Emily Thompson: [00:00:00] Welcome to Being Boss a podcast for creatives, business owners and entrepreneurs who want to take control of their work and live life on their own terms. I'm your host, Emily Thompson. And in this episode, I'm joined by my friend, Sarah Becker, to talk money mindset, investing in saving for what you want.
As a creative entrepreneur, you can find all the tools, books, and links. We reference on the show notes at www.beingboss.club. And if you like this episode, be sure to subscribe to this show and share us with a friend.
Navigating the blend of work in life is a big one for business owners and entrepreneurs. And if you feel yourself stumbling through that dance, or just looking for inspiration, then I have a podcast recommendation for you. Work at life, hosted by as Sonya Lucina and Mattie Grant brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network in this podcast, Sonya and Mattie
explore the gray areas between work and life, as they share data on relevant topics, around workplace engagement and culture. [00:01:00] One recent episode titled how to be optimistic when the world around you isn't discusses the simple and complex things you can do to keep your head up. When the world feels dark, check them out and listen to work at life wherever you get your podcasts.
After 10 years as a wedding photographer, real estate investor, and small business owner, Sarah kept hearing the same story from her business besties over and over again, while outwardly successful in their businesses, they were utterly failing in their financial goals. If they even had goals at all.
Sound familiar? She started asking every business woman she knew about their money. Sarah learned that less than 2% of the creative entrepreneurs in her network were happy with the state of their finances. That's when she started her career as a financial educator, she believes that money doesn't have to be scary.
That curiosity is more important than correctness and that everyone can become an [00:02:00] expert of their own money. Yes, financial freedom is possible. When not crunching numbers, you can find her renovating a river cabin with her partner, Barry, taking her dauchsund, Gus for a long morning walk and planning to have Asian food for dinner tonight.
Again. Sarah. I cannot believe you've never been here before. Welcome to Being Boss.
Sarah Becker: I know. Thank you so much. I feel like I've been here before, like in a spiritual sense. I've been on the podcast many times. No, one's just heard me here.
Emily Thompson: Every week she's here, actually.
Sarah Becker: Every week I tune in.
Emily Thompson: You know, What's really funny though, is actually, actually you have been here for most episodes because your photos make up so many of the avatars,
Sarah Becker: I know.
Emily Thompson: For this show.
Sarah Becker: I know. And let me tell you every time I see them, I just get that little warm, fuzzy inside. It feels so good.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. Right. So for anyone who doesn't know, we've actually talked about Sarah too many times on this podcast.
Sarah Becker: I've heard.
Emily Thompson: Right, because Sarah is our, or is [00:03:00] one of our new Orleans photographers whenever we've gone to new Orleans. Sarah's also often taking photos of us. She shot the Being Boss book. So all of the photos that you find within the Being Boss book, Sarah did. The retreats that I've done in new Orleans. You've been there taking photos of those. o like, you're very, you like, you have made a large portion of the Being Boss brand.
Sarah Becker: Oh, thank you. I'm so honored.
Emily Thompson: Right? I'm I'm, I'm honored to have you as my friend and to have you here today, chatting with us because. You are not only a great photographer, but one we've also known each other for a very long time, which should make this a great chat.
Sarah Becker: Forever. I mean, I cannot even remember.
Emily Thompson: Yeah, me either.
Sarah Becker: That's how long it's been, which is really nice.
Emily Thompson: It we've known each other a long time. And then we also. Knew of each other kind of before that we had a mutual friend before we ever even met before Being Boss was ever even a thing. We [00:04:00] had a mutual friend and we're in each other's orbit, even though we never lived in the same place.
Like it's one of those like weird like twists of fate scenarios.
Sarah Becker: It is.
Emily Thompson: Where we go way, way back. So you've been around for a really long time. You've made some or you just, you do cool, interesting shit.
Sarah Becker: Thank you. I get bored easily. That's what I tell people. It's like my favorite quote of all time is Walt Disney.
He says, you know, when you're curious, you find lots of things to do. I'm always like, oh, I wonder about that. Oh, I'd love to learn a little bit more about that. And then you become a multifaceted entrepreneur, which, you know, a lot about as well.
Emily Thompson: A thing or two or eighty.
As well. So like, so we are both in this, every time we have a chat together, I feel like we probably get to see each other once ish a year. We're always talking about the millions of things that we're up to and the new things and all of this stuff. I think before I even like dive into [00:05:00] any of the things that I want to talk about today, I think the best place to start is just with you and having you tell us more about your entrepreneurial journey, because it's a fun one.
I think I can't wait to hear which parts you pick out about it. But I would love for you to share how it is that you got started as a, as a business owner and where you find yourself now.
Sarah Becker: Absolutely. So I started as a wedding photographer. I shot my first wedding in 2008. I was 17 years old and I did that all throughout college.
I had wonderful mentors that, you know, helped educate me in that field. And that was my bread and butter for a really long time. So when I moved to new Orleans, From Chattanooga where Emily lives now after college, I was still shooting weddings. Absolutely loved it. And then in the 2014, 2015 time period, I got into real estate investing, which again was kind of a surprise for me.
