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I am all for transparency and opening up talking about money. When we treat money like we can openly talk about it and we don’t feel like it is taboo, we reduce the stress that we feel around our finances, because we take action to open up when we are struggling. We reach out, we ask questions, we work with mentors, we take programs and we take action on improving our finances.
So I am excited to share with you, my best and worst financial investments as a first-year online coach & entrepreneur. I want to share this so you can get an idea of good expenses for the first year of your online coaching business and ones to avoid making!
I want to first say that none of these are money mistakes. Yes I am breaking them down into best and worst, but they are not mistakes, they are learning experiences. When we consider something a mistake, we haven’t learned from that lesson. And I learned a ton in my first year of business and it is only going to make me a better coach to coach others in their businesses as well as a better business owner.
The Best Financial Investments I Made in My First Year as an Online Coach
1) I Took Training to Become a More Valuable Financial Coach to My Clients
Sharing with you the best financial investment I made all year, is super easy for me. When I began my financial coaching business, I didn’t know anyone else who was doing anything similar to me. So I didn’t have anything to compare my business to, I created my business and revamped as I worked with clients and as my business grew. But I still felt like, I really wish I could talk to someone about MY specific business because financial coaching is a completely different industry than health and wellness coaching. I found the Financial Coach Academy and after doing a lot of research I confidently enrolled in it. It was hands down THEE best investment I’ve ever made, for my specific type of business. It was legit, everything I dreamed of and more. Not only did I learn so many more methods of coaching that I could use to be a better coach for my clients, but they were able to give me what works and what doesn’t, without me having to make those mistakes myself. After taking the Financial Coach Academy, I completely revamped, restricted and added new parts into my business. It also gave me tools and systems to implement in my business to be a more successful financial coach business owner. If you know me personally or follow me over on Instagram and watch my Instagram stories, you will know that I am a total nerd and this course truly filled my financial nerd soul.
2) I Learn That the Riches Are in the Niches
I learned very early on, that I needed to have a niche market, if I wanted to succeed as an online coach. Even if I wanted to help everyone, if I spoke to everyone, then I wouldn’t be speaking to anyone, and I wouldn’t be able to have a profitable business and therefore, I wouldn’t be able to help anyone have a financial transformation. I wasn’t sure exactly who I wanted to work with, I wasn’t sure who my niche audience was or how I needed to speak to them, in order to attract them to me. I found myself with a run on sentence that wasn’t easy to say or for someone to easily digest when explaining what I did and who I helped. Until I took Angie Lee’s Niche Training for Health and Life Coaches. One of the hardest parts of being an online coach, is learning how to effectively market yourself and your services, which is what you will learn in this course. It is very important to invest money into courses, programs or coaching this is going to help you learn how to market yourself so you actually have a profitable business. By going through her course I was able to figure out my niche and exactly what I was going to create content on, so I could help the people who I truly wanted to work with, the people who I considered to be my “dream” clients that brought just as much energy into my life, as I was putting out into the world! If it wasn’t for the Niche Training for Health and Life Coaches, I would probably still feel lost around who I was speaking to, and therefore have a difficult time making sales online!
3) I Invested in Developing My Money Mindset
I have shared before that growing up, I was already really good with my money, because our family didn’t grow up with a lot. I began learning and studying about money when I was a young girl and was obsessed with learning everything I could about it as I grew up.
There are 2 parts that I feel really contribute to your total financial health and your wealth:
1) Your financial decisions, habits and actions and
2) Your money mindset. I was very good at the first, but I wasn’t as strong with my money mindset, which is actually how I came to be a financial coach (you can read more here about Why I Became a Financial Coach and my journey), when I realized how much my feelings of scarcity from my childhood, were causing me extreme anxiety in my adult life.
I worked really hard on improving my money mindset and feelings of abundance for the past few years. This year I really dived deep into money mindset, human psychology and how we think and feel about money and abundance. I learned some of the secrets of how the most wealthy people in the world view money, which is a completely different mindset than those who feel scarce.
My quality of life really improved and this was huge for me being a first-year full-time business owner, when you are on the best personal development journey of your life, evolving into who you need to become to run a successful business.
4) I Paid for Systems to Save Me Time So I Could Focus on Income Producing Tasks
I was using a free online booking service for my clients and potential clients when I first began my business. When it came to payments there was a lot more back and forth of my sending e-mails and we don’t realize how quickly this adds up for taking our time and energy, from something that can be completely automated. I started using Acuity and it was a lifesaver for time and energy and made the customer experience really positive as it was all set up and there was no longer back and forth.
