Money. Something we don’t talk about very often, but it’s at the heart of our businesses every single day. Which is why we asked Monica Shah to talk to us about money… and more specifically, how we can set ourselves up for success to get more of it.
In this episode, Monica will give us the essential shifts and steps you MUST take to double your income in the next 12 months… or stay stuck where you are now.
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Alyson Lex 0:01
If you're like me, you set an income goal every year. And if you're anything like me that income goal raises every year as you raise your your prices as you add products or services, as you get better as you get better at finding clients. But sometimes, we really want to raise that income goal. And so we need a step by step plan to increasing or doubling our income every year. And when we got the opportunity to talk to Monica shop, let me tell you, I have seen her speak and love her. I'm a little bit of a fan girl. So I'm super excited that she's here to share her step by step plan to doubling your income in the next year. Right, Monica, thank you so much for being here with us.
Monica Shah 0:50
I'm so excited to be here. I love talking about this topic.
Alyson Lex 0:54
I cannot wait to pick your brain. So let's just start with a softball question. What is holding the majority of online business owners back from increasing their income?
Unknown Speaker 1:08
Monica Shah 1:09
you know, I just had two sales conversations this morning and one yesterday, and I find that over and over and over again. The Okay, so women are struggling and women and men are struggling with the same fundamental issue. And that is that is money. It's like how do I like? How do I make more money? But here's the thing is that when we were growing up, we never talked about money. We like if you were sitting around the dinner table, you weren't allowed to be like, Oh, how much does mommy make? How much does daddy make? Like, if somebody got a raise at work? You couldn't say, oh, how much more are you making? And you know, how is this going for you? And because of that we were sort of money was a taboo. In fact, we were told like it is such a taboo talking about money in our society is such a taboo, that I feel like there's two major taboos in our society, money, and sex. And I feel like we don't talk about either. But if we were, but we definitely talk about sex more, maybe behind closed doors. But if we talk more about money, I think we'd all be having better sense. Ultimately, I think that is the problem is that you are told never talk about money, you know, this is not going to be something that we can discuss, then all of a sudden, there's one big bait and switch, you go into business. And it's like every day, you're supposed to be looking at your numbers. I mean, you're supposed to pay your taxes, you're supposed to raise your prices, you're supposed to send invoices out, you're supposed to get on the phone and have sales conversations and ask people for large amounts of money, you're supposed to negotiate like, nobody ever trained you to do any of that. So you're it's like you're coming to business with all of this sort of, not with ignorance, frankly, about how to deal with money, and then you're and then you're like, suddenly asked to shift and it's very, very difficult.
Jennie Wright 3:20
It's incredibly difficult. And I find that it's something that even goes, you know, even if we're not entrepreneurs, and we have day jobs, it is incredibly challenging. You know, all of a sudden, like you said, You're thrust into whatever it is, it could be the day job, or it could be the entrepreneurship, which we talk about a lot of, and without understanding your numbers. How are you gonna do this, I was very lucky that the job that I had before being an entrepreneur, I was funny enough, I'm an administrative, like I was in the administrative thing. And I did accounts payable on accounts receivable and, and I learned some of that stuff. And then when I started this business, my partner drilled it into my head, although I'm very stubborn about it, that I have to know my numbers. And it has been a thing where sometimes you want to bury your head in the sand and not know if you're, you know what's going on. And that's not the way to go about it. It makes me think about this income number. Is this the only thing we should be focused on on when it comes to money? Is there something else that we need to be focusing on?
