February 2015 - Sarah-Jane Diamond
Most people who have never had businesses of their own think that owning a business automatically means you have dough.
“Sure, you can get the check because you can just write if off.”
Do these people understand that having a business is the most delicate balancing act of cash management that anyone can likely undertake? That the cash we all have is as precious as air itself and that writing things off does not mean free money?
When I was at MBA school all of these professors would say ‘cash is king’ as religiously as I tell my children to wash their hands…..consistently and with purpose.
I was paying attention at school but never really understood the seriousness of this message until cash in my first business became more than king….it became air….without it we were going to die.
I remember going in to my amazing accountant and saying “This year end looks awesome! We made some good money, eh? But, where is all the cash?”. She replied “Well, those financial statements who what we did but there is no cash, and actually we need $600,000 by Friday.”
WTF was an understatement.
I knew how to read financial statements and my MBA brain got too caught up in what they read to be paying attention to the cash…..and truthfully I knew the cash was running out and I was kind of avoiding asking the question because I did not want to address it. Ignorance is bliss – or so they say. Until ignorance takes the shape of a six figure number and then ignorance made me sick to my stomach and run for the closest waste paper basket.
Cash is king.
Cash can also be air.
So, here is what I know from learning things the hard way:
- Always, always, always know how much cash you have in your account.
- Take that cash in your account number and subtract all of the payments you have in the mail. That is cash or cheques which are in envelopes travelling to their rightful owners by way of a lovely post man or mistress.
- Figure out your ‘burn rate’ – this is how much money it costs you to keep your business running a month. Keep this number as close to low as you can. Map out your expenses on a calendar.
- Never assume you are going to get paid when you think you will – add at least a two week buffer for receipt of earned revenue.
- Invest interest free when you can in building your business. Try and grow organically when possible.
- If you must leverage (borrow), work with a lender where you can speak face to face with the decision maker on your file. You might need to rely on a good relationship one day.
- Ask for terms on everything. Stretch your money out to build your business, hold on to it for as long as you can.
- Ask for pre-payment and retainers whenever you can. Use client money to build your business.
- Balance Sheets (B/S) stand for ‘bull sh*t’ when you are in a cash crunch. Income statements (I/S) are called ‘imaginary statistics’ when the cash runs out. Stop listening to your financial statements alone to measure your business health – look to your cash as well and often.
- Cash is like a tide – it goes out and in and out and in…..do not panic when it is out, but understand well how and when it is coming back in and always be conservative. It might be a full moon kind of month when forces outside of your control keep the flow out for longer than usual.
I am working on structure for the financial secrets component of my course right now, so I could not help but share a few of my tips with you now, before the course launches in September.
Cash is something we seldom talk about because it is so personal and a topic so close to the heart of almost every entrepreneur who knows all too well the feeling that overcomes when you are short on cash…..I would never wish this feeling on anyone. Well, there is this one guy…but aside from him, no one (I’ll tell you that story another time when I talk about partnerships).
The truth is that when we are worried about the cash position of our business we are not working on our business – we are distracted and acting from a place of lacking and fear and this is never, ever good.
It is true that when I am in the flow of my work, my business and what I do to add value to people’s lives or my business, then the cash flows too. When I am in fear and forced ignorance, nothing works nearly as well and the flow stops altogether.
So, if you are ignoring your finances – this is permission to be fearful and not want to do something about it but to pull up your socks and get to the truth of it. Trust me, you and your business will be better for it no matter what you find.
With trust and truth,
What if there is no such thing as original by design!
Is the pursuit to be original a lie?
That was a harsh subject line.
I felt MYSELF bristle as I wrote it.
The truth is, I’m writing this email just as much for myself as I am for anyone else who needs to read it right now. So please know…this little Diamond truth bomb of tough love is meant with the best of intentions.
One of my talents as creator/alchemist/queen archetype blend is my shape shifting capacity to see things from every persecutive and benefit from each facet. I know it can be rather contradictory and confusing for some, so bear with me here please 🙂
If you’re frustrated because you haven’t found your ‘Diamond genius zone’ yet, I have something to ask you:
What if “Originality” is a paradox.
If we have any hope of being original, we must first give up any hope of being original.
