Money. We either love talking about it, or we don’t.
I fall in the camp of loving to talk about it. Not because I’m obsessed with it or think money is the epitome of success, happiness, and joy, but because I’ve found that it’s by being open about money, by not being afraid to ask tough questions, and by holding space for honest conversations that we’re able to feel more confident in our ability to make and manage it, and navigate all of the money blocks and fears we face along the way too.
So often we have money beliefs that we have been holding onto for years that are not serving us in the pursuit of a wholehearted creative life.
It’s too hard and too complicated to make a stable and secure living as a creative business owner.
I’m not good enough in my work to be able to make the living I want to.
I’m a starving artist, I shouldn’t expect to make a good living if I want to pursue creative work.
It’s selfish and greedy to want to make a lot of money, so I don’t won't even try.
Financially stability and success is for other people, not me.
We all have them - stories we’ve been telling ourselves about money that can be so deep rooted within us that sometimes we don’t even realise the ways that they are holding us back.
And I’ve found that a really good place to start when it comes to getting more focused and less overwhelmed and afraid when it comes to money as a creative business owner is to get super specific on how much you want to make, how much you’re currently making, and how you’re actually going to work towards your income goals along the way.
So today I want to share with you how I set intentional income goals in my business in the hopes of encouraging you to find a way that works best for you to do so too.
So how do I set intentional money goals in my big-hearted business?
I get super specific on how much I’d like to make in the next year to support and sustain my creative work and life. I outline how much for:
- Monthly living costs (I pay myself a wage at the end of every month, so it’s this number x12 for the whole year - this amount covers rent, bills, food and our “fun” money for the month too)
- Business expenses (what I need to keep my digital lights on - from web hosting, to any tools I use, and also any investments I want to make that year in my business too such as new computer equipment or training)
- Savings (how much I’d like to add to our savings account that year)
- Travel (how much I'd like to put towards travel that year)
- One-off costs (this is an amount we put aside for expenses and events that don’t fit into our monthly budget such as car insurance, vet bills, our wedding this year etc)
- Tax, student loan, and National Insurance (this is how much I need to have aside for payments to the taxman and also my student loan repayments too)
Something to note is that for savings and travel I have both core and stretch goals. As they are not essentials, I have a core goal (which is usually the same amount as the previous year) and then a stretch goal for how much I’d like to put towards this section if possible throughout the year.
So then for my money goal for the year I add together all of the sections and I come out with two numbers. First is my core money goal for the year, and then I also have a stretch money goal for the year which includes the extra amount for savings and travel.
And because I like to be extra organised, I also have a baseline goal - this is the amount minus any travel or savings, but everything I’d need to make this year to keep a roof over our head, feed us, and pay the bills and the taxman too. When you’re self-employed, the fear that comes with being in charge of your income can be a little overwhelming at times so I find knowing my baseline number super comforting for whenever I’m freaking out and just need to remember that we're not going to be homeless or without food.
I then get super specific about three things.
1. How am I planning on meeting this years income goal?
I outline each income stream in my business and what my projections are for each. I start with my core coaching offerings and I outline how many clients I want to book for each and what that adds up to for the year. Then I outline my secondary income streams (any courses, self-guided programs, and additional 1:1 offerings) and how many clients/customers I project for each and what they add up to for the year.
Something to note here is that I don’t just pluck numbers out of thin air. The first thing I outline is how much availability I actually have that year for each offering, and then I look over my numbers for the previous year for how many clients/customers I attracted for each. So if one year I booked 30 clients for one offering and for the following year I want to book 25 clients at an increased price I can feel comfortable in that projection.
So what I’m left with is a breakdown of how exactly I’m going to work towards meeting this years income goal through my income streams. I’ll have the specific numbers of how many clients I want to book and how many customers I’d like to attract to my courses/programs and then I track these numbers each month and quarter along the way throughout the year.
2. What do I need to prioritise in my business to support me to make this happen?
Just because I set an income goal doesn’t mean I’m going to reach it - I have to take focused and intentional action every step of the way in my business to support it to thrive financially. So I get super specific on what I want to focus on in my business to support me to reach my income goals along the way - whether that’s focusing on showing up wholeheartedly for my clients and doing the very best job I can, creating content that resonates, connects, and attracts the right community, clients, and customers for my brand, developing courses and content that I can monetise, and making informed, strategic, and intentional decisions every step of the way. And perhaps the most important step of all - taking care of myself and creating enough white space in my routine so I can actually show up and do the work with a clear head and a whole heart each and every workday.
3. Is my income goal and my plan for how to meet it in alignment with my core values and big vision for my creative life?
So here's the thing - as a big-hearted business owner, making money in itself isn't enough for us. Yes we have bills to pay, families to provide for, retirement to prepare for, and experiences we want to invest in along the way, but reaching our income goals by sacrificing our values, our wellbeing, and our bigger vision just isn't an option for us. If we take action just to make profit but with no heart, purpose, and value behind that action we'll most likely feel unfulfilled, burned out, and disconnected on the other side. There's a fine line between making the money we need to make to keep a roof over our head and food on the table, and then just blindly chasing profit with no purpose and intention behind that pursuit.
So I get super clear on whether or not my plan for reaching my income goals in my business align with my core desires and values for that season of my creative work and life too - and I adjust accordingly if something is out of sync.
So here’s my challenge for you...
Get super intentional about what your current income goals are for your big-hearted business.
Outline how much you’d like to make in the next year and how that specifically will break down in your creative work and life - from your wages, to your expenses, to your savings, your tax payments, and how much you’d like for travel or “fun” money or whatever it is you like to invest your disposable income in throughout the year.
And then get super specific about how you’re going to make that happen. From how many clients you want to book at what price, how many customers you need for which products, and what you’re going to focus on each week, month, and quarter to support you to work towards making your intentional income goals a reality.
It’s a simple exercise that will hopefully help you get super focused on how much money you want to make, how you want to spend and invest that money, and how exactly you’re going to try and make it happen wholeheartedly along the way.
As always, I’m rooting for you!
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