Business Bites Episode 108: 5 Steps to a Consistent Income

5 Steps to a Consistent Income

Episode 108 on the Business Bites Podcast

The Gist Of This Episode:  Financial freedom is a goal many of us have that we are constantly working towards. In this episode, Rachel and Reina Pomeroy from Reina + Co talk about the 5 steps you can take to have a consistent income so that you CAN reach financial freedom and the way of life you want.

 

What you will learn:

  • How your mindset about money can affect the amount of money you make
  • Why you need to have recurring clients
  • Why you need to identify your dream client
  • What it means to be visible
  • Why it is important to pay yourself
  • and more!

Expand To Read Episode Transcripts

Rachel: Hey guys, welcome to episode 108 of The Business Bites Podcast. I am your host, Rachel Brenke, and I am joined today with Reina Pomeroy from Reina + Co. Welcome to the show.

Reina: Thank you so much for having me, Rachel.

Rachel: Yeah, I’m stoked, guys. She is a certified coach and the founder of Reina + Co. She has a signature program called Dreamy Client Magnet, and it works with so many of you guys listening, creative entrepreneurs who want to get laser-focused so you can book more dreamy clients with ease, get paid to do what you love, which we all want, and have the freedom and flexibility to enjoy it all. Just from those three points, you guys can see why I’ve invited Reina to come on this podcast, because that is a lot of what I talk about through all of the episodes. She is an ICF-certified coach, speaker, educator, author and podcaster as well.

Man, Reina, I have seen your stuff all over, Entrepreneur.com, Influencer Podcast, Entrepreneur on Fire, Huffington Post, you name it. You are a great go-to for this topic. And so let’s dig in, talking about five steps to consistent income, but I don’t want to jump in there. I kind of want to hear a bit about your entrepreneurship journey, because I feel like that helps to give the audience a frame of reference for your recommendations when we do get to those steps.

Reina: Yeah, let’s do it. I’m so excited. I got into business about five years ago, because I didn’t want to go back to work and having to commute every single day after I had my older son who is now six, which is insane. But I wanted to have the freedom and flexibility, probably like many of you listening, and to be able to have the ability to make money from the comfort of my home and frankly, in my pajamas, if I really wanted to. And it was possible for us to sustain our lifestyle just on my husband’s income. But I realized pretty quickly that I was not cut out to be a stay-at-home mom and that being my sole identity. And props to moms who do this, but I am guessing that like many of you, and my audience is very much like this, we want to have that flexibility, right, to be able to run our own businesses and to be able to make money.

When I started my first business, which was a wedding planning company, before I had my older son, I wanted it to be a fun sort of pastime, which was like a glorified hobby. I did make money. However, I felt like I wasn’t running it quite as well as I could have looking back. So yeah, I’m really all about being able to have that flexibility to be able to have that independence and then be able to contribute to your family’s wealth in the longterm.

Rachel: I have one important question. Are you in your pajamas right now?

Reina: I’m in yoga pants.

Rachel: Close enough. Yes. No, and I love that. That’s the one thing that I’m really enjoying about the change in messaging through influencer marketing and social media and storytelling is this idea of flexibility, because when I first got into having a career, wanting to be an entrepreneur on my own, it was you had to check the boxes, you had to be a nine to five, you had to go to an office. There wasn’t this common acceptance of flexibility. And I just love how you have embraced that topic. But I have to ask, have you always been as flexible with yourself during your entrepreneurship journey? Is this something you set out for in the very beginning or is there something you’ve really embraced in the last few years?

Reina: Yeah. This is such a great question, and it kind of gets to the crux of you get into entrepreneurship because you want this, but then sometimes we burn ourselves into the ground, right? And I think that from the beginning, I will say on the whole, I have been pretty good about making sure that I create a lot of boundaries for myself. When I say that I’m working, I’m 100% working. When I’m not working, I’m 100% not working. And that’s persisted throughout the past couple years.

I will say that there are definite seasons, around launch times or a little bit higher deadline timeframes, there are moments where I’m working a little bit more than I would want to. For the most part, many seasons, I will not work during the evenings. I have not worked during the weekends, but there are certain times when I’ll have to communicate with my family and say, “You know what? This weekend I have to work a couple of hours. I’ll be at Starbucks for a little while and I’ll be back and you guys can work on something else.” So I think it kind of comes and goes. It’s definitely not a perfect, I take off every single Friday kind of a thing, but it definitely is a work in progress in something that I’m consciously working towards.

