Please learn from my wins (and my embarrassing losses). In this episode, I'm getting super candid about money I've invested into my business in the "wrong" ways and the "right" ways.
You can grow your business so much faster (while keeping your bank account intact) when folks who have been where you are get real with the best and worst investments they've made. So let's have a mildly uncomfortable talk about money, money mindset, and how to know where to invest as a small business owner.
Of course, everything in this episode is based on my own experience. This is not financial advice - it's just storytelling that hopefully you find helpful.
The money mindset books I mention in this episode:
We Should All Be Millionaires by Rachel Rodgers
Get Rich Lucky Bitch by Denise Duffield-Thomas
You Are A Badass At Making Money - Jen Sincero
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Music by Jordan Wood
Hosted by Jenna Warriner, Creator of Magic Marketing Machine
We are talking about money. We're talking about bad places. I have spent it. Good places. I've spent it. And what we can learn about how to sell more from our own experiences, making investments and buying things. Because if we analyze where we're putting our money, it can actually give us all sorts of hints as to how to get people, to give us their money in return for our products and services.
I've read a lot of like money mindset books, I love get rich, lucky bitch. And you are a badass at making money. There's also, we should all be millionaires by Rachel Rogers. I love that stuff. I love everything. Denise Duffield Thomas touches. If you're looking for authors, if you're looking for more audible books to download and listen to. , these are sort of like money mindset books. And because I've read all of those books, I'm pretty comfortable having this conversation, but I know that a lot of people aren't, so now you and I get to have it , and nobody needs to know.
And so it doesn't need to be awkward. Nobody knows you're listening to this. Nobody knows. We're talking about the M word. It's just between you and me, but. I'm really hoping that by telling you some of the bad places that I have put money over my last six or seven years in business, can help you not make some dodgy investments. And hopefully I can. Tell you where I've put some money that I've been good investments and that can inform your choices too.
I think if we can be more transparent about all of this, then it can save other people, a whole lot of smack and help you grow your business a lot faster. So I have a list here of bad places. I've put money and good ones.
Full disclosure. The way I talk about this is when I talk about the bad places I put my money, I'm going to be vague and I'm going to focus on the lessons I learned. And when I talk about the good places I, I put my money. I'm going to give you actual, tangible examples that you can copy if you want to.
I learned this first point from Haley Burkhead, but when I learned it, I didn't realize I was actually doing it. But she says in her program that I had taken, it was a good program. She said, you can't outsource your problems. And at the time I didn't think much of it, but since then, having tried to outsource my problems, I've realized, yeah, you really can't. So there've been a couple times where I've been in a hell of my own making and a massive, my own making.
And I've tried to outsource somebody to clean it up and it goes south. And so I know that's vague, but sometimes when you have a problem and you want to throw money at it, I really think the best thing you can do is sit with it, try and come up with solutions, yourself, talk it out, think of options. And I'm still learning this lesson every day. But I think what happens when you try to just throw money at something is . You're putting a lot of faith into the person that you pass it off to. And two, if you're being a little bit driven by emotion, you might not be. Being as clear as you possibly could. You might not be communicating as, as best as you possibly could. And. You know your business better than anybody. So trying to outsource a problem, not always great. We got to come up with a solution and then find experts to. Institute that solution. And that's a very different thing.
I know that you're probably with me here. I, there's no way I'm alone, but have you ever sat through a sales call? And. Felt so compelled to buy the thing, because you were talking to someone who was so good at sales, and then you spent money on something you shouldn't spend money on. Well, if you are listening to this podcast, if you follow me on tic-tac, if you follow me on Instagram, my guests is your like me way more fond of feminine sales tactics instead of masculine ones. And those masculine sales tactics are the ones that. Put really intense incentives on you to purchase right now. And they're the ones that really force your hand. And they're the ones that make you get swept away and accidentally buy a $30,000 timeshare. Like those are masculine tactics.
And usually when I'm sitting in a sales call and someone's using masculine sales tactics, I can spot them. And I can avoid them and I can see the forest through the trees and , is that the expression? I don't know, but usually I know if somebody is trying to manipulate me into buying and I can avoid it. And usually actually I resent them so much. I don't work with them, even if I want what they're selling usually, but sometimes I too can buy something I don't need from somebody who seems really trustworthy.
