Do you want to have a better money mindset?
Today’s episode is actually a replay of the number one training that we did for Biggie Size Your Biz Virtual Conference. Amber Dugger totally blew our minds about money mindset, and I knew that I had to share this special training on the podcast.
Amber Dugger is the founder of Profit For Keeps, a system developed for online entrepreneurs to end the stress and anxiety around numbers. It is a holistic system combining personal finance and business cash flow strategies using Profit First and YNAB (You Need a Budget). She has helped hundreds of coaches implement this system and has helped thousands more calculate revenue goals that actually make sense!
This training and Q&A is going to help you totally transform the way that you think about money, debt and expenses in your life and your business.
- How to be better with your money while not restricting yourself from things you want
- Allowing yourself to become empowered with the knowledge that really matters around money
- What cash flow management means
- What you would want to set up in your business to have a profitable, sustainable business
- The five things that really go into a profitable, sustainable business
- A different perspective on debt
I believe that we need to normalize talking about money, especially as women. The more we can talk about it, the more comfortable we feel making it and the more impact we can have.
We want to know what your biggest takeaway is from this episode! Make sure to send Amber and I a DM on Instagram. I know she would love to hear from the Serve Scale Soar listeners as much as I do!
If you are interested in creating a second stream of revenue in your service-based business, visit www.betatobiggie.com to apply to watch our training!
Sign up for my free training >> How to Scale to Consistent 10K Months Without Hiring a Team
Brandi Mowles: Y'all, today, I'm so excited we have pulled the number one training that we did for Biggie Size Your Biz Virtual Conference in January, and we surveyed our audience and asked what was your favorite? And I can agree with everyone that Amber Duggar blew our minds in her training. And so I did not want to keep this from y'all. I definitely knew what needed to be shared by more because it was such a mindset shift around money. And I think more than ever, we all need to have better money mindset. We're always working on it. And a lot of times it's not our fault. It's what society has taught us to believe. It's how we grew up. And it just takes really hearing this information more than once. So Amber has been on the show before, but I wanted to really replay this episode that was straight from our virtual conference because it was so impactful. So this is not a typical podcast interview where we're back and forth. This was her virtual conference training. And we're even going to include the Q&A portion so you can hear it. But just know this isn't like a typical podcast episode, but it is so worth listening to and I cannot wait to hear your feedback in the DMs, so let's jump on in.
Welcome to the Serve Scale Soar podcast, the podcast dedicated to helping Service-based entrepreneurs scale their online business to five figure months so they can soar into six figure years. Your host Brandi is a wife, mom and in less than one year created a six figure business and now she is spilling all her secrets. So you can too.
Brandi Mowles: You can introduce yourself to everyone, but what I would love to say about you first is we got to chat. I had heard about Amber through the grapevine and stuff as I was growing my business. And I loved her take on money and how to become better with money, but also like not restricting yourself from the things that you want and how to use the profit first and kind of tweaked it for the online space. And I'm sure she's going to talk about that. So many of you have read the book Profit First or you've heard about it. And one thing that I believe that we need to do, especially as women, is normalized talking about money more because the more we can talk about it, the more we can have it and the more impact we can have. And one thing that I always love when it comes up to money is it may make you feel uncomfortable talking about it. And that's OK. We just need to do more of it and get more comfortable. And so also, money does not make you a bad person. Money is not evil. And one of my favorite quotes is money amplifies you, it doesn't change you. And so what that means is it's already crappy person, which I know the majority of you are like most of you are in my world. I know you were not crappy people. Then money will make you a crappier person. If you are already a giving, caring, loving person. Generous, then the more money you have, the more of that you will become and the more of that you will be able to do so. One thing I want us to do is talk more about money, and that's why I have Amber on here. She is the perfect person to really help with this conversation today. So let's get the questions going. And Amber, introduce yourself and then we can jump into your training.
Amber Dugger: Thank you so much, Brandi. That was beautiful. I one hundred percent agree with that. You're sharing. I want to say hi to everyone here. Thank you so much for being here. Some of you being here so early in the morning. My name is Amber Dugger, and we are going to be having a conversation today about money that is completely different than what you may expect. So what I'm hoping that you can do is just take a moment and shake out your shoulders and give yourself a nice big hug and take a deep breath, because sometimes when you hear the word money, when you hear the word finances, as exciting as we can make it, it can also bring some other additional feelings.
Amber Dugger: And it's OK. It's OK because money is ninety nine percent emotional and behavioral and very little to do with spreadsheets and numbers. So this is an energy. This is a neutral energy that is not good nor bad. Just like Brandi was saying, it amplifies you. It's a conduit of your intention. And so what we're going to be talking about today is really allowing yourself to become empowered with the knowledge that really matters around money so that it can amplify what you want out of your life and the business that you're creating. So just thank yourself for a moment for being here, for having the courage to listen and to learn and to look into becoming more empowered and knowledgeable around money, because that is one of the best gifts of financial self care that you can give yourself. And I am just so inspired by you being here today, and I'm really excited to diove in. So my name is Amber Dugger. Like I said, I am a recovering financial person from the corporate world and I never actually thought I would go into finance again. After leaving, I became a certified holistic health coach and while I was living in Bali, I realized that there was this big disconnect between the beautiful, impact-driven entrepreneurs that I was meeting and talking with and their relationship with money and how they were able to use it or ignore it to really make their life better. And so we saw that there is this gap there. Now, we're not going to be talking about bookkeeping. We're not going to be talking about taxes. Well, I will explain the differences between those things. What we're going to be talking about today is something much more practical that you can empower yourself to do with your business in your life.
