Busting 6-Figure Myths

Jacinthe is the founder of Koddo & Co., a business financial literacy and fractional CFO service provider. She’s also a serial business owner, was trained as an interior designer and learned business finance the hard way over the last decade. Seeing the same pattern of money stress and shame in dozens of her clients has fueled her passion for financial literacy for small business owners, especially for women and creatives.


Jacinthe is also a long-time yogi and meditator. This, along with her personal and professional development efforts, has been part of her toolkit to stay present, minimize the emotional dips, and lean into the lessons on the entrepreneurial roller coaster as they inevitably come up. Listen in on what she's learned as she busts some 6-figure myths.

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Show Notes

 

Transcript 

Jalen 

I remember first discovering that you existed from some marketing that you were doing in LinkedIn, and I thought, oh, I I need to. Know this woman. I think I need and I need to pay attention to what she's doing. And so I'm glad that we're that we're talking and I'm glad that you're also part of the SVI community because it's giving me this opportunity for us to chat. Now on top of that, when we talked to. Obviously I was intrigued by this story. That you had around. The fact that you reached this six figure level with your business, but that actually wasn't necessarily a good thing. Tell me about that. 

Jacinthe 

Well, it's not that it wasn't a good thing. It was like in this service-based type of world. So you know to give a little back story to the listener. There's I, you know, I'm an entrepreneur. I've been in trying to do my own business stuff since 2010, 2009 and always started business ideas and, you know, was testing things and then worked at startups and all these different things. But I had no money. Smart personally at the time, like in my early early days. And so made all the credit card mistakes, you know, backed up, debt paid thousands of dollars of interest, couldn't pay my rent twice in the course of six months. Had to call my mom. Like literally. The night before. And so I didn't have any of this. And that's also didn't have business, financial knowledge and. At that time, when I first started, all the business coaches were like if you build it, they will come kind. Of mentality, right? And so it wasn't until a few years ago I co-founded. Just by happenstance, I had gotten laid off from the most recent startup I was working at, not my own startup, another startup, and I built their six figure, you know, project budget program. Budget and was. Like who's paying for this? So I essentially forecast my own layoff from that startup. So unsurprisingly, I got laid off. But it just happened to be, you know, somewhat divine timing to be to be in the right place to, you know, my now Co founders of this financial services firm were launching a cloud bookkeeping. Cohort and I was figuring out what my next steps were. And so I was like, hey, maybe I'll try this out and, you know, took a left turn into the accounting and finance world when my degree is actually in interior design, interior architecture. But I've always been like a project management minded person, so very logistics minded so. You know, like and and even still, like all the business coaches I see out there that are like great hey service based businesses build A6 figure business, right. But they're never talking about profitability and they're never, they don't dive deep into the financial side, which again everyone has to be in. Their niche and. So learning how to actually, you know, we built this company, we built this financial services firm, my CFO, Chief Financial Officer and Accounting Partners. And I actually saw how I was supposed to be building a financial model, quote UN quote, which basically is on an Excel sheet like showing what you sell, how much it costs you to sell it and then how much you have left over, right. That's your profit and loss, essentially. And then, but on top of that, it's putting that into practice. So sure, it's one thing to like. Build a. You know Excel spreadsheet that shows. Yeah, great. We're getting 6 figures, but it's another thing in a monthly basis or day-to-day basis to monitor what you're spending, monitor what's working in terms of what you're selling and monitor your profitability as well as your cash and like what cash you have in the bank so. That was what I truly. From building among so many other things, building that financial services firm. With my, you know, financial, financially minded business partners like how you're actually supposed to take this like mythical model and and put it into practice as a budget and monitor and make decisions that are both profitable and result in cash flow. So combine that with you know, yay. Last year my business Coto and Co hit six figures. Yours, which is amazing. It's a great milestone, but yay, awesome. 

Jalen 

Yeah. Yay. 

