Are you ready to scale your business in a way that's aligned with your soul and profitable? I'm Kc Rossi of business and leadership coach. I've been a full-time entrepreneur for 30 years and love business. I help conscious leaders increase their impact and optimize their lives. Join me each week for tips and deep conversations on cultivating confidence, increasing your visible.
Elevating your vibration and leading with purpose without burning out.
My guest today is Danielle Hayden. Danielle is a reformed corporate CFO who is on a mission to help rule-breaking female entrepreneurs understand their numbers so they can gain the competence needed to create sustainable profits. After spending 10 plus years in the boardroom, as a CFO, a corporate financial officer, Danielle is now in her sweet spot as the co-owner of kickstart accounting, where she helps business owners with their bookkeeping.
Financial analysis and education. And she's the author of the profit planner book series. I loved my time with Danielle for several reasons. One she's a direct, no BS, kind of a person you can tell. She walks her talk. And I really admire someone who brings in all of the holistic elements of not only personal wellness and fitness, but the work-life balance as a mama and an entrepreneur.
All the way straight through to leading a kick-ass team. I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I enjoyed having this conversation with Danielle enjoy. Hey, Danielle, welcome to the show.
Thank you so much for having me here.
Yeah. I'm really excited to dive in with you. Not only because you are a numbers expert, but I think that.
It is so important that we have our finger on the pulse of our metrics. And I feel that with the turn of the new year, we all have these great aspirations of filling in the gaps of our weaknesses. And I know for a lot of the women that I connect with and female entrepreneurs. You know, really knowing our metrics and looking at our analytics and our KPIs and all of those things is kind of the thing last on the list and never really gets bumped up to the priority space.
So I think this is an excellent time to hear from you and your wisdom. I know that you have a decade of experience as being a chief financial officer. And so I'm sure now. Female entrepreneurs is yeah. I want to hear more about how you dovetailed from being the CFO into your current position of helping women entrepreneurs get really a handle on their numbers and bookkeeping and all that good stuff.
So I got to the opportunity to learn so much from the board of directors that I was working with and the management team and busters. I really got to see how they made. Clear and swift business decisions using the numbers, right. They determined what metrics we were going to monitor and when things were going bad or good, right.
We made decisions based on that. And I just thought it was not black and white, but it was empowering and confident. And then I was doing some volunteer work for a local entrepreneurship hub. And what I realized is that. Entrepreneurs and especially women entrepreneurs, they didn't have that, right?
Like they didn't even have the bookkeeping in place to be able to say what the numbers are to then even make a business decision. And so what I really wanted to do was use my expertise to teach them how to use the numbers, to make business decisions. Well, we realized we couldn't do that until we got bookkeeping and the foundations in place.
So now at our firm, we do kind of soup to nuts, right? Like you got, you have to have the foundation built correctly. So the right income statement, the right chart of accounts, the right systems in place all those things will then allow us to have the armor in place to be able to help people understand their numbers.
So it was, it was kind of an, an odd pivot where. A lot about your mindset, you know, coming from corporate world, I said, there's no mindset. It's black and white. Right. Here's here's the number, here's the decision. And then throughout the years I'm like, oh, oh yes, yes.
And it clicks so well.
So what do you think the biggest money story is that holds back women leaders and entrepreneurs from. The number side of business.
The biggest one I hear is I'm not a numbers person and as. It's like, you know, I'm overweight because my genetics, it's almost like letting myself off the hook. Right. I like, I don't have, I don't have to deal with this because it's just not me.
It's not who I am. I'm a creative I'm left-brained like, I don't have to, however. We have to take responsibility, right? We have steak the minute we decided to take a dollar from a customer or hire a contractor that, that, that moment that we decided to become any type of business owner. We now have a responsibility to know the numbers.
It's part of taking care of ourselves and others. It's part of that wellness journey that all of us are on. And so. I like to tell people to turn off that number, that narrative, even if you're not a numbers person, you have a responsibility to get this part of your business healthy and at a fullest part of its wellness.
Sure. Yeah, absolutely. And what's a mindset shift that can help people make that, you know, Turn off because it is an old paradigm and we have a lot of like beliefs and stories around this. So I'm wondering if you have a tip on how to make that mindset shift. So it's a smoother transition.
Start small, right?