Amber Dugger: And this is cash flow management. We're going to be talking about a holistic system that you can implement so that you can really make sure that your business is set up to bring in the amount of revenue that is always going to allow you to feel like there's always enough because what you desire is going to be different from the person sitting next to you. And so by really designing the business, that will bring in the amount of money that allows you to satisfy the needs that you desire for you and your family, you always have enough money. So, of course, make sure that you have some paper in front of you and we're going to be diving right in. And I'm going to be I really think that it's nice to learn visually. So we're not going to get super complicated because money can be very ego-driven. And there are a lot of people out there that try to make it super complicated. Our desire and mission is to completely eradicate financial anxiety. And in so making this as simple as possible, because really all we're talking about is money and how to organize it. That's all we're going to talk about. So let's just take a moment and I want to hear if anyone here has heard of the system profit first, because I want to first just do a quick. Little training on profit first so that you understand what that is, and then we're going to go into the five things that really go into a profitable, sustainable business and so perfect. There's so many you guys are amazing. And there's some of you that are like, yes, but I'm not really sure a ton about it.
Amber Dugger: Perfect. So you're in the right place. So when you think about money coming into a business, we can think about the money as basically resources that are coming into your business so you can have money coming into the business account. And then your bookkeeper will first talk about a bookkeeper. Your bookkeeper is going to make sure that everything is organized properly in a bookkeeping system, and that's looking backwards. A tax accountant takes all that information and looks and sees how much you're going to actually owe on taxes. And that's the purpose of the accountant. But you, the visionary and strategist's of your business, you want to be the gatekeeper, the nurturer, the person responsible for giving purpose and intention for the money that comes into your business. So profit first is a system that allows you to do that in a way that gives you enough money to always make sure you're paying yourself consistently. You have enough money for your taxes, you have money for your business expenses, and that you are profitable, meaning profit, money, cash in the bank. So can you all just take out a piece of paper? I'm going to be sharing my iPad screen and I'm going to just show you the principles of profit first. OK, so most people have a cash flow system that looks like this. And this is you just please know that you're in the right place because a lot of people start their business with this, and that's about ninety nine percent of businesses.
Amber Dugger: So you have money, your sales have come into your business and it goes into your business account. So just go ahead and on a big piece of paper, draw a circle, put the business account and money is coming right into this business account. Then you have bills that are paid, right.
Amber Dugger: You might have your VA, you might have your you might want to be paying your mortgage. You might take money out of there. You have all these different things that are coming out. And then you may be looking at the business account balance to decide whether or not you can make a payment or if you can invest in something. And it can feel a little bit frustrating. Right. Because it's just money coming in and money going out, money coming in, money going out.
Amber Dugger: So profit first is a little different. So I want you to draw a circle here and this is still going to be your business account and money is coming in. But now I'm going to have you draw four circles on the side here, and I want you to label the top circle as profit, the next circle as personal expenses, the third circle as taxes. And this is your personal taxes and your fourth circle as business expenses. So now when you have a thousand dollars, let's say, come into your business account, it's going to be separated immediately into these four different piles.
Amber Dugger: So just imagine having a thousand dollars sitting in front of you and you're now going to put it into four separate piles. So this is just for the sake of this example, we're going to give you a way to figure out your own percentages. But for the sake of this example, we're going to go ahead and put five percent here, 50 percent for personal expenses, 20 percent for taxes and twenty five percent for business expenses. OK, so when the thousand dollars comes in, just imagine moving 50 dollars into the profit pile. So now you have fifty dollars here and about a thousand dollars you're going to put five hundred dollars to be able to pay yourself and you're going to put two hundred dollars for taxes and you're going to put the remaining amount, the two hundred and fifty dollars to pay business expenses.
Amber Dugger: So every single time you make money in your business and this can be set up today, you could start doing this today. You don't need any special system or any special arrangement. You want to be able to say, OK, any money coming in to buy my business, I'm now going to think of separating it out into these four intentions, having a certain amount going to profit, certain. I'm not going to be able to pay yourself a certain amount going to taxes so that you can pay your taxes and the remaining portion being able to pay business expenses. So every time you make money, it goes in and these accumulate.
Amber Dugger: So what I'm going to show you today is how you can come up with a revenue number that allows you to always have the right amount each month in the personal expenses and the right amount and the business expenses. So we'll come back to profit first. But I wanted to give you just a visual representation of a cash flow system before profit first, where money's just coming into the business account and the money is going out of the business account versus having money coming into the business account and then separating out into the four intentions, having a certain percentage go to profit, certain percentage go to your personal expenses so you can pay yourself a certain amount going to taxes and then the rest of it being able to pay your business expenses. So let's go ahead and just talk a moment about what you would want to set up in your business to have a profitable, sustainable business. The very first thing that I recommend is that you calculate a revenue goal that allows you to say, OK, I have this many expenses and I have this many business expenses, how much money do I need to make sure that I have enough money in that personal bucket and then I have enough money in the business bucket to be able to still pay taxes and still be profitable? So by having this revenue goal and will be able to give you a way to calculate that and it is a game changer because you're a reverse engineering the profit first system. So you're saying, OK, I want to pay myself four thousand dollars a month because I have listed out all of my personal expenses that I want my business to cover.
Amber Dugger: And that has come to this number of five thousand dollars. And this is just an example. And then you can look at all your business expenses, come up with the same amount of what you need each month in your business, and then you can put those two things in with a percentage of your taxes, a percentage for profit, and you will come up with a goal. So let's just say this goal is ten thousand dollars. All right. So you have your ten thousand dollar revenue goal. What this does is it now allows you to look at your business and say, am I aligned to be making that ten thousand dollars a month? Is there something in my business that I need to change to ensure that I have enough time for my family, that I have enough time to the things that I want to do, and that I'm truly able to give the service that I want to provide my clients with having all of this and thought about in terms of your package pricing, the time that you're spending with clients, et cetera. So this gives you more control over your money. It allows you to feel very justified and safe in charging for what you're charging, because you can see this number is going to give me the ability to do these things for myself, which allows me to show up for my clients, is going to give me the ability to show up for my business so that my business is sustainable and allows me to continue to provide the impact that I want in my business.
