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How to Make Decisions Using Time vs. Money Margins

There are a million ways to make a decision in your business. 

Look at the profit margin. 

Make a pros and cons list.

Trust your gut instinct and what feels best.

Do what you’ve done before.

Do what you’ve never done before.

In different situations, you might use different methods to make a decision, or perhaps you use a combination of several.

I have another one for you that I love to use when making decisions: 

analyzing time margin vs. money margin.

Here’s an example of what I mean.

You want to create a new revenue stream. Maybe it’s a new course offering or maybe it’s an evergreen funnel for a program you’ve been live launching. 

You have two options:

  1. Pay someone to do this for you.
  2. Google it out and do it yourself.

Now, most of the advice we see from internet marketers and entrepreneur gurus are: HIRE! ALWAYS HIRE! Don’t do anything except a few special tasks yourself! That’s okay advice sometimes but not always. If your revenue streams are not strong or profit margins are too low, hiring out for every single thing is just going to drain your savings or put you in debt.

Before making the decision about how to go about creating this course or funnel, you need to ask yourself the question: Do I have more time or money right now? 

Maybe you’re in the early stages of your business, don’t have a ton of revenue, and are working on slowly growing. You have more time than money because your client load isn’t super full yet, so you’re probably best of doing this yourself. 

On the flip side, maybe business is booming. You’re being pulled in a ton of different directions within your business and are working a lot. Clients and customers keep signing on and buying your products or services left and right and your head is barely above water managing it all.

If this is you, do not try to create something new yourself! Hire someone! Assuming profit margins are strong, you have more money than time and should pay someone else to do this for you.

Do you ever use the time margin vs. money margin method to make decisions in your business?

Need help understanding if your profit margins are strong enough to hire someone? Grab our free Profit Plan to help figure it out! Click here>> 100degreesconsulting.com/plan



Behind-the-scenes of our virtual team retreat

It’s funny looking back on our 2020 goals because the world was so incredibly different just 11 short months ago.

Travel was a big priority for my family and me, I had at least half a dozen conferences in cities around the country planned, plus exciting trips to work in-person with clients. I also wanted to grow my team and bring them together at a beautiful AirBnb overlooking the ocean somewhere.

None of that happened in exactly the way I’d planned, but in some ways, it was better. I haven’t been on an airplane in over a year but our family discovered our new favorite road trip destination – coastal Maine. I presented at virtual conferences in front of thousands more people than would’ve been there in person. I grew my team beyond my wildest dreams and brought them together for a virtual retreat instead.

I shared the live updates on social media during our team retreat week but wanted to share more behind the scenes in a full blog post. So here’s how we planned our virtual team retreat. 

  • Determine goals. The very first thing that my Operations Director and I did was figure out what we actually wanted to get out of our time together. We’re all incredibly busy, so the top priority for me was to make our time worthwhile. My goals (incorporating ideas from the team) were:
  • Build relationships and establish norms for future collaboration
  • Begin putting together a 2021 plan for all facets of the business – client-facing and internal
  • Provide professional development for the whole team
  • Map out an agenda. Once we had our rough goals in place, we mapped them out on the calendar. Since we were virtual, I didn’t want everyone to get Zoom burnout, so we determined that five 2-hour sessions would comprise our entire retreat; three morning sessions and two afternoon sessions, from Wednesday through Friday. Here’s what our agenda looked like:
      1. Wednesday AM: Discuss 2020 wins and challenges, discuss 2021 goals
      2. Wednesday PM: Strengths Finder coaching session
      3. Thursday AM: Productivity expert presentation, mindset expert presentation
      4. Thursday PM: Team breakouts to plan 2021
      5. Friday AM: Team presentations and wrap-up with action items
  • Hire experts. One of our goals was to provide professional development for the whole team and since I’m not an expert on everything (shocker, I know!), we decided to bring in paid experts to teach our team. Here are the experts we decided on:
      1. I love personality tests and have recently been incredibly enlightened by Strengths Finder, so I paid for each team member to take the full assessment, then brought in an expert to analyze them and teach us how we can use that knowledge in our work and lives. 
      2. Productivity was one of the things our team expressed interest in, so our Operations Director did a great presentation with several dozen productivity hacks, from software tricks to ideas on setting boundaries. The team LOVED this session – we’re all busy women, so this was exciting.
      3. Self-care was another topic that our team expressed interest in (many of us are mamas, so self-care tends to be put aside often!), so I hired a mindset coach to help us examine how we can incorporate more self-care into our lives. It was incredibly enlightening!
  • Ask the team. Our team’s input both before and during the retreat was crucial. Our business is no longer The Stephanie Show, so it was important to me to make sure all voices were heard. We sent them a pre-retreat questionnaire, asking questions about both their wins and challenges, their personal and professional goals, and how we can grow and better support our clients. Our Operations Director compiled the results and this was the basis of our first session’s discussion. It gave us a great jumping off point for the week.
  • Make it special. My team knows I’m obsessed with curating and sending gifts and the retreat was the perfect opportunity to send each woman a little care package so our time together felt special and out of the ordinary. I put together gift boxes with cozy socks, an inspirational mug, a coaster from Nepal, a notebook, a handwritten note, and a Starbucks gift card so that everyone felt special and cozy!
  • Remove yourself. As the CEO of the organization, I wanted to give authority and ownership to the team and step out of their way, empowering them to brainstorm and come up with ideas without me. I’ve found that when the CEO is always in the room, people consciously and unconsciously tend to lean in their direction and I want to hear from others! So we had a breakout session where our CFO team and Marketing/Ops team brainstormed and began to build their 2021 plans, then they presented them to the whole team the next day. I loved seeing what they came up with!
  • Make it actionable. One of my pet peeves is walking away from a conference overwhelmed with information, but no clear action items. If we didn’t actually implement anything we learned, then what was the point?! So we spent our Friday session going around and sharing one thing we planned to incorporate into our daily lives and work now, and one goal we have for 2021. We are going to follow-up on these in future team meetings too.
  • Have fun! This was probably the toughest for me, as I’m not a dance party on Zoom kinda gal. But we kept it light, chatted before each session, and showed up to contribute and support. Here’s hoping an in-person experience, at a beautiful oceanfront home complete with dinners out and champagne toasts, is in our future!


