In the real world, as in not my parallel Universe where I take over the galaxy in my stretchy pregnant lady pants on top of a pink unicorn, today marks the final workday of January. One month down, eleven more to go.
Today, most companies are looking at their balance sheets + hyperventilating + crunching numbers + paying their employees + panicking… yada yada. You know the drill. Unless, of course, you don’t.
Wait WHAT? You don’t know your numbers?Really? I’m not talking about rough estimates, I’m talking about cold turkey numbers: How much money you made this month; and just as importantly: How much money did you spent?
Let me get my cape. I’ll be right back. This monkey business has got to stop. Time to go pro my friend.
Captain Mayi to the rescue. (If I get a little bossy today, please blame the Hulk Waffles I had for breakfast. They are making me feel fierce.)
Alright, so I hear you get nauseous when you have to talk about money. I get it.
When I thought of writing this post, I got very nervous (picture lots of nail bitting). I’m still in the process of owning my financial strengths + improving my weaknesses + ditching my upper limit scrips. I’m still deciphering how I feel about things like debt + shopping sprees + earning big money + self-worth + hiring an accountant + doing my taxes + paying my bills + everything in between.
To tell you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, I still got way more questions marks than conclusions, but I know ONE THING for sure + it’s this: Not thinking about money doesn’t work. It’s a lie. Pretending that this isn’t important is a myth we tell ourselves to avoid confronting our money gremlins.
So today I decided to do something brave (or stupid, depending on how you look at it). I’m gonna show you, exactly, how I deal with my money, every month. My Money Tracking Ritual revealed.
My method is so ridiculously simple, anyone can do it. Including moi, the President of the Math Sucks Club. You don’t need a gold trumpet or an expensive application. You don’t need a NASA certification or to block out your entire weekend to get it done. I’m talking easy + to the point, cuz who has time for the encyclopedic version, right?
So here goes…
This is my End of the Month Money Tracking Ritual:
- Put on my money party glasses.
- Grab my Hello Kitty calculator.
- Download + print my Income Tracker.
- Download + print my Expenses Tracker.
- Insert data.
- Crunch the numbers.
Here’s what it looks like when you put it all together:
Set Yourself Up For Success
Here are a few tips + tricks to bulletproof your Money Tracking Ritual:
Know where to look. In terms of gathering my “Income” data, I don’t obsessed myself with looking everyday at my PayPal balance. I would end up in an insane asylum if I did that. Instead, I know where I have to go at the end of the month to grab my numbers – my Etsy dashboard + my admin panels for all my Life is Messy products + my Harvest account for my client commissions + etc. I also have a list of all the fantastic retailers I work with + I contact them to see if they have a check for me + jot down the number. When you know where to look you are not digging numbers like a crazy person the last day of the month.
Data collection is easy when you make it easy. I have a little folder in my inbox called “Expenses”. Every time I pay an affiliate + purchase a plugin + pay my Adobe membership fees + invest in professional photos + hire a copy editor or whatever, I file it there. It’s a habit. At the end of the month, it’s such a breeze just to scan through + plug in the numbers into my Expenses Tracker.
Get yourself in the mood. Do I need a Hello Kitty calculator? Of course not. Does it help make the process less painful? You bet sistah. Do I need to download my cute trackers? No. Does it make me feel like I’m playing Monopoly? Ahem… YEAH! Are the party money glasses really necessary? Maybe not. Do they make me feel like a money goddess? The answer is abso-freaking-lutely. Money can be boring, but only if you make it boring.
Expand your tolerance for abundance, both ways. I joke that I love counting my money. I’m great at receiving money. GREEEAT. The giving it away part, not so much. I’m working on it. I’m one of those people who still dances every time a new order comes in, as if it were my very first sale. Sometimes though, I struggle with being as graceful investing in premium software or professional services. My stomach contracts + I worry, “Can I really afford this?” I’m slowly learning that it is just as important to bless the money than comes in as the money that’s going out into the Universe. The other day, I tried something crazy. As I was getting ready to write a check, I said a little prayer, “Thank you so so much for allowing me to purchase this BEA-U-TI-FUL bamboo floor for Olivia’s nursery.” I instantly felt grateful, instead of stressed. It made all the difference. Try it next time you send money back into the world.