I believe ( my interesting point of view) is that this is one of those things that we accept at face value, but insist on running round like crazed professors all the same…scrambling to figure out what makes us unequivocally different from everyone else.
We think we’ll find our ‘originality’ in our brands – as if there is some kind of magic formula that exists out there somewhere, that will make us appear revolutionary…even if really, we know we’re not.
This is fuel for the ‘I’m not expert enough’ curse. We know, deep down, that our ideas aren’t really all that original. We know that what we have to say has been said before. We know that there are already other people out there sharing OUR message – and doing it ten times better, with ten times a bigger audience.
It feels like a pretty hopeless situation.
So…we pin our hopes on the only thing we have: our “brand” – what we star for, our message and contribution. We set off in pursuit of making ourselves look – and sound – different.
Sometimes, we feel so desperate we’ll try anything to appear different, spending money we don’t have on a logo or website.
When we do create a ‘brand’, there is usually a disconnect. We feel…disconnected. From our work. From our business. From who we are.
But the issue is not the colours, or the fonts, or the photography.
The issue is that we haven’t yet accepted the following truth:
Which part of this diamond ray, this red thread connection, are you holding that is unique to you?
It’s aaaaaallll been done before.
What we need is not to be more original – we just need to get over ourselves, and get on with what we need to do.
Every time we feel comparison it is creeping in, we have to put the blinkers on. Focus on what is in front of us, safe in the knowledge that that person we’re comparing ourselves to? They’re not original, either.
Stressing about being ‘the original’ is steeped in lack and fear, and creativity has no chance of survival in such an environment.
The ONLY way your true originality will shine is when you stop looking for it.
And get over yourself.
The flip side of this is just as insane – we hop on to the latest MLM or collective – someone else’s programs, a franchise – we pay for licensing fees and give up our own Diamond shine for the illusion of “safety in numbers”. We want to belong and the allure of a perceived successful brand is often not what it seems, We forget who we are and what we are here to contribute as only we can. we lose our shine and become robots, little servants and workers and wonder where the joy has gone.
I know because I have been there – ignoring the red flags and unauthentic regurgitating of someone else’s words and beliefs and wonder what the heck just happened to your slice of the proverbial pot of gold.
In this 8 energy of the Wood sheep you can have a community that grows with you and wants you to succeed, so be aware of where you have given up yourself and have let yourself succumb to unhealthy co dependence – “in the sheep following the sheep zombie state” just to fit in !!
This sheep is social and functions best with support- so the year is massively about family, friends, colleagues, community, collaboration and not going it alone.
Get Your Flock On To Get Your Gift Out…Can you imagine one of these little fluffy guys above doing great by himself? I don’t think so! We need a flock, a herd….This Year even loners will find support and companionship on their path 🙂 Good news for us slightly introverted hermits …
Watch out for the shadow side of this and be mindful of creating unhealthy dependencies. If you find you are following a leader, when really you need to be listening to your own inner voice, or if your self esteem is low and you become overly dependent, or if you’re always finding your energy pulled in loads of ways and never for YOU ….then this is the year to look deeper into what is behind that and truly shine – you way.
(And hire a decent mentor or therapies – get to work on releasing and understanding that stuff so you can be free to be fully in your awesomeness)
and above all be brilliant and claim your Diamond genius zone now!
With heaps of gratitude to my amazing “inspiration” colleague and guide Cerries atwww.thealchemystudy.com
As solopreneurs, we crave clarity on the following three questions:
The truth is, gaining clarity on these three questions is actually very simple…and so is the reason they seem so complicated:
We look outside of ourselves for the answers.
The way that you answer these questions – and the level of authenticity in your responses – forms the basis of your business, your brand…and your life.
If you have not picked up your FREE 4 part video training series “The 4 C’s to Diamond wealth Mastery and comprehensive workbook, to guide and support you, you can pick it up here with all my love
I want you to succeed and live your Diamond class life being you!
What are you waiting for?
Have you had been able to make some time for yourself?
“I loved the exercise of the ball of red thread illustrating the unity & connectedness of the tribe and that all I have to do is hold and nurture my pice.Realising that I only have to be in charge of my own space or my part of life – that for me carried a huge comfort and relief. That thread exercise resonated with me to know the privilege and honour that I matter, that I am a unique part of something greater and more powerful because I am more than enough space. I love I love I love that!”
