Know Your Numbers for More Business Ease with Jamie Trull
Because formal training around business finances isn’t a thing, except for actual financial professionals, many of us feel like we’re left in the dark. Hiding from your financials isn’t doing you any favors.

We need a good handle on our money so we can make informed, data-driven decisions about our pricing, how we invest, and what we’re taking home each month.

If you’re not feeling confident in your financial decisions, or if you just want to start seeing more profit in your business, this episode is for you. Financial literacy coach and profit strategist Jamie Trull is sharing her secrets behind maximizing your profits, setting your pricing, and analyzing your expenses so you can be more profitable and less stressed.

We cannot ignore the money side of business, but often we don’t know where to start. Jamie will tell you!

About Jamie Trull:
Jamie Trull is a financial literacy coach and profit strategist who helps business owners understand the finance side of their business so that they can make and KEEP more money. Prior to becoming an online entrepreneur, Jamie spent her career rising in the ranks of Finance Leadership in the Coca-Cola System. After leaving the Corporate world in search of a more balanced and fulfilling life, Jamie leveraged her background and her CPA designation to serve women-owned businesses as a Virtual CFO. Recognizing that there was a lack of truly accessible and understandable financial education resources for small business owners, Jamie pivoted her business toward creating resources to help fill that gap and impact more people. Today Jamie has helped thousands of business owners feel more confident about their finances through her resources and programs.
Links and Resources:

Time Stamps:

[1:46] – About Jamie Trull
[2:44] – New business owners are underserved
[4:34] – The shame behind not knowing your financials
[9:20] – They don’t teach you how to price when starting a biz
[14:19] – You need to feel good about sharing rates with your clients
[16:20] – Expectations of higher pricing
[18:04] – Pricing not a feeling, it’s a formula
[20:52] – When you’re not sure where to start with getting more profitable
[23:48] – Cutting expenses doesn’t mean rice and beans
[27:28] – We’re trained to make decisions around scarcity and fear
[28:13] – Use yesterday’s money, not tomorrow’s money
[34:40] – Thanking your past self for not making bad decisions
[37:25] – The problem with setting vanity goals


Amber Hawley 0:01
Business owners are increasingly being pulled in so many directions, feeling like they aren’t reaching their full potential in business in life despite their type aways. With my background as a therapist, entrepreneur, and as dropout with ADHD, I interview and coach high achieving business owners like you who want to stop struggling for success by using psychological systems, strategies, and the occasional care plantation. This is the easily distracted entrepreneur, your place to slay overwhelmed perfectionism and shiny object syndrome so that you can get done what matters most to you. Hello, my fellow focus seekers? Are you looking for a solution to help you get stuff done? Well, sometimes we get ahead of ourselves and search for the magic planner or tool or just expect ourselves to work harder to reach our goals. And we fail to look at how we are actually structuring our time and commitments. That’s actually where the real magic happens. And you are in luck. Because next week is our free get stuff done challenge where you will learn how to structure your work, and life to set yourself up for success. Head on over to to join the challenge now.

Amber Hawley 1:18
In today’s episode, I talked to Jamie Trull of financial literacy coach and profit strategist. And we go deep into pricing and profit. Welcome, Jamie. I’m so excited to have you here.

Jamie Trull 1:31
Thank you so much for having me. Amber, I’m excited to Yes,

Amber Hawley 1:35
we are going to have an awesome conversation. But before we get into it, can you tell the listeners a little bit more about yourself?

Jamie Trull 1:43
Absolutely. So I’m Jamie Trull. I am a self professed numbers nerd. I like to lead with that I’m also a certified public accountant. So that kind of goes hand in hand, right? I love numbers. I love metrics. That’s kind of my life’s work. And I worked in the corporate world in corporate finance for a really long time, decided the corporate world was not for me, like so many entrepreneurs at heart do, I knew that I had it in me to do my own thing. And I started originally a service based business working one to one as a virtual CFO for several different primarily women, owned companies, small businesses, and I loved it, I absolutely loved helping them make sense of their numbers, helping them see that numbers are really not scary. They’re possibilities when you can understand them when you can make your business decisions based on them. And what I realized during kind of that timeframe was that there is a huge marketplace that is underserved of business owners, typically very small business owners who are really wanting to start their own thing or have, but really need access to accessible financial education that makes sense and not from you know, the typical people who teach this kind of thing, but from somebody maybe a little bit more relatable from somebody who can make it a little bit more interesting. So I ended up pivoting my business and focusing on the education side. So now what I do is I’m an online course creator. And when I call myself as a Financial Literacy Coach and profit strategist, I feel like those are little cooler than CPA

Amber Hawley 3:15
way cooler, I was like, I want to be those. No, I love that. And you know, you. I mean, you just, my mind was like, boom, boom, boom, I touched on you touched on so many important things. And I think sometimes people find it surprising that so many people who are in business have never had any kind of training whatsoever about their own finances. And I think a lot of people feel shame about it, right? Like they think they’re supposed to, like everybody else knows. And as I’m coaching with people, I’m like, You would be surprised how many people don’t have a budget, or a spending plan, if we don’t want to call it. We want to reframe it in a little more positive note. They don’t have a personal budget, and they don’t have a business budget. They don’t really know what their expenses are. They don’t know their numbers. And I think like you said, it’s so important. And we should be making data driven decisions. And we can’t do that when we’re just kind of guessing or thinking like, oh, it’s about this or about that. And I think that crazy creates so much anxiety for people. So I love teaming up and interviewing people who are in the financial world to give, you know, that kind of support to people because I think they think they’re supposed to know already and most people don’t

