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Episode 103: Leaning Into Your Business Finances & Finding Empowerment In Understanding

Episode 103: Leaning Into Your Business Finances & Finding Empowerment In Understanding

Cait: Hello, and welcome to today’s episode of The Born To Rise podcast. Guys, I am so excited for this conversation today. Oh my god with the one and only amazing Stevie Jones Stevie. Thank you so much for being on the show.

Stevie: Thank you so much, Cait. I’m just so privileged to be here. Honestly, I’ve been listening to the show. I’m a fan and I’m terribly sorry, my dog is going nuts upstairs in my house and stuff.

Cait: I can’t hear it at all. And I have a baby who is gonna cry. It’s all good. We don’t do perfect and polished on this show. We do real and we do hella value and that, my friend is what you are bringing to us today. I’m so glad you’re here.

Stevie: Thank you. I’m so happy to be here.

Cait: Okay, so you are a virtual CFO, you are the founder of a company that is just doing so much important work in the online entrepreneurial space. I know I say this all the time. And when you and I were connecting even before we hit record, there’s a hell of a lot of people, myself included, out there helping women make money. There are not a hell of a lot of people out there educating women on what to do with that money so that they keep that money in their pockets. And that is what you do. Right? Tell us more for our audience members who might not know you have heard of you yet. Tell us about you and what you do and the work that you do.

Finding Power By Understanding Your Finances

Stevie: Yeah, absolutely. So you kind of hit the nail on the head there. So my goal at the end of the day is to help you keep more of your money. So if you are a business owner, and you are in entering the world of entrepreneurship, or maybe you’ve been in the world of entrepreneurship for several years now, and you just feel like maybe those business finances are your Achilles heel, which I find that many people do feel that way, then that’s where I step in. 

I take you from feeling clueless and shamefu and feeling like that is just your complete zone of incompetence, to bringing you into a world where you can feel way more powerful than you ever thought was possible, because now you have all of this incredible information that can come from having a grasp of your business finances. Knowing what your profit and loss statement is telling you, knowing what a profit and loss statement is, knowing how to manage your cash that is really, really key. 

So as a virtual CFO, I come in, and I work with you from essentially the very foundation of what you need in your business. From a financial standpoint, all the way through the point to where it’s just up and running on a system where you’re staying informed of that financial information on a regular basis. 

For example, if I’m onboarding a brand new client and their virtual CFO client, I have a method that I use, which essentially is you start by planning your path, which is you step back and say, Okay, number one, what do I need? Okay, well, I need to make sure that my business finances are separate from my personal finances, let’s make that happen. Let’s get a business bank account, let’s potentially get a business credit card. Let’s get a bookkeeping system in place that makes sense for you and your business. Then, after your finances are organized, that’s when you can step back and weigh the information. And you can say, Okay, what is this information telling me? And that is the point to where it really gets super powerful, because you can step back and say, Where am I generating my highest profit, not revenue? 

So revenue is different from profit, right? So all these times that we see these amazing business owners posting about, Oh, I just had a six figure month or I just had a 10k. lunch. I love seeing that. And it helps me so much to see that because I’m like, man, if she could do it, I can do it. Right. But what we’re not seeing is, okay, but what did you take out of that? 

Unpacking What A CFO Is

Cait: Yes, yes. Oh, my God, just so many nuggets here. I want to dive into all of this. Okay, so first thing virtual CFO, I think that this is a term that people may or may not have heard before when we think about it. I know the first time that I heard this, I was like, wow, what is that? 

Because you think CFO, you think multi million dollar corporation, you think this is a six figure salaried position. And I think that in the online entrepreneurial space, there isn’t a lot of education or awareness, necessarily, of how having a virtual CFO, somebody who literally is a financial expert to help you organize your financial reality to separate church and state business and personal and then to start to build out a financial strategy. 

I think there’s a lot of lack of awareness of what that actually means. And I love the kind of behind the scenes glimpse you just gave us around what that process looks like with the people who hire you for virtual CFO services. I’m curious what you would say. Because I imagine people listening thinking like, wow goals, that shits going on my bucket list. I want to have a virtual CFO, tell us about when you think it’s a good idea for business owners and entrepreneurs across industries to start to think about when is the right time to think about hiring a virtual CFO?