Ended up purchasing a 6,000 square foot property in new Orleans with two other partners. We turned it into a [00:06:00] guest house. It's so beautiful. I love it so much. And then that kind of started a little bit of a real estate investment trend in my life. And I did some real estate consulting and advising some operations stuff.
And now I own several properties of my own that I manage. And throughout that time, I was always talking about money because people wanted to know, how did you at 23 have enough money to purchase this property with like actual real estate investors. And so I started talking very frankly, about, well, here's how much money I made, and this is how I saved so much.
And, you know, I didn't know what I was saving for, but I knew something was gonna come like, what's that quote, where it's like, you know, opportunity is when luck meets preparation or whatever. And I was like, I'm gonna be prepared. So. Through that time. I also started an elopement planning company with a very good friend of mine, Logan Doerriew who now runs the School of Styling.
And so we did that for a few years. So [00:07:00] all of those businesses were very different. They were different types of, you know, legal entities. They had different accounting situations. So I learned a lot about business finance through that. And then especially around the start of the pandemic, I started helping people figure out okay.
What's up with the PPP. Should I file for unemployment? Like how do, what documents do I need to get together? And, you know, none of us had work. All my weddings were canceled for like six months. So I was just on the phone with friends, like talking them through the paperwork and figuring this all out. And eventually people just started saying, you should probably, this is probably a thing you should do.
You should actually do this. So about nine months ago, I officially started Becker Talks Money. I do one on one consulting services for small businesses for entrepreneurs. I have a course called Master Your Money, which I'm so proud of. It's basically like all this money knowledge. It's a five week course kind of going through from start to finish of what you need to know to run your business financially.[00:08:00]
And I'm just loving it. Like, I really feel like so much of my, you know, past decade plus of entrepreneurship definitely led me to this thing.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. I had a friend the other day talking to me about how. Or it's funny watching entrepreneurs do these like full circle situations or like, you know, you get into something for one reason and it ends up rearing its head in the future or whatever like there's just there's
these path are windy sometimes circular, but actually always like moving forward, it's more like spiraling instead of like circling. So I have a couple of questions for you then. One, are you still shooting weddings?
Sarah Becker: I am. I'm still shooting weddings in new Orleans. So another, you know, more personal update is that I'm now splitting my year, which was in between two geographic locations, which was a huge goal of mine that Becker Talks Money definitely has helped accomplish.
So I'm in Vermont for half the year and new Orleans for half the year. And when I'm in new Orleans, yes, I'm still shooting [00:09:00] weddings. I mean, it's like my kryptonite. I can't get away from it. I love it so much, but I have kind of set a boundary that I'm not shooting weddings in Vermont. So when I'm in Vermont, all my focus is on Becker Talks Monehy
Emily Thompson: oh, nice. Talk about like needing to create some boundaries for yourself. It's like I have to go hundreds of miles away.
Oh, but I love it. And I love that you're able to sort of, I love what you've done with that is you've really crafted this like work life situation that is really ideal for you. And you go to new Orleans and you do the work there that you love to do. And you're able to go to Vermont and draw a very clear line and focus on these other things.
Um, but I also another question for you. Oh, and this is like a suite of questions, kind of. One, sre you still partners in your real estate investments? And two, if so, how many LLCs are you a part of?
Sarah Becker: God, I don't even wanna know. Um, [00:10:00] I am really not a part of that many LLCs because Logan and I dissolved our company when she bought school of styling and I started Becker talks money. So I'm really just a part of my own photography, LLC. Becker Talks Money, LLC. And then the guest house, LLC. And then all of the real estate that my husband and I do, we do not have an LLC for it. It's personal.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. Gotcha. Gotcha. Okay.
Perfect. Love it. Thank you. Thank you for that. And so then, then it almost takes me into the question of like, what does your work life balance look like if you're a part of all of those? And I know a lot of those, like, you know, you can set them up to be, you know, pretty low time requirements or whatever, but what is your, what is your work life balance of maybe like, what is.
Day or a week in the life look like juggling all these, like juggling these multiple passions that you have.
Sarah Becker: Yes. Yes. That's such a great question. And I find that my routine is so [00:11:00] different in both the places that I live. So, you know, for the summer here in Vermont, you know, um, my bonus son was up here with us all summer.
So really, I would wake up and I would work in the morning. Um, I'm very, very good at working in the morning. The afternoon, I really fall for that little afternoon slump and it's hard for me to get back up. So I feel okay about it though. Cause I definitely feel like I get a day's worth of work done in four or five hours in the morning.
So I would work until lunch and then we would venture, explore, you know, together. My son is almost six, so it's like such a fun age. And then so the rest of the afternoon would be kind of family time. But now that he's back in school, my days are longer with work. And when I'm in new Orleans, I do a lot of weekend work because I'm photographing on the weekends.
So I try to really minimize the amount of days that I have to be like camera ready. So I tend to only schedule client calls, consultations meetings two days a week. [00:12:00] And I leave two days a week for deep, deep work time. And then that fifth day I normally take off, cause I normally have something going on the weekend work wise.