Encountering our ego defenses, rage, anxiety, underlying hurt, shame, and grief is never easy. Seeing ourselves as we really are takes courage—doing transformational work consistently is a real test of our true courage.My intention with this class through the medium of paint and the energy behind the words was so expansive and once relaxed in to a dance of the masculine and feminine the magic bubbled like a warm, tender kiss to the surface.
I will let her fill you in with all the juicy details of how this process created an energetic flow without force or effort when she is ready !
I noticed it myself over the past few weeks – a niggle here, a procrastination there, a pull and tug dance that was driving me crazy and had me doubting my decision to take a huge leap outside of my comfort zone and explore new opportunities in the States for 3 months – ( not that power cuts and fired by lightening bolt adsl modems are my comfort zone but they are what I know have enabled my poor girl to be right many times!!)
How can I leave my Thalia – she is only 8, amplified by my mother telling me how terrible I am to go away when she needs me for such a long time.
How could I spend all that money on flights when the house was needing some attention and we really need a generator – the future looks pretty dark all round in South Africa right now and on and on it went. Those inner mean, poor girls having a good go when I had demanded change and now….
It threw me into old defensive patterns of justifying – resisting and reacting, aligning and agreeing until my wealthy woman reminded me that this was good old resistance trying to stop me from my next up level! It was all just an interesting point of view.
I know you know what I am talking about….. that insidious self sabotage, the doubt, the old fears creeping back in to say “Who do you think you are? You can’t do that!”
When you know you set out to do something but every inch of your body and mind is giving you the reasons why you shouldn’t. I have seen my most brilliant Facet VIP’s wobble a bit, looking for their old safety zones too. That is why accountability and support from a mentor, a friend, a mastermind group who can hold you, support you and guide you back to your big vision is so important.
I thank myself and the Universe everyday for gifting myself a team of support and my own mentors to call my crap and remind me what I am here to contribute on a much greater scale that just for me!
You feel connected with your physical body & good about yourself
or you don’t know how to honour your time as valuable …..
If you need to move through the blocks that are holding you back and just cannot do it on your own – you don’t have to. Tug on that ball of red thread and just ask.
I have been assisting thousands of women and some incredible men over the past 15 years break through their inner demons, cut their old ties with their money demons, so that they can claim their Diamond Brilliance with confidence, love, and freedom to thrive.
I would be happy to share this with you too!
I have a few CLARITY breakthrough sessions available for February, so if you would like to claim one please go to www.sarahjanediamond.com and book a 45 minute, complimentary Skype session.There are also 2 spots left for FACET – 6 month mastery private mentoring available so if you would like to know if this is a match for you to up level your life and business and break through your glass ceiling, call me now.
I don’t know if you remember Darla De Doux, as one of my amazing heart based guest speakers from the Courageous, Confident, Inspired Woman Summit last year?
Darla is a truth telling change agent of magnitude and is my guest blogger for today.
She so eloquently addresses the lies we tell ourselves about the not so “happy” side of being in the Human potential business. This topic is so pertinent to this time of the year where many who started out the year focused, inspired and committed to up level their business often fall off the rails. This is exactly why it is so important to have a mentor or coach to support and guide you through the wobbles and resistance and focused on your big vision.
I hate to go here in today’s article… I really do. I prefer to keep things positive, and I always like to talk about upside potential and possibility. But I’m also committed to keeping it real. And perhaps my straight talk will free some of you.
2014 was tough for me. I expanded in many ways, and I failed more than I’ve ever failed before.
I was talking with a dear friend of mine who I hadn’t talked with in awhile. She’s a new entrepreneur, and we were exchanging stories. She was asking me about my latest business experiences, and I confided how much challenge I faced last year. And that the challenge was mostly on the inside.
She is a great coach, and together we explored why, even though I’m on the other side of the ‘tough stuff’ for the time being, it was still bothering me. And here’s what I came up with. Even though I know better and even though I teach other people to let go of this, I was afraid that people would find out about my ‘failures.’
Now I have to preface this with a statement that I don’t actually believe in failures. Everything is for the highest good. Everything. But it sure felt like I failed.
So how did I fail?
I served more clients in my business in 2014 than ever before. I created a new program that allowed me to reach more people. I hosted a larger event, and people at that event decided they wanted to coach with me. They got to know me, but I didn’t get to intimately know them before we started our work together. Some were amazingly committed. Some have grown and shifted by leaps and bounds and their life will never be the same.