Amber Dugger: And it gives you a tangible goal that you can work towards with confidence. So the very first thing that you want in a profitable and sustainable business is a purposeful revenue goal that matters to you, because, like I said, someone living in New York is going to have a different goal than someone living in Bali. That's number one. Number two is you want to be able to say, OK, my goal is ten thousand dollars and I have these packages and I'm charging this amount and I'm charging payments per month for my clients. It doesn't matter how much money you book, it matters how much money is actually coming into your account on a monthly basis. So you want to be able to see where these automated payments are coming in and making sure that you have enough to either hit your goal or that you are providing enough money from them from a better month or a higher month, the month before to cover any month. That's a little bit lower because as we all know, as entrepreneurs, we don't have consistent even revenue months. Right. And they go up. They go down. So having a spreadsheet or any type of tool, you can even use a piece of paper that just has the months across the top. And it gives you ability to strategically look at the months ahead and see where there may be a lower month or a bit of a higher month that you can carry over.
Amber Dugger: So what this does is provide yourself with predictable income, because if you have a higher month, one month, you can still pay yourself that consistent amount that you chose to do so with your revenue goal. It also provides confidence on future growth, investments and spending decisions because you're able to see, oh, I'm regularly now exceeding my goal every month so I can take that extra amount and put it towards other investments or other particular things that I want in my life in into those decisions. So that's number two revenue forecast tool. The third thing that you want to have for profitable and sustainable business is a personal budget. So when people hear that, they're like, oh, I thought we weren't going to have to do any sort of budgeting. It's not anything like what you may have thought before. A budget is really just a purposeful spending plan. It's giving yourself the freedom to spend the money intentionally on the things that really matter to you. And so I really like to make sure that people are considering things that are not monthly in this personal spending plan. So a lot of times people will feel like, oh, my gosh, I think I have this down and I've listed all my expenses.
Amber Dugger: And then you have some unexpected expense pop up. And this is where it can really throw people through a loop because it's like, oh, my gosh, I just got everything figured out and I have this big bill. So what I suggest you do is you sit down and this is something that you can do on a break today or after today's conference. I want you to write down sit down with your partner or if you're single, sit down with yourself. Just whatever it is, write down all of your personal expenses. I want you to think of the fixed expenses you want your business to cover and anything that you see yourself spending money on in the next 12 months. So, for example, if you're really looking forward to traveling more in 2021, determine what you. That may be for the next 12 months and write that down and then divide it by 12, and that's going to be the monthly amount that you will list in your list of monthly expenses. The same thing for any sort of insurance that may be paid every six months or maybe an annual bill like Costco. Put those things in there as well and then divide it by 12 to get the monthly amount that you're going to put towards your monthly expenses. These expenses that don't have to happen every month, they're called true expenses. And these expenses are the sneaky things that people typically don't include in a list.
Amber Dugger: And then it's like, oh, my gosh, I totally forgot about that. So it's the most amazing, proactive thing you can do is sitting down at the beginning of the year and writing these things down so that you can be prepared, because the more prepared you are with the realistic amount of money that you want to be paying yourself each month, the more you'll be able to easily and effortlessly pay those things when they do come up. So listing out your personal expenses, it's ensuring that you don't sabotage your newfound profitability in your business by implementing a system like profit first. And it gives you a plan to hit some of these bigger milestones, such as paying down debt, creating a paycheck stash for yourself. I don't typically talk about emergency funds because I don't want to call an emergency, but we can talk about more like having full months worth of your expenses so that you have money set aside for future expenses without having to worry about the timing of cash flow. So that's number three is the personal budget. OK, so so far we have one the revenue goal that really makes sense for you. We have the revenue forecast tool, which is allowing you to see how much money is coming in each month and comparing that with your own unique individual revenue goal. The third thing is the personal budget so that you know really how much you want to be paying yourself every month and feeling like I've got this, I'm now paying myself and I have money for the things that really matter most to me.
Amber Dugger: Now, here's number four. If we have a personal budget, we definitely want to have a business budget. So the business budget is going to have profit first implemented. And so what that means that those circles that we are showing earlier in this presentation, that is going to be part of your business budget. So the only difference now is when money comes into your business, you're putting aside a certain amount for profit. You're putting aside a certain amount for the personal expenses, which is going to go into your personal budget. You have enough money putting aside for taxes and then the business expenses are going to be listed just like your personal. So the personal side, you've listed all the monthly things as well as the annual things and the semi-annual things, those true expenses. You want to do the same thing for your business side. So the first thing you've done is you've listed all your personal expenses on a separate piece of paper or a separate Google sheet. You're going to list your business expenses in the same way. So less any monthly things that you have, any annual things that you have, divide that annual thing by 12 so that you can see what the monthly amount is going to be putting aside and come up with a total number for your month.
Amber Dugger: This is such a game-changer because when you look at all of these different things, the very first thing you want to ask yourself is, is this giving me a return? Because these business expenses, I really like to think of them as business investments. Every single thing that I spend in my business is an investment that some people may say, oh, well, I don't know if, like a business license is investment. It absolutely is, because it gives you the opportunity to be a legitimate business and it puts the signals out there to the universe that this is a legitimate business. So every single thing that you have in your business, you want to be looking at it from a standpoint of utilizing this. I taking advantage of this. And is this something that's going to give me a return as long as I am taking full responsibility of taking action? Because these investments are conduits of your intentions for your business and we are investing in any sort of program or business coach. You are investing in yourself, and when people are investing with you, they are investing in themselves through you. So when you're looking at these business expenses, just think of that. Keep that in mind. And it may be that you see some things that you realize, you know what, not really keeping these.