What questions do you have? Have you ever hosted a virtual team retreat?



The best investment I’ve made in my professional development

Last year I made the biggest investment in my business and my own professional development yet.

I joined a paid mastermind.

Don’t worry, I had no clue what that meant either.

My mastermind is led by a successful entrepreneur who’s walked in our shoes, and I’m one of five like-minded business owners at similar stages in our businesses. We have “hot seat” phone calls once a week where we pose challenges and share ideas, one-on-one coaching with our leader, three in-person retreats throughout the year, and guest experts who share their entrepreneurial journey with our group.

It’s a year of intensive professional and business development, and it is well worth every penny.

A mastermind is not a one-and-done course where you forget everything you learned once you dive headfirst back into your busy work routine. If you’re thinking about joining a paid mastermind, here are the three best things I’ve taken away from mine:

1. A tight knit community. I now have a tribe that I can go to, no matter how challenging my day, and seek advice, support, or encouragement. Most of these colleagues have been there, done that, in a way that my team hasn’t. I’ve been given the confidence and clarity to make the toughest and most important decisions for my business and life with this tribe behind me.

2. Accountability. It’s so easy to toss ideas around in our heads while driving to the office or chatting with our spouse, then let the ideas disappear into the ether. A mastermind has helped me turn those ideas into reality. For example, I’d thought for months about adding to my team (I even found notes on my phone from a year ago stating that goal!) but my Type A, control freak nature held me back. Once I told my mastermind about this idea, they provided the push I needed to make it happen. And they were right there for the virtual high-fives when I reported back that my team had tripled.

3. Fresh perspective.  My mastermind leader has intentionally brought together a group of diverse people focused on a similar goal – to grow their business with intention. Each member has a unique skillset and network, and all is fair game to share with the others. We’ve made introductions to Facebook Ads strategists, web designers, accountants, and even clients because we all understand that competition is the devil!

So, you may ask, why can’t a group of people just get together, be accountability buddies, and slap a “mastermind” label on it?

You certainly can! BUT, there are two key reasons that structured masterminds are significantly more successful and impactful to your development.

  1. When people make a decision to invest their hard-earned resources into something, they will remain more committed to completing the program and “getting their money’s worth”. A free monthly coffee chat with other leaders at the local Starbucks is great but because you have no skin in the game, one missed session turns into another and another until you’ve completely dropped out. Talk about the total opposite of accountability! If you’ve invested in a paid group, you won’t miss a call unless it’s an absolute emergency. Trust me.
  2. Without a leader, a group of people gathering to “talk shop” veers quickly into a bitch session about a challenging board chair or unstable team dynamics or an annoying funder and it’s hard to come back from that. A mastermind leader ensures that everyone gets their time in the hot seat and often brings guest speakers to the group for enhanced learning.

If it wasn’t obvious, I’m a HUGE proponent of paid masterminds for professional and personal growth, knowledge gaining, and networking.

If you want to know more about masterminds, how you can benefit, my specific experience, or how much they usually cost, go to the bottom right hand corner of your screen and click the chat box. Your message will get to me instantly and I’ll drop you a note right back!


3 Ways to Engage an Audience When You’re Presenting about NUMBERS

Over the past year I’ve given a handful of presentations to fledgling nonprofits and entrepreneurs about finance. Managing and understanding the financials is such a foundational skill that can make or break a business, that it’s important to me to present the information in a way that these leaders can latch on to.

One of my goals as a CFO is to encourage ownership of the financials by everyone in the organization. Everyone from top to bottom should understand the basics of the budget and financials, and the role of a CFO is to present the numbers in a way that tells a story.

Here are 3 ways to engage your audience when you’re presenting about numbers:

1. Identify the goal of the session and repeat it at least three times. Explain why it matters. This isn’t because your audience is stupid and didn’t get it the first time. In a session I did for a group of budding social entrepreneurs, I highlighted revenue, expenses, and cash flow, and explained why each was critical to understand. In addition to words on a slide, I showed them how to identify each element on the financial statements and referenced them multiple times.

2. Provide a clear action item for the audience and explain how to make it happen. Instead of reciting a bunch of bullet points and walking off the stage, I presented one action item for each of my three main areas. I asked the group to develop their revenue pipeline, create an expense budget, and figure out their cash flow.

3. Ask questions. I provided a worksheet which outlined my talk but left some elements blank. Participants were forced to really listen and fill in the blanks which I found left them entirely more engaged than if I was just speaking. Hearing + writing led to more questions and repetition breeds familiarity and success.

A BONUS way to engage your audience? Be interesting! Smile, make jokes, learn people’s names, make eye contact, tell stories. Nobody likes a starchy stiff presenter. Break that stuffy CFO stereotype!