Episode 035

Protecting the 5 Most Important Assets in Your Business

There are certain aspects of your business that you should guard and protect at all costs. These things contribute to the successful running of your business, yet so many people spend their time and efforts elsewhere, without truly considering their importance.

If you want to show up, do the important work in the world and serve your clients in the best way, you need to protect your 5 most important assets. Doing so is essential if you want to keep growing and thriving, serving your people, making more money, and building long-term wealth.

In this episode, I’m sharing the 5 most important assets in your business and showing you what you can do to protect them. Discover how to see where your actions are preventing you from growing your business, and some tips to help you continue to thrive in your business.

If you want a flash of fresh financial inspiration and actionable tips to rewrite and master your relationship with money every week in your inbox, sign up for my email list! When you sign up, you’ll receive my free Money Mindset workbook that has been known to get people making more, investing more, and having warm, fuzzy, money conversations with their partners. I’ll see you in your inbox!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why you should separate your personal and business finances.
  • The importance of tracking your finances in your business.
  • Why time away from your business is so valuable.
  • The effects of negative energy in your nervous system.
  • How to embrace negative energy and how it can impact your success.
  • Some examples of self-care that reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Why time is a non-renewable resource and how to take this into account in your business.

Resources

Read the full transcript now

You’re listening to the Mastering Money in Midlife podcast with Debbie Sassen Episode 35.

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 under earning and under saving, 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. I have something interesting to share with you this morning before we jump into the podcast, and that is I am currently on a 72-hour water fast. I am about 64 hours into the fast, and I have to tell you that I am feeling great. My mind is sharp. I’m focused. This is a very interesting experiment that I’m doing with my mind, and my body, and my health.

I’ve done a three-day fast before. I did a couple when I was a teenager, and it was all because of body shame and the way it was viewing my body. Ten years ago, I think, I did a two-day fast. It’s always something that I knew that I could do, and because of my religious practices, there are 12-hour and 24-hour fasts that happened during our calendar year.

I don’t have a problem with fasting, but I decided on Sunday, today’s Tuesday when I’m recording this podcast, I decided, actually Saturday night after the Sabbath, after Shabbat, to embark on this fast, because for the last three weeks, when my parents were in town, we ate all the things, in all the restaurants, and I was not taking care of my body. I really wanted to do a reset.

I remembered from back in the day, when I was a teenager… And obviously, when I’m 59 years old, my body does not react the same way it did when I was a teenager. But I knew that it was a way that I could reset my body, my health, and the way I managed my health going forward. I believed that I really needed to do so.

I will also say that when I was a teenager, and I think also my 20’s I did this, but back in that day, it was always from a negative place, and a negative perception, and feeling about my body. Now, my mindset has completely shifted. Even last night when I was going for a walk…

Because I also got a Fitbit® for my birthday. My birthday is on the 24th of July, or on the Hebrew calendar of Av, it’s the 3rd of Av. That’s just coming up in a few weeks, feel free to send me a birthday card on my birthday. I’ll be so happy.

But I decided that as I’m approaching my 59th birthday, I want to track my steps because sitting at my desk all day, meeting people on Zoom, is a very sedentary life. I do spinning here and there. And I do go weightlifting three times a week, most weeks. But I did feel like I was getting a bit of that “bloggers butt” as they call it, like I’ve been feeling that my hips are expanding.

I wanted to take my health more seriously as I move into my 59th year. So, I embarked on this three-day fast, and I got a Fitbit. I went walking, and as I was walking last night, to make my 10,000 steps, because it was really shocking how little steps I take during the course of the day. I did go out for weightlifting yesterday morning. But I need more cardio in my life.

As I was walking, I was just repeating to myself, “I love you. I’m doing this because I love you. I approve of you.” And really focusing on the fact that my health is so important to me. My body and my mind are my two most important assets, for me, for my functioning, for my family, for my business, and for you, my podcast listeners, who are listening to me.

