TGTM with By The Way Creative
Meet Stephanie - owner and founder of By The Way Creative. They're a content creation agency, based… anywhere! As a team, By The Way Creative work with creative female entrepreneurs who are scaling to 6 or 7 figures. Their speciality is blog posts and site copy, but they’re pretty good at Instagram captions too! They’re three years young and have been spotted on BossBabe.com, Thrive Global and WinchestHer magazine.
Stephanie is a budding runner, novice triathlete, bride-to-be and newbie dog mum! When not running BTW, you’ll find Stephanie out on a bike with Mr White or trudging through the Hampshire countryside with their Greekie, Jet.
When was the last time you checked your bank balance?
Technically, I’m supposed to do my accounts every Friday. I’ll be honest, sometimes that slips to Saturday. I’ve got text alerts on my phone that let me know how much is in each of my bank accounts throughout the week (Personal, business, joint account & savings).
I do like to check my banking app every now and then - but I probably don’t check in as often as I should.
How have you learnt what you know about money and finance?
I actually grew up terrified of numbers. I did all of my English qualifications (apart from my degree) early… but Maths was one I struggled to even pass! When I first started running my business, numbers felt icky, banking was terrifying and I really had
no idea what I was doing. Last year a very kind accountant friend talked me through using Xero. She explained how I should siphon off money for tax, amongst other handy tips.
I’m still not totally clued up on money - but my friends called me ‘Stingey Steve’ because I’m an avid saver! Whilst I wouldn’t say I’m ‘smart’ with money, I’ve definitely made some savvy choices when it comes to saving, boosting my credit rating and avoiding debt wherever possible.
When was the last time you had an open conversation about money? With who and why?
With getting married, I’ve found that lots more money conversations have had to happen. Mr White and I are pretty open about money (he’s an entrepreneur too), but we’ve had to be even more frank as we’ve gone through this process. The odd eyebrow raise has definitely been shot across the room when yet another ASOS or Amazon parcel arrives ;)
Most recently, I had an incredible coaching day where my income was discussed very openly. I’ve callously thrown figures into conversations with friends, but coaching is different. Divulging your monthly profits to a stranger is a weird experience, but getting their insight is invaluable.
Has money ever been an issue between you and someone close to you?
For sure! I moved out at 18 and house shared until I met Mr White. With ex-partners, housemates and uni pals, money seemed to be a bone of contention. Who used all the electricity? Why isn’t the rent split fairly? Who’s responsibility is this line-rental fee?
Living at university and also sharing a house back home has meant that I’ve juggled a lot of rental contracts. I also once got muscled out of a house by my housemate’s boyfriend - but still had to pay my way out of the tenancy. We’ve actually never recovered - she and I are still not friends.
If you could talk to your younger self about money, what would you say?
Stephanie, don’t stress about it. Money comes, money goes. Sometimes a big expenditure is worth it. Having a huge savings account means nothing if you’re not having fun.
I wish I could tell my younger self that one day I’d run my own business and that money would take on a whole new meaning. I’ve been rolling in it, I’ve been struggling. Now? Money isn’t something I stress over, because I’m the one in control of it.
What is the biggest investment you’ve ever made in yourself / your business? Was it worth it?
Wow! Ok, let’s go there. Last month I spent over £3000 on my business.
I spent £1000 on a systems do-over - essentially, a team of Asana, Slack and project management experts went headfirst into the business and overhauled the way I run things. Now, all of my team are in Asana, all of our projects are visible to each other and stored centrally, our Slack channels run like machines and we’re ready to make more bank than ever. I wouldn’t take that purchase back for a second.
I also spent £2000 on a VIP Coaching Day. That was a hard one for me. I’ve never invested in coaching to that extent but oh my goodness. I’d do it again tomorrow. Thing is, knowledge isn’t free. You can download as many freebies as you like, but having someone sat in front of you saying “you need to charge more, this is how you’re going to do it” is something you can’t put a price on.
Because of those investments, I’ve scaled my team and I’m getting ready to launch my first-ever program in May (ok, that’s the first time I’ve said that!!).
2020… I can’t WAIT!!