The Bookkeeper, The Tax Expert, & The CFO

Stevie: That’s a great question. I love this because I want to speak on the difference between a bookkeeper, a virtual CFO, and a tax expert, because I think that’s very confusing. I say all the time, if I were to have started a business, I didn’t have an accounting background, my head would be spinning, right? Because I just wouldn’t know. 

So a bookkeeper is someone, first of all, who can organize your business transactions for you within a bookkeeping system. And you do not necessarily need an accounting degree to do this. It can be just someone who has really great organizational skills. A lot of times, this is kind of an unpopular opinion. A lot of times it makes sense for the business owner to do it themselves. Once you reach a certain level, obviously, it doesn’t. But in the beginning, sometimes it really makes a ton of sense for the business owner to actually do that. 

Secondly, You have a tax expert. This is someone who, once you have that bookkeeping system in place, you can give that over, you can give the information that you can get from that bookkeeping system over to your tax expert at the end of the year they take it, they prepare your tax return. What they should do, they should prompt you by asking certain questions to make sure that you’re getting the absolute most from every single deduction that’s available to you. Honestly, sometimes it happens. Sometimes it doesn’t. 

A virtual CFO. And I think just to add to that, I’ve seen a lot of frustration around that point. I think people who are CPAs, unfortunately, and this is an overgeneralization. But they’re not very good with communicating. And so when you go to meet with your tax expert, sometimes you’re left feeling more confused than when you went in. And so, a virtual CFO is kind of someone who encompasses all of that. 

Typically a virtual CFO doesn’t necessarily prepare your tax return, they don’t do the actual tax return. A lot of times, they don’t do the actual bookkeeping, but they are like an umbrella over the entire process of business finances, within your business. And so a virtual CFO controls that process. So they make sure that you have a bookkeeping system in place, and when that is in line with the business that you’re running, and that makes sense for you. They also liaise with your tax expert, they make sure those questions that need to be asked are getting asked. So for instance, have you started profiting like crazy? Yes. Okay. Well, I’m reaching out to your tax expert to say, Hey, I think this client really needs to consider electing to be taxed differently than they’re being taxed now, is that profit going up?

Cait:  I love getting into the nitty gritties. In the last year, I have hired both bookkeeping services and having a tax advisor and a wealth strategist. So like this whole financial team that I didn’t have before, and one of the things and I’m very lucky, I’m just gonna be really honest that Toby, my husband, is very savvy when it comes to finances. And I’ve had the luxury of having him be able to ask questions that I wouldn’t even otherwise know to ask. 

Working On The Greater Piece Of The Financial Puzzle

But what you’re describing right now Stevie have like, because I appreciate the distinction between bookkeeping services, an accountant and like a CPA and someone who files your tax returns for you, and the virtual CFO role and what you describe in that liaising process, it’s almost how we hire business coaches to help us think of angles that we weren’t even thinking about or raising points that we didn’t even know how to ask. 

What I’m hearing from you is this virtual CFO role really exists to help business owners optimize their position, ask questions that we wouldn’t even otherwise know to ask from that financial perspective and work in this greater piece of that financial puzzle Is that right?

Stevie: Yes, absolutely. And it’s funny, because when you’re starting a business feedback is so important, right? And so I’m always trying to get feedback from people that follow me on Instagram, and I’ll ask questions in my stories. I’ll do a story one day and say, What questions do you have for me today? And people will message me back and they’ll say, Stevie, I know that I have questions, but I don’t even know what I don’t know. Right? That is where a virtual CFO can really come in and say, let me explain things to you in a way that you will understand because typically a virtual CFO, they’re kind of a mix between your typical CPA and an extremely Type A person, right? So I’m actually a Type B accountant, which is, I don’t know if it’s when you say what you mean, when you say that.