As I was walking, I was like, “Oh, I’m going to talk about protecting, and perhaps even growing, the 5 most important assets in your business.” We’re going to talk about your brain. We’re not going to talk about your body. We will talk about your nervous system, which is part of your body.

But let’s dive in, and talk about how you can protect the 5 most important assets in your business. The first asset that we’re going to talk about is money. Because you know, I love to talk about money. And a business is here, in existence, to make money.

You want to be a profitable business. And even if you’re running a nonprofit or a not-for-profit business, you rely on income coming into the nonprofit, so that you can distribute it to people that you are funding with your nonprofit.

Money is part and parcel of a business, and you want to protect your money in your business. That doesn’t mean that you’re going to hold on to it and have this scarcity approach to your business. So, let’s talk about some things that you can do.

Number one, you want to separate out your personal money from your business money. And I see this regularly with my clients, there is no shame, there’s no judgment. If you have not yet separated your personal income and expenditures from your business, and income and expenditures, this is the sign that it’s time to do it, now.

When you have this like fogginess or fuzziness, even fluidity between your income for your house, and income for your business, it’s hard for you, maybe even impossible, for you to measure whether your business is profitable.

It’s difficult to know if you are meeting your income goals and your projections for your business, if you’re taking out money from one bank account, to go pay for the groceries or to pay for the electricity bill. When you have complete separation, like Chinese Wall separation between your business and your personal life, you know if your business is profitable, or if it’s not profitable.

You know where you’re spending money in your business. And, you can question whether you want to keep those business expenditures. Do they make sense? Or, do they not make sense?

A few years ago, I was working with a client, and they had so many subscriptions to different online platforms; whether it was an email platform, or a podcast platform, or something or other else platform, and they were spending double and triple for the things that was going on in their business. By getting the clarity and separating things out, they were able to cancel a lot of these expenses, unnecessary expenses and subscriptions.

They were also able to make decisions: Do we want to continue? We see that this particular service is costing us X dollars a month, is there a better way that we can do it? Do we want to spend more and get a higher-level service? Or, do we want to reduce the expenses and maybe bring it in-house?

Some of them, for example, they brought in-house, and they were able to create a very profitable business by separating things out, and focusing on what they wanted to keep in their business, and what they wanted to delete, or what they wanted to exchange up for something else.

When you’re tracking your income and your expenses, and that’s another way of protecting your money, is tracking your income and your expenses, to know if you’re meeting your goals and also seeing, if you have different income streams, different revenue streams in your business, it also helps you see where your profit is being generated. You can decide…

Maybe there are things that you’re doing in your business that are not highly profitable. They’re taking up a lot of time, because you have to market them and sell them. And then, it also gives you the opportunity or the option of stopping certain services or products that no longer makes sense for your business, and the future profitability of your business.

It also just creates, calm and awareness and centeredness in your nervous system. We’re going to be talking about nervous system, that’s asset number 5.

One of my clients celebrated in June, that his business income was finally more than his business expenses. Now, we’re talking about a business that’s only six months old.

If you’ve been following me for any time, you know that I have no negative thoughts on debt, especially for your business. We borrow money to invest in our business, to grow our business over the next… Whether it’s year, two years, three years, however long your business takes, the goal is to become profitable. There are times that we need to run with some debt in order to uplevel, upgrade, and grow our businesses.

Knowing your numbers, tracking your income, tracking your expenses, gives you that clarity, that headspace, and it gives you the opportunity to celebrate. If you don’t know when you’re finally making profit in your business, you’re going to miss this tremendous opportunity to celebrate your business, and your business growth, and all the profitability. So, make sure that you’re tracking your income and your expenses.

It’s not to beat yourself up. But it gives you choices. When you know where your money is, you can choose different things. You can choose to continue what you’re doing; you can just hang on because you know that this is just one step. And the next step, and the next step in growing your big, beautiful, profitable, wildly successful business.

