Can Money Buy Happiness?

Can Money Buy Happiness?

Can money buy happiness? 

Will hitting a certain salary level, receiving a promotion, or reaching “millionaire” status make you happy?

In the entrepreneurial world, there are lots of opposing viewpoints on whether money can truly bring people happiness. 

Since our first year of marriage, Brandon and I have set and achieved some pretty big financial goals. We’ve been blessed with opportunities, worked incredibly hard and made some wise decisions along the way. But has making more money made us happier?

Eight years ago, Brandon and I lived in a 500 square foot apartment, had significant student loan debt and made minimum wage working 70 hours per week. We had very little money in the bank.

And we were happy.

Our first year of marriage was full of adventure, new friendships, fun employment opportunities and contentment.

Since then, we’ve been able to pay off our school loans, are building our second dream home, have gone on several family vacations and have been able to make some big purchases on items we’ve really wanted.

And we are happy.

….just as happy as we were in the 500 sq ft. apartment.

When asked, “Can money buy you happiness,” successful entrepreneur Marc Cuban responded:

“It’s creating a goal for yourself and accomplishing a goal and setting a dream, and living that dream through your effort that can make you feel a whole lot better about yourself [and happy].” He says. “It worked for me…”

I love this quote from Marc Cuban and would add the following to where I’ve landed on the money and happiness issue: “Inspiring and empowering other women to set and accomplish goals and fulfill their dreams, in addition to setting and accomplishing my personal goals, while staying balanced with family and career, is what truly makes me happy.”

Happiness comes in the form of living out your God given purpose with passion, intention and balance.

Through the years, I’ve discovered what makes me ‘happy’ is empowering women to do what inspires them. As a business coach, nothing gives me more joy, satisfaction, and happiness than watching another woman build a successful business.

Want to know what else makes me happy? A sense of balance.

I am no stranger to hard work, and will never preach a 40 hour work week. Most entrepreneurs work more than 40 hours a week, hustling to make things happen. However, there is no monetary value I could ever put on having the flexibility I have to work from anywhere and schedule things around the needs of my family. I love being able to go to Emma’s class to read in the middle of the day. I love creating workouts by the pool. I love being able to work from home, on my own terms. Having some balance fuels the flames of happiness in my life, in a big way.

Working excessive hours is an expense I can no longer afford. My focus is now on building passive or scalable income streams that allow me to get more bang for my buck in terms of time investment. I’ve also learned that if I am working in alignment with my core values and toward a purpose greater than my own wealth, happiness always follows. 

I am a firm believer in the fact that money doesn’t buy happiness…because I had happiness long before I had money. Living a life of balance and purpose though…that’s where happiness is easily found. 

The Realities of Burnout and Avoiding Fatigue

The Realities of Burnout and Avoiding Fatigue

I am burned out. 

This often happens to me after the first quarter of each year when the health and wellness industry is booming. I hustle hard during that quarter and then crash just a little. 

Burnout can leave you feeling depleted, stressed and overwhelmed. Sherrie Bourg Carter says it perfectly: “Burnout is a cunning thief that robs the world of its best and its brightest by feeding on their energy, enthusiasm, and passion, transforming these positive qualities into exhaustion, frustration, and disillusionment. But the good news is that burnout is not a terminal condition.”

If you are feeling this way, my friend, you are not alone. We all go through this at some point or another on this entrepreneurial journey. So, when you find yourself at the intersection of burned out and giving up, here are a few tips to keep you moving forward. 

Revisit Your Why

When burnout starts to creep up on you, it’s so important you revisit your why. Going back to your purpose is critical to push through and find a better way.  Your why can help you re-prioritize, re-envision, and refocus when things get off track. So, be sure to keep your why in front of you and reference it often. 

Delegate

Delegation can be scary because in some ways you are giving up control…and let’s be honest, most of us entrepreneurial types don’t like to give up control. However, I have long said, “you can have control or you can have growth, but you can’t have both.” If you are holding on to the puppet strings too tightly, your hands will get tired. You’ve got to loosen your grip a little every now and then. 

A couple of tips for delegating:

  • Make a list of everything you hate doing and figure out a way to have someone else do those things for you. Obviously, we can’t do this with everything, but it will give you a starting point!
  • Focus on the essentials. We often get burned out because we are doing too many things that are truly not necessary. Cut out anything that isn’t essential. 
  • Build a strong team. You will probably have to invest in a team to grow your business. Find the right people and then empower them to do their thing.