Don’t skip through+ pretend no one noticed. You noticed + you are someONE. It’s like pretending that by not doing the dishes, the pile will magically disappear. Oh no, it will only get bigger. You might turn your face the other way, but sooner or later your pile of dirty dishes it’s gonna come + bite you you know where. You might tell yourself you don’t care. You can try to convince yourself that money isn’t that important, but until you sit down + know what you have you will always ALWAYS feel scared. If you want to attract more money, you can’t do it from a place scarcity + ignorance. Knowing your numbers is one of the most empowering things you will EVER do.
Every quarter, sit down + analyze your data. What is selling like hot tamales? What products are just sitting in the shelves accumulating dust? Where is your bucket leaking? These quarterly analysis help you make smart decisions moving forward, like what projects should get fired + which deserve a bit more spotlight. This is what I call proactively being BOSS, instead of a passive victim of “the economy” or whatever other bullsh*t story we tell ourselves.
Freebies For You
I believe you deserve to live a rich life, so I’ve decided to make my Income Tracker + Expenses Tracker available to you, for FREE!!! If you’re feeling generous + want to return the favor, just share this post with someone who really needs it.
When you know your numbers:
- You know your business’s minimum break-even point.
- You know what you need to charge for profitability.
- You know how to charge what you’re worth.
- You know how to expand on what’s working.
- You know what to stop doing what’s sucking.
I believe money is the seed of money. You want money? Enough that you don’t have to worry about money? Well, you gotta plant the first seed + give it water when it’s thirsty + make sure it’s getting proper sunlight + care for it, if you want to see it bloom. Actually… money is what you make of it. It can become a soggy plant or a gorgeous garden of Eden. It can become your worst nightmare of your BFF. It’s always your choice.
The first step is to KNOW. Know your money. Knowledge is power.
I hope you take advantage of the cosmic timing, not only the end of the week, but the culmination of the first month of the year, to start fresh.
Deep breaths! I promise you is never as bad as it looks. You might discover that you might actually be able to afford a fancy deep tissue massage weekend, or perhaps a new cookbook (wink wink).
Mapping out my 2015 plan to RULE the world. Save, I mean SAVE the world.
Thanks for all the lessons.
This cute calendar features a collection of my original hand-painted illustrations. The colors print BEA-u-tifully. Pin to your bulletin board or use as a bookmark. You can later frame it as a whimsical art print. Artsy fartsy.
Huge THANKS for supporting my teeny tiny empire, turning 5 soon, oh my! It’s been a bit of a whirlwind. We’ve grown so much + learned tons + put in an unhealthy amount hours to be able to create this company that we love so much. I’m extremely excited about all the new things to come. There are a lot.
I only get psyched for one sporting event every 4 years. I can’t handle the emotional roller coaster of being a super fan any more often than that. But during the World Cup… WATCH OUT SISTER! I’ve been known to throw plastic cups at TV screens + eat pizza with my bare hands Viking-style + yell at people during games. It ain’t pretty.
No matter how fierce thou, I always manage to pair matches with themed parties. I made bean chili for the Mexico match + baked carrot cake to Hup Holland Hup! For the Italy game, there will be Pizza Napolitana in the oven + hubby ordered Argentinian empanadas for Sunday. This is how we roll.
And there’s more.
As is tradition, da’ girls of the family started our infamous WhatApp chat called “Mundial de las Locas” (The World Cup Crazies), where we discuss extremely technical and statistically accurate matters ONLY, of course. (Wink!) Boys aren’t allowed but I was able to pull some strings + get Hagrid a conditional pass if he manages to keep his puppy teeths away from out sandals.
In the words of Beyonce, “Men have given a chance to rule the world. Ladies, our revolution has begun. Who run the world? Girls!
Now, I’m sure what Beyonce really meant was: Girls with a cute World Cup Bracket. Cuz seriously those ones off the internet, have your seen them? They are hideous. We can be like sooooo dysfunctionally together this sporty season, but in style please. Click here to download yours!
Tag me in social media @mayicarles so I can see your World Cup Bracket in action pretty please. Psst…I designed it so you can take your crayons for a spin + customize your printable with the winning team colors. I’ll handpick my favorite pics to regram + spread this beautiful madness.
Confession time. I can’t hide it any longer. Due to a series of unfortunate events, I’ve been operating at Basic Mayi mode (eat carrot cupcakes + sleep till noon + do the bare minimum I absolutely “need” to do) for about a month now. I hear it happens to people when something Apocalyptic happens. I just never thought “this rough” could happen to me. Not with a dry cleaned super hero cape hanging in my closet, I mean.