Protect your money by keeping your personal and your business money separate, and tracking your income and expenses. And the last way to protect the money in your business. You know I’ve talked about it before, is set goals for your business. Because that’s the way you’re going to know if you’re on track or not.

You have an income goal, you might have an expense goal, the idea is to keep your expenses below your income, over the long-term. Make sure that you’re setting money aside for your wages, for your salary. You’re in business to fund your personal life. Your personal life is not here to fund your business for the long-term.

Again, if you need to borrow money from savings, or if you got some investments and you want to take money out of your investments, to invest in your business, that’s fine. But make sure that you’re tracking things and setting goals, so you know if you’re on track, or if you’re not on track.

Now, one other fun thing that my client and his and his wife, I work with both of them together, another thing that they did for their money and to protect their money is, they made for themselves a no-spend challenge. That was what they did in their personal life.

They did that for two reasons. The first one was, they didn’t want to put unnecessary and undue pressure on their business to produce income. And the second reason is, that they have vacation plans for July and August. And they wanted to take any extra money that they would have spent on pizzas or fast foods, or going out, or doing all the things that they could have done, they wanted to save extra money in June, for their holidays in July and August.

Again, make sure that you are protecting your business assets and knowing what you want it for, because as his business is now able to pay a profit over to his personal life, he can also use that and add it to the vacation fund. Give your money a goal. Give it a purpose, and go out and serve your people and make more money.

Okay, asset number two, is your clients. If you want to protect your assets, delight your clients. Give them all the sorts of things that you would love, and I don’t mean you’re overstepping your boundaries and we’re going to talk about boundaries, and I don’t mean people pleasing, but you know your clients, you know how you can serve them.

You know how you can serve them on a better level, and give them more than they expect; over deliver. You can give them little gifts. One of my clients, Malka Klein, she is an amazing artist and calligrapher.

She was recently hired by Dior™ to hand calligraph invitations for an exclusive event that Dior was running. Dior doesn’t need to hand calligraph invitations, but by having… It was probably written in gold. I know that Malka does gold foil wedding invitations. She was able to create, on behalf of Dior, just a beautiful exclusive experience for an upcoming opening, an upcoming event, that was created by Dior to delight their clients.

It’s those finishing touches, that special thing, that je ne sais quoi that just delights your people. And when you’re thinking about them, and you’re always having them in your mind, and how you can serve them better, what can you offer? What can you produce for them? These people, the clients that you have now will be your best emissaries and ambassadors for your business.

I don’t mean that in a graspy way, like I’m going to people please them so that they will share my name and refer me out. No, it’s just like you being aware that when your clients are well served, they’re going to share that information because we’re all looking for good services.

Just this morning, my neighbor asked me about the renovations that we did on our bathroom, because her daughter bought an apartment and needs to do renovations on her bathrooms, and she asked me for a referral. So, just keep that in mind, when you do good work and people ask you, they will refer out your services, your products to their friends and their family. And that’s a way of growing your business.

So many people focus on increasing their email list and increasing the number of people on their newsletter, or the people that they’re serving, and they’re spending time and energy focusing on increasing. I don’t dismiss or discount that as a business strategy, but make sure you’re protecting the assets that you have now, in your business.

Don’t neglect your current assets, your current clients, by running after and chasing after the people who don’t yet know you. When I was in school or summer camp, maybe when I was a brownie back in the day, that was a long time ago, there was this little song that we used to sing, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, and the other is gold.”

Think about your current clients as your gold. The new people are silver, they haven’t yet been alchemized into gold. But make sure that you’re focusing on the people who are already in your orbit, who are already in your network, because those are your best emissaries and your best ambassadors for the work that you do.

Asset number three, is your time. Time is a non-renewable resource. The 24 hours that you have today, or even the next one hour that you have in your business, is never going to come back. And you want to protect your time.

