168. Managing Your Money As A Small Business Owner with Darcie Milfeld

09 Aug 2022 | By Salome Schillack

Are you handling money, or is money handling you?

If you're not paying yourself consistently…

Or you're scared of being taxed twice...

Or bouncing money from biz account to personal account…back to biz account every month…

It doesn't have to be this way!

I know how intimidating it can be even thinking about finances, especially when deep down you know things are a little out of hand. 

But guess what? You are not a lost cause & it's not too late to get back on track.

Once you get past the discomfort, there is real joy found from diving deep into your money things. 

No need to dive in alone because today I'm joined by one of my Launch Loungers, the brilliant Darcie Milfeld, who went from drowning in debt to financially independent before she reached 40!

After getting an MBA up her sleeve, working as a Senior Vice President at Bank of America, and doing a lot of groundwork, Darcie figured out a system to break free of the debt and build serious wealth. 

She has now online-coursified her financial framework and helped over 400 women reach their financial goals while having fun along the way.

And today, she is sharing her magic with you!

She joins me on The Shine Show, sharing her wealth of knowledge, from the money mindset that'll change everything, the small steps you can take today to set yourself up for big financial goals, and the key to creating more wealth in your business.

If today's episode hits home, you can soak up even more of Darcie's wisdom at Green Bites Project. Get her life-changing course, 'Grow Financially Well' & jump on the waitlist for her highly sought after 'Business Finance' course.  



P.S. If you’ve been here a while you’ve probably heard me talk about my mentor Amy Porterfield and the life-changing (I kid you not!) impact she’s had on me. Amy has been my mentor since 2015 and as someone who has spent over $30,000 every year for the last 3 years on online courses, I can tell you that Amy’s training is hands down the very best in the industry. I know, because I have bought it ALL!! This year we are offering the best bonus ever for anyone who wants to learn from Amy AND also for anyone who has learned from Amy before. Yes, we will be offering a massive bonus when Amy launches her signature course Digital Course Academy this year but we are also extending that offer to any of the DCA alumni in our community. 

P.P.S If you are new to Amy’s teachings and want to find out exactly how she helped me quit my job and create a successful online courses business click here to sign up for the Digital Course Academy waitlist. 

P.P.P.S If you are already a DCA Alumni and you want to get the opportunity to go through the experience with us this year click here to find out how you can qualify to get access to our bonus. 

When you subscribe and review the podcast not only does that give me the warm and fuzzies all over, it also helps other people to find the show.

When other people find the show they get to learn how to create more freedom in their lives from their online courses too!!

So do a good deed for all womenkind and subscribe and review this show and I will reward you with a shout out on the show!!


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Salome Schillack (00:00):
Hello, and welcome to episode number 168 of The Shine Show. Today's episode is called, managing your money as a small business owner. With the wonderful Launch Lounge member Darcie Milfeld. Darcie of Green Bites Project is a financial wellness coach, helping women hit their biggest financial goals, from small business finance to personal finances. She is a former SVP of Bank of America and holds an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She used her love of numbers to map out her family's own financial independence journey, which they hit in their late thirties. Darcie has worked with over 400 women on their finances and pinches herself nearly every day that she gets to cheer them on as they forever change their money story. And I am so happy to bring you Darcie Milfeld today, as she shares with you how you can transform your money story as a small business owner.

Salome Schillack (01:13):
Giving up your time and freedom to make money is so 2009. Hi, I'm your host Salome Schillack and I help online course creators launch, grow and scale their businesses with Facebook and Instagram ads, so that they can make more money and have an even bigger impact in the world. If you're ready to be inspired to dream bigger, launch sooner and grow your online business faster, then tune in because you are ready to shine and this is The Shine Show.

Salome Schillack (01:47):
Darcie, thank you so much for joining me today. I am very excited to talk to you.

Darcie Milfeld (01:52):
Oh my gosh. I'm so excited to be here. Longtime listener, longtime fan, so thank you so much for having me.

Salome Schillack (01:58):
Of course. And you have been inside The Launch Lounge for a while now. Well, actually, you started an A-Lister a few years ago-

Darcie Milfeld (02:06):
Yes I did.

Salome Schillack (02:07):
And then Launch Lounge, and then you're in one of my VIP Launch Loungers.

Darcie Milfeld (02:12):
Yes. And its been such a treat to be there.

Salome Schillack (02:15):
Oh, it's been such a treat to see your journey. I am so honored. I genuinely sometimes have to pinch myself that I get to hang out with smart women like you.

Darcie Milfeld (02:25):
Oh, stop.

Salome Schillack (02:27):
Oh, it's just delightful for me. You're so smart and so talented, I'm in awe of you. So I'm really, really, really happy that you're here to come and share your journey with my listeners today, but also to share with them a little bit about how they can get their finances in order. And I can already hear a lot of them going, oh, maybe I should turn it off. I don't want it. I'd rather just be like an ostrich and stick my head in the ground and not think about finances.

Darcie Milfeld (02:56):

Salome Schillack (02:58):
Yeah. And I can can say I've been there and there's definitely joy at the other end of facing the pain of sorting out your finances, but you take the pain out of that.

Darcie Milfeld (03:11):
Yes, definitely. It's a tool. It's a tool.

Salome Schillack (03:13):
It's a tool. That's right. It's a tool, but it's a tool that we all get very emotional about, right?

Darcie Milfeld (03:18):
Oh yeah. Every single day there are so many women that I work with that the finances, there's so many emotions that come in with it, shame, guilt. I should be doing more with it and so on. And I think that what is so neat is to be able to see that switched around, like even the reframing around money. So that it's actually a part of your life design, the tools and it actually becomes something that you are in control of and that you get to decide what you do with it and even how you spend your time too, as funny as that sounds.