Like it's one thing like the problem with, with accounting and numbers, especially in our business is that there's so much to do. Right. I had to create the system. I have to maintain the bookkeeping. I have to re run. These reports, do one thing right now and, and feel the momentum of that. And then you can do two things next week.
So I think just starting right, starting where you are and start making actions towards making progress is a, is an amazing way to start to shift that mindset or to get help as entrepreneurs. I don't know why we think that we have to wear all the hats, right. Like, just because I was good at this one thing.
And I went into business because I'm creative now, all of a sudden, I'm the CEO, CFO, chief sales, operations, marketing director. Like why, why, why did we, why do we expect ourselves to suddenly be all these things? And, and so I think be a part of shifting the mindset is. Being able to accept the help and say, I don't have to do this all myself.
The things that I'm not good at the art, my expertise, I'm going to hire the experts and then they're going to help guide my ship. They're gonna help guide me. And then the third thing I'd say is, is Like figuring out what your money mindset is. We all have it. So why do you think you're not a numbers person?
Like journal that out, right? Like where did that come from? Who told you that? Was it your mom? Wasn't a numbers person. Your dad, wasn't a numbers person. You, you grew up in a household that didn't talk about money or that, that You know, maybe they didn't have money. And so you think that you have to be come from a scarcity mindset.
So it's having the conversation with yourself or with your spouse or with your business coach, whoever that may be to figure out why you have come to this conclusion that you are not a money person. And then that's going to guide you out of.
, that's awesome. I think awareness absolutely is step one, you know, just kind of opening that conversation for sure.
And then I love your point of why do we have this belief that we have to do all the things, be all the things and really understand when we need to. Bring in that support and fill in those gaps and weaknesses. So I love what you're saying there. That's awesome. So I'm wondering, you mentioned support and I'm wondering when is a good time to outsource bookkeeping.
As soon as you're able to. So if you are, if you're somebody who doing the bookkeeping's on your to-do list and it's occupying your head space and you know, it's not something you're good at and that you don't want to do it, or if you do it, it's going to take you a really long time to do it. And it's this, I call it the, the black cloud effects, right?
It's following you around because. Like you're, you're, it's the one thing that never gets crossed off your to-do list and it comes with you to the next week. It comes with you to the next month. That's the time, right? Like there's not a revenue marker. There's not an expense markers that an amount of money it's when you're not doing it, because at the end of the day, You have to file your taxes.
And I do not want you own underpaying or overpay. And if you don't have the correct bookkeeping in place, I promise you, you are over underpaying. And so again, if you're a business owner, you have to file the taxes. And so you have to have this in place. And the worst thing, you know, especially this time of.
We're having so many people come to us and say, I, it was on my, it was my new year's resolution last year. That's exactly right. Like it was my new year's resolution last year to know my numbers. And here we are January of the following year and I was too overwhelmed that I never did it. And so now I have to make a different resolution.
Right. It's not. Does that for me to put together the book, get big it's for somebody else to put together the bookkeeping and then me just know my numbers.
Yeah. Yeah. That's awesome. That's awesome. What's a good tip that you can give for creating sustainable products.
Know your numbers. I know I always sound like a broken record, but it, when, when you know your numbers, you can make really quick decisions.
So if you are looking at your profit and loss statement every month and you see. Oh, wow. My operating expenses are just creeping up a little bit more every month. What am I doing? Right. Like, what am I signing up for? Is it, is it courses, is it cut your contractors, employees subscriptions. Oh my goodness.
The subscriptions that we all sign up for you know, is it that your cost of goods sold? Where, where are you spending more money? And then why, why are you spending money? There is it to make you more efficient, improve processes, better your customer experience. If you can't say yes to any of those and why are you spending money on it, but you can't even start to ask yourself those questions until you have the numbers in front of you.
Once you have the numbers in front of you. Now I can start to ask you. Like, does this align with your goals for this year? Like what was your goal and does this align.
That those are very powerful questions because I think we can just kind of run down the river unconsciously. You know, we just keep kind of repeating our routines.
So having somebody to reflect back to us, our goals, our deep desires and our, our expenditures lining up with those original desires. So powerful, simple and powerful. I'm wondering Danielle, if you've seen a shift in. Expenses across the board generally post 2020, because of COVID.