Amber Dugger: I'm not really using this and I was just keeping it because I'm grandfathered in at a rate that I like, but I'm not really using it. Maybe I need to let it go. It's totally fine to do that. It's allowing you to create space for the investments and the opportunities that are really going to provide you amplification to move forward. The business budget with proper first implementation is now going to allow yourself to pay yourself regularly, because when money comes into your business, you're now putting it into very clear buckets of intentional profit, intentional amount to pay yourself. So you always know how much you have available to move in. To your personal expenses and enough money set aside for taxes, you're just going to pretend that doesn't even exist anymore. That's going to sit there until you need to pay either your estimated taxes or your total taxes at the end of the year. And the remaining portion is going to be put aside for those expenses that you're listing out. OK, the very last thing the fifth thing is a plan to achieve your financial goals and age your money. So what the heck is aging? Your money, aging your money is what I was talking about with this paycheck stash or having four months of expenses for yourself. So just imagine for a moment that you have your business account fully funded with three full months of business expenses sitting there and you have your personal account with three to six four months of expenses sitting there.
Amber Dugger: When you have this in your bank account, then when you are thinking about bills, they can all be automated, right? Because you're having money coming in. They're getting paid. You know that. You're now looking at how much money do I need to be making my business to continue to fund the months ahead? But you're no longer spending contaminated time thinking about the timing of cash flow. So when you have a plan to achieve that, that's called aging your money. So the very first thing you can do is, of course, get that revenue goal figured out. The second thing that you can do is look at, all right, how is my business aligned to make that revenue goal and what things do I need to implement to start hitting that goal? The third thing is looking at the personal expenses, making sure that they are the intentional business expenses or personal expenses that you want in your life right now, and that you may find that temporarily saying, you know what, I'm good on some of these right now. My bigger goal is aging that money and any money that doesn't go to an expense that goes towards creating that paycheck stash of that buffer gets you a little further along, but allows you to feel less stress and anxiety, because the more that you build that buffer, the aging of your money, the more you can feel like you're not having to spend so much time thinking about the timing of cash flow.
Amber Dugger: So by having a plan in place, you're now going to be able to say, OK, I'm first going to save up to four months of personal expenses, and then after that, I'm going to start paying down any debt that may have accumulated. And just a quick side note on debt. Debt is a beautiful opportunity for you to have taken advantage of an opportunity at the time when you didn't have the resources available. So please think about the debt that you may have and ask yourself what it did for you, what it allowed you to do, what opportunities were you able to to take advantage of. And the more that we have gratitude about the experiences and opportunities, the more we can easily pay it down, because we can see it see it as a former opportunity that we were able to bring us to exactly where we are right now. So by having a plan in place to first create the two months buffer, it allows you to then fully focus on paying any debt balances that you have, because if you have any sort of unexpected expense pop up, it's not immediately going to go back on a card. You're going to have those two full months of expenses set aside so that you can say, oh, OK, I've got this I have this cash here.
Amber Dugger: And you don't psychologically feel like you've now taken a step back because you've had to put a balance back on a card. So the first milestone for that plan is the two months of age money. The second milestone is paying down any debt. The third milestone is saving up the additional three to six months of expenses. And after that, you're then in this space of what I call profit for joy, which is where you're able to put any additional money towards the things that you are thinking and maybe at one point weren't possible or thinking that, oh my gosh, one day if that one day can be now, that one day can be. I've got this. I have a profitable, sustainable business. And now the profit distributions that I'm receiving each quarter are paying for things that I never thought I was going to be able to do, because you've now created this beautiful, profitable, sustainable business for yourself. So I'm going to quickly recap the five things and then we're going to open it up for questions, because I'd love to answer any questions you have about what you've learned today. So, again, the five things we're profitable, sustainable business is, one, having a revenue goal that you can say this revenue goal represents for me and my family how much I want to be bringing in in total in my business, to be able to pay myself regularly, to be able to have enough money for my business expenses, have enough money set aside for taxes and still be profitable cash in the bank.
Amber Dugger: So that's number one revenue. The second thing is having a revenue forecast tool so that you know how well you're doing in terms of hitting that revenue goal each month. The third thing is being really clear on your personal expenses so that you know that when you're paying yourself, you know exactly what you're doing with that. Money before thing is business expenses, knowing where those things are and how much they are and how you are allocating your business expense portion to those business expenses, having a business budget that has profit first implemented. And the fifth and final thing is having a plan for the money that is coming into your business so that you have the ability to have that paycheck stash and pay down debt and really make the impact that you're looking to make with the resources that are coming into your business. With that, I think we're right at 30 minutes. I'd love to answer to open it up for questions.
Brandi Mowles: You did so amazing. I just love every time I hear you speak on this, it just brings me so much joy. And I know that we had so many ahas in the chat. So sorry if you all can hear my child. So one of the things that I love that you said was purposeful revenue goal, that means something to you.