Salome Schillack (03:53):
I love that we've just dived right into this mindset thing about money. I kind of remember almost automatically allowing myself to become very disempowered around money when I got married. I don't for one second think it's the dude's fault. My husband is an amazing man, a wonderful man, but I think there's just something in the dynamic between men and women where we just take a backseat and the guys just run with it. And it took me a while to kind of realize, hang on, I can actually empower myself here. So how do you see women maybe without meaning to, without intending to, but maybe accidentally or maybe it's not entirely their fault, disempowering themselves around money, which then brings about later the shame and the guilt and all the other things?

Darcie Milfeld (04:57):
Oh, that's a really good question. I work with just all kinds of different people from those that are actually the ones that are in charge of their money in the relationship and then there are people in the relationship that maybe they're... Like I've had women say to me, my husband's a mess with money, I'm the one that's doing this. But as far as the disempowering, I think that sometimes we're waiting almost for someone to kind of like come rescue us or we assume that someone else knows more than we do and we're maybe worried about making a decision or some kind of wrong decision with the money. And so therefore we're like, you know what, it's better if I just don't do anything and someone else is much more equipped. But honestly, I think that we get those messages from society, right? I mean, even the way that at least here in the United States, I'm American-

Salome Schillack (05:51):

Darcie Milfeld (05:51):
But the way that things are structured here in the United States, we can't have certain conversations, there's so much regulation on it. So therefore, it's almost like ingrained in us, like you have to be super smart, you have to be super sophisticated, really good with numbers, in order to be able to just kind of understand like what in the world you should invest in in the first place. And so I think it creates, maybe intentionally, more distance between what we believe we can do versus well, these other people are... There's a whole industry devoted to this, what do I know in the first place?

Salome Schillack (06:28):

Darcie Milfeld (06:28):
As far as what I see every single day, I think that it's so interesting how just even technology has actually opened up more empowerment, if we allow it, more empowerment to knowledge or just even other things that you can invest in without even thinking about it. And obviously, this is not an investment show, but I do think that if you were to get into, what can I do that's actually within my control? I think it makes a big, big difference when it comes to money.

Salome Schillack (07:03):
Oh, I love that. What can I do that's actually in my control? Because we can all do something that's in our control today. To do better with our finances or to just lean in more, pay more attention, be more deliberate, be more like, just know what's going on. I think that's probably one place to start because that's something we can all do, is just look at our bank account, right?

Salome Schillack (07:31):
Tell me your story a little bit. I want to hear, how did you go... Because you had a very impressive career and then launched an online course. So tell me, how did you go? Why online course and why the one you did? Tell me that story.

Darcie Milfeld (07:50):
What in the world was I thinking? So I feel like, how did I get here? I don't know. So I was a former senior vice president at Bank of America. Got my MBA. And I was probably like a lot, maybe a lot of different people, where I was in credit card debt for years and years and years, then I went on to get an MBA, close to six figures, and student loan debt and then the new car too. So I did all of it. No, it's a true story. Honestly, a true story-

Salome Schillack (08:22):
A new car. Yeah, because an MBA comes with a new car.

Darcie Milfeld (08:25):
So I think what was really interesting and the reason why I bring up my own financial story and I'm very candid about it, is because, one, you have to know that this wasn't something that I was like, Hey, look at me, I'm so amazing with money. And back, at least here in the United States, like I would say that I grew up a little bit more on the poor side, with some of the government programs and things like that. And just even with my own family dynamics, the way that they are, it's so interesting to see like literally, call it the American dream I feel like I'm living, because of the fact that, what I've been able to do. But got into all the financial issues and tried so, so hard to work on my finances, but it just did not click at all for me.

Darcie Milfeld (09:09):
And it wasn't until many, many years later when I was in my thirties that I started to kind of figure out the budgeting, sitting down just like you just said, right? And like, okay, how does this actually work? What do I do? Do I make the phone calls? How do I get it together? And then once it clicked, it kind of took off from there for me in that I started to, thanks, with my husband, he agreed to get out of my debt, my student loan debt, my car loan debt that I brought into the marriage.

Darcie Milfeld (09:41):
And I think what was so great about that is that we went on to essentially just get into investing. I took a tax strategy class for here in the United States and I started to really like, kind of understand, how does this mutual thing work? And I kind of self-taught myself and used my husband's knowledge a lot too and my MBA, of how does this all piece together? And just did all the calculations and all of that. And I kind of went down the rabbit hole with that. But I think what I always think is so interesting about finances and what I tell the women that I work with is that, we don't really find it important to work on our finances until we almost find that thing that really, really drives us.

Salome Schillack (10:19):

Darcie Milfeld (10:20):
And so I got out of debt and like, okay, that's nice. But what really, really put my finances into overdrive is that moment that I kind of discovered, wait a minute, you don't have to work until you're 70, hoping that you have a few good years left and your health declining and all of that. I didn't want to be in corporate for like 40 years of my life to only have a little bit of a retirement. It just felt like it was kind of a waste of a life in a way, right? Because I wasn't happy. Like there were many, many people that I work with that like love their corporate jobs, they're good to go.

Darcie Milfeld (10:51):
But when November 2013, I discovered this thing called financial independence, meaning you kind of build up your investments and you live off of a small portion of that and it pays your bills for the rest of your life, meaning retirement is a number not an age. And when that happened, it like freaking blew my mind because it was like, wait a minute, I can buy back decades of my own life and do whatever I want? That's when finances really became meaningful to me.

Darcie Milfeld (11:18):
And so I just got to work, I organized our finances. My husband let me just do whatever I wanted to do with it as long as he saw... Showed him the net worth statements and all that good stuff. So I'm really fortunate with that he was like, fine, fine, whatever makes you happy. And we ended up getting to a point where with the finances, we hit financial independence before we turned 40. My husband was able to leave his corporate job. I was able to be a stay-at-home mom for a couple of years when my kids were much, much younger upon like leaving the bank as a senior vice president. And I think that's what's so interesting, is we use money as a tool in order to kind of really do life design, right? He got to do something he loves, I was a stay-at-home mom so I was super happy about that. And it wasn't until I started helping friends of friends on their finances that I was like, oh, maybe this random stuff that I know is actually helpful to other people. I got hit with an ad.