Ooh. Interesting. I was just having a conversation with somebody earlier about this.
We'd see our clients doing really well. So we have a lot of clients in the online space and they're growing and hiring and investing in their businesses. And so You know, the, the narrative that we're seeing is that business owners are ready. Right. They're ready to invest in themselves. They're ready to invest in other people.
They want to hire. I don't ever talk to a single client who says to me, I want to hire, but I cannot find anybody to work. Every, you know, most business owners are in the same boat. So I, where I don't think that there's one. Specific category where people are spending more money. I just think that we're starting to see a shift and people hiring contractor, like stop hiring contractors and hire more employees.
They want to have people know that they have a fit within their company and was a long-term solution. But overall, we're just seeing an increase in spending because business owners are doing well and they're ready to invest back into their.
I love that. I love that answer because I feel like my assumption and maybe what I've seen prior to 2020 is that course carousel where female entrepreneurs are like, I needed this other program.
I've got to get this funnel expert. I need this or that, or the other thing. And I just wondered if COVID chaos. Was increasing or spiking, those kinds of thought processes, but I'm really happy to hear that they're ready to invest. They're ready to grow team. That's exciting. It is exciting.
And yes, we still have some, some businesses.
I think that's a little bit of your revenue where I do see a change in revenue. A lot of business owners under a hundred thousand who are still trying to make their first a hundred K they're in learning mode, right? Like a lot of them are still buying a lot of courses and And those, but our clients who maybe were under a hundred K pre pandemic or started their business in the pandemic, the hair freaking doing well.
So they're past a hundred K, right? Like they are like, we are seeing some great growth. And so in that they're able to start shifting from, I need to learn more to, I need to do more. I need to serve.
Such an excellent distinction. Yeah. Thank you for pointing that out. That's that's phenomenal. So I know you have two kids.
I'm wondering what you do to kind of strike that work-life balance or do you feel work-life balance is a far, sorry. Yeah. Tell me a little bit on how you juggle all of the responsibilities as a female. Entrepreneur and mom.
Yeah, I think it'd be probably more interesting to ask my kids. That question has them, how I'm doing.
You know, it depends on the season. I always say there's no such thing as balanced. Like some days I'm going to really kill it as a mom and some days I'm going to kill it as a business owner. And I. I try to be, you know, both of those things to the best of my ability every day, but I know that that's not going to happen some days, you know, there might be a day that I need to take a client meeting and I'm not going to be the one to pick up my son from school.
I'm going to, yeah. We purposely live close to my parents. And so, yeah, maybe it's going to be grandma picking them up or Yeah, maybe I won't, I won't make it to that basketball game today, but I think the counter to that is that the kids get to see their mom working really hard. And what I don't think that they'll ever be able to say is that they don't know what hard work is.
I think that they understand what hard work is and not that you have to, you know, there's so many gurus right out, like you don't have to work hard in order to make money. The money can come freely to you. I want them to see both, right? Like it's okay to talk about money. It's okay to have wealth. It's okay to talk about wealth and it's okay to work hard.
When, when, when there is a season of expansion that we show up for that expansion example in my businesses, you know, January like tax season, you know right before tax season and through tax season, we're really busy. We have a lot of business owners who, like we talked about earlier need all of a sudden they forgot they were supposed to do their bookkeeping.
And then some are, it's kind of like everybody goes on vacation and you know, and the first few years I was like, oh my God, what's happening. And now I'm like, Hey guys, why don't we plan some day trips to the beach and, and do things during that time. So. Our own seasons in our own businesses as helping me show up as a mom and a business owner and different times.
That's beautiful. And I love that. And I think that it's so imperative right now to have that. Modeling of work ethic. It's huge. It's so huge. So I love that. I, and that you're right. It's all about this juggling balancing act and looking at kind of the long, the long haul. I know that you're a fan of fitness and you bring the kids involved in like Spartan races.
I think that's fabulous. I'm always so curious on how that enthusiasm for or passion for fitness, how it helps you become a better business.
Oh, it's like the, my two favorite things in the world. So I think the reason I'm able to show up every day. So energetically is because I have just as much focus on taking care of myself as I do on my business and my team.
You have to care for yourself or. I mean, maybe you'll show up short-term but you're not gonna be able to show up. Long-term right. It's the things that I do in the mornings before I start my day and the things that I do to end my day that helped me sleep well and take care of my body and fuel myself properly.
