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Oh hey, y’all!
I’m starting this episode with a pretty big celebration I can’t wait to share as we dive into also normalizing the time (and money) it takes to build a business that has legs!
I’m sharing two gems I’ve received from others that have really helped anchor my expectations and although I know we all wish it would take less time and less money to get where we want to go, let’s also pull back the curtain on some norms I’ve found to be true just through conversations with peers as well as advice that’s been handed to me by mentors.
In this episode, I’m sharing:
∙ A normal timeline for creating a sustainable foundation
∙ A normal investment for creating a sustainable foundation
I’d love to hear from you though!
∙ Does this timeline ring true for your journey?
∙ Does this investment amount ring true?
Send me a DM on IG and let me know!! @meganhale_mh
And if this episode is helpful, I’d love for you to share it & of course, I’m always appreciative when you leave reviews for the show!
Let’s dive into 2 potent anchor points I’ve found to be helpful for my business journey ?
Hello, hello, my friends and welcome back to the show. So I have to start today’s episode with some celebrations cuz it’s been a pretty big week for me over here and I’m trying to figure out where I wanna start with this. But I think I’ll begin with, if you’ve been listening to the podcast, you know that I’ve talked about the money map.
Kind of a lot, um, because this is a tool that I literally use every single day in my business. It’s a tool that my clients use every single day in their businesses to really make high level financial decisions, price point decisions, sustainable business design decisions, like really making sure that you are protecting your time and energy while also making the money that you want to earn.
And really just building more money mastery, having good connection with your numbers, your margins, like what your business is doing, and it really helps you stay on track with what you need to be focused on any given week, any given month, any given quarter, or even a year inside your business. So the thing that I usually say about the money map is it truly is a holder of your dreams for every single year.
What you want to have happen, how you’re going to reach those dreams, and all of those beautiful things. But it’s also serving as a very powerful financial record for you. And so over the years you have multiple money maps that you can literally go back to and look at certain offers that you had ideas for, that maybe you didn’t launch for any particular reason, or you had a launch that went really, really well.
You can go back to your data and look at all of the things that were kind of happening in your business at that time. So it’s really a powerful historical document as well that is allowing you to have a home base, to really meet with your money regularly, to meet with your business regularly.
And it really is a tool that helps you build so much intimacy and good connection with what it is that you are building in the world. So I created the money map back in 2017, and back then it was like three ugly spreadsheets. I had no idea what I was sitting on at the time, but I didn’t start teaching it publicly until 2018.
So this thing has been out in the world for a good little bit and has literally reached hundreds of entrepreneurs at this point. But I have seen over and over again just the impact that it has for other people. And so I’ve known that I’ve wanted to take this tool bigger, and it’s taken a lot of time for me to figure out like where the money map actually fits in my current business model.
So if you have ever been to a live training with me, you know that I talk about the anatomy of a sustainable business, which is really pointing to your offer flow or your offer suite, which is how all of your offers fit together inside your particular business model and how people are really flowing through those offers as they flow through your body of work.
And so the money map has actually been in a couple of different spots inside my business, but it’s never really felt like it’s found its true home. And that’s been a really frustrating thing, like where does this thing fit?
Right? And so instead of trying to figure that out, I’ve really just focused on all the body of work that comes after the money map. Because what the money map is going to do is one, it’s going to help you set really anchored revenue goals, so your good, better, best goals.
And once we have those numbers in place, then it’s about building the sustainable business that can actually reach them. Right. And so for the past four years I have been building out that body of work and it has gone through several iterations at this point, like having my minimum viable curriculum and then having the 2.0 version, which was much more robust. And then the 3.0 version, which has been developed this past year that has really been distilled and refined after creating sustainable growth for myself and also working with lots of different clients. So this is a very flexible framework that can really adapt to you and how you like to walk through the world. And so I wanna mention that because one, I wanna normalize how long it takes to build out a body of work.
Like it is no small thing, my friends, like that’s four years. Three different iterations of really spending some time of clarifying this body of work, getting the methodology dialed in, building the curriculum that’s translating all of this outside of my brain into the world, right?
