If you do this one thing, you cannot fail.
Back in my days as a Fortune 100 financial advisor, that’s exactly what I was promised. And for five years I thought about that one thing each and every year when I was setting my goals, yet year after year I fell short.
What I couldn’t put into words then, I understand now: I didn’t achieve that one thing because I wasn’t willing to do what it took to get there.
My Business Mindset started to change when I truly asked myself: What does success look like to me?
In the corporate world it felt like the one perk I was supposed to want: was “more”. More money, more fame, more recognition.
Recognition sounds nice. Hello, Achiever. And I’ve been known to drop some Benjamins on nice home decor …but those perks meant nothing if I didn’t also have afternoons at the park with friends or 4:30 gym dates with Kyle.
Here’s what I’ve come to learn in my 15 years working in finance and getting a behind the scenes look into thousands of businesses.
There is no “one right way” to build a business.
In fact, I believe that no two businesses should look the same because no two business owners are the same.
While yes, there are absolutely key financial and business principles every business owner needs to know to build a thriving business (I call these the 6 building blocks and I teach them all inside my signature program, The Blueprint Model)…
>>> your hopes, dreams, life values and financial goals should all shape the business you’re building. <<<
It is absolutely possible to build a thriving business on your own terms!
What are your life and business priorities in this season? Where do you want your time and attention to go? What do you value? What kind of person do you want to be?
Right now I have a ten month old baby and childcare just three days a week. This gives me about 20 hours a week to commit to work. I want to be a present mom in my non-working hours, and an incredible business woman during working hours. I want to be a friend who remembers birthdays and sends a casserole when life is hard.
I can take on more work and have less time with Madelyn or I can take on less work and have more time with Madelyn.
These values become parameters for my work. As I teach in my signature program, The Blueprint Model, we all have a bank of time. In this season I have set aside 20 hours a week to work, that’s the number of hours that is manageable with my other life priorities. That is my time deposit. When I work, I withdraw hours from my time bank. And when/if my time bank gets overdrawn, that’s when things feel out of balance.
Talk to any of my students and they’ll probably tell you my philosophy of “defining enough” changed their businesses and, for many, their lives.
We live in a more world, and choosing “enough” feels counter-cultural.
For a long time I didn’t know how powerful this idea of “defining enough” really was. In fact, I actually felt ashamed to share my business philosophy, as the concept of “enough” felt like a cop-out for lack of ambition or laziness.
But I now know that “enough” is the place where abundance and contentment meet. It’s that elusive feeling of balance we all so desperately desire; knowing we’ve put what matters most in the right order.
Your Personal Salary Need
+ Quarterly bonuses
+ Tax Savings
+ Annual Business Overhead
+ Cost of Goods
= Sales Need “Enough”
+ $20,000/ per quarter bonus
+ $60,000 taxes
+ $50,000 overhead
+ $40,000 project costs
= $350,000 Sales Need
This is our need, not our goal. Knowing the bare bones minimum gives me peace of mind.
This tells me no matter what I have to generate $350,000 in revenue to hit our minimum sales need. That is “enough”. Knowing this number allows me to pivot if things don’t go exactly as I had hoped or imagined (ahem, global pandemic 🙃 ), or if I simply need to slow down and get more rest.
Once I calculate my need (ps. I set sales numbers at three levels “need, want, and reach for the stars” a strategy I teach inside The Blueprint Model), I break down that big sales number into bite-sized pieces called a “money plan” to make that big number feel more manageable.
This money plan includes: how many clients I need to take on at what price-point (revenue plan), a spending plan for overhead expenses (budget), and a breakdown of how much each project/service/offer will cost us to produce.
Totals = $350,000 Sales Need
This makes that big number feel more manageable by focusing on weekly, monthly, or per launch goals.
Years ago I told one of my clients to “Make the plan, and then work the plan” and it stuck! It’s now something I teach all my students. Naming every dollar, and creating an overarching money plan for the year (fancy name: Financial Forecast) gives me a guide. I know as long as I hit my sales goal and stay within my spending budgets we will always have enough!
I think you and I are probably pretty similar. Fame, Recognition, Money… all that is nice. But we want a business that affords us the life we want. That all starts here: Defining Enough.
Here to help if you need me!
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January 15, 2022
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“But I now know that “enough” is the place where abundance and contentment meet.” AMEN. I’ve sent this blog post to about 10 friends who need to read it in the hopes that they’ll accept that running a business and having a life really CAN be this easy.
Lauren! Thank you so much for passing the post along. It’s absolutely a message that can be encouraging to business owners. Hoping your friends breathe a big sigh of relief and peace as they read! -Jana from Team Skidmore