I’m a numbers geek. This was not always the case. I’m on a mission for no one else to go through what I have been through or at least not feel alone as they are getting themselves out of debt.
5 years ago (October 2014 to be exact) I transitioned from being an employee to entrepreneur and I started down the entrepreneurial path.
Learning how to go from being an employee to an entrepreneur for me has been a steep learning curve.
For more than 20 years I conceded that Finance wasn’t my strength. Not getting a grasp on it has limited many aspects of my life including my education and how and where I have lived and worked. I’ve enrolled in 7 University Courses and completed one. As a part of this brutal journey I also failed Accounting 3 times at university.
I have struggled with debt and budgeting consistently during my working life. Incredible highs have been followed with lows having a re-lapse with spending and debt until I found a way to be creative with what I have.
Little did I know how resourceful I could be and how all my learning (failures and successes alike) would come in handy. Founding and sustaining a business is very much a test of endurance, resourcefulness and creativity. Learning to pace myself through times of abundance and get through the lean times with careful planning and flexibility for the unknown conditions it is somewhat a miracle for me to be in business almost 5 years later.
To date the most important piece of the finance puzzle is figuring out who is my ideal customer and working with them. For me it has been an evolution of who is the ideal customer, not just one I like working with, but one who likes working with me too, values what I do and I am able to deliver the solution to their problem that they are happy with.
For me, the ‘aha’ moment was October 2018. My two worlds collided. Personally I was focusing on getting my head around my finances. I’d just had my annual taxes done. A 3 hour meeting with my Accountant. For some this may seem excessive. For me it was powerful. We talked about so much more than tax. What my life goals were, what I wanted money for and how I could achieve what I wanted if I could define exactly what I wanted. In fact knowing numbers would help me get exactly what I wanted. As I stared at the numbers of my Profit & Loss (P & L) Statement. I was in awe of my outgoings. It dawned on me I could increase my wage if I spent less.
I was missing the best way to earn money in my business, to stop unnecessary spending.
I decided to apply this business learning to my personal budget too. That’s when things got interesting.
I made a commitment to become aware of everything I was spending money on and became determined to analyse the expenses.
Every time I didn’t spend money I’d make a payment on my credit card. As at October 2018 my credit card was maxed out, balance was $6,000 and I was paying minimum monthly payments to keep myself out of trouble.
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Would you like $1,535?⠀ October 2018 I started using this #keepcup daily.⠀ In 240 days I have:⠀ 1. Made coffee at home and taken it with me. Cost $136⠀ 2. Used it at #7eleven for $1 coffee. (Yes the coffee is good). Cost $121⠀ 3. Used it at #responsiblecafes and got a discount. Cost $128⠀ Total cost $385. Previous cost $1,920⠀ Saving $1,535⠀ When we become creative with what we have there are so many ways we can be resourceful. How are you creative with what you have? #alwayslearning
At the time I also had a client who is a Chartered Accountant help me see that knowing and connecting my numbers to my life goals was empowering. As I sat there explaining to her how important it was to define her numbers around marketing so we could measure success, I realised we were in the business of the same thing. We both were helping clients define numbers so they could measure success. I realised I needed to focus on numbers in all aspects of my life and enable others to do the same.
If I wanted to have the choice of where and when I worked I needed to take a vested interest in my numbers.
Before that moment, I was tracking along with my financial goals expecting to work until I was at least 65. Meeting your financial obligations by making minimum repayments doesn’t mean you will change your financial situation. This awakening made me realise I had the opportunity to do better.
I also found the more I started learning about financial education, the more I wanted to learn.
It’s amazing how the little things can add up. Before I knew it, just by making the most of ‘dead time’ (the time commuting, cooking dinner, running and exercising) I’m now accumulating 15 – 20 hours a week in financial education. Listening to so much started to get overwhelming.
I’m applying my business approach of ‘Learn, Do Teach’ (#LDT) with teaching digital marketing to my new financial education learning.
I know learning is one thing, however to truly make a difference I needed to learn, do and teach. Rather than get overwhelmed I now apply one thing from each learning session. I started this process of application of new financial habits in October 2018. These small changes are adding up quite literally. Today I made my final payment on my credit card. Just 8 months after I started this debt free journey.
That’s it $6,000 paid off a credit card.
It may not seem huge to some, but the reality is, this credit card was paid off in full by being smarter with money, not earning more.
This is where I see the joy — it’s reward for the focus on the challenge of mastering my numbers. A wonderful by-product of this focus on numbers, I’m working even harder to make clients budgets go further with their digital marketing.
Discovering my passion for numbers in digital marketing and then seeing the numbers in my finances is such a joy. I’m loving seeing the transformation in my finances. I can also say an added benefit is, it’s great to have better quality conversations with my Accountant and Bookkeeper.
How do you use your numbers to see your success in your business and your life?