And so building a body of work takes a lot of time, a lot of energy, and also a lot of focus, which means that I’ve had to say no to a lot of other things in order for this body of work to get done and be built. And one of the things that I’ve had to say no to is figuring out where this money map fits.
And so as it stands right now, the money map is included in literally almost every single one of my offers because it’s just so essential to how I work. But I’ve also had the vision of this tool going much, much bigger so it can literally thousands and thousands of people. So for the past four years, , I’ve held that vision to my heart knowing that now is not the right time to take action because I’ve been building out my current body of work, right?
Not to mention, it’s like where does this thing fit in my business model? And so about a year ago, I actually started asking myself different questions of what if the money map actually doesn’t fit into my business model? Like, what if it actually wants to be its own thing? And that’s when the vision really started to come through of what that might look like.
And so I had the idea of building an app for the money map that would bring all of the wisdom and magic that this tool provides literally into the palms of thousands of entrepreneurs’ hands around the world. And so that has been a big dream, but I don’t know. Anything about building an app, like nothing.
I know nothing about the tech industry at all, but I’ve continued to just hold this dream and this vision of what this could truly be in the world. And so this week, my friends, I actually had my first strategy session with my app developer for us to start mapping out what this actually looks like, like the features that I wanna include.
The first phase of building this app, the second, the third, the timeline, the cost, and all of those amazing details. So this week feels like such a meaningful moment because I finally said yes to taking that first step, like. Things are in motion. It’s starting to become real. So I hope that this is an example that you do not need to know everything about everything to say yes to something like you can find the mentors, you can find the support, you can find the people who know the things that you do not know.
As long as you hold the vision for making something real, you have a product that you believe in and you want to see it have its fullest impact in the world, right? And so with this strategy session, we were really sitting down, we were mapping all of this out. We were talking about, you know, what does customer support look like when we have hundreds of thousands of users?
Like it became very clear to me that we are building a company to support the money map. And so, never in a million years did I think that I would be starting a tech company, but this is where we are and it feels so exciting and new and there’s so much energy moving and it just feels so good to have taken those first steps, even though there’s going to be millions and millions and millions of steps after this before this thing is like where I want it to be. But, with that, I know that we’re going to be doing a couple of rounds of funding to really raise the capital needed in order to build this app, which means that there are gonna be some very special money map opportunities in the near future for you to get access to the money map, which is already amazing on its own.
Okay? Because this tool is literally something that you’ll use for years and years and years. Like the long-term return on investment for this thing is unparalleled in the market, truly. But these special opportunities are gonna include additional bonuses and extra support that I have never offered as we really start to bring more entrepreneurs into the world of money mapping. We raised some capital to build this app so it can really have the larger impact that it is here to have.
And oh my gosh, y’all, I cannot believe that this is happening. Like I am celebrating this so big. And so this really brings us naturally into our topic for today, which is really talking about how long it actually takes to build a business, how long it takes to build your body of work, how long it can take to really find your way to find your thing. Okay. I think so many times we are inundated with these like overnight success stories online and it’s so easy to feel like that’s just like the norm, right? And so when that’s not your norm, you feel like either you are way far behind, this is taking way longer than it should be taking, or something might be wrong when that’s not really the case. Like it takes so many years of really figuring out like your sweet spot in so many different areas of business.
And you’re also figuring out yourself while you’re growing this business. Right? And so there are so many layers that are happening simultaneously. Just think about that for a second. Like as you are growing your business, you are continuing to evolve as a human. You are continuing to deepen into your values.
You are continuing to deepen into your beliefs. You are learning more things about yourself, especially around your strengths, your gifts, the things that really light you up, the things that you’re really, really good at, right? And so oftentimes when we are on this journey of entrepreneurship, we are finding out so many things about ourselves, kind of at lightning speed because there’s nothing more profound, especially from like a self-development perspective than starting a business because it’s gonna cause so many pieces of you to the table, right?