Salome Schillack (12:15):

Darcie Milfeld (12:17):
That's a true story. I got hit with an ad-

Salome Schillack (12:20):
Yeah. You should be. You should be hard with ads.

Darcie Milfeld (12:25):
Yes. Everybody loves ads. You never know, sometimes Mark Zuckerberg knows more than you do.

Salome Schillack (12:31):
Ads could change lives.

Darcie Milfeld (12:33):
They do change lives, for sure. And so I got hit with an ad in early February and I said, Hey, I think I'm going to try this thing out. And my husband's like, yeah, whatever you want to do. And I started working one-on-one with people and when I got into a course within my program, I started this company and all of that. And it was because I found myself saying the same thing over and over again, to virtually every single client. We're going to do this, we're going to do this. And so much of my own work was actually really framed by the default mortgage servicing work that I did over at Bank of America and seeing people in very interesting situations, also working with people that were like petty loans, which are extraordinarily high interest rate loans literally on your paycheck. It's a terrible, terrible cycle to be in. People that were really paycheck to paycheck.

Darcie Milfeld (13:17):
I mean, I saw a very, very different underside and it really started to bring about my own framework of like, we need to save, guys. We need to get going on savings. And that's what the program that I created as a part of the digital course academy in 2019 was grow financially well. And it was on personal finances and how do we kind of get you from paycheck to paycheck, to like loving your finances? Getting them into a boring state, thinking about what is that space for you? How do you build your own financial independence journey? And doing it in a way that's very loving, very much focused on that acceptance of money and all of the emotional stuff that comes along with it.

Salome Schillack (13:56):

Darcie Milfeld (13:56):
And that's kind of what sort of kicked off how you and I met, I'm sure, with that. And that's been a few years now that I've been running that program with close to 450 people in it right now.

Salome Schillack (14:09):
450 students, that's fantastic. Well done-

Darcie Milfeld (14:13):
It's unbelievable, honestly. Unbelievable.

Salome Schillack (14:16):
And I love how despite, I want to say almost, despite your corporate career, you make it so easy to understand. You speak like us, you're a mom, you're a business owner, you just have this incredible knowledge that you just want to share. And I love that about how you're just one of us-

Darcie Milfeld (14:43):
I made a lot of mistakes and I did all the good things and I think that makes a big, big difference too because it doesn't... I think sometimes we can be really, really intimidated by finances, right? And I think while I do have an MBA and I know like classically, all of the financial things, but I think what's really important is that at the end of the day, we're still talking about cash-

Salome Schillack (15:06):
Yeah, that's true.

Darcie Milfeld (15:09):
And how do we manage cash? And I know for like a lot of case studies and people that I've worked with, sometimes my own process experience of working in corporate of like, how do we move around like a widget, right? If you think of money as a widget, you would be surprised at how much sometimes it's just, Hey, what if we just changed the timing of things? Or what if we change when you're actually getting paid? And just doing some of that stuff. And actually, it just makes a world of difference when it comes to how we approach it.

Salome Schillack (15:39):
That's an amazing reframe. It's a widget and you just get to move around the widget. Love that.

Darcie Milfeld (15:44):
And you can decide. You get to decide. Like I can't tell you and I would never ever tell any of my clients like, oh, you should save more, you should pay off debt or whatever. It's like, what feels good to you? Because I wouldn't want anyone coming at me and saying, you should do this. And I'm like that's nice, but this is what feels good to me, right?

Salome Schillack (16:00):

Darcie Milfeld (16:01):
And I think that's another thing too about money, is that we're all like bombarded with like debt is shameful, you shouldn't be in debt, what's wrong with you? And then that leads into, I'm bad with numbers, I'm behind, I'm never going to get this. And you can kind of see that it just puts that distance between us and our money and it's like, guys, the money is the tool that gets you the life that you want. You want to work less? It's through money. You want to be able to leave your corporate job? It's through money. Vacation, travel, all the things that you want to do. This is the thing that if you can embrace it and work through it, it's going to make such a difference for your entire life. And I think what's so funny about money is like, it can be life changing but not in like a greedy way or something like that. It's like, no, what if we did this for good? And it just changes everything.

Salome Schillack (16:50):
I love that. I love it. That's beautiful. And you have gone on from the, grow financially well, the program that you created for... It's for any woman who wants to take charge of her finance, right? And now you have niched down and created a second program, grow financially well, the small business edition, right?

Darcie Milfeld (17:14):
Mm-hmm. Right.

Salome Schillack (17:15):
Tell us about how... So you've worked with 400 and what women. And then you identified a need for small business owners, so tell me how that came about and what are the things that small business owners, women with small business owners specifically struggle with around finances?

Darcie Milfeld (17:35):
All right. So that came about because a lot of the different either clients that I had or women that came through grow financially well, had a business, inevitably. And what I think was so fun about that is that... And again, sometimes it's just process things, sometimes we are just trying to figure out timing of like when you get paid and when other bills have to be paid. And other times it was like a revenue thing that like, Hey, we've got to work on this other thing and then you'll be able to make more money. And anytime that I was working with anybody that had a business, we always started with their business finances, always, always, always. And so I would really recommend that to anybody who is like, oh, my personal finances are a mess. We've got to back up a few steps and take a look at the business finances first then-

Salome Schillack (18:21):

Darcie Milfeld (18:22):
And so it kind of came about from that. Like, Hey, there's so much more I want to say about small business finances because when you think about that timing, when you think about how do I allocate money back into my ad spend or for marketing or just being able to feel like I can use my money in order to pay off debt, save and hit some of my other personal financial goals, it just became really obvious to create something else where I could use, again, the same framework but using it in a way where like, let's use your business to really grow wealth for you on your personal finance side. And I think as terms of the different mistakes that tend to come up, I would say that one, we're focused on maybe a number that's not quite high enough in order to accommodate for taxes. At least here in the States, there are a lot of entrepreneurs. I know we're not setting aside money for taxes, right? We're like, oh, cool, I've made $5,000, but that actually should be a little bit of a smaller pool-

Salome Schillack (19:27):
Yeah, I made that mistake once.