Monica Shah 4:22
I'm loving income number for sure. It's a great goal. However, for many entrepreneurs, the income goal isn't enough. And frankly, most of us didn't get into business for money. We did it we got into business because we had a passion or we had a mission. I call it the itch that you can't scratch around like why what am I supposed to be doing here on the planet and how do I step into it more? So I think you know, revenue and in and we can talk a little bit about revenue tracking is is a big deal. However, what goes a level of Above that, and as I think even more important, is what is your Why? What is the reason that you want to generate money? I just had a conversation yesterday with a woman who called me. And she said, you know, she's a real estate broker, but she does art, just really beautiful fine art and poetry. And she said, I'm not selling any of my fine art and poetry, and I don't, I don't know why I'm not selling it. And I want to leave my real estate job by January. And I said, Well, what is your why for selling your art? And she's like, I don't know, I feel like I'm a starving artist. And I said, No, no, no, you're actually not a starving artist. You're a highly successful woman in real estate, who happens to have a hobby of doing art. And I said, so we need to create a cause for her. She didn't have to sell her art, she wouldn't ever need to sell it. And she didn't have a why, for why she needed to sell it and make the money that she wanted to make. So we created a y for her, which was for her, she decided that she wanted to create a fillip philanthropy and a cause and that she was going to sell a piece of artwork every month to give to that cause. And all of a sudden, she was like, Oh, now I can start asking for money for my work. Ultimately, at the end of the day, asking for money, looking at your numbers, it's not comfortable. Even if you like it, even if you're an accountant or a bookkeeper, it's still not comfortable. Because it's a judgment, right? Your numbers show how you're doing and whether you take it as a judgment is up to you. But ultimately, it's a little like going to the doctor, right and you get on the dog, you go to the doctor and you get on the scale. And if you haven't been doing anything about your health, and you take all the blood work, you know, you're gonna get a result back that you don't like, right, you know, you know, if you haven't been eating healthy, if you haven't been, you know, like exercising, you know, the doctors gonna give you a whole bunch of things that you need to be doing the same thing with your numbers, like it's not comfortable, because it's a checkup. And the numbers show the health of your business. However, it gets a lot more comfortable. When you start to understand that there's a reason I'm doing the checkup, right, there's a reason the numbers matter. It's like when
Unknown Speaker 7:22
Jennie Wright 7:23
you might have to go back because you your audio cut out. So go back to there's a reason
Monica Shah 7:31
I think it cut out because something's wrong with this mic. Shoot, I'm so sorry, I'm going to go. If you just hold for one moment, I'm going to go get. So going to the doctor, doing your numbers, it's like going to the doctor. And it's like getting a checkup. But the beauty of it is that when when people for example, when people are about to have a baby, there, they get healthier, like by very nature, because all of a sudden, they have a reason being healthy, right? Or maybe when you go to the doctor and the doctor tells you Oh, you've got you know, if you don't fix XYZ, if you don't lose weight, you're gonna have to go on prescription medication, all of a sudden, people start getting healthier. In your business, if you don't have a strong why, for why you want to make money and total clarity, it will never become easier to make money. And when I say a strong why I don't mean something vague and esoteric. I don't mean like, I want to save the children or I want to have, you know, create a legacy like all of that is fantastic. But it won't get you to call someone when you're avoiding falling. What I mean by a strong Why is I want to make $200,000 because I want to put $50,000 into savings, I want to put $20,000 into my child's college fund. And then I want to put the rest back into the business so I can grow it. And I want to make $200,000 by December 31, you know, 2022 whatever your you're looking at, that is the level of specificity is how much do you want to make? Why do you want to make it Where is the money going to go to so that you can really look at not just your revenue number, but in general, what is driving you towards that revenue money number remembering that money loves a place to land, it loves specificity and it loves a place to land. So it knows and you know, this money is landing to buy my XYZ thing that makes it a lot easier for you to have the courage to do the actions that you need to do to generate them.
Alyson Lex 9:40
Okay, so I love everything about that the specificity and assigning it. And if I look at myself, and from what I've seen you speak before I know my own money personality, and I know that's a whole nother whole nother topic. But I am a money avoider. I will avoid it. I don't want to look at my numbers. I remember one time, um, I was in a bad place. My mailman actually knocked on my apartment door to check on me because I knew I had overdue bills. And so I just didn't get the mail. That was how hard and he was like, your mailbox is for one, make sure you're okay. That's how hard I avoided the situation. How can people like me or even people who just aren't used to having that kind of open, honest relationship with their numbers? How can we start to get used to it? How can we get into it?
