3 Steps to Financial Abundance

A few months back, my husband and I watched The Secret. I decided to test out the law of attraction by manifesting an extra $5K in our checking account. I thought about this long and hard all night. I thought I was being savvy by not being specific about how I wanted to receive the money, only that it would be there. And the money did show up, in the form of a temporary deposit from my husband that I had known nothing about.

I learned that the law of attraction works, but that you have to be pretty specific about what you want and how you want to receive what you ask for. In retrospect, this explains why my money management system has helped me experience more financial abundance than I ever dreamed possible.

You see, my mindset started to shift in a big way in 2012 and 2013 when I started managing money differently, month in and month out. As I changed my processes, and started to experience better financial results, my beliefs shifted quickly too.

It’s in the doing where the learning happens. Your experiences with money shift. Then your beliefs change. Then you have a new mindset.

Here are 3 things I do to manage my cash flow in a way that helps me experience financial abundance. Apply them in your business, and your mindset will shift to one of more abundance too.

(We cover these 3 steps in detail in the 6-Figure Cash Flow System.)

Financial Abundance Step #1 – Track Your Expenses

Sure, it’s not always fun to see exactly how much money you are spending on a monthly basis. But it’s absolutely crucial to get clear about your expenses so they don’t pop up unexpectedly. Once I started tracking all of my business expenses in one simple spreadsheet, I could easily see how much money I needed to make to cover those bills.

Then I took things a step further and started saving for annual expenses as well. This takes a huge amount of stress out of my financial life. Many of my big expenses are due in December and that’s my month where I tend to see the least revenue, so saving for those expenses throughout the year eliminates the stress around paying those big bills.

Financial Abundance Step #2 – Create a Monthly Revenue Plan

Early in business, I had a vague idea of how much money I wanted to make and it was always more than what seemed to pop into my checking account. It wasn’t until I got clear about exactly how much money I wanted, and exactly how it was going to come into my business, that I skated right past 6 figures.

To create a monthly revenue plan, you want to:

  • Write down the exact amount of revenue you’d like to receive.
  • Break out exactly how you expect that revenue to come in, by product and service offering.
  • Determine what you need to do to meet your projections for each offering.

This is how you make the law of attraction work for you, because now you are laying out exactly what you want and how you want it. This practice also allows you to check in throughout the month and see where you are at against your goals so you can make course corrections before it’s too late.

Financial Abundance Step #3 – Plan Your Money Flow Monthly

With clarity around your expenses and a monthly revenue plan that meets or exceeds them, you’ll want to move on to creating a clear plan for how money will flow to you and through your business.

Once you get this process right, the circle of money stress dissipates.

  • No more hoping that today’s revenue would cover tomorrow’s expenses (and worrying they will not).
  • No more balancing my checkbook several times each month just to be sure everything will be covered.
  • No more pulling money in and out of savings to cover expenses as they some up.

These activities reinforce the negative belief that there isn’t enough, even when there might be more than enough. Instead, pre-load your checking account with all the money you need to cover the month’s expenses. Do this once each month then get back to your more fulfilling and creative work.

This was the hardest concept for me to get a few years back, but it transformed my mindset completely as I could actually experience the abundance I was receiving. I also saved several hours each month of tedious money management work.

>> Find Your Path to Financial Abundance

We cover these 3 steps in detail in the 6-Figure Cash Flow System, where you’ll learn simple money management techniques that will empower you to attract the money you want and create more financial stability in your business.

Click here to learn more about the 6-Figure Cash Flow System

Because there is never enough time

As a mom and a business owner, there is never enough time. Never enough time for every digital product idea that spins through your head. Never enough time to volunteer at your kids’ school or get out of the house for music class. Never enough time to get away and do something just for you for a change.

Yes, in a very real sense, every person living on this earth has the same 24 hours in every day.

But as a mother, you have perhaps even more demands on your time than a Fortune 100 CEO. There is literally no end to the number of requests our children can make of us and the amount of love we want to give to them.

For the first full year of filling the roles of mom and business owner, I felt the need to justify every minute I spent on my business and not directly caring for my daughter. I literally would spend time writing, after she went to bed, the list of activities I managed to accomplish and the value of each. This gave me a sense of inner peace about my day that I couldn’t get any other way.

When we finally hired help with child care, this need of mine amped up in a real way. Now we were paying someone to be there for my daughter when I could not, so I must, absolutely must, use that time with all the productivity and effectiveness I could muster.