Jamie Trull 4:31
well, and I’m glad you touched on the shame piece of it because that for me like that was part of the reason that I started to do what I do now, because so much of the education that does exists around finances, specifically really a lot of the personal finance, I focus more on business finance, but in the personal finance space, there is a lot of shame messaging, there is a lot of tough love messaging. There is a lot of just very kind of damaging messaging that is not empowering and instead makes you kind of feel shameful about where you’ve been? And that’s not what I do. Right? I think it’s much better to paint this beautiful picture of what the future can be rather than to sit and bright people for where they’ve been in the past or decisions they’ve made in the past. That let’s let’s paint a better picture, right? Like, let’s look forward to tomorrow make it exciting to make changes. But we have so much ingrained in us that goes back to this shame, this scarcity, feeling this all this negativity around finances, so much of it comes from the culture around us. So much of it maybe comes from how we were raised. So I think it stops people from taking that next step. And so it feels overwhelming. It feels worrisome, it feels scary to open up that can of worms and really dive in, because you’re not sure what you’re gonna see. I know a lot of people avoid their numbers, because they don’t really want to know they need to know, but they don’t really want to know. Yeah, and it’s so much better. Once you do though, right? It’s so much better. It feels it’s difficult at first taking that first step is not the easiest. But once you do, you can see how the possibilities that open up in front of you are endless, right? If making data driven decisions, being able to really grow your business in a way that is going to be a financially stable and financially fit way to grow.

Amber Hawley 6:14
Yeah, and I love that when you said possibilities that that’s what we have to start seeing is that there are possibilities but you’re right that so much of I think financial information or education that typically people have gotten in the past is very parental FIDE it is the chastising parents, and I know me personally being like the rebel type. I’m like, I don’t want anyone to tell me no. So I don’t I don’t even need to get into it. You know, like, I just wanted to avoid it. So I’ve been there been there done that. And I think that’s where, again, whether it was in therapy, or in coaching with somebody, I feel like a lot of the work I’m doing with them is like helping them normalize and say they’re not judging you. Like they’re not, they’re not going to look and go, Oh my God, this person is such a terrible business owner, they’re so dumb, you know, they’re there to help you make sense of it. Because people will do that thing of like, well, I just need to get things cleaned up or catch up, and then I’ll reach out and I’m like, girl isn’t going to happen. So yeah. Reach out, let them help you get it cleaned up.

Jamie Trull 7:22
Absolutely. And I’m definitely that rebel two, I really don’t like it when somebody tells me, you know, tell me anything. Don’t tell me to cut my lattes. Okay, like come on. House,

Amber Hawley 7:36
I know, for a reason I don’t like being told what to do. So I know. And I think we internalize so much of that. So that’s why we think that that’s what we’re going to have to do. Like, we’re gonna have to do the tough love like thing, you know, and just kind of like, well, if I’m being responsible, quote, unquote, that I’m going to have to make these hard decisions. And so whether or not that’s actually coming externally from somebody, or it’s just something you’ve internalized, and you think this is the way I have to do it, well, well, then why would I want to know my numbers? I’d much rather be in the dark and have a little bit of fun. Cut to 10 years later, we’re like, okay, let’s, let’s make some changes here. And yeah, and I love that, again, you offer like a raw a wide array of education, everything from like, the basics of finances, which again, most of us, none of us really get that right, unless you just happen to have a parent or you major in it. But then the other piece that I’m hearing so much that that kind of comes up a lot in my work with clients is around pricing or around like maximizing profits. Yep. Right. And just that feeling of, I think there’s that, that again, this old tape of like, oh, well, the way to make more money is I just have to sell more, or I have to do more work harder. And and then that feels exhausting, especially after these last couple of years where like we’re all exhausted anyway. I can’t imagine having to do more. Yeah, I know that you are the woman feel like, bring it in to tell people something a little bit different, perhaps.