Rachel: I agree, and I love that you’ve identified that. Do you have anything else from the beginning of entrepreneurship that you would impart upon the audience, a lesson that you learned or maybe now looking back, something you wish you had changed then?

Reina: Yeah. This is something that I constantly have thought about. There’s a moment in everyone’s business where we’re not necessarily profitable, and we don’t really talk about that part. Especially for those of us who are service-based entrepreneurs and don’t have a lot of overhead, don’t spend so much on everything that you see and really try to focus in on how quickly you can get to profitability in your business. By paying for these other things, this course that you need or, I mean, being a course creator, I’m shooting myself in the foot a little bit, but I really think it’s important for us to understand what it is, the ROI, the return on whatever investment we’re making of our time, of our money, what it is that you should be getting back from that. And if we can’t prove it, then we maybe shouldn’t be spending that money.

And I think that I spent a lot of money on coaches because I love spending money on coaches. I bought a lot of courses, frankly, that I haven’t touched since the very beginning thinking that I was going to use it and this is going to be perfect and that was going to solve all of my problems. And I don’t think it really necessarily did. And so I’m of the mind now, if I need something I know that I can go find the resources to help me solve that, or talking to the right people will help me to be able to find the solution that I’m looking for. I think that getting to this place of profitability so that I can spend more in my household would probably be the best suggestion that I have.

Rachel: Oh, I love that. And actually as a side note, for the photographers specifically that are listening, I just did an entire video for the month of February on exactly what Reina’s talking about right there. And I walked through how I go through my budget and I cut out where I’m extra spending, overspending, underspending and that sort of thing in the process of how I view that and implement it. If you guys have any questions about that, you can head over to TheLawTog®, and it’s Revamp 52. It’s tasks and stuff.

But yes, budget was a big thing for me in the very beginning in a lot of what you’re talking about. You get financial freedom out of it. You can get more flexibility by identifying and staying in tune with your finances, but also just very fundamentally, there’s many people listening, and I was this way in the beginning that I didn’t have extra funds to spare. I needed that money to help support my family, and it is easy to fall into … Just like you, I’m a course creator and I have products as well … but it’s easy to see an ad or fall into a sales page and go, “This is going to be the golden bullet,” but there is no … silver bullet, golden ticket. I totally combined two phrases there. But nothing, nothing is going to get you to, the topic of today, consistent income without being very specific on your stats.

And so let’s jump into that. You have Five Steps to Consistent Income. Before I do that real quick, just a reminder, guys, you guys can find all show notes at RachelBrenke.com/epi108. I will have linked all of Reina’s stuff there as well so you can easily click and find her. All right, so let’s move into the Five Steps to Consistent Income. Do you want us to kick us off with the first one?

Reina: Yeah, sure. First of all, let me just set the stage here, right? When we have more money, we can do a lot of things with it. I had a lot of money mindset issues when I started my business and I think that there was a big shift, and we constantly have to be working towards this. I used to be a social worker and I used to have a tee shirt that says “Will work for change,” and had pennies on it. And that mindset does not do us any good in the business world. When we have more money, we can do a lot of amazing things, and money doesn’t have to equal corruption or money doesn’t have to equal all these negative associations that we might hold.

And so that’s the first thing I want to mention about money, and if you’re getting triggered by the title of this episode, I think it’s worth investigating, “Why am I having all these feels about it?” But when we have more money, we can pay our debt off. We can buy a home with more green space. We can pay for vacations. We can go to Target without having a lot of guilt, whatever it is that kind of floats your boat, right? I want us to have more of that, which is why this topic of five steps is so important and being able to consistently have money coming into your business.

The first one here is that I want you to understand what you want more of. If you want more … I kind of joke about the Target run, but honestly, if you want more of that, that might be something to set your sights on. Probably not. It’s probably going to be more like not worrying about your bills every single month or being able to pay off all of your debt this year. I want you to really get clear on what is more, right? What is the actual number of more? Have you ever done a visualization about what does a rich life look like?

This is something that we do inside of the Dreamy Client Magnet, but I want to give a quick sneak peak in terms of thinking about your ideal life. I think for a lot of us, it feels a little bit scary to think about it, but when we actually spend the time to dig in here, it’s not as wild and crazy as, “I want to live in a castle in France next year, right?” It’s something a little bit more like, “I want to be able to pay for this daily luxury or to be able to go to a spa once a month,” or something like that. I want us to get really clear about what that more looks like. That’s the first step.

Rachel: I love it. And the one thing, too, is I want to say, if you do plan on having a castle next year in France, that is okay, too.

Reina: That’s okay, too.

