If you’re like me, you may have “stumbled” into your web design business.

You learn design, you do some good work, you start getting clients; then BOOM…you’ve got a business on your hands.

This is most certainly what happened to me and because I did not have a proper business plan, or a mindset as a business owner, terms like cash flow, profit, wealth management, projections, etc were foreign to me.

If you’re taking your business and your personal wealth more seriously, this podcast episode is for you.

I’m excited to bring on owner of Young + Co virtual CFO and financial services, Sarah Young, to the show to share proven strategies and tips for making your business more profitable, growing your wealth outside of just your business and keeping more of the money you make.

If you’re not planning your future on both the business and personal front, I hope this empowers you to get started or at least share some important reminders that I often need to hear over and over as someone who tends to dive into creating and problem solving first over planning and preparing second 🙂


In this episode:

00:00 – Introduction
02:41 – Greeting to Sarah
06:38 – Different types of need
09:28 – The fire movement
11:41 – Plan ahead
13:58 – Start where you are
17:34 – Early twenties
21:03 – Compound Interest
23:36 – Common investments
26:30 – Risk of ROI
28:08 – Camps of spending
31:07 – Money mindset
38:29 – Processes & goals
43:55 – Determine profit margin
48:40 – Increase pricing or sales
56:55 – People who challenge you
1:10:05 – Focus on the right things

This Episode Sponsored by Josh’s Web Design Business Course – The full roadmap to mastering and building your dream, 6-figure web design business!

Connect with Sarah:

Featured links mentioned:

Episode #215 Full Transcription

[00:00:00] Josh: Hello friends. Welcome into episode 215. Now, if you followed this podcast or followed my brand for a while, you have probably heard me say that I was not a I was not a planned business owner or entrepreneur. I kind of fumbled my way into business. And because I took a, a different path to growing my business, I have not always been financially minded. I’ve had to really work at that. I’ve had to become a business owner. I’ve had to learn about what to do with money, how to invest it, how to grow my business effectively.

[00:00:36] Josh: These are all things that stemmed from having a background that was not business related. And like a lot of you are probably like me you’re kind of considered an accidental entrepreneur. So if that’s you, first of all, you’re not alone. But second of all, we need to take finances seriously. And I wanted to bring somebody onto the podcast to have a talk specifically about building your profit.

[00:00:59] Josh: Doing right things with your business finances, and also growing as you’ll find out your personal wealth alongside your business. So I’m so excited to bring on Sarah Young, who is the owner of young plus co. She is a virtual, uh, CFO, chief financial advisor, and a CPA. She’s also the host of a really cool new podcast called the Profit plus Prosper podcast, which you will hear yours truly on here soon.

[00:01:25] Josh: Um, but I was so excited. I was so excited to talk to Sarah because she is very like minded, I think with me, and a lot of you who are in the freelance and web design world, because she does not come from a typical corporate or typical background that most CPAs do. Like she is a, an entrepreneur at heart.

[00:01:44] Josh: And I think that translates really well. When you are talking about finances as an entrepreneur, because I don’t know about you, but I feel like sometimes when I talk to CPAs and financial advisors and planners, they’re just typically in the corporate world. So I have a hard time explaining what I do and, and because there’s no quote unquote stability in the entrepreneurial world, sometimes it’s hard to talk about that, but, um, that’s why I wanted to bring somebody who is a CFO entrepreneur. That’s what I like to call Sarah.

[00:02:15] Josh: So we had a great chat talking, finances, profit, building your wealth, that I can’t wait to hear how it translates to you as well. So without further ado, here’s Sarah. And be sure after this episode to check out her podcast, the profit and prosper podcast, uh, and again, I’ll be on there soon. So I hope you enjoy my chat with her, but for right now, here’s Sarah let’s talk money.

[00:02:41] Josh: Sarah welcome on to the show. Thanks so much for taking some time to chat today. Thanks so much for having me. We were just chatting before we went live here. I’m extra excited to talk with you because I feel like. I need you in my life. As far as a numbers person, this is just not my area of expertise or even interest.

[00:03:02] Josh: So, uh, what I’ve learned as an entrepreneur is when you surround yourself with people who are really good and have interest at the things that you don’t, it could be P pretty powerful. So, uh, I hope that sounds good, cuz I’m really excited to, to ask some questions about finance and all the things when it comes to growing a.

[00:03:18] Sarah: Yes. Well, most people, when they come to talk to accountants, they’re not excited. So that’s a good thing to start off with. You’re excited to talk about it.

[00:03:26] Josh: yeah. Yeah. Well, and I know we were chatting too. Like my audience is really a collection of people who are either pretty early in the game. Just getting started all the way to people who have been doing this for a while.

[00:03:38] Josh: And I, I think a lot of the things in the accounting world as far as business apply to both for sure, but there may be different levels, so I’m sure we’ll weave in and out of all kinds of finance tips and stuff like that, but maybe to kick us off, would you like to let everyone know first off where you’re based out of, and I’m curious, uh, when somebody asks you what you do, what do you tell them now?

[00:03:58] Sarah: I don’t know what I do. I’m kidding. Sort of, um, I am in Charlotte, North Carolina, but we have clients all over the us. Um, so I am the. Founder and main CFO at young and co, which is a virtual CFO agency. Um, and we do everything from done for you, CFO services to business tax. And I also have a coaching program for people who wanna just be more profitable, but don’t need a full time CFO in their life just yet.

[00:04:27] Sarah: So ultimately what I’m super passionate about is helping business owners actually build their wealth from their business. And that can be both financial wealth and non-financial wealth. I think just like using their business to make the money that they want and live the life that they want. Because I find a lot of people get into business, doing whatever they wanna do, they love to do, and they don’t take the time or they just don’t have the financial literacy skills to know what to do when it comes to all of the finance and accounting and tax.

[00:04:56] Sarah: And it’s also overwhelming, right. But I think that not, you know, tackling that part of your business can hold you back and I’ve seen it in some, you know, multi seven figure eight figure businesses that. I still don’t have their financial situation figured out and you know, they still don’t profit and they, you know, it’s just one of these things I just wanna help as many business owners as I can to help make as much money as they can. So hopefully that answers, what do I do?

[00:05:20] Josh: I love the mission. I’d be curious to see how you would say that if you just meet somebody on the, on the street or something, uh, do you have like a quick 32nd explanation?

[00:05:29] Sarah: Yes. Yes. Um, I am the founder of young and co I’m. It’s a virtual CFO agency and we help six and seven figure business owners create more profitable businesses and build their wealth.

[00:05:42] Josh: all right, nice and summed up. And I think that’s probably, uh, a bit of, of some of your, your messaging and copy on your website as well. The reason I asked too is my wife and I recently moved and into our new home and I’m meeting a lot of new people in the neighborhood. And I am trying to still refine how I say what I do, depending on who I’m talking to. So it’s like everyone on the online world has a tricky time answering that. So yeah.

[00:06:04] Sarah: Well I have, I am a CPA and I have other people in my neighborhood who are CPAs. And when I try to explain to them what I do, they just look at me like blank stares. Like even they don’t get it. So,

[00:06:17] Josh: because if you just say you’re an accountant, they’re like, oh, you probably work for a business somewhere and go downtown or something.

[00:06:23] Sarah: Right. Exactly. We do tax returns. Yeah. That’s it.

[00:06:26] Josh: right. So I love your mission. I love what you’re up to with the, the core of what you’re all about and like, why you want to help with this. I’m kind of curious. So, so you work with a lot of different businesses it sounds like. Do you find that most people that you work with, especially now in this online world, do you feel like people have intentionally planned their business from the start? Or do you feel like a majority of business owners now have just kind of fumbled into their business and they’re trying to catch their finances up with their offers and things like that.

[00:06:59] Sarah: I mean, you have both, right. But I would say the vast majority of people don’t don’t fully plan out. Like they may have business goals, but that doesn’t tie back to financial goals. So like I’m thinking of a client that’s coming to mind. I just had a meeting with them last week and they’re growing like crazy. And they’re like, we wanna set these huge goals this year. And I was like, What does it mean? Like, what did, like, why do you wanna do seven figures this year? What does this do for you?