I have always been a productive person, but I found a new layer of efficiency when I was challenged as a mom and a business owner.

Becoming a mother shifted how I valued my own time in a way that I’ll never regret, but that I’ve also been able to thankfully step away from.

Because this way of being, this accounting method, this forceful nature, this relentless focus…it was absolutely and utterly exhausting. And I was still riddled with useless guilt that got me nowhere.

I started to question whether this way of looking at time was really serving me, or my daughter, or my husband. And I had to answer truthfully that it was not.

I realized that whether or not I was uber-productive during my work from home time, it was how much I enjoyed my time that really mattered. Having had some “Laura time” spent working, I could go back to mothering with a more open heart. I was happier all around, and that made everyone happy.

I started to ask myself different questions, like:

  • What type of work do I enjoy doing?
  • What would I do if profit wasn’t an issue?
  • How can I receive more help doing the things I put off or don’t enjoy?

The result of these more heart-focused questions is that my business continued to grow, I’ve relaxed (some), and I’m sure to add into my day the things I need for me, even if there is no direct profit associated with them.

I’m not going to tell you that there is always enough time, because there is not. Life is full of choices and what we do with our time involves some of the toughest choices we need to make.

But I will encourage you to let go of some of the guilt you are feeling around your time. There is no end to this perfectionism of time. No goal to reach. No done.

Consider the way you are looking at time and if it is serving you (or not). Perhaps there is a better way.

Looking for more? Check out this post on 3 decisions you must make if you want work-life balance as a mom.

How to deal with negative feedback about your product

Two things happen every time I’ve launched a digital product. Well, after it sells it’s first few copies.

  • First, I receive positive feedback about how helpful and useful the product was. Someone goes out of their way to say a heart-felt thank you and I can see how what I gave them changed their life a little.
  • Second, I receive at least one piece of negative feedback or a lackluster comment or a refund request.

You might find this disheartening. After all, why put something out to the world and expect to receive negative feedback? Aren’t we supposed to be wowing our customers and locking them in with our over-the-top products and services?

Of course we are.

But the thing I’ve come to realize about this second response is that no amount of perfecting or optimizing is going to prevent it. (Despite what our product launch fears might tell us.) The reasons are many.

  • Your buyer might not actually read your sales page and might not need the product they bought.
  • Or, your buyer is not the person my product is designed to help.
  • Your buyer might just be having a bad day and take it out on you. Life is not always fair.
  • Your buyer might like to prove their own worth by cutting others down.
  • And, occasionally, your buyer is not ready yet to receive the help provided in your product and so they resist what’s there and lash out at you.

(This last objection happens most frequently with the products I offer to help people with their resumes and interview prep. Some buyers are simply not ready to accept that no matter how much structure I give them, they are going to have to work to get the job they want.)

Whatever the reason, refunds and rejection happen.

I guarantee the beautiful creation you’ve put together will receive some negative feedback. No matter how perfectly awesome it is for some people, others will buy it and hate it. The only way to avoid the feedback is to keep your creation inside, and this will never help anyone.

So what do you do?

Expect the worst. Reply kindly (or not at all). Issue the refunds. Better yet, hire a virtual assistant to handle this for you, so you don’t have to physically return the money yourself.

Most importantly, allow yourself to be delighted when those first complimentary messages come in. You might even save them in a special folder to refer back to when you receive one of the inevitable negative messages.

Want more support? Join our Momstyle Your Business Facebook group for ongoing inspiration and support as you deal with these very normal challenges building your business the momstyle way.

Time management tip for working moms: Just say no

I recently invested in an extra day of child care every other week. Almost simultaneously, my youngest daughter started sleeping through the night.

I threw out all of my hard-earned time management techniques that have gotten me through as a working mom, letting all that extra time and energy turn me into a yes-saying machine.

  • I landed a new client contract doing business analysis work.
  • I took on a new coaching client.
  • I committed to creating a new presentation for a virtual conference.

Each of these had big potential and I was drawn to them from somewhere deep inside me.

But then I felt the time management stretch….because what I wanted even deeper down was to be here helping all of you. And there just never seemed to be enough time to meet my commitments and be here as much as I wanted.

I remember thinking that if I was somehow more disciplined and loved the work, everything would auto-magically get done.

But instead, I ended up delaying the development of a new course by nearly a full month. The income from this course was in my revenue plan and it was only partially covered by what I was making from the new client.