Darcie Milfeld (19:28):
That's good. That's good.

Salome Schillack (19:28):

Darcie Milfeld (19:34):
That's not bad at all, right? Yeah, I think sometimes it's like, okay, I just needed one time to learn that, but I think what I see a lot is like, we're almost underfunded when it comes to that revenue. And we're focused on like, oh, I forget about the fact that I want to invest in things or I want to hire out or I want to feel like I can pay myself-

Salome Schillack (19:58):
You see the money coming in but you never know why there isn't any money.

Darcie Milfeld (20:04):
I know. I know. And I think when we kind of look at it a little bit differently and say, okay, what would it look like if... I've had clients that are like, I want to pay myself weekly. And it's like, great. What are the sales that you're bringing in? Let's look ahead at your personal finances and make sure that they're communicating really well. So that would be like another mistake is that a lot of times we're like, oh, I don't want to pay attention to either one of them. And then we end up moving money back and forth between the accounts.

Salome Schillack (20:29):

Darcie Milfeld (20:29):
And we're not actually taking an advantage of the fact of like, no, I want you to have like a true payday in your business. And I think every business owner should have that payday where you're like, oh my gosh, this is the money that I brought in. I've accounted for the upcoming bills that are coming up in my business, paid for those, cash is set aside for that, paying my taxes, paying myself the amount that I want to but also, I still feel like I can reinvest in my business, that is going to continue to grow it. So that's definitely a big one.

Darcie Milfeld (21:02):
Like I said, the personal finance and just kind of keeping them as separate until you start like moving money all around and it's more like really, really reactive because what happens too, is that we're not being proactive enough with the leads too, right? And so when we're not as proactive, like what are the sales coming up and thinking about the cash that's coming in, then that's when it creates like, I just have to move money around because I've got some bills due over here. And like, I need the money out of my business. And I'm like constantly playing Whac-A-Mole between those two different accounts, which is a freaking nightmare. So that's why I always say like any time that I'm working with somebody, we work on the business finances first. So there's just a couple of things.

Salome Schillack (21:47):
Yeah, I love that. And also because the business is where you make money, like that's the fun bit. That's where you get to use your creativity to go, yeah, hang on, if I sell a little bit more of this, I'll bring in a bit more. And I feel like almost every money problem is solved, at least short term with more cash-

Darcie Milfeld (22:08):
More money. And I think that is what's so neat, is like on the personal finance side, and I'm always telling people, like there's three main ways to grow your money, through the stock market, through real estate and through business. And honestly, and I know I've been in your group but I have to tell you, I think that growing it through your business, if you're doing the right things, is one of the smartest ways and fastest ways that you can honestly grow your wealth.

Darcie Milfeld (22:35):
So I've had clients where they had a launch and had a credit card debt, because we had a good system going for them, right? So we had things kind of stable over on the personal finance side. And so when they did get this big bit of cash, they knew, I've got my taxes taken care of on the business side. Expenses, right? I know what I can invest in. If there's this program that I want to invest in or something like that, but then they were able to just pay off debt and in like one month they're like I'm debt free.

Darcie Milfeld (23:03):
And do you know how neat that is, just to be able to literally use the money that you've made in your business to just say debt gone? And I think a lot of times too when we're thinking like, oh, I've got to get rid of debt, I've got to do this. I'm like, no, no, no, you've got to pay yourselves first. We've got to take care of that stuff first, right?

Salome Schillack (23:20):

Darcie Milfeld (23:21):
But it is such a really important way to be able to really build wealth through your business. If you use it right, you create a really great engine for yourself.

Salome Schillack (23:30):
Yeah. I love that. I love everything you're saying about this. Tell me, what are some of the first quick and easy things that people can do if they want to get a better grip on their business finances? What's like the first three things that you go, okay, do this, do this, do this and then it'll automatically be cleaner, better, you'll feel better? Give me the magic wand for making more money.

Darcie Milfeld (23:55):
Give you the magic wand for making more money. Number one would be to put yourself on some kind of paycheck cycle. Where you are like, every dollar that I bring in between now and the 15th, between now and the end of the month, whatever that happens look like for you. Ideally, syncing it up with maybe like, if you have a partner or spouse, whatever their pay cycle might happen to be, because it'll make your personal finances so much easier, because then you have this chunk of money that you're able to kind of disperse out on the personal finance side. And I promise you, it's a process and it makes it so much easier. So the first thing would be, get yourself on a paycheck cycle.

Darcie Milfeld (24:32):
The second thing would be really focus ahead on what do I need on the personal finance side and how do I make sure that I'm bringing in the sales upcoming? And that involves things like, obviously conversions if you're running... Just having the conversations, really working on the marketing or whatever it is that you're doing in order to bring in those sales. And I know you're a really big advocate for that profitable customer journey.

Salome Schillack (24:58):

Darcie Milfeld (24:58):
Something like that is exactly what you need. To say, what is the quickest path for me to bring in cash?

Salome Schillack (25:04):

Darcie Milfeld (25:05):
Because I think like when we think of a business, it needs to be very cash focused, right? We need to have cash coming in. So I know when I'm working with my clients and we're like, we need money right away because we've got something else happening on the personal finance side, that is the number one thing of what do we do to make money? What do we do to bring in cash? And I think a lot of times we tend to procrastinate a lot on, well, I'm going to go tweak the website or I'm going to go do this. I've never been guilty ever. Never were guilty.

Salome Schillack (25:35):
No, neither have I.

Darcie Milfeld (25:37):
Like a hypothetical, right?

Salome Schillack (25:39):

Darcie Milfeld (25:40):
Totally hypothetical. But when we get into, oh my gosh, I just need like market, people need to know about what I do or just even how I like offer my services up, then it makes it so much easier for one people to... What do they say? The quickest path to cash is through conversation, prioritizing that. And I think that's where that connection of like, what's happening in personal finances and how that relates to business finances.