[00:07:26] Sarah: Like, what’s your actual goal that you need to pay yourself? What’s your actual goal. You need to like, be able to invest and retire. And so, you know, instead of just like shooting for the Mo, and I’m not saying I’m trying to pull anybody down, right? Like I’m not trying to talk anybody down and say, no, you need to aim smaller. But I think there’s like intention to be set around. What am I doing here in my business? And what do I wanna get out of it instead of just running on the hamster wheel, you know, trying to make more and more and more money.

[00:07:54] Josh: That’s a great point. A lot of my students, when I chat with them about like, what’s your goal financially sometimes are like, I have no idea. And I’ve always felt, this is just a very rudimentary way to start that worked for me. And that was figure out what I wanted to bring home this year. I ideally for my family, of course, if we take home more awesome, but at least if I know I need to take home, you know, a hundred thousand dollars to, to keep us our, our lifestyle, then that gives me like the foundation for this is at least what I wanna make you add taxes, expenses, all the other things on top of it, maybe now I wanna shoot for like 200,000 this year.

[00:08:28] Josh: Or years ago, I just needed to make like 50,000 in the business. And I was set for that year. That would’ve been awesome. So. I guess it’s a good, probably reminder right up front when you’re planning your goals, is it safe to say you wanna plan your business goals around your, your life in your, your personal goals? Is that kind of the approach that you take?

[00:08:47] Sarah: Yes. I like to go bottom up. So I think baseline goal one is how do you keep the lights on in your personal life and in your business? So for your personal life, to your point, how much you need to take home in pay to just pay all of your bills and live your lifestyle. And then, you know, taking that through to your business, how much do you have to have an expenses to support that size of business?

[00:09:11] Sarah: And then how much in revenue do you need to bring in to cover it all right. To pay your expenses, to pay yourself, to pay your taxes. Um, but then once you’re doing that, then there’s really a next level goal. And this is where I start to talk to people about like, what’s your retirement goal number? Like, what’s your plan for retiring?

[00:09:28] Sarah: Or like a lot of millennials will be into the like fire movement, right? Financial independence retire early. I don’t know if you’ve heard of that.

[00:09:37] Josh: I have not. No. Well, I’m 35, so I’m basically an like an elder, uh, teaching now. Yeah. Well, I’m

[00:09:44] Sarah: also 35 and I think so there we go. That, yeah. Well, so I mean, I’ll cover it. I don’t, I don’t talk a lot about the fire movement because I love it for some things that I don’t for others, but it’s really just like people please enlighten me. Yeah. I wanna know. Yeah, no it’s people who want to retire early. And so they talk about how do we build up enough money in investments to be able to retire early.

[00:10:07] Sarah: And I find that a lot of business owners, myself included are like, I’m 35. I don’t wanna work until I’m 65 or I don’t wanna have to work. I don’t wanna be stuck in my business until I’m 65. And so sometimes I say things like this and like, people’s faces are like, oh, I’ve never thought about that. And I’m like, exactly. so then we talk about like, now you’re not just paying your bills. But how much do you need to be setting aside to make sure you’re covered when you’re in retirement or maybe relaxation mode and not necessarily retirement mode?

[00:10:39] Josh: So that’s a really interesting point. I just recently met with my financial advisor and we talked about this idea of retirement because I have always felt, and I feel very strongly that I will feel once I get to that point, that if I don’t do any sort of work, I will lose my mind.

[00:10:55] Josh: I’m not a workaholic by any means, but I just enjoy the, especially now I’ve crafted what I love to do. And I realize things are gonna look likely very different at 65, but I’m never gonna be one to just do nothing and have absolutely no sort of projects going on. I thrive when I have a project going on. However, what we talked about is kind of reiterated by what you just said, and then that is. Hopefully, you get to a point where you don’t have to work.

[00:11:21] Josh: So you can, is that fair to say, like you wanna help people like give the freedom to where you can work if I wanna have a project or if I wanna do some coaching, if I wanna write a book of, I don’t know what podcasts are gonna look like in 30 years, but, uh, if we wanna do something like that, then I could still do it, but I don’t have to do it. Is that kind yeah. Is that how you approach retirement? Yeah, because retirement’s so interesting in this online world,

[00:11:41] Sarah: because I’m the same way I’m gonna keep working. I’m gonna keep doing cuz I love what I do now and I don’t wanna stop doing it, but there’s a difference in doing it because I have to keep the money coming in versus doing it just for fun.

[00:11:53] Sarah: Right. So I think I have worked with business owners who have gotten stuck in their business because they did not make this plan. And. They got to a point where they’re like getting close to 70 and they’re still working as a CEO of multi seven figure business. And they hadn’t set up a retirement plan and started having health issues and like would have probably preferred to stay working in the business, but they couldn’t.

[00:12:20] Sarah: And so you just wanna give yourself the options. Right. So that if something does happen, cuz you don’t know what your life is gonna be like in 10 or 15 years, right. Or 30 years in your case. Right. So you just don’t wanna be stuck there, like relying on the cash flow in your business to come in to support your lifestyle. But then you are the one that has to be in the business to generate the cash flow. Right.

[00:12:43] Josh: And gotcha. I was just gonna ask you what you meant by stuck. I think it just summed it up there. It sounds like if you put yourself in a position where. Everything relies on you, you are kind of stuck is I guess that’s the way to yeah summarize that. Isn’t it like you literally put yourself in a box to where the entire machine needs you to, to run.

[00:13:03] Sarah: Yes, exactly. Which is dangerous around retirement time too. It is. And it’s, it’s hard. I mean, I talk about this with so many people and I get the look, you know, on their faces. It’s like, but I love what I do. Like, this is not a problem. Like it’s not a problem now, but we just don’t want it to be a problem in 10 years or 20 years. Right. And it takes time to build up millions of dollars in net worth that we need these days to be able to retire.

[00:13:28] Josh: That’s a good point. So there are probably folks early on listening to this that are like, thank, you know, thank goodness I’m listening to it. Now there might be folks who are a little bit later on in their journeys too. And they may be, you know, forties, fifties, sixties. I have a couple students who are in their seventies. Like what do you, what are some, what’s some of the advice for folks who are a little later on in the journey, um, I’m sure there’s a lot of different ways this could go, but I’m really kind of curious for folks who might be in that little more advanced stage in their journey in life in general. Like what, what do you recommend for them? Yeah.

[00:13:58] Sarah: I mean, it’s just start now with wherever you are. I think it’s better than not starting. So, I mean, I think I kind of go through the same process with all of our CFO clients and our tax clients, where we sort of decide on how much money do you need to have coming in the door to keep your lifestyle going.

[00:14:15] Sarah: And what are the ways that we can generate that cash flow using your business, or maybe you take the money from your business and invest it in other things to create that cash flow. And so I think. I talked about the fire movement. Most of the things you’ll find about the fire movement online are gonna refer to employees, which we are not right.

[00:14:35] Sarah: And so the nice thing about not being an employee is you have a lot of potential for cash flow in your business. So that could mean selling your business. So you build it up right to a certain point and people will pay you hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy your business from you. And that can go a long way towards funding a retirement plan, right?

[00:14:54] Sarah: If you’ve not thought about it. And at the same time, if you build a business that is profitable enough for people to buy, buy it from you, you can take some and start contributing it to retirement accounts, brokerage accounts, buy real estate, whatever it is. So that between the two you’re covered.

[00:15:11] Josh: That’s a great point. I’m so glad you mentioned that because I found coming from an employee position where I was a cabinet maker and then starting my own business and then doing freelance work and then just getting used to hourly, eventually scaling my agency. I still always felt like I was like project to project month to month.

[00:15:29] Josh: It never dawned on me until I sold my agency in 2020 that I’ve created something that I could sell for like a lump sum. We ended up doing a deal that is over a decade. Um, but that’s still money that’s coming in every quarter for me right now. And then I’m actually in full transparency, uh, in the process of potentially selling my free Facebook.

[00:15:48] Josh: One of my free Facebook groups. That was an asset that I started in 2016, that now is likely gonna give me kind of a windfall. So it’s, it’s a great point. I say that to say. There’s a lot of people listening, who probably aren’t aware that they’re building something that could be sold eventually. And yeah, later on that sounds like a great way to help the retirement cause if you can build something that you could sell within a handful of years or whatever it is.

