Cash Conversation: My Notes

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At the beginning of this month I spoke at Cash Full Stop’s Cash Conversation panel event in Brisbane with the amazing women, Karen Brading & Megan Morton. I was a little nervous heading into the event because I am only 26 and I thought what do I know? What could I contribute to the conversation?! However I love talking about money and I am super curious so I knew I was in for a good night. To give a little background first up, Cash Full Stop is a Financial Consultant business run by Chelsea Murphy & her husband, Karen Brading is a Private Banker (but I call her a Money Wizard because the word banker dulls her sparkle) & Megan Morton is a Stylist who runs her own business called The School.

I had no intention of writing about the night as I was there to answer questions but I left wishing I had a notepad so I could have written down notes. I was so curious that I would have happily sat up there for another hour just finding out more from these women. But either way I wanted to touch on a few of the things from the night that really stood out to me and that I want to adopt in my life.

Please note; I am only speaking through my experiences as a 26 year old. I am not a financial guru in any way shape or form.

CREATING POSITIVITY AROUND MONEY

CELEBRATING WINS

This is something that Megan spoke about that really stood out to me. She spoke about women she met on her travels, dancing when one of their goods were bought. For her it’s going down to a particular cafe/restaurant after a professional/personal achievement. This is what I have really been lacking in my business (and personal life). No matter what job I get that I am so stoked about or what milestone I hit, I approach it in the worst way. I brush it off and focus onto the next thing. I put my previous work in a box and never look back. This is something I am wanting to change, now. It doesn’t need to be a big thing but since I am not a dancer I think it might be booking myself in a night at my new favourite hotel in Brisbane. Something physical that forces me to stop and take in the achievement. This may help these things sink in and feel like they are actually happening.

DEEP PLEASURES

This again was something that Megan spoke about but definitely connects to my version of success. Deep pleasures are things that do exactly what they say - bring you deep pleasure. It is best if they can a mixture of things that be done without expense to you & things that cost you money. For example I find deep pleasures in; food, the ocean, being around flowers, going for drives, listening to music loudly, being with family, sunlight, my home & travel. As long as I have the freedom to do those things, I am pretty happy. If work is really stressing me out or making me not feel so great, I am able to drive to the flower markets and just walk around them and that alone will bring me pleasure. It helps to keep these things front of mind when it comes to your spending also because if you can look at your expenditure and see that none of your ‘non-essential’ spending is going to these deep pleasures than you are probably wasting your money. Notice going for drives is on my list, but not driving or cars, so for me to spend my money on a nice car does not fulfil any pleasure for me in the longer term.

RESHAPING HOW YOU THINK & TALK ABOUT MONEY

This can be a personal one because I don’t know you personally or how you already do think & talk about money. This was something that Megan spoke about and her upbringing around money was different to mine (as all of ours are). It is about changing the negative narrative around money. That money is greedy or that money is hard to get, that only if you work hard will you get money, you only don’t get money if you’re lazy or one that I probably tell myself - money disappears quickly. That negative narrative has me constantly in fear that I will lose it. Not great. We all have those little negative money thoughts, it is just about realising ours so that we can re-frame them.


IF YOU THINK MONEY = SUCCESS, WHAT IS MONEY TO YOU?

Something I realised over the last year is that money without materialising in some form or another is just a number. So ‘money’ itself isn’t really anything more than a number or data, so what is it to you? What does being in a ‘successful’ financial situation look like to you? As I mentioned above, to me it is freedom. It is the freedom to work for myself, it is the freedom to choose the jobs I want to do, it is the freedom to take a week off over Christmas to spend it with my family, it is the freedom to travel, the freedom to buy fresh flowers, the freedom to live in a house I really like & in a suburb that I enjoy. I would highly recommend you asking yourselves the same thing.

COMMUNICATION & KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

One of the biggest things I tell myself when it comes to money is ignorance is not bliss. Knowing & building a healthy relationship with your money is so so important and the younger you get into the habit of it the better. Know how your spending your money, try and understand your money habits, your weaknesses, how you're investing in your future etc. The more you can keep up that relationship with money the more confident you will become and the less sleepless nights you’ll have dreading it. Historically talking about money has been a bit crass, but I say more the better. Not to brag to drop how much you earn, or how much your house has gone up in value but to instead learn and grow from others experiences. I think is is especially important in partner relationships. To be on board your partners goals, or concerns around money will not only help your relationship but will also strengthen you financially.