Right now, like in this moment, we’re doing a little scrambling to get it live before the year-end slow down.

To get to this point, of successfully scrambling, I had to start saying “no”. Here are some of the things I’m saying no to these days.

  • Renewing my sponsorship for a local professional group, freeing up 8 evenings next year to do more momstyle stuff.
  • Logging into Infusionsoft. We’re in the midst of implementing an entirely new marketing system and I haven’t even logged in yet! Instead, I’m choosing to empower my virtual assistant to work magic so I can pay attention to our business objectives and the overall flow of the solution.
  • I got the new client to phase out my contract, by not leaning in to find new ways to add value. That was hard because I’m typically the go-getter type.
  • Volunteering at my pre-schoolers Halloween party. I did it last year (with a 5-month old in tow) and it was the opposite of fun for me.

Saying “no” is essential if you want to receive the flexible aspect of a momstyle business that comes from a place of your personal value system. It’s the biggest time management tip I have for working moms, because there is absolutely no way to get everything done that you could spend your time of. What’s more, saying “no” is one way we embrace our own power because it creates the space we need to say yes to the right things.

What have you said “no” to lately?

(By the way, one of the things I’ve said yes to recently was taking a Facebook group class and starting a new Facebook group. Click here to join the group.)

Empowering women economically

Did you know that start-ups with at least one women partner are on average more financially successful than start-ups with no female partner?

Did you know that the overwhelming majority of venture capitalists that invest in start-ups are run and owned by men?

My frustration in since learning these two facts has not gone away.

Because the implications are significant:  While a typical view of the world would consider the rise of female CEOs to be a sign of empowering women economically, I have a different view. Even while female CEOs have the top title and authority within their companies to do brilliant work (not to mention making immense personal sacrifices to do so), their options for leveraging and multiplying their investments are all going to benefit the men in position to finance them.

This does not sit right with me.

If you look at many of the other working models available to women and moms, they aren’t all that different. Most of the work we do today is going to filter up the economic food chain to benefit a male executive, financier, or investor.

We are giving away our economic power. It is the simple state of the world today.

But it’s not so with a momstyle business (one that’s flexible, profitable, and online). You keep what you earn (at least what doesn’t go to taxes). You own your products. You own your systems, and services, and copyrights. You own the product of your work.

Of course, a momstyle business has it’s own limitations. A momstyle business is going to be smaller and it’s reach may not expand so wide as a business that leverages venture capital. You may be limited in how many people you can actually help.

But on the other hand, that ownership is also empowering women. When you own the business, it’s your voice, your decision, your work. You help people the way you want to help them. You decide what to offer and when. You own a piece of the value system that you can’t control any other way. (And that value system, built right, can generate significant passive income for you.)

If you want a way to put your work out into the world, without compromise, this is the best way of doing business that I know of.

I am in this with you. Because what’s happening here is all about empowering women to build profitable, flexible, online businesses and help us, as moms, capture and influence a larger part of that value stream.

  • Behind every profitable momstyle business is an economically empowered woman who owns the value of her work.
  • Behind every flexible momstyle business, is a woman working from her own personal values.
  • Behind every online momstyle business, is a woman speaking her voice and imparting her brilliance on the world in her own unique way.

Your momstyle business wraps up your power and emanates it on the world while also lighting you up from within.

Click here to learn how to build your business the momstyle way

A Momstyle Business Is…

A momstyle business is about nurturing our creative souls, generating significant revenue, and allowing us the flexibility to be the moms we want to be.

A momstyle business is:

  • Profitable, meaning you can generate significant revenue. The kind of money that brings you real economic power and allows you to make decisions from a different space.
  • Flexible, meaning you experience a lot of freedom in terms of when and how you work. While it can take some real hustle to build the business at first, it ultimately becomes a tool for you to show up exactly when and how you want to show up.
  • Online, meaning you are taking advantage of the virtual world to work at a scale your passive income that’s nearly impossible any other way.

I’m Laura Brandenburg. I’ve built a momstyle business from the ground up and now bring in a salary that well-surpasses my corporate salary. And it keeps growing each year, even while I explore new business ideas and take a fair amount of time off.

Now, I’m here to help you build your online business the momstyle way.

On this journey, we’ll explore how to create digital products that actually sell, how to create an online marketing automation system that sells those products for you, and how to delegate the administrative and customer support tasks so that you don’t get stuck in the day-to-day running of your business.