[00:16:12] Sarah: Yes. Yeah. And those people don’t think about it and they think, you know, one day I’ll just, I’ll figure it out later or I’ll just walk away and shut it down. But I’m like if you build something that has cash flow coming in, like people will buy that from you. And that is definitely worth something.

[00:16:30] Josh: I love that great reminder, like really, really good reminder, especially I think advice for folks, a little, a little older and a little later on in the journey. It’s like, you still have plenty of years and sometimes it doesn’t take that many years to create something that you could potentially sell.

[00:16:45] Josh: So I hope that’s empowering to folks on that end of the spectrum. Now on the other end, the people who are early on, um, most people don’t even like, I didn’t really seriously consider, start thinking about retirement to like my late twenties. Um, so that’s kind of when I started, of course yesterday is the best, best day to start saving for retirement.

[00:17:04] Josh: I’m sure. Um, but what, what’s your advice for like the folks early on, and then I wanna transition to some business goals and stuff. Yeah. But just as a principal, like the folks who are in the early twenties and stuff might be like starting their business, uh, what’s your advice when it comes to like long term think.

[00:17:18] Sarah: Yeah, I will say, I didn’t mean to come on here to talk about retirement, but I’m happy to .

[00:17:24] Josh: Yeah. It’s, it’s important. I mean, it’s really important when it, cuz honestly, when you think about goals, business, finances, like wh where’s it gonna end? What’s it, what’s it all going to, I think, I think it’s an important thing to hit on for sure.

[00:17:34] Sarah: It, well, I think it is because then it backs me into as your CFO. How do you need to structure your business? And what does your profit need to look like in order to hit those goals so that we can do it with intention instead of just going full force ahead. So if I’m talking to somebody who’s earlier on, so somebody who’s, you know, late twenties to mid thirties, late thirties or whatever, they’ve got 20 plus years for retirement.

[00:17:58] Sarah: I think I asked the same questions, right? Like what do you want? And even if you don’t know what you want your life to look like in 20 years, I think what I like to work on is number one, figure out what is your sort of target retirement number, a ballpark, right? You can find calculators online that will tell you that.

[00:18:15] Sarah: And then we kind of do the same exercise of backing into what you want that to look like. But the caveat is if you wanna, if you wanna be like me and retire early, If you have all your money into retirement accounts, you can’t access most of that before you’re 65. And so we have to start thinking about how do we diversify that so that you have money for after you’re 65, but then also some before you’re 65.

[00:18:38] Sarah: And that’s part of why, like I do our CFO services with tax included. So we do full service so that we can have those conversations because building in the tax strategy, into all the implications of all the different things you do is super, super important. And I work with people who, you know, they get, they get through their first couple years of success in their business.

[00:19:02] Sarah: And a lot of them start hoarding cash in their bank account. So a lot of my tax clients, when they come to me, they’re like, I’ve got 50, 60, 70. I have one recently who had a hundred thousand dollars just sitting in her cash in her bank account. She’s like, I just don’t know what to do with this. And I was like, oh yes, this is why I love to do, right.

[00:19:21] Sarah: Yeah. Like what are you gonna go put. $40,000 towards, right. We have to get clear on the end goal. So I think ultimately it’s the same thing, but you know, designing your business around, like me as a mom, I have a two year old, I don’t wanna be working in my business all the time because I need to have flexibility to take care of him.

[00:19:41] Sarah: And, you know, I’m coming out of being sick and he was sick and we just have to have that flexibility, that business model that I need to be successful is very different from, you know, a 20 something who single and doesn’t have kids and wants to work more hours. Right. So designing all of that with your goals in mind, right? Designing your business to make the money you need, and also structured in a way so that you’re not, you know, unable to hang out with your family or do whatever’s fun for you.

[00:20:12] Josh: Yeah, no, that’s, it’s great. You gotta have some, you gotta have the end goal on mind, even if you don’t know exactly what the, the goal’s gonna be. I’ve definitely been reminded including this conversation with the fact that it’s not, that I’m going to retire and do nothing at 65. It’s just to have that option to where you don’t absolutely have to work. If you don’t want to. I think for, for younger folks, it’s really important to learn. I’d love to actually ask a tactile question.

[00:20:37] Josh: What is the importance of compounding when it comes to investing and saving for retirement? Cuz I years ago, once I started making some money, I kind of felt like I’ll put more in like later when I start making bigger money and then I’ll have a lot more to throw in later. But I realized in the very limited reading and deep dives I’ve done in the financial world, there’s. Term of compounding. That seems to be really, really beneficial. So where does that come into way? Oh my gosh.

[00:21:03] Sarah: Yes, it is incredibly important. It’s like finance 1 0 1. If I could teach you a handful of topics for finance 1 0 1, it would be diversification and then compounding compound interest. So, I mean, high level compound interest means I put a hundred dollars in and I get, let’s say a 10% return on that in a year.

[00:21:24] Sarah: So that would give me $110. And if I leave the full hundred, $10 in my account, then I get another 10% on that the next year, which would be $11. And so in year one, I got 10 in year two. I got 11. And so let me see if I can do this math on the fly. So I had a hundred, then one 10, then $121. And so 10% on top of that is $12.

[00:21:45] Sarah: And if I keep going after a certain amount of time, it goes from like 10, 11, 12 to like. 20 30, 50, a hundred, like the compound interest just keeps growing exponentially. And I actually read this book, um, a couple months ago it was called God, what was it called? The power of money? I don’t remember what it was.

[00:22:08] Sarah: It was by this author called Morgan household, but he’s a journalist that covers like business and finance. And he was talking about, um, oh, it was the psychology of money. That’s what it was. And he was just talking about like the psychology of money. And he gave this example of Warren buffet who is one of the richest people ever.

[00:22:26] Sarah: And I think the math was, he earned like 90 or 95% of his wealth after the age of 65 due to the power of compound interest. Mm. And like, he is a billionaire, right. So, I mean, it was 90 or 95%, I think. Like I could go find the stat in the book, but something crazy because of compound interest. So I like to tell people.

[00:22:50] Sarah: Even if you feel like you can’t invest a ton, like I would rather see people put in $25 a month or $50 a month or a hundred dollars a month, like something small just to get that going. Right. Because of that, the impact of that.

[00:23:07] Josh: Gotcha. Ah, such good advice. And we are, again, we’re, we’re getting into kinda personal but business as well, because hopefully business is gonna be the tool that allows us to personally invest. Do, are there differences between investing or I guess obviously there are, but what is the difference between investing on the business side versus investing in the personal side? I, I know this may vary drastically, but what have you seen or like common investments, like on the business end of things.

[00:23:36] Sarah: Yeah. Well, investing on the business side is really, I think about spending your money on things to intentionally grow your business and get an ROI. So an example would be, I’m trying to think if there’s one. Um, the one that’s coming to mind is me. So I have a group program that I’ve run through a few times and I was talking to my husband.

[00:23:59] Sarah: He’s like, honestly, we have cash sending in our personal account. Like, what if you use this and put it into like a copywriter and get the sales page redone and the emails and run some ads, like get a really good ads person, cuz like we sort of have the formula that we know works. And he’s like, if we put in 20 grand, like could you get a hundred back right.

[00:24:21] Sarah: When it comes to business investing, like the risk is definitely higher, right? Because there’s definitely the risk that like this won’t happen. Although I try to, when I invest things like that, I try to make it in something where I’ve proven out, at least like to an extent that it will work right. Versus personal investing.

[00:24:39] Sarah: I view more as, um, you know, the retirement accounts, having a brokerage account, buying rental real estate or something along those lines where it’s like separate from the business. But a lot of people use the word invest in business land. And I don’t know if they really know like what that means, right?

[00:24:57] Sarah: Mm. But it’s really just about like, I’m gonna put this amount of money into an expense in my business. And in theory, it will give me a return of hopefully many times over. And then that’s how you create like the business profit engine, right. Where you put money in and then out pops more money. Hopefully.