Brandi Mowles: And that was so powerful because so many times we hear like six figures or seven figures like all these numbers. But that doesn't mean anything for you. Why are we actually working towards that goal? So I love that. And then the other thing that I really loved is you said grab a piece of paper, like, keep it simple. There doesn't have to be this, like, barrier to entry with softwares and stuff like that. Just grab a single piece of paper and take ownership of this. So thank you for giving everyone permission just to keep it simple. And then before we jump into the questions, because I know this is something and they are flowing in now, I know this is something that really comes up a lot, is the whole aspect of debt and investing in. We're in this online space for courses. Programs are being thrown at us left and right. And so I remember when I invested in my first high ticket coaching program, which was twenty thousand dollars, and I was like, oh my gosh. And I'm so glad that I took that leap because I see so many people that they have this fear of the debt. And what if they don't make it back? So can you dig into that a little bit deeper on making those purchases, how to embrace that debt and what you've seen really work for people?
Amber Dugger: Absolutely. Well, first of all, everyone has a different relationship with what feels comfortable, uncomfortable or unattainable. So I want everyone to please give yourself a lot of grace as you're listening to this and hearing numbers, because we all have different set wealth points and we also have different set. What I would like to say is debt points, really. So just know that a lot of our beliefs around money stem from very early childhood and our money paradigm is going to look different for everyone. The good news is we all have the ability to increase and elevate our wealth. So there's some really beautiful things that you can do to help. Just look at this from a different perspective. And so know that if you're looking at an investment and someone else is easily making that investment, no problem. And you feel like you are about to have a panic attack by the idea of investing in that amount. Please just know that there's just differences in the money paradigm and that it's OK for you to truly give yourself grace in the process. But to answer the specific question about investing and how do we go about that, how do we manage our relationship with debt as we go through that process? I would say that for me personally, I looked back at the different investments I made and the biggest the first investment I made in a six month coaching program.
Amber Dugger: And again, I'm also quite grateful I made that leap. And it's all about whether or not this investment is truly going to put a fire under your butt to take action, because, like I said, any investment is a conduit of investing in yourself. And if you are looking at this investment as I'm paying to solve the problem, it's not the right investment for you because no amount of money that you pay and then not take any action afterwards is really going to help move the needle for you. So you want to look at that investment is what, first of all, do I plan to experience network with results? And what are the and how do I value that result? That's the first thing. The second thing is, if you're looking at a big investment and you're really on the fence, I highly recommend that you do this very easy 20 minute process of asking yourself the following questions. And if you're on the fence of yes, you're on the fence, no, just choose one and go through this process. So let's say that you're asking yourself, how am I going to feel if I invest 20 thousand dollars and put it on my credit card in the next five minutes? You might write, I'm freaking out.
Amber Dugger: What the heck did I just do? And then ask yourself in five hours how you're going to feel and then ask yourself in five weeks how you're going to feel. And each time you're asking yourself these questions, I want you to truly take a moment, close your eyes, imagine visualize the person that you will be five weeks from that investment and what you will be doing, what you will be learning, what you will be taking action on a. Then ask yourself again five months from now and ultimately five years from now. This is a really powerful process because you will find the answer. It's always within you. So no one else is going to be able to give you the answer on whether or not it's the right investment. But you will be able to see for yourself whether or not you plan to take action on that. And the exciting thing is when you start to look at your investments and you do this process ahead of time, you then can see, oh, my gosh, the more I invest, the more I typically get in return. And that's what I've personally seen myself. If I invest a small amount of money in a program, just subconsciously, I don't put as much value on it as if I'm taking a bigger leap. So I hope that is helpful.
Brandi Mowles: Yeah, and the funny thing is, I was talking to my bookkeeper as we were wrapping up and we've talked about this, how she does profit first we do projections and all that. And the funny thing is I looked at my number of education and I only invest in things that are going to light a fire under me. And it's got to be a good chunk of change for me to do that now.
Brandi Mowles: And we spent almost seventy thousand dollars on education. And I was like, oh, my gosh, is this like this feels a lot like, is this OK? And she was like, Yeah, it's you and my three. She said, you and three other clients spend the most money on education and all are growing the fastest because you actually implement what you're learning. And so it was so crazy that that wasn't just like mine, but that's what she's saying across the board. And so but I think the big thing is you have to take action on what you're doing. It can't just be like, you know, we're not going to take action on a thirty seven dollars product. Most likely there's just no skin in the game for that. So I love that. That was so beautiful. OK, so let's talk about these questions. So Jen, ask, does the 20 percent for taxes include both payroll taxes and business taxes?
Amber Dugger: Great question. So again, these percentages are simply examples. So I would make that really clear. But the 20 percent or any percentage for the tax when you're doing profit first is simply meant to be personal, personal taxes. So business taxes are going to be a business expense if you are an escorp, but it's a bit different, but you're still going to be splitting out your payroll between the tax portion will come from the taxes percentage because that's personal taxes that are being paid and the other portion will come from the personal expenses. But any business, corporate tax will come from your business expenses.
Brandi Mowles: Love it. OK, Sidney, do you recommend having separate savings accounts, one for personal, one for business to save those months of expenses? And or do I just keep that extra money in the checking account?
Amber Dugger: Great question. So, Sidney, I am specifically talking today about the difference of how you're bringing in your money, that you can choose how to set up your system. So there are some people who use accounts, a whole bunch of different accounts. I personally teach a framework that uses an envelope software system because I find that it is very helpful for virtual businesses to be able to see everything in one place and not have to worry about a whole bunch of different accounts. But I always recommend go with what you feel is going to be the thing that you'll actually use. So if that system that you just wrote in your question makes the most sense to you, then go for it, because that's the one that you'll use of it.
Brandi Mowles: Ok, Aaron, you mentioned 20 percent for taxes. I've been pulling 30 percent based on other sources, 20 percent ideal. I think we just answered that.
