Pixie Dust and Profits is a podcast for small business owners who love Disney and want to sprinkle some of that magic onto their own businesses. Join your host, Nicole Boucher and Yasmine Spencer. As they explore the mouse’s $12.6 billion operation and break down exactly how you can apply these big scale concepts to your own business.
Welcome to this week’s episode of pixie, dust and profits. And we have a double header for you right now, because we asked recently for some listener questions and we are going to answer your questions over this episode and the next episode. So stay tuned and enjoy learning about a few of the businesses who tune into pixie to us. We have everything from photographers and coaches to brand designers, product safety consultants, and it’s going to be a lot of fun to dig into these questions now. It was also really great to see so many familiar faces that we talked to you all the time on Instagram. So please don’t be shy. Send us a message over there. We love to chat and connect and offer opportunities like this in the future as well. So without further ado, we have some questions to answer Yasmin who’s up first.
All right. So the first question comes for Misty Henry. Who’s actually a member of the profitable and productive party. Thanks for the question Misty. So before I get into her question, I just want to tell you guys a little bit about Misty. So Misty runs the maker’s resource shop. So if you are a small business owner who needs to know anything about product safety, when it comes to your product, Misty is your go-to. We’ll link her in the show notes down below, so you can find everything you need to know, but she offers a ton of digital, like resource guides courses, and even a membership to help support you on your product quest. Okay. So Misty wants to know what is just done. Good enough. So you can work on all the other things that also need to be done done is better than perfect.
Absolutely. But is it you’ll know it when you know it feeling. So that’s a, that’s a really good question. I know that we frequently work with entrepreneurs who never launch anything because they’re constantly waiting for it to be perfect and waiting to fine tune it. So it’s like going to like this, make this huge splash. And the thing is, is like, if you don’t launch, nothing’s ever going to happen. I don’t know. So like for me, when I try to evaluate, if something is good enough and done is I look at the product and before I create anything, I look at what the objectives are. What am I trying to achieve with whatever I’m creating? Like what are the learning objectives in hand? What do I want them to accomplish? What do I want them to get done? And when I look at my product, if it hits on all those things, I would say, it’s good enough.
Now, if you’re getting like caught up on the design element of things, if that’s where you’re getting like all niggly wiggly about, which is what I see a lot of creators do, like they’ll have the content on that’s, it’s making sure everything is looking perfect. Honestly, I would just say like invest in a template. There are a lot of shotmakers out there who create templates directly targeted at content creators to help you create like your checklist, your workbooks, et cetera. And I feel like investing in one of those things will help you get to the DM stage a lot faster. Nicole, what are your thoughts here?
I also think there’s something to be said about thinking about it in terms of money, time is money, right? And so one of the things that really helps me with my perfectionist tendencies as a maximizer is to look at the budget. So I actually tracked my time using a tool called harvest, and it’s more of a budget tracker than a time tracker for me because my clients pay by budget and money gets deducted as I’m working on things. And so I try to use that even for my own things and for pixie dust things. So when I’m tracking my time there, I can see that this is actually diminishing the budget I meant to spend on this activity. And so if you start thinking about things in that perspective, and you’re like, okay, I have $500 to make this happen. And you are spending your time, you know, tweaking the font size or adding some graphics over here or trying to redo something that’s already done, but not in a substantial, valuable way.
You can start seeing that money dwindle down. And so that can help your mindset in ways that I feel like maybe we value money a little more than we value our own time, especially as women. So if you think about it that way, that might help you say, okay, I am spending dollars on something. That’s not going to bring even a penny back and you can kind of stop yourself there. So that can be really helpful. And again, also remember that there’s always a process of continuous improvement, right? Nothing is ever done. Nothing is going to be set in stone. This is how it is forever. I mean, you can look at Disney for plenty of examples of that. How many times do they go ahead and add a little bit more to a ride or take something like pirates of the Caribbean and completely change it and add in Jacksboro.
I mean, things like that happen often enough that you should know that you’re never going to be done. And so you don’t need to wait for dentists. Perfect are done is better than not done because it’s always going to change. So keep that in mind while you’re working on it. You know, when you launch a new website, you don’t just say, you’re done. You go back like a couple of days later and you check for broken links. So those are the things that you should keep in mind your, your money that you’re spending in all the time that you’re spending on this. And also that it’s not something that’s going to be finished. Great answer, Nicole. So that was an excellent question. Thank you so much Misty. And we wanted to make sure everyone knows that she’s a product safety consultant. So if you are a maker who makes products that a consumer is going to use, especially babies, make sure you check her out and we’ll link to her in the show notes, and she’s having a black Friday deal. You can get one-on-one support or her workbooks or courses to help you get your product licensed officially to, as a safe product to use. So go ahead and check her out.