So okay, well, I’ve done a little bit of research on this, but not really. So I’m gonna use the term Type B in a way that I understand it to be. But it essentially means that I actually really enjoy communicating and interacting with people. I enjoy being social. But I also really like numbers. And honestly, my strong point is analytics. And I think even if you are a virtual CFO, who is a very Type A person. I think you have to be skilled in analytics. 

Dissecting Your Finances

Because if I’m hiring a virtual CFO, or if any of you out there are hiring a virtual CFO, what they need to be showing you on a monthly basis is okay, here’s your profit and loss statement. Let’s dissect this. Let me show you where you generated the highest profit. What did you do this month? How was your profit in this month compared to the same month last year? Okay, well, what did you do differently if one was vastly different from the other? Or maybe it’s quarter over quarter? 

Basically, you just have to step back and dissect the information and say, Okay, this is the story of my business. What is it telling me and commercial sales? I was kind of like an interpreter there. So you kind of have to come in. And you have to be able to have those communication skills where you can speak to your clients in a way that they can understand. So, I have been on the phone with clients before where I’ve explained things two or three times, and they’re like Stevie, I’m so sorry, I still just, it’s not, it’s not connecting for me, I stay on the phone until we find some sort of way to where I can come up with some sort of analogy or something that can like, turn the focus, and they can have a lightbulb moment and go, Oh, I get it.

Cait: Okay, so you’re phrasing a really interesting point right now, which is, I think a lot for a lot of business owners, even really successful, six, multiple, six, seven figure business owners who are so savvy. They know how to make the money, but they don’t necessarily understand whether it’s taxes, whether it’s money management, whether it’s cash flow, whether it’s optimizing investments. 

I know one of the things for me, and obviously, when we’re talking business, and we’re talking how business is going business, operations, we want to have super high profit margins. But that’s one thing is having really high profit margins, it’s another thing to optimize your tax return, where you actually don’t want to have super high profit margin, you want to do what you can do to drive that profit margin down. 

The Difference Between Revenue & Profit

So again, I think what you’re raising is between the people who don’t even really know what to ask to this whole other world of almost financial literacy. I actually want to direct us back to one of the things that you were talking about before of the difference between revenue and profit and sales. So can you just school us a little bit on the difference between those and when we hear six figure month or six figure year? What is the difference of what these numbers actually mean in business, and why it’s important as business owners to know what they mean?

Stevie: Yeah, absolutely. And that’s a great point. I love talking about this stuff, obviously, it’s like my passion. So when we talk about revenue, and we talk, Hey, I just had a six figure lunch, I just had a 10k a month. What that is saying is, that’s how many people have purchased your program. Sometimes that’s not even cash in the bank immediately. 

If it is a membership, where they have agreed to a six month term, a lot of times people are saying, okay, they’re quantifying what they’re going to get over the next six months, when they say, Hey, I just had a 10k a month or something like that. And that’s not inaccurate.  That’s true that cash is going to come to them. But when we say revenue, what we’re thinking there, what’s actually hitting your financial statement is revenue is cash that has come into your business bank account. 

But as we all know, that cash that you earn from these offers that you have, or these products that you sell, that is not what you take home. Because from that, you have to pay your team. You could have payroll or you have contractors or both. You have to pay rent sometimes. I know a lot of us are working from home right now. But sometimes it’s rent, maybe insurance on your business. You have the dues and subscriptions that we sign up for. That’s the one thing that sneaks up on me and I know it’s speaks up on a lot of other people. It’s like, you sign up for all these different subscriptions, and all of a sudden, you’re spending $1,000 per month on subscriptions, you don’t even realize it. Or my least favorite when you have that annual subscription that you forget about and then boom, it hits in January or February. 

Cait: Oh my god, I literally just had that the other day, and I haven’t had time to change it with the Tone It Up, the workout app. They got me when I was pregnant and wanting to stay in shape. And then I was like, Whoa, $80 bucks. Where did that come from? Or for those of us who sign up for Netflix under a different email account like 700 times, and then just get smashed with the $15 a month fee. Yep. And there as well.