That make me a better business owner, because now I can show up for my team and my clients with energy. And trust me, like I've gone through seasons, just like everybody else has, but I remember. After being in a season where I wasn't meditating and we were eating out more and I wasn't prioritizing working out and walking the dog and stuff.
I remember not having the energy and I had a decision like. Do I make the time for me and work a little less or, or be with my kids a little less and spend more time on me or continue in this rat race where I'm tired. And I found that as I pulled back and I spent more time on, on, on making sure that wellness was a priority, I was able to show up better in every area.
And so it didn't matter if it was less time because the time that I was spending. I don't know, a more improved time experience.
Yeah, absolutely. I am a huge fan. I help my clients achieve holistic wealth. And you know, part of that is the financial piece is just a section of the story. So that physical wellness that we're talking about is what cultivates that vitality.
Like you said to show up, I love it. If you could share some of your morning and evening routines, that just help you stay, you know, full of energy and optimal.
Yeah. So in the mornings, I try to wake up before the kids and work out in the morning. I have, we have a whole spare bedroom with every piece of equipment known to man.
So we have the Peloton, a set of waste and a, a treadmill on a rower. So I get in there before anybody's even up. And then once I get them home from school and I, I meditate. I do some readings. I dunno, 15, 20 minutes. And then it's onto my day. We do a daily team huddle with my team, which keeps me really, really excited.
So every day I get to see my entire team every morning and, and we all get to feed off of each other's energy. So I think that those activities leading up to that team team meeting helped me show up with the right energy for them. And so we can all like give each other our high vibes And then in the evenings I've I love going to yoga or doing, doing yoga here.
And then again, I, I'm a big believer of meditating in the evening. So Wim Hoff, I did whim off. And we get to bed on time. And like my 16 year old based upon us, we are, we are asleep. We're in bed 9, 9 30. And if I see 10 o'clock on the weekday, it's it's I got something going on and I was required to stay up late.
It doesn't happen.
It's so important. This is really the secret sauce that I see when people are struggling with either burnout or, you know, just kind of committing or having problems with their boundaries. I'm always looking at those, you know, bookends. What are you doing in the morning? What do you do in the evening?
Are you prioritizing yourself? I love that you are so dialed in on that. So I just want to like lift you up for that. It's a big inspiration. For listeners. It's, it's huge. I'm wondering what motivates you for consistency in that routine?
So I would do pick a word of the year and my word of the year was four years ago was consistent.
And it's still my word of the year, because I want to just keep on showing up consistently. And so I put a lot of pressure on myself, like, oh, I only went half, four days last week. It's a breathing exercise and not seven. And I'm like, who cares? Right. You did it four days. Right. And so I'm acknowledging that I did it more days than I did it.
And I'm going to do, I'm going to try again this week. And so just, I think approaching it. With grace and forgiveness, because I think so many of us are, are thinking, oh, well, I didn't do, I didn't, I don't go for a walk that day. I didn't, I didn't work. I didn't meditate that day or I, I ate bad all weekend.
I'm just going to keep on eating bad. And so just showing up without the shame and the guilt and I mean that for everything, financial wellness, personal wellness everything just release the shame and the judgment against. Just try to do better today than you did yesterday. Not on Monday, not next month today.
Yeah, absolutely such good words of wisdom and really it's how we embody that progress over perfection hashtag it's not just a trending hashtag, but it's also applying that growth mindset and those principles to this layer. Right of wellness. So I love that. Now, speaking of like dovetailing and layering in things that kind of trickle down, I'm curious how knowing our metrics and really being like intimately involved with our numbers brings about self-empowerment and other areas of our life.
It gives you confidence. So, you know, when you don't know your numbers, when you don't know your metrics, it can feel scary. You're in the dark. You don't know who to go to. I don't know. I, I, I always picture like a sailboat in the middle of the sea at night, you know, and starting to know your numbers is like watching, watching the sunrise, right.
Like, oh, okay. I can, I can see a little. I can see a little more. And then all of a sudden you're smooth sailing. It's daylight. Again, you can see where you're at, you know, what's direction you're rowing to, or you're sailing to. So I think confidence is the biggest thing.
