Episode 061

61: How to Declutter Your Business to Achieve Your Income Goals in 2023

Each January, we leap into our businesses with excitement and focus, ready to take on the new year with gusto. And we should! But there’s something we have to remember to do each year in order to make sure we’re ready for the success that could come our way, and if we skip it, it’s only going to hold us back later on.

This week on the podcast, I’m talking about decluttering your business to prepare yourself for success. You can make your business more successful—and your brain a little less busy—with just a few simple steps. Going through these 5 steps and decluttering processes will change your business forever.

Join me for a look at the ways you can start decluttering your business right away, how to think about bigger picture decluttering activities, and how to keep the clutter out throughout the year. We’ll also talk about clearing out the negative and inputting the positive, which is the perfect way to begin the new year!

My Money Healing Circle begins on February 9th, 2023. I have room for eight women to come together for seven weeks to grow their business and heal their relationship with money. If you’re interested in joining the Money Healing Circle and figuring out what is getting in the way of you growing your business, send me an email!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • The five different types of decluttering for your business.
  • Why you should declutter your expenses (and how often).
  • Things you can (and should) let go of.
  • Why getting rid of limiting beliefs is so important.
  • Things to think about when raising your prices.

Resources

Read the full transcript now

You’re listening to the Mastering Money in Midlife podcast with Debbie Sassen, Episode 61.

Welcome to Mastering Money in Midlife, a podcast for midlife women in business to overcome financial anxiety and make more money, without burning out or sacrificing their families. Join Certified Life and Money Coach Debbie Sassen, as she shares practical business strategies and mindset shifts that help you dissolve the money blocks that keep you stuck in a cycle of underearning and undersaving, sabotage the growth of your business, and prevent you from building the wealth that you desire.

Hello, my friends, and welcome back to the podcast. Today, we are going to speak about decluttering your business so that you can achieve your goals in 2023.

Last week on the podcast, we spoke about goal setting from abundance. If you haven’t listened to that, I’ve had great feedback from that episode. And since we are in January, this is the time where people are setting goals and thinking about what they want to create in their business, in 2023.

I know that today is January 10, and some folks are just getting back from their holidays. Lucky you, that you got to take extra time off. I have a sneaky secret to tell you. And that is, I’m actually recording this podcast ahead of time, as I will be on vacation to attend the wedding of a family member.

And from there, we are going to be traveling in Puerto Rico, where we’re going to be doing lots of adventure activities, like hiking and ziplining, and kayaking and all sorts of fun things. It has been so long since I’ve been on holiday.

Last summer, the 2022 summer, I was at a business conference. And then, I went to visit my parents in Los Angeles, where I ended up with COVID. So, it wasn’t much of a holiday, and I am so ready for it, please, God. We’ll be enjoying ourselves in the warm sun by the time you listen to this podcast.

January 10 is a very special day in my family. Both of my grandfathers were born on January 10. One was born in 1900; that was my dad’s dad. And my other grandfather, if I’m not mistaken, was born in 1912. I think he was 12 years younger. My mother’s father was 12 years younger than my father’s father. So, it was always a special day in our family.

I’ve spoken about my grandfathers in the past, and my families, how all of my grandparents and my dad escaped from Nazi Germany. And when I was thinking about this podcast, I thought it was very relevant that they left Germany with almost nothing.

I thought it was such a great connection between decluttering your business, and the fact that you can actually leave the country where you had established roots; you have your home, your furniture, your belongings, probably your photo albums. There wasn’t so much photography in the 1930s. I don’t think, I’m not really sure about that. But their furniture and their dishes and everything that they had collected.

They could only take a very few things with them. It was a little bit more than the clothes off their back. There was actually a PhD student in Germany, who did a whole research project about my father’s family. I don’t remember exactly the title. It’s in German; I don’t understand German. Somebody once told me what the exact translation was.

But there was a series of letters that went back and forth between my grandfather and his brothers, and I think even some cousins. And, even as far back as different couples were dating. It’s a very beautiful book. Unfortunately, I don’t read German, so I can’t really read it and understand it. Some of it has been translated to English.

There were letters in the book that spoke specifically about having an easy emigration and what things the family should take with them from Germany to the United States. Leaving their heavy wood furniture in Germany, was one thing that was highly recommended. It just wasn’t going to be cost effective to transport it by boat.