And so because we are learning about ourselves at such an intense speed, we’re having to integrate a lot of what we’re finding out into our business model, which can create pivots, right? And I don’t know about you. I am somebody who’s had a lot of different pivots in my journey of really figuring out one, who is it that I most wanna work with?
What is the work that I most wanna be doing? What is this process that I wanna be guiding people through that’s getting people consistent results? How does this work want to be delivered that’s allowing my people to feel the way that they wanna feel? That’s allowing me to feel the way that I wanna feel?
Like there’s a lot of things that we’re figuring out just on that piece alone, right? And not to mention, we’re also integrating the things that we’re learning about ourselves and how we can apply that to our business so it feels more aligned with who we are.
And one of the most challenging things about entrepreneurship is the level of agency we have to really design things to feel the way that we want them to feel.
Right? And with that level of freedom can also come a high level of responsibility that if something isn’t feeling the way you want it to, it’s kind of on you to know what’s off and seek deeper alignment. But the problem with that is alignment is always a moving target, which means you’re going to continue evolving and shifting, right in order to be aligned with who you are becoming, which also means that your business is going to keep evolving and shifting too.
And I thought for a long time that once I figured out my body of work and the results I most wanted to be helping other people achieve that my offers or business model wouldn’t be tweaking or shifting , and I have not found that to be the case. Our businesses and bodies of work are living, breathing entities.
which means some offers will be sunsetted, right? New offers will be born, we’ll likely make a pivot here or there, or maybe lots of them, which is my case as we really find our way in the world. What I wanna break down in this episode is the time and money it really takes to build something that has legs, because there have been two core gifts I’ve received from others that have served me so incredibly well, and those are these.
When I was first starting to do my initial money healing work back in 2017 where I was really starting to examine my transgenerational money story and all the things I’ve been taught to believe within my family system, within my unique social identity as someone who’s been socialized and identifies as a white woman in our patriarchal, capitalistic, white supremacist world, I worked with one of my favorite coaches of all time, who is Ellen Ercollini, who told me it takes most businesses seven years, seven years, to really get to a point where they’re bringing in consistent revenue, okay. Where they’ve learned enough skills and tools to build a business and that they’ve really settled into their body of work. And when she told me this, I was just three years into my business at that point.
And when you hear that it’s going to take on average seven years, you can take that one of two ways, right? Like one, “oh my God, I could still be four years away from really having a financially viable business”. Or two. “Wow. I only have four more years to go. I’m almost halfway there”. Right?
And so I leaned into the second, and for some reason this concept of seven years, really helped anchor my expectations into the norm. And I think this is super important. So often we see people who go to six figures in their first year, and because that’s such a dominant story, we can feel like there’s something wrong with us or we’re behind or we’re failing when “No babe”, like your journey is simply taking the normal amount of time.
Right. And I didn’t make six figures my first year. I didn’t make six figures my second year I made $96K and some change in my third year, which I count as close enough as my first six figure year because, like, give yourself some grace. Okay? I cannot tell you how many people will round down instead of round up on themselves, like always round up to the nearest five at least.
Okay? It’s not gonna hurt anybody, I promise,
So from there I made a little over $60K in my fourth year because my mental health took a beating in 2018. Okay? So I want to normalize that growth is not always this upward, never-ending trajectory.
Okay. And I actually learned so much in business earning less in 2019 about the importance of having assets and curriculum and methodology that you can lean on to generate sales. Because up to that point, I was creating every new offer from scratch, which I simply did not have the capacity to do that year when I was really recovering from everything 2018 asked of me.
Okay, so this actually also really informs the guidance I offer my clients now, like we wanna have a core process with some core curriculum, some core assets that can get your clients’ results without every single thing, having to rest on your shoulders because there’s gonna be seasons where literally you can’t have anything else resting on your shoulders, and your business is gonna have to continue to make some money.