All right. So our next question comes from someone from my Homeland, Canada Bethany of the grey loft studio photography studio in Canada wants to know how to pivot her aunt, her business, to make an online presence that can earn her money outside of her photography business in a way that feels natural and good for the world. Now, Bethany, I am going to interpret that question, as you’re asking what you can do to take your photography business online to serve more people in that realm versus necessarily like, what else can you do? If you are a photographer and you have been hit hard by COVID, I know so many photographers have you really liked depending on where you live and the restrictions that are in place, kind of can’t do in-person sessions anymore. In studio sessions, a lot of photographers who have been doing weddings, like their contracts have been like canceled or postponed because people don’t know when they’re going to get together to celebrate
Completely overbooked for 2021, because everyone’s competing for dates to change their wedding. And so you’re kind of left in this, like there’s plenty of work coming and I’m going to be overloaded next year, but that doesn’t help me right now.
Yeah. And like, we feel for you guys, but I feel like there are things that you can do within the photography realm that can bring your business online and create revenue. So I’m going to talk about like some of the most obvious options. And then I’m going to go into a few other ideas that I think you can look into implementing. So the first is teach something. That’s what a lot of people do. If you are really good at something, let’s take the skillset that you have something that makes you uniquely you and turn that into a tool that you can pass on to other photographers. So that doesn’t mean like, these are the five things that I did to launch a six figure photography business. Honestly, there are enough of those out there, but if there’s something about your process that helps you bring back clients, maybe it has to do with your customer service process or your booking process or things that you can take insurance into tools to pass on and sell to other photographers. I think that’s a great idea to take something you have and generate revenue in a meaningful way.
There’s also, you know, yes-men and I just invested in buying some more stock photography for pixie dust and profits. We actually hire Laura Foote too, to go to Disney and take pictures because we can’t actually be there right now. And she had the opportunity because she was doing another event there and we now have photography for a pixie dust. So are there things that you have lying on your hard drive that could be worth something to somebody else? You know, someone else might look at pictures of trash cans at Disney world as you know, something for their digital trashcan. But we think that that’s really cool because we love that part of world and it works with our brand. And so look at things that are on your hard drive, see what you have available. Right now I have presets on my phone for Lightroom and it was something I didn’t know anything about, but now that I do, and now that I’ve learned from my photographer friends, that all you need is a well lit window.
And to know like the rule of thirds and things like that, I can take some really decent pictures of my family. Now that I’m stuck home and, you know, want to kind of catalog and capture what we’re going through right now. And I learned all of that, all those bits and pieces from photographers who just shared one tip at a time, and now I can have some pretty nice pictures using just a one-click preset and Lightroom. So if you have something like that or the knowledge to be able to build that, go ahead and do that and educate people on how it really, you can take some great photos straight from your phone and you don’t need to hire a photographer for necessarily everything. If you’re handy with editing or retouching, then maybe people who are taking their own photos, we’d love for you to retouch their photos a little bit, or remove noisy zoom backgrounds or anything like that.
Because I mean, I know I recently ran for town office and I was very grateful to have the ability to take a quick headshot to send to the newspapers, using just the walls in my house and good lighting. There are other people who don’t know how to do that stuff. And so those are some ways that you can use your photography skills in an online way that isn’t necessarily selling to other photographers. So if you feel called to a certain direction, that might help you think of different ways of funneling, what you, what you have already available, things that you do for other people.
Those are amazing suggestions. One other thing that I’ll add, there is a lot of photographers that we suggest, like, you know, teaching the consumer, how to take better photos. They’re like, well, what if that cannibalize is like the work that they do with me? And I want to assure you that when someone comes to photographer for those special moments, they’re going to continue coming to you. But what you’re really helping them do is create more confidence with capturing the every day. And by doing that, I think it places more focus and importance on the, a good image. So if they want something that’s like really well done, and frankly like mom doesn’t want to have to like be the one responsible for wrangling a bunch of kids and getting them to smile. They’re going to come to a professional.
