What is enough? It’s a question Shanna Skidmore has become known for asking, but to her surprise, knowing what you need to fund the life you want and keep the business lights on isn’t something many in the finance world feel the need to talk about. In fact, she once had a mentor tell her, “If you don’t want more money, you’re just lying to yourself.” Redefining success, defining enough, building a business on your own terms—it all sounds good in theory, right? But what does it look like to actually build a business that serves both your life and your bank account?
Today, I’m handing over the mic and scooting into the hot seat! You’ll hear my own story of leaving the world of corporate finance to start my own consulting firm. We’ll talk about why I tend to walk in the opposite direction of most business “gurus” and financial guys. And I’ll share how my own money philosophy of “defining enough” revolutionized an entire industry.
I’ve always been a numbers girl.
When other kids were playing “house” or “school,” my sister and I were playing “bank.” It really should come as no surprise that I ended up here, a financial advisor turned business consultant who’s spent the last 15 years working with entrepreneurs to plan for and manage the numbers in their businesses.
Along the way, I’ve seen it all. My job has given me an up close and personal look at the real behind the highlight reel. And though it hasn’t always been pretty, I’m so grateful for each and every story I have had the honor to hear!
After graduating with a degree in business, I took a job as a Fortune 100 Financial Advisor. For five years after college, that was my life. And honestly, I loved it. Three-inch high heels, pencil skirts, and coffee meet-ups were my jam! I learned a lot in that job about networking, sales, and growing a client base. I even met my husband at work! But shockingly, while I learned a lot about finance, I didn’t learn the right stuff about money. (We’ll get to that later!)
Just a couple months into our marriage and one question changed the course of our lives and my career forever:
“If you could do anything, what would you want to do?”
I always felt my husband, Kyle, knew exactly what he wanted to do in life; at the time, that answer was to design and build airplanes. For me it was a bit fuzzier. What did I really want to do with my life? My honest answer back then was, “Take women out to lunch and talk about life and business.” I just wasn’t sure how to do that!
By the time my husband and I married and moved to the Atlanta area, I was sure I wanted to figure it out. I took a job in corporate finance in our new city working for a start-up fashion designer, which was just so cool! I helped with everything from pricing to setting up UPS pick-ups for wholesale orders. I loved it. But after a year and a half, I felt the good I could do there was done, and sitting behind a desk crunching numbers wasn’t filling my creative tank.
So, I made a change. What I thought would be a major pivot out of finance and into something creative turned out to be the stepping stone to my true calling! I took a job working with floral designer Amy Osaba in Atlanta. I was sweeping floors, schlepping buckets, and generally doing whatever was needed to help. Basically, anything and everything to pay our bills.
Over time, I saw just how much Amy was struggling with the numbers behind her business. My natural curiosity kicked in, so I asked how I could help. Over the course of the next year, I helped Amy restructure all her pricing, create a financial plan to forecast sales and set goals, and implement systems for everything related to numbers and operations in her business from the ground up.
And that’s when it happened; I found it!
“Take women to lunch and talk about life and business and money.”
Yup! I’m so in!
It didn’t take long for others in Amy’s circle to see the transformation in her business, and Skidmore Consulting was born. Client by client, my business grew.
At this point, 7 years into finance, I started to see patterns. Repeatable steps that any business owner could take to build a profitable business that also aligned with their big dreams and life goals.
So, I got creative. Kyle and I bought a camera and sat down and filmed my process from start to finish at our kitchen table! My signature program, The Blueprint Model, was born!
Thousands of students later and millions in revenue, I’ve been able to help business owners around the world chase after their dreams. It’s the best job in the world for me.
For years I was taught that success looked like making more money, climbing the ladder, and getting recognized for those achievements. Over time I’ve realized that that version of success isn’t for me. Instead, I believe that true success is getting honest about the life you want and building your business and finances to support those dreams. For me (and what I now teach all my students), that looks like defining enough.
What you need to pay your bills, what you need to dream your unique dreams, what you need to create time for yourself and your family—it’s all possible.
And it all starts with defining what enough looks like for you.
Taking a year off, having a baby, and moving half-way across the country–there’s more to my story! Make sure to press play to hear the whole story or download the full transcription. It’s been a joy to share my business journey with you, so thanks for listening!
Toggl (My Favorite time tracking tool!)
ShowIt (My Website Host)
Tonic Site Shop (Favorite Website Templates)
The Blueprint Model (Business Finance Course)
Blueprint at Home (Personal Finance Course)
My Blueprint Year (Annual Planning Course)
Shanna Skidmore is a business strategist, financial coach, and international speaker with clients and students in more than 26 countries. Nicknamed the “dream–releaser” by her clients, she’s helped business owners around the world build lives and businesses they love! Her greatest joy in life (besides being a wife and mama), is helping others chase after their dreams.
After working alongside thousands of creative entrepreneurs, Shanna took the most confusing, frustrating, frequently asked (and frequently wine-and-tears accompanied) business concepts—financial planning, strategy, scale, mindset—and simplified them. With a background in finance, psychology, and art she has successfully married the world of business and creativity, and now uses her 15+ years of experience to teach and consult with business owners around the world using her proven strategic growth models.