So I rarely, rarely work Fridays. Friday's kind of like my day for me and Barry to go do something together or do some house projects or just kind of chill out. So to know that I have that day really makes the first four days of the week go by so fast. And honestly, like, I think I, if you really love what you do.
It's so much easier to work, you know, maybe a little more and switching up my environment so often definitely keeps me inspired.
Emily Thompson: And it also sounds like you are incredibly intentional with when you are working, you're prioritizing things. You are time blocking. So you're having all your client meetings on one day.
So you are being like, you know how you need to work to get it all done.
Sarah Becker: Yes. And when I am doing that focused work time, I mean, my phone is not on like, I mean, I'm not on social media. It is work, work, work time. [00:13:00] And I have found that that has been that small shift has been such a good change for my mental health and for my work.
I'm like, wow, I can really get a lot done if I'm my phone, isn't buzzing every 20 minutes. Imagine that.
Emily Thompson: Right. Who to thunk it. I haven't had a ringer on my phone since like 2008
Sarah Becker: You're so wise. Yes. Yeah.
Emily Thompson: And you can get a lot done when you do that. I love that. I love that little peak behind the scenes of, of what it looks like.
One, because I was telling you a minute ago, have hardcore envy around your house, in the woods in Vermont, and that you're splitting your time between two amazing places. And, but it also sounds like you have built in for yourself, like in the context of that, the ability to show up for the things in the capacity that they need.
When they need them in a way that feels good to.
Sarah Becker: Absolutely. And I think accepting that there are cycles, seasons of work, you know, before we came up here in June and in April and may, I was [00:14:00] shooting at least every other day. I mean, I was barely like editing, recovering shooting again, and it was great.
It was so fun. And now I haven't photographed anything since June 4th, you know? So again, cyclical. Um, but I really love that and I've really embraced that. And I remember that like, everything's temporary, so I'm really enjoying this time here because in a month I'll be back in new Orleans and I'll be shooting again.
And when I get tired in that period of time, I'll remember, Hey again, this is temporary, cuz we're about to keep going with the cycle.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. Oh, I can't wait to see like how long. You keep that up and how, like what that morphs into.
Sarah Becker: I'm so curious as well. I can't wait to find out.
Emily Thompson: You're making a blueprint that I'm going to follow Sarah, just so you know.
Sarah Becker: Please, I'm literally taking notes.
I literally have a Google doc just called life. And every week I pop in there and I'm like, this is kind of what's working and what's not. So let's keep it going.
Emily Thompson: that is incredibly nerdy. And I love that.
I have a Google doc called life.
Sarah Becker: I mean, at least it's [00:15:00] not like an Excel sheet with like calculations, but it's getting there. It's getting close to Excel sheet territory.
Emily Thompson: I love it.
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Then let's, let's move into this money chat situation. And I think even before I get into the questions, I think I wanna ask maybe what could be a hard question, but I think you're gonna do just fine with it.
Sarah Becker: I hope you stump me.
Emily Thompson: We'll see. I would love to hear your money story.
Sarah Becker: Yes. Okay, great. So growing up, my parents were very frugal.
They were very fiscally smart, conservative. My mom was a stay at home mom for most of my childhood years, and my dad was an engineer. Um, so he always made, or, you know, from the time I was aware of how much money he made, it was good money, but they were very smart, very frugal with it. My dad retired early.
Uh, they now live in an RV and just travel around. It's pretty awesome. They're like living the dream. So, growing up money was always something that was [00:17:00] talked about. It was never taboo to discuss it, which I think really helped me as an adult because when I ran into people who felt icky about it, I'm like, but why?
You know? So I definitely learned a lot about money psychology in my twenties. And then I went to college. I was extremely fortunate to have really good scholarships and my parents were able to cover the rest. So I graduated without any student loans. So my personal money story is very privileged. You know, I rolled outta college.
I was able to start an entrepreneurial career because I didn't have a student loan, you know, I didn't have a lot of expenses on my back, so to speak. And so throughout my twenties, I very much like the very first thing I did before I started my own business is I said, okay, how much money do I need? Not how much money do I want, but how money do I need a month to cover my rent?
My groceries, my gas. That was basically it, because I was still with my parents' health insurance. I wasn't doing anything extra. There was no fun budget, you know? And I was like, okay, well, how [00:18:00] many of this type of session would I need to book? Or how many of this would I need to do to cover that? And those were my goals and I just kept upping it, upping it, upping it.
And so. Honestly, by, by the 12 month mark of running my own business, I was able to save 50% of what I was making because as my revenue was going up, my expenses were static. I wasn't, there was no lifestyle creep, you know, so I was able to really put a lot of money back. And so two and a half years into that when this real estate opportunity came up, even though like I had been putting my then husband at the time through grad school, we were paying cash for that, with my business.
So I, the, the pressure was on. Um, but I still had about 40 grand saved that I was able to put into this. And, you know, that is a huge amount of money, uh, when you're 24. And I really just did it by literally not spending a dime extra that I needed to for almost three years.