I was going to say it almost like makes your services more valuable because I value photos. I value your experience. I know you’re going to take the good shot. And I mean, I see photographers like family photographers in particular as like documenting our family legacy. And so that means I have to actually be in the photo and not taking a photo and taking a selfie doesn’t count because like, you don’t get a good angle or anything like that. So I think educating your audience and the importance of taking their own photos and documenting, and all of that is only going to bring you more business because then they’re going to see, wow, I can hang some of these on the wall and you can take even better ones.
Yeah. And one final thing that I want to recommend is doing a little bit of consulting again, because of the state that we’re in. I know a lot of people are like doing their photos themselves for the holidays. And as a photographer, I think that you have special insight into how to set up a great shot, what people should wear. So think about potentially ways that you can do like zoom consulting sessions, either like prepping mom beforehand, letting her know like what she should do within her space to set up a good shot, or even potentially this might be a little complicated, but throwing the idea out there, sort of being on hand while she’s trying to do it and being the one sort of instructing people how to pose from a laptop or from like a phone and sort of being like a virtual guide to help them like NAB that great shot.
And of course the obvious thing is like, you can do socially distant photo sessions this year. I know a lot of photographers who, you know, historically they would have gone to like tree farms and would’ve done their photo shoots, tree farms are closed. So you just found another like local public place. And if you’re outside bundled up you know, you can take a socially distant photo. Alternatively, I saw a few photographers who were doing photos on people’s doorsteps. The kids are getting together in their jammies and like hats and scarves. And it’s super cute. And again, you can still maintain social distancing guidelines while taking a photo that is special and memorable. Yeah.
There’s quite a bit you can do as an it consultant zoom session. I mean, I just recently painted an entire house and there’s a paint company that offers consultations over zoom. So that way they could tell you like, Oh, here’s how I see the light coming into the room. And here’s the color I think would look good. And they actually do like whole house. So that way you can have all of your colors coordinated, and it wasn’t very expensive and it was super valuable and you could totally do something like that with someone telling them like which room they should take their pictures in, or which side of the house gets the best light and has a good backdrop for pictures. So I think that was a lot of ideas. And hopefully you found something there that feels aligned to you and you’re uniquely your business. And you know, it doesn’t feel like something you have to do that because everyone else is doing it.
Thanks so much Bethany. So we will link Bethany’s website in her information in the show notes. All right. So our last question for this episode, we’re again, we’re going to have the whole second episode with more questions for you guys comes from Eva Cantu of Southern miss coaching. So even runs a fundraise sta, which tells me that she deals with finances than ever favorite topics. Yay. and her question is she wants feedback on funding and modeling education for small businesses. This is something that is not talked about in the online space, Eva, you are preaching to the choir. Oh my gosh, this is something that Nicole and I are so passionate about because we think that financial literacy for small business owners is so important. And it goes beyond how, how to manage like finances and your personal life managing finances for your business.
It’s kind of another ballgame. I have a few thoughts on this. I know Nicole does because she’s looking excitedly at me. So I’m going to go first if that’s cool, Nicole, and I will say that I have been working with entrepreneurs for years and years and years, and like modeling things in Excel is like my jam. I like Excel is my happy place. I love spreadsheets and numbers and being able to predictably, you know, projection forecast things. And one thing I’ve learned is when I share these things with my clients, they kind of give me a blank stare because they’re like, okay, like what does this ratio mean? And what does this number mean? And early on, I learned that they don’t care about those specifics and it’s because they don’t want an MBA in finance. They don’t want to have to take a crash course in understanding like business finances. What they want to know is how much you’re making, how much they’re spending and like where they need to place their money to maximize either their profits or like their, their growth, essentially, in terms of like savings,
Don’t want to know how much they’re spending they should know should know.
But what we would,
Which is part of the financial literacy, right. They should not have well, because some, some spending is better than others.
Yeah. So I think, look, the key things that you want to make sure that you’re communicating in a really simplified way is again, having them understand where their money is coming from first and foremost, the second thing is helping them understand where their money is going. So like over at pixie has some profits. What we do in our membership is actually we give our members like a breakdown of like where their money is coming from. So they’re able to put that data in, but we have them tabulate their expenses. So they know which category they are spending the most money on. So one area that we see people, like, I kind of want to say like overspend on is education because all the courses seem so shiny and you want to learn all the things and you buy a lot of stuff and you don’t do anything with it. So honestly, like we will have people like evaluate those expenses, even spending money with us because we want to make sure if they’re putting money into their growth and education, they are getting a positive ROI out of it. I think that helping break down the key components of business finances in terms of like what’s coming in, what’s going out, how much we should be putting aside for taxes. The importance of having business savings is super crucial. And I think
Don’t be surprised when tax time comes, you know, have the savings account already, automatically making, putting deposits in.