What’s more, we’ll look at how to do this in way that lights up your creative spirit because you are doing the work you truly want to do. And we’ll also address how to transform your money mindset so you can receive more money than you ever have before, even while you might be working less.

I’m so excited to be on this journey with you. Take your first steps towards a momstyle business by signing up below:

3 decisions you must make if you want work-life balance as a mom

Why is it that rarely anyone feels like they actually have work-life balance?

There are many reasons we might feel that either our work is taking away from our life or that our life is taking away from our work. But the most fundamental, in my not so humble opinion, is that we haven’t really defined what either work or life mean for us, let alone what it looks like to optimally balance the two.

And so we chase after an ill-defined goal instead of living the life we want, intentionally.

Let’s look at the 3 decisions you must make if you want to achieve work-life balance.

Work-Life Balance Decision #1 – How much work time do you want?

It might feel backwards to start by looking at work time, but it’s essential.

  • If you are a corporate mom working 50+ hours / week, you are probably looking for less time working.
  • If you are a stay-at-home mom looking for a creative outlet, you probably want to spend more time working.

I enjoy my free time as much as the next person, but I also love making a meaningful contribution to the world and expressing my creative side. Even when my digital products are paying the bills, I still want to be doing something new to grow my business. If you are here, on a website for online business owners, it’s likely that you don’t want a 0-hour work week, or perhaps even a 4-hour work week.

So how much do you want to work? Be specific.

My answer is that I want to work between 20 and 30 hours per week and take 6 work-free weeks of vacation per year. I’ve achieved my optimal work week. I’m still working on the vacation part (although I did manage a 3 1/2 week vacation with very minimal work time over the summer).

This is an important decision. Give it some thought. And then move on.

Work-Life Balance Decision #2 – What constitutes “life”?

One of the reasons our work-life balance gets so screwed up is that we don’t really know what falls on each side of the equation. If work is time spent making money or working on your business, then is life simply everything else?

When we say we want work-life balance, it typically means that there are slices of life that we aren’t giving as much time and attention to as we’d like. But what slices? And how much time?

  • If you worked less, would you be excited to spend more time doing household chores, yard work, and home improvement projects, or do you really want more time with your partner, kids, or simply to be alone?
  • If you worked more, what would you be willing to take away from your life as it exists today? There is no judgement here. An honest answer might be some of the time you spend with your kids.

And absolutely, positively, do not forget to write yourself into this equation. Exercise, showers, eating, and just taking time to breathe can all important, as can time with our partners and doing fun activities together as a family.

Get specific about what you will be doing with your life time. Answering questions like “how much time do I really want to spend with my kids?” or “what are the most valuable slices of time I can share with my kids?” can lead to new insights.

Work-Life Balance Decision #3 – How much gray area are you going to embrace?

So little in life is black and white, and our time is no exception. I thought through this post while showering. My 15 month-old daughter was hanging out in an exersaucer. Was that work time, care-giving time, or self-care? Ah….a little bit of all three.

I wrote this article on Honoring my desire for work time while watching my kids play at the water table.

But not all of my time is a gray area. I’d go insane.

(Actually there was a time when I only worked during my daughter’s naps, and it was crushing. It can work when you are getting started but is not a long-term time strategy.)

Now, I have hours each week solely dedicated to creative work, and many hours solely dedicated to being with my kids.

Being clear about how much gray area you are OK with as well as when you want to step fully into one area or another, is a decision to make consciously. Otherwise you risk slipping into multi-tasking and not feeling like your desire for life or work is getting fed.

Finding your personal work-life balance mix

If you’ve been wondering how to find work-life balance, you’ve got three decisions to think through. Don’t expect these answers to come easily. And expect your answers to change over time.

I’m constantly thinking and re-thinking how I invest my time and becoming more intentional about what I do with the moments I’ve been given in each day.

How do you approach your work-life balance?

You can have it all

There are a lot of people out there who say women cannot have it all.

There are a lot of people out there who think that they, personally, cannot have it all.

These statements are true to the extent that too many of us define “all” by looking outside.

  • We look at corporate moms and their fancy suits and their important work – we put that in our all.
  • We look at stay-at-home moms and their pinterest-worthy cupcake towers – we put that in our all.
  • We look at single ladies and their fancy, kid-free vacations – and we put that in our all too.

And then we wonder why we’re tired, cranky, and bored. We can have it all, but only if we define our all in a way that matters to us.

Today I challenge you to consider what it means to you to have it all.