The letter spoke about everything they wanted was available in the United States. And don’t forget, this was back in 1938, 1939. And we think about all the things that are available today, so there was a lot less available then. My grandmother did take a couple of pieces of her furniture. There was a rolltop… do you remember the rolltop desks? Like, I think I remember correctly, my grandparents had a roll top desk.

But for sure, 100%, they had a four or five shelf, like dresser bureau in their guest room. And that is where my grandmother stored the chocolates that she hand-dipped every fall, in her home. And I just remember, the rolltop went all the way from the bottom of this bureau to all the way to the top.

It was a very special piece of furniture. It’s still in Los Angeles. My stepbrother is one of the only kids who’s still living in L.A. And so, he inherited it; it’s in his house. I guess it’s not going to make its way from Germany to Los Angeles to Israel.

But thankfully, there are a couple of small pieces that are still in the family that they were able to take out. But most of the things they basically decluttered, if you will, and they left those pieces in Germany. So, now that we’re talking about decluttering, let’s talk about how you can declutter your business now, in order to make space to receive the abundance that is on its way to you this year.

And we’re gonna talk about that financially, energetically, and also the assets or the stuff, right? We all have stuff in our businesses that we need to let go of. And so, we’re going to talk about actually, five different types of decluttering that you can do in your business this year.

In January, we all sort of leap into our businesses with excitement, with a gusto, and we’re very focused. So, I think that as you’re listening to this podcast, bring your pen, bring a piece of paper, and write things down that you want to take action on immediately. Don’t just push it off and say, yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ll get to it later. Because the sooner you take action, the sooner you see improvement.

Number one is to declutter expenses in your business. I don’t know how carefully you look at the expenses, both your income and your outflows in your business. This is actually something that I highly recommend you look at regularly, monthly. Like, really know where your money is going. A lot of entrepreneurs that I speak with, there’s a lot of fogginess around what they’re spending, what their income is.

I asked one of my clients this week, “How much money did you make in 2022?” And my client was like, “Wait, I have to look it up. I’m not quite sure.” I mean, I knew my numbers exactly till the end of November. I hadn’t yet finished finalizing all of my December income. I was speaking with this client on the 2nd of January, but I was, pretty close to the dollar, aware of how much money I had been making in my business by the end of December.

I recommend it because when you see trends and you see patterns, number one, a lot of times it calms you down. Because we have this misguided belief like; oh, no, I’m not making any money. I haven’t had any income in so long. But when you’re on top of your numbers all the time, you can calm down and be like; oh, I see there’s a trend. The numbers were going up, then we had a drop off in numbers. Maybe I have some receivables coming in, in the next couple of months.

It just reduces a lot of the emotional charge around your money. Also, when you’re paying attention to your expenses, you can decide to let things go. And, that is exactly what I did today. I have a subscription membership to a certain asset that was valuable for me at one time in my business. And I was holding on to it, thinking maybe I’m going to use it a little more in November, then I’m going to cancel the membership.

It didn’t happen; December came and went. But today, I actually pressed the button “cancel” on that membership. And, I’m going to save myself good money in 2023. I want to point out that I did not do this from a place of scarcity. It wasn’t like; oh, no, I’m spending too much money. That means I’m going to have to hustle and make more money.

If that’s why you’re decluttering some of the expenses because your expenses are very high and the cash flow is not yet meeting your expenses, it’s a valid reason to do it.

But I also want to point out that sometimes we just let things go because they’re not, you know, causing enough of a cash outflow. That we think like; oh, it’s okay, we can handle it. It’s not such a big deal. And that’s kind of what this was. But I really wasn’t using it, and I pressed the cancel button, and I let it go.

That just gives so much more freedom for me with my income. It’s not a big line item, but as I continue to really review, and that’s one of my goals for this year, is to really review my expenses and to be very intentional about where I’m spending money. Some other things might go, in my business.

So, I encourage you to look at your expenses, and recommit to everything in your business that you’re spending money on. So that you’re really loving everything that you have; all the assets, all the expenses, all the services that are part and parcel of what you call your business.

And then, if you reduce and eliminate some of your expenses, what it allows you to do without even having any extra income, it just allows you to increase your profit margin. It’s such an easy way to make more money in your business, and achieve your income goals this year. So that’s number one, decluttering your expenses.