Emily Thompson: I love that.
Sarah Becker: So yeah, take a breath.
[00:19:00] So that is kind of how I started. That gets me to like maybe six or seven years ago. And since that it's been very similar in that I have continued to try to keep my expenses low as my income grows, but I've also, we've also made, you know, investments. I've definitely spent money. We bought this house in the woods, you know, not everyone gets to do that.
I feel very, very fortunate. And I also know that the amount of money that I make is very typical for my age range for my geographic location. I talk a lot over at Becker talks money about the enough number. How much money do you need a year? And mine is $70,000 and that's with me investing about $25,000 of that into retirement.
So again, you know, I tell people I have done this basically on like a $55,000 a year salary, um, which while I feel very fortunate to make that much money, especially on my own. I don't wanna come in here and be like, well, I make $500,000 a year, so that's how I can do all this. And it's really [00:20:00] not. It's really about keeping your expenses as low as possible and getting clear on your own goals.
So you know what you're working toward.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. You hit on two things here that I want to highlight. One is that reverse engineering of how much money you need, which goes into the second one, which is knowing how much money you need, knowing what that enough number is. Right? Like those two pieces are like the baseline pieces for what you need to know and know how to do in order to make any business that you're creating for yourself, work for you.
So I love that you just like did that way back then as a, just getting started entrepreneur, cause I know for a lot of entrepreneurs, they still know what they're enough number is, or they've never thought about reverse engineering it to figuring out how much money they actually need to make in order to make that enough number.
Sarah Becker: Right. I mean, so many people are like, okay, I made three grand this month, so I can spend three grand this month. And I'm like, that's not how we get anywhere. You know, we gotta, we gotta take [00:21:00] a few steps back. And I think a lot of people at the beginning of the pandemic were like, oh, wait, how I'm freaking out all my income.
Just. Disappeared. And I think a lot of people really had to sit down and be like, okay, what is the bare minimum? So I do think that, that it's something that's being talked about more and more, but it is so valuable. And I mean, it's the number you need to know. It's the most important number in your life.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. And I also think the pandemic did a good job of show, like of making us think what is the bare minimum I have to do to get it done. Right? And I think a lot of people saw that they were doing way too much or that they weren't doing enough, or they were spending too much off the top or whatever.
Like it did a really great job of making people finally actually look at their numbers. I love it. I love that you, I love that you innately did so much of this yourself and that you're doing this from the place of entrepreneurship, because I feel like if we were having this conversation, [00:22:00] you know, and you were.
In a corporate job, right. Or whatever, like this would be a totally different conversation.
Sarah Becker: So different.
Emily Thompson: Because so often entrepreneurs think that they can't do what you're doing. Right. Because they are entrepreneurs and you're, it's obviously not the case.
Sarah Becker: Yeah, no, absolutely. And I get a lot of inquiries from people who do work corporate jobs and I refer them to other consultants and other educators because I'm like, it is so different.
This is my niche. It is entrepreneurs only. We have, I fluctuating income is the best and worst part about being an entrepreneur financially. So that is really like the sweet spot for me in making all of that make sense for people. And yeah, I couldn't agree more. It's very, it's a totally different way of life, but you can absolutely hit the same goals.
You see people in corporate nine to fives working and then some yeah.
Emily Thompson: And what I think sort of makes what you're doing so different from a lot of what I hear otherwise. But also between the entrepreneur space and the [00:23:00] corporate space is this mindset piece. Of like you went in here with the idea of building this business for a purpose, a little different, I think, than most entrepreneurs go into doing business.
Can you, what do you, how do you feel about that statement? And if you agree, what is the, like, what is the difference that you see?
Sarah Becker: Yes. Oh, I love that question. I think for me, a motivating factor has always been freedom. So, you know, something I like tell clients all the time is that if your business isn't fuel your life, why do we have the business, right.
I'm not saying the first year you start, you better be like covering all your expenses. I'm saying like, if you're three to five years in and we're not there. Then something's not working. Like we need to look at both sides, you know, both your expenses and your income and see what the problem is. And I think for me, because I am so freedom focused that I was like, I want this business to be able to let me live two places.
You know, I, I [00:24:00] think that figuring out. What makes you happy is so important for me, it is that flexibility, that freedom for some people, some people are like, I really want this specific car. I really want a house in this neighborhood. Like I really wanna put my kids in this private school doesn't matter what it is, but I think getting very clear on what you want is important.
And so many people don't do that. And that's why they're just hustling, hustling, hustling, because you don't totally know what you're hustling for. And for me, I had a goal and I hit it. Now I can think about what comes next, but you gotta sit and just be grateful and proud of yourself that you hit that.
So I do think that that's different than a lot of entrepreneurs, because I see so many people just on a hamster wheel. And I'm not on the wheel. And my goal is to get as many people off there as possible.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. Okay. Two things. I wanna talk about the hamster wheel, but first I also wanna touch on this like money as taboo or not mindset.
