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A Minnesotan currently living in Copenhagen, Denmark. Designing products that help you align your work + wellness. Visit my about page.

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Building a Business That Gives Back and the $157 Business Course That Helped Me Do it! Checking in 10 months after pivoting my business. | Thyme is Honey

In 2010 I started working in social media, within a year I was self-employed, managing at least 8 clients at a time, and running a 6-figure business. So last summer when I decided to quit…it was a pretty big decision.

What got me into social media work was the success of my own website and products — a little “side project” that I had launched in 2010 as a creative outlet in my spare time quickly grew and became a successful business that could support me. But as my work with clients grew over the years, I ended up having less and less time for my own website. My own products. My own blog posts. My own social media. All my time and energy was going into my clients’ accounts. During the 8 years that I spent working directly with clients, I was happy to put my own stuff on the back burner to focus on their products, launches, and success. I got to work with some incredible, industry-leading brands and it taught me so much about business and product development.

But eventually, I started to struggle with watching my own brand become a shadow of what it once was. I realized I loved what I was doing but no longer wanted to be doing it for other people, I wanted to do it for myself. Although my clients were overwhelmingly amazing over the years, there were times where I felt my personal beliefs butt up against a marketing team or corporate red tape in ways that were really frustrating and didn’t align with my own values. The decision to pivot meant not only being able to focus on my own brand and products that I was incredibly passionate about but also being able to build a business that could stand for the things that I stood for.

I was fortunate to have 6 months of income in savings, and when I broke the news to my husband (not the news most spouses want to hear a year after moving to one of the most expensive cities in the world) I assured him that if I couldn’t replace my client revenue within 4 months I would immediately start looking for other jobs or options to avoid negatively impacting our income or savings.  Not surprisingly he was overwhelmingly supportive, and I wish I could say I was as confident as he was! I informed my clients of my transition later that week but stayed on with several of them through July in order to train in new employees and ensure smooth transitions.

And that, I guess, is one of the many differences between a finance coach and an accountant. An accountant will run your numbers, and finance coach will teach you how to be comfortable with and manage them. So that brings us to the lovely and charismatic Tess Wicks of Wander Wealthy. I had been following Tess on Instagram for quite a while and loved getting financial advice from a woman. A millennial. A fellow midwesterner (we grew up just 30 minutes apart!). A fellow expat (Tess now lives in Switzerland and we had the opportunity to hang out when she visited Copenhagen last summer). Finances had always been the one aspect of my business that overwhelmed me and Tess had a way of simplifying things to make it seem more manageable. Although I had hired an accountant in the early days of my business, my approach had always just kinda been not to dig deep into the math myself. I’ve never been great with numbers or particularly interested in math, but it’s was more than that. Talking about or even thinking about money made me incredibly uncomfortable (and sweaty!) but I was finally starting to realize that this was stunting my business growth.

When Tess started talking about her PayDay Party course I knew it would be a great way for me to buckle-down, look at the numbers, and make the most of the 6-month cushion I had provided for my business pivot with clear and measurable goals. When I lost my client revenue it left my own website and shop as my only revenue streams, decreasing my monthly income for August 2019 down to $4,700. My goal, I told Tess, was to get myself back up to a minimum income of $10,000 per month by building up my own business and shop. If I could do that within 6 months I’d know I had made the right decision.

Guess what? I did it immediately. Like no downtime. Not one dip into that rainy day account. Below is an example of what my profits looked like after beginning my pivot and I’m sharing this with you because I want you to feel confident in making big changes in the structure of your business even when it seems scary, and I wanna show you how this $157 course transformed my business:

It wasn’t until the PayDay Party kicked-off in August that I realized how many limiting beliefs I actually had around money. The three main fears I found myself struggling with were:

  1. I feared that money is evil or that people who have money are corrupt or bad. I had been conditioned to believe that wealth could only be acquired through questionable means, and that all people with money were selfish.
  2. I feared making more money than my spouse. I was self-conscious about how this impacted my spouse and whether or not it was impacting our relationship.
  3. I feared making more money than I knew how to manage. I thought that more money meant more complexity and that I’d reach a point where I wouldn’t know how to manage my finances and my entire business would crumble.