And some weren’t and didn’t.
Some lacked integrity around money and didn’t take their commitment seriously. Some were afraid to have the real conversations they needed to have with themselves or the people in their lives, making it impossible for them to step into their aligned business. Some refused to ask for and receive help, or take the action they needed to take to become visible.
And it broke… my… heart…
I am someone who sees the full potential of someone unfold before me intuitively almost immediately when I meet them. And I’ve learned that the art of guiding people as a coach is to really understand which pieces of their greatness they are willing and able to see and receive, and help them to discover their Truth. We can’t make someone see what they aren’t ready for. No one can. You can lead a horse to water as they say…
I share this with you because here’s what I want you to know. You will work with people that you love, respect, and admire, and you will watch them make the baffling decision not to use you to your fullest and not to get the result that you can so easily see they could get if they were willing.
That’s not about you, that’s about them. And you can’t focus on them. You’ve got to focus on the EVEN GREATER percent that win. I had more awesome stories of victory last year than ever before as well. And you do too.
Here are a few ‘failure’ tips for you:
- Keep your focus on those who are winning. We get what we look for – watch the ones who are winning. Speak to, teach to, and develop offerings for those people.
- Give people back their power. If you feel you can make someone succeed, you’re taking their power away – give it back to them and allow them to choose freely whether to win or lose.
- Screen high-level clients for ideal fit. Ideally you’ve got your business set up such that you have different levels offerings at different commitment levels, and as someone works their way up with you, you have a chance to screen them. If not, be sure you have a checklist or guidelines for how to recognize an ideal client and how to identify one that is not likely completely value your guidance.
- Accept your limitations. This is one area where I say embrace your limits. If you had super-human vision you may be able to see that someone is not as committed as they proclaim to be, but there will always be people who are highly skilled at ‘presenting well.’ They will sound exactly like your ideal client, but they don’t have the real experience or desire to back it up. Cut yourself some slack. You probably see the good in people, and I know you weren’t trying to sell someone something they didn’t need. Sometimes it’s just tricky.
- Have good contracts. Hold people to what they said they would do. I have to believe that reason people don’t take their word seriously is that too many people have let them off the hook in the past. Be crystal clear in your contracts about how you work, and what is your client’s responsibility.
- Trust all that unfolded is for good. Just because someone may not have stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park when they worked with you, it doesn’t mean you didn’t serve your divine purpose in their life. Maybe they needed someone to hold them accountable to their word. Maybe they needed the experience of being “fired” by you as a client to help them wake up. Maybe they will come back around to get it complete. I once had a client who wanted to shrink back and disappear, and not honor her payment. I held her to it. It took her some time to complete it. Later she came back to me and let me know that my holding her to that agreement forever changed her business. All is unfolding perfectly, including the ‘failures.’
- Celebrate failure because it means you took action. Enough said.
I’ve never taken a program that ‘didn’t work for me.’ EVER. I always get the juice out of everything I do. There is always learning and growth, and I always play full out as if all of my skin is in the game. And that is why I am successful. That is the type of client YOU want to look for.
One of the greatest benefits of last year for me has been recognizing exactly which clients I don’t want in my programs, and looking at the clients I do have and knowing that their level of integrity will absolutely ensure their ultimate success.
The bigger you play, the more you’ll encounter people who are playing small. And you’ll want to try to help them, but really you want to let them go, and trust that your big players are right around the corner and waiting for you.
And I GUARANTEE that the people in your industry with tons of success stories are no different than me, or you. They’ve got as many ‘failures’ and more. I know because I’m friends with them and I hear their stories too! And I know because sadly I’ve learned the hard way about people. They aren’t all like us. They don’t all walk in truth, and they don’t all always have the courage to step through fear to become who they could be.
Go ahead and let your heart break just a little. And then go ahead and let yourself off the hook. Focus on those that win, and design your next campaign to speak right to the heart of that person.
Thank you Darla – you rock a world where women empower and support and celebrate each other!!
“Where are you not willing to hold your clients accountable in tough, loving support when they
cannot be there for themselves?”
Thank you Darla – you rock a world where women empower and support and celebrate each other!!