Jacinthe 

And I was also not profitable last year and it's what for two reasons. Well, maybe more, maybe less. Who knows? One was. My I have two sides in my business right over the past year and a bit I've been working to build basically a financial literacy. Business for Canadian service based business owners and taking this knowledge, I've now learned as an entrepreneur from all my accounting and finance people. All the silly questions I asked. To translate it for people. Business owners at an earlier stage so that they make less of the mistakes. Ideally that I made hopefully and can have less stress around the money in their businesses. They're growing, so you know, that's awesome, but it is truly like I have two streams of business now. It's almost like they're two totally different businesses. And so my main business is being a contract. CFO for service based Canadian busy. And if I just had that business, sure, hitting six figures, I would be completely profitable because it's me doing the work. It's very you know I have very little costs related to that side of the business. But I'm choosing to invest in building this more scalable kind of online financial education business. And so I'm taking the money from the one to one side and investing it in building systems and doing market research and testing on. The core side of the. On this and so that is what is. I'm spending money on. Whereas you know, sure I hit 6 figures, but I'm investing all this money on that sort of the business which hasn't returned revenue yet like it's returned maybe a couple $1000, but you know, so when I did my well, I get my bookkeeper to do my financials every month but. When I looked at my own financial modeling, my own financial road map, I call it and saw, you know, you always do a few scenarios like the good, better, best or you know, good, bad, ugly. And yeah, I sit, I hit 6 figures, but my worst case cash flow scenario came to be because I worked on a program that I was launching for the education side. It flopped, quote UN quote, like the launch was great, but it didn't return any revenue. And so my worst case cash flow scenario came to be and my worst case profitability. Mario came to. Be and so then it was like oh. 

Speaker 

Like great, yeah. 

Jalen 

Yeah, that's hard. 

Jacinthe 

Yeah, hit six figures, but also ****. I'm in the worst case scenario. So now I gotta do some pivots. And act fast, you know. 

Jalen 

You have the distance from it to be able to say like oh this. Is what I could have done differently. 

Jacinthe 

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. For for about a week I had a lot of, like, shame and embarrassment, just like every other business owner. And just like in my early days because I was like, Oh my God. I'm here teaching people about financial literacy, and I had a had a revenue flop and am not profitable and have to do lean on my worst case cash flow scenario. But I don't know. I had a moment of reframing where I was like, wait, but this is exactly what I'm teaching these tools for is so that you can project and. It's not that by having a cash flow plan and a financial road map and figuring out your, you know what you're gonna sell and your margins and if it's profitable, it's actually gonna come to be, that's all just guesses on on Excel. Cells, right? But because I have this plan in place, I was able to pivot really quickly and go to the things the plans I'd already thought about by having this worst case scenario come to be. And so the biggest mistake I made, I think actually my only thing I would actually call a mistake is that I had stopped talking about my one to one services, which is essentially cash flowing building this other side of the business. Right. And so my sales pipeline for that business side of the business was totally dry and and I had to. Start talking about it again. 

Jalen 

It was one of those situations where, like, don't give up your day. Job until your side gig really kicks in. 

Jacinthe 

And it's so funny because I've talked to so many entrepreneurs, you know, over the past, however many years I've been an entrepreneur. And in those early days, I didn't listen to all the advice that was like, yeah, keep a keep a day job or, you know, have a bridge job that pays your bills. And I was like, whatever. And just, like, went full in. I was also in my early 20s. So maybe you know. I had less responsibilities. But I've I've come to realize. 

Jalen 

And that's probably listening. 

Jacinthe 

Yeah, exactly. I've come to realize, and I think I realized this pretty early on after I stepped, you know, full, full time back into code and Co, I've realized that it is my day job, like my one to one side of my business is my 9:00 to 5:00 and. It is what? Yeah, is bringing the money, making sure. I can pay my bills. And invest in this other side of the business. And yeah, I stopped even though I have like, I have regular clients et cetera. But because I'm spending money on a marketing strategist and a VA and a copywriter to help me build the other side of the business. You know I need to bring in more to make sure that I can maintain that and, you know, leverage my cash reserves and my business line of credit and not run out of money, right. So yeah, I I stopped talking about the 9:00 to 5:00. That stopped bringing in new clients that would grow that revenue still. And yeah, had to do a pretty quick, pretty quick pivot late last year to open that pipeline up again and start start bringing in some more revenue from that side. 

Jalen 

Having that happen can be challenging, right, you know and. That can be a really hard place to be. What helped you make it through that and be? Able to bounce rather than scrape. 