Stevie: Oh, yeah, absolutely. So you have your revenue, which is cash coming in. But from that you have to pay all of your expenses. And then what you’re left with is profit after that. And that is what you’re taxed on as a sole proprietor. When you start a business, most people are considered a sole proprietor for tax purposes. 

So what you were alluding to, Cait, is that you want profits to be high because that’s how you take your pay, right? So if you’re generating a profit in your business, if you’re bringing in cash, then you’re paying out expenses and you have amounts leftover. You pay yourself. So obviously we want that profit to be there. 

Tax Planning In Your Business

But what we have to remember is that that number is the amount that we’re also taking on. And so I think a lot of times people forget about certain tax deductions that are available that are not necessarily cash tax deductions. And what I mean by that is, if I’m paying a contractor, or I’m paying rent, that’s cash that’s going out the door. That’s going to be picked up within my bookkeeping system or on my spreadsheet, if that’s how I’m doing it as an expense. B

But there are certain expenses that you can just put on your tax return and get a deduction for that you don’t necessarily have to pay cash for. So those are things a home office deduction, a business mileage deduction, there are just so many different little tax advantages that are available to business owners. 

Although I don’t prepare taxes, I’ve actually been super into tax strategy recently, and planning because there’s so much value to it. If I can come in and, and in my initial meeting with someone and say, Well, I immediately know how to save you $2,000. Well, that’s gold, right? 

So, as someone in my position, I’m really leaning heavily into tax planning, which is very beneficial. And I recommend once you get to a point in your business, where your really starting to profit, and you’re like, yeah, okay, this is happening, we’re making this work. That’s when I really recommend that you have a good tax expert in place that can help you with tax planning, or combination of a tax preparer, and then a virtual CFO who can step in and make sure that that tax planning is being done.

Cait: Right. So there’s like your tax preparer, but then also the strategy side. I love that so much. And you brought up another thing that I think is really interesting, and I’m so glad to talk shop with you like this on the podcast, because we’ve never had an episode before where we do this and like, get into the nitty gritties, in the weeds of finances. 

The Perks Of Having A US Based Business

I get these questions all the time from clients, especially US based clients, and actually one thing I will say about that, as we’re jamming on tax strategy, it never occurred to me. And I know we have listeners from all over the world and global Born To Rise fam, I love you so much. And obviously, Stevie, you’re based in the United States, and a lot of this tax specific stuff is going to be specific to the United States. 

But it didn’t occur to me what a blessing actually and a gift it is to have a business in the States because we were meeting with a tax advisor and strategist here in Australia just a couple of weeks ago. And he’s like, the tax code in Australia is so much more strict than it is in the United States, basically everything and you can totally correct me if I’m wrong here, but basically everything that’s not groceries and the majority of rent or mortgage for your house whatever percentage is not your home office, you can deduct for taxes. 

If you are your own business owner, if you have your own LLC, if you have your own company here in Australia, like coffees out, meals out, as long as that is being used for some business purpose or business development purpose. That’s a tax deduction in the States. But in Australia, it certainly isn’t. That was a bit of a bummer to learn about here. But also such an awesome reminder of how much is available to to people who really take the time and frankly, invest the money to get an expert to support them in building out a robust tax strategy. 

It’s a little bit of money down, but like, Holy hell, the money that you save for knowing what to do is huge. And that being said, you mentioned at the beginning, a lot of people choose to be taxed or will be taxed as a sole proprietor for tax purposes. One of the questions that I get a lot Stevie and I’d love for you to elaborate on this for our audience is the difference between being a sole proprietor being an LLC being an S corp being an LLC taxed as an S corp being a C Corp. What should an entrepreneur at different stages set up as in terms of a tax entity and a legal structure for their business?

Sole Proprietor & S-Corp 101

Stevie: I love this question. Thank you for asking it, I love to talk about this stuff. So, when you first start doing business, typically you are considered a sole proprietor. Now, when that is not the case is if you form as a partnership with someone else. So you own 40% they own 60, or 50 and 50, something like that. Or if you initially set up as an A corporation. 