Of course, when my bestie April Bowles e-mailed me saying that she had told the folks at CreativeLIVE about me + they thought I should make an appearance interview during her Building a Successful Creative Blog workshop, I… I showered. Hadn’t done that in a while. Felt really good. Then I wrote back, “Where do I sign?”, included lots of words like “HAPPY” + “OMG” + “WOW” in ALL CAPS, followed by an army of exclamation points!!!!!!!!!
So on May 1st, I fixed up Basic Mayi with a little marcara + a side braid + a cute Anthropology outfit that perfectly hid the extra carb-oversode inches around my everywhere, to share my story in April’s Distinguishing Yourself with Style and Voice segment. I talked about how I translate “Mayi” into my brand + shared my top tip to anyone struggling to make their posts more them + dissected the “science” behind my most popular posts.
When I got done, I started dancing. Hadn’t done that in a whole. Felt really good. Then super hubby, who was running out of movies to rent me + desserts to bring home, smiled. We hugged each other sooooo tight. And in that moment we knew I was gonna make it. Amen!
Just when I most needed a miracle, there was Fairy God April, pulling me out of my rabbit hole, reminding me that (a) sharing my story is the equivalent of ten RedBulls; (b) there is nothing mascara can’t fix; and (c) I need to film a Friday Video Time episode about my thoughts on “finding your voice”, which brings me to point B: Ditch “find your voice”. Do this instead:
Please download + print your playsheet below:
Okay, you ready? On the left hand side of your printable (isn’t it adorbs?), I want you to write down the things you remember LOVING as a kid. On the right hand side, I want you to jot down how you will bring more of that into your business.
Let me give you an example. On the left hand side, I could write: I loved going to the bank with my parents + borrowing the deposit slips to play office. On the right hand side, I could say: I’m going to whip out lots of fun worksheets + forms to help my peeps make the boring stuff seem like play.
Your turn. Share your left + right columns in the comments below. This will be fun!
If you’re on an Indiana Jones quest to infuse more off YOU into your brand + up your blogging game, you gotta check out April Bowles CreativeLIVE workshop on Building a Successful Creative Blog. It’s soooo good, even David watched it + he doesn’t even have a blog LOL. By the way, I’m not an affiliate or get Scooby Snacks for saying this. I’m telling you because, well, because it rocks. Duh! And I know that if you get it you will f-ing LOVE IT!
This post is about happiness. Well, and about personal freedom too. The kind I discovered from jumping into this vortex called blogging. The kind I hope everybody will eventually discover for themselves. The kind I believe will permanently + irrevocably change this world for the better.
Having a blog, a voice, having my own stage where I can just “be Mayi” changed my life.
You see, I crave a different type of buzz. I want to paint because I feel like it, not because I have something to prove. I want to lay in the sand + read a book I’ll never be tested on. I want to build pillow forts + tell stories when the moon is high. I want to wake up slowly without a clock or inbox to rush to. I want to fly to Mars or the laundry room, but with my husband. Screw Cadillacs, I want to ride a unicorn. I want to be happy + free. I want to give the world everything.
Now, I can. And I don’t even have to wait for Martha Stewart’s entourage to pick me + deem me worthy if media coverage. Exactly.
Suddenly my career as a tiny Panamanian artist with a T-Rex heart isn’t dependent on the Illuminati or the Gatekeepers of the world – the publishers + the Hollywood exes + the editors + the celebrities + the curators. Suddenly I’m in direct contact with my audience + they are in direct contact with me too. No Wizard of Oz curtains or waiting for anyone else to give me the green lights.
I blog because it keeps me honest. If I say I’m gonna write a cookbook, I better do it. If I promise delivery by Christmas, the parcel better be there before Santa Claus arrives. Pressure. Blogging keeps us accountable.
I blog because it gets lonely sometimes, know what I mean? And when it does, I love talking to people who read my blog + watch my videos + share my obsession with Pinky and The Brain, not only because they are “fans” + boost my self-confidence when I most need it, but cuz they bring new light to what life might be. With blogging, a monologue quickly turns into a virtual happy hour. Yee ha!
I blog because no one likes to be sold to, but everyone loves to go shopping. When I’m asleep, people buy my stuff – my Life is Messy Bootcamp + my whimsical designs + my book. And I think that’s pretty cool. When your content moves people + builds goodwill, your folks feel like you’ve given them so much already that they’re happy to swipe their credit cards for you. Blogging is karma.