Jacinthe 

Yeah, yeah, I think, well, a couple of things. I because I've been in business for so. And then especially now having the financial literacy. For a week I had kind of like I said, the Oh my gosh, I'm a failure and I'm, you know. Training this stuff and I'm making mistakes. But then like I meditate every day. And so I I'm very good at reframing like I've done a lot of self work. 

Jalen 

OK. 

Jacinthe 

I've worked in a lot of. And so I again had that. Moment of like. But it's not always, you know, sunshine and rainbows when you're doing cash flow planning and financial road map planning like you also have to plan for the worst case. So I had that moment where I was like, oh, this is just that. Plus I also for some reason was in my head going like, Oh yeah, like of all the businesses. We're seeing through that financial services firm, a lot of them are tech businesses and none of them are profitable, right? They're not profitable yet. They're raising money and getting government grants and whatever. 

Jalen 

Right. 

Jacinthe 

So it's. On paper, they're not profitable, so I had this bit of a reframe and normalization of it because of having seen so many other businesses where it's like, sure, on paper they're not profitable. So then the key thing becomes how is that business continuing to run, who and that becomes. Then the question of like, where is the money coming from to continue funding the development? Right, because true startups like, for the most part, aren't profitable. If you're a service based business, you can be profitable from the beginning. It just depends on you know how much work you want to do compared to starting to delegate and making those plans and doing it. Ideally in a financially sound way, but when it's any other type of product based business or a tech business initially they are not profitable and somebody else is paying for the development, the customers. Money coming in is not paying for the. So I had that bit of a reframe and then I always have like a December planning call with my tax accountant and I was a bit nervous. I was like, oh man, like, you know again, like, I'm going to be judged and whatever. And I got off the call with him and explained, I'm like, oh, we're not. I'm not profitable this year and blah, blah, blah. And he's like, you had a. Pivot year. That's totally normal. And I was like, Oh my gosh. That's true, it is a pivot. Year so that just made, you know, was like the cherry on top to be like, yeah, this is fine. 

Jalen 

Thanks. Yeah, absolutely. Now you mentioned that, OK, so you mentioned meditation is something that that is that's helpful. And like I'm I'm a meditator. As well, so I'm so clear on. And how that gives you the ability to be able to separate yourself from your your reactions eventually, right? But you're also talking about. Being practiced at reframing and is that something that the skill that you cultivated through something? That you did. 

Jacinthe 

Ohh man, I've been reframing for so long and I can't even remember how I learned it. Like I've so I've. Been doing yoga since Grade 9 and you know, so had some sort of mindfulness since then. And then you know, when I was in my early 20s, I took this business course like, you know, from my interior design job, I got laid off in 2008. Cause you know. Recession then and somehow found my way into this business program that was run by by the Ontario government at the time. Because I was in Toronto living there at the time. And so that's where I like first learned. The first set of like business theory Rd. business plan press save, it was obsolete. So they talked a little bit about like the entrepreneur work life balance, but nowhere near what is in the conversation these days. But you know soon after that I I moved back to Calgary, my hometown, and start working in a yoga studio. And I worked there for 2 1/2 years, so it was like every day I did yoga practically. And you know, I think that was a huge personal transformation. And probably where I started. Yeah, just being able to be more aware and like in the present moment. And then, yeah, over the years, like I worked for a leadership development startup that taught design thinking to, you know, C-Suite executives and how to go back and innovate within their businesses in a human centered way. And it was a bit of a full circle moment because that's what I did as a tier designer design in a human centered way. But nobody told me at the time it was design. Thinking right and now it's like, you know, huge buzzword. 

Jalen 

Right. 

Jacinthe 

And so I, you know, just by being there and being part of the staff and the programming, I got to glean so many like insights from these, like, very high level executive coaches, right? So I can't pinpoint any one time when it you know I learned about reframing and how it happened. But just like the slow journey over time where. You know, yeah. Now I have a daily. Meditation practice and I I notice the difference cause in my early days of entrepreneurship I people have said like you're so much more grounded. You know, as soon as I I co-founded this financial services firm where I could see a path of growth and was building all these skills. People were like your energy has changed. And so, yeah, over the past few years, it's like it's again. Like I am a human and so I had that week, but I'm sure it would have been months of feeling down on myself if I hadn't had these tools already in in my pocket. 