Most people set start as a sole proprietor, unless they are expecting to immediately generate a high profit from day one. So let’s take that specific scenario into consideration. So let’s say you start as a sole proprietor, which is what I am right now. So once I start really generating a profit, SAP profit. And when I say profit again, that means all the cash that’s come into my business, all the cash that’s gone out of the business, the amount that’s left at the bottom, that’s the profit. 

Once that number starts hitting a figure that’s anywhere from 45k and up, that’s when you should at least start asking the question to your tax expert. Hey, does it make sense for me to elect to be taxed as an S Corp? And without getting too terribly detailed, what I want to tell you is, when you elect to go from one to the other, it can save you money, because there is a self employment tax that is imposed upon sole proprietors. 15% if you elect to be taxed as an S corporation, you pay yourself a salary from your business. And that salary is the only thing that’s taxed at 15%. The remaining profit is not, but there are extra costs that come along with being an S Corp. 

So what you can do is you can actually do an analysis –and any CPA worth their weight, I guess, I don’t know if that’s the appropriate term, but worth worth a grain of salt, whatever that is, you know what I’m trying to say here. Any CPA who is legitimate can do an analysis for you and step back and say, Okay, here are the tax savings that you would receive by electing to change your tax status from sole proprietor to S Corp. But here are the additional costs. 

That’s when you have to say, okay, when the tax savings outweigh the additional costs? That’s when you make the election. And I just want to warn you guys, there are some taxpayers out there that will –when you ask the question, they will kind of brush it off and say, Oh, it’s just a lot of hassle. You don’t want to deal with becoming an S Corp. Not true. You guys, I’m debunking this right now. If your CPA tells you that say, well, let’s do an analysis. Especially if your profit is like 60k, or up for sure. Ask them to do an analysis. 

The Confusion Over LLCs

But okay, so you form as a sole proprietor right, when you start doing business? Well, let me tell you a conversation I typically have with business owners, as they’ll be telling me about their business. And I’ll say, Oh, so you’re a sole proprietor. And they’ll say, No, I’m an LLC. And then I have to, I have to stop and say, Okay, well, are you the only owner of your LLC? Yeah, a single member LLC. 

Cait:  I think that is a huge misconception for me is like, Oh, no, I’m an LLC. But I think what you’re saying is like, you’re either an LLC, who’s a single member, you have a business name, sure. You’re incorporated somewhere, but you’re actually taxed as a sole proprietor. So you’re subject to those higher fees, because you’re basically paying two taxes. You’re paying self employment and the tax of your company or you’re paying LLC taxes or an S corp taxes. You’re never just an LLC, taxed as an LLC.

Stevie: Exactly. So I think that that is so important. And to make matters super confusing, which we don’t want to do. But I will say when you are a partnership. So Cait, if you and I went into business together and you own 50 shares, and I own 50 shares, we would be taxed as a partnership. And that is often referred to as an LLC. 

So it just makes people’s head explode because everybody’s like, wait a minute. So if you’ve ever had to fill out some sort of application about your business, the selection for what your business is super confusing, because you’ll see the option for LLC, you’ll see the option for sole proprietor. I want to say, well, they’re not mutually exclusive. 

Here you can be an LLC, and also tax as a sole proprietor. So yes, you’re right. It all depends on how many members there are, how many owners there are, if you are a single member LLC, you are taxed exactly like a sole proprietor. That LLC, all it’s doing is just providing a shield over your personal assets to keep people from suing you and being able to go after your personal bank account and your house.

Cait: Right. Okay, perfect. I love that so much. That’s so super helpful. So you heard the woman, if you are making and taking home more than 60k in profit, it’s probably time to start transitioning your LLC tax as a sole proprietor to an LLC taxes, an S Corp. Having gone through that myself, in the last year and a half or so, we made that transition. And it’s been so smart for us from a business and a finance perspective. But there are logistical things to look at. 