Number two, declutter files on your computer. We all have tons of digital dust on our computer files that we’ve downloaded. Things like; I had kids reports from 2008 and 2007 on my computer. Or, things that I clipped, in whatever. I just have so much gunk taking up space, not even a lot of space, because computers come with a lot of space these days. But there’s just a lot of stuff.

And when I’m on the phone, waiting to make a doctor’s appointment or waiting to get a customer service provider, whether it’s the bank or somewhere else, I just start clicking on different folders in my computer, and going through things. And especially when I see some of the things that I downloaded for my children, when they were in school. I’m talking about my kids who are now married with children of their own.

It’s very easy for me to go; delete, delete, delete. And then of course, with business; my business has existed for over 10 years. I have things that I downloaded for a different stage of my business. We all go through evolutions and iterations in our business. And what I was doing then, isn’t what I was doing now, or I was, earlier in my business. And, I needed different information than what I need now.

So, I just deleted tons and tons of files from my computer in the last couple of weeks. And there was actually one thing that I thought would be very valuable to my daughter, my 30-year-old daughter is learning to be a life coach. She’s in a certification program at the moment, at the Life Coach School. Where I also got my life coach certification. She’s going to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a money coach.

And so, there was something on my computer that I thought would be very valuable for her at this stage of her business, specifically focused on money. So, I was able to pass it on. It’s almost like passing on secondhand clothing, except if it’s a PDF. It’s still in perfect pristine condition, and I passed it on to her. I hit delete, and that is the end.

So, declutter your computer. It just creates so much less chaos when you’re trying to find things on your computer, to know that you don’t have to sift through 4,000 different files. And maybe, I’m under estimating when I say 4,000, but you know what I mean. You could just get to what you want much more easily.

Number three, look at the things you are doing every single day in your business. Because there are things that you are doing, or things that you’re not doing, that you can declutter and get rid of. I actually gave this exercise to my client this week. What do you want to declutter? What do you want to let go of from your business? And one of the big things that came up was procrastination. I will be doing a podcast later this month, specifically on procrastination and how to overcome procrastination.

But just for today, the main reason why people procrastinate, or in other words, put off till later or put off till tomorrow, things that they don’t want to do today, is because of an emotion that they don’t want to feel. So, let’s say for example, there’s an email sitting in your inbox.

Somebody wrote you, “Let’s get together for a coffee chat. Can you send me a proposal? Can you give me a discount?” Whatever it is, there’s an email and you just keep pushing it off. The reason why you push it off is there’s something that you’re thinking that’s either; I don’t know how to answer this. Maybe, this person is going to think poorly of me. Maybe, if I send out the proposal, the price is going to be too high, and they’re not going to say yes.

And then, there’s this worry that you’re going to be rejected or maybe judged for sending out their proposal. Or, maybe you don’t even know what the price is for the proposal. You haven’t set aside 15 minutes to sit down and think about exactly what it is you want to offer this client, and the amount that you want to charge, exactly what you’re going to provide this client.

And so, you’re like; I’ll do it tomorrow. I’ll do it tomorrow. I’ll do it tomorrow. It’s always because there is some uncomfortable emotion, your doubt, your lack of clarity, your fear of judgment, fear of failure. Something negative that just causes you to just delay something till tomorrow.

Just think about something in your home life, like people put off doing laundry and put off doing the dishes, right? These are the tedious tasks that we just do all the time in our home life. And you can just put off doing the dishes, because it’s like; ugh, I don’t want to do the dishes.

You don’t want to feel that boring, whatever it is. So, you’re like; I’ll do it later. I’ll do it later. Whereas, if you just like, get up… Sometimes, when I’m at the sink and make a mess of a cup of coffee, I’ll just quickly, quickly rinse off a few dishes and put them in the drying up rack and then they’re done, and they’re gone. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time.

So, if you notice that you are procrastinating, think about what it is that you are afraid of feeling. And then, you can just challenge yourself like; oh, I’m afraid of looking like an idiot, if I send out this email and it’s all confusing, and they don’t understand what I’m saying.

Or, just notice exactly what is the thought behind the thing that you’re doing. And then, you can correct yourself. Once you have an awareness of what’s going on, then you can be like; oh, that’s the reason that I’m doing it. And then, you can actually get to work; do it, and then just be done with it.

Then, it’s gone forever. You can put a little checkmark on your task list and get on to the next thing. Okay? So, procrastination was a big thing that my client wanted to let go of.

