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Q & Cake #17

September 15, 2020

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In today’s Q & Cake (our own fancy version of Q & A) Elisabeth and Cami discuss several questions from listeners about navigating bookkeeping platforms like QuickBooks and GoDaddy. They’re dishing out their best tips on how you can manage feelings of self-consciousness and doubt surrounding your artwork. Plus, they’re sharing their thoughts on mastermind groups for entrepreneurs. These are questions from fellow artists, calligraphers, designers, stationers, etc. that will hopefully help you in your own biz journey as a creativepreneur!

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I use Squarespace as my platform to sell wedding invitations and I use QuickBooks as my accounting software. QuickBooks does not account for the transaction fee that is taken out before the money is transferred to my bank. Do you manually adjust for this and QuickBooks or do you just not include it? I found tutorials out there, but they are very complex and time consuming. – Kate Reidmeyer

Elisabeth: (01:47)

So I used to get like DMS about this a lot. Since the time of me getting a lot of DMS, I actually switched to go daddy at the beginning of 2020, which was slightly heartbreaking for me because I had a really good relationship with QuickBooks self employed and just the QuickBooks platform and that company in general for a long time. But I wanted to make my life easier. So I use GoDaddy now, but I have a good answer for this question, which is why I still included it because I know people are super curious about it. So the bottom line, okay. First things first is like, why are we doing bookkeeping in the first place we’re doing bookkeeping because the IRS wants to know the profit that we made.

They don’t necessarily care about every single little expense. That’s more for you to know on your end. So you know where your money is going. But at the end of the day, the IRS asks for how much money you made. Duh. So if Stripe takes a transaction fee from you, which they do pretty much every time, but all have processing in your bank account and syncing with QuickBooks is the net amount from that. So AKA the profit that you make, that’s the only information that you need. It is helpful to be able to like see that information within your bookkeeping platform, which is why it can definitely be frustrating that this doesn’t sync up super well. But from like a legal standpoint in the numbers that you’re submitting, you would be fine without that being in there. If that brings you any constellation. 

My question is about painting. I’m new to it. Well, I just picked it up back after many, many years, and I’m pretty self conscious about doing venue paintings for my invitation designs and putting my work out there. Any suggestions for me?- Annie, Southbound Joy Stationary 

Cami: (09:44)

I think right now I would just practice. Like honestly, practice, practice, practice, and worry about the like practice on your own without necessarily for a client. So like maybe take a couple of weeks and be like, I’m going to do three venue sketches or three venue paintings this week, just for like to feel, to gain that confidence on your own because there is another level of stress that comes when you are doing it for a client and especially what it is for their invitations..

So to actually, you know, get some experience under your belt without having that added stress, I would just go ahead and start practicing. And if that’s not the case and you are feeling super confident with an already, but you’re just like, Oh, like you just feel that like, I don’t know, lack of push. I’m going to go ahead and give you that push to just do it, just do it and put it out there because most of the time people are gonna already love what you’re doing. Again, you’re not going to please everyone with what you do, but you’ll always have someone who loves your work and you’re still, you know, doing something really cool, a venue sketch for them that they would never be able to do on their own. So just do it and put it out there. Like nothing bad can happen.

Elisabeth: (10:47)

Really. Yeah. And also too, like I understand this because one of my clients wanted me to paint her five pit bulls for an envelope liner. And I was like, Oh my gosh, I don’t even really know where to like, start with this. I don’t know if it’s going to look good. I don’t know if she’s going to like it. So I just kind of went for it and, and it turned out great. And now I look at it and I’m like, I really, really liked that. I just had to put it out there. And when she told me that she loved it, then it was amazing. Yeah. And I feel like too, sometimes, you know, we get nervous about specific things. Like, you know, if any paintings, for example, or pet portraits or whatever, because someone else is doing it and they have a certain style and you want to do it like that. 

Cami: (11:32)

So, but like, I will again say again to make sure it’s your style. It’s something that comes naturally for you. And not necessarily easy because painting doesn’t even come easy for me. But just like, you’re not looking at everyone else like the style of venue that you think your client expects when they’re coming to you for it. So they’re going to expect you to have your own spin on it. So if you don’t actually like painting it and you prefer doing line drawings with like some watercolor wash on it or whatever, like do it that way, you know, figure out what like really brings joy to you and doesn’t make you panic that you’re trying to basically put yourself in a box that you don’t even like fit into at all. 

I would love to know about mastermind groups. What do you do? And then how do you find them? What results do you see for them? I hear people talk about their mastermind. All I know is that it’s a group of self employed people that speak on a regular basis. – Rebecca, Paint by Rebecca

Elisabeth: (15:25)

I dunno if I would ever do a paid mastermind group, like I’ve heard of people paying and then like dropping out of the many ways. So that’s up to you, but that’s a little bit of a general overview, which hopefully helps your understanding of them a little more.