HAVE YOUR OWN MONEY

Now I want to re-iterate, I am 26. I have no children, I am not married, I don’t own property. However growing up the way that I did, I know that it will always be essential that I have and control my own money. I know personally, solely relying on someone else financially is just not something I ever want to happen. Not because I don’t trust anyone, but money to me is freedom. Freedom to leave at any point, freedom to spend my money on whatever I please because it is my money or freedom to do the job that I want to do. I don’t want to ever be a position where someone else controls the finances because I feel like that controls me.


saving & investing doesn’t
get you praise.

It’s funny that some of the most performing content on social media is external expressions of wealth. Luxury cars, extravagant travels or luxury goods garner admiration and praise for being ‘successful’. Spending our money is the only way of externally showing our wealth. You can’t put up a photo of your savings account, or your investments. There comes a time where it can feel like everyone around you is doing better than you because they are spending their money on external things and the scary thing is most of the time they didn’t even have the money for those things. Try not to be discouraged or feel the pressure to buy shit just to prove that you’re doing okay. Instead go back up to Celebrating Wins and give yourself praise internally, then maybe we won’t feel the need for the praise externally. I feel like this is a topic I could write more about so let me know in the comments if you have any thoughts around it.


I wanted to thank Chelsea, Karen & Megan for that night & sharing so much wisdom.

I would love to know your thoughts on the conversation around cash & my thoughts from the night below in the comments. As always, if there is anything in particular around the topic of cash that would like me to chat about, let me know.

I did a podcast last year with Your Creative Start around money so feel free to give that a listen for more business finance chat.



November Journal

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THE HIGHS

So after what feels like forever (but in reality is 4 months) of looking for a new house to lease we found one & moved the first week of November! You may recall me talking about this back in July’s Journal but I normally try trust in the universe (cheese warning) when it comes to houses and how this all turned out really proves that she had our back. We actually drove passed this house back in July when it first was listed, at the time it was on the higher end of our budget and we didn’t think it was worth the look at. Months go by, we miss out on a few houses we liked due to timings and then mid October we were flicking back through our saved properties and to our surprise it was still up and had reduced the price. We had zero expectation and went to the inspection just to cross it off the list really. Surprisingly though when we arrived it gave us a good vibe. Yes it wasn’t perfect but it ticked all of our must-haves which is tricky enough for two very picky people. We applied and were able to negotiate to have air con put in and within a week we had decided to move. We were both worried about the change, especially because I work from home, my home is my security and I depend a lot on where I live for my work (eg. lighting etc). But alas, we are in now coming up to a full month and both could not be happier with the place. Sorry that’s one big high for the month.

I spotted this stunning pink flowered tree while going back and forth between houses (nearly caused me to crash) and I managed to take photos of it before it turned to green 3 days later. We released & restocked our His & Hers photo books and the response was beyond what we imagined, so so grateful. I re-designed and released the 2019 Calendar, even though it is different for me I am obsessed. Finally got in a body of water at the beach and it was pure bliss. Posted my first mirror selfie. Making the time to buy new magazines & make a new mood board for summer. Sneaking in and buying a real Christmas tree before Dec 1. Finding sunflowers & bees at the Botanical Gardens.

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THE LOWS

Being 100% wrecked after the move and backing it up with very long hours of work to catch up on Christmas craziness. Full length mirror fell over and smashed to pieces after some crazy wind last week (teaches me for posting a mirror selfie). Going to design the 2019 Calendar and became bored and uninspired at the thought of another calendar with just hand lettered titles. Disappointing customers by not doing that.

WHAT I LEARNT THIS MONTH

The house doesn’t really make the home. It is the rituals and the people in it that make it home. This was really highlighted to me through the weeks of transitioning between houses. After some feedback last month I have thought about my consumption and perceived consumption on social media. Even though I know I turn down 75% of gifts that are offered to me I understand I could be doing more and sharing more of a conscious approach. I want to go into more depth about why I saved up or bought X & Y rather than showing you in a haul format. I don’t want to ever make you feel like you need to buy a lot or like I am trying to always sell you something. The reasons why I link & use the edit a lot is to try help you guys out when searching for what I am wearing. This is something that I really want to work on in the months & year to come. If there is any ways you think I could do so, let me know in the comments.