Take Daily Breaks

You need to give yourself a few mental breaks each day, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. Go outside and get some vitamin D. Take a quick walk around the office. Do a quick 10 minute yoga video. Spend 20 minutes reading a book…for fun. Turn on some music and dance with one of your kids. Relax and deep breathe for at least 10 minutes each day. This honestly will do wonders to keep you from burning out. 

Practice Daily Gratitude

Mindset is truly a game changer. When you are positive, focused and living out of an abundance mindset, you are able to accomplish so much more. Practicing gratitude is a simple way to get your mindset back on a positive track. It reminds you that nothing is truly as urgent as it seems and that there is so much good in your life. I try to come up with 2-3 things I am grateful for each day. Practice this for a couple of weeks and I guarantee you will see your mindset shift and the fog of burnout fade.

Start Something New and Challenge Yourself

Boredom can lead to burnout quickly. When you are running your own business, it is important to shake things up every now and then. It’s in our nature as entrepreneurs to thrive in challenging and innovative settings. So, when you feel the burnout coming on, it’s likely time to try something new. Create a new program, launch a new course, create a new product, get a new certification…disrupt the monotony and you’ll be able to avoid those overwhelming feelings of burnout. 

 Ask for Help

If you are an online entrepreneur, it’s easy to isolate yourself. When we believe we are in this thing all alone, burnout tends to hit harder. When you are feeling overwhelmed, ask for help. Get some advice from someone you trust. Go to someone older and wiser than you and ask for some encouragement and guidance. Hire a coach and ask them to lead you in the right direction. Don’t try to do this thing alone. The entrepreneurial life is best lived in community, with lots of support. When you are feeling burned out, get help!

Life isn’t easy. Building a business isn’t easy. Even the best of us get burned out. When you hustle hard, you fizzle out quickly. Do what you can to overcome burnout and take the time you need to reset. Your health and mental well being should be a top priority for you, so try implementing a few of these tips to either avoid burnout, or fight burnout when you start to feel it coming on!

I Almost Failed Algebra 2…Twice!

I Almost Failed Algebra 2…Twice!

In high school I almost failed Algebra 2, twice. 

Seriously. 

I failed it once, took it again, worked super hard…and in April of my second year, had the exact same average I had the year before. So, I dropped the class so I wouldn’t fail it twice.

Despite my Algebra 2 struggles, I’ve been able to build more than one incredibly successful business. And, clearly, it’s not because I am the smartest girl on the block. Instead, it is because I truly know the power of a team. 

It always surprises me when clients ask me how I do it all. The truth is, I don’t do it all. In fact, so much of what actually gets done for my business is heavily reliant on the incredible team I’ve been able to build. I may not be able to solve linear equations, but I do know how to build an incredible team. Here are a few tips to building a team that make you look like the smartest girl around!

When to Grow Your Team

About 2 years ago, I knew my business was at a tipping point. I could no longer grow as a solopreneur and had to begin to consider hiring some team members. I’ve long said you can either have control, or you can have growth. I had some huge goals I wanted to meet and I knew I had to give up some control in order to see some growth. In true Amanda fashion, I didn’t just hire one team member…I hired three. 

There was definitely some fear in bringing others on. I was confident that I could grow the business, but the extra pressure of 3 more salaries weighed on me. In addition, giving up control is always a bit scary, so growing my team was not done without fear. 

When you find yourself at a tipping point with the potential for huge growth, it’s time to start considering adding team members. You don’t have to hire three at a time like I did, and you will likely have some fear in bringing someone else on. That’s okay, do it anyway. Finding the right team members will help you focus on moving your business forward, which is key to successfully growing your business. 

How to Hire a Team

Hire people who are smarter than you.

We’ve already established that I am not the smartest person in the world. And, while I have some clear strengths, I obviously have some weaknesses, too. This is why I hire people who are smarter than me and who are better than me at doing the things I either hate doing, or am terrible at. 

It is important you avoid hiring out of insecurity. If you are not okay with someone being better than you at something, then it probably isn’t the right time to hire. Again, you can either have control or growth. If you want growth, you are going to have to give up some control to your team members, which is why you are going to want to hire the very best possible team. 

This is truly how I’ve been able to build such successful businesses. My team is incredible. They are all experts at what they do. We hustle harder than any team out there. We lead the way with authority. We speak the language of excellence and confidence. My team delivers in exceptional ways every single day. That doesn’t happen by hiring people who are just okay at what they do. Hire smarter, better, more passionate than you…then let your team do their thing!

