For this edition of FinanciElle “$tatements”, I had the opportunity to interview Christina Sjahli, CPA ( US and Canada), On-Demand CFO and Cash Flow Catalyst.
Christina helps digital entrepreneurs successfully scale from 6 to 7 (or 7 to 8) figures, improve cash flow and profitability and translate vision and strategy into positive cash flow. She does it by leveraging 20 years of high-level financial and cash flow management, auditing and accounting as a trusted advisor and consultant.
Sign up for Christina’s Free 3 video training series to get you financially ready to scale organically to the next level. Watch her “How To Create A S.E.X.Y Positive Cash Flow For Your Growing Business Video” , and don’t forget to listen to her podcast, Her CEO Journey – The Business Finance Podcast for Women Entrepreneurs.
Paolina: What is the most common finance issue you see with your clients?
Making increasing revenue the solution to their financial issues, so they put their focus on marketing. While it’s true that revenue can help with your financial issues because it brings in cash, revenue is only half of the formula. Don’t forget that you need to have a process to manage the cash inflow from your efforts of increasing revenue. If there is no process to manage the cash coming into the business, I guarantee you; you can survive for the short-term but not for the long-term.
The focus is on revenue and marketing first because they are unable to let go of their fear of numbers.
Paolina: What are three pieces of advice you can give an entrepreneur today about money/finance?
- Make sure you set-up your financial foundation from the very beginning of your journey. If you do this, you are one step ahead of other entrepreneurs in their financial journey.
- Align your WHY with your financial goals. Finance/money is very personal and unique for each entrepreneur. Do not look around at others and try to copy their financial goals. You have to find your unique WHY and align your WHY to your financial goals.
- Be in the entrepreneurship journey for the long-game, and then create a long-term profitability and sustainability strategy for your business and life. If you do not think for the long-game, then your business won’t survive. You won’t be able to continue to spread your message, your product or service to the world.
Paolina: As a CPA, CA starting a business and having 20 years of experience managing other people’s money, making the transition to entrepreneur, what has been your biggest financial challenge in creating your business and what have you learned?
It is more of a mindset challenge transitioning from being an employee to being my own boss, rather than a financial challenge. I have been conscious with my own financial journey, thus I have been lucky to have a great career and save for a rainy day; I never thought that the rainy day would actually be investing in myself.
What I have learned is my own self-limiting beliefs that I struggled with during my corporate career re-surfaced and can limit my business growth. I had to deal with my self-confidence and my imposter syndrome first, before I could build my business. Entrepreneurship is the biggest personal development journey and I did not realize this until I jumped with both feet!
Paolina: What are your current FinanciElle Faves?
- Favourite business/productivity tool? Trello and voxer are my best project management tools with clients. And off course, my favourite is QuickBooks online to manage my business finances. I like QuickBooks Online because it has the option to create custom reports.
- Favourite piece of media – TED talk, podcast…? The TED Talk by Simon Sinek “Find your WHY?” was the first time I went internal with myself and really thought about why I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I realized that everything links to WHY – your marketing strategy, your vision, your financial journey, your company’s culture. My favorite podcast is What Works by Tara McMullin – hands down one of my favorite podcasts where I learn about what I can be who I am.