Rachel: Yes. I really know what you meant with that, because I think it is one of those things, especially in this day and age of social media, there are good that comes out of it, like we’ve already talked about a bit, but there can also be this idea of, “Oh, I have to shoot big and have to dream huge. I have to have this.” Guess what? That may not be the life circumstances that you’re in right then. And just because you need X extra $100 a month, that may not seem a lot in the grand scheme, but it may be a lot for your family. And that’s great. That’s great. And that is a good goal, because that was really my goal. I had a couple of goals in the beginning of starting entrepreneurship. It was to fill my own goals and my own pockets.

I’ve kind of always been okay with money, but it was really to meet the needs of our family initially. And that was where a lot of my goals were driven off of that. And I don’t necessarily know if that is the right or wrong way to approach this. I want to ask you, Reina, when we’re looking at steps to consistent income, if you’re being guided by a pressure that you need, like maybe need to make a certain amount of consistent money for your family to live, is it healthy, is it beneficial to base your goals off of that or do you think it may have negative consequences for planning and implementation?

Reina: Oh, I think it’s so important for us to deal with the need and then deal with the wants. But I think that having the wants also propels us to be able to dream about something that’s not just a necessity. I think it’s kind of both things. I don’t think there’s any negative stuff. My biggest thing here is come up with a number and how can we break that number down? Whether it’s $5,000 or $150,000, the number doesn’t really matter as long as you’re able to break it down and then create a plan from there.

Yeah. I think the second step here is shifting your focus from one off projects to recurring revenue. I see this a lot with photographers who do, let’s say, weddings, and a wedding is a onetime thing. I’m hoping that you’re not getting recurring clients from these folks, right? However, how can you figure out a way to get out of the mold of the feast and famine? Unless you’ve got an amazing client pipeline already, I would say let’s figure out a way for you to get consistent clients or repeat clients every single month from something, so kind of like a retainer.

If you think about it like, let’s say for example you are a web designer and you offer web design for a client, after the site launches, you can choose to offer retainer web services, whether it’s plug-in refreshes … That’s something I hate to do, so I hand it off to somebody … or design on web-related collateral, like updating your blog stuff or whatever it is. I think that every single industry has something that you can turn into a retainer that’s an upsell from whatever it is that you’re already offering, and that can allow you to have those clients be in your portfolio for longer than just this one launched project. If you can think about your business model from this one off thing to creating retainer or recurring plan clients, I think you’ll be able to have more of this incoming revenue that’s always pouring in.

Rachel: And I kind of want to give a supplement to that from a customer or client psychology standpoint. I find as myself as the head of multiple brands that the more work that I can give one person, the more that I as the customer am likely to continue to keep using them. It’s not saying it needs to be a one stop shop, but if I know that you come in and maybe you design my website and then you’re the website designer, so you pitch to me to have consistent income, like Reina just talked about, of plugin updating, checking links and doing sort of all this maintenance every month, I already know you, I already trust you, I already know your process and it is so much easier if you just ask me and I’m going to go, “Yes.” I already know you. I am all in on that kind of stuff.

And we kind of have the same perspective at the law firm. When you come into us, you may come to us with a copyright infringement issue, but guess what? We’re still going to do a full business audit for multiple reasons. One, because I would love to have consistent income coming from you. That’s not primary. But yes, that is in the back of my mind. I don’t just want this one off job with you, but also because I can fully service and provide you and do all the other investigation I need even to meet these specific needs. I share that from the flip side of I hope this will encourage you for those sitting there listening, you may go, “I don’t really know. I don’t want to push clients. I don’t want to push customers.” They’re waiting to be asked.

Reina: For sure. And you’re doing them a service by being able to connect these dots and say, “You know what? I can do this for you. I can take this off your plate,” or, “Maybe you didn’t even think that this was going to be a problem and I can definitely help.” That kind of parlays beautifully into number three, Rachel. Thank you.

Rachel: You’re welcome.

Reina: I think that one of the things that we get freaked out by is when we hear recurring revenue, we hear, “I need to have passive income,” and this is not where we’re going, folks. If you are a service provider, you can have recurring revenue without having passive income. That topic is a completely separate podcast episode, and this is really about creating recurring revenue offers.