Okay? And so in 2020, I had my first $50K launch and generated a little over $100K in revenue. And then it wasn’t until late 2021 where I had my first $250K offer that took my revenue close to $300K in 2022. Okay, so from 2015 to 2022, and it wasn’t all up, right? It was up, up, up, dip, up, up, up. Okay.
So from 2015 to 2022, 7 full years, okay? And I cannot tell you how much that timeline has helped me anchor my expectations for myself, and more importantly, how much it helped me combat the comparison to all those overnight success stories.
Who, by the way, who even knows how many of those are real to begin with, right? Like anyone can say they’re a six figure business, multiple six figure business, or even seven figure business on the internet. Okay? Like there’s, there’s no accreditation there whatsoever. So after working with so many clients at this point, there are so many people who are year five, year six, even year 10, who are still working towards their first six figure year.
And what I have found over and over again is it’s these experienced entrepreneurs who have such a potent foundation to double or triple their revenue super quickly when we start structuring their body of work into a sustainable business model, because they’ve learned so much strategy at this point.
They’ve invested so much in themselves. They’ve really cultivated a really strong entrepreneurial mindset and have developed so many beautiful skills along their journey. They simply haven’t had the offers or the clarity around like their body of work that’s super integrated to everything they bring to the world.
To really leverage all of that strategy and that makes all the difference. So if you’re still chugging along over there, working towards your first six figure year, know it can take on average seven years to really get some things moving over there. Okay? Which also means it might take longer, right? In some cases, seven is the average.
The thing that can speed this up though, is the types of investments you make to learn the things you need to learn by the right people. And I credit a lot of my success to my investments, but the thing I wish I would have known going into business is that you can expect to invest at least $100K to build a solid business foundation, a hundred thousand dollars.
Okay? And if I had known that going in, I would’ve taken that $100K and really sat down with the types of investments I needed to make when I needed to make them, and really start allocating that cash to get the highest possible return. This is important for several reasons. One, when you have the mindset of investing a hundred thousand dollars, it creates an anchor point for the way you perceive certain price points.
Okay? So for instance, a $10K investment might feel like a super big deal, but in comparison of a hundred thousand dollars, that’s really only a tenth of the original funding of your business, right? So it can put some things in perspective. If I’m making an investment of $50K, for instance, that’s gonna be half of that investment and I’ll be damn sure to make that investment wisely.
Right? I think so many of us get so hard on ourselves about having credit cards in those first seven to 10 years in business. When you look outside this industry, it’s 100% normal for companies to have to have outside funding of some sort to get off the ground. Like I saw an article about Victoria Beckham the other day about her clothing line with her goal being to simply break even like over the next few years and she’s running a multi-million dollar deficit and her line is perceived as super viable and successful. Okay. Not to mention we would never dream of going to college and doing it for free. I mean, maybe if you live outside the US or college is in fact free , but I digress. It’s the same with business.
We have to invest in our knowledge. We have to invest in our education, and if you knew you were going to invest a total of $100K on average to build a solid foundation, maybe you allocate $25K of that in one year, maybe $15K, another maybe $10K another year, and so on, right? I’m so big on having an investment allocation to get the support you need. And if you don’t have that cash laying around, which most people don’t, you’re going to have loans, you’re going to have credit. Like we have to stop shaming ourselves for getting the capital we need when we’re not normal consumers, we’re entrepreneurs. Okay, where capital is leverage.
Now, I am not encouraging you to back up credit cards and sell your car to invest in a coach, like absolutely not. But I want to normalize the idea of investing on a credit card and allowing your business to pay that back over the next year or two. Like it can take years and years and years before a business can be a cash only business.
And the best thing I ever did for myself was shifting the way I think about debt and not letting it feel like it had its hands around my neck, which it did for a very, very long time. Mostly from my transgenerational money story. Okay. Like debt was seen as terrible, like that was the last place that you wanted to be.
Okay. And so reshaping the way that I think about debt has been such a profound part of my money healing journey, and I can’t tell you how many clients money maps I’ve jumped into who are carrying credit card debt and the level of shame they feel around it. Or at the very least, some level of guilt.
