Phenomenal Financial Blast!

Anthony and Rose joined me and Shauna (aka Sha-nomenal!) and the Phenomenal Team at Howard Partridge’s Inner Circle program in Houston.   There, we hosted the FUNomenal Financial Blast.  Owners from 21 companies cleaned up their financials, crunched budgeting numbers, determined selling prices and explored the Financial Quick Check report.  Super Nerdy Fun!  And powerful […]

How Much Should I Charge?

What price would you put on the gift of life?  Priceless?  Beyond measure?  No way to put that value in dollars?

But we attach a price tag to ourselves every day.  How much do you charge for an hour of your life?  How much for your knowledge, experience, physical and technical skills?  What are you worth?

Let’s work through a little exercise that will help you figure out what you’re worth.  The work you do takes time.  And time is the most precious resource.  Time reflects your life, sands through the hourglass.  When you exchange your time, your life, to go to work, you should be justly compensated.  How much do you need to charge to make this business worth your while?

For the sake of keeping this exercise simple, let’s assume that you are 40 years old and run a one-person heating company:  YOU.  You wear ALL the hats…the exquisite heating systems, running around for parts, general janitorial work around the shop and all the accounting and administrative work.  (Whew.) […]

By |March 11th, 2013|Budgeting, How Much Should I Charge, Making Money|5 Comments

How to Clean Up Your Payroll

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last 20 years helping people clean up financial messes.  The messy mess (the smelly smell for Sponge Bob fans) is payroll.

Payroll entries are complicated.  There is the expense to you and the cash requirements and the amount you withhold, then submit, for payroll taxes for you and the employee.  Add in reimbursements, advances and garnishments and, well, before you know it…it’s a mess.   Here are a few tips for getting your Payroll accounts to right, and for staying current and accurate. […]

By |February 18th, 2013|Accounting, Making Money|2 Comments

7 Tips to Dig Out of Debt

Debt as a national challenge is connected to rampant, unchecked individual debt. I’m not lecturing, I’m just saying. Many households overspend. Many companies run at a loss, year after year. Debt is how you keep the balls in the air. But you can hold them up there only so long.

The good news is that this is reversible. The very good news is that we will get a handle on our national debt as we dig out of the financial holes we have dug in our homes and our businesses. We get sucked into the debt problem through ignorance. We should learn how to budget and spend and price and do accounting in sixth grade. (I didn’t. Did you?) It’s also tempting to use all that credit that is laid at our feet when we are young and foolish. I created a debt crisis once upon a time. I turned it around, and I love to help others do the same. […]

By |January 22nd, 2013|Debt, Making Money, The Economy|0 Comments

Even the Best Tools are Useless in Unskilled Hands

I started running when I was 13 years old and I’ve been running ever since.  Not continuously, mind you.  But every day or two I head out for a run.  The key to longevity as an athlete is staying healthy.  Interestingly, the standard advice for preventing injuries is, “Buy shoes with lots of cushioning and stability.”  Here’s my advice:  Use good form.  Pretend the shoe doesn’t exist.  Run light and aligned.  Run better.  Run in moccasins or barefoot when you can.  Cushy shoes actually harm you because they allow you to run poorly and not feel it.  In the long run, your poor technique will lead to an injury.

The shoe is a tool.  There are bad and good tools, but ultimately the skill of the person using the tool is what creates a functional, productive result.  Makes sense in construction, too, right?  Consider a hammer.  As a technician, you know that even the best tool is useless in unskilled hands. Once upon a time, you picked up a hammer for the first time.  I bet someone watched you whack it a few times and then, shaking his head, came to your rescue.  “You’ll wear yourself out holding it like that.  Here.  Hold it like this.  Swing from your elbow.  Let the momentum of the swing do the work.” […]

By |June 26th, 2012|Budgeting, Making Money, Running|0 Comments

How Do I Win the Mega Millions?

Dear Ellen,

Winning the lottery would be the answer to my money problems.  Got any tips? 


Feel N. Lucky

Dear Ms. Lucky,

Wow!  It’s mind boggling to consider.   The last Mega Millions jackpot was the largest in history.  Three winners are over $200 million richer!  Did you buy a ticket?  Are you enticed by the possibility of instant mega-wealth?  Well, get ready for the next big one.   Here’s a sure fire plan to WIN the Lottery! […]

By |April 2nd, 2012|Making Money, Snappy Answers|0 Comments

Four Myths That Can Sink Your Business…

Business is easy: Be of service. Charge more than it costs. Take the money now. We really make it harder than it is. Perhaps it’s not the mechanics of business that get in our way. Maybe it’s the emotional baggage we attach to money. Or the things we think we know about business. Once upon a time, I nearly sank the family plumbing business. To fix it, I had to un-learn a few commonly held myths that that were tripping me up. […]

By |February 6th, 2012|Making Money, Setting Sight|0 Comments

The Sweet Spot Job

My husband Hot Rod and I were in business together a long time ago. Like many other contractors, we were seduced by the “BIG Job.” A “BIG Job” is one that…

Has lots of dollars in the bid.
Has lots of hours built in – to keep the team busy for a long time.

Once we got a handle on the financials, we started pricing ourselves out of the new construction market. The good news? We weaned ourselves from “BIG Jobs” and started making money on “Sweet Spot Jobs.”

You see, before I figured this out, I was sure that if a Job came in with a hefty Gross Margin, it was a good Job. But Gross Margin just ain’t “all that.”

Gross Margin is Sales minus Direct Costs (Cost of Goods Sold) expressed as a percentage. Gross Profit is Sales minus Direct Costs (Cost of Goods Sold) expressed as dollars. You need to pay attention to both. I will take a low Gross Margin if the Gross Profit – per hour, or per day – is really good.

Pull up a chair, business builder. I’m going to share something that I never learned in business school or in any business building seminar. My mentor Frank Blau taught this to me…and it is a key to making money.


By |July 11th, 2011|Accounting, Making Money, Sales|3 Comments

Down with DEBT

I love helping people! One of the biggest challenges I encounter is the suffocating burden of debt. Money buys options. Debt eliminates options. Do you struggle under the mounting pressure of debt…personally and/or in your business? You are not alone. The statistics on debt are troubling:

The average American household has 13 payment cards (credit cards, loan payments and store cards.)
Americans carry, on average, $8,000 in credit card debt from month to month. If you were to make only the minimum monthly payment on that debt, at 18% interest, it would take 25 years to pay off and cost you more than $24,000 in total.
46% of all Americans have less than $10,000 saved for their retirement.
96% of all Americans will retire financially dependent on the government, family or charity.
Only 2% of all homes in America are paid for. […]

By |May 3rd, 2011|Budgeting, Debt, Making Money|5 Comments