Monica Shah 10:36
Yeah, there's two ways. I think. First of all, you want to most entrepreneurs are like you, Alyson I think that's so so true. I mean, it's like, most entrepreneurs are avoiders. And we avoid something in our business, whether, you know, we're avoiding our numbers, whether we're avoiding sales conversations, whether we're avoiding looking at our mail. I'm an avoider as well. And to this day, I still avoid my mail, like I have to force myself to open my mail. So I think the first thing is creating, if you is identifying who you are, if you are an avoider and you've been avoiding this for a while. The first step very specifically, is to create a money date for yourself. And a money date is once a week, you're sitting down, and you're hanging out with your money, you're looking at your credit cards, you're looking at how much is in your bank account, you're looking at how much you owe other people, you're looking at your overall goals, and you're seeing where am I in relationship to where I want to go, and what actions need to be changed so that you're not avoiding those numbers, because the numbers will provide you the motivation of what you need to do. And then the second thing, and I think this is a little bit more mindset oriented, but I find that a lot of entrepreneurs who are struggling with money, especially avoiding that, it's because you have seen the benefit of it. And what I mean by that is that I will say this, once you start doing sales conversations, and you start closing people, and then you start working with clients, whether it's one on one, or in a group or corporate or however you're working with the people that you work with, it becomes addictive, like the very the connection that you start making with people, the change and the transformation that you start creating for people become addictive. So I often find that those that are struggling with money has not yet befriended sales. And they have not yet befriended sales, because they don't know the other side of sales, they're only looking at sales from one direction, which is I talk to people, I have to manipulate people, I have to force people to come to my side. And then when they and then they don't, then they don't come to my side, right, they have an objection around the money or time or I can't have to talk to my partner. And so this never works for me. And as long as you have that viewpoint, then the very, like money will always be a concern for you.
Because there won't ever be enough, because you're not selling. So I think it's also important to shift your relationship with sales, while you are shifting your relationship with money. It's like, the equivalent is like if you went to the gym, and you just went every single day, and you never got any results, and you went for 90 days straight. And you just kept telling yourself, this is gonna work for me and it's going to get better. And somehow, you know, it's going to get better and you don't lose any weight and you don't see any muscle in the mirror. It's like you're going to stop going to the gym. And so I can tell you all day long, look at your numbers, you know, have your money dates, shift your relationship with money. But if you never get any more money, then eventually you're just gonna be like, I don't need to look at the same numbers. I don't need to say it to feel the same guilt. So then what you want to start realizing is how can you sell? Right? Like, what is the How do you get out in front of people? So I just had a conversation this afternoon before this podcast with a client and she had six hours a week to commit to her business. And she was doing what so many entrepreneurs do because she's got a busy full time job is she was sort of like she kept rehashing her verbal message over and over again, rehashing her signature story and redoing her free gift and working on her website because She's working mainly on Saturdays, and that probably felt very safe and comfortable to do. I'm working on my business on a Saturday. But it has been two years. And she came to me just two months ago. And she said, After two years of doing this, I'm still not generating any revenue. And so I shifted the rules for her. And I said, You've got six hours a week, to work on your business, I want to have those hours to be first, I want you to make a list of all of your friends, family, and she works with parents. Parents are very guarded, meaning like you can't necessarily just go into a school or preschool be like, I want to be a speaker, you know, you can't necessarily like go into a daycare center and be like, let me talk to you, right, because they guard the children, they make sure there's a random, you know, doing their stuff there. So, so for her, I said, Make a list of everyone you know, and then your job is to get on the phone of everyone who's a parent and be like, tell me what your kid does after school Tell me where he goes to karate Tell me where he swims. Tell me what art classes he say gig. And then can you make introductions between me and the art teacher in the in the karate teacher in the in the swim coach and me in this in the gymnastics team. And then from there, you're either creating referral partners, or you're doing workshops, or you're setting up a table so that you can be in front of those moms. So of those six hours, I want you to spend two hours, at least two to three hours doing that. And she was like, like, you're not allowed to work on your website anymore, you're not allowed to do your free gift anymore. And I find that there's a lot of people out there that are hiding behind working. And so they're not actually putting themselves out in front of other people. So I said to her that hour of your week, I want you to do a lot of Facebook Live, when you're out there speaking your wisdom to the parents, another hour of your week, I want you to shoot a video that you put up in multiple places, speaking your wisdom to people so that you can generate sales conversations. And I think that this is the key to consistently step by step raising your income is that you got to get in front of your target market. And then in doing that, you will both shift your relationship with money and shift your relationship. Oh,