If you’re spending the time that you’re supposed to be working in your business doing other things, whether you’re working at home, and you’re running to do the laundry, or do the shopping, scrolling social media, if you’re not focused on your business, or in your business during business hours, you’re squandering valuable time.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be using your time to also rest your brain and your body. And we’re going to talk about that. But I encourage you to set boundaries around your time. I was speaking with one of my clients recently, about setting a boundary around eight hours of time in their business, and focusing on business activities during that time.

We even broke it down by; on the first day of the week, I can just focus and think purposefully on 2 clients. That would be like Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. That’s the schedule we work in Israel, from Sundays to Thursday, we don’t work on Fridays.

You create boundaries around which clients you work on, which hours of the day you work on them, whether you’re meeting in person, in Zoom™, whether you’re preparing proposals, or you’re doing work for them. It could be that you’re a social media manager, and you have to put certain hours of the day aside for different clients, whatever it is, think about your boundaries like guardrails.

Guardrails on the highway; it could either be like a fence down the middle, or those fences on the side of the highway. The guardrails are there to reduce the risk of serious accidents. And just think about your business that way. When you’re protecting your time in your business, an accident can be a dissatisfied client. An accident can be you’re not putting your highest value thinking into the work that you’re doing with your client.

Your guardrails can be, if you’re in your business you’re only focusing on your business, and then outside of your business… Let’s say you work from 9 to 5. I know that’s an old-school model working in corporate America, but we use it as an example. At 5 o’clock, you go home and you don’t think about your business.

Remember, once upon a time, not so long ago, there were no smartphones, there was no computer, there was no email, there was no Zoom, and people went on vacation. And they were on vacation for two to three weeks, net net.

There was no emergency phone call. There was no WhatsApp™ at midnight, or a voice message, or a Facebook™ message, or something like that. You went on vacation and you detached from your business. You went home at night and you detached from your business.

I do remember once, when I was a little kid, maybe 4 or 5, my dad was working with companies in Japan, he got a call and we were all told to be quiet, quiet, quiet, and we weren’t, we got punished for that. I remember that. But that was an unusual event. And that was because of the time change.

Now, because we’re working globally, there’s an expectation that we should be available 24/7, but your time is a very valuable asset. And whatever time you’re in your business today and tomorrow, protect that fiercely. Put up your guardrails and make sure that when you’re in your business, you’re in your business. Then, turn off the light at night, go home, even if it’s just walking out your door of your office, that’s in your house. And now, you’re with your family.

You don’t want to be on vacation and in business at the same time. It’s not a healthy relationship. Or, maybe you’re gonna have a little bit of time that you want to check in. Post your beautiful beach pictures on social media, whatever it is, but guard your time fiercely. And make sure also, that you leave time for hobbies; you want to grow and develop as a person. Leave time for spiritual development. Leave time for your health. Leave time to manage your money for your personal life. That doesn’t happen during your business hours, that happens during your personal life.

Taking care of your money is beautiful, divine self-care, and reduces tremendous stress and anxiety. Keep your asset of time, which is just a diminishing asset; whatever is here is never going to return. So, keep guardrails very, very firmly and fiercely around your time. Show up for your business when you’re in your business. Let go of your business when you’re not there.

Asset number four is your brain. Your brain is the seat of your thinking. It is the most important asset in your business. All of your concepts, all of your ideas, all your thoughts, anything that you create in your business, is a result of the way you use your mind.

We talked about protecting your clients: The way you protect your clients, and the relationships with your clients, comes from the way you think about them. Protecting your money: The way you think about money, the actions that you take in your business, the way you decide to set goals and the strategies that you create to reach your goals, all of that is created in your mind.

The sharpness of your thinking, and the depth of your thinking, is all seated in your brain and you’re in your mind, and you want to make sure to take very, very good care of that.

The first thing that you want to do, is get rid of all of the useless, negative, unhelpful thoughts in your brain. I don’t know if we can actually get rid of all of them, because most of our thinking is actually negative. But what you can do, and I recommend you do this every day, at the top of the day, and if you can’t do it the beginning, do it in the middle, that’s also okay. Is do a thought download.

