The real “why” behind why you started your business…
We all started in the same exact spot with our businesses. We began with our “why.” I’m sure you have all heard of this infamous “why” before. There are countless podcasts, books, and gurus all encouraging you to find your “why.” They define it as your purpose, your passion. It’s what drives you out of bed each and every morning.
Maybe the love for food led you to open a restaurant, or your passion for health and wellness led you to open a gym. And we’ve all heard this one: our love for our families drives us. Now I totally believe that there is no doubt that our passions motivate us. But to say that they are the main reason that you started your company?! I’m calling bullsh*t. Every single entrepreneur starts their company for one reason. To make money! That’s it.
Stop lying to everyone and most importantly, stop lying to yourself. Stop being ashamed and start owning your truth. Your decision to start your company was based on one simple desire: to make money. But the type of company you built and the direction you went in, that my friend is where your passion came into it!
No matter your business, the story is the same – your passions serve as the conduit to making the money you desire. And we’ve all heard the theory that if you just chase your passion the money will come. But guess what guys? This is an abominable LIE. Companies go under every single day by someone who was chasing their passion and neglecting their money. Because for some reason, in our culture, we have allowed money to become a “dirty word.”
Can we get real here? Money makes the world go round. And when it comes to business, if it doesn’t make money, it doesn’t make sense. Without money, your shot at achieving your goals is nearly impossible. You can’t change lives with no money. You can’t spread your message and ideas without money.
If you believe that your product or service can change the world and that is your true “why,” then please love your why enough to understand that money has got to come first. The impact that your business can have on the world is directly linked to the money your business makes and how that money is managed. You cannot sustain a business without money. Even terrible products or services backed by big bucks will succeed way more than a phenomenal product or service with no financial structure.
Without profit, you have a hobby, not a company. So it’s time to completely change your mindset and start owning your truth. You started your business to make money, which means that every single decision you make has got to come back to this one truth. If it doesn’t make money, it doesn’t make sense!
My company’s entire mission is to change the conversation around businesses and bring it back to the foundation – back to the money. That’s what keeps the doors open. Although dreams and passions are important, if you don’t have the money to keep it afloat, you’re going to go under.
I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve met with prospective clients, and been completely enamored at first glance. When I see their exquisite website and a social media that’s perfectly curated with thousands of followers. Their logo and branding literally looks expensive and I fall head over heels in love!
Everything about their public persona screams decadence and success. But as we start working together, and I dig into their financials, sometimes I am shocked by what I find. Because sometimes, these businesses are losing money at rapid rates! All the fancy things I saw online were all a facade. In reality, they had no way to pay their bills. And most of them hadn’t taken a paycheck in months. This entrepreneurial poverty thing is real, and it’s happening every single day. Want an even scarier fact? These companies I’m referencing were all doing over $1 million a year in revenue.
So how exactly does this happen? How could a business do $1 million in revenue and still be broke? The answer is simple. The entrepreneur forgot the reason they went into business. They forgot that their whole goal was to make money. They thought they could get by on their passion and their fancy color schemes, logos, and social media presence. But guess what? That stuff doesn’t pay the bills. The one thing that all of these entrepreneurs lacked was financial structure and process. They didn’t have a financial plan. There was no one in the company focused on the numbers.
And whenever I mention it, I always get the same exact excuses. They would tell me they didn’t like math, didn’t understand QuickBooks Online, or just hadn’t taken the time. Another reality check: I don’t know how to change the oil in my car. But I make sure I find someone who does every single time that little light comes on. If something has to be done, and you don’t know how to do it, then find someone who does.
The problem is, so many entrepreneurs don’t consider their finances as something that has to be done. But the truth is if you don’t know what’s going on in your bank account, you don’t know what’s going on in your business. And I know it can be scary to dive into your financials, especially if it’s been a while but, I promise, you won’t regret it. Your numbers tell the story of your company.
And you want to know the best part? Numbers don’t lie. So if your business is booming, and your product is flying off the shelves, or your client base is growing month after month, but you still feel broke, you need to look at your numbers. Maybe your business is thriving, and money is pouring in, but you don’t know what to do with it. You aren’t sure exactly how much money you have or what the company is worth. Again, you need to look at your numbers.
Every decision you make in your company should be based on data that comes from your financials. If you are making decisions without consulting your numbers, I can almost guarantee that you are making the wrong decisions. It is one thing to have a dream. It is another to have a plan that supports that dream and allows it to flourish.
The truth is, business success depends on support and knowing your numbers. I believe that knowing your numbers is the best way to grow a business and keep your dream alive. The plan is to create profit. The plan is to create a business that supports the life you want to live. These are the foundations of a business that deliver exceptional value to its customers. Profit is a good thing!
Not only should you know your numbers, but you should love your numbers. Accounting is not boring if the numbers are used in the right way. So often entrepreneurs use the reports from their accountants to see what they’ve done in the past. And while this is great for the IRS it’s completely useless to you as an entrepreneur.
What you need is future focused financials. You need a financial plan and strategy that outlines a roadmap to get you to the profit you want in order to achieve the life you desire. This is where my passion comes in. I absolutely started my company to make money. But my passion for business financial strategy is why I chose the path that I did. Let me give you a brief background of my story.
When I graduated from college, I knew right away that I needed to go into business for myself. I graduated at the time of the economic crash. And I took a look around and saw all these people who were being laid off by no fault of their own. I quickly decided if I’m going to go under, it’s going to be because of me not because of anyone else. So I immediately made the decision that I wanted to have my own business.
Obviously fresh out of college, I wasn’t able to do that. But what I was able to do was to secure a job in a small business and work my way up to General Manager, then Regional Manager until I finally had a skill set that I was able to use to launch two of my own quick service restaurants.
But after about a year in business, I was in a pretty bad place. We were running out of money so fast and I was actually forced to take out a second loan one year after opening. It was a really humbling moment. I remember sitting in the lawyer’s office at the closing for the second loan thinking, “I really hope I’m not here again next year.” And at that moment, I vowed to myself that I was going to figure out what was going on in my business. I was spending my days making food and serving customers and trying to keep employees happy. I never sat in the office. I never looked in the back, and I had no idea what was going on under the hood of my business.
So I became engrossed in understanding my numbers. I started taking classes and reading every resource I could get my hands on. For the first time, I started looking at my businesses through this financial lens, this numbers perspective. And I’m proud to say that those two loans I took out had a five-year payback, and I paid them off in three! Can I get an Amen?!
I was so motivated by what I was able to do that I felt I had to spread the word to other entrepreneurs. So I started teaching classes on it and getting out into the community to tell entrepreneurs that they could change their company- and their life-simply by understanding their numbers.
While teaching the classes, I started getting approached by students asking me if I would help them with specific financials and if they could hire me. This was something that I had really never thought to do. But I dove into it with a full heart and an open mind, ready to help them. And that’s how The Chic CFO was born.
I sold my two restaurants about a year and a half ago. And in the past year and a half, I have been 100% committed to the chic CFO by spreading my message and helping as many entrepreneurs as possible. That’s what I’m hoping to achieve here as I dive into tactical processes that can help you to understand your numbers. I want to help you begin to implement a financial strategy in your company. Look at your company and make every decision based on this mantra: if it doesn’t make money, it doesn’t make sense!