[00:25:15] Josh: Yeah. That’s, that’s something that I’ve seen and noticed with some of the colleagues that I have now who are getting into like multiple six figures is a lot of them as I’ve picked their brain about where they’re at and what they’re looking to do. Moving forward, the big emphasis is on reinvesting back into the business.

[00:25:34] Josh: Typically, like you said, investing would look like just growth strategies. Like how can I scale this? How can I grow this? Maybe it’s hiring a team member, maybe it’s hiring ads, marketing messaging, whatever’s gonna increase conversions. That’s definitely what I’ve seen. So I, I totally back that up in saying that like the term investment on the business front for me, I, the reason I ask you that is because that’s kind of what I see as well is it’s just like, what things can I put a little bit into to hopefully get a, a decent return back on, which is a mindset shift.

[00:26:05] Josh: Like most people that I’ve run across. And that I had to break out of this mindset as well. Don’t put anything back into their business other than time. It’s like their own time. They don’t put anything from their bank account. Have you seen that as well? Where like business owners have to shift from like me my time to like actual like money putting back into it to get an investment back?

[00:26:30] Sarah: Oh, absolutely. I think that goes back to, I mean, there’s so many things. I think one is we have an employee mindset of like, we’re on this fixed income and if we spend some of this fixed income, then we’re afraid we’re not gonna get the money back. But I mean, risk and reward. Like that is something that all business owners have to learn to, you know, manage.

[00:26:51] Sarah: Right. I think too, that at least when you talk about personal finances, what I see out there is a lot of people. Almost glorify frugality. And I’m not one to say, like, go spend all your money on stupid things. But I think that, you know, this message of like save, save, save, and don’t spend on things because that’s a path to wealth is through saving.

[00:27:16] Sarah: I think as a business owner, that’s not the case. I think that to the business owner, as, as a business owner, the path to wealth is in creating assets, right? And asset being something that will produce cash flow for you down the road. And like that does take an investment. And sometimes you have to put your money into that instead of just your time.

[00:27:34] Sarah: Like recognizing again, like here’s the potential reward. If I do this and do it well

[00:27:41] Josh: as a numbers gal, I want to ask you this and I want you to give me your initial thoughts, my mindset. And I am a risk taker as an entrepreneur. I’m fine with risk, but I’ve always been so much more interested in making money than saving money. What I think you may have just summed it up, but what’s your initial thought on that is that, you know, pros and cons, is that good? Is that, you know, then this digital online landscape, is that a benefit? What are your thoughts on that mindset?

[00:28:08] Sarah: You know what I find that most business owners fall into one of two camps and that is either I’m a spender or I wanna save I’m very frugal, like, and there’s you just have these mindsets based on like your financial habits in your life.

[00:28:26] Sarah: Right. And I think that the best place to be is somewhere in between. like knowing when it is time to invest in something, but not, I see a lot of business owners who spend money on things that they don’t really need that are like extraneous or, you know, I think most of your listeners when you’re in the startup phase to getting to multiple six figures, I think the main thing you need to worry about is sales and marketing.

[00:28:53] Sarah: And a lot of times I see business owners who don’t wanna do the sales and marketing, cuz sometimes that’s hard or scary. Right. And so then they’ll come up with other things to do, to distract from doing the hard thing. But I think that I don’t, I don’t think it’s either, or I think it’s like finding the balance of the two and like recognizing if you’re one who tends to spend, I’m a spender for the record, I tend to spend early and often I have to like pull myself back and recognize like, is this really the thing that I need.

[00:29:23] Sarah: In my business right now, or is this just something that’s fun or exciting or distraction. Right. And then if you’re frugal, I think it’s the same thing. It’s like, are you, are you really like gonna save this money? Is you investing your time into this really gonna get you a better return right than it is by saving it or investing it or whatever you’re gonna do with your money.

[00:29:44] Josh: That’s a great point. I, because I definitely fall on the spender side too. And I know the downfalls of that for sure. However, the frugal could be almost just as bad when it, like, for example, I remember our local, um, somebody I knew locally, her and her husband both had their different businesses and they worked from home and he is like, save every penny, like wants to do everything himself.

[00:30:09] Josh: You know, let’s, if we can buy something for cheaper, let’s do that. And I remember her like venting to me about them getting a router for their wifi. And instead of getting like a really good router, that was like 250 bucks, he wanted to get one that was like 100, because it was, it was way less expensive would probably fine.

[00:30:26] Josh: But she was so frustrated because she was like, this is our business. And I can get so much more done if we have faster speeds and all this stuff. But he, that $150 kept him back from like them having, and I don’t know what happened eventually. Maybe she talked him into it, but that, that’s just a primary example of like a practical frugal mindset that could actually be really costly in the long run because she was a photographer.

[00:30:50] Josh: If it takes her 10 times longer to upload photos and that’s killing time in her business every day that may end up being like thousands or tens of thousands of dollars and wasted money in the long run over 150 bucks. yeah. That Don know, that’s just a practical example that came to my mind when I thought about like a, a danger of frugal.

[00:31:07] Sarah: Stuff like that happens all the time. Like I’m not ever going to guilt anybody over your like 1495 canvas subscription, you know, like maybe you need it. Maybe you don’t like, those are the things that are not really gonna move the needle. Right. But I don’t know. I think that a lot of that just comes back to your like money mindset. So I will tell you, I came from Deloitte, I worked at Deloitte for about four years, and then I worked in the corporate world for another fourish years and making this shift to understanding like your mindset as a business owner was really tough for me because I come from this world of like very black and white and, you know, buttoned up corporate land.

[00:31:45] Sarah: But the more that I’m in business, the more I realize like your money mindset, which is what you have developed since you were a kid, right? Thinking about how you were raised, like, how did your family talk about money? Like, you know, Just all of that, how that impacts your business today is very, very real, right? Yes. Because it impacts all of your thoughts and all of your decisions that you make every day.

[00:32:06] Josh: It’s everything. It’s true. It really like your entire business revolves around your money mindset. It’s a hundred percent true, especially obviously when it comes to your price points and your value and your worth and sales. Like if you feel like I feel weird talking about a $3,000 website, guess what? You’re probably not gonna sell many of those websites. Mm-hmm uh, if that’s your money mindset. Gosh, what a good point.

[00:32:31] Sarah: Yeah. Yeah, no, you’re right. I think that, um, the longer I’m in business, the more I’m like very into this whole like woo mindset. Deal. I think it’s super important. So speaking of which is money as a CPA

[00:32:46] Josh: yeah, that’s true. Yeah. Well, I’m, I’m sure you see, so I’m sure you see every possible money mindset as well. Um, and I am this kind of segues into a question I wanted to ask you, which is planning and like goal setting. I am fascinated by a goal setting because there’s every sort of conflicting information and recommendation out there about how to plan and how to set goals.

[00:33:12] Josh: So you said earlier, like you don’t wanna make anyone limit their mindset with their goal on anything, but I also think there’s a lot of benefit to thinking bigger. Um, where do you fall and what’s your, what do you, what have you seen work be well with people who, you know, set a goal and either hit it or exceed? I, I guess the question is like, how big do we think, how realistically do we think when it comes to setting goals?

[00:33:37] Sarah: I like to know both. I like to know both. And it’s because I see a lot of people who are like, I ask them, what’s your goal? It’s one of the first things we talk about with my new clients. What are your, tell me about all of your goals for your business.

[00:33:52] Sarah: And inevitably, if they’re just starting, they say, I wanna make a hundred thousand dollars and then once they get to a hundred, they say, I wanna make a million dollars. And then once they get to a million, I wanna make $10 million. And I’m like, but what is the goal really? Right. Instead of, I think we like focus on these sort of vanity metrics instead of actually stepping back and asking ourselves, like, what do we want out of this?

[00:34:13] Sarah: Right. So I think that, I mean, I, here’s what I do. I know my sort of baseline, minimum level of revenue that I need to have coming in every month in order to pay my team, you know, run all of our stuff, pay my office, rent, pay myself what I need, you know, to pay my half of our personal bills and all of that.

[00:34:37] Sarah: Right. And I have that number in my mind is like, I need to do at least this much in revenue. So that’s kind of goal. Number one, I like to set with people is know the minimum, right? Because I don’t want us to fail because if you’re making less than that, like, you know, you’re going down the path to failure. We wanna get at least there.