What I actually loved the most about it, was that I could also basically use it as an on-boarding system and have an automatic e-mail go out as soon as a client pays, to set them up with their intake form, client contract, etc. For the small monthly fee that I pay, I save so many hours that I am able to use to actually work with more clients in my business! Anytime I can save time by putting a system in place, that is exactly what I do because I understand that by having systems in place, it allows me more time to increase my income by helping more people!
5) I Outsourced the Tech Tasks That Drained My Energy
I created my first “sales pages” on my website myself and I liked them when I first built them. Then I realized I really didn’t like them as I was drawn to ones on LeadPages. I purchased Leadpages and thought I would just “drag and drop” and build it myself, but not being a techy person, I struggled with it. I had my copy written and outsourced it to someone else and I was really happy with the job that they did. For the amount of time that it would have taken me to create it compared to how quickly they created it, it was worth every penny. From having someone else create one page for me, I was actually able to use that one page to figure out how to create others and I created the rest on my own after that, so that was a bonus!
Financial lesson learned: If you are stressing out about the tech side of something and it is draining your energy, outsource it to someone that can do it cheaper than you could. My mental health was worth more to me than stressing & pulling my hair out trying to figure it the tech side, than paying someone else to do a better job of it than I could have!
6) I Had Someone Else do My Hashtag Research
Something that I know I needed to be doing because I learned it in a great Instagram course that I took, was to be researching my hashtags. The only problem… this took SO much time and I dreaded it. I felt like I was wasting my time doing it, even though I needed to be. Except that I didn’t need to be the one physically doing it. I could outsource this to someone else for cheaper than I could do it myself. So I paid for a monthly membership to the #Hashtag Files Society and I was able to get a huge variety of hashtags that HAD been researched, every single month.
This is an incredible resource to help get your content and message in front of more people on Instagram. You need to be changing up your hashtags A LOT on Instagram in order to reach more people and not to appear so spammy in Instagram’s algorithm. But the amount of time that it takes to find so many different hashtags that apply to our specific businesses and then to have variety, takes SO much time. That’s why I love the #Hashtag Files Society, there is so many different categories of hashtags that Courtney (an Instagram guru and the Hashtag Queen herself) has and the best part, every single month she adds new ones (she also takes suggestions so if you don’t see a category there that you want, she will add it for you!). There are over 5500 hashtags in here and it is growing every single month! She will also let you know when a hashtag shouldn’t be used anymore because it has too many posts and your post would be buried, so she also has a “retired” section, so you don’t have to figure that out on your own.
When I started using the #Hashtag Files Society, I had so many more hashtags and I started reaching more people on Instagram that I otherwise wouldn’t have reached. For the low price of the monthly membership, it saves me literally hundreds of hours that I don’t have to sit researching on my own so I can focus on more important income generating aspects of my business! Seriously, I’m sure hashtag research isn’t your zone of genius, have someone else who it IS their zone of genius do it for you, for so much cheaper.
7) I Met with and Hired an Accountant
Even though I am a financial coach, taxes and tax laws are a completely different financial situation than dealing with your budgeting your personal finances and therefore, I knew it was important to me, to meet with an accountant. I met with an accountant to find out what I could claim, partially claim and to talk about the tax side of my business. This was incredibly helpful and I recommend you doing this before tax season! Don’t wait to meet with an accountant until tax time when they are most stressed and overworked! If you meet with them right before tax time, you have to go back an entire year and then try and figure things out. Do this ahead of time, so you can be caught up from each month with your finances and then you just have to drop it off at the end of the year and you aren’t wanting to rip your hair out during tax time! Meeting with an accountant is a great business expense, not a wasted one!
The Worst Financial Investments I Made in My First Year as an Online Coach
1) Upgrading Technology Too Soon
The financial investment that I would consider as the worst one that I made this year, was upgrading my e-mail system before I truly needed to. In my head, I told myself that I wanted to upgrade it sooner than later because I didn’t want to have to build all of my systems and then have the nightmare of having to transfer everything over and basically set it all up again.
I asked around for suggestions for what I thought I needed, but I purchased something that was more than I really needed. I ended up purchasing a more robust system than I truly needed and paid more money for it in turn, that I what I would have if I would have used a simpler email system.
Financial lesson learned: The mindset that I should have had, was that once I was ready to change everything over to a more robust e-mail system, that I would just pay a tech person to do it and that it wouldn’t be as bad as I made it out to be in my head.