And that's another bad place that I put my money this year. I. I went into a sales call, meeting something very specific from the person and they sold me something else and it was dumb of me and I shouldn't have put money into it. And I'm done beating myself up because I beat myself up already. Way too much over this. If anyone ever tries to make me give them money on that call, there is a reason . And I now have a rule actually, where I won't invest in something on a call. And sometimes I'll tell someone if I feel like I'm getting. I'm signing up for a sales call. That might be a little bit intense. I'll open with just so you know, . I never make on the spot decisions about money and I won't be investing in anything on this call, just so you know. And one time I started a call like that and you could see the woman's face be like, oh, and she used so many masculine sales tactics on me. She wanted me to buy so badly and she even threw that back at me. She goes, I know that you don't make, um, decisions on the calls, but this is $5,000 today, but it will be $10,000 tomorrow, like some sort of crazy thing.
And I'm like, thank God. I said that because it gave me like a safety net and feel free to steal that line and use it. Even if you're getting into a conversation. With a more feminine sales person, and they're not going to force you to do something at least, you know, you have that safety net where you can say, I already said that I'm not going to buy right now.
Here's one last worst, one last worst place that I've put my money. And it's over paying contractors. As a service-based digital business, most of the expenses in my business go to contractors and that's pretty common of really any type of business is the humans are the thing that costs the most. And where this mistake stems from. I really think it stems from a place of wanting to do good. I want to pay people well, I want to build a business. That pays my team like above. Average, , that's one of my values. I want to really be able to pay people, but I can remember. One time specifically where I hired a copywriter for her rate. And it was like, An exorbitant rate based on what I was able to afford at that time, but my desire to pay someone well and to pay a woman, well kind of trumped what I was actually able to pay. And the fact is you need to look at your margins. You need to look at what you can feasibly pay someone. And my coach's still on my back about this actually my business coach. Because, you know, I get wrapped up in wanting to, uh, like say F capitalism and pay people super, fairly, but she's like, Jenny, you have to really look at the numbers and , how much can you actually afford to pay someone? You have to put on your bookkeeper hat, you have to call your fiance, who's your accountant and ask him like, what can we realistically pay someone in order to keep our margins on our profit and blah, blah, blah.
This is actually a perfect segue into one of the best places I put my money this year. And that was hiring an expert who knew how to do something much better than I knew how to do it. There was something in my business. I'll explain it in a second. And I knew what was supposed to happen with it, but I also recognize that it was starting to grow and get more complex way beyond my own capabilities. And in this instance, it actually saves you money to pay. An expert well because they're able to do the job fast they're able to do it efficiently and they usually have suggestions on how to make it better altogether In this particular scenario, it was setting up a backend automation to do with my program enrollments and my email marketing. If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably seen me go into my stories and be like, sorry to everyone who just got an email twice. I'm messed up again with my email software or I was having issues where I was having customer service issues because people were joined my program and not get my emails because of like backend automation, tech glitches. And it was getting to the point where it was beyond my capabilities to fix this stuff.
So I found an expert, who's an expert in my email software who is so good. He had all these ideas. I've never been happier to give my money to someone in order for them to provide me a solution. So that was a, that was a good one. So when. Something starts to be beyond your scope and you can hire someone who's an expert at it to help you and support you. That's that's such a good day.
We have to be realistic about what our strengths are , project management is not one of my strengths and tech and backend tech stuff and like coding and all of that relapsed. Absolutely not one of my strengths. When you're in your element, you're able to work quickly, work efficiently, create a brilliant product, get stuff done. And it's going to happen way faster. So no, the things you're good at know the things you're not good at. And then that highly indicates where you should be putting your money.
In terms of using where we put our money to indicate how we can make our own services better. This was an email marketing thing, right? So I searched and searched for someone who was an expert specifically. At the email software that I use, which is right now convert kit is the name of the software. And so I didn't want someone who was good at Kajabi. I didn't want someone who was good at Clavio. I wanted someone who was good at exactly what I needed. Ding, ding, ding, that's a niche, everybody. I didn't look for a general email marketing person. I look for someone who was specifically excellent at that very specific thing I needed. Are you marketing yourself as a generalist? Are you marketing yourself as someone who's a super expert at that one specific thing? This person was also specifically exceptional at working with course creators and backend core software. So I knew he had exactly what I needed and had worked with people who were like me before.