[00:34:55] Sarah: Then I like to say, you know, I go back to my sort of freedom number, my retirement goal. And I have in my mind, two numbers. So my one number is two and a half million dollars in net assets between me and my husband. And that would pay just all of our normal ongoing expenses.

[00:35:15] Sarah: And, um, so I have that in my head as like, okay, I need to somehow get to two and a half million dollars between the two of us, right. By selling my business potentially one day or making retirement contributions along the way, or some combination of the two. Then I have my next level goal, which is like $5 million, because my ultimate like life goal is and if any of you ever go listen to my podcast after this, you’ll probably hear me talk about it all the time. But my goal is I wanna have a lake house with a boat .

[00:35:51] Sarah: And so like the two and a half million dollar goal will probably not afford me a lake house, but a $5 million goal would. And so I sort of have these different level goals and that’s not again to say, like to bring me down from saying 5 million is the goal, but it’s like if I get to two and a half million, right. That sort of changes my mindset around. Okay to go from two and a half to five, like that’s a nice to have, but not a must have. Gotcha. So hopefully that answers the question.

[00:36:21] Josh: well, I like that idea of like realistic level one, and then like bigger dream level two. Uh, and then level three, maybe it’s Sarah on a beach with a yacht. I don’t know if that’s your style sounds like more, the Lakehouse is, but maybe there’s like a even higher level and it changes too. I know, like as you age, like my, my goals and things have definitely shifted. My mindset of money is completely different even from a few years ago. Um, so. Knowing that that will likely change as well.

[00:36:51] Josh: I love the idea of having like a couple different tiers of, of long term goals and then being able to like, maybe you get to a point in business where you’re like, oh, I can do the two and a half. Let’s go five. Like maybe that suddenly becomes so much more clear. I love that idea. And we’ll definitely, uh, I’ll, I’ll mention this, you know, throughout, but your podcast is the profit plus prosper podcast, right?

[00:37:12] Sarah: Yes. Profit and prosper

[00:37:14] Josh: pro profit and prosper. Yep. So I’ll definitely we’ll have that linked in the show. Now it’s definitely recommended I, I actually listened to a couple episodes before, uh, having on, so, uh, that’s what got me extra excited about talking about money and finances and retirement and all these things, because it it’s such a good reminder too.

[00:37:29] Josh: I did an episode a while back off to double check. I think it was episode like 16 or so with my actual financial advisor. But that was a long time ago. So sometimes it’s really good to just bring back up these topics and get fresh perspectives on everything, especially when it comes to goal setting. Now I’m curious, it sounds like that answer.

[00:37:46] Josh: You look at a bigger picture instead of just like a random number that you throw out in your business, but practically, how do you evaluate goals when it comes to finances? Like I, I’ve learned there’s a lot of power and like quarterly evaluations and like looking at where things are and online business changes so fast.

[00:38:05] Josh: I’ve, I’ve seen massive shifts in my business quarter to quarter sometimes where like, at the beginning of the year, for example, 20, 22, my goals right now, halfway through completely different than when I started. I just, I I’m at a, already at a different place where I’m taking things moving forward. So my goals have changed. What are your thoughts on that on far as like how to set ’em annually versus like quarterly? What, what are your thoughts on that?

[00:38:29] Sarah: Yeah. Well, I think that, you know, I’ll say I’ll use me as an example. Cause it’s easiest. Right? If I know that my goal eventually is two and a half million dollars and I need to know where my end goal is and where I’m starting from. So where I’m starting from is I have my baseline, you know, keeping the lights on revenue covered without a problem at this point. And so now I’m like, okay, how fast can I get to two and a half million dollars? Which means for me, like maybe I sell my business, right? Maybe I can sell it depending on, you know, the size for a million dollars that gets me halfway to my goal.

[00:39:04] Sarah: And then I have to step back and think, well, if I wanna sell it for a million dollars, um, what do I need to do to be able to sell it for a million dollars? And what can I put into place this year? And I think that comes back to and sort of, it serves two purposes, right? One selling your business. And then also how I wanna live my life, come back to how I structure my business today.

[00:39:25] Sarah: Mm. So like if I put processes into place in my business now, or like hire the right team and get them trained, those are all my business goals, but it also serves a dual purpose of down the road. I’m creating an asset that someone else would buy. Right. And so it’s different for every person. It’s sort of hard to say.

[00:39:43] Sarah: So I’ll just tell you what we do for our clients too, is we kind of go through this whole process and sometimes it takes months really to dig in and really figure out like, what are we doing here and what are their goals? Um, because I think a lot of us just sort of go on autopilot, right. And we just wanna grow, grow, grow always because that’s the message that we’re given.

[00:40:03] Sarah: Um, and so we, we try to get to like, what is the goal? And then we do our reports and depending on the size of the client, we’ll do monthly or weekly financials. And then we’ll say, how are you tracking? Right. So. early in the year. You said you wanted to do X, like how are you tracking to that? Either generally we do it on a monthly basis. Um, sometimes with the bigger ones we’ll update like weekly, you know, with just a more fast up to date pulse of what’s going on.

[00:40:33] Sarah: Cause they have more moving parts when they’re multi seven figure business, but. I mean, ultimately it’s kind of the same process. So hopefully that answers the question.

[00:40:41] Josh: Well, yeah, it’s just interesting because, well, a couple things in that I’ve found that when some people set an annual goal at the beginning of the year, like, okay, I wanna make a $200,000, but maybe January and February were slow months. And they’re like, wow, I’m not even near on track, but I’ve had a lot of students who literally went through that this year in 2022, but then March and April for several students, I know were like wild.

[00:41:04] Josh: So not only did it like even them out, but that they actually made a lot more than they, they got further than they thought they were gonna be four months in. Whereas two months ago they were freaking out. So I do think it probably bears worthwhile mentioning that. I’ve learned to take things quarterly, because generally you get a better scope of where things are at.

[00:41:23] Josh: Um, the business owners that I’ve seen that go week to week generally are super stressed out, cuz they’re like this week is terrible. My gosh, I didn’t like land any new clients. And in the next week they’re like, oh my gosh, buy, buy everything, buy whatever. Uh, but that’s a dangerous way to live as a business owner.

[00:41:38] Josh: So I was just kinda wondering your thoughts on how that applies to like an annual type of goal. Uh, but I think either way, it’s like you have your long term goal, your, your game plan, but then you can, you can shift your goals, your three year goals, five year goals, et cetera, within that long term plan, it sounds like.

[00:41:55] Sarah: Yeah. Well, when I say, I mean, goals change all the time, right. And so I almost take them a little bit with a grain of salt because it’s. , you know, we wanna know like the floor so we know always like don’t fail, right. Make sure you’re paying yourself. But then we also wanna know what’s the ultimate long term goal.

[00:42:13] Sarah: So we know we’re working there. And so when I say we have some clients, the bigger ones who we do weekly reporting on, I’m not going necessarily into detail on like big picture goals, like gotcha. You made $10,000 progress against this goal one here, but really what we try to distill it down to is how do you know you’re on track to achieving your goals, right?

[00:42:36] Sarah: And like, what are the activities that you as a CEO or like your team need to be doing and producing in order to reach that goal. And that’s what we track on a weekly basis. Gotcha. So more like, you know, think of service based businesses. And I track this for myself. sales calls booked. How many, like speaking engagements am I doing?

[00:42:57] Sarah: How many social media posts am I doing? And then back into how many hours is my team working. Right. Like, do I need to monitor that? So just like knowing these are the key things that help me answer whether I’m on track or not to achieving the goal.

[00:43:12] Josh: Gotcha. What are your thoughts on profit? Uh, what more specifically, like how to invest back into your business with the profit that’s in your business? I don’t know if you have a metric of like how much profit ideally month to month a business is, is hopes to get to. Um, but what are your thoughts on that kind of a general question, but like, do you hope that a business makes like 30% profit, for example, and then with 30% of that revenue, like, let’s say they need $10,000 to make, or let’s say they need like $7,000 to cover everything and pay themself a month and then they make 10,000. So you got 3000. What do you do with that profit? and second question would be like, is there an ideal profit margin?