You might not think you have mindset issues when it comes to money, but let me ask you this. Does the fact that I shared my finances so transparently up above make you uncomfortable? If so, that’s proof of at least one mindset issue that could be holding you back in life or business. The idea of it being rude to talk about money is very cultural and quite American. Although other cultures adhere to this, in Europe it’s quite common to discuss money. People openly ask us what we make, what we pay for rent, how much our vacation cost, etc. That’s because the transparency of this nature helps all of us. How do you know how much you should be making at your company if you don’t know how much your coworkers are making? How do you know if you can survive as an entrepreneur if none of us ever share what our income looks like? Chances are that the people who have encouraged you to “not talk about money” are also the people who benefit from your silence.

Once Tess helped me uncover these fears I was able to reflect on my previous 9 years in business and see the ways I had self-sabotaged or held back in order to make an amount of money that might seem acceptable to my family, keep me right at the same level as my spouse, or the amount I thought I could manage. It was hard to sit and look those truths in the face and think about where I could be had I tackled any of this sooner. But better late than never, right? Through Tess’s course, I was able to overcome each of those fears by realizing that:

  1. More money means being able to do more good. Money is not inherently evil, and it is up to us whether the money we make has a positive or negative impact. I didn’t need to be worried that money would make me a bad person if I stayed grounded in the good things I wanted to do with it.
  2. A truly equal and supportive spouse means a partnership where our success is also shared. I could be confident that my husband’s support for me was stronger than his ego.
  3. If I could learn to manage $100, I could learn to manage $1000, and if I could manage $1000 I could manage $100,000 or $1,000,000. I didn’t need to be scared of making more money.

Completing the course helped me overcome these mental blocks and allowed me to pivot successfully, which also means that I’ve been able to follow through with my dream of building a business that gives back and benefits the people around me. Successfully pivoting back to my own brand has allowed me to build a business that:

  1. Partners with One Tree Planted to plant one tree for every planner or calendar purchased in my Etsy Shop (learn more here).
  2. Partners with Save the Boundary Waters to donate $2 for every Drink Some Water Tee purchased in my Etsy Shop (learn more here).
  3. Greatly expanded the amount of My Personal Pledge, a personal monthly donation that goes directly to people in need (learn more here).
  4. Is able to offer The Hydration Checklist free for Black people. Black people have endured centuries of systemic injustices that have caused them to suffer collectively from chronic stress while simultaneously being excluded from wellness spaces and resources. I’m honored to offer my first online course free to Black people and to get their voices into that space (learn about the course here).
  5. Is able to offer course scholarships to anyone experiencing financial hardship, in order to get information about hydration to the people and communities most impacted by food deserts, malnutrition, and lack of wellness education or centers (learn about the course here).

As happy as I am to look at the numbers and see the way my business was able to weather a pretty drastic transition, and as proud as I am of the personal and financial growth reflected in the past 10 months, I am even more proud to say that I am actively building a business that reflects my values and is structured in a way that cares for the people and communities around me. The work is not done and I am currently applying for business programs that will help me further develop this aspect of my business (stay tuned!).

Truly my only regret is not taking a finance course sooner in my journey! In fact, the PayDay Party is applicable no matter what stage of business you’re in, and would even be a great course to take before or right when you start. If you feel like you struggle with finances or are holding on to any limiting beliefs about money I cannot recommend Tess and her PayDay Party course enough! You will learn how to navigate and overcome those beliefs but you’ll also come out of the course knowing how to manage money as a small business owner, including how to allocate your money and pay yourself! Whether your dream is an income that allows you to build your dream house, travel the world, or build up initiatives like mine — this course will help you understand how to get there with your numbers. If you’re interested in learning more about the PayDay Party head over to the website by clicking here. Tess also has a podcast, The Wander Wealthy Podcast, that has great episodes for entrepreneurs.

I want to be super transparent: I found Tess’s course, paid for it, and completed it without incentive last summer. After being so happy by the results over the past 10 months I reached out to Tess and she gave me an affiliate link to use in this post. When you sign up for PayDay Party and use the code DANI at checkout you’ll get 20% off the cost and in return for sending you her way I’ll receive a small commission.

Building a Business that Gives Back + the $157 Business Course That Helped Me Do It

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Velkommen! I'm Dani, a small-town Minnesota gal living in Copenhagen, Denmark. I like productivity, hydration, and my dog. What about you?