Darcie Milfeld (26:04):
And then another thing that I think would be really, really helpful is probably just on the... I mean, I'm going to kind of go with like that lead generation and that top of the funnel stuff, because like creating something that is a much longer lasting thing that allows your business to continue to grow, that takes some of the pressure off of you, on I've got to be... Just like we were talking about, right? I need the cash, like what can I do to get some quick cash? We want to build something that's much more long term and that does have maybe even like some recurring revenue thrown in there too.

Salome Schillack (26:43):
Yeah, I have questions about all three of these things. So number one, you said the first thing we need to do... Oh gosh, now it's out of my head. What was the first thing?

Darcie Milfeld (26:55):
The paycheck. That we need to-

Salome Schillack (26:56):
The paycheck. That's right-

Darcie Milfeld (26:59):
So important.

Salome Schillack (26:59):
Yeah. In Australia, so I have my business is a Pty limited, which I think you guys call it an L-

Darcie Milfeld (27:11):

Salome Schillack (27:12):
LLC. Yes, LLC. It's a business. It's a freestanding legal entity that is not me. I am a-

Darcie Milfeld (27:19):

Salome Schillack (27:20):
I am a director in that business. Yes. I pay myself a salary as an employee of the business. Shine and Succeed employs me as the CEO so I pay myself a salary the same way I pay my team members' salaries.

Darcie Milfeld (27:39):
Love that.

Salome Schillack (27:40):
And I am taxed on my salary as an employee. And then I take profit from the business and put that in a profit account and then I pay tax from the profits, right? So is it the same in the US? Because I know I've spoken to some of my friends over there and do you guys have a different way that you're taxed if you pay yourself and you're the owner of the business?

Darcie Milfeld (28:09):
There's a few different ways that you can be structured as a business. You can be structured as a sole proprietor, which means that you're essentially one and the same, you share the same social security number-

Salome Schillack (28:22):
Which is what I suggest everyone starts as. I started as a sole trader as well.

Darcie Milfeld (28:27):
Interesting. Oh interesting-

Salome Schillack (28:27):
I don't know what's better or worse in the US.

Darcie Milfeld (28:30):
It kind of goes with liability, right? Like that would probably be more of a lawyer question in terms of like, what's your liability? However you want to be structured. But if you're an LLC, generally, then it's like you are different but you don't have to be... You're not really like an employee of your business at all, you're considered a member. But you still kind of operate that way but then you can also be like a true corporation, which would be no different from say I don't know, like Microsoft or something like that, right? Like a corporation and then you become an employee. But you can also do other categorizations like taxes and [inaudible 00:29:03] where you are an employee. So it does get complicated from there. So your taxes will be sort of based off of however you are structured, but you want to be mindful of like the business taxes, but then also in that sometimes it can be one and the same depending on-

Salome Schillack (29:20):
Yeah, because I've heard some friends in the US talk about how they don't want to pay themselves because then they pay tax twice. And maybe I'm opening a can of worms here that we shouldn't be opening. But I was confused by that because I go, well, I don't pay tax twice, I pay tax as an employee, so my employee tax and I pay business tax on profit, but I don't view that as paying twice, but I've heard some friends in the US say they're hesitant to pay themselves because they don't want to pay tax twice. So I just wanted to like, is that a thing or am I misunderstanding?

Darcie Milfeld (30:00):
Oh, it's totally a thing. I think that it's always a good idea to bring in a tax strategist, at least here in the US, because then you can kind of figure out how you should even be structured altogether. And I think my general view on it is that like if you're paying taxes, that means that you're making money.

Salome Schillack (30:18):

Darcie Milfeld (30:20):
And I don't know, I feel like you could just make more money and then pay the taxes and have a tax strategist to help you get that bill down. Don't get me wrong, you don't want to pay more. But it would be something that I personally don't really shy away from. And I think like if you read, I'm sure you have, like the book, Profit First by Mike Michalowicz-

Salome Schillack (30:39):
I love it. I run my business profit first.

Darcie Milfeld (30:41):
Yeah. Like it's just the percentages, right? And I think if you're just like, okay, I'm going to set aside that money and just don't even act like it's yours and get rid of it. Like I feel like when I pay myself, I'm already getting rid of it every single month. So that way it's not in my accounts, it's just getting paid, it's like very, very no minimal profits with it and just a way of life, right? And I just kind of see what's going on, but I'm thrilled because when I see the profit and like good problem to have, that's my take on it because otherwise it's probably like scarcity, right?

Salome Schillack (31:14):
Well, I love that you've said that because the number of times I've heard people say, I'm hesitant to pay myself because I'm going to pay tax twice. Now I can say that's bullshit. Just get a tax... Go to a tax lawyer, get your tax figured out and pay yourself.

Darcie Milfeld (31:29):
Yes. And there are so many things you can do to even structure, where you could do like a solo 401k, you could do a SEP IRA, just to literally make those decisions of how do I get that done, but a tax strategist knows all of that so you don't even need to worry. That's not your job to keep up with the IRS.

Salome Schillack (31:47):
I'm so glad I asked you that because I've always like exited the conversation when I hear people say that because in Australia it's structured different and I've never had that issue but now I know. So now I'm going to like, just talk to tax people. Okay, so number one-

Darcie Milfeld (32:02):
It's called tax sheltering.

Salome Schillack (32:06):
Number one, pay yourself. What was number two again?

Darcie Milfeld (32:10):
Oh my gosh.

Salome Schillack (32:13):
Number two was-

Darcie Milfeld (32:13):
We're going to have to come up with this.

Salome Schillack (32:17):
What was it? Are we both having short memory loss? Number two was-

Darcie Milfeld (32:22):
It is on making sure that you're paying yourself enough and that maybe we're focusing on the right number. I don't know. I'm thinking of like the sales, right?