Jalen 

Yeah, absolutely. I mean so many times. And I've talked. To talked to other people about this, you know people have an experience that feels they can. Describe as failure. And it hits. It's a gut punch. And then the question is, like, how long? Does it take to get back up from that? 

Jacinthe 

And also like I learned so from the leadership development company, they're kind of their unofficial motto was everything in beta mode. And if you're not for the listeners, if you're not aware of beta mode, it's generally used in tech. You know, businesses where they're trying out a specific version of their product. And they're beta testing, right? Like it's it's not the live shiny version. 

Jalen 

It's the first functional first draft can. 

Jacinthe 

Exactly. It's the first. 

Jalen 

It's actually functioning, yeah. 

Jacinthe 

Draft exactly. So I kind of have adopted that, not kind of. I've adopted that in life in general since working there five or six years ago and that was a huge reframe of going. Like every presentation we do, every conversation we have, every trip we do, everything we're doing in business, it's all a test. It's all beta mode and so that has given me a lot of freedom around trying things and having that like startup mindset or that beginner's mindset. And even on my business side, you know, often when we're talking, when I'm talking with my team, it's like, OK, well, we're test. Doing this, we don't know what's gonna happen, you know, instead of like, oh, my God, we have to have this and get these goals and blah blah. But it's like we don't know what the functional model is. We don't know what path is gonna lead to revenue yet. So it is all a test, right? And so I think that gives a lot of freedom for, yeah, trying new things and trying to figure stuff out. It doesn't make it. Easier from a revenue like a cash side of things when. You're running out of cash. That's still stressful because there's so much of the ingrained trauma of money, right? Like I don't know if you've heard of that course called. The trauma of money. 

Jalen 

No, I haven't. 

Jacinthe 

It's incredible. It's incredible. I took it a couple years ago. But like where that week of feeling down on myself came, was actually my past money trauma coming. It wasn't, you know, like logistically from a business perspective, like, I was just saying, having seen hundreds of businesses that aren't profitable yet cuz they're tech startups and going to get raised money and get grants. I know that it's, you know, fine on paper. If you don't look profitable. But I had a lot of trauma come up because it was like in my past iterations of my business, I'd always dug myself into credit card debt. Given up on my business and then had the debt to pay off and that felt terrible, right? I'd never had my business grow to a size that it actually paid off the debt it had incurred. And so that was coming up like I'm on this slippery slope and I don't want to be in that kind of debt again. And what's. Going to happen. And oh. My gosh. And so exactly lots of fear around it. 

Jalen 

Yeah, lots of fear. 

Jacinthe 

But I know logistically what to do to open up my sales pipeline again and bring in more revenue and that's what I started doing, leaned into that and then was able to get out of the fear and actually see some movement and bring in more revenue, right and ideally have the business grow to pay off its. 

Jalen 

And then be able to then double down on the the learning of what? You gain from. That experience and then roll it into value and. Share it with people. 

Jacinthe 

Yeah, that's the goal. That's what keeps. Me going, you know. It's all this testing on the education side, it's not revenue generating really, but that is the that's why does anybody start a business, right? It's for. That yeah, vision and the passion and the mission and also wanting to create sustainable income for themselves. 

Jalen 

It's just, it sounds like. You can consider it to be like. Bold R and. D For your project. 

Jacinthe 

That's exactly what it is. It's R and. D Research and development for those who are not tech based. 

Jalen 

Oh, now you know. Typically I'll ask folks, you know, if you were to and this I'll ask first this question, you know, if you were to go back and be able to whisper something really valuable and important in your ear at some critical time, what would that be? I'm not so sure. 

Jacinthe 

I've got my thinking face on. 

Jalen 

Yeah, I'm not so sure because I feel like uh. 

Jacinthe 

Well, everything. I've everything. 

Jalen 

At least on the surface, yeah, basically. 

Jacinthe 

I've done. Yeah, well, sorry. Keep going. 

Jalen 

On the surface it sounds. Like it, you know, because. Of the skills that you developed early on. You're frequently going through a cycle of reflection and and and disk, and maybe even some level of disconnection from the experience so that you can not be blindsided by your emotions by, you know, the experience of the challenge. 

