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One of the biggest challenges I face, and still do in my business, is around money and the way I view and interact with money. I will go as far as to say it was the SINGLE BIGGEST OBSTACLE between me and running a successful, profitable business. I had to make some significant shifts in my mind, in order to take my floristry business from suffering to profitable. In this episode I want to share with you 5 very significant mindset shifts I had to make when it came to money. I strongly believe every creative needs to make these shifts in their mind to see money start to flow into their business. I think you’ll find this episode super duper valuable.
I know I’m not alone in this struggle with money, because a lot of creatives I talk to have hang ups around money too. We’re not sure how to price or whether we deserve more money than what we currently charge. We’re not sure whether people will buy from us if we increase our prices and we definitely don’t want to spend any money on our business. All of these things are mindset challenges that have to be overcome to see more money coming into your business.
I want to say right up that I don’t think I’ve nailed money mindset. This is something that I’m continually working on in my business. But in my podcast, I’m determined to share with you, not only the things that I have nailed, but the things that I am struggling with and working on. I want you to see that I’m in the trenches too. There are some things that I’m truly confident with in my business and there are things that I’m working on gaining more confidence in. Money is one of those things.
But I am so passionate about this topic of money, that I am making it the main concentration in my business because when I have finally understood a financial aspect of running my business, that’s when I began to see real results and that’s when I start to feel real freedom. Money is such an important topic and something I think all creatives need to tackle head on and not shy away from.
In this particular episode, I want to talk about 5 mindset shifts that I HAVE made in my business that have made all the difference. There are definitely other areas that I’m working on, but the ones I want to mention in this episode are ones that I have addressed, conquered and have seen the results from. These are 5 mindset shifts that I want to encourage you to make if you haven’t already. Let’s get into them.
The first mindset shift I made is, “I am not my ideal client”.
This was one of the first realisations I had to make in my business. The way I was running my business and pricing my services as a florist, was catering to me! And because I was catering to me, I was pricing my services low, I was discounting, I was giving things away and ultimately I wasn’t making any money. And this is because I knew someone like me, would want a bargain. When I had my wedding with my husband Blair, we did everything we could not to spend a heap of money. I wanted my wedding to be amazing, but I didn’t want to spend money. We ended up doing our entire wedding for between $10,000 and $15,000. This is crazily cheap when the average wedding in Australia is $65,000. I started my floristry business not long after I got married, so I expected that every single bride that ever walked the planet didn’t want to spend any money on their wedding or their flowers. I was wrong, completely wrong. For as long as I worked to create a business for myself, the worse and less profitable my business became. I had to make the shift in my mind – “I am NOT my ideal client”. My ideal client adores flowers and knows that flowers are going to set the tone of her whole wedding day. My ideal client has been saving up for their wedding for years. Their parents have also been setting aside money for their wedding ever since they were a child. My ideal client doesn’t want the cheapest, they want the best. My ideal client is desperate for their wedding to be the most impressive wedding of the year. They have been to a heap of their friends weddings and they are determined for their wedding to trump every single one. My ideal client is looking for a florist who is talented, professional, on the top of their game and highly recommended by others in the industry. My ideal client has been surfing the internet and pinterest looking at the latest trends in flowers and wants something elaborate, different and impactful. This ideal client, is nothing like me. My ideal client was almost a stranger or someone make belief, but I started to cater to them and pretend my business was for them – everything changed. Sometimes we need to pretend before things become a reality. I really did spend a period of 3 months pretending my business was amazing and pretending that I didn’t care whether they accepted my quote or not. Pretending like I already had a whole list of clients who had accepted my new increased price. Pretending like this ideal client I made up in my mind existed. Until reality hit, and I realised I wasn’t pretending anymore. These people actually did exist, and I actually didn’t care whether they accepted my quote or not, because I already had a list of clients willing to pay. It was the most liberating feeling, I have ever felt!
Realising that I was not my ideal client led to other realisations for me. The realisation that I did not need to serve everyone that came into my inbox. That saying no to some people were actually saying yes to more and better clients. I did not need to serve everyone and quite frankly, not everyone who graced my inbox was my ideal client and I can happily say no. If you are not at the point where you feel excited and at liberty to turn people away, then maybe this is a mindset shift that you need to make. And start pretending that you are already where you want to be. Start pretending like your business rocks. For example, at the moment, I’ve been pretending that people care to listen to me on a podcast. I’m not quite convinced that people do, but I want to get to a place where people want to hear me and care about my voice in the creative space, so I’m pretending!