Salome Schillack (32:32):

Darcie Milfeld (32:32):
Because we would like to be really mindful of the fact of the amount that we need, especially on the personal finance side, right? Like I was working with someone and we would work on her finances and she paid herself weekly and we could see that there were certain weeks where she just had like every single bill possibly due during that one week but because she was paying herself weekly and everything we were doing, we needed to really look ahead and see what is happening? What do you need coming up? And how do we actually bring that money in through your marketing, through her sales? And we would make sure that she had enough for her appointments to be able to meet what she needed a week later on the personal finance side.

Salome Schillack (33:15):

Darcie Milfeld (33:15):
And I think that's so, so important, that communication between the business and personal finances and not operating like they're just two things out in La La Land.

Salome Schillack (33:24):

Darcie Milfeld (33:24):
Separate because it-

Salome Schillack (33:25):
I remember what it is that I wanted to ask you about that because there's a phase in everyone's business and I almost see this in my business, I have A-Lister and I have The Launch Lounge, right? And I feel like the students we have in A-Lister is when you're in A-Lister, you're in that newbie phase, you're in that kind of throwing spaghetti on the wall to see if it sticks phase, right? And I remember when I was in that phase, it frustrated me when I heard people say, know what's working and do more. Know what's working and just if you know how much money you need, then just sell more of the thing. And I go, I don't even know what sells yet, how am I supposed to do more of what's working?

Salome Schillack (34:12):
And what I do want to say is, I think that's why it's important, that's why I encourage the A-Listers over and over and over to just take action, take action. Make offers, make offers, make offers, make offers, do not rebrand, do not have more photos taken, do not do your website over, don't do any of that, don't invest in Kajabi or other expensive, fancy platforms that you do not need until you are rolling in dough. Like get by on what's scrappy and just make offers. And that is a space where hustle is totally okay. And you need to hustle your little heart out. And you need to like stick to the same thing and do it a few times until you can find that thing that works and until you can refine the thing that works and then when the students move to The Launch Lounge, I always say to them, now we're at the adults' table, right? Because now we have something that's working.

Salome Schillack (35:17):
Now we just have to collect data on that thing and then be able to see, okay, if I run it this way, this is what happens. So let me run it this way with a small tweak and see if I can change it a little bit and make more money and track the data and get it done. And then you do it again, and you do it again. And I feel like that's how you get to a place where you go, okay, I have this offer and this offer is working. I need money coming up in my personal finances because my kids are starting private school next year. What can I sell more of today in order to release cash to pay a whole year of private school upfront?

Darcie Milfeld (36:00):
Right. It really is that easy though. It really is in my opinion.

Salome Schillack (36:05):
It's simple. It's that simple.

Darcie Milfeld (36:08):
Yeah, maybe it's not easy, but it's simple.

Salome Schillack (36:10):
It's not easy, it's simple. It's very simple but we tend to overcomplicate it, right?

Darcie Milfeld (36:15):
Oh, a hundred percent.

Salome Schillack (36:15):
We tend to get sidetracked with the squirrel, the shiny object. It's like, oh yeah, let me have some new website design and let me rebrand and all these things, right?

Darcie Milfeld (36:26):
Right. I do think that it is scary putting yourself out there and-

Salome Schillack (36:29):
Yeah, what is that called? It's like a form of procrastination where you're still working but you're procrastinating on other things. You're like, let me watch this YouTube video or something on like, how do I code something that I don't need right now? I think that's what is the hardest thing when it comes to even the finances in general on the business side, is that we have to take it almost at a very, very different level of let's pretend that you are the breadwinner and you're the person that's in charge of this, you are the person that's in charge of lead generation, you're literally the CMO, the CFO, the... You've seen those reels before where they're like, I'm the coder, I'm the website designer, I'm everything. But I think when you think about it as like your job, like it or not, is the CFO, what would you do every single day if you only had a finite amount of hours in order to extract the most amount of money from your business?

Salome Schillack (37:29):
And when you go off with that question, and I know I asked that a lot of people that are in smallest edition, what would go? What would stay? And I can tell you from even like my own personal experience because what I'm always thinking of when it comes to business finances, we're worried about burnout, which is a huge, huge problem for finances, personal and business, obviously. So burnout, we're worried about lead generation because if we're always trying to target the same warm audience that we've been targeting or the same thing-

Darcie Milfeld (38:05):
It doesn't work.

Salome Schillack (38:06):
Right, it doesn't work. It gets old, it's harder and harder to get the conversions that you're looking for. And then we're also just really focused on, what do we need to do in order just to make sure that the money is still coming in? How are you spending your time? Are you working on the things that actually allow you to shine in your business, which brings in the money? And I can tell you, like I said, from my personal experience, when I'm into content creation and I'm like working on a program or whatever, do you know what always takes the back seat, like a hundred percent of the time from a risk perspective? It's my marketing.

Darcie Milfeld (38:42):

Salome Schillack (38:42):
And one of the things that I've identified as a risk factor is that I know I'm going to get busy. I know that there's going to be days where things are going on in my personal life or I'm just like really involved with a project, whether for a corporate client or for one of my businesses, if I let the marketing go then I can guarantee you that it's going to impact my finances in the future. I don't even have to guess. Like I could plot it out.

Darcie Milfeld (39:08):

Salome Schillack (39:08):
That's what I think has been so amazing about Facebook ads too. And from like that risk mitigation perspective, is that it's working 24/7 for me when I'm doing something else, right? I'm not even there and I'm like, wow, this is amazing. My list is still growing, my Instagram's growing and the business is so much healthier, there're sales coming in from something that I'm not even a part of. And whenever I can remove myself financially from something, it's better. Sounds so funny, right?

Darcie Milfeld (39:38):
Yeah. No, I think-

Salome Schillack (39:39):
From a risk-

Darcie Milfeld (39:40):
It is. And you have done a great job with your ads and with your offers and with your webinars and everything, you've just done such a-

Salome Schillack (39:48):
I don't think so. No, I always say this and I'm a hundred percent true. Like I am a one trick pony when it comes to my Facebook ads-

Darcie Milfeld (39:56):
Oh, you have a great trick.

Salome Schillack (39:56):
I know how to have like one ad. I only need to know one ad and that's what I would say, just like nail that one ad and you can roll that for days and days at a time.