Jamie Trull 9:16
Absolutely. And that’s actually my biggest message. And it kind of goes right where we do we internalize this, like the only way to make money, especially if you’re in a service based business. I think this really hits and especially if you’re in a business where you are actively working your business, right? Yeah, where maybe you are a big part of you know, what’s going into your business or providing the service to your clients. And I think that we get into this well, obviously the only way and I have been here so I can speak to this not just from a financial perspective, and having that background, even having that background. I locked into starting a service based business. And I did not have a good handle on how to set prices. And so you mentioned like, well, you know, if you didn’t major in it, I did major in it? And I still do? Yeah. Right. Like I have a, I have a, I have a bachelor’s degree in Analytical Finance and a master’s in accounting, but they do not teach you how to price a product or service for a business that you start, right. It’s very, it’s very geared more towards, like the corporate way of things. And, and now I think now I think there are more, you know, programs and things like that in college that are geared towards entrepreneurship. But when I was in college, which was a little bit ago, that wasn’t really the case. And so you kind of, you know, we all kind of go into this trying to figure it out. Right. And so, I think we think about making sure that you know, pricing and profit margins are two things that I’m super, and they go hand in hand, right. But they’re, I’m really, really passionate about people knowing what their what their profit margins are, so that they can price adequately. And one of the things that I think is missing, oftentimes, when we talk about profit margins is maybe you know, your overall profit margin, right? Like how much you’re making in total that you’re taking home. But do you know your profit margin on a product or service basis, right, for each product, or service or package, or however you kind of sell things? Right? Do you know how much you’re making off each of those? And if you do, are you factoring in your own time to that calculation? And that’s the biggest thing I see with service based entrepreneurs that are like, oh, yeah, I know my profit margins, or maybe they don’t. But either way, they’re probably not sitting down and thinking about okay, well, how much of my time is going into each of these products or services? Is that adequately priced? In? How much am I actually not that I want you to charge per hour? Because I don’t, but you should know roughly, how much are you making per hour. And if it’s way less than you would make in like a minimum wage job somewhere. And you’ve been in business for a while, right? I’m not talking about the beginning. Because in the beginning, we all know, it’s sweat equity that we’re building. But if you’ve been in business for a while, you need to be paid adequately for the work that you’re doing in your business. And in fact, I would say you need to be paying more than you would pay someone else to do that work, because you’re also taking on the risk of being the business owner, right. So there should be that risk reward there. And that is off. So often, what I see as the issue is that people think, like you said, right, well, I just need to take on more and more clients. Well, if you’re already overloaded, which you probably are, you really like, and you’re thinking, the only way to make more money is to take on more, that is the recipe for burnout, that is the recipe for a business that is not sustainable and not scalable, either, right, you’ve got to figure out a way to do it in a way that’s going to be scalable in a way that you can hire someone potentially, to come in and take some of that work off of you and you still be able to make money. Because that’s kind of one of the things right, that I see a lot with service based businesses is that they say, Well, I can’t afford to hire to hire anybody, because I wouldn’t have anything left to repeat myself. Right? If you hire someone to help you with, with those providing those services to your clients, well, that says you’re not paying yourself enough then, right? Because if you can’t pay somebody else to come in here and do it, then why are you paying yourself that much. So I think so much of it comes down to making sure that you’re valuing your time when you were figuring out what those profit margins really need to be. And when you’re setting those prices, you don’t just want to go based on your gut, although that is a consideration, too, right? It’s going to be your gut, it’s going to be where we’re in kind of the marketplace, like what’s your positioning in the marketplace, you do want to look at competitors, but don’t overly focus on competitors, because you don’t know what their costs are. So you can’t necessarily accurately compare versus a competitor. So for me, that’s like the backbone for people who are struggling in that spot where they’re like, I’m working all the time. But I don’t feel like I’m seeing the fruits of my labor, it often comes down to profit margins and pricing first, then we can look at costs and figure all that out. But profit margins and pricing are really, really important to make sure that you’re charging the right amount.

Amber Hawley 13:48
Yeah, and when you when you’re setting those things when you’re setting your pricing, I think so there’s so much mindset stuff that comes up and oh, you know, like you said, when you look at competitors, I mean, they can be chronically under pricing as well. So, you know, miserable. Yes, exactly. And like you said, like you or maybe they live, you know, they’re off. If they have a brick and mortar, it’s like they’re not paying rent because somebody owned the building, or I don’t know, like, there’s so many factors, right? But I have seen that in so many business owners where and, and we do this, we do this a lot, we make decisions that I think like emotionally feel good, and we kind of just like, Oh, this feels this feels good to me. And like you said there is a place for that. Because there anytime we’re talking about like raising our rates, and I’ve gone through this, you know, as a therapist many times where, you know, I would get the feedback, you need to raise your rates and and usually I’m advocating that for other people as well. And I said, Okay, well, I got I kind of got to like let it sink in and make peace with it so that I feel good when I’m talking to people about my rates. And so you know, but I’m trying to go through that process pretty quickly. But you wouldn’t want to just like set a number that feels so uncomfortable. Yeah, unless you have somebody else who does your does your intake calls, then that’s really helpful, then you could just have that distance, but you want something that feels good. But like you’re saying, there has to be some thoughtfulness. And I have seen this with so many people where if they’re hiring somebody that does the same service that they do, which is, you know, the dream, right? Like, I have a group practice in California. And you think like, Okay, well, this is like leveraged income, because all of the systems everything’s there, I’ve other people seeing clients, and so I make a portion off of them. But there were people who I’ve seen time and time again, like, they just decided I’m going to pay them this amount like 60%, they didn’t even look at what does it cost for like their rent, like they didn’t look at their profit margins, right. And then down the road, they start to realize, like, I’m actually making less money, because I’m having to pay for infrastructure, like paying for admins to manage all these people or hire managers. But I actually don’t, I’m actually making less money than if I was just by myself. And so I’ve seen that, and that’s hard. I mean, that’s when you have to make those hard decisions. But who wants to be in that place where you have to go back to somebody and say, We have to revisit like, yes, structure, right? Absolutely. And I think that, so that’s exactly true, where there is like this feeling that we have, and we want to be confident in saying the prices that we charge. But I think one of the things that helps with that, because we will always second guess ourselves. And we will tend to I don’t I don’t know if you do this. I know a lot of people do this, where we’ll set a price that feels good to us. Because we’re worried about we don’t we’re worried about what people think if it’s, you know, like, we just worry about what that what’s that response going to be?