The second thing I realised and the second mindset shift I had to make was to identify that MONEY IS NOT EVIL. I tried to play the humble, “I’m not doing it for the money” card, as if money is evil and as if I didn’t care whether I was making money or not and as if money isn’t actually a necessity to survive and to live. Reality check people – money is important. Without money you do not have a roof over your head or food on your table and clothes on your body. I’m not saying money can’t be used for evil. But money is not the root of evil. Money itself is amoral. It’s just a thing. It’s just a tool we can use. The root of evil is something else, and as a Christian I’m so tempted to get into a theological discussion here, but I’m going to resist that temptation and just tell you that money is not the root of evil and even people are not the root of evil. If you’re interested in knowing my thoughts on the origins of evil, I’d be happy to hear from you, but it’s not the topic of this podcast episode. The topic is this, it’s ok to be motivated to make money in your business, so I want to give you permission to stop pretending money doesn’t matter or that you aren’t doing it for the money. Money can be used for good things. More money in your business will give you the freedom to run a even better business. Money in your life will give you freedom to use it to bless others. And money is necessary for you to live. It’s ok to make money and to be motivated to make money.
Ok moving on to mindset shift number 3. I realised, luckily, early on in my business that I needed to spend money in order to make money. You’ve probably heard this phrase before, but I’d like to add one word in there to make it my own and say that “I need to spend money WISELY in order to make money”. I personally hate spending money and this has been an interesting journey even in my marriage. I will suffer doing things the complicated way and lash out at Blair about different things, when it could easily be solved by just spending a little bit of money. I’ll give you an example. Blair and I love having people stay at our house. We have people staying with us, I don’t think I’m exaggerating here, about 50% of the time! We had a homeless man living with us for 3 months. We had Blairs two sisters live with us for 10 months. We often have friends staying with us for long periods of time or for one night or two here and there. We love it and we wouldn’t have it any other way. BUT, having heaps of people staying over all the time became hard for me, because I had to make the beds and wash sheets constantly. I feel like I spend my whole life washing or organising sheets. What became hard about it though, is that I was always looking for sheets. I had one set for each bed. So I couldn’t just throw the dirty sheets in a pile and then place the clean sheets that were neatly stored in my linen cupboard on the bed. I had to wash, then dry, then make the bed in preparation for someone to stay. And what made it worse is that I could never seem to find the right combination of sheets. It was either a double fitted sheet with a queen sheet that I was about to place on the bed or a single with a double, or a single with a queen. I could never quite get it together. Now, it’s obvious what the quick fix is here and it just requires me to spend a little bit of money. Just buy several bed sheet sets and have them ready to go! And, more so, maybe even buy a few containers to separate the different sheets. A “Single Sheet” container, a “double sheet” container and a “queen sheet” container. A bit of money spent, and easy fix. Not spending money on things to make my life easier was such a silly hurdle that I am constantly overcoming. It’s the same with your business, sometimes you need to spend a little bit of money to make things THAT MUCH EASIER and better for your business. So many creatives wait to have their problems solved and money to be flowing in before they actually spend any money. This is a mistake. Your business will not grow. You will not succeed. You MUST spend money on your business to make money. I feel ya! I hated spending money. I had to grit my teeth and hand over 100s and 1000s of dollars when I first started my business. I remember spending around $600 on my logo. I nearly died, I couldn’t believe it was $600. In my mind, that was so expensive. Now I can’t believe it was ONLY $600!! It was the best logo ever, I still love it and it set the entire tone and worth of my business. It was the best $600 I ever spent. I also spent up to $15,000 in education and courses – again – I do not regret every cent I spent. These course literally changed my business and my life. I am forever indebted to the course creators – a big shout out to Shanna Skidmore’s Blueprint model, Sarah Winwards Business and Floristry course, Jessica Zimmermans Business Behind the Blooms, Marie Forleos B School, Amy Porterfields List Builders Lab and Digital Course Academy. All of these courses were money well spent. And I’m not just saying this because I’m a course creator and I want you to buy my course! I’m saying this because it honestly changed my business and taught me all I needed to know about running a successful business.
Obviously don’t just throw money away, be strategic with what you spend. You will make mistakes. You will spend money on things that don’t move the needle forward in your business, but that’s the nature of running a business. You win some, you lose some. But you HAVE to be willing to lose to be able to win. You have to put things out on the line, for success to come your way. So again, remember, You have to spend money wisely in order to make money. This is a really important money mindset shift to make.