Making sure we have payroll right now. And I’m the only person on the payroll because the rest of our team is contractors. So we issue 1099s if they’re based in the States at the end of the tax year, but it definitely has optimized our position for sure. Now, Stevie another question that I have, and this is something that I wonder if you can speak to a little bit is, when, if ever, is incorporating as a C Corp, an option that you would recommend for entrepreneurs? 

When To Go From An S Corp To A C Corp

Because I think that people hear like, Oh, it’s better to be taxed as a corporation. That’s like a more official quote, unquote, oh, when you hit seven figures, maybe You should be a corporation. What’s the difference between an S corp and a C Corp? And when would it be a good idea? Let’s say you had a client who was generating seven figures in revenue? When would it be a good idea for them, if ever, to think about incorporating what’s the thought process behind which format to incorporate in?

Stevie: So I think really, just to answer your question, in a nutshell: the only time that I’m aware that it is beneficial to be a C Corp is if you plan to take that company public in the future. I can’t see a reason outside of that. Now, I will say, I’m sure there may be a tax expert listening to this whose head is exploding right now. And like Stevie is crazy. there’s another reason. But from my experience, and based on my knowledge, that is the only time that you would really want to incorporate yourself as a C corporation. Most of the time, if you’re not planning to take a company public, you would be an S corp, or a sole proprietorship.

Cait: So most coaches, etc, like S corp is where it’s at.

Stevie: Absolutely. And it’s funny, because I have clients who I’ve had to send their 1099 out at the end of the year, and when you are sending out so if for anyone who’s listening, and you don’t know what a 1099 is, is essentially, if you pay someone for services, and you pay them more than $600 in a year, and you’re in the States, you are required to send them a form 1099, which essentially, they get a copy of it. And by the way, the IRS also gets a copy of it because they want to and they’re going to compare the two potentially, so report your income people. 

So in order to prepare these 1099, I see the tax status of all these people that I’m sending 1099 to, because here’s the situation. If you are an S corp, we don’t have to send you a 1099. If you’re a sole proprietor we do. I actually made this mistake with the UK, US into a 1099. And I was like, Oh, no, she’s an S Corp. I don’t need to. And what goes through my mind every single time, I see that my client has paid someone $20,000. And we’re having to send them a 1099. Because they’re a sole proprietor in my head, I’m thinking, why is this contractor not taxed as an S Corp, their cost must be crazy. Because if you’re getting 20k from one client, then I’m assuming you have several other clients who are paying you 20k. So that profit must be low. That’s the only reason you wouldn’t be an S Corp. If that makes sense. I think we’re getting super detailed here.

Cait: But I love it. And I think that our listeners are probably jamming out on this, especially if you are a business owner who is offering high ticket products or services and you’re still being taught you’re an LLC, you’re a single member LLC, and you’re being taxed as just a single member LLC, aka a sole proprietor, you’re basically giving a lot of your money to the IRS when you could be keeping it in your bank.

Stevie: Absolutely. And it’s funny, because you mentioned earlier that it’s actually so beneficial from a tax perspective to have a business within the United States. There are people who literally create side gigs just for the tax benefit, pretty much. 

Cait: There are just so many strategies that somebody who’s not super versed in finances and what to do with money, taxes, financial strategy, business entity structure, and just wouldn’t even know to ask. So this is so juicy. And I honestly know I’ve paid people hundreds and hundreds of dollars per hour just to get the information that you’ve shared with us today. So this is so so beneficial Stevie. One of the questions that I really love to ask everyone who comes on the show is like, if there’s been a moment, I’m really curious for you, what kind of inspired you to go into this line of work? If there’s been a moment where you didn’t feel particularly financially literate or financially empowered, and how that’s impacted your decision to make this your career?

How A Corporate Trajectory Turned Into A Virtual One

Stevie: Yeah, so the reason I went into this is actually is because I kind of fell into it and then found a passion for it. But long story short, I worked in the corporate world for several years, and honest to God, I loved my job. I worked for a public company. There was so much cool accounting stuff I was getting to, stuff that I think is cool anyway. And I was climbing that corporate ladder. I was like, Man, I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna be that CEO. I’m gonna do it all. 