Jennie Wright 17:22
I'm very interested in what you were telling this woman because of a limited amount of time. And I appreciate that shift. I've experienced this with clients before as well. And I think that there's really something to be said about that shift, right getting out from behind playing on the website and getting up getting out from playing on the other things. And I think that's, that's really important. And I know there's multiple ways that we can we can make money, we can generate income in our businesses, right? So we can either sell the same people more times, we can add new people's we can sell more stuff to new people, or we can combo that with raising our prices. And I just want to understand how can we do that last one, and raise our prices successfully?
Monica Shah 18:08
I love this question. I love it. Love it. Love it. I mean it right now in my rise Business Academy group, there's a chain discussion happening around this topic, because it's so triggered, right? How do you raise your prices? So here's the first thing I want to talk about is that let's fundamentally start with how do you set your prices, because I think we need to start there, which is, this is how I do it, I'm going to give you very, very specific on it. But you take it and then if you're listening to this and expand it to how it would work for you. So the first thing you want to get is that most people need about three to $5,000. At a minimum, when they're first starting their business to pay their business expenses. You may need a lot more right now. But I'm just going to start with three to $5,000. And if you are in a service business, typically you want to be working with about 10 clients one on one. And so you don't want to have to work with 100. So typically, given that math, I say to people, you should be charging at least three to $500 a month. And so if you're, if you're someone out there who is charging less than that, I want you to think about raising your prices. If there's someone out there who's already charging more than that, I want to talk about the other end of the spectrum as well. Some people come in to me, and they have just started and they are charging. They are charging more than $1,000 a month for their business. And they're only getting one client every three months. You know and so it's like they're still super stressing about buddy, if you're in that ballpark. I'm going to say to you lower your prices, right? Not because you're not good enough, not because it means anything. But because we need to get you to a place where you're consistently generating that three to $5,000, every single month, and you can start to release your stress, get more confidence and shift your vibration. So that's sort of the spectrum around prices in a very general way. Now, what if you're in the space where you need to raise your price, right? And like, how do you handle that? I think the first thing to understand is that no one wakes up in the morning. And it's like, oh, my God, today, I'm so excited to raise my prices like, this is gonna be awesome. And I can't wait like no one has. So the first thing to understand is that you will never feel comfortable raising your prices, and never get to a point where you feel ready to do it, where it feels fun to do it. I mean, maybe I shouldn't say never, maybe there's some of you out here. But generally, you raise your prices based on saints, you raise your prices based on faith. Typically, it's awesome to work with a business coach who has faith in you, or that you should be charging more, you know, all of my price increases have come from my business coach that looks at me and says, Monica, it's time, you know, we need to go up and I'm like,
you know, and then I'm like, okay, okay, okay. Okay. And then you do it. When you do it. Typically, what happens is you I say, there's three phases of raising your price. Phase One is you spit it out of your mouth, you're barely able to say it, you know, you have to put the phone on mute, so they don't hear you crying. And then typically, people say no. And so like, you suddenly your conversion rate just takes a duck, you know, if you were selling one out of three before, now, you might be selling one out of six, or zero out of six for a little while. You going, that's phase one, then you get to phase two. And typically, phase two is like, I'm just gonna keep doing this because Monica told me to write, or someone else told me two. Phase Two is you get to someone that finally says, yes, you say, your new price? And they're like, yes, yes, I can do that. But I needed to put it on three different credit cards, and we need to do this kind of payment plan. And, you know, can we dance in the moonlight together? And you're like, Okay, fine, you know, give me your credit cards and tell me when you want to go dancing, because you know, I just need this, I need a yes, and you do your little happy dance. And