Jamie Trull 16:39
Is that going to be too much for them. We’re also in some ways worried about the expectation that comes along with a higher price. And so sometimes it’s easier to underprice. Because then we feel more comfortable that we will be able to meet those expectations. And the higher the price goes, the more pressure it puts us up on us. And so I think sometimes we do that on purpose to protect ourselves from having to deliver on those promises. At that level.

Amber Hawley 17:01
That’s a big one,

Jamie Trull 17:03
I think it’s a really big talk about that piece. Right? We really, really don’t, where were we kind of, and I’ve struggled with this to where I’m like, oh, man, you know, I think sometimes we wrap it in the bow. And I’ve done this to where we have a market we want to serve. And so we say, well, I want it to be affordable for them, right. And so that’s kind of a little bit of escape code. It may also be true, it may be both things. But in that case, you can still do that. But you might have to change what that product or service is that you were offering at that lower price to make sure it still makes sense for your business to do it doesn’t mean you can’t serve that market, you just might have to serve them in maybe a different way. Maybe there are two packages that you have. And then the right people will go to each one of those, right. So I don’t want us to use that as an excuse. Because really, when really we’re sitting here and we’re just saying, well, it’s just more comfortable to charge at this rate. And one of the things that I have found when working with people through my programs, that really has helped get over this is one of the things I preach is that pricing isn’t a feeling it’s a formula, right? It is a formula. And when you formula ties, it’s not the same formula for everyone, it’s not the same formula for every business. But when you formula ties it, it makes it so much easier, right? Because there’s you’re taking that emotion out of it, if you are trying to bid a new client, you don’t have to sit there and hem and haw and feel feel that feeling in your gut have like the uneasiness you plug a couple numbers into a worksheet and it tells you what that price is. And then that’s what it is. And either they take it or they don’t. And there’s not that emotional pull to it. And that’s one of the things that people talk about a lot is just the confidence that that gives them no, this has to be my price, in order for me to be paid adequately for what I do in order for me to cover my costs, and have a profit margin that’s sustainable and keeps me in business. Right? And helps me get towards the goals that I have. That’s got to be the price. And so I think when we take that out of it, it just it’s so freeing, and it also saves a lot of time.

Amber Hawley 18:58
Oh, absolutely. I mean, the amount of time that we sit and like think and overlook that kind of stuff. Yes, I could guess and, and you know, to your point, I think sometimes when we’re thinking about our pricing, too, we might even picture somebody who’s maybe like our worst critic, and then it’s like, well, what would they say about that price? Or would they be willing to pay that price? And it’s like, well, is that who you want to be certainty? I don’t know. I think that I love that. I mean that’s a that’s a tweetable right there if I if I was a tweeter I was the it was a it was in the formula. The pricing is not a feeling it’s a formula. It’s a formula. Yes, pricing is not a feeling. It’s a formula. That is a tweetable for those of you who tweet. I love that. Yeah, and that’s the thing. It’s like, it’s finding that balance of honoring the emotional stuff like you said, the shame, the worry, the guilt, the all the things that come up When we’re making decisions, financial decisions and our businesses, it’s honoring that but then understanding like we can’t, we can’t act from that place we have to, we have to figure out ways to kind of distance ourselves emotionally from that. And like you said, when you have something that’s like, well, this is the computation. And this is what I need. It gives you it gives you a much more solid ground to kind of stand on. Yeah, absolutely. So when people are in that place of like, okay, I’m feeling really overloaded, I get it, like, I can’t take on more clients, I probably need to raise my rates, I need to figure out, you know, I just got to increase my profitability. And they’re just like, I don’t even know where to start. Is there something that usually you advocate for them to do? Or to look at as, like a first step?

Unknown Speaker 20:50
Yeah, I mean, usually, I think it is a process of going through and figuring out what I call the levers there, there are various different levers that you can pull in your business, right. And so depending on what the issue is, that’s the lever, you need to maybe pull it maybe there’s a couple different level levers that you pull in order to increase your profitability. And once you know, they’re just levers, right? Like, and it’s just like, okay, but here’s what’s happening, I’m looking at my data, it’s telling me XYZ. So this might be the letter, the lever that I need to pull, right. So I think, again, the lever we always think about is just like sell more, I need to have more clients, I need to sell more. But there are a lot of other different ways to increase your profitability without having to go out there and scour the world and sell more, especially if you’re in a place where you do not have the bandwidth to do that, right. So I think, and there’s multiple different level levers, but at a high level, we want to look at pricing Pricing is one pricing and profit margins is one to say, Okay, are we priced correctly? Let’s start there. Maybe you feel pretty good about your prices? So then we can go on to something like costs, right? How are your more overhead type costs, you’re what I call indirect costs. So these are things that might be rent, or insurance, or administrative payroll, or that kind of that kind of stuff in your business, cuz that’s the stuff that adds up. Right? Like those types of expenses, they add up. And so we kind of go through a process of, you know, let’s rationalize this, let’s make sure that everything that we are spending money on, or at least the majority of things that we’re spending money on within our business, are actually contributing to our business growth are actually an investment in our business, either helping us generate more money, or helping us generate more time, right. So maybe it’s process improvements, right. But most of the money that we’re spending in our business, it’s different than our personal life, our personal life is a little bit more, you know, we have, we have the ability to spend as we want to, right, we probably have goals over there that we’re trying to beat. But the way I see our business, your business expenses, is that you really want to be putting that money back into your business and be able to see something from that, right. And I think that doing that kind of rationalization fairly give fairly frequently, maybe once or twice a year, where you’re sitting down and looking at like, what are all the costs? How much is my monthly overhead? Do I know? Do I need all of these things? Right? And if they’re not necessarily an investment in your business, that doesn’t mean you have to stop doing it. You just be you know, want to be intentional about making that decision to say no, well, I know that’s not really an investment. But I love this thing. You know, I love my remarkable tablets, and I’m gonna keep using it, or whatever it is,