And I had my first kid and we were all good. I was like, I’m going to be both right. I’m going to be climbing that corporate ladder. I’m going to be the mom I want to be, it’s all good. And then I have my second kid, and that one rocked our worlds and he’s adorable. And we love him like crazy, but he’s extra. Okay. I knew that I wanted to still have a career. But the thing that my corporate job wasn’t offering me was that flexibility that I needed to be a mom of two. So I wanted to have it all. And I was getting mad because I felt like I couldn’t. And I was like, Why can I not be there at Ball practice and at ballgames in there for my sick child and taking them to doctor’s appointments, but also still kick ass at being a career woman?

And it just wasn’t happening, the flexibility just wasn’t there. I remember Cait,   plain as day, I was pacing, my youngest Jack was home with an ear infection, which they get like every day. I was pacing the floor with him and he was crying his eyes out. And this was when I was still in the corporate world. And all I could think was, I’ve got to get back to work. 

Then it hit me that I was feeling more guilty over missing work than I was about being home with my sick child. This wave of realization just hit me, and I started just crying my eyes out, because in a second, I knew I had to walk away from my corporate job. In that moment, I was like, there was no question. So it broke my heart to be honest with you, because I had spent so many years I had poured myself into it, working overtime, working weekends, to walk away from it was really hard, and I loved it too. 

So I walked away. And to be quite honest with you, I floundered a little bit for a while. I have the good fortune that my husband has a pretty good job. And I had built up a nest egg from my previous corporate job. So I had a little time to breathe. I had all this accounting knowledge, so I thought, well, just to pass the time until I figure out my next step, I’m just gonna start doing some bookkeeping for some of the small businesses in town. And then all of the sudden, I discovered this intense passion for helping the quote unquote, small business community, because I realized that there were things that I learned from working for this large corporation that could really, really benefit some of these smaller clients that I started to work for. 

I also realized that I could offer more than just the bookkeeping services. I thought, okay, I can use my accounting knowledge, my financial planning knowledge, my tax knowledge, because I do have a tax background as well, to really make a huge difference in the lives of these people. And that’s when I really started to tap into this is going to be a thing. This is going to be my thing. 

Paving Your Own Journey

Cait: I love that so much Stevie. And I think it’s so inspiring how your realization of your own shifting priorities, and I want to play big, I want to make a huge impact, and I want to be a mom, there’s got to be a better way. I just love hearing people’s stories of what inspired them to take the leap. 

Now you’re running a successful business, but it wasn’t super clear to start. You made your way. And I just think no matter what, this is just sort of general on an entrepreneurial trajectory, but no matter what your business is, trusting that there’s a better way, having the courage to leave like a very well groomed corporate ladder, that it sounds like you had laid out in front of you to start a business and to go out on your own and to recognize, hey this financial literacy that I have this virtual CFO skill set is a critical need in the small business community. 

Particularly in the online entrepreneurship community, where there are so many business owners serving people internationally. Having questions about structure, not knowing how to prepare for taxes and thinking I’ll just pay someone to prepare, to file my taxes for me not to plan for them. I just love that story of how you wanted more, you recognize there was a way to do it. And you carved that path for yourself. And now you literally the fruit of that is time with your family, but also impacting so many lives and probably saving hundreds of 1000s of dollars for your clients. 

Stevie: Yeah, it’s incredible. It’s amazing. I think I’m lucky every day that I found it. And that’s not to say that there aren’t days filled with doubt where I’m like, oh, gosh should I should I be doing this? I think we all have those moments where we’re like, Am I crazy? You’re kind of like, what have I done? 

What Confidence Can Do For You

But then I’ve never wanted to give up or like quit, but if I’ve ever gotten almost to the edge of thinking this is not going to work. I’ve always been able to lean into a community of other entrepreneurs. To get that little boost of support. So an example is a mastermind. You could lean in and say, Hey guys I’m just not feeling it right now. I don’t have that confidence in myself that I know I need to have. 