Another thing that they wanted to let go of, was not being visible on social media, or hiding. They didn’t know what to write. They don’t know what to say. They don’t know how to show up. What’s the right thing? And what I encourage you to do, is understand, number one, why is it that you are showing up on social media.

The main reason why people show up on social media is to create a relationship with their potential clients. A lot of people think that it’s like; oh, if I show up, and I talk about what I’m doing, they’re going to think that I’m sleazy. They think that I’m selling, that I’m going to be like one of those used car salesmen.

Those poor used car salesmen, I bet there’s some good ones in the world, but they all get a bad rap. When you are showing up on social media, you are creating a relationship with your potential clients. Think of it like dating. Someone says something, you respond. You say something, they respond. Like, this is what we call “engagement.” Of course, it’s not engaged like in a relationship, but you’re just talking and sharing.

You’re sharing your beliefs; you’re sharing what you do. You could show pictures of your dogs. Fur babies always get lots of engagement on social media. But think of being on social media, not as trying to put the perfect post out there, there is no one post that’s going to make or break what you do.

And don’t put like tons and tons of weight, like; I have to get it perfect this time. Because if I don’t get it perfect, then people are going to have thoughts about me, and they’re never going to work with me. And they think that I’m, you know, not authentic. Or, I don’t have integrity or something like that.

Think about creating a relationship with your people, and you’re inviting them into your space. And that can take a lot of the edge off of how you show up on social media. If avoiding visibility is one of your things, just like jump in and talk about who you are what you do. And, don’t worry about perfectionism. There’s always another post, there’s always tomorrow, there’s always another day.

And let’s be honest, people spend like two or three seconds on a post, and then they’re off to the next one. So, don’t put so much weight into it. And just think, “I’m just creating friendships. I’m just creating relationships.” And, jump in and share who you are and what you do. And that should be your main focus, if you are not the type of person who is yet comfortable showing up on social media.

And the third thing that they were talking about wanting to let go of, is not resting. That is something that is so important for business owners. And I would say, especially for female business owners. Because it still is the fact that even women who are in a very, let’s say egalitarian type marriage, where both men and women are participating in taking care of the kids and taking care of the housework.

It still falls predominantly on the woman, on the mom. Like, 62% of the housework is still falling on women, even when both men and women are working. And both men and women say that they are taking care of the household together.

I think that we women don’t rest enough, and when your body is not rested, and when your mind is not rested, your creative powers and your creative juices can’t flow. Because you’re just always running and running and running, and doing, and you don’t have time to just sit and be.

One of my favorite things in my office is that I have a bed. And sometimes, I will just like lie down on the bed, I’ll put on a little meditation audio, and I’ll just close my eyes for 10 or 15 minutes. I’ll just tune out the world. And the funny thing is, I usually wake up like two or three minutes towards the end.

So, I know that I’ve had that good 15 or 20 minute power nap, and it gives me the energy to go back and create some more. And of course, when I’m on holiday for two weeks, that’s going to be big rest time for me and for my business.

So, those are three things that you’re decluttering, that are happening or not happening, in your business, right? The procrastination, the hiding, and the not resting.

Number four, declutter how you are doing or not doing your money management. I talked about this with number one, which is getting rid of expenses. But so many business owners are not managing their money, not tracking their income, and not tracking their expenses on a regular basis.

And again, you can’t change things you can’t tweak. You can’t work towards your goal, of your income in your business and your profitability in your business, if you are not regularly on top of your money and on top of your numbers. Don’t leave it to your accountant.

Many of my clients, I’ve heard them say, “Oh, my accountant knows how much I’ve made.” Don’t wait for your accountant to tell you. Make sure that you always have your finger on the pulse, so that you also know. If your accountant is the one who is tracking your income for you, or you have a bookkeeper, someone who’s managing the financial side of your business, that’s beautiful and wonderful.

Make sure that you get those numbers, and keep your own notebook or keep your own Google Sheet or Excel file. Make sure that you know exactly how much money you’re making. You can do it weekly, or do it monthly. Make sure that you are managing your money, and keeping your eye on the ball. Because what gets measured gets improved. And here we are in January, and you have 11 and a half months to improve your income and to improve your profitability this year.

Number five when it comes to decluttering, is decluttering limiting beliefs. I invite you to sit down, put your time or your phone timer on like 10 or 15 minutes, and write down negative beliefs or limiting beliefs that you believe about you and your business.