[00:43:55] Sarah: Um, yes. And it depends on the business and it depends on the industry. So I, I will say like, I love to do sort of industry benchmarks for clients and some newer industries, like newer, I use in quotes because like web design isn’t super new. But when I go and look up a benchmark report, like it doesn’t, it’s not there. Yeah. Like coaching doesn’t exist. Influencers don’t exist right. In the reports yet. But I like to look at sort of like what’s normal for the industry. So I also will say before I tell you, like my goal profit number is 10%, but I consider profit to be after you are paid.

[00:44:38] Sarah: Gotcha. Because I think a lot of business owners take their profit as like what’s left over is what I can pay myself. right, but you forget that you’re the one who’s making the business go, right? Like you’re the one who is creating the websites or doing the marketing, right. Taking the sales calls. And so like, you have to make sure you’re paid for that one.

[00:45:04] Sarah: And if your business can’t afford to pay you for what you’re doing, and then also have a profit left over that, I think that’s where we have a problem and we need to figure out how to increase your cash flow. And

[00:45:13] Josh: that’s, that’s what I found my cell in. So I didn’t mean to cut you off, which is, I basically viewed all the extra money in the business for me. So my, my personal income went up, but then I just neglected investing back into the business. Uh, but that’s what I’m teaching, you know, students and hopefully folks here to think about.

[00:45:32] Sarah: Yeah. So, I mean, there’s no magic number as far as like out of that 10% or more profit, I find with service based businesses you can probably get higher than 10%. It depends on, um, often how you’re pricing, right? Whether like, are you doing high volume, low ticket tends to be lower margin or high ticket, but lower volume clients tends to be a higher margin service, but you know, 10% would sort of be the minimum.

[00:46:02] Sarah: And then out of that 10%, that’s where I think it’s important to know your goals, because if I have somebody who’s like, you know, I’m okay to just work for the next 20 years. I wanna put my money into retirement accounts. That’s one thing, right? That’s one, I’m gonna give them one piece of advice versus somebody who is more like me. Who’s like, I want to grow my business. I want to triple, quadruple every year. Right? Like I’m really going after scaling. Right. Which I don’t love that word. I feel like it gets overused. That’s another conversation. I know,

[00:46:35] Josh: I don’t know what else to call it. I really don’t. Other than growing or,

[00:46:39] Sarah: you know, I just wanna keep growing my business to reach my end goal, which is very different than just, you know, wanting to live off a retirement account, which is also a totally fine goal. And so then I would say, okay, out of that profit, yeah. I am taking some, and I’m reinvesting that back into hiring team members as I need to, or, you know, doing ads, right. Marketing campaigns, trying to get more leads in the door, all that stuff to grow my business. So. There’s no mad. There’s no like one size fits all answer. I don’t think.

[00:47:11] Josh: Yeah, that makes total sense. I was just wondering if there was, uh, some sort of like average that you’ve seen, you know, work pretty well or, or I know it’s very different for industries for sure. But yeah, I

[00:47:22] Sarah: think at least 10% is generally across the board. A good minimum. So yeah, sales minus all your business expenses minus, um, what you’re paying yourself as your like normal salary equals profit, and hopefully that’s at least 10% of your revenue.

[00:47:37] Josh: And that’s the good thing about web design in particular is typically you can get a much higher profit margin because you don’t have near as many expenses as some industries and brick and mortar shops, even like a lot of my, most of my students work from home. So it’s all remote. You can save a ton of money every month just by not having overhead. If you, if you should choose to go that route. Um,

[00:48:00] Josh: although at bears, you know, like you’re in a workspace, it sounds like, or have some office space, like there’s a time and a place for that too. But, um, all that to say web design is fortunately a really good industry to be profitable. Mm-hmm because you can get there pretty quick. I’m actually kind of curious what would be some of your tips that you’ve seen work well for people who just have not been able to grow their profit, like they’re just, they’re, they’re making money, they’re covering their expenses and stuff, but that’s pretty much it.

[00:48:26] Josh: Like, they’re just, they’re cutting it close. They’re basically like. Paycheck to paycheck salary worker, but they’re their own business. What are some things that have you seen that have worked for people to get out of that hamster wheel of like barely any profit month to month?

[00:48:40] Sarah: Honestly, the first thing that comes to mind for this type of business is gonna be looking at pricing probably. Mm. So I think that if your expenses are low, right, if you’re not spending a ton of money outside of what you need for your personal, you know, lifestyle expenses, then what I go back to is you’re not making enough in sales, right? If you wanna grow your profit, you don’t have a ton of expenses to be able to cut.

[00:49:07] Sarah: Then that means you have to increase your sales the fastest way I think to increase your sales is probably to raise your price or, you know, you can sell more. But again, I see a lot of service based businesses and I work with a lot of women, as you can imagine, you know, women like to work with women when they can.

[00:49:26] Sarah: I see this, especially with women service based business owners, too, where they just don’t price enough. And then there’s so much guilt around raising the price, charging a premium, you know, all of that stuff. So I would say, probably look at pricing and then if you feel like your pricing is good, then it, you know, by default has to be, you need to get more leads in the door, right? Yeah. So you need to reinvest back into marketing probably.

[00:49:52] Josh: So a while back, I did a little 10 day challenge on how to grow your web design business and, and boost your profit and tip number one, you guessed it was raise your rates even just a little bit. Like I remember on average, I was charging when I started, like I got to about a thousand dollars per website, suddenly I just bumped up like 1500 on average 500 bucks per project for.

[00:50:16] Josh: What is that a 50% increase was huge. That was like, that was a game changer for me. And then I was like, oh my gosh, I can charge 2000. I’m totally worth 2,500. Then things really, really started to change. But it all went back to just raising my rates a little bit. Cuz like you said, it’s the easiest way to add more profit to your business cuz you don’t need to sell more.

[00:50:36] Josh: You just make a little more every project and as you get faster and your systems and processes get better, you save more time, then you can invest more. My, my second biggest tip just for anyone curious was to look at your subscriptions. So even before selling more like look at what you could potentially cut out, raising your rates, cutting out a little bit of fluff that you don’t need.

[00:50:57] Josh: Maybe even that just saves you a couple hundred bucks a month, but you know, 2,400 bucks a year. That’s pretty cool. Look, I’m doing math. I feel confident with you, Sarah. I’m like able to do math on the fly, which is usually not the case here.

[00:51:08] Sarah: You’re doing great.

[00:51:09] Josh: That’s I’ve had some, I’ve had some rough ones on the podcast trying to do math on the fly, but those couple things, and then yeah. Then you can actually start selling once you just make a little bit of profit. I, I definitely totally agree when it, when it comes to getting out of that hamster wheel of unprofitability, if, if we can put a term on it. Yeah.

[00:51:26] Sarah: Well, I’ll say, I mean, I won’t go into my whole evolution of my business, but I started my business doing, um, you know, cause I’m a CPA. I started doing bookkeeping and tax prep because that’s what 99% of CPAs do when they started their own business. And I quickly found that’s a low profit business, right? That’s a high volume, low ticket. Like it just burned me out. And that’s what ultimately went, pushed me down the path of doing CFO work.

[00:51:52] Sarah: And actually you talk about the pricing. Brings me up to this example where I have a handful of I’m gonna use interior design as an example, because I have a couple of clients on the newer end of the range, and then on the higher end of the range. And when I was talking to one of the newer ones, I was like, you have to, you have to raise your prices.

[00:52:14] Sarah: Like you can’t keep doing, like, you have your startup portfolio, you’re good to go. Like, you’ve done enough jobs. You need to raise your price. And I was like, what are you gonna raise it to? And she said $3,000. And I was like, okay, for reference, I have other clients who are in the same industry as you who charge a minimum of a hundred thousand dollars a client.

[00:52:36] Sarah: And so like going back to like this shift in your mind of like, there are people out there who will pay literally, what is that? 33 times more for the same, ultimately like the same type of work. Right. And so I think I have, um, thinking about web design, right. I have one client who just put, I think $35,000 into a website refresh because it was in desperate need and they are a multi seven figure business.

[00:53:07] Sarah: Right? So again, four U web designers out there, like there are clients out there who will pay tens of thousands of dollars for a website. Right. And so you have to get out of this trap. I think of only having the clients who wanna pay a, a thousand dollars. Yeah. The bigger ones exist.