Amber Hawley 23:26
like, why would you get rid of that once you own it? That doesn’t make sense Jamie.

Jamie Trull 23:30
exactly right. That would be crazy. So. So for me, it’s just really about that intentionality, and where you’re spending your money and the positive thing, right, because we’re also taught the scarcity piece, because we think about budgeting from a personal standpoint, which is very scarcity. It’s like rice and beans, give up your lattes, do all these things that you can save for retirement, all these things and they’re, you know, yes. Okay, I understand that I understand that more in the context of somebody with a very, you know, fixed income they have to work with to figure out how to work within their means. The thing about a business budget, though, is that we we don’t like the word budget, but ultimately, we have to remember that it’s actually for us, right, the better we can stick to a spending plan, or whatever you want to call it in your business, the more money you can take out and have in your personal life, right. And I think we’d rather have that money in our personal bank account, than sitting in our business most of the time. You know, because there’s only so much you’re gonna be able to do with it, you’re limited in what you can use it for within your business. But when that money is yours, that’s when you’re able to take a paycheck or take out you know, draws from your business. That’s what you can use to go on your own personal family vacations, that’s what you can use, you know, to pay your mortgage, that’s what you can use for you know, all the things in life that we want to be able to do or that we need to be able to do. So it’s really for you if you can kind of be not like discipline to the penny because I don’t really believe in that and I think that that’s for me, that’s too restricting some people like it, I don’t. But when you can have a general idea of here’s how much I have to spend in my business and can kind of keep tabs on At, then that’s going to help you to be able to make money in your personal life. So I think that other that’s another level lever. But there are lots of other ones too, right. So those are two of the most important to go through first. Because once you’ve done that, once you’ve rationalized your costs, once you make you’ve made sure you’re priced correctly, then you can go out and scale your business. Right at that point, a lot of people they pull in the marketing first when their business isn’t financially fit to begin with. And it just, it doesn’t help your bottom line. It just makes you a crazy stressed out overwhelmed person.

Amber Hawley 25:31
Oh, yeah, I was gonna, I was gonna say, I’ve seen that again. And again, where it’s like, oh, yeah, I’m and I, and again, I’m not an advocate of going into debt. But yeah, there are times where like, you’re saying, you’re making intentional choices to invest in your business. And I’ve seen people say, like, oh, you know, like, I’m not making my thing. So I need to get rid of my assistant. And now if you’re utilizing your assistant in a good way, and they’re taking all of these things off your plate, they’re already you know, trained up, it’s going well, that I’ve always said, like having an assistant every time I once I started making that investment in hiring somebody in that role. I was like, they absolutely make me money, even though technically on the books. They’re an expense. Yeah, they actually make me money, because they’re freeing me up to do the work that I do. And to, you know, like, go after the, you know, they won’t is that the, you know, higher dollar projects, like, the $10 $100 $1,000 thing asks, yeah, yeah. And so it’s like figuring out, okay, don’t just go don’t just look at your budget and say, like, oh, well, then I clearly have to get rid of my assistant, just do it all myself. Because that all it does is put you further down a hole, right? And so figuring out those things, and like you said, sometimes we we emotionally make this decision, like, I have to cut this. So I’m going to cut everything that supports me. And I’m going to keep and I’m just going to expect myself to then take all of this stuff back on. Yep. And so I’m glad that you kind of you made that point around marketing, because I think that’s one of those things, too. Like, yeah, if you if something’s not working, or if you’re not assessing it, then it’s okay to like, you know, pull it back or put a pin in it. But I find people make those reactive decisions and kind of put themselves further down in the hole of like, oh, well, now, you know, I can add it my own podcast, or I can do XYZ. And it’s like, ah, do you know how long that actually would take?

Jamie Trull 27:25
to decision from scarcity and fear, which is most of what like we are trained to believe around money, right? It is really, is really hard to break away from that, especially when it’s easy to believe in abundance, when things are going really well. To be like, Oh, yes, the universe has me. It’s all you know, I manifesting all these things. And then things get tougher. And you have to make payroll, and you have things going on. And you’re like, oh, no, what and so then you start to kind of retreat back into that place. And we don’t make we know, we don’t make good decisions from fear. That’s the worst possible place to make decisions on is from a place of fear. Unless, of course, maybe you’re like about to jump out of a plane without a parachute. Like maybe fear is okay.

Amber Hawley 28:05
Except for sometimes is the rule.

