Have I ever told you the story of when my ex-accountant laughed at me?
It was around this time last year he and I were preparing to file my 2016 taxes and get me ready to begin paying quarterly taxes throughout 2017. So, naturally, he asked how much money I expected to bring in in 2017.
Now, I had just quit my full-time job in August, so not only was I new to paying quarterly, I also had absolutely no idea how much money I was going to bring in. Up until this point, my goals for the next year were just dreams.
Sure, I wanted to bring in just as much as I had made at my corporate job after taxes and then some… but could I do that? Psh. No clue.
So when he asked for my “2017 projections,” I said, “Uh, can I get back to you on that?” And as soon as I hung up the phone, I dove straight into a blank spreadsheet, trying to figure out exactly how much I was going to make.
I had watched these projections be forecasted in my corporate job, so I wasn’t going in completely blind… but this was also a completelyyy different story. This was my business and my livelihood. I wanted to net $50,000 in 2017. That number felt substantial – like I was going to be okay if I could pay myself that number by year’s end.
But could I?
Could I honestly do that?
My heart said, “YES! I can do anything I set my mind to!!!”
My brain said, “I have no freaking idea.”
And somewhere in the middle, my intuition said, “Probably, but I need some actual numbers to look at to feel secure.”
Hence, the spreadsheet. I played with numbers for about an hour before painting a clear view of what 2017 could truly look like.
And bingo. I was going to net $50,000 in 2017. It wasn’t just a number I had dreamt up or “felt good about.” It was right there, plain as day, in the spreadsheet and I knew exactly what I needed to sell in the next 12 months to reach that number.
I called up my ex-accountant right away to share this number with him, so he, in turn, could tell me how much I should pay in quarterly taxes and not get whacked with a massive tax bill at the end of the year.
I confidently told him, “I’m going to net $50K next year.”
And. He. Laughed. At. Me.
Straight up, laughed and then asked, “50K? You mean you’ll bring in 50K. You’ll net less than that.”
I replied, “Um, no. I’ll bring in 30% more than 50K. I’ll net 50K.”
He again chuckled and said, “Well, okay. You realize that means you’ll have to pay about $3,000 a quarter in taxes, right?”
You can just imagine how far back my eyes have rolled into my head at this point.
“Yes. Totally aware.”
A long pause and then, “Well, okay. I’ll prepare the projection statements for you so you can pay on time every quarter. If you don’t bring in as much as you’ve projected, you don’t have to pay as much quarterly. Give me a call if you need help figuring out those numbers.”
“Will do. Thanks.” CLICK.
And I’d love to be able to say I hung up the phone, figured he was a loser and didn’t know what he was talking about, hired a new accountant, moved on, and made my 50K.
Buttt… instead, I hung up the phone, doubted myself completely, never fired this accountant because, hey, maybe he’s right, maybe this whole business is a crazy idea and will never make the money I think it can and maybe I’ll sit here next year barely scraping by and not anywhere close to netting 50K.
Needless to say, the next few weeks were a bit of a mess as I continued playing with the numbers in this spreadsheet of mine. I challenged myself to be realistic about my time, energy, and earning potential and by January 1st, 2017, I had pulled myself out of the deep dark hole my ex-accountant tried to put me in and decided he was wrong.
I decided that I could and WOULD make $50,000 after taxes in 2017, no matter what he said.
And I did.
Long story short, I did. And then some. In my first full year of business, I had plenty of ups and downs and in betweens, but in the end, I’ve netted even more than I had originally projected.
Why? To prove to my ex-accountant that he was wrong? Nah. Not at all. I’m not motivated by proving people wrong.
I made the money I set out to make because I set out to make it. I knew what I had to bring in each month to net $50K by the end of the year, but even beyond that, I knew exactly what I needed to sell to make that kind of money.
Spreadsheets get a bad rap, but boy, do they come in handy sometimes.
So now, at the end of the year, I’m looking ahead at my projections for 2018 and you better believe my spreadsheet is in full swing.
Super transparent spoiler alert: JAM will net $90K in 2018 and I know exactly how I’ll do it.
And now I want to show you exactly how I figured that out so you can set realistic projections for your own business as well.
The process is a bit more in-depth than what I can explain in a blog post, so I’m hosting a live webinar on Tuesday, April 27th, 2018.
You know me – I do NOT like to waste time. In fact, wasted time is BY FAR my biggest fear in life. So during this webinar, I’ll be showing you the exact five steps I personally take to know how much money I’ll make in a year.
Expect me to be 100% transparent with you about my own business’s numbers and expect it all to be grounded in what YOU value.
This is NOT just about making money. This is about building a business intentionally, steadfast in what you, as the business owner, value in life, while still staying true to how much time and energy you realistically want to spend growing your business next year.
Oh, and not to mention, standing confidently in the face of the nay-sayers and loser accountants and anyone else that doesn’t believe in you.
I, as always always always, believe in you.
Register for the webinar here, expect transparency and a values-based process, and then, invite at least one of your creative entrepreneur friends so she too can step into 2018 feeling confident and empowered.
Oh and PS. Once you register, you will NOT be bombarded by a million emails. You’ll receive a reminder email a week before, a day before, and an hour before the webinar is set to begin. And if you can’t make it to the live broadcast (because, LIFE), I’ll hook you up with a recording, but onlyyy if you’ve registered.