Download all of the thinking the negative thoughts that you have in your brain: I’m never going to be successful. I haven’t proven myself yet. Who do I think I am that I can actually make this business work? Maybe this isn’t meant for me. Maybe I’m not meant to be successful. No one is ever gonna buy my product or my service at that price, it’s so much money. Who do you think you are? All of that negative thinking: I made a mistake, woe is me. I can’t believe it.

Get it all out of your brain, because it’s there. And we don’t want that fuzziness, and fogginess, and mushiness in our brain, to impact the way we go forward during the day. So, do that. And then you get to do what I call the ‘white glove test.’

Back in the 50’s, there was this thing called a white glove test, where after the cleaning ladies would come in, they take a white glove. They would stroke their finger over the bookshelf to see how much dust is still left. And if the glove came out white, it passed the white glove test.

Think about your thought download as doing the dusting, and the vacuuming, and the window wiping, and shining of your brain. And you want it to pass the white glove test, so that now you have created capacity in your mind to put some beautiful flowers, or put some pictures on the wall, or maybe spray some beautiful incense around.

We don’t want to put the beautiful things on top of the negative things, because the negative things are still going to be there, and that’s going to create resistance. So first, you want to pass that white glove test. And now you can start to think about your business on purpose.

This is just the beginning. I was meant for this. Making money is so much fun. Money flows to me easily. Money gives me opportunities that I wouldn’t have without money. Money speeds things up. My clients are divinely contracted to work for me. My clients are waiting for me to show up. This is an amazing offer. My clients love working with me. I know how to serve them.

I’ve just given you a bunch of thought downloads that you can use. You might call them mantras. You might call them affirmations, whatever you want to call them, but don’t put the positive stuff on top of the negative stuff. Let Go. Do Your dusting, do your vacuuming. Get all of that stuff out, because then you’ve created this beautiful, decluttered mind.

Now, you can put your beautiful flowers and your pictures on the wall. You can go forward creating beautiful services, and beautiful products for your clients. You’re going to feel so much more lightness and expansiveness in your body. We’re about to talk about your nervous system, and that is what’s going to fuel the positive actions, that are going to take you forward to serve your clients, who are one of your best assets in your business.

So, let’s talk about now, asset number 5, protecting your nervous system. Your nervous system is your body’s command center. Your nervous system controls your movements, your thoughts, and your automatic responses to the world around you.

Your emotions, both your positive emotions and your negative emotions, stimulate specific actions in your nervous system. Negative emotions, for example, could be stress, anxiety, fear, anger, shame, guilt, we all know what those feel like, right? They don’t feel very great.

Positive emotions can be happiness, love, joy, gratitude, right? You can imagine those beautiful, opening up, expansive emotions. And when you’re in a negative state, or a positive state, the way you act and react to things is going to be very different.

If you try to suppress, or avoid, or escape the negative emotions in your body, in your nervous system, those negative emotions can become a trapped, and you can create an emotional blockage. Having blocked, negative energy can be very, very draining. It can lead to burnout. It can even lead to physical illness.

Sometimes, for people, it can come out as a rash, or it could come out as a flu, or anything else. Even, I think, arthritis; I’m not an expert on this so don’t quote me on that. But we know that when you have a lot of negative energy stored in your nervous system and in your body, it for sure impacts the way your immune system works. And of course, it will also impact and influence the way your brain focuses, functions, and thinks.

Since your brain is one of the most important assets in your business, you want to keep your nervous system unblocked. You want to keep the energy flowing through you, so that you are showing up at your highest level. You want to make sure that you’re unlocking, unleashing, letting go of all of the negative thoughts and emotions that you know are happening right now.