Because they [00:25:00] also think that's where you sort of knock it out of the park where a lot of people are like literally too scared to look at their own money, let alone talk to other people about it. Yeah. But you were always. What do we need to do and let's make calculations and how much do I want and need and all these things in a way that like really put you moving forward with your money immediately in a way where a lot of people, it takes them years to even get to a place where they're comfortable looking at their bank statements or how much money their business makes, let alone needs.
You were there from the very beginning.
Sarah Becker: Yeah.
Emily Thompson: Everybody talk about money with yourself and other people. That's like, that is like tip number, all of them. Literally right. There is you have to be able to do that.
Sarah Becker: You have to able to do that. And it is fascinating. I mean, people have such strong opinions about money and definitely most feedback I receive about sharing the nitty gritty of my own money details is positive, but there are definitely some people who were [00:26:00] like, I think it's kind of rude that you tell us how much money you make, or I think it's like a, you know, and I'm.
That's totally fine. You are so welcome to not look and to unfollow me in whatever, but I really think. It's so important to not gatekeep that because in so many corporate jobs, for instance, one of my closest friends is a lawyer. I can literally Google how much she makes, because I know what number she is.
Everyone in her firm knows what everyone else makes. And there's an equalizing factor with that. And with entrepreneurs, we have no idea. And so I think sometimes people are like, Ugh, I made this much but I should have made triple I bet so and so made triple. They did not. Girl,, they didn't. I'm telling you they didn't. So I think talking about that is really important and it's also motivating.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. Yeah, it is. And it's, I love this normalizing piece. It's something that, you know, I've always been pretty open about as well and has been interesting watching people learn to open [00:27:00] up and how there's always like good that comes out of. Opening up to money, like the, the money conversations, but also in turn the actual money, because that's like, if you can't talk to yourself about money, you're not gonna be able to talk to your clients about money.
Right. Or your banker or accountant or whatever. Um, okay. I also wanna talk about this hamster wheel and how I wanna make sure everyone is drawing the line between knowing what you want and working towards it, and then the alternative being the hamster wheel. Because you're gonna spend that money that you're making one way or the other, and it's either gonna go toward the thing that you want.
So house in the woods, that car, that investment in that thing, whatever it may be, or it's gonna go to, you know extra or I don't know, coffee every day and
Sarah Becker: Target trips
Emily Thompson: Oh my God. Target trips. Yeah. Right. Or like just all the little things that just sort of pop [00:28:00] up and you're gonna do it because you haven't pinpointed the other thing mine is travel. Like as long as I'm like saving up and doing the travel things that I want. I know I am doing it. And if I'm ever in a season. Where that's not as possible or as easy. I know that like some shit's gotta get tightened up because those are the things that are important to me.
So less target. I feel like mine's the plant store. Mine's like the nursery.
Sarah Becker: That's real.
Emily Thompson: Right. We, we all have it. We all have that thing.
Sarah Becker: We all have something. Yes.
Emily Thompson: But you have to know what you want to get yourself off the hamster wheel.
Sarah Becker: Yes, absolutely. Yes. And I think that you, the, the first step in knowing what you want is to figure out where you are and what you already have, which kind of goes back to that conversation between yourself and your own money.
And I think people really get the ick, you know, opening up their bank accounts and, you know, something I like to remind people is that. You were in control of whatever you see. So if you [00:29:00] get in there and you see something and you're like, this makes me uncomfortable, we can figure it out, right? Like no one else is in your bank account spending your money, but you, so it's okay.
And it's not gonna be perfect. Like it's all right to, you know, um, I think you've also read Atomic Habits where he talks about getting 1% better, you know, every day versus just. Let's do 1% better a day with your money and you know, that's taking it in this. I try to break it down into the badies tiniest little pieces.
Emily Thompson: yeah. Cuz all those little pieces add up to something really big that changes your life. I wanna go back to that first investment because we were just talking about the hamster wheel and knowing what you want. But you also mentioned that you were just saving money cuz you didn't know why, but you knew there was something until the something came along.
One, How did you have the discipline to do that? And then second, when that thing came along, how did you know that was it?
Sarah Becker: So, you know, I'm not super woo woo. [00:30:00] But mm-hmm, , I've gotten more and more. Woo, woo. Over time, Emily has roped off on me. and I really had like ACE. Spiritual direction at that time, that was like, you really need to save like, something really is going to like come for you.
And I think that part of that was also fear because I was the only person making money in my home at the time. And so I also just kind of had a, what if one of us gets sick or like, what if, you know, like kind of a bigger fear based which I really tried to work on, but fear also can be a really great motivator.
So I was, you know, saving a lot of money and then. I became so personally attached to the property we bought, which is actually right next door to where I was living at the time that it was a no brainer. I mean, this house became like a person to me. I was in a relationship with this property and I wasn't gonna let it keep like decaying.
So it really felt like a no brainer for me to do. Um, so grateful I did it. And for me, it kind of turned something in my brain that was like, okay, this is a huge thing. [00:31:00] I would not have had the capacity. The two and a half years, I was saving to even dream of this thing. And the fact that it happened helped me see that I could dream bigger.