Ease into a full-time hire.

I completely understand that bringing someone on full-time can be intimidating if you’ve always worked alone. Not to mention, you can only learn so much from an interview. This is why I highly recommend you hire someone as an independent contractor for a 3 month probationary period. A probationary period will give you time to see how that person works as a part of your team, and it will also help you focus on growth so you can sustain that team member full-time.   

Use your team wisely. 

Once you hire a team, you need to fire yourself from everything that another team member can do. Your main job once your team is in place is to focus solely on the things only you can do. Don’t hire a team and then sit around doing administrative work. Delegate everything you possibly can, so that you can focus on revenue producing activities. 

Take risks.

There is absolutely some risk involved with hiring a team. There are plenty of things that can go wrong, and plenty of ways it can end up costing you money. However, when you have the right team in place, your growth will be truly exponential. There is really no better way to accelerate the growth of your business than to hire an exceptional team. This means you may have to take a few risks every now and then: hiring before you feel completely ready, or moving someone from a part-time position to a full time position. 

The entrepreneurial life is a risky one, but entrepreneurs by nature are risk takers. So, while you absolutely need to be wise, you will also need to take a few steps of faith in regards to hiring a team. 

I do not do it all. 

I am not the sharpest tool in the shed. 

But, my team is incredible. 

We all operate in the areas where we are strongest. 

We all deliver. 

We all hustle. 

We are all responsible for the growth of my businesses. 

If you are at a tipping point, it is likely time for you to consider making a hire or two. Build your team wisely and then equip them to work in their strengths. If you do that, the sky truly is the limit for you and your business. 

Balancing Your Personal and Business Finances

Balancing Your Personal and Business Finances

One of the things clients often ask me to speak about is budgeting and finances for both business and personal funds. So, here’s a peek into how we manage our finances and some tips for you to help you manage yours!

Brandon and I worked together in high school while listening to Dave Ramsey on cassette tape. As you can imagine, that had a profound impact on how we learned to handle our finances. We then worked our butts off to pay for Brandon’s last two years at a private university, while living as lean as we possibly could. 

Post college we obviously began to earn more, as we were both able to focus on our careers. However, I realized pretty quickly that while more money does not actually cause more problems, but the mismanagement of money does. 

Things were totally fine for us when we were still living lean, even though we had more money to spend. We didn’t really feel any financial pressure until we started to try and keep up with the Jones’s. That’s when things got a little more stressful and we decided to re-evaluate and do things a bit differently. 

One thing that keeps us focused financially is that Brandon checks on our financials daily. He does this for both of our businesses. He tracks everything, including our personal finances, in one place. 

Our business finances are broken down into specific revenue streams. We track the income for each revenue stream, along with the expenses for each revenue stream. This gives us our net income on a daily basis for each revenue stream in our business. (Net income = gross income-expenses)

We then take our net income and break it down further to use as our personal finances, after setting money aside for taxes and giving (we give from both the business net revenue and personal net revenue). 

Each month the specific numbers for our personal finances are different, since our net income is different month to month. However, whatever we bring in for the month, we break into the following percentages:

10% for tithing

We believe in giving on a personal level, and also give 10% each month from our business finances. It is absolutely critical you begin this practice early on in your business. It will not be easier to give when you are making more money. So, start with 10% of whatever you are making, even if it is only $10!

10% for fun money

This helps alleviate any guilt that might come with spending. It also allows us to live within our means, while still enjoying our lives. 

10% for investment

We invest mainly in IRA’s but do have some other investments. 

10% long term savings for spending

This goes towards things like a down payment on a home, a new vehicle or some of the bigger purchases we know we will eventually want to make. 

3% education for kids

This does not necessarily mean college funds since we are not certain our children will go the traditional college route. However, we do make an investment into a regular investment account that will go towards our children’s future, whatever that may look like. 

10% necessities and discretionary spending

This is self-explanatory. This money goes towards the things we need to buy each month, and any discretionary purchases we want to make!

47% additional savings

The rest of the money we bring in each month goes towards savings. 

We’ve learned that living simply to make intentional purchases later on is a less stressful way to live, instead of doing everything in our power to keep up with the Jones’s. We want to see our bottom line increase each month, not level out or decrease. This means we communicate regularly about our finances, check the numbers daily, and make intentional plans with every penny we bring in. 

To check out the specific spreadsheet we use for our finances, hop on over to my Facebook page and watch the live video!