it's done. And that's phase two. And then at some point, you finally get to phase three, where somebody comes in, and you say, your new price. And they're like, great, here's my credit card, and you're like, Oh, my gosh, this is possible. And then at that point, during this whole process, what's happening is your vibration is shifting, your confidence is shifting. You're also attracting in new people, right. And because of that, you get to a point where you're more aligned with your prices, and you start attracting more people that are also aligned with your prices. And then there will come a time when you're like, dammit, I should have done this soon. Like, people are saying yes to this. And I don't know why it took me so long to come around to raising $200. I mean, nobody even seems to care anymore, right. And then typically, when you get to that point, it might be time to raise them again. And so ultimately, I think it's just important to understand that this is uncomfortable, it's not natural. And I find so many business owners waiting, like, I'm gonna wait till I'm ready, I'm gonna wait till it feels good. I'm gonna wait till I get 15 clients, and it's just sort of like, I don't know that I think that it's gonna happen. I do want to say that. Because I'm a business expert. You can't just raise your prices and do no marketing. So I want to make sure you understand that if you are raising your prices, some of you are going to have to find new pool system. And some of you are some of you are just, you know, you're gonna raise your prices and all your clients are going to be like, sure, fine, no problem, because you've been grossly under charging. Something you though, are swimming in pools of people right now that are like barely affording you now and you're going to need to go swim in a different pool to attract more people. So that's piece number two. And finally, piece number three. And this one maybe should have been piece number one, because it's really important is that over and over again, I meet people who the reason you're not getting higher prices is because you don't have a clear message. You're not solving a clear problem for people and because of That they don't, they don't want to hand over $3,000. Again, I talked to another. So another person on a sales conversation yesterday, she came in, she was another person working with women. And she said her verbal message was I help women who have low self worth, be able, I help parents who have low self worth, help raise their kids so that they can be more confident kids. And on the outside, that sounds great. But no one wakes up in the morning thinking I have low self worth. And nobody wants to raise their hand and work with me, I have low self worth, nobody wants that. So therefore, her verbal message is not going to attract somebody to pay $3,000. But I find that over and over and over again, especially folks that have never worked with a business coach, you're just kind of thinking what do I want to do for the world, let me put that into a verbal message. But there's a huge difference between messaging your business to make money and messaging your business just out of your passion, you've got to position it so that it is a problem that people are willing to pay.
Alyson Lex 26:15
I when you just said that I was just over here in my seat, practically jumping out of my skin. It drives me crazy when people use language that their their ideal client doesn't use. Like you just hit the copy nerve right over here. Yeah. And because I was thinking like, wow, yeah, I want to raise my son to be confident. And you know, a great person and one of my goals for my kids not to be a jerk and all that. And but I'm not gonna sit there and be like, Oh, yeah. Now low self worth. Because that's that, no. So shifting your message to it helps you swim in the right pond to raise your prices. So it all works. I really like all of that. And I told you in total fangirl, so this works out really well. Where can we? And by we I mean the people listening connect with you learn more about you? I think you might have a freebie.
Monica Shah 27:14
Yes. Tom stuff. So I, the number one question people ask me always, you know, is like, they kind of hear this conversation. And they're like, oh, Monica, I get it. Like, I need to do more sales conversations, how do I do more sales conversations like, what, what do I need to do. And so I have a marketing calendar. That is a done for you marketing calendar. And it gives you the nine ways to generate sales conversations, and the activities that you need to do to generate sales conversations, and it gives it to you all in one handy dandy cheat sheet that you fill out, and you can print out and you can use over and over and over again. And so I just want to invite people to opt into that. It's free, it's super helpful. I literally have people emailing me every day being like, thank you, thank you, thank you for clearing this up. It's part of my commitment to change the money conversation on the planet. Like once we start understanding how to generate sales conversations, then life gets so much easier. So people can opt into that at revenue breakthrough.com front slash marketing, calendar, revenue breakthrough.com, front slash marketing calendar, they can opt in there. And also, if anybody's listening and they just want to directly talk to me or one of my coaches about helping you for your particular business, you can reach us at support at revenue breakthrough comm is our email address and we're in our we're at revenue breakthrough.com as well.