[00:53:25] Josh: Yeah. You put yourself into a bucket that’s really dangerous. I certainly learned that is you like you, you will attract the type of people depending on where your pricing is. And of course, I understand with people just getting started, you may not feel confident with going up to several thousand even yet, but you’ll learn pretty quickly that you’re very well worth.

[00:53:44] Josh: Pretty quickly and then you can start charging a lot more. And then I remember, uh, this is a lesson I learned early on too, when it came to pricing and this ties into this idea of like goals and finances and retirement and all this stuff is like, just because I feel like something is expensive. Doesn’t mean my client feels like that.

[00:54:03] Josh: Um, somebody, I forget who recently on the podcast said, don’t put your hands in your client’s wallet. Like don’t make the, like, don’t assume they have your mindset the first couple times. I, yeah, let them decide. The first couple times I sold $10,000 sites. I was like, Wow. I can’t believe that just happened.

[00:54:23] Josh: But then I realized for no remember one, this was gonna be very well worth it as an investment for them because they are making multi six figures or in some cases, seven figures and above, and then to them, that’s not that big of a deal. Like they’re thinking in different increments and they may be more established as a business owner.

[00:54:40] Josh: They understand this investment will likely make me maybe a hundred thousand dollars this year. So it’s worth 10,000. Yes. So yeah, I just wanted to bring that up when it comes to, you know, raising your rates with the idea of like getting more profitable because yeah, that, it really all boils down to that.

[00:54:54] Sarah: One of, I wanna say this, you just reminded me. One of my clients said to me, and this resonated she’s like, I grew up middle class, like lower middle class. Right. And I did too. And so it’s not that we, I grew up like ever wanting for anything, but it was also this sort of like, you don’t spend money on these things.

[00:55:14] Sarah: Right. So the idea that there are people out there who will pay six figures for interior design for their house blows my mind. Right? The idea that there’s people, I have clients who pay me a lot of money every year to be their CFO for their large business. Like that blows my mind because that was just not my reality. And so I think you brought up a good point of like getting out of like your head as much, right.

[00:55:41] Josh: That, and that’s a, that’s another great point is sometimes you need to literally remove yourself from like your zone of influences, family, friends, everything, not, not that you need to like disappear from your family. That’s not what I mean, but I mean like literally when you’re like work mode, you need to surround yourself with different people. I learned that early on, no one in my family or my circle of friends has any clue of of this world. Like, I, I don’t now I have new friends in the entrepreneurial world. Thank God.

[00:56:11] Josh: Because when I hang out with like my, I quote unquote real friends, like people that I actually see day to day, um, some of my colleagues live in Columbus so we can meet up every once in a while. But like my old friends from from years ago, they’re just like ho they’re barely holding onto like their job and, you know, maybe making 30 or $40,000 a year, it’s a completely different situation.

[00:56:31] Josh: So you do have to sometimes recognize that your past and the people that you were around. While often, well, intentioned are not gonna benefit you in the online world. And as a business owner, I had to learn that early on. Did, did you ever have business owners in your personal network or did you have to learn that as you kinda like me, like, did you have to surround yourself with different people to learn that money mindset stuff?

[00:56:55] Sarah: I have had a similar experience as you, where I have had to bring in new business friends. And even like, as my business grows, I have friends who are, you know, solo entrepreneurs and happy to stay that way. Meanwhile, I’m over here. Like I’m trying to make a million dollars next year. And so even within that, and it’s not like I’m not friends with the solo entrepreneurs anymore.

[00:57:17] Sarah: I just also am trying to bring in more people who are a step ahead of me so that I can keep, you know, raising myself up. But I, so one of my first CFO clients and I did this work for free was my father-in-law. And so I was sort of lucky in that regard because my bus, my family. Nobody’s a business owner.

[00:57:39] Sarah: I tell my mom what I do. And she’s like, you do what you make money doing what? I said, mom, I’m gonna work less this year than I have. And I’m gonna make two or three times the money that I made last year. And she said, yeah, good luck. like, she literally said that, but my, um, father-in-law used to own a business and, um, they were in need of financial help.

[00:58:03] Sarah: And I, this was back when I was working full time and I hadn’t really even started my business yet. And I was like, well, okay. I mean, I’ll help you. Like, this is what I do. Like I’m happy to help. And so that sort of opened my brain to the possibility of like, oh, I could do this.

[00:58:20] Josh: Right. Also you threw yourself to the lines den like no pressure with your father-in-law. Right. That’s like, could you have put any more pressure on yourself to do a good job? Otherwise that’s gonna be an awkward Thanksgiving if things don’t go well,

[00:58:31] Sarah: I know they’re very forgiving. Thankfully. I did learn a lot but you know, looking back on it, no, I probably wouldn’t work with family on a regular basis anymore. Yeah. But , you know, it was, it wasn’t in with a very large business and experience that I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise right out of the gate. So I think I was definitely lucky in that regard actually, before we like move on to anything else, I wanna bring up one last thing on pricing that pops into my head while you’re talking.

[00:58:59] Sarah: And that right now, inflation is insane. Mm-hmm so for anybody listening, hearing us talk about pricing and you’re thinking like, eh, I don’t know. I mean, inflation, I think the last report came out. It was like 9%. I forget the exact number year over year. So if you’re not raising your prices, like you are actually falling behind now because inflation is so crazy.

[00:59:22] Josh: There’s a reason McDonald’s used to have 15 cent burgers back in the freaking fifties or sixties or whatever it was, you know, like that, that is true. You do have to raise your rates with global economies. What, what a great reminder like yeah, you should, I guess, I don’t know how many people have the same rates as they did 10 years ago, but if that’s the case, especially if you have any sort of hourly work, raise your freaking rates,

[00:59:45] Sarah: you would be surprised. That’s all I’m gonna say. you would be surprised. I see businesses that have not raised their rates in years. So

[00:59:54] Josh: I believe it. Yeah. And there was one final thought that I thought of too is particularly as you were thinking, or you were mentioning, like you don’t know anyone who would like, they couldn’t believe somebody would spend a hundred thousand dollars for interior designer. That’s the same on the business front too. Like, I, for the longest time at a hard, or I had a hard time imagining spending like tens of thousand dollars on ads, for example, just because of where my business was at the, at the point.

[01:00:20] Josh: But I have a very close friend colleague I’m in a mastermind with who is spending like tens of thousands of dollars on Facebook ads. But I see his numbers. He’s having like often six figure months. So I’m like, ah, that that’s making sense. Like, yes, you’re investing a lot more, but you’re also making a lot more. Of course you don’t need to go out and drop 20 grand on ads. But I think you said earlier, like start small if that works and converts scale it up.

[01:00:46] Sarah: Um, but it’s all about the ROI.

[01:00:49] Josh: Yeah. Yeah. And E either way, sometimes it’s a really important point. I think when it comes to finances, get out of your past money mindset, current surroundings. Again, you don’t need to like, literally go off the grid and move away from your family. But when you’re working, be a, be in a different head space, I think that’s so important.

[01:01:08] Josh: And it’s funny, cuz like on a personal note, me and my wife, we just moved into a, a big home. We have our third kid coming. We don’t live lavishly, but we do a lot of our family are like, what, what does he do? Like especially cuz my wife is a stay at home mom. So they’re like, what is, what does Josh do? Like I I’ve heard from the grapevine, like people are like, what the heck does he do?

[01:01:26] Josh: And I don’t say that. Boastfully I say like, because of my mindset shifts and what I do for a living over the years, like I, I. So hesitant to say this, because it sounds super douchy, but I am just at a different place than a lot of others with their mindset on money. And that I’ve had to like, get, learn that. And sometimes it makes up for awkward small talk because some people are again are just like trying to hang onto their job.

[01:01:50] Josh: Whereas I’m like, I wanna talk about business strategies and talk with people like Sarah, about, you know, going towards seven figures. Like it, it, it does add more complexities in everyday life, but the long longest short of it is when it comes to money, mindset and finances. I have learned you do have to just play at a different card table as an analogy, um, in the online world, especially.

