best” (or stretch) goal of $10k.

There is a real psychological boost to you as an entrepreneur as you reach your financial goals. For each of the three goals, make sure you have a clear purpose for the money.

It takes just a few minutes to set your financial goals. It can be for the week, month, quarter, that is up to you. But make sure you have something to aim at and then define the availability and steps you need to take to hit your mark.

By the way, The Profit Accelerator is open again! Grab one of the 12 spots inside the signature program that has helped entrepreneurs focus on making more money and keeping more profit in a six-week sprint. Visit https://entremoneycoach.com/accelerator to learn more.

Wishing you the best with your business goals!

 

I’m on a mission to change the conversation around business money stuff, and that starts with removing the shame we have about money. I talk to business owners every day and there is a single issue that seems universal. They are filled with shame when there is a money mistake or money misstep. Business owners are okay if a marketing promo doesn’t have the expected return, or if there is a product that didn’t sell. But the moment you ask about or learn about a money thing the willingness to learn from a business decision turns into an attitude of self-blame and shame. We tend to marinate in the emotion of shame about money stuff, and it is blocking us as entrepreneurs.

 

Research professor and shame expert, Brene Brown, talks about how shame works,“The less you talk about it, the more you got it. Shame needs three things to grow exponentially in our lives: secrecy, silence, and judgment.” And boy are we ever secretive and silent about the money stuff. We don’t want to talk about it or admit that perhaps we don’t know how to manage some things around money. There is almost a universally accepted attitude that money stuff should never see the light of day, and that it is not okay to talk about.

 

Before I go further, I want to tell you that I get it. Mike and I had severe money management issues in our first business, and I didn’t want to tell anyone or admit I needed help. We just needed to make more money, and we’d be fine. Sound familiar?

 

Well, you can only, “out earn your mistakes” for a short time. It will catch up with you eventually, and in the current Covid-19 situation around the globe, many business owners are being caught up to. I’m no longer quiet about my money mistakes.

 

They are on my website, and I talk about them freely. Because I don’t want to have shame anymore about money and how my mistakes affect running my business. In reality, it’s a chance to grow and learn and become better. But shame proliferates. Here are three effects of shame on entrepreneurs that contribute to stress, relationship issues and ultimately business failure.

 

1. Many business owners have shame around things they did not even know to do.

Entrepreneurs, like people in general sometimes “should” all over themselves. Like, “I should have” had an emergency fund, or “I shouldn’t have ordered that additional thing.” Both of those things may be true, but once these types of things are done, they are done. Feeling shameful around our decisions blocks us from growing and learning.

I want to say for the record right now that business money management is not intuitive.
Managing cashflow when people pay you late isn’t a skill that you magically gain when you open a business. We don’t call and ask for an extension on a bill because as business owners we should be successful and able to pay everything on time, right? It doesn’t always work that way. Shame is preventing us from getting the help we need, from putting processes in place, from not taking it personally when money stuff hits us in business. It needs to stop. It is hurting entrepreneurs. For my e-book, Three Steps to Protect Your Business Income, with advice and tips for your business money visit here.

2. Shame stops people from getting the help they need.

 

“I should already know what to do, I’m just not doing it,” is a refrain I’ve heard enough to make me scream. People think because they may “know” something that they don’t deserve help or support to integrate what they need to do into their systems. And it’s the feeling of shame surrounding what we expect from ourselves. We own a business; we need to do it all- perfectly. Bunk. So many business owners are in their passion project, without a passion for the business side or the money stuff. They excel at their core business, but not the “other stuff.” This doesn’t make them poor business owners, or failures, or whatever other negative description you can give. It means that they know and flourish in their zone of genius.

Those business owners can and should get support in the rest of the business stuff. It’s smart and protects their livelihood. But many don’t, until they get into trouble. Because they don’t want to admit they don’t know. Maybe they can’t read a profit and loss report from their accountant, so what, but they think they should. Maybe they don’t really understand the roles of the financial experts of accountants, bookkeepers, and payroll specialists, and their role in protecting the bottom line. But they don’t ask about these things because, “I ought to know, I’m in business.” Not so. The help you need is available, you can reach out and get support on things that aren’t your passion. And you should.

 

3. Shame makes business issues personal, and traps entrepreneurs.

 

I think one of the most devastating things about shame and money is that we turn business cycles and events into our own personal money failures. We don’t know how to ride the cycles of business and to even plan for how businesses work. They are dynamic. Many small businesses have irregular or inconsistent income months. Many have cycles of feast and famine in their earnings, particularly in the beginning. But this can happen really at any time. The current Covid-19 situation is causing income insecurity that is preventing many people from spending money at the rate they did even a month ago. This will impact some businesses. At the core, there must be a buyer of your goods and services.

 

But one of the first places we look when there are business money things is at ourselves. Maybe we did make a mistake. But we refuse to think that there is a learning curve in business. There may be some shame around some decisions, and those feelings of shame continue to hold us in a cycle of personal feelings of failure. In those feelings we cannot solve problems creatively, seek help and support, and put systems in place to protect the business and prevent future issues.

 

So, how do we fix it? We talk about it. All of it. We take the advice of Brene Brown, “Here’s the bottom line: “Shame cannot survive being spoken,” Brown says. “It cannot survive empathy.”