GOALS FOR DECEMBER

Try share more back story and process behind my purchases. Again if you guys have any ideas, leave a comment down below. Face my fears of bearded dragons (medium sized lizards) again to try curb my irrational fear. WIND DOWN. It is December, try relax a little. Learn how to make a spicy margarita, leave recipes if you have any!!

jasmine x

Pressure to be a Girl Boss

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I have been thinking a lot around the idea of success lately. The first two definitions from the Oxford Dictionary are ‘The accomplishment of an aim or purpose’ and ‘The attainment of fame, wealth, or social status’. I can’t help but feel as though today there is a lot more emphasis on the latter or the perception of it at least.

Running my own business and sharing so much online means that I am faced with the idea or pressure of success head on most days of week. Doing so, it has meant that I have had to redefine my idea of success and constantly keep myself in check. For the purpose of trying to keep this blog post concise, I want to focus today on the pressure of building a ‘successful’ business.

During the last 5 years of working for myself I have felt the pressure to fit the type of the powerhouse woman who has a cool studio (not in your home), building an empire with employees and is perpetually ‘busy’ & ‘tired’. Believe me, I felt silly even writing that. There is so much about that picture that isn’t right for me but sometimes it can be hard to realise that and stand up for that. There are so many times that I have met other people in the business that either talk down to me for working from my home studio because it isn’t “as professional looking”, encourage me to expand expand expand, hire people, outsource my work so that I can take on more and more and more. I am not saying that they are wrong or that they aren’t valid and good points but those types of conversations can leave you thinking ‘Is what I am doing not enough?'

This is where I really had to ask myself why I was resistant to doing those things and work on defining my own idea of success. Why don’t I want to work from a studio? Well first of all, I save so much time because there is no time spent getting ready for work or travelling. I also am able to save money on double rent which in return allows me to be less stressed about money. Why don’t I hire a team of photographers/designers/interns etc? To be honest I really love working alone. I don’t want to be the on delegating or outsourcing, I want to be the one doing the work. I don’t want to get more work just for the sake of giving it to someone else and taking $$ off the top. I also am very aware of the cost of hiring and the level of productivity that would need to be brought to the table to make it worth it just isn’t there at this moment. I absolutely freaking love working but constantly working nights and weekends isn’t something that would make me feel successful. I am happy for it to maybe be a monthly occurrence but success to me is having a work / life balance. If that means not making insane amounts of money that is okay, if that means being more picky with what projects I take on, that is also okay.

One of the great things about working for yourself is that you have the freedom to do it the way you like. There is no point working for yourself and having that freedom only to do the status quo. Just because you don’t have employees or a cool office space and working 60 hours a week doesn’t mean you’re not a boss. I wanted to write about this today to show you that there isn’t only one idea of success, we don’t all want the same things and that is okay.

As I am getting into my later 20s the personal ideas of a success are also becoming a lot more apparent, children, proposals, marriage and houses. Let me know if you would like me to touch on this in another blog post.

Jasmine x

TALES OF A FREELANCER: PRODUCTIVITY

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IDENTIFY WHAT Is STOPPING YOUR PRODUCTIVITY

First of all you need to be able to identify what is stopping you from being productive. It is very rare that I will procrastinate throughout the day because to be honest I just really fucking love my work. But when I am not being productive, it is normally because one of the following reasons: I don't feel confident in the task, I am second guessing myself, it's a part of my job that I don't enjoy or it is a time of the day where I am wrecked.  

KNOW YOUR PRIORITIES

Sometimes we misuse our time for things that don't really matter to us/our business so this is where it helps to make your priorities clear. Is emails at the top of your list, your customers, your admin, or creating? For me I know that my customers and current clients come before everything else. That means that all of their work is completed before I look at social media, personal work/content or future emails etc. This helps to give yourself a clear guide on how you should be allocating your time.

BE AWARE YOUR WORKING HABITS

I think the longer that you work for yourself or study, the easier it is to be aware of how you work and what affects you. Pay attention to what times of the day you work best, in what environment, do you work better at a cafe or in a communal space, do you need music playing or does that distract you? Spend some time thinking about that and if what you're doing currently isn't working for you switch it up. That might mean not sitting at a desk from 9-5 because 'that's what people who work do' Try working at night instead or only sit at your desk when you have productive work to complete. 