Like of course you have credit card debt, your business is learning how to fund itself, and that takes some time to build up those cash reserves, right? So all in all, when we think about how much money it’s actually going to take, I think it can be such a powerful anchor. You’ll continue to have investments after that $100K, right?
But your business will hopefully be able to fund those in cash at that point, and maybe not. Like I know some entrepreneurs who don’t use any of their own money at all. Like it’s a completely nuanced conversation that I don’t think is spoken to nearly enough in our industry. So the things I wanted to speak to in this episode is the time it can take to really build a business and have clarity on your body of work.
There are going to be so many pivots as you figure those things out. Who you most wanna work with, the work you most want to be doing, the process you’re guiding people through, how to get your people the best possible results, how your work wants to be delivered that allows you to stand in your strengths and gifts, and how to design your business around the way you really like to walk through the world.
That’s while you’re also learning about yourself at hyper speed and integrating what you’re learning into these pivots. Right? And trust me, we’ll have a whole episode simply normalizing business pivots, especially when to make them, why to make them, special considerations because pivots can usher in a whole lot more work if you don’t play the tape all the way through.
Okay, so I know that’s gonna be a great episode, but I also wanna normalize how much we can truly invest in our education to build a solid foundation. And listen, if you’ve invested over $100K at this point and you’re still not at that place, that’s okay. What I would advise is to set a certain amount you want to invest from here.
Even having that number in mind will help you practice a lot more discernment on how that money should best be invested and the type of ROI you’re really looking for. Okay. If the concept of carrying debt, which in my mind is really your own capital, it’s giving you the feels, really feel into that, whose story is that?
One of the most profound questions Ellen asked me when we were doing money healing work was to imagine my debt and I were in a picture together. I was standing there with the people I loved, and debt was in the background. What was debt doing? And for some reason on that particular day, I didn’t see debt with its hands around my neck.
I saw it in the background celebrating the role it had in my life up to this point, and all the things it had allowed me to do. The support it had helped me call in, the amazing mentors it had brought into my life, the experiences it had given me to help me get where I needed to go. Debt was proud of being able to support me, and it changed my view of it forever.
I’m still incredibly mindful of how much I invest and what I invest in. There have been worthwhile investments and ones I probably shouldn’t have made for a variety of reasons, like not truly being ready for an investment or having the foundation in place to really leverage the wisdom, it being the wrong strategy for how I like to walk through the world, which I literally could not have known beforehand. Right?
Like we learn through every single investment. Every single one. And what I know to be true is I’m all in for the wisdom I’ll gain each time knowing no investment is gonna be perfect and that my return might take some time than I originally envisioned. But your journey is gonna take the amount of time it takes. And just because it’s taking a while, it doesn’t mean that anything is wrong. It means that you’re building something big, okay?
And you are integrating a lot as you’re doing it. That is no small thing. So be present with the idea that big things like a business and your body of work aren’t going to be built overnight, nor will they be built all on your own. Get the support, get the mentorship, invest in your people wisely. If an investment doesn’t pan out, use that wisdom the next time.
We are all learning as we go, my friends. So if this episode was helpful, I hope you’ll share it with someone you know, and I’m always appreciative of review, support the show. Please send me some love on iTunes. It’s so helpful for other people finding this conversation.
And until next time, here’s to the courage to keep going even when things feel uncertain. Trusting, knowing, believing that the next right step is always on its way.
See you soon.
When faced with an unexpected roadblock in business that left a lot of things to be determined, the TBD podcast was born! TBD is an honest conversation for brilliant coaches, consultants, helpers, and healers doing the sacred work of scaling their impact and bringing their full magic to the world.
Business strategist & former psychotherapist, Megan Hale, combines her intuitive wisdom with business acumen to navigate the highs & lows of building your body of work with the most sustainable business that supports it.
If you’re here to build a multiple 6-figure business that centers your wellbeing, vision, & values and cultivate that dig-deep bravado for all the twists & turns along the way, you’re in the right place!
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