From time to time I like to share with you my notes & quotes from books I’ve inhaled. Like Cliff’s Notes, but more Leonie’s Notes, so way more rainbowy & unicorns!
Some previous book notes I’ve shared:
- Getting Things Done
- The Millionaire Booklet
- Atomic Habits
- Billionaire In Training
- Raising Readers
- Order from Chaos
This year I’m committing to reading 50 non-fiction books. Usually I read between 100-400 books a year anyway, but I’ve noticed I’ve been reading a lot more fiction lately. Time to get some more nutrient-dense non-fiction in!
Clare is an Australian-based profit coach with a background in Accounting.
I found this book a really useful primer about creating and maintaining profit in your business.
Leonie’s Notes on Intentional Profit ✍️
- “I’ve seen people talk about “making a million” or their “million dollar business” and for me – being the accountant that I am – I can’t help but look at other income figures they have shared… The scary thing about this is that many… people don’t know that they’re underwater financially. They’re so busy focusing on the sales and turnover that they’re not paying attention to the running costs and the money flowing out. They’re clouded by the noise of the “success” they’re having, and they’re not being intentional when monitoring the money they’re spending in order to generate that success.”
- “If your business makes a profit, you can either
- Pay yourself a wage (and pay income tax)
- Distribute the money to yourself some other way such as dividends (and pay income tax)
- Retain the profit in the company (and pay company tax).”
- “Focussing on just the sales figure can be inaccurate and misleading, especially to you, the business owner. Getting clear on your profitability is the secret to building on it and increasing your success.”
- “If you have a spending block, this might look like a fear of investing into the business. For example, not hiring a new team member, or joining a course that could help you with your business. In your personal life, you might scrimp in certain areas. For example, you might feel really uncomfortable buying nice linen or towels. This block can be really unhelpful where it holds you back from growth in your business.”
Leonie: This set off so many light bulbs for me. I definitely can have a spending block – I’m what Denise Duffield-Thomas calls an Accumulator Archetype. Sometimes I can get so focussed on having very high profit margins that I don’t make investments that would help create even more profit. Definitely something for me to work on!
- “Someone with a spending block might say: “I can absolutely double my sales, without investing a cent into coaching, marketing or building a team.”
Leonie: This made me cackle. I definitely can have this perspective!
“If you don’t invest in yourself and your business, it’s almost impossible to level up. You can’t make big, bold strides forward in what you’re trying to achieve if you’re playing it safe and sticking well within “known” parameters.”
- “Think about a huge, successful company or business owner who you admire… Do you think they broke through new boundaries, created new and innovative ways of doing things and achieved massive, unthinkable goals because they continued to do things they way they’d always been done?”
- “One of the reasons why people succeed in life is because they don’t play it safe. They dream big. They imagine, plan and strategise, and they take calculated risks. And none of this happens without an investment: an investment of time, energy, money, planning and more.”
- “If you’re having a slow month client-wise, you’ll have plenty of time to work on your mindset and the strategic activities and marketing you need to get business booming again!”‘
On Clare Realising She Needed To Invest More In Her Business
“Accountant Clare kept her costs lean and her profit high. I ticked along like this for a while. Business was good. But then something happened. I started to notice a few other coaches who had started their business at the same time as me talking about their results. And they weren’t playing around doing $5k – $10k months. They were making multiple six figure revenue – and even shooting for the seven figure mark.
I started to wonder – what were they doing differently to me? I took off on a snooping mission and noticed they were hiring expensive coaches. They were joining masterminds. They were attending conferences in America. They were creating content continually and had podcasts and fancy websites and flashy branding.
I had a big ‘aha’ moment. I could either keep playing it safe and keep achieving the same results – results that were good but not extraordinary – or I could put my big girl pants on and spend some money with absolutely no guarantee that it would pay off. But with the possibility that it could pay off, big-time… I knew I wanted big things (so) lean, in, I did.
Some of my investments were incredible game changers for me and my business’ growth trajectory. I joined a mastermind, and within a few months of joining, there was a massive shift, and I almost double my revenue overnight.
Other investments were slow burners. And some were downright duds.
But every time I leant in, I either learnt a valuable lesson (don’t do that again!) or had a big up level. What shifted in the most meaningful way was that regardless of the outcome, there was momentum, and it was forward momentum.”
What if your investment doesn’t pay dividends?
- “You’re not always going to get it right. But it’s my genuine belief that every failure or misstep gets you closer to success. If you try something and you fail, at least you are moving – it’s better than staying stagnant. I’ve failed a thousand times in my business, and I know I’ll fail again in the future. You learn lessons from the loss, adapt and evolve for the future.”