Yeah, absolutely. And man, yeah. I feel like if we all could cultivate that skill, so many areas of our life would be.
Yeah. Yeah. And you don't even, you don't have to. I had a lady said, say to me, once I'm thinking about going to a QuickBooks course at the local college, or hire a bookkeeper and I'm like, what are you? You know, you're going to spend so much time and energy on that. And so simplify. You know, like we don't need to know everything about QuickBooks in order to know our numbers.
That's not what it means. You don't need to be a QuickBooks expert to know your numbers. You just need to be able to use the numbers, to align with your goals and keep you accountable. As you go, as you grow your.
Yeah, that's such a good point because I do feel, especially because of the plethora of information, both paid and free in our digital world, we can go down the rabbit hole thinking we have to be like a one we're not trying to make a new profession.
So I love the fact that you're like, break it down, keep it simple extract what you need. That's going to help you cross the finish line and move on to another. More important pressing tasks, that's in alignment with your goals. So I love that. One of the things as we start to come to a close that I'm super interested in, I noticed that you mentioned you appreciate.
Rule-breaking women who are, you know, aspiring and working towards awesome things. And I thought that was just so interesting because in my mind, and I'm wondering with our listeners, when we think of accounting and bookkeeping, it feels very exacting and boring and linear. And just like, you know, two plus two is four.
So I would love to hear your personal spin on rule breaking and why that's important to you.
So I think entrepreneurship in itself is a bowl breaking. So I think that it is. Very brave and courageous for especially a woman to say, I'm going to go into business and I'm going to, I'm going to grow a team or I'm going to hire somebody, or I'm going to just take on this, this, this, well, this responsibility and be really independent.
So I just think entrepreneurship in this hole is rule-breaking. And so you're, you're breaking out of the mold of. Feeling like you need to work in corporate America or nine to five, and you need that to feel secure or whole. And so leaving that sense of security to go out on your own is just so beyond brave to me.
Yeah. It's huge. And I totally agree with you. And you mentioned team a couple of times, and I love the fact that you have a touch point with your people. It just seems so unifying. I'm just curious what. In your opinion are some top qualities of a good leader.
You know, showing up and listening, right. As a leader, it's, it's easy to teach and, and do things yourself and get involved. It's harder to pull back and say, I trust. Fail. I trust you to fall, right? Like, we'll get up together. I'm going to give you this, this task. I'm going to give you this project and you get to own it and, and, and really embrace it and its entirety.
And then I'm here to support you. And then listening for experiences and The emotional intelligence piece to make sure that your team feels heard and fulfilled and that they have what they need as, as you build this beautiful relationship together.
Yeah. I love that. I love that you've shared tons of valuable information and I would love it.
If you wanted to leave one last golden nugget of wisdom for our listeners.
Yeah, just get started, right. Like do one thing. Right. And, and that, that doesn't have to be like numbers focus, but it could just be on your wellness journey in, in general. Because when you get started, momentum will help you go further.
And so maybe today you're like, Like, I'm not doing anything with my numbers today, ladies, but like maybe you go for a walk or, or you look up that Wim Hoff thing I met, I mentioned making yourself better in other areas is going to give you confidence. And then as you become more confident, it'll give you the confidence to start to explore your money mindset and, and explore, understanding your numbers.
I love it little by little day by day. That's awesome. Danielle, thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate. Yeah, no, thanks for having me. All right, until next time, breathe joy. I hope you got a spark of inspiration from Danielle and that you take one step, no matter how small it is to put your finger on your numbers and just really have that sense of your metrics.
It is such an in valuable way as a business owner and entrepreneur, to make smart decisions to increase your. And to have that self-empowerment have a positive trickle down effect in your life. If you enjoyed this episode, I invite you to leave feedback and rate and review the podcast at love the podcast.
Dot com slash brilliance. I wanted to share a little feedback from Finca out of Canada. She says five stars, great business advice. I really enjoyed chatting with Casey and being a part of her show. Pinky's energy is contagious, and each of her episodes offers great insight for different areas of your business.
If you're looking for ways to level up your business with joy and authenticity, add this podcast to your. Thank you. Thank God. I really appreciate your feedback. And I loved our conversation as well. I will link that episode in the show notes for the listeners again, to rate and review the podcast you can head on over to love the podcast.com/brilliance.