[01:02:13] Sarah: Yeah, no, you’re so right. I mean, I feel that way too. Like we bought a nice house and we, you know, my son was born two weeks before COVID shut down. And that was back when there were horror stories about the impacts of COVID on little kids. And we were like, we’re not sending him to take care. So we hired a nanny and I remember telling my family that and they were like, you did. How much does that cost and I’m like, yeah. Yeah.

[01:02:38] Sarah: I just, I wish like this is one of my dreams is like, I want for people to feel more confident, like talking about, Hey, I made 500 K last year. What did you do? What worked for you? Like, oh, you know? Yeah. My husband and I we’re legitimately, actively looking at buying businesses and I’d love to talk about that. Right? Like, we’re gonna put 50 grand into this thing over here. And like, here’s what happened, not to brag, right? Yeah. But more just to like help bring everybody else up. Right.

[01:03:09] Josh: Have you found that the people who are weird and squeamish about talking about money just don’t make much.

[01:03:17] Sarah: Yeah, well sort of, I think there’s, there’s that I think that they are squeamish about it because they either have like shame over. They don’t have their own situation figured out, or, you know, guilt ingrained again, back into your mindset of like, I’m, if I’m wealthy, if I’m making money, I’m somehow bad.

[01:03:38] Sarah: I’m a bad person actually saw this Instagram post, like several months ago, back when every, all the billionaires were launching rockets into space and somebody put an Instagram quote, it’s like, I’m not here to make money in my business. I don’t wanna launch a rocket into space. And I’m like, there is such a spectrum from like, not making any money to launching a rock into space.

[01:03:59] Sarah: Like, can we find good point? Yeah. Can we find a happy medium? But I also wonder like some of the people who are the loudest about the big launches that they have and like, you know, huge cash months. I also have to wonder if those people are also the ones who are insecure about money too, right?

[01:04:18] Josh: That’s true. Yeah. Yeah. Uh, yeah, I could definitely see that. I think it does boil down to personality types. I just, the people I know who are really weird about talking about money, typically just aren’t focused on making money. So for whatever reason, maybe, yeah. Maybe, and maybe that’s the case. I’m sure. I know people who do have businesses that are much more hold type, but I think I’m probably more like you, I’m an open book and I’m like, I made, here you go.

[01:04:41] Josh: I made $300,000 last year. It’s not because I’m like, look at me, but I’m like, that’s what I made. That’s what I’ve learned. How can I share to help others? Which I think that we both have a very aligned mission like that. Not from a place of like boastfulness, but just like, here’s where we are. Here’s what we learned.

[01:04:55] Josh: Let me help you get there cuz that’s the other benefit of the online world is we are not now. Stuck to the people immediately around us in physical location. Like not that long ago earlier when I said like, it’s awesome, because you can literally like move to a different card playing table. You can go to different types of people that is because we have the online world now.

[01:05:19] Josh: Previous to that. Maybe you could go to a networking group and a business to business group, but a lot of those places were like premium or like you had to invest, you had to almost be in a club to be able to get access to people like that at like really high rates that are not set for somebody with a beginner mindset.

[01:05:34] Josh: So there’s so many options. Would you agree? Like that’s, what’s so exciting about this is now with all sorts of online groups and communities and other avenues, even just listening to podcast, you can literally change your mindset and enter into a whole new world often with free resources or just low ticket type of, you know, paid stuff.

[01:05:55] Sarah: Oh yeah. I mean, I had this conversation. I was on a sales call with somebody a couple weeks ago and we ended up talking for an hour because she’s just really similar to me, like similar goals in her business and we just sort of hit it off and I’m I would never have met you in my real life. Right. Like never, even if I went to all the networking events and I mean that, I mean, I’ve tried that and it’s just so stuffy and it’s so old school. Right. I feel like, I don’t know. I like the more new school way of thinking, which, you know, online, like let’s find our people right. Wherever they are.

[01:06:33] Josh: Yeah. And then, well, and that’s the cool thing is like my next big phase of my business is meeting people online, but trying to do more in person things. So like bringing them together, um, in Columbus, Ohio, there’s a really great scene for entrepreneurs. So I’m getting a little more plugged to like meetups with other creators and stuff like that. Um, that said, I still really enjoyed my networking group, which was, I just happened to be in a really good group.

[01:06:57] Josh: Some of them are rough in good old boys clubs and really stuffy and feel like I should wear a suit, not my, not my style at all. Um, but. Either way, whether it’s online, the right type of people in person, like there are so many more re resources right now, which I think is really empowering because the way you change your mindset is by getting new input. Like you, you, you’re not gonna change it yourself. Right? Like you have to read books, listen to podcast, do something else to get like new information and new thoughts.

[01:07:28] Sarah: Yeah. No, I mean, there’s a ton out there. And actually, as you were saying that I was reminded, I have this, one of my staff, accountants is in college right now and she showed me her college schedule and she’s in college for accounting and the stuff that is on her schedule that she has to take is just a total crack. it? Doesn’t none of it matters in the real world. And she’s like, yeah, honestly, I’m just learning so much more from just like being here and plugged into your business and seeing how you do things. And I ever did in college.

[01:08:00] Sarah: I’m like, I think that’s just sort of the way. Of the future, right? It’s like we have all these resources to learn online, whether it’s finance or web design or whatever it is. Right. Like, I think we can totally do that. You know, if you want to.

[01:08:13] Josh: Yep. You can learn a lot more, a lot faster if you really want to these days, which is super, super exciting, especially for those folks who are a little bit later on in the journey who might be starting their web design business on the side at 60, like good news. You don’t need to go to a four year college program. You can. That’s why I have my courses. There’s other resources out there. You can start selling websites for three, three grand in three months, if you want to. Um, so yeah, gosh, I love that, Sarah. That’s a great note.

[01:08:39] Josh: Well, we’ve. Covered a lot here. I know we didn’t have an exact topic on mine, but when it comes to this world of finances and stuff, I, I love just weaving in and out of some of the things that I’m either challenged by or curious about. And I’m sure a lot of others are too. So thank you so much for sharing, you know, in full transparency where you’re at and a lot of really good resources and stuff. Um,

[01:09:00] Josh: I have one final question for you. We’ll definitely link your podcast, which is the profit and prosper podcast with Sarah Young. Um, is there any other resource that you would like folks to go to? Is there like, um, I mean your website, uh, yeah. Where would you like people to go after this?

[01:09:15] Sarah: Yeah, I mean, if you like podcasts, just go check out mine. I hope that I present, you know, finance business, money, making topics in an approachable way. I try to make it fun. Um, and not overwhelming for people. And you know, if you are feeling like you need a CFO in your life or a tax person in your life and whatever you have or DIYing it, it doesn’t cut it anymore. Then go, just check out my website. You can book a call with me on any page of my website. There’s a link at the bottom. So go check that out and we’ll link. I’ll send you the link too.

[01:09:48] Josh: Okay. Keep it in there. Yeah, definitely will do. And last question, any, just like, do you have a final thought based off of this conversation? We’ve, we’ve talked a lot, but, um, is there anything that was nagging you that you just wanted to get out or any kind of, sort of, uh, closing thought we’ll wrap this up here? Honestly,

[01:10:05] Sarah: I think the only thing that’s coming to mind is that I think business owners, when you’re starting out, you tend to feel either like so overwhelmed by all things finance, because there’s so many rules and like, you’re afraid you’re gonna get arrested by the IRS if you do this wrong.

[01:10:21] Sarah: And that either makes people stress out or like bury their head in the sand. And I’m here to say like, it’s not really that hard, right. It doesn’t have to be that hard, especially if you get help in the areas where you need it. So hopefully in this conversation, I just hope that people feel like maybe it isn’t as scary as I thought it was. And you know, I don’t, I just don’t want people to. Focus on the wrong things, because I think that will ultimately lead to you, just not making as much money as you can in your business.

[01:10:51] Josh: Ooh, that’s well said. That is very well said. A great way to end this one. Sarah, thank you so much for your time and for, uh, sharing your knowledge and experience in this so far. And of course, while everything leaked in the show notes and definitely, uh, can’t wait to keep in touch and hopefully do it again. So.

[01:11:06] Sarah: Thanks for having me.

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