Darcie Milfeld (40:04):
Especially you learnt that trick from the show ponies, that's right.

Salome Schillack (40:09):
So there's hope for everybody.

Darcie Milfeld (40:12):
There's hope for everybody, yeah. I want to kind of wrap this up on something that you just said. Gosh, my short term memory really is going, I think I'm starting early menopause. You said something a while ago about, if your sole job in your business every day was to show up and extract as much money as you can from your business, what would you be doing? By that-

Salome Schillack (40:44):
Me personally?

Darcie Milfeld (40:48):
No, I want... Well, maybe. Yes, start by answering. Like I want to sit in that question. I want to go and like percolate in that question because I feel I need to... That's like, oh snap.

Darcie Milfeld (41:04):
Yeah. Well, so this came about, for me personally, when I realized that... And I think it's the life as an entrepreneur, right? You're like I could do this. Oh my God, I have a similar idea, let me go and work on this, right? And next thing you know, you've added hours and hours to your week. And then you turn around, look at it, and you're like, I've been doing this for months, for years and honestly, no let up. And I heard it from... I forget. I wish I knew who it was, but I heard it from someone that said, what if you only had like six hours a day and six hours a day to really work on your business? I can tell you, first of all, that brings on a lot of like, oh my gosh, six hours a day, right?

Darcie Milfeld (41:41):
But immediately you could start rattling off if you knew you only had six hours, like there are a lot of things that would go for sure or I'd hire it out or I'd delegate it or I'd just not do it anymore, right? I would just be like we're done with that.

Salome Schillack (41:53):

Darcie Milfeld (41:54):
But the things that I would do if I needed to be in the position of like, we've got to extract as much money as possible from the business, I would be a hundred percent in, I'd be online, I'd be doing my marketing, I'd be in Facebook ads manager. I would be much more on those things, working on my conversions and really trying to make sure that really gets the bulk of my time. And I'll tell you from a finance perspective, I actually put that on myself because when I get so busy with my own, like creating a course, and that stuff takes so much time to do-

Salome Schillack (42:29):
Yeah, it does.

Darcie Milfeld (42:31):
I've actually put it... Like I've got to spend a certain amount of hours per week working on marketing in some way, shape or form to ensure the longevity of the business and all the things that I want to do with it. And when I think of it that way, that means that a lot of other things have to go. And I would really encourage anybody to think about that. If you only had a couple of hours a day to work your business, truly, I'm talking like hardcore, like thinking work, what would you do? Where would be the best use of your time?

Darcie Milfeld (43:01):
So when I worked with other people, they're like I should be out buying fabric. That's their thing that they really, really shine at for their particular business. It would be getting out and doing the podcast for their business. For others, it might be social media. For me as the introvert, I'm like a hundred percent, I'm an ad manager like I said. And trying to tweak that stuff. But I just think that it's so, so important to kind of know that.

Darcie Milfeld (43:29):
I think that fits in really well with what you're talking about with like the customer profitable journey. For me, I know what my customer profitable... I'm mixing that up. My profitable customer journey is. And so for that, that kind of dictates a lot of my own marketing activities, right? For those just few hours that I have per week to work on that. And going with that question really makes me also say no to a lot more things and put that pressure on myself of like, no, we need to end this and how do we get there? And I think hiring a VA that's like, this is your schedule now, it's been amazing for the boundaries.

Salome Schillack (44:04):
Yeah. Oh, I love that. You talk about working six hours a week. I work six hours-

Darcie Milfeld (44:18):
A day.

Salome Schillack (44:18):
A day. Yes-

Darcie Milfeld (44:18):
It's progress, right? It's progress, it's a step to reach-

Salome Schillack (44:19):
If I had to work six hours a week, I would blow my brain.

Darcie Milfeld (44:22):
What would you do?

Salome Schillack (44:23):
So bored. I would be so bored. I'm not capable of boredom, see-

Darcie Milfeld (44:29):
But go with what would you do... Like what would you do in your business?

Salome Schillack (44:31):
Oh, okay. If I-

Darcie Milfeld (44:31):
You'd find something fun to do, you're so creative.

Salome Schillack (44:35):
If I only worked six hours a week, I would spend... Ah, that's a good question. The two things that light me up is coaching people, answering questions for my students and creating content for my students. Not for-

Darcie Milfeld (44:59):
None of those make money. They do, but they don't. Do you see what I'm saying, from like a long term financial plan? I know that's what gets hard, right?

Salome Schillack (45:10):
But you know what, I look at someone like Brooke Castillo, right? And Brooke is incredibly talented at making money, but she doesn't run her business. She's not the CEO of her business. And I aspire to getting to a place where I have built the business well enough, I have the knowledge to build and grow the business well enough, but I don't have to be the CEO. I can be the person doing... Genuinely, I actually have this sort of, I'm going... Well, if the things that light me up the most is coaching students and creating content, like you're saying, neither of those two things are marketing and sales-

Darcie Milfeld (45:54):

Salome Schillack (45:56):
I have a problem.

Darcie Milfeld (45:58):
But you know what's so great about that is you might not have to be that person. And I would encourage everybody to think about that because I know I've thought about that too. Like, okay, well, if I'm not doing marketing or sales because it's not my most favorite thing to do, who else could do it for me? And I love where you're going with that.

Salome Schillack (46:14):

Darcie Milfeld (46:15):
Like maybe, you don't want to be the CEO. Maybe you're just like, I want to be the chief creative officer of this thing and that's where I really bring in like customers and like they kind of ignore all of that and like leave all the other CEO type stuff, CFO stuff to somebody else altogether.

Salome Schillack (46:33):
You still need to be the keeper of the big picture. The other people... You can have a CFO and a COO and a CEO and all those, you still have to be the key visionary and the person who understands, which are the important levers that needs pulling in order to reach more of your ideal customers and convert more of your ideal customers and serve more of your ideal... Those are the three... I feel like we need to... So let's go back. If I had to work six hours a week, this is the three things that I need to do. I need to, in that six hours, to reach more of my ideal customers, I'd probably use ads and pay my team to do that, I already do. Checked that box-

Darcie Milfeld (47:21):
And it's automated.

