Those bank statements that are sitting in unopened envelopes, stashed in an easy-to-ignore corner in your office.
Those voicemails from the tax people that you just keep forgetting to respond to.
How am I doing? Is it like I can see how you deal with your business finances?
Don’t worry. I don’t have a crystal ball and no one’s sent me pics of your office.
I just know from experience that this is how it is for so many creative entrepreneurs who have been in business for a year or more and feel overwhelmed and, let’s face it, bored by the accounting tasks that your business needs you to do.
How do I know? I’ve been working in banking and finance for 25+ years, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that the majority of clients I work with come to me with shoeboxes and files that take us back a year or more in accounting.
So hopefully that makes you feel better.
See, when my clients hire me, it’s not my job to make them feel crappy about leaving their accounting for so long. So allow me to give you the best business advice you’ll ever get: You don’t need to feel crappy about your business finances.
In fact, the more crappy you feel, the LESS likely you will want to tackle your finances, and the MORE likely you are to sit in said crappy feeling because you’re not getting anything done. #ViciousCycle
How about if from this point on, you commit to getting your accounting caught up, and I walk you through the steps you’ll need to take to get that “money stuff” caught up?
In fact, I’ll make this super easy for you:
Here are the first steps you need to take BEFORE you actually start sorting paper and filing emails and invoices. That’s right. This list is to help you get mentally and emotionally prepared to tackle the job that you’ve been putting off for one reason or another.
[If you’re ready to get to the nuts and bolts of getting your accounting caught up, download the guide HERE.]
Make no mistake: Even though these might not be technical accounting tasks, these ARE extremely important steps. They are perfect for you if:
You’re the type of person whose palms get sweaty when you start to think about your business finances.
AND/OR you’re a master procrastinator any time you plan to sit down with your accounting.
AND/OR you panic, cry, lose your s*&%, any time you are “supposed” to look at your finances, then this list is for you.
As they say in every Youtube “How To” video known to humankind: Let’s get started!
1. Make some space in your calendar to have a quiet Money Date. Seriously. Do it.
Special note: I know in COVID days that it’s tough for a lot of people to get away from all the people in their house (e.g. parents 🙋🏻♀), so hopefully you can ask for some support to get some time and to yourself.
2. Keep your eye on the prize.
It’s sucky to feel like you HAVE to do something. In fact, you might find you rebel whenever anyone tells you that you NEED to sort out your finances, right? Except, you actually do because waiting will cost you money, time, energy and emotions.
So let’s make this nice, OK?
And to do that, remind yourself what you’re going to achieve – over and above tidy accounting – when you sort out your books.
To do this, you can ask yourself one or more of these questions:
“What opportunities will I create for myself when I’ve finished this work?”
“How will my business thank me when I’m done?”
“What will I have time to do once I wrap this up?”
“How will I feel when I know that my business finances are under control?”
3. Feel the feels.
If you haven’t downloaded and spent some time the Money Mindset Restart Guide (A.K.A. FREE money coaching), it’s time to do that. It’s KEY to setting yourself up for success.
4. Pull out your Financial Catch Up List, found HERE.
I’ve created this list so that it’s simple and easy to understand. No jargon. Just what you need to know.
Plan another date when you’re going to spend a day getting this done.
Seriously, plan a day. You might get it done in a few hours, but leave yourself even time to track down the docs you need and file accurately. If you’re done early, then have a back up celebration plan. Heck, plan on celebrating anyway! 👍
Money Mindset: It’s a phrase that’s been thrown around for a while now. One of those catch phrases that I believe people use without really digging into the significance of what it means.
Simply put, “money mindset” refers to your relationship with money. It can also be described as the way you think about money.
One of my favourite questions to ask my money coaching clients is “Imagine that money is actually a person. Think about what that relationship is like. How would you describe it?”
Some descriptions I’ve heard over the years are:
• Hot and cold
Everyone will have their own descriptions because everyone’s relationships with money are different.
So if you’re a business who feels that your relationship with money is safe, you’ll likely be willing to make more of a calculated risk than someone who distrusts certain aspects about money (i.e. there’s never enough, rich people can’t be trusted, money doesn’t like you). Calculated risks include investing in your business and your team, borrowing to grow your business, and implementing new systems, services and programs.
On the other hand, if you say and believe that you hate dealing with money, you’ll likely do things to stop yourself from having to deal with it…and go broke in the process while not taking accountability for your own inaction or harmful decision making.
See how this all works?
And are you thinking, “Okay, so I think I need to dig into this a little further”?
Fabulous! This will be some of the best work you do for yourself and for your business, I promise!
To start, I’ve developed three questions for you to journal on. And by “journal,” I mean do it your own way: Use a pen and paper, talk it out with yourself or someone else, go for a walk and run through your answers – it doesn’t matter HOW! What matters is that you get your brain focused on your money and feeling safe and comfortable exploring it further.
Here are the three questions:
1. Imagine that money is actually a person. Think about what that relationship is like. How would you describe it? (Told you this is my favourite question!)
2. How do you WANT to feel about money?
You can choose one or multiple emotions when you answer this questions.
Something to remember as you delve into this question: Pay attention to your thoughts and if you hear “Oh, that’ll never happen,” acknowledge that voice, then ask it to head over into the corner of your mind for just a few minutes because you want really want to explore this.
3. What beliefs about money are holding you back from feeling this way?
These might be your beliefs you developed on your own, or something that you’ve learned from family and/or friends.
This is deep work, so take your time with it, and approach it with an open mind. YOU get to decide how you answer these questions, and what you’re going to do with this information. YOU get to give yourself a safe space where there’s no judgment. (Imagine NOT judging yourself. Yes, you get to do that!)
I’ve developed a Money Mindset Restart Exercise to help you dig into this a further on your own. The questions are simple, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that this is quick and easy work.
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