I think for me, having sat behind a computer almost my entire life and crunch numbers, if you will, that confidence was a big struggle for me being able to step out and say it’s funny actually just had new brand photos taken. And you can see the first set of photos that I had taken when I first started this business. And then you can see the ones that I just had taken, and it is like a different person and not a single thing physically has changed about me. It’s all mental. And it’s like, Wow, that is what confidence can really do for you. That is what I do for you. 

Cait: Yes I’m gonna agree with that all day, every day woman Oh, this is so powerful. Stevie from the mindset and confidence wisdom drops to all of the hella valuable, nitty gritty financial information and schooling that you’ve given us today. 

This is so so juicy. I’m so happy that you’ve come on the show. The question that I always ask everybody to kind of close down the interview is give us some words of advice for our listeners here today. entrepreneurs, building businesses wanting to make big money and also wanting to learn how to keep that money. What are some parting words of advice that you would give our listeners today?

Stevie: Yeah, I would say that. Honestly, when you’re running a business, try to be a sponge and soak up as much knowledge as you can. So don’t shy away from the things that scare the living hell out of you. If business finances are one of those things, where you’ve just constantly put it off, because it’s just like something you’re so uncomfortable with, or something that you’re just terrified of lean into it, start doing just a little bit of research on it, join my membership.

I have a really cool membership that I’ve started that will allow for you to join and be surrounded by other like minded female entrepreneurs, and we talk about business finances, we talk about them a lot. It’s actually a really beautiful community, we come together. So it’s a way for you to get access to a virtual CFO without that steep virtual CFO price point. But yeah, I would say just really lean in and try to learn more about the things that make you uncomfortable. For me that was marketing and selling. And so as I’ve tried desperately to just lean into as much information as I can get my hands on. So it’s business finances, is that thing for you just lean into it.

Cait: So good. Lean into what you don’t know and surround yourself with players who can shorten that learning curve for you to close the knowledge gap. So valuable, Stevie. Oh, my God, I love that so much. Yes. And that is exactly where I was going, where can our listeners stay connected to you, follow along, get your free tips, tools, trainings, all the things and take a further step with you. If Business Finance is really an area that they need support, and where can we stay connected with you?

Stevie: Yeah, so most of the time, I do most of my outreach on Instagram, so you can find me at balanced by Stevie. I also have a website BalancedByStevie.com. This membership that I’m starting you guys, I’m going to take this opportunity to talk about it because I believe in it so freakin much. And I think it’s absolutely amazing. I created this membership specifically for female business owners who are reaching that point in their business where they are profiting. And this is where it is so absolutely crucial to have that layer of financial knowledge within your business. 

But I also recognize that a typical virtual CFO price point retainer is around $1,000 per month, a lot of people may not be quite ready to take that step and to take on that false. So I literally I’ve been working with business coaches and outlining a plan. And we’ve created this amazing offer, which is called Profit To Prosperity. But it’s a membership where you can join. And you get a community, a private community of other female entrepreneurs who are kind of in the same step of business as you are. But also you get curriculum and tools and resources, checklists, cheat sheets, and access to me to ask specific questions about your business finances. 

So it’s actually turned into this beautiful thing where we have all these guest experts who are coming in to make an appearance. So if you think about it, most of the time, if you are in that stage of business, where you’re profiting and you’re wanting to learn more about business finances, you probably also want to learn how to optimize your social media engagement, optimize your email marketing think about scalable offers for your business. Think about protecting your business from a legal standpoint. So we have all of these really amazing guest experts coming in to make an appearance and it’s really just turned into this amazing little membership and community of knowledge sharing and support

Cait: I love that so much, Stevie. So Profit to Prosperity will include the link to that in our show notes. That sounds like a super, super freaking valuable offer and again, just a secret weapon to have in people’s back pockets to have that financial planning piece covered. So thank you so, so much and we’ll also put the link to your website in the show notes as well. Thank you so, so much for coming on the show today and for the work you do empowering women through finance.

Stevie: Thank you so much, Cait. It has been an absolute pleasure.

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Hey, I'm Cait!

Boss mama, wife, and 7-figure CEO empowering women to build profitable, purpose-driven businesses that change the world.

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