Amber Dugger: Well, just quickly touch on it. So it really just depends on where you're from. I have seen and again, please note that this is not tax advice and not a tax accountant. I have seen that in Canada, 30 percent is typically more conservative. And you'll have you'll always have an office, an online business typically. And in the United States, 20 has been at least with a virtual business more than enough. However, I have clients that are all the way down to 10 percent because of the way that their accounting and their own personal tax structure is set up. So it's really across the board. So what you want to do is just ask your accountant to give you a number and it's not your effective tax rate. I want you to explain to them that you're wanting to prepare for taxes and that you're using a system that allows that says every time any money comes into my business, I'm putting a total percentage aside for taxes. So top line percentage, what would you recommend based on that? And if you can give them an estimate of how much they're going to be you're going to be making in the year, they can help you. And again, it's always going to be an estimate. So I always recommend you go a little bit more than you think it's going to be, and then you can give yourself a refund at the end of the year of it.
Brandi Mowles: Ok, Kimie says and we talked about this, but can you talk about how to split the four buckets, different bank accounts to put them into our spreadsheet? And a lot of people are asking do you use Ynab. Yes. And I use Ynab, which is that electronic envelope system. But do you have anything else to add to cammies question?
Amber Dugger: Yeah. So if you feel that using a spreadsheet makes the most sense, you then use a spreadsheet. I've seen people use spreadsheets, bank accounts and Ynab as an example, I find that as long as you feel like you're going to consistently do it, that's the most important thing. The reason I like Ynab is because it allows me to see everything broken out, whereas if you have four bank accounts, the business expense portion is still just going to be a full amount sitting in the business portion. Whereas with Ynab, I can see every month I'm putting one hundred twenty nine dollars and eighty eight cents of my cash and setting it aside for my annual Kajabi expense, for example. And so that helps me regulate all of those two expenses that we were talking about earlier in the presentation. And that's the, I would say the biggest advantage of using Ynab over the bank accounts. But again, whatever you feel is going to be the thing that you use.
Brandi Mowles: And what I love about that, too, is you talked about projections and not just those, but like you talked about having those savings of the three months and stuff. What I like about Ynab is when I meet with my bookkeeper weekend like she does CLECs a bunch of buttons, and then we scroll over to see how many months we have in the bank where no cash came through. I know that, like, I still get paid. My people still get paid, like the business still runs. That's what I like to see. I'm just like, how many months can we go with no money? And so that's the really nice part about Ynab as well that I like. OK, I think this is kind of the same question. Do you create four buckets inside the same business account?
Amber Dugger: Yeah. And again, it's just if you if you are using Ynab, then you're going to have more than four buckets, right. Because you're going to have the profit, the personal, the taxes and then the business expenses are going to be broken out into all the different expenses. So those are going to be like many buckets and you can think of buckets as envelopes. And that's why we're talking when we reference an envelope system, it's like taking the full amount of money that's in your bank account and putting it in all these little envelopes.
Brandi Mowles: And also, you know exactly where your money's coming from. So the nice thing is we've been talking about multiple streams of revenue, this whole conference, and you can quickly see what revenue streams are actually profitable and which ones are bringing in money. So that's also really nice with that system.
Amber Dugger: Yes. Ok, just a quick note to that. Anyone using Ynab already to make sure you see that this is just a quick tip, but change the Pay-e to your revenue type when you're putting that money in and then you'll always see the revenue types in your reporting. So just a quick tip.
Brandi Mowles: I know I logged in there the other day and I was like, oh, man, that is so good at making sure all of our stuff is labeled because we have several things that are the same price. So I love that. OK, Jasmine, what would you suggest to a business owner that is in season of not being able to pay themselves and cover business expenses because of the fluctuation in client work?
Amber Dugger: That's a great question. So, first of all, I would ask yourself why you believe that statement is true? Because ultimately, I do truly believe that when you decide I will have enough money to pay those things, I will be able to bring in revenue that will cover those things. It's all about going back to the first thing that we were talking about, which is creating that revenue goal. And I would put that revenue goal all over the place with sticky notes, put it on your fridge, put it on your steering wheel, put it on your monitor in front of you. The very first thing you wake up when you see that. And I want you to just truly ask yourself, what is the identity of a person that I need to be in order to make that amount per month and allow yourself to just visualize bringing in that amount each month. Now, from a practical level, you may be listening to the answer and going, yeah, that's great, but I still don't have the money right this very second to pay those things. Well, I always say that when you give yourself the gift of clarity of how much money you really, truly want to be bringing into your business, a couple of things happen. One, you send out signals to the universe that you want and desire to be a responsible financial steward to the resources that are coming in and opportunities open up to you.
Amber Dugger: That's the first thing. The second thing is you have the clarity to say, OK, some of these expenses are going on a card now, but that's not my forever. I'm not on the hamster wheel here. I am on a journey to create that income that's going to no longer requiring me to use these cards without having the cash to back it up. So it's now you may not practically in this very moment be doing any different actions from a practical standpoint of putting an expense on a card. But you now have the empowered knowledge of seeing how you can move into a space where you have the revenue coming in to pay those things. So just give yourself grace in the process and say I'm on this journey. Yes, I'm putting this on here now. Thank you so much, credit card, for being available for me to still be able to pay for this so that I can do these things, that I can move forward, but at the same time do the inner work and the visualization and the take the action and be inspired by the opportunities that come in front of you to really be able to move forward and create that additional income.
Brandi Mowles: So great. OK, so that is their forecast. Program you recommend?\
Amber Dugger: So the framework that we teach and profit for use, we simply use a Google sheet so it doesn't have to be fancy. That's what I personally use. But again, if you are allergic to spreadsheets, which I totally understand, then using a simple, beautiful Moleskine notebook with the months written across the top in your client's written on the side, that can take you like five minutes to put together. So it's not the tool. It's more the intention of ensuring that you see the payments coming in and making sure that you're comparing it to that revenue goal.
