This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Prudential and DiMe Media. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

I’m home from BlogHer17 with so many great ideas and tips for all of you! This year I’ve really put my finances at the top of all my business plans and I feel like it’s manifesting a deeper understanding about my relationship with money. I’m on my third campaign with Prudential (I attended BlogHer as an ambassador) and am loving it because I feel like my business hat is growing taller each day!

Financial fitness is a form of self-love. By taking time and energy to learn, grow and save money, we are sending a strong message to the universe (and ourselves) that we are confident and excited for our future. We know we are working hard and learning new skills every day. I’m not just talking about bills in the bank account, but the sense of self-reliance. Knowing we can take care of ourselves!

I’m no financial guru, but I am someone who used to live in the “struggle” mindset. Always begging and praying for just enough to cover the bills. And I received just that, “just enough.” These days I set my goals higher and plan ahead. Wow, what a difference. Now that I know better, I do better and I’m happy to share it with friends, family and all of you!

Attending BlogHer was inspiring because I met so many other women with the same perspective. We compared notes to help each other out.

Part of my BlogHer adventure!

You might remember I worked with Prudential at the Hispanicize event and I loved the experience, so I was happy to continue our relationship. I love that they appreciate the creative arts industry since so many of us make income through our crafts, art, online stores, etc.

This is the panel I spoke on – it was a full house!

This was from our panel discussion and we had a powerhouse lineup, moderated by the fabulous Lain Ehmann:

Lorraine Ladish from Viva Fifty talked about how she has been an entrepreneur her whole life. We discussed how when you run your own business you aren’t at the mercy of waiting for a paycheck. She offers a wide list of services such as consulting, ad packages on her site, sponsorships, speaking, and she has a new book coming out soon. She said she had so many lines of her business going out she hired a business manager to facilitate it all, and that was a really great move for her.

Arsha Jones is a powerhouse businessperson! She runs multiple businesses as well. She not only runs a service based business for entrepreneurs but also has a T-shirt company ( Tees in the Trap) and BBQ sauce company (Capital City) and an app business (Apps by the Pound).

T-shirt by Tees in a Trap

One common thread we shared was we took action on our ideas and came up with formulas to monetize them. In this day and age, you have to monetize all the things in order to create sustainability. Many launch businesses by bootstrapping, which is when you fund it all yourself. That is great, but if you want your business to scale up in a big way, you’ll eventually need to look into funding.

No matter what direction, make sure to take care of the money you have coming in. Set an income amount that you want to generate and double it. Then make a list of ways to generate those numbers and follow through one-by-one. Make sure there is value for all parties.

I see a lot of people who say, “I want to make $100k this year! I’m ready” And they hold out their hands and close their eyes. Um, that money won’t magically fall from the sky, you have to do some listing/brainstorming to make it happen.

Here are some of the ways I keep Crafty Chica thriving (not in any order!):

  • Sponsorships, blog campaigns.
  • Spokesperson, demo, appearances.
  • Speaking engagements.
  • Teaching art workshops.
  • Business consulting.
  • Designing product lines.
  • Selling handmade art.
  • Licensing.
  • Freelance writing.
  • Ads and affiliates.

There are more ways – downloadable content, print on demand products – the list goes on….and on and on. And this is just for the creative arts industry. Think about your area and the ways you can tap into it.

OK, now that we know about different income streams, how do you handle those funds? I take 20% off the top to set aside for savings, and if you are 100% self-employed, set aside %40 for taxes. Cruel, I know, but it’s reality. It’s important to factor ALL of this in before you set your money goals.

It doesn’t mean you have to skimp and save, it means to set your goals higher and have the confidence to reach them so you don’t have to skimp on those guilty pleasures. When I went full-time with Crafty Chica, I laid out my business and finance plans – and then added in a monthly massage fee!

What? Massages?

Yes. To prove to myself that life is not all about work, work, work. It’s also about stopping to meditate, reflect and enjoy. Seriously, this is a way to honor my hard work, my body, arms, hands, and fingers. I learned that my upper body muscles are super tight and I have to spend a little bit of time each day to stretch and exercise. Self-care is important, people! Every time I go in for my massage, I use the time to 100% appreciate the moment and how I got there. I know that through my hard work I deserve this luxury, I earned it!

Maybe for you, it’s taking a yoga or art class, a day trip, carving out time every time to exercise or walk. Maybe all of the above!

While I was at BlogHer, I asked some people I met about their money habits. I met this dynamic power couple, Pablo Villatoro and Vyky Rifai who run a business called I Am Brave, it’s a success seminar series for women.

“Remove the fear, talk about it,” says Villatoro. “Have you ever gone to look at your savings account and kind of groaned? It shouldn’t be that way, we should be confident in our knowledge of where we stand. It should be fundamental to discuss the topic from an early age with your kids, and then invest in education to support it.”

His partner, Vyky, agreed and added some thoughts.

“I hadn’t had the conversations about money with my son when he was 10,” Rifai says. “He didn’t understand why we couldn’t buy that game or why we needed to save. Then I realized  I was doing him a disservice as an adult, these are life skills he needs to know. now we talk about it.”

Great advice, right?

Inspired by my ambassadorship with Prudential, here are some other tips I picked up from people I met at BlogHer:

  • Plan ahead to find new ways to bring in income. Look into passive income!
  • Keep track of every dollar coming in, and going out.
  • Review what you spent at the end of every day, see how you can do better tomorrow.
  • When you want to buy something bigger, target a stream of income to go towards that.
  • Check your credit score regularly and see how you can improve it.
  • Avoid unnecessary fees: Pay bills on time, don’t spend more than you have, etc.
  • Ask a friend or family member to join you with learning!
  • Educate yourself on planning for retirement. Eventually, all of us will have to face a big lifestyle change when we become the elders, right? We should want to be in control of that, have the funds saved for a cushy place or hired care. Check out Prudential’s site for articles on how to start saving early!

Thanks for reading through my post, I hope it offered some helpful thoughts for you! To learn more follow #Prupárate on social media or visit the Prudential site!

 

Love & light,


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