Cami: (15:14)

Yeah. There’s like some super, super expensive paid ones that I can never fathom paying, but I mean, what are these people expecting to get out of them? Like I know yours was like, obviously it wasn’t paid and you know, it was like more the same type of people like girls in the industry, creative industry, but these giant paid ones, like are people just expecting to get like amazing, amazing ideas and feedback from others who are just like brilliant or I don’t know, like masterminds along with business coaches. I’m just like, I don’t know.

Elisabeth: (16:17)

Again, I’m not entirely sure either. I think it depends on the general theme you want to go with. But I think for some people it’s just about like, it could be about scalability and growth. So how are you going to take your next steps? And this group of people is going to keep you accountable. And like, cause when you’re self employed, it’s like only you, but if you have a community that you like paid for backing you up, you would like hope that it would help you, I guess like reach your goals sooner, faster. But yeah, I know. I guess I’ve never understood how the really big paid ones either besides like paying to have access to someone like Amy Porterfield or Jenna Kutcher or like these really big names that offer things like this. I don’t even know if Amy Porterfield does, but I think Jenna Kutcher off.

Cami: (17:02)

Yeah. I think she had over there, there’s like some that are even more expensive than hers. I don’t even know who’s in it, but I’m like, why would you not just like, if you really want to know from this one specific person, maybe just do like a one on one coaching thing. I don’t know. I feel like it’s not so specific to me, like I’m not interested in that. Not that specific to me, but like specific to our industry, I just find it hard. Like I was asked to be part of a mastermind. It was like wedding photographers, but I’m just like, I don’t know what they’re going to be able to help me with, like in terms of where my business is going now, you know what I mean? Like I felt like it was me telling them more things like that.

Hey guys, I’ve been full time with my stationery business for about a year. I know I shouldn’t offer delivery for free. Would you charge a delivery fee? If so, how much is reasonable or should I stick strictly to the local pickup option? – @Paige_bydesign

Cami: (22:00)

Obviously you should not be doing delivery for free because even if it’s just like two miles away, we all know how traffic goes and everything, all that jazz. So your time is valuable. So what I would do, um, I don’t think I’ve ever actually had a situation with this.

Actually I did do one drop-off locally and I did charge for it. Um, I would give your client the option, like, Hey, you can do local pickup. It’s free between the hours of two and four at my office or whatever, or there’s a delivery fee of $75 or whatever your delivery fee might be. Um, and three, I can ship it and it will be this much and give them the option to choose that way. You’re not just telling them, but if you decide like, Oh, I don’t want to do local pickup. It’s either a delivery fee or shipping. Like you get to pick what options you’ve presented to them, but just present them as some sort of option is what I would do. 

Elisabeth (22:45)

Yeah, absolutely. I know that I did for like wedding drop-off when I had signage and stuff, that was like a $75 delivery fee for me to come here.That’s what I did. Um, and then if they picked up low, if they picked it up from my house, it was free. So then I had some people do that too. I think you want to err, on the side of like them taking your time will be more expensive than shipping it. 

Do you guys have any inhouse printers or do you outsource all printing to a third party with wedding invites? It’s a no brainer, obviously use a third party, but I was wondering specifically about art prints. I’m not sure how many I should be keeping in stock. –  @SusanBrand

Elisabeth: (24:38)

So Cami and I outsource pretty much everything. We don’t try to do art prints in house or anything like that. So if you’re trying to find where to go or anyone listening, cause maybe Susan, who’s already part of the agency directory, but for anyone listening and you’re like, I have no idea where to go to get anything printed. You guys, you have to come join our A-Z directory membership. You pay one fee for the year and then you can choose to renew or not renew. And there’s also a private Facebook group. And if you can’t find what you need within the directory itself, you can just ask a question at Facebook group to get all the best options on different products and putters and all the good things. Yeah. It’s basically a mastermind. I mean, there’s really a bigger group of people kind of because we do like people asking questions about brainstorming things and business situations and products.

Cami: (25:30)

Like it is kind of like a mastermind. And um, obviously the directory is massive, like we have over 300 vendors in there and I am updating stuff all the time. In fact, I have some new ones I need to add today. So it’s constantly being revised and anytime we find someone new that we love, we added in there. And that is literally what I use. Like even if I’m just searching for, let’s say, you know, I want to do notepads. Like when I’m researching it, I always find the best ones. And then I’ll add the list to the directory too, of ones that I’ve gotten samples from that I know I love. And that way later on, I don’t have to remember which ones I looked up either. So it’s like super nice for us as well. Yeah. It really is like the best honestly. 

Elisabeth: (26:28)

I like to keep, I was ordering 10 at a time and now I’m ordering 50 to 75 at a time. So I’ve kind of like stepped up and grown as my business has grown, ordering more. Cause I cannot stand when I run out of stuff. But I think starting with stock is always good because you just never know you’re going to get an order and you know, I need to ship it quickly or things like that. I just, I hate running out of stuff. So I’ve been starting.

I ordered 20, every time I have a new print, I just ordered 20 of it. Cause I’m like, okay, if it doesn’t sell out, I’m not breaking the bank. But if it goes quickly, I also like not running out immediately. 

Cami (27:00)

Exactly. So just start with one number and then you can kind of like gauge from there, what you need to be doing

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