Jamie Trull 28:08
Remember, like fear is there, it’s there. It’s kind of like that monkey brain, like, we’re gonna keep you safe, right? Like, that’s what fear does. But if you are committing to building a business, like we know, that takes going out of your comfort zone, no, of course, I think there are ways to do that without going into debt, I think that there are ways to be able to manage and that’s, you know, another thing I really love to teach is managing cash. So that as much as possible, right? We are using yesterday’s money and not tomorrow’s money. So oftentimes, when we take on debt, or when we use credit cards, or whatever, to kind of fund our business through a certain point, we’re ultimately we’re borrowing from our future self, we’re saying I am going to, you know, take this money from my future self, rather than our past self, being kind to us in our current day, right? I got you I already got this, don’t worry about it, I got this handled. So there is kind of some some, you know, money management strategies that you can put in play. And I think that really came out a lot, especially, you know, I talk a lot about also saving for a rainy day. And that’s one of the things and that’s not just your typical, like emergency rainy days. That’s also just the fact that we live in businesses that might be seasonal, or we might have uptimes in the end downtimes. And so we need to be consistently saying, Okay, we’re having a good time now. Let’s put some money away. So that future me will be happy when things aren’t so great in the future, right. And we don’t lose, we want to think positively. But we also need to be prepared. And I saw it, oh, my gosh, Amber, so much with the pandemic, right. And we were in a situation where people were in that cycle of borrowing from their future self and then all of a sudden their future self said, I can’t pay you back like I I don’t have it because my business is now shut down because the world is shut down. And we could not have predicted that. Right? We can’t predict that. So this was a problem for so many people, but I think a lot of people came out of that saying I need To be more prepared for whatever it is next, right, whatever the next thing is, there’s going to be something. And that something may even just be, you know, it may be a personal thing like a, you know, sick family member that you want to be able to take some time away and take care of, or it may be something more on a global scale again, we don’t know. But the great thing is that if we can really be disciplined and have some intentionality around how we manage our finances, today, we can help our future self to not have to be in that place, right, we can take some of that worry, and that stress off of our future self. Same as you I’m not like one of those totally credit, cut off your credit cards, and anti Debt Debt is always a terrible thing, especially in business, right? Because if you have a proven product, and if you’re trying to uplevel and especially if you have a business, that’s fairly capital intensive, we’ll say Right, like so you’re gonna start you’re gonna build a hotel, I’m pretty sure you’re gonna take out debt unless you are like, independently wealthy, from the Vanderbilt family, right? Like, you’re probably going to have to take out some debt for that. But you are, you have a business plan you have, you know, it’s going towards something that you are going to use to invest in your business. Where I don’t like debt in business is when people use it to plug holes, right. So a lot of times people borrow on their credit cards, they do things like that, it’s really to plug holes of cash flow, it’s really to fix short term cash flow issues. And that debt is very expensive, because you’re gonna pay a lot of interest for it. Right? It’s not the best kind of debt to be carrying. And then if things go south, now you have these crazy high interest rates. And that’s just going to add to the pressure that heck we already feel as business owners anyway. So why put more on ourselves? Right? So I think there’s good debt and bad debt in a business. I’m supportive of those people who say, I don’t want any debt at all. But I do I think, you know, it’s not a it’s not an across the board solution when we’re talking about business.

Amber Hawley 31:46
So am I to take it, then you don’t agree with just constantly buying really expensive courses on your credit card? I am not.

Jamie Trull 31:56
I will always say to that. Any coach, right? Any coach, or course creator or anything like that, that advocates for you to do that? I would think a little bit about, right. Because yes, those things can absolutely be investments in your business, it can absolutely be worth it for your business. But there’s a lot of effort, and it has to be the right fit. And there’s a lot of things that kind of go into whether that’s going to end up being a return for you. And so it’s always a red flag to me, because there are a lot of people out there that will do that, where they’re just like, oh, just you know, you can put it on a credit card, and it will pay itself back. And it might but it also might actually say that to be oh my gosh, I’ve heard it in like multiple different pitches before that. Like if you really believe in yourself, you can just put it on a credit card. It’s more in those kind of when they get you on a sales call. That’s, you know, the objection?

Amber Hawley 32:48
Toxic positivity. Like yeah, if you believe in yourself,

Jamie Trull 32:52
that’s exactly right. We all know, right? Like, even I, I’m a course creator, and I have a lot of courses that I buy. Some of them I finish some of them I some of them I have pinned that I will someday finish. And I know that I will write but I mean, we have to be realistic about our own habits, too. And know like, Okay, we have to decide we’re gonna make it an investment. But I still say I still stand by I would rather people have saved up like, if they want to buy my course, for instance, I would rather they have saved up or at least enough to be able to pay on the payment plan without having to finance on the credit card. And you know, in that way, because I also, you know, I want to help but I do feel like that puts so much pressure on the situation. And sometimes with finances, the payoff isn’t necessarily right away, it might be six months down the line, it might be a year down the line, and then everything is different, but it can take some time to get to that place. Right. And if you’re constantly getting interest racked up while you’re trying to get things handled, it’s also going to put you in a spot where you don’t make the best decisions, right? Because again, we’re sitting from that scarcity and fear place.