We like, I’m just going to be honest. Like we’ve had a couple of clients that we worked with where we found out like, you know, in prior years it didn’t really save aside money for taxes. So we had to do like quick sales to literally make the cashflow so they can pay their tax bill.
Yeah. Pay last year’s tax bill, you know, like it wasn’t even the last paid for what they earned in that year. It was paying on what they earned the year prior because they had already spent it.
And again, like telling them how to avoid, like I would say that’s a nightmare situation in my eyes, like scenarios like that, where they feel panicked and pressured is so important. So focus on the things that people are scared about and are nervous about and educate them in small, meaningful ways and use your products as a solution that simplifies it for them. It’s something that has to do like the heavy lifting for them. So they just have to input a few numbers and get all that data that they need to know.
So the other thing I really would love to be stressed is the relationship, especially for these like online entrepreneurs LL like single member LLCs, even the sole proprietors out there who haven’t switched to an LLC yet is the connection between your personal finances and your business finances. And I think that there are people who don’t know what to charge or what their, our really rate should be. And you can do calculations there where it’s full, how much are your bills every month? How much is your rent? How much, just, how much do you need to live? And that’s your like bare minimum. That’s what you need to be able to bring in. And then when you know how many hours you can work in a week, you know, you can work like 20 hours in a week, 20 billable hours, then you can start trying to get to what your hourly rate needs to be, to live, to save, to have a retirement account.
And so I think some of those concepts will add on. So if you start down at the very basics, like let’s actually sit down and just write down, how much is your electricity bill? How much is your car payment? How much is your rent? Let’s get that all down and then showing the relationship between that and what your hourly rate and how much you should make. So all Yasmin’s talking about the investing in the business side of things, the other side is equally as important where getting them started on baby steps of just like feeling comfortable with knowing how much comes in and how much goes out and words going and how much they need to make. So that way, when they do approach their business, they’ll take those same principles. They learned in personal finance to how they approach their business spending, because they’re going to say, okay, these are the bills I have every month in my business.
This is how much money I’m bringing in. And if I want to be able to go to that conference or retreat or invest in a new website, then I need to be saving this much. So I need to book another client or change my rates. And so I think teaching some of these concepts in a way that someone understands in terms of electricity bills and car payments and rent, the food is going to teach them how to do it the same way in their own business. Because I think some people see business money as monopoly money or play money. And it’s like, what would you just write it off? And like, that’s not really how it works when you write something off, it just means that you’re not taxed on the expense, but it doesn’t mean it was good money or free money or that you didn’t lose out personally by spending that money in your business, because you could have paid that out to yourself as an owner draw instead.
And so I think that teaching people, these skills in their personal realm will bleed into how they think about their investments as business owners. So I love that you’re doing this. I love that you are educating and informing and bringing more of this to the world because we definitely need more financial literacy. I think there’s, we can go into a whole rant on this, but maybe another time about how just women in general, we growing up math was always to be men’s domain, right? I was one of two people in my AP two women in my AP calculus class. And you know, I think some of those things from over the years made women internalize that we’re not good at numbers. We’re not good at math. We’re not good at money. And none of that is true, but for every woman that’s standing here saying fight reciting figures and talking about finances, we can empower another woman to just think about it in a different way, maybe in a way that teachers didn’t teach to them when they were in junior high, high school a decade ago.
So I love that you’re here doing this work and we think it’s really important and valuable. So everyone check her out. We’ll put all of her information and the show notes and we follow her on Instagram and we’ll share her, her work there as well. So thank you so much for joining us for this episode. I hope you got a little bit of insight and to some of the questions that came in and the responses they get. I also really want to encourage you to check out the women who submitted questions because they’re, they’re all wonderful. We have talked to them over Instagram for months. Misty’s part of our membership program. If you’re interested in our membership program, you can find that at pixiedustandprofits.com/party, and we answer questions like this all the time. We have coaching calls every other week where you get to ask anything and we have an online forum that isn’t on Facebook. So you can ask questions in a safe space that you don’t have to worry about other people seeing or getting distracted by other noise over on Facebook. And this is the type of stuff we answer all the time. So we love being a partner in your business. And if you want to take up the party, you can find it at pixiedustandprofits.com/party.
All right, thanks for joining us for another episode. And we will be back next week with part two. So we’ll see you real soon.