016 | Judith Morgan | Small Business Oracle
Former accountant to some household name restaurant stars, property investor Judith Morgan previously owned a travel agent, a cafe and cleaning biz franchise, had a spell as one of Nicola’s clients, then business partner, before settling into helping others become successful entrepreneurs and small business owners.
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Nicola: Hi, I’m Nicola Cairncross, and you’re listening to “The Money Gym” podcast, where I interview successful entrepreneurs and investors, and ask them, if they could go back in time, and give their younger selves one big tip about money, what would it be? I really hope you enjoy the show.
Former accountant to some household name, restaurant stars, property investor and businesswoman Judith Morgan has previously owned a travel agent, a cafe and a cleaning business franchise. She had a spell as one of my clients in “The Money Gym” and then became my business partner. We remain great friends and co-host a weekly podcast called “Own it your life and your business”. You can find us over “ownitthepodcast.com”.
Judith started her own accountancy business when she was 22 and sold it 20 years later for a six figure some Judith’s role in the accountancy business was to start and grow the business, attract clients, recruit and manage staff and help and support her own business clients with the same issues particularly their finances.
She was then fortunate to enjoy part time Finance Director roles and relationships often for many years, with UK entrepreneurs and small businesses, including an incredibly successful events organizing business. Judith says her main reason in life is to empower, inspire, and uplift. So that running your own business and having a wonderful life becomes lighter and easier, and your success and happiness come faster.
Let’s find out what she’s got to say on the subject of your money shall we? Well, one thing I notice other entrepreneurs that you coach doing wrong around business money, and you know, that can be a practical thing or a psychological thing, and what’s the most important thing you’d like to share with a new entrepreneur around your business money?
Judith: Okay, so I think most people ignore it. They don ‘t have any systems for it at all because they’re frightened of it and they’re worried that if they start looking at it, it’ll be worse than they even fear it is. And what they generally discover is it’s not as bad as they fear it is.
Nicola: They’re hallucinating a disaster scenario.
Judith: So, you know, the first step is to try and get them to monitor it in some way or another what you measure improves? We can measure it in any way you like, we don’t even have to measure it in pounds and pence, we can measure it in visitors or clients or likes or you know, there’s millions of ways of monitoring money, we don’t have to do it in money necessarily, if that freaks you.
So I’ve just got to gently persuade them at the beginning to be monitoring something and that what I usually do in the very first session with them is I have this concept of, we’re going to climb Everest. First of all, we’re going to go to base camp because when you make an assault on Mount Everest, you all go up to base camp and you pitch your tents and you have your supplies there and you’ve got your backup and actually base camp, not a bad place to be.
You might decide that space camp is as far as you want to go. How much do you need to earn that base camp to pay all your bills? You’d be surprised by how many people you don’t know the answer to that question. So sometimes a new guy will say to me last week and you closer to it, somebody else ticked me off that you were going to ask me that question. So they were ready in advance.
We need around thousand sums of money that you will be in Financial Integrity if we bring that in and when we get that your base camp, then you can decide is this enough? Or should we go further up the mountain? So we’ve got to measure that because otherwise how will we know when we’re there?
Nicola: Yes and do you? Do you find that a lot of people at that base configure is a lot bigger than it needs to be?
Judith: Yes, I do. They don’t understand how low can you go so as I call it, because the lower you can go the less likelihood there is if you haven’t to go back to work or get a part time job you hate.
Nicola: You actually downsized your own life quite dramatically at one point. I remember when you moved out from that gorgeous flat in the in the Docklands and moved into one of your own properties because I want you to.
Judith: Given what’s happened in the last 8 years Nicola, you’ve been mad not to me.
Nicola: Absolutely, I love the fact that I live on a very very small amount of money every month because it means I don’t have to earn so much to be comfortable and it also means that I think downsizing takes away a lot of the fear scarcity because if you’re living lean as I call it.
Nicola: Then nothing can be taken away.
Judith: I Love the concept of living lean. I think that’s absolutely perfect and who wants stuff anymore?
Nicola: Well, Sarah’s got her belongings down to one one backpack, so it’s quite impressive.
Judith: Deeply envious.
Nicola: Well, there was a spate of internet marketers wasn’t there who sold everything and reduced all their belongings down from the big mansions down to a backpack. So you get into base camp, you get to decide what the minimum they need to live on is and then when they get to see you, you just keep them focused on getting to that point.
Judith: Well, we try and simplify it. So do you want thousands of difference of little bits? Or do you want you know? Do you want to sell ten monthly memberships at six pounds to make sixty quid or do you want you don’t like to me, we’re looking at what’s the easiest way of making the base camp money?
Nicola: Euro was very keen on big sums of money. I do recall that.
Judith: I am, I’m changing my mind slightly. I just don’t like the slow way to anything. I want the easy way to everywhere really? Well, I make it complicated. Their lives are quite complicated enough already, quite frankly.
