I discovered that planning to do the best you can, is actually a stupid plan. You need to have a strategy.
– Cathy Donovan Wagner
Take charge of your cash flow and step into your financial power with Cathy Donovan Wagner’s insider secrets and transformative action steps, designed to empower you around your finances. Follow her top three success strategies to finally feel in control of your cash, while balancing your mental, physical, and financial health.
In this inspiring episode, you’ll also learn why resourcing up is essential as you prepare to rise & thrive in 2021, how the right community will elevate your ideal life design and the one trait that could be holding you back from fulfilling your purpose.
Meet Cathy Donovan Wagner
With over 30 years in retail as both an owner and a consultant, Cathy has the unique position of having worked on both sides of the counter. She’s seen firsthand the tremendous benefits that paying attention to your numbers makes. It’s what helped her to grow to 3 stores grossing in excess of 2.5 million dollars. But it wasn’t always easy. In the hard nearly bankrupt times she cracked the code for successful retail. Cathy and her team help retailers develop action plans that increase sales, improve cash flow, and create success…and love their life.
What is the story of how you got into the business that you’re in?
My sister and I opened up our first store right out of college. And we were instantly successful. Being young and ambitious, we decided, well, if one store was good two stores for is better. We were already planning the houses we were going to buy and new cars. We didn’t have anything. We were so glad to know we were the geniuses we thought we were.
We opened up a second store within about a year of opening the first and that was when things changed. Things just changed and the economy changed. We’ve all been so impacted by things out of our control like that. And the reality is that we were close to bankruptcy. And the thing that was so shocking was that every single thing we had done that had worked before, not only was it not working for the new store, it wasn’t working for the old store either. What we discovered was that we didn’t know as much as we thought we did.
I would walk through the back door like today is going to be the day that turns everything around. And I discovered that planning to do the best you can is a stupid plan. Because you have to have a strategy. All the passion I had for what we were doing didn’t matter because I didn’t have a strategy.
I decided that I wanted to go after this dream one more time. And that’s something I share with people all the time. You have to feel like you have a choice in it, you can’t feel like you’re trapped. Because if you feel like you’re trapped, you can’t make good decisions. It’s important to make the decision that you want to stay in what you’re doing.
The biggest, the most powerful decision I made was to resource up. I hired a coach and got a different perspective on the business. Because I had made so many mistakes that I didn’t even know were mistakes until I hired somebody else. When you’re in the frame of the picture, when you’re in the midst of it, you can’t see the picture. The minute the coach looked at everything, and they said one super easy thing that frankly, I was so mad, like how did I not think of this? I’m doing all this research all this stuff, one easy thing. And it changed everything.
Fill us in on the psychology of numbers and knowing your numbers.
We decided on a tagline for our business – retail mavens for more profit and better sleep. It’s so interesting because those are the two things that I hold near and dear to my heart and you have to have both. First of all, it’s your mental health, you’ve got to protect your mental health. When your mindset is keeping you from the success that you need, because of how you are mentally, it impacts how you are physically. So you have to take care of yourself physically too. You’ve got to be moving every single day. When you move your body you change your mind. These two things are so inexpensive.
And the third thing is financial health. Those three things are all just interwoven. What happens to all of us people who are go-getters, who have dreams or visions? We just plow forward with that financial health. If you’re not financially healthy, you can’t be creative. It’s like all you can focus on is how there’s no money. That then impacts your mental health which opens this cycle of going around and around.
What advice can you offer us today to help?
You have to just embrace the fact that done beats perfect and to resource up and get help. There are four steps that I learned from Dave Ramsey’s course, which helped me. These four steps were then the strategy. Remember when I said that doing the best you can, is not a plan, you have to have a strategy. There’s this great strategy from Dave Ramsey that I want to share. And then the other thing is recognizing that done beats perfect. When you screw up, don’t beat yourself up for it.
Tip #1 – Save $1,000. Set things up so that a percentage of money that comes into your business is pulled off and put into a fund. I suggest you start at 1%.
Tip #2 – Start paying off your debt. I always thought that I had to pay off my debt first. The beauty of having this thousand dollars is that the thousand dollars can cover most every crisis.
Tip #3 – Start saving for retirement.
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