And so ever since then, all my savings has been very much for a purpose, but I mean, they're big things when I was like, I wanna have a house on the water by that time. I'm 30. I mean, that's like a little extreme, but we did it, you know, like I think that I just kind of kept leveling up in what I was trying to do.
And that was extremely motivating.
Emily Thompson: Before we got started with this, we were talking about the funny money idioms in the world. One of them being money cannot buy happiness. And you had a funny thing to say about it. Will you repeat it?
Sarah Becker: Yes. Yes. So, you know, I said that a lot of times people, I think don't want to overvalue money.
They don't wanna be superficial or materialistic. So they'll say, you know, you can't take it with you. Money can't buy happiness, you know, and my response is always, well, [00:32:00] it can. It actually can, um, money bought me this house, you know? And I think something else we were talking about is like, money is just a tool, but you get to trade it for things that could bring you happiness.
So no, you know, having money in the bank isn't necessarily gonna bring you happiness, but having this home that I can live in half the year and then pass down to my kid, that is huge.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. And I would say, like, I don't think this is necessarily the case for. Everyone in the world. But I think the group of bus, business owners and entrepreneurs who are listening to this, like you were here because money is important to you and yeah, in a way that you want more control over it, you wanna be able to make more of it.
You wanna be able to make it in the way that you want to, whatever it may be. And there's a very good chance that really that making it peace is part of why you're here. And I love this because I think one of the things that I had said in response to this is. It paves the way to happiness or it can like [00:33:00] it being that, that tool that you can use to move in the directions that you want to go.
And I think when we can adjust our mindsets away from those like negative money idioms of, you know, you can't take it with you and you can't buy happiness and all those things and more into this place of something that is okay to desire. Because it will give you the opportunity to do the things that you want to, to buy the house next door to you, that you were watching, you know, become dilapidated and eventually probably going to be, uh, torn down or buying this house that you can run away to the woods in half a year and, you know, pass down to your kid and all these things.
It does pave the way. And I think if you allow yourself to believe the opposite of that, To the point that you aren't open to it, then y'all, what is the point of choosing these hard ass lives of entrepreneurship, except for [00:34:00] the impact and like those like good feely things. But also we live in a capitalistic society.
You need money. So let's feel better about it.
Sarah Becker: Yeah, no, I totally agree. And I I've worked with clients who have been, you know, figuring out how to get out of debt, you know, six figures in debt or whatever. And you know, when they hear things like that, they're like, don't tell that to someone who's in debt, because money, if money could get me out of this money always means something else.
Right. It can mean freedom. It can mean security. Sure. It can mean luxury, but honestly not for most of us. I mean, some of us might splurge a little bit, but really I think. Once the needs are pretty understandable, pretty relatable. So I think embracing that and realizing that is important too.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. I mean, well, and I think the thing here is like, it can mean anything.
Yes. Right. And I think depending on the scenario, the situation where it came from, where it's going, like it can mean anything. And I think all too often, we choose the negative iterations of those meanings. Yes. In a way that you don't have to choose [00:35:00] those.
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What are you doing right now that you feel, or with your money that you feel is having the biggest impact for you?
Sarah Becker: That's a great question [00:36:00] for me personally. I mean, definitely purchasing this house, living in two places. That's not necessarily the most frugal thing to do. Yeah. But I definitely feel like it's a big impact for me, but that's not super, you know, relatable to everyone.
I would say something to be thinking about. If you're trying to make your money make more money for you, is that right now is a great time to be investing in the stock market. I mean, that's a boring thing to say, but. I always tell people the stock market is on sale right now. Like it's dipping. This is a great time.
If you have not opened a Roth, IRA. I mean, girl, now's the time to max that baby out. I mean, call today and max it out because it's gonna, I mean, just reap dividends in the next 10 to 20 years. So I would say that that's a very high impact thing you can do. And then also if you feel stuck that you are not making.
As much money as you want, or you could really use just like a raise of like, oh, a couple hundred dollars or whatever, and that's hard for you [00:37:00] to do right now. Again, I always recommend reverse engineering it and being like, are there $200 of expenses a month? You could cut instead. It's the same thing as giving yourself a raise.
So I love seeing that light bulb go off for clients. I think it's a, it's a lot easier just to eliminate a few subscriptions or, you know, what have you, if you're in a season where you're kind of plateaued, as far as your income.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. Mm. I wanna go to this house impact thing. Yes. What is the impact for you?
Sarah Becker: So, you know, I lived in new Orleans since 2012 is when I moved there. Over a decade and I really needed something new. I needed to feel something different. Um, but obviously like I have a whole life there. And so being able to do both has been absolutely huge. And also the home we bought is. So special and has it never actually been lived in, it's been a vacation home the whole for 45 years.
So there's been so much like deferred maintenance and stuff we've [00:38:00] been able to like really do and really love on this house. And I just, I love that stuff and my husband is so handy, so we do a lot of these projects together, which is so great. And then. You know, when we are not in new Orleans, I have, you know, a friend living in our house now.