Amber Hawley 34:01
Yes, yeah. So and I think I’ve said this, I’ve always said this, like, especially in my therapy practice where we don’t make good decisions from places of pain. And when we’re in deep, deep pain, whether that’s because of financial pressure or emotional stuff we’re going through or, like you said, scarcity and fear. We’re just always operating from that standpoint. Yeah, we’re just not we’re not, we’re not always acting in our best interest. Right. Like, that’s what that’s what ends up happening. Our current self maybe isn’t so kind to our future self. Absolutely.

Jamie Trull 34:35
True. I mean, and I can even think of instances where I’m like, Oh, my gosh, I had a you know, I had decided, you know, one decision or another when I was in a not a great state, and I look back and I’m like, Oh my gosh, thankfully. Decision from that place. I mean, I’m sure other entrepreneurs who are listening to this will understand, you know, there are times that you’re like, you have a bad day and you’re like, I just want to shut it all down, right? Oh, yeah. The whole Sitting down. We’re just gonna move off the grid somewhere and you know, we start a new life, right? Like who hasn’t? Who hasn’t been?

Amber Hawley 35:10
I actually, I use Well, I’ve transferred them now to Google Sheets, but I love Excel like I’m an Excel nerd. And I have I have little tabs called like Armageddon budgets. So I actually two which might say a lot about my mindset sometimes when you’re in those places, right when you’re just having those really rough times and it’s my way of catastrophizing, and knowing like all survived, like we’ll be okay, we can eat we have a house, you know, we have a roof over our head, but I have a, I have an sh TF one when shit hits the fan, and then I have Armageddon. To me, there are two different layers.

Jamie Trull 35:46
I might have to seal this only because in my course, like at the very end of my course, when we go through everything we do forecasting. So in my financial fitness formula course, the last step is then like, Okay, now we’ve done the pricing, we’ve done the cost. Now let’s forecast into the next five years. And it’s a three part. So it’s like a base case, you know, like Central case that you’re going for. It’s your best case, and I have your worst case, but I really love the fact that they might have to feel that

Amber Hawley 36:13
you should, you should because it speaks to us, right? Like, and funnily enough, like shit hits the fan to me feels very different than Armageddon, like, I would say, even though is a little extreme. COVID is definitely a shit hits the fan. Now for some people’s businesses, it might have been Armageddon, like, yeah, yeah, I don’t know, like some situate I know some people who were in Armageddon situation, but it’s one of those things where I think knowing those numbers, and then that gives me like, Okay, I like in those cases, I have to adjust my lifestyle, or I have to make some hard decisions. But until I hit those points, like I have to operate from this place of, of, like, still investing in my business and no, and but being thoughtful about all this stuff, but it makes me feel better. So that’s just something and I don’t know, that hearing you even talk about that makes me feel better. Because I was like, man, there’s I can I can just get dark, I guess because it but it makes me good. It makes me feel good knowing like, what’s the worst case scenario.

Jamie Trull 37:15
I think that that’s counterintuitive to people that like that, like thinking about that as a positive thing. But I’m completely with you, we don’t want to over focus on it, right? We don’t want to like think that into existence. But I also see entrepreneurs that have this pie in the sky, they set these really high goals and numbers, because that’s kind of the trendy thing to do. Right. So these high vanity metrics that we want to hit. And the problem with only do and oftentimes there’s like not really anything to back that up, we just set a number of we’ve no idea how we’re gonna write it’s so then like, not so surprisingly, most people don’t if they don’t have that plan for Okay, here’s a you know, this is the number that I want to reach. And then here’s the number of this, this and this that I need to sell to do that at these prices with this cost structure like having that already figured out. But that’s really important, right to have that best case figured out, have like the base case, which the thing that you’re aiming on, but then also be aware of like, here’s what could if things go wrong, here’s where I could be and have a plan, like you said, of like, here’s your places that I can pull back here, you know, here’s exactly what this will look like so that it doesn’t feel you’ve already kind of you know, planned it out, right? You’ve got like the disaster, you’ve got your your bug out bag ready to go. Not gonna need it, but just in case and knowing it’s there, right gives you some security that like, Okay, if everything goes crazy here, like I gotta plan.

Amber Hawley 38:40
Exactly. And like you said, I think for me, well, one having an Excel like it captures it, I’m then able to let it go. Like I’m able to say, okay, then I, you know, I pay attention. I do my monthly financial meeting with myself, you know, and like you said, I twice a year I go through and kind of do an audit of all my expenses, like personal and business wise. And so then it’s like, yeah, once you do that, you don’t have to sit and obsess about that you get to, you get to let it go and move on and then say, Okay, now I’m back into not into the scarcity mindset, but into the mindset of like, okay, what do I need to do? What is what is practical? What can reasonably happen? So, yeah, I love that. But, but to your earlier point, too, and I’ve been very honest about this, like, I like to be really transparent that I think I’ve made every bad financial decision possible. I know. We were in a group together, and I think you I think you even said one time like, Oh, you’re that you’re that woman. You’re that person who does that? I was like eel, like, I would do that. I would, I would have a terrible night like I had insomnia. And I was burnt out and I had just had, you know, probably my third baby. And I all of a sudden like login, see an email and then bought a program didn’t even calculate like how much it was just like okay, I’m going to do it because that’s going to change My life. Yep. And then, you know, and then never logged in and did it because it was like, I just needed something to feel that I tried to buy my way out of burnout. And unless the thing is actually about how to address your burnout, that’s not really going to be helpful. Right? Like salutely. So,

Jamie Trull 40:17
I mean, I literally opened an email today ever. And I was like, huh, do I need this? I think I need this. I always am like, let me let me ask. Let me ask tomorrow’s Jamie how she feels.