Brandi Mowles: And do you think that consolidating debt to make paying it down is more manageable?
Amber Dugger: I think that yes, consolidating that can definitely make it more manageable. I don't recommend doing it until you have a clear plan, because without the clear plan, it can just create additional opportunities to take on more debt without really knowing where everything's going. So my clients, they first are working on getting the system set up. And then after that, they're looking at, OK, I want to have these two full months of my paycheck stash. Once they get to the debt pay down process and they've determined how much they can put towards their debt each month, that's when they start looking at debt consolidation options because it allows them to find something that will work with the plan that they've created for themselves. So I would just recommend that you ensure that you feel comfortable with the amount of money that you would be able to put towards each month before doing that consolidation process.
Brandi Mowles: Yvonne said could you please repeat the three parts of the fifth part?
Amber Dugger: Sure. OK, so the plan in place, the very first milestone is two months of age money or two months of expenses sitting in the bank. So if you have five thousand dollars of personal expenses, you want to have ten thousand dollars before you start doing debt, pay down. The second milestone is debt pay down. So any consumer debt, credit cards, loans, personal loans, anything outside of a mortgage or a car note, unless you want to put the car note in there as well, it's fine. You pay those things down. Next, the third and final step before moving into what I call profit for joy is saving up an additional three to six months of personal and business expenses. And that will give you that beautiful runway that Brandi was talking about with and being able to see, OK, if I don't make a single dollar, everything's still running smoothly for a while. And that's a beautiful place to be in, because when you pivot in your business, there are times when revenue actually will go down, perhaps, and you're opening up space for additional scaling options, which will look different. And so when you have that age money in place, you're not creating any sort of relationship with money equaling security because you already have that buffer set in place. And you can really just keep yourself open, creative creatively for the new pivot that you're moving towards of it.
Brandi Mowles: Ok, so my husband and I are planning to pay cash for school starting in August. We're saving those school payments now. Is it OK not to add the profit category for the time being while we're saving everything for school?
Amber Dugger: Well, I mean, obviously, you can do whatever you want. It's your life and your desires. I will say that it's a game changer to do the profit and what you can do, because one thing we didn't touch on is every quarter, whatever, sitting in that profit line, half of that is going towards your milestone. So if your milestone is the first two months of saving for personal and business, then you put it towards that. If you have that and you don't have any debt and you're really putting everything towards school, you can put it towards school. But the sooner you implement the habit of putting aside intentional profit, the sooner that you will really see forward momentum financially in your business, in your life.
Brandi Mowles: I love it. And we use the I love the profit. I didn't really get it in the beginning, but I love it because now each quarter my bookkeeper's Brandi. Here's your profit and I'm like, yay! And we go on a vacation as a family with it every quarter. So I love that little profit category. Yes. So Marissa says, can you clarify the difference between profit and business expenses? When do you use the profit, for example, which bucket to use to invest in courses and coaching?
Amber Dugger: So it's a great question. Profit is really, in the beginning, truly meant to help you start to age your money in the business. So in the framework that we teach, we don't necessarily focus so much on getting age money in the business because it's automatically happening with the profit bucket. But any sort of courses and coaches, you want to think of those as business expenses that you're thinking of in the moment. So when you go later and you list your personal expenses and you list your business expenses, I want you to just think, what do I desire to be able to invest in this year in my business? And even if you don't have the exact amount of money, you don't know which courses are going to be coming your way or what you're looking to, really what specific solution you're looking for by having a set amount that you are estimating it can give you already a built-in intention for putting money in that line. Now, once you are at a point where you have at least three months of business expenses sitting in the business account and you are now just accumulating profit and the profit accumulation bucket or envelope that the excess of three months can be used for what we sometimes call is capital expansion or business expansion. So, for example, if you have excess money sitting there and an opportunity comes along, that is absolutely going to be a game changer. And there's a discount to pay in ful and it's, let's say 20 K and you have that excess 20 K sitting in the profit bucket. That's absolutely a good use of the additional amount in the accumulation. If you hadn't anticipated that and you feel like that's going to really take the next step for you and your business. But the very first goal is always to first accumulate it to three months before making any sort of decision like that.
Brandi Mowles: Do you have a podcast?
Amber Dugger: So I have a profit for Joy TV and we're just about to launch profit for Joy Radio. So that's that's the name.
Brandi Mowles: I knew you had the show, but I was like, you have a podcast, so that's exciting. Thank you. Is why not have something you use with an accounting software. OK, so do you still need quick bugs or is this an instead of thing.
Amber Dugger: Great question, Meredith. So the YNAB is for you. So this is your personal dashboard to organize your cash. My bookkeeper doesn't have access to my Ynab. There are some there's all sorts of different ways you can do it. But for me personally, I like to use Ynab of myself because I like to see where everything is sitting. Bookkeeping is going to be a separate, completely separate software system that is managed by your bookkeeper and that will allow them to look backwards, organize everything in a way that makes sense for accounting principles and IRS standards. And the reason that we get, I think sometimes a bit overwhelmed or confused around money in numbers is because we're using things like quick books and financial reporting to make decisions on our business. And it's kind of like trying to put a square peg in a round hole is just a very different purpose that you have for the accounting software when looking at decisions for how you want to use the money that's coming in right now in your business. So you do definitely want to have two separate systems there.
Brandi Mowles: Tricia's asking with Ynab, do you just have one budget for Biz and Personal or do you have two separate budgets?
Amber Dugger: So in Ynab we have one budget for business and one budget for personal. It's in the same account.
Brandi Mowles: Perfect. Samantha said. So if you use Ynab, do you not need to get a separate business account at all, or do you still need to separate business accounts and just connect both accounts to Ynab?
