How to get out of your own way with your financial strategy
Guys, sometimes entrepreneurship feels really heavy.
Not only is being an entrepreneur a difficult task on its own, but doing it with a full time job while you’re trying to pull yourself up by your bootstraps? Basically the hardest thing you’ve ever done.
I want to take a minute to talk about something real here, something that a lot of people find difficult to talk about. Money. Let’s talk about your financial situation while you’re trying to navigate through this entrepreneur thing.
A lot of people like to say things like, “It’s just business,” and that relates to finances as well. But I’ve found that money is really emotional. If you feel like you’re not spending it right, it’s easy to get embarrassed. If you’re funding your company yourself, it’s really easy to feel resentful or hurt because things in your personal life aren’t getting the financial attention you wish they could, because your finances are funneling into growing something bigger. If you have a family, that adds a whole other complicated layer. And how do you tell your friend from college you can’t come to her wedding across the country because that money has to go towards buying and shipping 1,000 zippers?
The personal financial side of being an entrepreneur is So. Damn. Hard.
That’s part of why we tell ourselves we need to bootstrap. We need to keep working on everything alone, because outsourcing is expensive. We need to cut corners, and specific tools that are out there and available: we don’t even give ourselves the chance to use them because we dismiss at as “too expensive,” or we say, “that’s for bigger businesses.”
I get it, I really do. We have all been there. But I’m here to tell you, that’s really the wrong mentality. Outsourcing your biggest struggles is one of the best things you can do for your business because it means you have advice from an expert who really knows their stuff. If you can do a better job with something like, for example, financial advice, what’s stopping you?
“It’s too expensive,” I’ll be frank. My first startup bookkeeper was $200 a month. That’s a lot of money, and it was the biggest regular expense I had invested in for my business up until that point. But, what I found was that my bookkeeper was able to navigate my finances, something that I hated doing regularly, and save me a lot of time. Even better, they organized everything in a way that saved me money, more than enough to pay for their services. By working with an expert, I upleveled my business and actually SAVED money where I really thought I was going to lose it.
Eventually I plan to couple my bookkeeper with a financial advisor to help me understand what better business decisions I could be making.
And in a lot of ways, It was a sacrifice. I will tell it to you straight because it’s important to be honest about these things. I had to give up certain aspects of my personal life in order to be able to afford things like outsourcing my financial management. I was already funneling all of my extra cash into my business, and now i had to push a little harder to get the money for financial planning. It really knocked me out of my comfort zone. But that’s the thing about the comfort zone, it doesn’t allow you to grow. If you keep struggling within this safe space you’ve created for yourself, you won’t innovate, you won’t bring on new fresh and creative ideas, and you won’t get out of your own way in order to move to the next step. Being an entrepreneur IS A STRUGGLE. If it was easy, you’d have a lot more competition.
Here’s the deal guys, I don’t know everything about business. I know a lot, but I’m not an all-powerful genie. I don’t keep all of the secrets of the universe (but secrets of great hair, that I’ve got.) so having someone on my side when I really needed help made a huge difference. I was still the one in charge, making the decisions, but with guidance. Outsourcing, rather than hiring, was a big help because it meant less administrative work for me, but it was still really hard. And that was ok! Part of what was so difficult for me was admitting how much help I really needed, and letting go of the money I was so worried about spending.
Not having the financial safety net I had once had was a huge part of it, because it made me nervous… what if things don’t work out and I need that cash? What if I can find a better deal? What if, what if, what if. You guys, if you get in your own way every time a “what if” comes up, you’re never going to get off the ground, and that’s what we’re talking about with the comfort zone keeping you from growing.
It’s ok for things to be difficult when you’re trying to get through all of these processes. It’s ok for you to struggle a bit and leave your cushy-comfort zone in search for something better. As long as you have the right intentions, and you’re focused on the right things, you will find that growth, and sometimes the best way to find it is with experts who can help you uplevel your business, even if it means giving up something else that’s important to you.
AND also we have an event announcement!
If you want to learn a little more about your finance strategy, you’re in luck. I’m going to be hosting a budget boot camp workshop for ethical designers in NYC at The Canvas (located at 904 Lexington Avenue in the old Hunter College bookstore) the weekend of October 13-14. This event is going to:
Narrow in on your financial strategy
Develop your company’s budgets for an entire year
Give you a real pricing strategy that’s going to actually cover the real cost of your business.
Help you determine what funding opportunities are best for your brand.
Y’all, I am so excited about this event. It’s in person, and it means I get to do exactly what I LOVE doing: working directly with entrepreneurs to actually help them solve their problems, and put their business back together the way it belongs.
Best part? If you sign up, you get a discount into our upcoming course, Business Breakdown, for the price of your ticket. If you’re curious about what Business Breakdown is, and you want to see if it’s worth it for your company, this is a perfect trial. And honestly, the bootcamp is an even better deal because you’re getting me, in person, to give you live advice with YOUR numbers. I’ll be there to sit down and walk you through it all. If you’re ready to get your financials fixed, make sure you’re on our mailing list and keep a look-out for upcoming details.
Hi there, I'm Cat Bradley
Founder of SewEthico, systems enthusiast, marketing expert, and nonprofit career alum. I help women founders build their first marketing departments and structure their company around their clients, so they can grow, prove traction, and gain funding for their mission-driven businesses. Get my support to grow your business.