Now that you’ve figured out what it is that you potentially could do, I want you to think about your dreamy client. Like Rachel was just talking about, what does she or he or they need? What does it look like? I want you to ask yourself. Maybe journal on this. What would it look like to offer them something in addition to what they’re already naturally asking you for? What we were just talking about, if you’ve already got this service, what are you naturally going to be able to do for them that you’ve already kind of brought into their universe? Instead of somebody having to come in to Rachel’s business and helping her with this other thing, you can naturally transition yourself into that. What would make the service that you have extra sparkly? And what I mean by sparkly is what’s going to make this offer super compelling? And honestly for most of us that are looking for these services, it’s not something drastically different or super flashy. It’s just sometimes about asking, which is actually step number four.

Rachel: It’s giving me time back, honestly. If I don’t have to think about it and you show me that you as the expert that I need X, Y, and Z … and maybe we should caveat here to say, make sure you’re actually offering to people things they truly need.

Reina: Right.

Rachel: I mean, right? It can be need or want, but if you start being all shiny and salesy to me and I’m blatantly … you know that doesn’t fit my audience, that doesn’t fit my business, then that’s not going to present you as an expert and it’s going to aggravate me and I’m probably not going to do any income with you at that point. But yeah, no, it definitely needs to be … and you said it perfectly. You’re already in their universe, so take a minute and just look around and see what’s needed.

Reina: Yeah. I don’t know if this is true for you, Rachel, but I feel like every time I have to give up my Last Pass info to somebody and I have to login to share my info, it’s like you’re in my universe now. You can’t leave.

Rachel: It’s so funny. I was fighting with Last Pass before we got on here. I mean, okay, my team, they listen. I hope they listen to all these episodes. It doesn’t matter which brand and member. They all know they have job security because even with Last Pass, I can’t even remember my Last Pass password. They have job security until the end of time just by remembering my passwords for me.

Reina: There you go. See? I love it. Well, number four is this. It answers this big question of, “Well, who’s going to buy my thing?” And I think people get really freaked out by this word visibility and people envision it to be this flashy thing like, “Oh, I have to be on podcasts,” or, “I have to go onstage,” or, “I have to post on social every single day,” and it feels icky, but it really isn’t this fancy schmancy launch thing in order to roll something out and allow us to be profitable. And some of my most successful offers, and I’m curious about you too Rachel, some of my most successful offers had been sold in private conversations, in DMS and with followup emails and just a link to a purchase rather than having all the kit and caboodle launch sequence and emails and funnels and all that stuff. I mean, although those do work for me, it feels so easy to just say, “Hey, I have this thing. I think it would help you and here it is.”

Rachel: Honestly, it’s just showing up.

Reina: Showing up.

Rachel: I did share on Instagram either this morning or yesterday. I guess it was this morning. It’s been a day. And it was about, yeah, just showing up. It’s showing up in Facebook groups. And I’ll tell you what. The only reason that my podcast appearances when I go on other people’s, or when I speak at conferences, I truly believe the only reason those are successful is because I’ve shown up in the ways that you were just talking about, in DMs, in groups, in very more low-key ways that I can do flexibly. We were talking about flexibility before. I can do it from my phone or my iPad from home. I don’t have to travel to California to a conference. There’s a lot more return and the engagement that you can get on a low-key level, but you just still have to show up in those moments.

Reina: Yeah, absolutely. I think that people get freaked out by their comfort levels when they hear visibility. And I think that in order to get visible, people just need to be able to see your expertise, right? And whether that’s a testimonial or somebody else speaking out about you or you share something that’s so valuable to that person for free, and sometimes that’s just the initial hook that people need to inquire or want to learn more. I think that you could post everyday on social media or showing up, like Rachel is talking about, by just getting active.

I also think that showing up with your personality is really important and not being a robot. I think that being relatable and being an expert at the same time, I know that those things don’t really seem like they make sense, but think about the people you trust inherently in business and think about why you trust them. They probably have something that makes them not perfect, but you super relate to that, or the people who are clearly experts but they somehow have this quirk. Maybe they’re an expert in something, but maybe they botched something about being a mom or something like that. Just think about the people that you look up to, and you don’t have to be perfect at all times.

Rachel: No, [crosstalk 00:21:59].

Reina: Oh, go ahead.

Rachel: I think it’s good to also think about who you’re talking to, because let’s take me as an example for as a lawyer. If I was like, “Okay, what does a lawyer have to do to show up? Well, I have to be in a suit and I have to do this and do that,” I wouldn’t have the audience that I have. I wouldn’t be talking to you. Instead, I thought to myself, and this is a great crossover, guys, to episode number 12. I am actually going to now share this episode 108 and episode 12 together. They’re a great complement. I’m just going to be all linked on the show notes.