Jacinthe 

Yeah, it's. You know, I used to say like ohh, I wish I'd taken that advice of keeping some sort of job, you know, cause I was. There were so many periods of just extreme stress. And because like, that's a that's a survival thing. If you don't know where your money's coming. From to pay your bills. And so I would lean on the mantra of. Like, what's the worst that could happen? OK, I'll be out on the street. Well, is that likely to happen? No, because I can go stay with family. I could go stay with friends. You know, like you if you go to the worst case and think like, OK, that's not. Likely to happen. So then let's you know, work yourself backwards from that. But yeah, what I tell people now is like, have the thing that pays the bills because it'll save you so. So, so, so much. But otherwise, like I wouldn't be where I am now and have this like my special sauce for who I'm working with now is that I'm an entrepreneur who's learned the accounting and finance, and I'm not an expert like there are definitely, you know, edges. And if people want to raise money, if they're tech businesses, if their product businesses like I'm not the right fit for them. But my special sauce is being a translator now between the financial people in a business. So bookkeeper, tax accountant, Management Accountant, CFO like there are so many. It's a it's a vast world and this is also why it's so complicated and hard for people to understand if they're not in that world and so. That is what I'm here to do to help, like even with my one to one clients, I do a certain level of teaching and coaching and helping them up level their financial literacy so that they don't just give away their power around the financial side of their business to someone. Like me or to somebody else who might not be as ethical because there's a lot of, you know, power around the money. Right. And so. That is now. Like I can relate to so many of the challenges and things that that entrepreneurs and business owners feel terrible about. I've talked to hundreds and hundreds of business owners and. People feel if they don't have the financial knowledge, if they don't understand what their bookkeeper is doing, if they. You know, have a tax accountant, but. Don't understand what they're saying either. If they're six years behind on filing their taxes, if their books are, they think their books are a mess, it feels like they're undressing in front of someone who's trying to help them with their financial stuff. And that's a very vulnerable, vulnerable place for them to be. And I've. 

Jalen 

And there's a lot of shame. 

Jacinthe 

Talked to so many. 

Jalen 

That comes up there. 

Jacinthe 

There's a ton of shame, and there's also they've had. They've talked to a tax accountant or whatever. However, inadvertently, probably has made them feel small and made them feel like they're doing it wrong and judged them, or made them feel judged right, whereas that financial person or tax accountant might just have been doing what they think is their job but haven't met them. Met this specific type of sort of a business owner. At their educational level, right. So they're generally talking past each other. 

Jalen 

Right. 

Jacinthe 

So yeah, I've talked to hundreds and hundreds of of business owners where, you know, they just feel a lot of shame and they feel. Messy, and they feel like they're bearing their souls when I ask to look. At their books. And then the first thing I go is do is you know what where you're at is totally normal. And every business to some degree has been in this place and it's because, you know, the system isn't designed really well for people who didn't go to accounting school or Business School. To understand the theory of it. And so that's why we're here. We're going to start and we're going to get this. We're going to get this. Under control. And they just like, you know, take this deep sigh of relief that someone is going to be there to walk alongside them instead of someone who's above them being like, oh, why did you do that, you know? 

Jalen 

Absolutely, yeah. Shame has no place in in growth. Or success or thriving so. 

Jacinthe 

Yeah, yeah. 

Jalen 

It's nice to be able to... let that go totally. Well, I really have enjoyed our time. I feel like it's been jam packed with a lot of juicy bits and I'm sure folks are probably feeling hope as a result of what we've been talking about and I'm glad for that. 

Jacinthe 

And I can tell can I tell listeners about something that can help them? With their business financials. 

Jalen 

Sure, go ahead. And we're going, we're going to include some. Things in the in the show notes OK yeah. 

Jacinthe 

OK, great. Awesome. Yeah, we have several very approachable offerings, one of which I'll tell you about now is our DIY Bookkeeping Accountability membership. So if you or someone who is struggling to. Get a handle on. You know the bookkeeping side of your business, you know, it's got to get done. And maybe around, you know, tax time, you're like, oh, gosh, I dread doing this. Then this is an offering for you of support, monthly support, very cost effective. And I'll leave the link with Jalen for the show notes. 

Jalen 

Notes. That's amazing. 

Jacinthe 

Thanks Jalen. 

 

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