And then when we leave this house to move back to the new Orleans house, we also have friends coming to stay for the winter. So being able to have that and help house your friends and like work out, you know, oh yeah, you can pay me this and you can stay here is just really meaningful to me. I really love that.
And I also think. In a very uncertain world buying this house. And again, this is not financial, it's just personal has given me a view of the future that I really love. Like during the pandemic, I was starting to feel really stuck about what was gonna come next. And I feel like this is definitely what comes next.
And the financial piece of that is how motivated I feel to continue making money to love on this house well.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. I also love that we're talking money here, but none of it was like, I'm gonna be able to sell it and make three times as [00:39:00] much, or like, you know, like it's yeah, this is not a, I mean, there is a money impact, but what you're talking about is not a money impact.
You have literally used money to buy your happiness. Congratulations.
Sarah Becker: I know, thank you. I mean, yeah, I definitely. Sometimes real estate's an investment. I mean, for sure the guest house is an investment. I'm not gonna pass that down to the next generation. I'm gonna sell that baby one day. Um, but something like this, I mean, I was just asking Barry the other day.
I was like, how long do you think we'll live here? And we have, um, the house is, you know, in the woods on a mountain and there's a lot of steps to get down. It it's kind of on the side of a mountain. And he was like, when we're too old to get down the steps. We'll move out. You know, like we're gonna stay here as long as we can.
We love it so much.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. Those steps will keep you young.
Sarah Becker: Don't I'm hoping. So, yeah. I'm doing like my 15 minutes of deep stretching in the morning, you know,
Emily Thompson: just to get up and down the stairs. I love it. I love it. This is, this is perfect. That's exactly [00:40:00] the answer I was hoping you would share of like right.
You passed the task. Congratulations. Of, you know, using money to do the thing that really enriches your life. Not just now with that extra croissant raises her hand.
Sarah Becker: Yeah. yes.
Emily Thompson: Whatever it may be, but really something that you are thinking about. For the future and as far into the future, as you can get up and down those stairs, and even then beyond, because you're gonna be able to sell it, like at that point, it becomes a money back investment, but for, but for now, it is an enrichment in your life.
And I love that. It's also, it really is this like, It's enrichment, but is broadening the word I'm thinking of like you living in these two places, you offering these spaces to your friends, you like there is this like stretching that has happened in your life in existence and impact that this one investment has [00:41:00] made you that again just goes so far and above any like money investment purposes you could make.
Sarah Becker: Yes. Like it definitely feels like a leveling up. Like I've become more I'm growing into myself and you know, that also kind of leads into something I talk about too, which is that sometimes the right move. Isn't always the best financial move.
Right. Like if I had put the money I put in this house, in the stock market, instead that would've been, I mean, that's gonna grow so much more than even my money in this house. If I sell it in 20 years, I'm not gonna make what I would've made in the market or anything like close to that. And that's okay.
Because again, all that money I see in an account, all those numbers. Aren't aren't clearly what's bringing me happiness. It's what can I trade those for? So I really recommend, like, again, getting really clear on what makes you happy will help you make those decisions. Yeah. Oh,
Emily Thompson: Sarah, I love this for you.
And my jealousy is just growing and growing with every passing [00:42:00] sentence. This is so great. And I love that you've been able to do this, do this for yourself. Um, and sort of a follow up question, I guess, at any point in all of this, I mean, thinking back to maybe even one beginning photography or like striking out on your own in photography or, you know, investing in real estate at the age of what, 24. Buying this house now at any point, have you had any fraudy feelings that said that you're being nuts?
Sarah Becker: No, I haven't, but I will tell you that people will try to make you feel that way. I totally have middel age white men be like, what makes you think you can do that? You don't know anything about real estate. And I'm like, I'm gonna figure it out.
You know, if not, yeah. I, I guess I, I will also say. I do not fear failing. And that is another huge thing that I think helps keep those imposing feelings at bay. [00:43:00] And, you know, I'm also that being said a perfectionist. So like when I work with clients, man, I wanna give them. The best advice, not just good advice, the best I want them the best experience.
I want them to have the, you know, and I have just realized that sometimes what, you know, like sometimes what you can give is enough. And I always ask, like, is there anything else you need from me or anything else you were hoping to get? You didn't get? Because if I can't answer it, I will find it for you.
And that last bit has always helped me feel confident with clients that like, okay, like I did what they, what they needed. Um, because I think my expectations for myself are really high, but maybe that's what helps keep imposter center at bay. Cause I really know that I am trying my absolute best. Like there's no slacking over here.
Emily Thompson: Right. There's also, I love the clarity. Well, at least that I just gained around this idea. I feel like so many of us come into it thinking, knock it outta the park. Right. That like really crazy. And so when we don't meet it, [00:44:00] or when fraudy feelings do come up, it's because like knocking it out of the park is like a once in a, I have no idea what that statistic is. Yes. Like chance that it's going to happen, but like enough is regular. Like, like, you're gonna do enough most of the time. And so chill out.