I blog because it makes the easy stuff easier + the hard stuff, well, just as hard. Let’s see, I create + I post + I make myself a drink with an umbrella. Easy. Well easier than sitting in my touchie waiting for Oprah’s producers to call. Blogging removes many obstacles. But no matter how easy it gets, the actual work is still a pain in the ass. Creativity is time consuming + labor intensive + appears whenever it wants to. We artists live for this sh*t. Except now, thanks to blogging, we can hustle in our Buzz Lightyear pajamas. Not bad.
I blog because blogging allows me to be quirky + unique + ferociously independent + small while still able to afford expensive strawberries + a trip to Curaçao. Thanks to the Internet + blogs, we finally live in a world where indie bands + nerds + girls with video cameras can survive. And thrive.
I blog because that’s how I’ve met most of my besties, including my business partner in crime April Bowles. We stumbled upon each other’s work online one day. Somehow we stated talking + leaving comments + trading e-mails. Somehow we raised enough money to lift our dream project Connecting the Gaps off the ground, while wearing tutus + superhero capes. And this process never stops. Magical friendships keep on happening again + again.
I blog because it lets me show off my ninja moves without looking like an arrogant narcissist. Let’s say you happen to bake the world’s chewiest S’Mores cookies. I understand if you want to keep your granny’s recipe a secret, but you can tell me how to impress hubby with a double crust pie, don’t you? Generosity, there’s no faster path to winning loyal followers that will last a lifetime.
I blog because through blogging my work has reached millions of people. I’ve shipped orders to Sir Lanka + Hawaii + South Africa + Argentina + Japan + places I don;t know how to spell + even had to look up on the map because they didn’t exist when I was in High School. Damn! (Psst… if you’ve been lucky enough to receive one of my packages, granny’s responsible for the hand-sewn envelopes. Aren’t they cute?)
I blog because it helps me document + immortalize my schizophrenically creative journey. I love (and secretly hate too) looking at my archives to see where my mind + heart have been. “Holy Batman! What was I thinking?” Or, “I nailed it!” It’s like having your own little personal time capsule or virtual diary to navigate through the memories + learn from them + grow.
I blog because blogging gives me VIP seating to Google’s premieres. Blogs are built for search engines. Period. They are indexed faster + more frequently than any other website. They also have this cool optimization feature that reads your keywords (like “handmade” + “business tips” + “blogging”) + connects potential readers to your site via those tags. This means targeted traffic from people who want what you have 24/7. Pretty neat right?
I blog because it remind me that what I have to say is important. We tend to forget that on the other side of the computer there are people, real people, being impacted by us. By YOU! If we slack off or hoard our gifts, everyone loses. Specially that one person who truly needed to hear your story, because sometimes an aha moment is all it takes to change everything. Blogging matters.
I blog because owning my media platform means owning my career. And owning my career means owning my life.
Telling people how great blogging is is easy. Everybody knows that already. The hard part is admitting that the ball is on your court. That it’s up to you to cut the crap excuses + use this amazing tool to make really awesome stuff happen. Right now.
Frankly blogging is not rocket science. Anyone can do it. And that in itself is what generates the great dilemma of our time: It’s no longer a question of whether or not you can do it. You know you can. Now the pressure is on you to mute the negative brain chatter + snap out of people-pleasing + let go of perfectionism. Now the pressure is on you to spill open + embrace imperfection + give the world what you’ve got.
It’s hard + scary as hell + that’s why most people never do it. Never even try. Thank goodness you aren’t most people, right?
Only when you are brave (read crazy) enough to look under the bed to fight hairy monsters will you discover that the only trolls that exist are the ones inside your head. Suddenly you stop running away because you realize no one is really chasing you with a bazooka. Suddenly you stop reaching for banana bread because you realize there is no edge to take off. Suddenly you stop gossiping to feel better about yourself because you realize that deep down you really wish we all make it. That’s when you become boundless + infinite + fierce enough to hit the “Publish” button + change the world without ever stepping out of your jammies.
The moral of the story: Go blog. Like a BOSS! Once you see the results, it becomes an obsession.
Before you exit, grab your Happiness is Freedom Blogging Notecard… it’s FREE + so is leaving a comment. Talk to me. I wanna know why you blog, or not. I bite, but only if you’re a cupcake.