- “It is very unlikely you’ll create huge, meaningful, life-changing results unless you’re willing to invest along the way.”
- “Not all investments pay off – however some of them do, big time. And you’ll never have the chance to experience massive growth and achieve your dreams if you don’t try.”
- “If you notice that flicker of envy or jealousy pop up when you see what someone else is achieving, creating or doing with their life, ask yourself: does what they have really excite you on a soul level?”
“If your money plan isn’t on track, that’s okay. That doesn’t mean you have failed. It does mean you have new information to work with, and you can readjust your goals, spending and plans accordingly.”
- “Sometimes you might choose to intentionally run your business at a short term loss while you invest in growth and scale. For example, in 2021, my business was still quite profitable but my profit margin was lower than usual as I intentionally invested heavily back into the business.
These investments included a high-end business coach, full new branding and website, and researching, writing and publishing this book. They weren’t decisions I made on a whim; they were strategic decisions made about a short term investment that would deliver results over the long term.”
On intentional marketing
“The more consistent I am with my marketing, the more consistent my results are.”
- “Marketing is the backbone of your business growth. Even the biggest most well known brands in the world such as McDonalds, Coca-Cola and Apple, still invest into marketing consistently. Why? Because you can’t attract new customers and continue to engage with and retain your existing brand and clientele if they don’t know what you do and how you can help them.”
- “There is no one marketing strategy that is right for every business.”
- “It’s important that you have several ways for finding new clients. As a guide, I’d recommend for a small business to have (at least) five top-of-funnel marketing activities they regularly undertake.“
- I love to share my clients’ wins and achievements. Sharing the transformations, stories and experiences of your clients can be a powerful way of connecting and adding value without selling.
Non-linear business growth
- “I want to set the record straight on… the concept that growth needs to be linear. Newsflash: growth isn’t a straight line upwards. Businesses move in cycles. It is completely normal to have periods of stagnation or even contracting profits as your business grows.”
- “We have a misconception… that our business needs to grow month on month and year on year and if that’s not happening, then something is “wrong”.
- “Even in many global organisations with very high levels of income… sales and profit go up and down. Sometimes they vary wildly. This is a normal part of business. It is very rare to go up and up and up without some periods of stagnation or even going backwards. And depending on where you are in your business journey, sometimes you have to slow down in order to prepare to go to a new level.”
Issues hiring staff
- “I’ve saved this one for last because this is the big one. Hiring staff can be a minefield, for so many different reasons.”
Leonie says: LOLZ. OH GOD DONT I KNOW. Hiring a large team and also the wrong people has been the cause of 99% of all my business stress and distress. It scarred me so much that 7 years ago I right-sized my business and streamlined it back to one VA, and I’ve kept it that way all this time. It’s only in the last year that I’ve healed enough to possibly look at having more!
- “The biggest pain point for most business owners is finding the right fit and then ensuring that they’re managing the person they do hire so they’re getting the most out of them. The fear of getting this wrong can keep people stuck and prevent them from taking action, which means they don’t have the support staff they need to grow and scale the way they want to.”
Leonie: OOOOOH IT’S NOT JUST ME THANK GODDDDDD
- “Hire slowly. Don’t rush in. Check their references – actually call them, don’t just rely on written testimonials. Start with a trial and include a probation period. Schedule regular check-ins so you can both give feedback about how the role is going. DO ALL OF IT. Don’t skip any step. The easiest way to cause issues is to fast-track this process, so don’t be tempted to go for the quick solution.”
- “Fire quickly. If you don’t see a clear path forward, rip the bandaid off sooner rather than later. You’ve intentionally hired this person to make your life easier, so if that’s not the reality of the situation, it’s time to move them on.”
- “Have direct conversations. It’s actually kinder to give people clear feedback and expectations than to pretend everything is fine.”
“All problems – no matter how big or insurmountable they seem – have a solution.”
- “When you develop your “resilience muscles” by facing each challenge head on, recognising the core of the issue, then developing a solution, you begin to understand that anything that doesn’t break you truly does make you stronger. Hopefully, you take the loss, learn the lesson and move on a little more armed and prepared for what comes next.”
Hope you found that useful, my loves. I figured typing this up and illustrating part of it would make it stick even more in my brain. Had such great insights into where I need to focus my growth over the next year. I so appreciate Clare’s pragmatic accounting approach to expansion!
To more intentional profit for us all!
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