Let me give you an example. Let’s say that you charge out $100/hour for the service that you provide. Whether you’re a coach or a copywriter or a photographer, a caterer or whatever it is, $100/hour is your fee. And you were thinking that you’d like to raise your prices, but you could only raise it a little bit, to let’s say, $110 an hour.

I invite you to explore whether or not you could raise your prices to $200. So, we’re talking about doubling your prices. And I’m not talking about whether $100/hour is the relevant price for you and what you do. But when you think about doubling it, many people are like; oh, no, I can’t do that. I don’t have enough experience; nobody will pay my prices. Nobody doubles their prices in one year.

Notice the thoughts that come up in your mind. Because whatever it is that you do in your business, there are people doing the same things or something similar in their business, and they’re charging more money. Of course, there will also be people doing whatever you’re doing, and they’re charging less money.

And I’m not, in any way, shape, or form, being flippant about it and suggesting that you just like casually double your prices because you think, “Okay, people pay these prices, and I can do it, too.” You have to be able to provide value for the prices that you’re charging, because otherwise one or two people might say yes, and they’re not going to be satisfied, and then your name is going to be dragged through the mud.

So, you want to make sure that if you’re increasing, whether it’s a 50% increase or a 100% increase, however much you’re increasing your prices, that you are able to deliver the results that you are promising your client. That’s number one.

And number two is whenever you’re raising your prices, make sure that you understand the value of the service that you are giving to your clients. Because for so many of us, we just raise our prices by looking around and noticing what’s being offered in the market. She’s doing like that, he’s doing like this, I can do something in the middle, or wherever.

But really, your price represents value. It represents the value that your clients have today when they work with you, and the value that is going to be extended over a long period of time. For some people, that will be a lifetime change. For some people, let’s say you’re putting systems and processes into somebody’s business. And it could be that that’s relevant for them at this growth stage of their business.

Maybe they’re making $200-$300-$400,000 in turnover, in their business. But when they get to a million dollar business, they will need upgraded systems and processes. So, the longevity of your service might be a little bit more limited. But regardless, bear in mind always, that your price is a reflection of value.

And looking around the market at what everybody else is charging, just invites everybody else’s money, beliefs, and money blocks into your business. You have to do your own work first. And really connect with and understand how valuable your service is to your people for the long term. Not just for the transactional period of time when you’re going to work with them.

So, those are five areas of decluttering that you can do in your business this year. Number one is declutter expenses. Which ones are so-so that you’ve been keeping around, but really when you think about it thoughtfully, you’re like; I’m not really getting the value out of that service. Let it go. You can always sign up for it again later if you miss it.

Number two, declutter files on your computer. We all have tons of digital dust, it’s time to do a little bit of dusting. Let’s get ready for spring and clean out the dust.

Number three, declutter things that you are doing or not doing in your business that are not serving you. Things like procrastinating, putting off tasks that you want to do today. Part of you wants to do it, but it’s going to feel a little bit uncomfortable, so you’re deciding not today, maybe tomorrow; you’re going to stop doing that. And, you’re going to have to create a plan for how to do that.

And again, we’ll talk about that a little bit later this month. Stop hiding, and stop not resting. Meaning, declutter your calendar and put rest time into your calendar for you, so that you are taking care of the most important asset in your business.

Number four, declutter your money management. Don’t let it build up over long periods of time until you get to it. Work on your numbers regularly. Make yourself a weekly money date, so that you know what your income is, and what your expenses are, every single week.

And last but not least, declutter the limiting beliefs about money. Thoughts about money that you can’t raise your prices. Thoughts about money that only evil and greedy people in the world have lots of money. Notice where your negative thoughts about money and limiting beliefs are stopping you from reaching your goals.

And if you would like a resource on limiting money beliefs, go to my website, DebbieSassen.com/resources. There’s a Money Mindset Workbook on our website. And there are also 22 mantras that you can say every day. I think that the two of them work beautifully together.

We want to clear out the negative and we want to input the positive. So, go to my resources page, and start working on your money mindset and improve the way you think about money, the way you act with money, the way you do or don’t manage your money, and take care of your expenses.

I wish you a beautiful, productive, high-earning, high-profitability 2023. Thank you so much for tuning in, my friends. I will see you next week on the podcast. Bye-bye, for now.

Thanks for listening to Mastering Money in Midlife. If you want more information on Debbie Sassen or the resources from the podcast visit MasteringMoneyInMidlife.com.

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