2) Not Negotiating When I Knew I Should Have
I didn’t negotiate for a service someone was coming up with a quote for me when I knew the price wasn’t aligned for what I was receiving in services. I was desperate for help in this area so I agreed to this price anyway, so I paid more for this service than I should have.
Financial lesson learned: When making financial decisions that you aren’t sure about, listen to your gut when it is telling you that it is not aligned. I am not referring to the emotion of fear here, as we will often feel the emotion of fear when we are stepping outside of our comfort zone and challenging us ourselves to up-level. It is very common to feel fear and I don’t do something because of that, I ask myself if this is for my highest good and for where I am wanting to go, while being financially responsible.
3) Focusing on Building Passive Income Too Soon
I spent time focusing on building more passive income before I had a good-sized audience and following established. I should have just kept focusing on active income for the first year. The financial investment here was in having someone design an e-book for me, when I should have waited to do this until later.
Financial lesson learned: Focus on active income before pursuing passive income, unless you have a really warm or larger sized audience ready to support the financial investments you have made into passive programs.
4) I Purchased a Logo Too Soon
I loved the logo that I first bought when I began my business, but honestly in the first year of your business, you change so much that you really don’t know what you want and if you pay someone else to make you one right off the bat, it likely won’t reflect who you are as a person even near the end of the first year. The first logo I paid for was when I was in school for holistic nutrition and I was building my nutrition business. The lady did an amazing job of the logo, it’s quite a shame it doesn’t work in my business now to use it!
Financial lesson learned: You don’t have to have “all of your ducks in order” just to have your “ducks” in order, or you may end up spending money that is wasted. You need to allow yourself to evolve through the good, the bad and the ugly, to see what really aligns and feels good to you, so you are happy with your purchases in the future and not just right now.
5) Using an Email System That I Didn’t Like
This one is not terrible from a financial standpoint, but from a technology switchover, it was a nightmare. I had a custom e-mail address through GoDaddy because I didn’t know where else to go through when I began my business. I also didn’t know the actual system that I would be using for my email by purchasing through GoDaddy, which turned out to be Outlook.
I found Outlook to be not very user-friendly and I really didn’t like the platform. For the same monthly fee I was already paying, I was able to switch over my e-mail address to be the same custom email address, but I would be using the Gmail platform, using GSuite for the custom email address. The switchover left me without a business email for about a week and there were a few days of sweating bullets. I am really happy with GSuite as my provider now and if you are looking for a custom e-mail address, I would suggest purchasing through them instead of GoDaddy, unless you love using Outlook.
Great Additional Financial Investments that I Recommend:
If numbers and money aren’t your jam, I highly recommend you working with a financial coach who specializes in finances for online coaches and service-based entrepreneurs. I have an incredible session where I walk you through all aspects of your business finances and then even more that you definitely need to know, but wouldn’t ever have thought of. I give you the systems so you don’t have to create any of them yourself, you can literally just start using them that day. I know that you are really busy building your business, so instead of dragging out the coaching process, I have created everything for you already and just give it all to you to use right away, as soon as our 2-hour session is done!
I also give you tutorial videos to walk you through the systems, so you can watch them as many times as you need, to feel confident with your business finances! After two hours, you will go from feeling anxious and stressed about the finance side of your business, to feeling like the confident Boss Babe CEO of your business. You will feel as confident with the finance side of your business, as you do the services that you provide! If you are thinking that just outsourcing to a bookkeeper will make your life easy and you won’t have to worry about the financial side, I want you to know that you STILL have to understand what is going on with your finances.
You still need to know how to make smart financial investments in your business. Having these systems in place (which are more than the information that you will see in an accounting software like Quickbooks/Freshbooks, etc.), will give you your whole financial picture, including system to help you actually expand your income, not just track it! If you want to read more about the benefits to see why the Business Finances Clarity Session is what you need for your online business,
Click here to download my Realistic Budget template!
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- How is a Financial Coach Different than a Financial Advisor?
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- My Story & Why I Became a Financial Coach, Not a Financial Advisor
Click here to download my free favorite business systems and tools list to make your business more organized and to get your time and energy back, so you can be more productive and profitable!
I am very active on Instagram, follow me here for more financial tips & tricks: http://instagram.com/mandyythomas (@mandyythomas)
Do you have any questions or anything to add? Leave me a comment in the comments below and I will respond back to you!