Next up one of the best places by far that I have put the best money and the most money. Is hiring a business coach. It's honestly like playing one, two, skip a few 99, a hundred with your business. Now I will add the caveat. That not all business coaches are created equally. And let me tell you, I completely understand how challenging it can be to find someone who works for you. I've been on the sales calls. I've sat through the webinars. I've cruised through Instagram. I've tried to find other coaches as well. ,
Especially if we've been jaded from investments before, or being sold, things that we didn't need. Oh, it can be so scary to find a new business coach. So I also recommend like, don't rush into it. It is super valuable when you find someone who both your intuition and the. Academic side of your brain, both agree is the perfect fit for you. So when you find that person, that's going to be awesome. Maybe you already have. That's awesome. If you have, I know I have, and it's also something that you can always be with a business coach and you can always be leveling up and finding someone who's already lived, whatever that next tier in your businesses.
If you're trying to have, you know, if you're trying to hit 5k months, 10 K months, 50 K months, a hundred K months, or build a business that is, , a certain. Size or you're trying to manage a team. If you can find somebody who's done it before, they're going to help you get there faster, for reasons like, I mean, everything we're sharing on this podcast right now is you will be less likely to make the mistakes that they made because they can lead you away from them. And give you all of the shortcuts. The next place that I love spending my money. Oh, do I ever love it? Oh, take my credit card. I just want, I want you to have it is marketing courses and yeah. Okay, sure. I run a marketing course. Yeah. Yeah. We all know, but it's because I'm a nerd about it and I love it. And I think it's so fun. I bought Marie Forleo's copywriting course. Oh, I brought another marketing course. I just love them. I learned so much and it makes me better at what I teach and it makes me better at what I sell and I just love it.
Let me tell you something. When I went to buy Marie Forleo's copywriting course, . I was thinking, well, I'm already a really good copywriter copywriting, by the way, is just words you write that sell stuff. It's like the science of writing words that. Make people take action. So marketing and sales in that, and I was thinking I'm already really good at this. Am I really going to learn something from this course? And she said in her marketing in like the webinar or something. If you think that you're already too good for this course. Let me ask you this. Do you think you have nothing else to learn? Do you think you've like learned it all and there's absolutely zero. You can take from this course, probably not something to that effect. And that's what sold me. And I was so glad that she said that because I did think that I was better than her. Not really. I did think that I was better than the course and that I already knew a lot. And then I bought it anyway and I just lapped it all up. There was so many good analogies analogies that I've borrowed since. Good reminders. Good lessons. It was awesome. I love learning that, you know, it kind of feels like, you know how your mom can say something to you 20 times you don't listen to her, but then a new, a fresh teacher says it to you and you actually believe it or do it, or get it. It's kind of like that, but with every marketing course I take, even though we're not reinventing the wheel here, marketing is marketing, but hearing different people with their different analogies and worksheets say it in different ways. It just makes it sink in. And you get better and better. So that's one of the best places I've put my money.
Oh, I need to tell you this one, this one's huge. Tools that make me do my job faster. I swear every time I've upgraded my computer, I then make more money. And also every time I upgrade my phone or my computer, I don't realize how slow the previous device was. Same goes if you're using free software and there are paid versions available and the free versions are actually slowing you down because you have to hobble stuff together with a glue stick in order to make it make sense. Just pay for the thing that will speed you up. That's not the place to pinch pennies in my experience. And in my opinion, like this microphone that I'm talking into right now, this blue Yeti microphone. As soon as I was going to record a podcast, I bought the mic. It was like, I don't know, 150 bucks or something, but I now have enough experience that I know that buying a tool like this will speed me up instead of trying to Jimmy rig something together. I know that I needed this tool or a ring light they're 60 bucks on Amazon or ring light and stand. Think about all of the time. You will save not piling books up on a table or a shelf, and like positioning yourself near the window in order to film a real right, a ring light and stand solves that. And at the end of the day, doesn't cost that much.
As soon as you make a sale, it's going to be made up for.
So there you have it, some of the best and worst places that I have put my money in the last couple of years. I really hope this helps you spend wisely and listen. Making mistakes is an integral and unavoidable part of running a business. If you end your days and you're laying on your death bed, and you're able to say, I didn't make a single mistake in my business no, that's not true.
That's, there's no reality where that's happening. So, all you can do is embrace the mistakes, learn from them. Try not to make them twice. And if you do make them twice, Try not to make them three times. So that's literally all you can do. It's a part of the game. It's part of why we're here. And if you're like, well, Jenna, I haven't made a mistake yet. Oh my God. Go baker. This is the sign you need to go bigger.
Don't tell your 📍 accountant. I said that. Okay. That's all for me as always, there is a free training in the show notes called how to get clients from Instagram without wasting hours glued to your phone. Check that out. If you feel like leaving me five stars, a review, I will be forever thankful. And until next time, that's it from me.