Jennie Wright 28:52
The calendar I've checked it out, is really, really cool. So I recommend that people do that we'll have all this in the show notes as well. And make sure that everybody can grab access to this, which is going to be great. So that's awesome. Alyson I have some takeaways. some takeaways on episodes are usually things that we talked about that we think that people can implement right away. Now, if I really was honest, there probably be about 25 of them. But we're gonna knock it down to about five things that we're going to we're going to use today as takeaways. This conversation really hits home for me. And it's most of us didn't get into the business of doing things to necessarily make money we got in the business because we had we had a passion and a mission. I got into this because of the passion and mission. But at the same time, I didn't want to go back to corporate. And so I had to find a way to make money. That's big. So look at your why, you know, what are your reasons for actually doing this thing? What is the thing that's ultimately making you feel that you're going to enjoy what you're doing help people And be connected. So if your y is to, you know if your y is to buy a new house, if your y is to put, like you said money and your child's account for University at a later date, that's your y, I have very specific y's. And I love the idea of at the end of the day, it's takeaway number two, the end of the day asking for money, and looking at numbers makes other people uncomfortable. But the uncomfortability of it is where we kind of have to sit. We really do have to have those conversations with ourselves. And I am definitely a hands up with transparency. I've I've definitely shied away from that from time to time. Because it is challenging, and it can be difficult. And I you know, you don't want to have those conversations, but it's something that people need to do.
Alyson Lex 30:49
I really liked Don't be vague with your money goals, give them a place to land. And I'm really guilty of that. I am really guilty of saying, Oh, yeah, no, I want to Xyz. I don't want to set a date. I don't set an amount I just XYZ it and call it a day. So be specific with your money goals, and create a money date. This is important for people who are just like me, who will let that mail pile up so they don't have to look at the bills. Look at everything, your credit cards, your car loans, your mortgage. How much do you owe to people upcoming bills, how much you're making all of your money stuff. Sit down and look at it. Because you need to do that regularly to stay healthy with your checkups. And you're never going to be comfortable or ready to raise your prices. Jenny knows this. I make Jenny raise your prices all the time. Oh, all the time.
Jennie Wright 31:48
She does this to me all the time.
Alyson Lex 31:50
I say charge a little more. A little more.
Jennie Wright 31:53
At this point. Now I just go. Am I charging enough? No. How much do I add on this much? Okay. And I just go with it. And having people say here's my credit card number is astounds me, that it completely astounds me. So yeah, I've definitely been learning that lesson. Definitely. Just want to say thanks, Monica, for taking the time to talk with us today share a lot of incredible wisdom with us. There's a lot of information here that people are going to be able to take and use in their businesses. So thank you very, very, like really, really happy that you were on the podcast today.
Monica Shah 32:23
Thank you so much. I love this conversation. Thank you ladies for creating this and creating this space for everybody.
Jennie Wright 32:31
Absolutely. And if you haven't already, head on over to the links that Monica was sharing. One of them is her calendar, which is incredible. Check it out. We've got the link in the show notes, as well as you can. Like she said, you can send a support email to her and her team if you want to connect with her. And there's two ways to get in touch with Monica there. Just want to take a second to thank everybody for listening to the podcast. And if you haven't already, take a second and follow us wherever it is that you're listening to your podcast. leave us a review, connect with us at System to thrive.com and make sure that you're telling us what it is you'd like to hear in the future. We're here to provide as much information as quality content as we possibly can. Thanks so much for listening, everybody and we'll be back again soon answering another big question.