Ok moving on to the fourth money mindset shift I had to make and that is “There is enough work to go around. My competition is not really my competition”. When I first started my floristry business, thanks to the advice of my Uncle Nic, I went into investigative mode. I set up appointments with people in the industry to pick their brain and learn from them. One piece of advice that came out of this is the concept that “There is enough work to go around”. I remember hearing this clearly from a Venue Sales rep. And she would know right? She had 100s of couples coming through to see the venue, she knew first hand how many weddings there were out there. She so confidently said to me “There is enough work to go around” and I believed her right away. And as my business grew, I realised this was true more and more. There is definitely enough work to go around. Have a mindset of abundance. There is abundantly enough work. There are abundantly enough clients. When you recognise this and make this shift, you no longer make decisions out of fear. So often we are driven by the fear that there isn’t enough. If we don’t make our price cheap, clients will go somewhere else. Or if don’t try and make my work look like my competition, no one will come to me. There really is enough for everyone. Along these lines, there is no need to treat your competition like competition, I happily refer clients that don’t suit me to my competition. Don’t hold on to clients that aren’t yours. If they aren’t a fit for you, then they’re not your client, they are someone elses. Happily and joyfully hand them over. This was an easy one for me. because I don’t work Saturdays and most of my competition are really wanting the Saturday brides, I would easily and happily hand over Saturday clients to my competition. But I think this needs to be the case for everyone. If you’re only wanting clients over $3,000 then don’t compromise. Happily hand over any clients under $3,000 to your competition. They weren’t your client in the first place. There are definitely enough clients to go around. Saying no to a client, does not mean you are turning down clients altogether. They will come. I always remind people, that if I can do without taking on any Saturday clients, than they can do it.
The very last mindset shift I think you may need to make is this, “people are always willing to spend more money than they let on.” I want you to think of a situation where you have gone shopping and ended up coming back with something that was a little bit more expensive than you originally planned to spend, but you convinced yourself it was totally worth it! I have done this, time and time again. I have gone to the shops with a certain figure in mind to spend and I more often than not end up spending a little bit more. For example, a few winters ago I went shopping to buy boots with my friend Katie. Katie is a little better at spending money than me, so that always helps! I had in mind that I would spend around $100 on a pair of boots. I thought $100 was a fair price. In the end, I found two pairs of boots that I loved. One was a beautifully tanned leather boot with a small heel. The other boot was from seeds and it was a black, flat boot. I loved them both, but they were both $200. In the end, I walked away from the store with two pairs of boots, both $200. So I spent $400 on boots, rather than my intended $100 on boots. My friend Katie can be pretty persuasive too. So somehow she persuaded me that this was a good idea and I bought into it! And usually we do. If we perceive the value or something or are convinced of the value in something, we usually have more money in the bag to spend.
The lesson in business is this, don’t be deceived or manipulated by what people tell you they are willing to spend. If what they are willing to spend, does not actually match up the value that you are giving in your product or service, don’t allow them to convince you to cheapen your price or discount. Usually people will pay what things are worth, they just need to understand why you charge what you do. Work on your sales pitch. How will you convince your customer or client to spend more money? What is it about your service or product that makes it valuable and worth their money? You need to be communicating this clearly. For service based business, you need to be doing this in a discussion on the phone or in person when you share a quote with them. If you are a product based business this is something that is written on your sales page. It is your job to communicate the value in your product. In my business I have been able to take clients from $1000 budgets to $3,000 budgets and $3,000 budgets to $6,000 budgets. I have seen it happen time and time again. Don’t let someone’s initial budget scare you or force you into lowering your prices. Stick to your prices and then sell it. And when I mean sell it, I mean convince them that whatever you’re going to give them is worth spending a little more money on. People have always got more money to spend than they let one. This is a really important money mindset shift to make.
So there you go, there are 5 very important money mindset shifts that I think every creative business owner needs to make. I want you to have these five things at the forefront of your mind as you work in your business, so what I have done, is created a pretty PDF with these 5 money mantras. You can print out this PDF and stick it on your wall near your work desk or work space, so you can constantly be reminded of these things. So let me just repeat these 5 money mindset mantras again:
Also, I want to personally invite you to my Facebook Group Make It – The Creative Business Podcast. On my podcast I feel like its a one sided conversation, but inside this group, we can have a real conversation where we all can discuss things together. If you’re not already a part of this group than definitely jump onto Facebook and join in on the discussions happening there.