Salome Schillack (47:22):
It's automated. Yeah, and I have the best ads team in the world.

Darcie Milfeld (47:26):

Salome Schillack (47:28):
So I can check that off of my box, so that wouldn't have to go into my six hours. Convert more is my job. Conversion in my business is my job solely at this stage because I do it really well and because I love doing it. I actually do love, like the A-Lister webinar. I mean, I get to put feathers on and entertain people in my-

Darcie Milfeld (47:50):
I love that you're in your element.

Salome Schillack (47:51):
Yeah, and serve more people. That's my jam. That's what I love. You know how I love... I'm an introvert so don't give me social media, give me a Zoom call with a student, any day.

Darcie Milfeld (48:01):
Great. So, that sounds like you've got a perfect week then lined up.

Salome Schillack (48:05):
Maybe I've already created it. But I do want to say, like last year before I had my little breakthrough, breakdown-breakthrough, I was working. I had team issues that I had to fix. Hiring people, hiring the wrong people, hiring people in the wrong positions, I was working 12 hours a day. And what I can say in hindsight is what I didn't know then is it's not as simple as just cutting back your hours if you have a systemic problem. I had a systemic problem then. I have fixed the systemic problem to a large degree, I fixed the systemic problem. It meant I had to say no to new clients in the Ad Agency. It meant that I had to reshuffle everything, all my priorities. But now I genuinely work six hours a day but I have nine people on my team. And so I have replaced those hours with other people, which brings about a new responsibility because now I'm responsible for nine other people's mortgages, which means now I take sales very seriously.

Darcie Milfeld (49:13):
Right. No, a hundred percent. I think that really does shift the responsibility. Like it frees up other things, but it also creates that something else that you have to really be focused on. And I think some people really love it and some people are like, ah, I think it's-

Salome Schillack (49:31):
But it's a better quality problem, right?

Darcie Milfeld (49:32):
It is. But it's really important to know yourself and like, what are those risks that could potentially come up if I'm not that person or I'm not wearing that hat enough? And how does that impact other people within that and like where I spend my time and whatnot? Because especially, I'm pretty much like a solopreneur right now. I have a VA, but I think it's just really, really obvious for me, for other solopreneurs that I work with, that when we take our eye, we get too much into our work and we take our eye off of lead generation or we take our eye off of the social media, beginning to burnout or other things, it can really, really impact the finances.

Darcie Milfeld (50:16):
And I think if I could say anything, it would be really be mindful of knowing yourself and where those potential risks might be or challenges that you could foresee, because this is so important, like this is your personal finances and when you don't feel good about those, it really impacts the energy of your entire business. Your creative, all of the really fun things that make you you, and that special sauce that you bring to your business, it weighs it all down, which hurts your finances, right? And so I think that's why I'm like so protective of that with my clients. Okay, well, like we can't work that much or we need to be charging a right amount for what you're doing because you can't literally take on more creative work right now. This is your cap and I can't get you into burnout because then you're not going to go on to work and our sales plummet and it just kind of goes on and on and on.

Salome Schillack (51:07):

Darcie Milfeld (51:08):
So I think it's so, so important to know yourself and what you're willing to do or not do and set in those protocols so that way you're protected either way.

Salome Schillack (51:16):

Darcie Milfeld (51:16):
Keep the revenue going.

Salome Schillack (51:18):
What lights you up and what drains you.

Darcie Milfeld (51:23):

Salome Schillack (51:23):
I love that. I love that you are a finances person and you get that because that's what it's about. That's the heart of it, right?

Darcie Milfeld (51:31):
Yeah. It is. And it can be so fun. It really can.

Salome Schillack (51:34):
It is. I could talk to you for days and days. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for sharing your Darcie magic with us.

Darcie Milfeld (51:43):
I'm so happy to be here. Thank you so much for having me. And like I said, I think that it's been just so, so amazing to learn from you and for the others that don't know Salome in the same way that I've had the opportunity to learn from her and The Launch Lounge, she is so freaking brilliant with the strategy and I know she's personally pushed me when it comes to what I've done within my business. And sometimes uncomfortably, but it's been the most rewarding thing for me personally, professionally, financially and I'm just so, so indebted to all of the amazing mentorship that you brought in, and I know you've also helped other people within The Launch Lounge too, and certainly A-Listers as well.

Salome Schillack (52:35):
Aw, thank you so much. I'm honored to be part of your journey. Where can people learn more about you and about both of your courses?

Darcie Milfeld (52:46):
Yeah. So you can visit my website at greenbitesproject.com, all one word. And then I'm also on Instagram, most days, I try to be there. I'm at greenbitesproject over there.

Salome Schillack (52:59):
That's fantastic. I would encourage anyone to go and hang out with Darcie on Instagram and check out her website. Her course for personal finances is on evergreen, so you can get it today. Get started today. And then her business course, we will let you know when that opens up again. Go check out Darcie. Thank you so much Darcie.

Darcie Milfeld (53:24):
Thank you. Have a good day.

Salome Schillack (53:26):
If you love this episode and you are a committed online course launcher who wants to learn how to grow your profits in your next course launch and you want to know how to successfully scale your online courses business to seven figures and beyond, then I'd love to see you inside The Launch Lounge. The Launch Lounge is the only community online that is dedicated solely to helping you develop every aspect of your online courses business so that you can build your business to scale. With no one size fits all solutions, just the right education you need when you need it, coaching from our team of experts in different areas of launching and scaling and the best community on the internet, the Launch Lounge is your online course building home, if you want profitable launches that scale your business to seven figures and beyond. To get on the wait list for our next enrollment season, go to shineandsucceed.com/launch.

Salome Schillack (54:38):
Thank you so much for listening. If you had fun, please come back next week and remember to hit that subscribe button so you'll never miss a thing.