When I worked in the finance world I was told, “if you say you don’t want more money, you’re just fooling yourself.” For a long time I operated that way. I shamed myself for not selling more, for not pushing harder, for taking time off. I compared myself when I wasn’t walking across the stage, getting the same awards, hitting the same milestones. Actually, I believed my success wasn’t success at all because it didn’t measure up to someone else’s.
As you sit here reading this right now you’re in one of three boats :
- You’re just trying to get the ball rolling.
- The ball is rolling but you’re afraid at any moment it will stop.
- You lost sight of the ball a long time ago and now you’re running as hard as you can to keep up (too afraid to slow down).
There is a common denominator sneakily hiding behind all of us : the fear of not having enough.
My friend Kaitie said it this way, “I thought being busy would make me feel successful, but really it just made me feel chaotic. But I kept saying yes out of fear of now having enough.”
There is always an air of hope as a new year approaches. This is the year I’ll ________ . With confidence we walk into January 1st with a clean slate, but statistically by January 15th we’ve already dug our way back into old habits.
What if I told you, this is the year that you can be the year you find yourself not worrying about money!
Wanna know the secret?
It’s answering this one simple (but not easy) question : “what is enough?”
Let me ask you. How much money did your creative small business put in your personal pocketbook (as my gramma would call it) last year? Seriously. How much? For one of the top five most stressful jobs (as Forbes would call all you event planners out there)... I would hope it would be a lot!
Some statistics say that 24% of creative professionals are making less than $5/hour (ahem : that’s less than minimum wage in all 50 states!). But friends, don’t despair! And for goodness sake don’t stop reading! Knowing your numbers can be easier than you think!
1. Determine your need!
What does it take to cover your personal and business bills this year? This is your need. One way to get started is to pull out your bank statements from the last three months and determine your average spending. This can be as detailed or general as you’d like .. the key is to determine your need! You will want to know your personal and business need, by month and by year.
2. Break it down by client
Once you know how much money you need to cover your business + personal need, it’s time to figure out how many clients it takes at your current pricepoint to cover that need. Let’s say you have two package offers : day of coordination at $1000 and full planning at $6000. You’ve determined your business + personal need is $3000/month or $36,000 a year (for example). That means you need 6 full planning clients at $6,000 or 36 day of coordination at $1,000 or more likely a combination of the two!
See how breaking down a big number (like $36,000) into a small number (6 clients) makes it feel SOOO much more manageable!
3. Forget all other numbers!
Not really… but kind of! A couple years ago I started studying patterns of social media following versus income levels. It was super interesting. In the midst of Facebook + Instagram challenges promising your wealth will increase in proportion to your following, I got curious. As creative entrepreneurs there are a lot of “should know” numbers in our businesses - email subscribers, social media followers, inquiries to bookings, average client contract, client budgets on wedding days - the list goes on and on. But I’ve found there is only ONE NUMBER that truly deserves your undivided attention - your enough.
You see, there is only one number that gives me confidence each week when I pay myself a paycheck, enough. There is only one number that ensures I can pay my staff each week, enough. There is only number that let’s be sigh relief when I say “no” to that great opportunity and opt for rest instead, enough. There is only one number that allows me to rest without fear of being left behind, enough.
What is enough for you this year?
There is freedom in knowing that number.