There are different ways that you can do it, different modalities. For you, it might be meditating, or journaling, could be yoga, could be going for a walk, or even a run. Whatever it is, find what works for you. I love EFT® tapping. That’s one of the modalities that I use personally, and in my business with my clients, to unblock negative emotions that are stuck in our nervous system.

When we release those negative emotions, we have so much more capacity to show up on a much higher thinking and a much higher cognitive level. And again, because your brain is so important, you want to be able to do that, because your negative thoughts and emotions are going to fuel shutting down and not showing up in your business.

We might have emotions of fear, fear of failure, that we talked about last week on the podcast; creating failure resistance and the willingness or the capacity to fail forward. It could be worry of judgment, rejection, criticism.

I was working with a client this week, and she was telling me that her dad, every time she speaks with her dad and she respects him very much, he always asks her, “Are you busy?” There’s this judgment, that she feels when they’re having this conversation, that she has to be busy all the time. She has a very successful business, where she has revenues over half a million dollars a year. And this worry that maybe her dad is going to judge her…

We really talked about; what does busy mean? Does busy mean you have to be doing, doing, doing all the time? Or, does busy mean you can have people who are working for you, doing the work and maybe you’ll do some of it. We even talked about her hanging on to her premium clients and her maintaining those relationships.

But as the CEO of your business, you want to create time to super think for your business. Again, think about your clients; what they need, how are you going to strategize and grow your business forward? How you’re going to show up and serve your clients, in the best way.

You see how all of these things are related? My client wants to double her revenue. So, she wants to create a million dollar plus business. And she needs to protect her assets. She needs to protect her clients. She needs to protect her time, because if she’s busy, busy, busy all the time, working in her business, working with clients, she doesn’t have time to be working on her business, and thinking at a higher level on behalf of her business growth.

So, you want to make sure that negative emotions like fear of rejection, and criticism, and judgment, and failure, and all that are not stopping you from growing your business. Taking… It could be 30 seconds, it could be 90 seconds, it could be 5 minutes or 10 minutes to notice what energy is coursing through your body. Is it like a frenetic, like frazzled energy? Or, is it that more delightful, calm, expansive energy?

If you’re feeling the more negative frazzled energy, or that pit in your stomach, oh, no, I’m a failure kind of energy, invite it in. Embrace that negative energy. It’s a vibration, it’s a sensation in your body. And when you notice it, and befriend it, and embrace it, you can breathe into it. And you can allow that energy to be in your body.

Breathing into it will actually make it disappear. Might not disappear all the way, but a lot of times, if you just focus on where that negative energy, that frazzled, frenetic, maybe constriction in your chest, or heaviness in your gut…

When you breathe into that, maybe it’s 10 minutes, but really spend time focusing on it… This is where yoga and meditation can be so helpful. Those negative emotions dissipate, they dissolve. They might not go away forever, and that’s why I invite you to befriend them and invite those negative emotions to come along with you.

Creating safety in your nervous system, and allowing those emotions to be there without shoving them under the carpet, without suppressing them, without ignoring them or avoiding them. So many of us have been taught, “Oh, it’s okay. Just keep going,” but those negative emotions don’t go away. So, breathe into them.

We don’t want you to hit burnout. We don’t want you to become physically ill. Process your negative emotions, and if you need to work with a professional to do that, whether it’s a therapist or a coach, or someone who specializes in your nervous system, please do that work.

You’re doing important work in the world, by showing up in your business. Protect your most important assets. Protect your brain. Protect your body and your nervous system. Protect your money. Protect your time and protect your clients.

Those are the 5 most important assets in your business. If you want to keep growing and thriving, make the time to focus on all of them. And then keep going out there serving your people, making more money and building long-term wealth.

As one of my favorite clients, my dear podcast listener, if there is something that you want to hear on the podcast, I want to protect my relationship with you. Please send me an email Debbie@DebbieSassen.com and let me know what you’d like me to cover on the podcast.

Thank you for being here today. And I look forward to seeing you again next week. Bye.

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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