Nicola: When I was first taught how to manage a weekly cash flow by our mutual friends and I exasperated them so I kept over complicating everything and now things are very simple. You know its not entirely through choice in about five years ago, but I relish that simplicity now. I really do.
Judith: Yes. So do I. Good stuff.
Nicola: So then when they’re at base camp and you’re working out how they’re going to make their money, do you then help them monitor it? Or do they come to you for accountability? Or do you expect your clients to be grown ups?
Judith: I do the latter. I think, you know, generally, nobody ever brings anything to a coaching call that’s working, right. They only bring what’s wrong. All the time it’s in problem solving mode, really. I think actually the main benefit I bring is making it feel easier because it feels easier you can do it.
They tend to come with heads full of you know why I can’t and have difficulties for me and pull me and I’ve got so much to do. We just try and strip it away to what have you really got to do here. What’s really important, it’s very important to me, they have a life. You know, Nicola, my clients are women in their 30’s let’s say, with a toddler or two.
Frankly, they need to be working in six weeks chunks before, after, three times a year, and they need to be off in the school and other things because they can’t achieve anything but somebody down their needs. Why try Have a lovely time with your children, you know, until they don’t want to be with you anymore, and then you’ve got plenty of time to throw yourself a business.
Nicola: Yes, that happens around 15 to 16.
Judith: Then by about 13, they don’t want to go on holiday with you then you want you to fetch them from school, you know, so I have been with women long enough to see them achieve almost nothing at all because of the family commitments to the time when they can focus on them now because the kids have gone to university or something like that.
Nicola: So leaving a subject of money now then what one thing would you say is absolutely crucial for the new entrepreneur to master?
Judith: Well, you know, this is what I was coming to the cashflow game, actually because when they come to them as they see how that what the relationship is with money, how broken it is. You know, it’s I call it financial coaching because that’s what it is now, it’s not a game. It’s so much more than a game. It’s about how am I with money? How is that person across the other side of the table with money? Are they better at money than I am? How do I cut my nose off to spite my face? How can I make more by partnering up with other people? What tricks Am I missing?
I write about it often. It is the best day’s work I ever do. It’s absolutely exhausting but it is the most valuable days work. I do it every month now it’s that valuable to somebody, to observe their relationship with money. In the morning, I teach it by the rules and all learning the rules. They’re all getting to know that they’re so much better with money in mass than they could possibly imagine.
Most of them don’t even use a calculator. They’re so good and they sit down at the table and they say I’m crap with money and they don’t understand anything for the first 20 minutes in a real panic and their brains are screaming at them. I can’t do this by lunchtime. They got it in the afternoon, they’re acing it, you know they can practice different behaviors. I just think it is the most wonderful thing tears, laughter learning, it’s quite an intimate thing only six players at a time, you know, it’s so valuable in changing the way my clients are with their money, getting them to notice they’re thinking in their habits and watching others and practicing out new ways.
Nicola: I love the fact that with the cash flow one on one, you have a balance sheet and an income and an asset section on it. Every time you make a new deal or you get more money in or whatever, you have to recalculate it all and you know much talk about assets and liabilities at school, Are they?
Judith: No, they get it really quickly. They get it by lunch time. The point I have to make to them, they go what do I do here, I go to do this and this just like real life. They seem to think that the game somehow is different. So for instance, you buy a property in the game, you’ve got income, you’ve got expenses, you’ve got an asset and you’ve got a liability. Just like Real life, so it’s a great way of teaching them that whatever you do it’s not it’s not a game it really not a game. It’s a metaphor and you can translate your learning in the game into real life.
Nicola: I love it because of the the practicality side of it and the emotional side. So if people can’t get to one of your games Judith, Is there an online cash flow 101?
Judith: I believe there is. I believe there is. You are playing by yourself, which is a bit tragic, but I believe you can play it online. And actually, wherever you are, it’s worth putting into the into Google cashflow game in Manchester or Birmingham or New York. I bet they pay them all over the world Nicola?
Nicola: They probably do and it is great fun and you meet all sorts of amazing people you leave and then to into about money, because let’s face it, not many of your actual friends are very willing to open up about cash. But, if you play with a bunch of people locally, then you can always that’s your mastermind, your first mastermind group right now.
Judith: I totally agree. I think wherever you’re playing in the world, try and get a group of six to play it. More than once. Commit to playing once a month for a year and treat them as your mastermind team. I think that’s absolutely right.
Nicola: You’ve been listening to Nicola Cairncross on “The Money Gym” podcast. If you’d like to find out more about “The Money Gym” and how we can help you become more financially intelligent, just come on over to “themoneygym.com”. We’ll see you over there.
If you want to get control, get out of debt, make more money then grow that money by becoming a confident investor, check out the amazing offer we are making around “The Money Gym” book today!