As it turns out, everything. I recently sat down with Jasmine Holan of Veriditas Money Management to chat about her philosophies around wealth and the creative professional.
My husband and I found out about Jasmine and sought her out as a way to help us save for having a baby. If you’re self-employed, two months off with baby = need for savings! While Jasmine is not a financial planner or CPA, she anchors everything she does in numbers. Within the first six months of working with her, Maki and I had saved more as a couple than we had in the entire ten years prior. When I took maternity leave 1.5 years later, I had more than enough money to cover the leave. Maki calls Jasmine ‘the Money Goddess’ as she provides guidance on both our home and my business affairs. Aside from her expertise, she’s been supportive – always about making sure I’m connected to the work I do, my son, my husband, and the things that matter most to me while still encouraging my business growth, creative desires, and bigger picture goals. She helps me see the gaps in my thinking to make sure I get where I want to go.
One of the biggest insights she ever helped me come to is this…
You don’t build a business on expenses. You build it on vision.
What is your philosophy (or guiding principles) around money management and growth?
Well, I can start with Veriditas…it is the name of my company. In it, it has the Latin root for truth, VERI- and this is very important when speaking about money, finance or business, especially to the business owner. However, as a concept it was witnessed and described, even sang about, by Hildegard of Bingen, a 12th-century mystic-nun who was the Oprah of her day. I could go on & on about her but what she described as Viriditas is the Greening…that ever-present nature of all living things to…grow, to become, to be ready for aliveness. I just love blending the ideas of growing and truth as it applies to money. Moreover, when I realized taking the human component out of finance or business is like trying to take the growing out of nature, well, I saw why that separateness just doesn’t work. Not for very long anyway.
I also have synthesized my work of about two decades into 11 Money principles that I share and write about in my blogs. You can see all of those for free at Veriditas Wealth Management.
You work with many creative business owners and independent creative professionals. In regards to the “business” side of things…
Where do they most often make mistakes?
I think the biggest mistake for all business owners, especially those with big ideas is believing they can “earn” what they need along the way. We are currently a capital-based monetary system which means to do big things you need some capital. That is usually felt at the year 3-5 mark, and why so many businesses have a hard time making it over the hump into the next phase of business development.
I also want to mention here, because I see it related in practice for folks, that many early stage business owners live off of their tax money…meaning they don’t figure in, or set aside that 20-30% that is not theirs, but the government’s. Whatever you think about our current system is not the important part here. I tend to view it as the price we pay for the privilege of unlimited potential and access to the marketplace, but it is surprising how consistently I see the gaming that goes on with the tax “rules” that become detrimental to the business owner and their business’ growth. Most of the time this is pretty innocent, like having to balance a household’s need for income, getting the next exciting product or service going, and the responsibilities that come with profit-making. It’s a steep learning curve in the beginning.
Where do they thrive most?
OH, this is the joy of my job! I get to witness this A LOT. I’d say creative professionals thrive at allowing and keeping the energy moving forward. While this doesn’t sound like a big deal, it is at the heart of what I teach and speak about. Money is just stored energy. Get the energy going, put some money behind it and Veriditas is present – growth will happen. Growth may appear in many forms besides monetary but isn’t that what makes it a fun adventure?
What are the two most important actions that contribute to aligned money management and wealth.
Aha! You are “right on the money” as they say. The essence of successful businesses, or households for that matter, is understanding what to do between the P&L and Balance sheets. It’s those decisions of how to apply the profits, hopefully, to your accounts, which increases or decreases wealth. It’s the pause, the space between the notes, that makes the music.
Two real practical actions to take are:
- Keep your numbers and look at them each month, deciding and directing the cash flows from a higher perspective than day-to-day.
- Start two savings accounts if you don’t already have them:
– a self-escrowing tax account where you park those funds until needed to send to IRS or the state, county or city
– a personal prudent reserve account that has 3-6 months of cash required for living, to access during those unexpected low cash flow or growth months
These need to stay in cash and readily accessible accounts.
Any inspiring success stories?
Many…they are the perks of my job. I got to set-up the first QuickBooks file, office procedures, and assist with the initial hires for an Austin internet-based company that grew beyond my scope eventually selling for triple digit millions. That was pretty cool. I also helped two recently married men learn how to merge their finances in the same way they blended their love and lives. That feels like a success. One of my longest regular clients is an artist who earns his living strictly from painting. When I started working with him, he had just finished his first year after leaving a corporate job and earned 30K from his art. He was thrilled. Now he sells pieces for that amount and is in the process of designing and building his studio which will be close to a million dollar project. Moreover, he owns his home. Pretty inspiring stuff, the clients I get to work with. I get to witness inspiration and success just about every day.
What’s your favorite book, blog, podcast, or resource about money or financial growth that creative executives should pay attention to today?
There have been so many along the way, from Julia Cameron’s books written to the artist, to Steven Covey’s habits for the business person. Today though I would say I am inspired by Mark Nepo, a poet Laureate for internal inspiration. I am reading his Awakenings each morning, or, at least, most mornings. For specifics regarding personal finance, it’s hard not to explore the latest on Suze Orman’s website and find something valuable. She is very reliable on the current financial issues and instruments for most working professionals. For business topics, I follow a blog by a good friend Farnaz Wallace about the New World Marketplace. She is a thought leader on three micro-trends as they impact a rapidly changing global economy. There is so much information out there that is readily available and affordable. I find the best question for myself is “What am I curious about?” and then I broaden my awareness to listen for where that shows up.
One of your big themes is self-awareness and truth. How does this play out on the money front?
I will piggy-back on that last comment and talk a bit about clarity here. Staying clear with yourself and bringing clean energy to the table is the internal work of the decision-maker, whether that is the business owner, director, or homemaker. The external work in regards to finance also begins with clarity. Initially, that means that you keep the numbers; that your financials are regularly maintained and looked at for decision-making. Get your gut ready via the internal work, and then look at the money. Listen to what your gut is trying to tell you and then make your choices as to what the next actions & allocations of energy will be for the goals you have determined. Being able to recognize who you are & where you are, are fundamental to the adventure of getting where you want to go. Just ask any sailor how he got to where he is, and somewhere there is a navigational chart.
To learn more about Jasmine Holan, visit the Veriditas Wealth Management website.