Amber Hawley 40:30
Oh, I can’t trust tomorrow’s Amber. She’s kind of a bitch. Like, she sometimes is like, Oh, girl, you got this, you go. So I actually have to check with my team, because I need I’ll be I’ll send them all either Voxer or send forward the email and wait for a response. Because now they talked me out of so much stuff. And there have even been times where I’m like, Oh, my gosh, this is it. This is it. And I go to buy it turns out I already own it. But that’s how. So I don’t know if that’s validating that I actually need that solution, or that just tells you how impulsive I can be at times. But yeah, my strategy is I need to involve a team because because Amber, she wants me to have fun and future Amber wants me to do all the things too. So I have to, I have to find those structures. But like you said, we all do it. It all it happens to us. But that I think recognizing that pattern and then saying like, Okay, let’s do a little different. And yeah, and I think the last few years have been such a wake up call, even for people whose businesses like shifted and actually prospered. I still think it’s something where it’s like, okay, but hey, look, like this was, you know, this worked out for me, but I’ve got to, I’ve got to figure out and kind of know, where these decisions are coming from. Right.

Jamie Trull 41:45
Yeah, absolutely. And I think like you said, one of the biggest benefits of spending time in your numbers and getting comfortable in there is that you can then let it go. And and that’s the thing is that it’s it doesn’t weigh you in the same way it does when you’re trying to avoid it. Like the effort, you almost are spending more effort trying to avoid something because it because it’s still there. It’s just following you around and it hits you in weird times. Right? It might hit you in weird ways. It might come out as anxiety or just strange things. Or even like for me, sometimes it’s procrastination is, oh, it comes out when I don’t want to focus on something. But I truth be told, when you actually face it, it’s never as bad as you expect it to be. And then you can move on. And you’re like, Oh, that wasn’t that wasn’t so bad. I wish I had done that, you know, a month ago, a year ago? Five years ago.

Amber Hawley 42:31
Exactly. And you’re right. And it absolutely does, I think I think we we convince ourselves that it doesn’t weigh on us or that somehow where it’s better, like we feel free are avoiding it. But 100% Like I talk about like mental clutter. And that’s those are those things that kind of take up that that background space in the back of our head that’s always kind of running. And it impacts our energy, it impacts our outlook, it impacts just about everything. And so even though I too, can be a chronic avoider, at times, in moments, every time like you said, every time you address it, it just makes it so much better. So yeah, I love that. And I love I love again, how you break things down in a very practical way that, you know, my hope is if you’re out there listening, and this is the you get money, money, shame comes up when you start thinking about all these things. And like, oh, I don’t have all this stuff together. I don’t even know how to forecast. Like, that’s the whole point. You don’t need to like you just this is when you invest in educating yourself about your finances. Absolutely. Absolutely. I know, we could talk forever, because you do have a wealth of knowledge. And but if people wanted to find out more information about you and your courses, and kind of all the magic that you can do for them, where should they go?

Jamie Trull 43:51
Yeah, well, so my main course that’s coming, I don’t know when this is airing. But I think sometime around when this is airing, probably my financial fitness formula course is my main course. And that’s the one that goes more into what we’re talking about here, which has been around profitability, and forecasting and cash management, and all of those types of things, basically, you know, helping you to be your own chief financial officer and your business, because most of us are right when we have a small business. And so that course is opening at the end of March. And we will only have it open for about a week. And that’s the only time we’re opening in 2022. So Amber, I’m sure you’ll put some links down in the show notes for where they can find information about it if they’re interested. Also, though, if you’re not sure if you kind of want to want to increase your profitability and you don’t know what the what the next step is, because it really depends on where you are, right and what your biggest pain points are. I have a quiz. So I have a quiz that is what is your next step to being more profitable, and that will give you some kind of insight to where you should start first. So if that’s something that you’re interested in, you can drop that that link down there to Amber and they can go and Take the free quiz.

Amber Hawley 45:01
Oh, I love that. That’s kind of like step one in my framework when I’m helping people with either overwhelm or helping them to focus with ADHD, or HD ish tendencies. It’s that assess and address. And that’s where it’s like, you have to start there. You have to assess where you’re at, and then figure out what’s the next best solution. And so, yeah, we will definitely have all the links in the show notes so that you can go check it out. And this is airing in March. So it will be before your cart opens. So for those of you who are like, Okay, I am, you know, maybe your quarter your second quarter goal is to focus on cleaning up your finances or just feeling like you’re on top of things financially and have that understanding, then you should definitely head on over to Jamie Sidon. And again, Jamie, thank you so much for coming on and having this conversation.

Jamie Trull 45:51
Yeah, I’m so glad to be here. Thanks for having me, Amber.

Amber Hawley 45:54
Absolutely. financial fitness is the foundation of a sustainable business. If you would like to take Jamie’s free quiz about how to make your business more profitable. Or to find out more about her financial fitness formula program, check out the show notes or go to for all the deeds

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