But I started with the question. You talked about this earlier. Who is your dreamy client? I started with who that was and what would she be wearing and what would she want me to be wearing in order for her to be able to talk to me. It’s ripped jeans and boots. That’s me, and it doesn’t take away from me being an attorney. In fact, I think it helps to break down walls because then I’m more relatable. People are willing to listen to what I have to say. Is that everyone’s cup of tea when they’re looking for a lawyer? No, but guess what? That’s okay.

Reina: Yeah, I love it. Actually, this kind of reminds me, I have a workshop that I offer all about the heck yes offer, and people get freaked out by figuring out what their offer is and why people won’t buy the thing that they’re providing or wanting to share. And we came up with this package, a workshop essentially, of how people can break down everything that they know so that they can package it up into something that’s super sexy for their dreamy to buy. I can send over the link to you. If you’re listening, you can go to ReinaCo.com/heckyes and just participate in that workshop, because I think that everything that we’re talking about with creating this offer is just directly tied to that. I’m loving everything that you’re saying here.

I think that, the last piece … I just want to keep us chugging forward. Step number five is start paying yourself. Okay, that sounds really scary if you’re just starting ,and honestly it wasn’t very much at the beginning, like I said, but it’s really important for all of us to consistently pay ourselves from the beginning so that we don’t become hobbypreneurs and making sure that we prioritize ourselves. I read Profit First awhile ago. I am not, I guess, the biggest advocate of profit first just because I think that there’s a few questions that I had about it, but it is important for us to pay ourselves.

And I think the thing that I want to emphasize here is that whether it’s a set amount every single month or every single week or whatever the cadence is, just start small in a way that feels doable every single month. And depending on your business structure, you might have to do it differently. I can take owner draws for my business account to a direct deposit to my personal bank account each month. And I don’t even have to think about it. I hear this a lot from photographers or wedding professionals specifically around, “Well, I get paid in lump sum. How do I pay myself?”

Well, I think that one of the ways that you could do it is asking for installments if you wanted to do that, so you’re getting paid monthly from folks or you just have a giant chunk of money sitting from that one client in your business bank account and you’re drawing those dollars out each month. That might be one way to do it too. But basically here, this is an opportunity for you to assess, “How much should I be paying myself? What do I want to be adding and contributing to my family?” Whether that’s your family of one, yourself or a more robust family as well.

Rachel: I agree. And I think it’s also important to do it in that when you get in those burnout moments, it’s easy then when you go, “Why am I doing this?” You’re getting paid for your time or when you feel, because there are moments, whether you’re new in this and maybe if you’ve been a veteran of entrepreneurship for a while, you’re going to feel like, “Why am I doing entrepreneurship?” And yes, it’s not always all about money, but guess what? It can help it. You feel a little bit better when you’re working long hours or you’re having something, a launch didn’t go right, you lost a client, whatever it is, you can then look and go, “But it’s meeting this financial need or goal in my life.”

Reina: Yep, absolutely.

Rachel: Cool. Oh my goodness, this was so much information, Reina. We seriously need to have you come back and do a whole nother podcast, and actually maybe we should do it on passive income. I love that this framed just about consistent, whether you’re passive or whether you’re just showing up and you’re service-based. This works for everyone. Even product-based entrepreneurs listening, you guys can apply all of this also to what we’re talking about here. Please, guys, check out more of Reina’s stuff. I have all of it listed at RachelBrenke.com/epi108.

Reina, Thank you again for coming on. We’ll get you scheduled for the future. Don’t forget to check out all show notes and everything about Reina’s stuff at RachelBrenke.com/epi108. Also, be sure to jump into the Facebook group, The Business Bites, as we are talking with lots of entrepreneurs, other listeners of the podcast so that we can learn from each of these episodes. See you guys on the inside.

Featured Guest & Resources

Reina Pomeroy is a Certified Coach and Founder of Reina + Co. Through Reina’s Signature Program, Dreamy Client Magnet, creative entrepreneurs get laser focused so they can book more dreamy clients with ease, get paid to do what they love, and have the freedom and flexibility to enjoy it all. She is a ICF Certified Coach, Speaker, Educator, Author, and Podcaster.

When not fully immersed in her company, you’ll find her supporting students at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Reina’s work has been featured on the top charts of iTunes Podcasts, the Entrepreneur.com, Influencer Podcast, Entrepreneur on Fire Podcast, Brit + Co, The Huffington Post, and the Rising Tide Society. Find out where you should be focusing in your business over at www.reinaandco.com.

 

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About the author

Hi, I’m Rachel Brenke

Rachel Brenke

I hope you are enjoying the Business Bites Podcast.

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