Amber Dugger: Yeah, so just like we said a moment ago, you definitely want to have a separate business budget and a separate personal one, which requires you to have two separate accounts. And when I first got started, I asked that same question because you must be familiar with Ynab, because I definitely have been using it for a long time and personal about, oh, I'll just put it all together in the same thing. Give yourself the opportunity to state put a stake in the ground and saying my business is a separate entity and I'm going to treat it as such. And so by having that separate business budget in the long run, it will definitely be much more useful for you.
Brandi Mowles: So when using Ynab, we just integrate it to our bank account and it tracks the percentages where allotting to each envelope, but it doesn't actually take the money out of the account.
Brandi Mowles: That's correct. Yes.
Amber Dugger: Sidney, I'm assuming that you pay yourself out of the bill is considered a business expense, right?
Amber Dugger: That's more of a tax professional question. So it depends on how you're set up from it from a tax standpoint.
Brandi Mowles: That being said, do you think it's important to have a bookkeeper that promotes profit first? Sounds like maybe it doesn't matter.
Amber Dugger: That's a bit of a loaded question, but I'll state it in this in this way. If you feel like, you know what? Right now, I just really want to have profit first implemented and I'm feeling like this might be the best way to go. You can definitely hire a profit first bookkeeper, accountant or coach to help you do that. I do believe that as a service-based online business, it's so much more powerful to implement in the way that I taught today in the presentation. I believe that handing over your finances to a bookkeeper accountant with profit first can be a detriment to not fully allowing you to empower yourself with the information to make business decisions. But again, it's there are definitely people that are in the pot. And I'm a profit first professional myself. So please know that I'm totally for profit first professionals. But I think that with an online business, it makes more sense to reverse engineer it and focus on that revenue goal first and then separate it out like we are talking about.
Brandi Mowles: And I'll take this question. I'm a solopreneur and plan on staying there as long as possible. Should I obtained my LLC or stay a contractor? So this is a question for your attorney, your accountant. LLCs are not a tax entity. They are a like, hey, I'm a business and I want to have protection, so limited liability. So you're giving yourself as someone sued you, they're not suing you personally. They're suing you as the company. Staying a contract or you're a contractor regardless. That's how you're working with your client. So even as me filing as an escorp, which is a tax thing, LLC is not that's illegal. I'm still a contractor when my clients hire me. So that's kind of outside of this conversation. But just so you know that LLCs are not money related. Everyone thinks they are, but they're really not. It's just a legal entity. OK, perfect. And that was our last question. So Amber, this was so amazing, so needed. I feel like your work needs to be seen by so many more people. You already have an amazing audience, but I just feel like so many more people would benefit this, especially women. I see this come up a lot with women, just the shame of talking about money. And I really want to make talking about money, not taboo. And I know that you are doing the same thing. So that's why I knew I had to have you. Because y'all if you want a biggie size your business, you have to be willing to look at your numbers. You have to be willing to take control of your finances and not let someone else take control of these and not make financial decisions from a place of scarcity, but a place of abundance. And Amber, we had so many ahas. I definitely think this was like the most like everyone was like, oh, my gosh, she has major shifts, major shifts. So where can everyone connect with you? And we're going to link up all Amber's information, but where can they connect with you and just learn more about what you're doing?
Amber Dugger: Well, again, thank you so much, everyone, for being here, for participating, for giving yourself this opportunity to really be empowered with this information, because well done. I mean, we are creating a movement here of having this topic no longer be taboo, allowing this topic to really empower and amplify what we are meant to do in this world. So thank you. Thank you again. I love connecting with people over in our community. It's called Sweet Life, Purposeful Money. And there we hold regular workshops on how to create that age money. And it's really exciting. We're actually having one starting January twenty fifth. So anyone that wants to come more than welcome to will be inside that group. So if you're wanting to sign up for that, we do have a wait list right now so we can give you that link as well. I'm also on Instagram @profit.with.amber. Love to connect with you there. And if you want to subscribe to our Profit for Joy TV, it's over on YouTube.
Brandi Mowles: I love it. Thank you so much, Amber. This has been such an amazing time together.
Amber Dugger: Thank you so much. Brandi was so great to see you again. And you are just rocking it. Girl, this conference is amazing. So you have such beautiful energy.
Brandi Mowles: Y'all. How good was that. My mind is freakin blown again. Amber Dugger totally transformed the way that we can think about money and debt and expenses in our business and empowered us to make choices. They give us the full potential of our success. And I could not be more grateful for this training that you did for the virtual conference and now for you all on this podcast. So whatever you took away from this, make sure to tag her, send her a DM, send me a DM, let us know what your biggest takeaways were and if you're ready to biggie size your biz in 2021 by creating a second stream of income with of course, or membership, go in and head to betatoBiggie.com, we'll link this up by being A to B G dotcom and apply to see if it's the right fit for you. And we'll send you the replay of our training that I do that really breaks down what it looks like to create a second stream of revenue with your service based business. And then we'll see if beta to biggie is a good fit for you. So I'm excited for you. I cannot wait to hear your takeaways and until next week, go out, serve your clients, scale your business and soar into the six-figure you deserve.
Thanks again for tuning in to the Serve Scale Soar podcast with your host, Brandi, if you loved our podcast. Please be sure to leave a comment or review and be sure to tune in next time.
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Brandi Mowles is the host of the Serve Scale Soar podcast which is a podcast dedicated to helping service-based entrepreneurs scale their online business to five-figure months so they can soar into six-figure years. Brandi is a wife, mom and in less than one year, created a six-figure business. Now she is spilling all her secrets so you can too.