MAKE TIME WORK FOR YOU

You'll start to notice pretty quickly what times of the day you're most productive. Utilise those by having clear objectives during those times of the day. In the times where you're brain moves a little slower, do activities that take the pressure off. I find that I hit a wall mid-afternoon so I will either push my lunch back till then or go for a walk.

ELIMINATE YOUR DISTRACTIONS

(If you can that is. You can't eliminate your children or the fact that your fridge is close by) That might mean putting your phone in another room, noise cancelling ear phones, not listening to talking/songs while writing copy or emails. 

BREAK EVERYTHING DOWN IN A LIST

Sometimes work can become overwhelming and you can find yourself procrastinating easily. I personally find lists to be the best way to break it all down into actionable steps that make even the daunting tasks seem easy enough to tackle. Instead of just "EMAILS" write Email back _____, Send Quote through to _____, Follow up on invoice _____ . This way you will tick things off a lot quicker and feel like you're actually getting somewhere. 

DO WHAT YOU DON'T WANT TO DO FIRST

If you can, do the thing you are likely to put off doing first. Once you get that one thing out of the way the other tasks in your day might seem a lot easier to accomplish. For me that can be chasing up an invoice, or doing my taxes. These are the things that I can often leave to the end of the day and therefore not get done and roll over onto another day. 

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POST IT NOTES

I love my post-its. I often put them onto the front of my desktop for notes to myself that would otherwise slip my mind. It also helps me get those things done quickly because they make my desk look messier than I'd like. 

What are your best tips on staying productive? j x

MY JUNE JOURNAL

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Time to get slightly more personal over on the blog. For years I have documented outfits, travel and also given lots of advice and spoken my mind on many different topics but one thing I felt was lacking lately was blogging in its purest form - journaling. So from now on I want to post one journal monthly that goes into my month. The highs, the lows, the lessons and directions moving into next month. Hope you enjoy them. 


THE HIGHS

My new rubber ficus plant for sure makes the cut. New music from loads of different people also made my month with some of my favourites being; Ghost Town & Violent Crimes by Kanye West, Free by Kid Cudi, IUD & Can U Not by Okay Kaya. Saving a silk skirt after I spilt coffee all over it. The weather being cold enough to wear sweaters. Finally finding the perfect khaki linen cushions after searching for months (find here) Finally watching the Handmaids Tale. Spending the day with Michael at Mt Tamborine. Getting the perfect gingham jumpsuit tailored so it fits like a glove. Finding new inspiration by other photography shoot ideas failing. New leaves on my fiddle leaf plants. Started attempting to run again.

I had a huge month of projects finally being launched like some design work for NIKE Australia, Brisbane City marketing campaign and lots of branding work wrapping up (See more here). Having all clients pay on time (freelancers you will know this isn't always the case) This month I also begun discussion with a team to help me with my brand partnerships which is super exciting and different for me. 

CURRENT MOOD BOARD

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THE LOWS 

Getting my wisdom teeth out was expensive and painful and I'm super glad I don't have to do it again. Having to get my finances in order for the end of financial year. Spilling coffee all over a silk skirt. I had an idea for a photography shoot and went and bought all of this stuff and it didn't work out like what I had imagined in my head*. The home we are renting selling to a developer that will tear it down for units. Not being able to work out how to take a good mirror outfit shot - give me your tips. Constantly being asked to quote on projects that have no brief or direction to quote on. Wisdom teeth meant I stopped running for a week and got off the bandwagon. My phone & external hard drive becoming full in the same week. 

WHAT I LEARNT THIS MONTH

* Don't get so caught up on the vision that you have in your head and let the process happen. Sometimes within the first 5 minutes of shooting I can become irritated that it doesn't look 'right' or what I had in my head. I have to remember that actually moving through the process with shooting (like any other creativity) it gets better with time, and if not it will still add to future shooting. Some of my favourite personal photos actually happen just before I pack up everything. 

GOALS FOR JULY

Next month already shaping up to be full on. We have Michael's 30th so I will hopefully taking a week off to spend by the sea with him towards the end of July. I also really want to up my Instagram Story game. I feel like I story a lot but could definitely plan for some more interesting content on that front. Get back on running bandwagon. What are your goals for next month? j x