Sarah Becker: yeah. And something else that has helped me with that is that it doesn't matter how I feel it matters how my client.
Yeah. So if my client is like, yes, absolutely. Like for me, this hit it out the park, even if I just feel like I'm repeating something I already know. And this is like not valuable. It's so valuable to them.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. You never know. I get that one all the time. They were like that episode, you know, changed the way I do business.
And I was like, which one? Yeah. What did I say? I don't know.
Sarah Becker: And I, I, I think it's just so important that we all keep like stepping out in our expertise and keep sharing what we have learned with each other, because that is how we all grown and we all keep moving forward.
Emily Thompson: Absolutely. Oh, Sarah, I have enjoyed this Chad so much.
This has been [00:45:00] such a nice little peak under the hood of how Sarah's brain works with money. Cuz they've seen you do the thing. I'm always like, well, what the hell are you doing now?
Sarah Becker: I love it. Who feels that way about me. Yes. Yeah. That is a common refrain. I hear, I know this was so great. I'm so glad I finally got on the podcast.
The only thing for me that would've made it better is that if we had actually been in the same place, but how often does that happen? These days? I know soon, soon, I'm just gonna show up at your door and I'm gonna be like, you're welcome. Anytime. Anytime. Same.
Emily Thompson: I do have a couple, I have like three final questions for you.
Sarah Becker: Absolutely. I'm ready.
Emily Thompson: If you could give like a quick tip to any boss listening to this, who's like feeling inspired to do something with their money. They just don't know what, what would it be?
Sarah Becker: Yep. I would start a Roth IRA if you don't have one. Number one.
Emily Thompson: Agreed.
Sarah Becker: And number two, I would, you know, have a glass of wine if you need it. Some liquid courage and go through the last 30 days of your bank statement. See [00:46:00] what surprises you there? Because I will tell you every month when I do this, I find something I was charged twice for. I find something I tried to cancel that didn't actually cancel. I save myself an average of $50 a month just looking.
So just give yourself a little peak, see what's going on under the hood, as you would say, right?
Emily Thompson: Money dates, money dates with yourself, regular basis, incredibly important, and absolutely imperative. If you wanna run a business.
Sarah Becker: I know, I know, sorry guys, you gotta do it all. You can outsource some things, but you did.
You didn't know what you need it to look like before you can tell someone else what you want it to look like. and you can do it with wine. You can totally do with wine. Yep. Yeah, absolutely. That helps. Perfect.
Emily Thompson: Okay. Next up. Where can folks find more about you and what you do?
Sarah Becker: Absolutely. So you can find me on Instagram at Becker Talks Money.
Website's the same BeckerTalksMoney.com. And I have some really cool little freebies. I'm really proud of that. I just finished up and I'll send you the links. I've got a cute little money routine [00:47:00] checklist. So if you're like, I don't even know what I should be looking for every month or quarter or. I will tell you, you don't have to know.
I've got a little retirement 101 guide. So if you're like, I want to start receiving for retirement. I don't. Okay. Well, what is a Roth iRA? How do I even start one? What company? What index funds, blah, blah, blah. I will tell you. So if you're interested in any of that Becker tax money.com/resources, go to town, download, download.
And then DM me if you have questions, I'm always in my DMS.
Emily Thompson: And if you're getting married in new Orleans
Sarah Becker: and if you're getting married in new Orleans between October and may, I mean, let me know.
Emily Thompson: Right. Sarah does a great job, everyone with both of those things, we have had many money talks over the years, though.
Like I'm interested. We should to have like, Hardcore one off camera someday. That might be a lot of fun. Yeah. Um, but also I can vouch for those photography skills all day, every day. Absolutely. Fantastic. [00:48:00] Um, my last question for you, dear friend. What makes you feel most boss?
Sarah Becker: Living in two places.
Emily Thompson: Amen to that. That was quick. I didn't, she did not prep for that one. Unless you did. You probably did.
Sarah Becker: Well, I knew it was coming. Yeah. I listened to the podcast. Okay. I know you ask everyone. I'm not, I'm not a fake listener. Okay.
Emily Thompson: Real real two places. Well, and I love that for you. I love that. You've accomplished that.
I know that there's like lots of reasons why you've made that choice for yourself. And I love that your work has given you the freedom to do the thing that you need to do.
Sarah Becker: Yeah. Yeah, me too. I'm very grateful
Emily Thompson: awesome. Sarah, this has been treat. Thanks for coming and chat. We'll do this again.
Sarah Becker: Thank you for having me.
Emily Thompson: All right boss, because you're here. I know you want to be a better creative business owner, which means I've got something for you each week. The team at Being Boss is scouring the news, the best entrepreneurial publications and updates and releases of the [00:49:00] apps and tools that run our businesses and is curating it all into a weekly email that delivers the must know tips and tactics in the realms of mindset, money, and product.
This email is called brewed. We brew it up for you each week. To give you the insight you need to make decisions and move forward in your creative business. Check it out now and sign up for yourself at beingboss.club/brewed. That's beingboss.club/brewed. Now until next time, do the work be boss.