Every time I open Facebook there’s a sponsored post asking me to “book my first 5-figure client” or get “free training from a 7-figure webinar expert”.
Occasionally, there’s talk of 8-figures. I haven’t seen 9 yet, but I know it’s coming. And every time I see those numbers, I STILL have to do mental gymnastics.
(…okay, so if 4-figures is a thousand, then 5-figures is…)
But truthfully, anything more than 5-figures – I’m just gonna save us all the headache and call it +$10,000 – is way too much math for me. My brain starts working overtime, which quickly devolves into overwhelm.
(…okay, so is that gross or net…wonder what she spent on FB ads…does that include people on payment plans…shoot, I gotta get back to work on my course…but damn, Sam Cart is so expensive, and what if no one buys it…)
A whole bunch of “what ifs”. It’s just too big a stretch. 1 figure at a time, please. Because, as I’ve found in my own business, these huge milestones are a lot different in reality than they are in the Facebook ads.
This is what I thought it would feel like to earn 5-figures in 30 days:
There would be 10 ACTUAL thousand dollars in my bank account (not spread out over my USD account, 3 CAD accounts, and a bunch on hold in my Stripe account)
It would be a crazy confidence booster (not an exercise in personal worth, with me reciting “I’m worth it, I’m worth it” as a daily mantra)
There’d be more ease around my income goals (i.e. I wouldn’t be up at 3am mentally paying bills and calculating all the taxes I haven’t paid)
By the time I reached that level, I’d have an accountant, or at least a bookkeeper, to hold my hand (i.e. I wouldn’t be managing it all myself in an Google spreadsheet)
Friday afternoon I looked at that very spreadsheet (I do this every day as an exercise in gratitude) and thought to myself, “Holy sh*t, Tarzan. You did it.”
The big $10k.
I knew it was coming. But even so. *This moment*
I took a breath.
It didn’t look anything like I thought. It didn’t FEEL the way I thought it would. My hair didn’t magically turn to silk, and no one dropped hand-written confetti love notes on my head, à la Adele.
I didn’t even tell anyone.
But, undeniably, something had shifted.
The following week, I did $10,460 in sales. Like I said — there was an obvious shift happening. (For context, it was also a full moon.)
When I finally DID tell someone, my trusty local B-school possé, they insisted I double my prices immediately. Naturally, I went back to the office and polled 18 different people about whether or not that was really a good idea.
Will my clients dry up? Will they call me a fraud? Will they throw rocks at me? Will I change? Will my husband still love me?
Ah…the emotional aftermath. Heavy stuff. (I’m dealing with that by taking THIS course, fyi. It’s open for a few more days if you’d like to join me.)
I won’t subject you to a listicle about all the things I learned, but for anyone running a global business, I did learn something really important.
Currency exchange matters. A lot.
Almost all of my clients are in either the US or Australia, and I bill in USD nearly 100% of the time (with the exception of a handful of Canadian clients). I never took currency exchange very seriously, unless you count the occasional grumbling when I’m moving money around.
I did a quick tally on the walk home from work the other day…
If I bill $10,000 USD in a month, and exchange it at my bank’s current rate of 1.279, I get to take home $12,790 CAD.
If 1 bill $10,000 USD in a month, and exchange it at xe.com’s rate of 1.321, I get to take home $13,210 CAD.
That’s a difference of $420 per month.
Over a year, that’s a difference of $5040—just for the privilege of easily moving money back and forth between CAD and USD accounts, without logging into multiple banks or transferring through online portals like XE or Transferwise.
As business grows (which it always does), that number will only get higher.
This month, I plan to experiment with a locally grown FinTech company called Curexe, for transferring money between accounts in multiple currencies.
It’ll take longer (2 days instead of 2 seconds), but this small change could easily mean the difference between spending a long, cold winter in Niagara, and sipping kombucha on the beach with my fam-jam in Maui.This tiny currency hack is the difference between a cold Canadian winter, and 6 weeks on the beach in MauiClick To Tweet
And, on an emotional note. I gotta make another admission.
Some icky, alpha-dog stuff came up.
Maybe I watched The Wolf of Wall Street too many times, but something about earning a bunch of money brought up a weird energetic shift in our house. We’re still figuring it out.
Our family is quite unique. My man takes care of the kiddo full-time, and I go out to work.
The world applauds women like me. Courageous mamas running (gasp, 6-figure!) businesses. Kissing their kids on the nose and heading out to the working world, sometimes to a chorus of tears. Such a feat.
But stay-at-home dads?
Much like stay-at-home moms, they don’t get a lot of applause. A curious nod, yes. (“How interesting! And your wife is the SOLE provider?”). But there are no support networks for him. No one to high-five him for hanging out in the bathroom while our son takes an epic poop.
It takes the manliest kind of man to stand by and support his woman while she takes on the world. That needs to be acknowledged. (I salute you, baby. Love you forever and always.)
And one more thing.
Talking about money is weird.
…if you’re not used to it.
It’s actually hard to talk about money without feeling like someone will judge you, un-friend you, accuse you of bragging, question your worthiness, or report you to the taxman.
Nearly every time I have to qualify it with what I used to earn. Or what my parents taught me about money. Or all the emotional chow-chow that’s coming up (“I swear, I’m only telling you because I need to process it myself.”)
Still working on that one. I used to run next door to my office mate Stephanie and high-five her with every sale. Now I just feel like I’d be boasting. Or worse, gloating.
The Nuts & Bolts of My First 5-Figure Week
Here’s what I spent, what I actually got done
3 hours of support from Sandra, my amazing VA (“Support” is an understatement. Sandra is my life raft.)
4 sales conversations
2 copy review calls with existing clients
$1500 in affiliate commissions
Total work complete: 12 emails written, 1 round of website revisions, 1 short landing page
Total hours at the office: 41
Total sales (including affiliate commissions): $20,530 CAD
And the time investment?
These new projects will take me at least 6 weeks to complete. I don’t like to be too busy, so I’ll probably schedule 8 weeks to finish it all. (They’re actually spread out over a few months, while some are last minute—props to my timely bookers. My 5-figure week doesn’t actually mean I’m banking $80k/month. Not by a long shot.
Buuut…it does mean I have space to at least consider raising rates, and hold out for the clients who can afford to pay them, and will also get return on investment. (I have a policy of saying “no” if I don’t think a client can at least 2x their investment—or preferably 10x.)
In conclusion…lots of soul work to be done, in addition to all the copywriting.
Meditation to be done.
Deep breathing to be done.
Deep GRATITUDE to be channelled.
There’s something magical about earning money. It has a way of bringing stuff to the surface. Stuff you had NO idea was there. And not just in yourself, in other people too.
It forces you into doing divine work. Asking questions. Stretching yourself.
And to me, that kind of work is really the whole point.
(Lucky I got this in the mail from a fellow copywriter…)