The Shift To Freedom
Building Financial Freedom into Your Business with Natalie Cook
Having your own business opens up many opportunities for freedom in your life. Whether that be freedom to make your own schedule, financial freedom, or the freedom to pursue your passions. When you’re first starting out with your business, or if you are considering scaling, there are ways to build #financialfreedom directly into your business model. Today, Natalie Cook, CEO of Copper8 Strategies, LLC, joins host Ben Easter to discuss how to simplify your business, how to scale, when to hire, and how to achieve financial freedom.
It is important to determine your contribution margin analysis and then work backwards from there. Once you know how much money you need to spend to make each dollar, then you can use those numbers to make hiring decisions. Knowing your bottom line along with your overall business goal allows you to build that in from the beginning. When making hiring decisions, you can use these numbers to see how each hire will impact your bottom line. Consider bringing on a 1099 contractor at first to ensure the perfect fit for the position.
If you are ready to start or scale your business, getting clear on the numbers will be a huge help to making smart decisions. When you know how much you need to make each month in order to cover your expenses and pay yourself market rate, then you can work backwards toward the ultimate goal of financial freedom.
- “You should think about a financial adviser whether it's a formal CFO or just somebody who understands finance when you start.” (4:47-4:53 | Natalie)
- “Let's focus on the bottom line first. What is that supposed to look like? Profit.” (7:55-7:59 | Natalie)
- “I'd rather grow a business slowly that's profitable, that's a little more conservative in its growth, versus getting on the cover of Forbes because I made all this fantastic growth, but I was miserable and really wasn't taking home as much pay.” (18:31-18:49 | Natalie)
- “Every hire should impact revenue to some degree, either seen or unseen.” (23:07-23:13 | Natalie)
Connect with Natalie Cook:
Connect with Ben:
Lucid Shift Coaching IG: https://www.instagram.com/lucid_shift_coaching/
Project Candlelight: https://airtable.com/shr5p0P2793RtRk2k
View all episodes
71. The 9 Hidden Truths of Business and Love: Part 2 with Clayton Olson28:26Tired of feeling burned out and lacking inspiration in your work? Discover the secret to unlocking your true creative potential and achieving greater success by embracing self-care and reflection. In this episode of The Shift to Freedom, Ben Easter and Clayton Olson delve into the transformative power of taking a step back, finding new models for success, and harnessing the magic of relationships for personal and professional growth.In the second part of their conversation, Ben and Clayton explore the relationship between rest, creativity, and productivity. They share personal anecdotes, insightful stories, and perspectives to help you shift your mindset and tap into your unlimited potential. From challenging conventional ideas about relationships to investigating self-talk, this episode provides a roadmap for harnessing your inner power and finding fulfillment in both work and personal life.Key Moments:[10:42] The importance of operating in a creative and executive mindset to make strategic decisions[15:16] Breaking free from stagnation and finding new models for success[22:05] Transformations in relationships and rediscovering a better version of yourself[30:09] Embracing happiness as a choice and finding joy in the journey[36:42] Investigating your thoughts and beliefs in business and relationships[44:20] Showing up as a high-value individual to influence how others treat you[50:55] The impact of self-talk on attracting high-quality relationships and connectionsSo, if you're ready to unlock your true creative potential and find fulfillment in your work and relationships, tune in to Ep 71 - part 2 with Ben and Clayton on The Shift to Freedom podcast. Get ready to shift your perspective and embark on a journey of self-discovery and growth.Links:Business Owner Hero Type Quiz: https://lucidshiftcoaching.com/quiz/The Mindset Gym: https://lucidshiftcoaching.com/the-mindset-gymEp 29: Getting out of the Drama Triangle with Clayton Olson (Apple l Spotify)Connect with Clayton :Website: https://claytonolsoncoaching.com/YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtKW9swe4-j596iCIh2_nrALinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/claytonrolson/IG: https://www.instagram.com/claytonolsoncoaching/Connect with Ben:Website: https://lucidshiftcoaching.com/Lucid Shift Coaching IG: https://www.instagram.com/lucid_shift_coaching/Project Candlelight: https://airtable.com/shr5p0P2793RtRk2k
70. The 9 Hidden Truths of Business and Love: Part 1 with Clayton Olson28:26Struggling to find balance between your business and personal life? Wondering how to navigate the treacherous waters of love and entrepreneurship? Tune in to learn the 9 hidden truths that can transform your approach to business and love, and unlock the freedom you've been seeking.In this episode of "The Shift to Freedom," hosts Ben Easter and Clayton Olson dive into the 9-hidden truths of business and love. With a focus on personal development, authenticity, and taking risks, Clayton Olson shares his wisdom on navigating the complex worlds of entrepreneurship and relationships. From prioritizing personal well-being and embracing failure to finding your voice and letting go of control, our hosts offer insights that may shift your perspective and help you thrive in both business and love. Don't miss out on this conversation that may inspire you to shift your perspective and step into your true potential.Key Moments:[Timestamp 04:12] Why prioritizing personal well-being is crucial before problem-solving[Timestamp 08:56] The importance of embracing failure and recognizing its transformative power[Timestamp 14:40] How to enjoy the journey and process of becoming better[Timestamp 20:26] Exploring the infinite game of business and love[Timestamp 25:18] Finding your voice and clarifying what you want[Timestamp 31:05] The power of taking action in the right direction[Timestamp 37:42] Letting go of control and embracing authenticity in business and loveLinks:Business Owner Hero Type Quiz: https://lucidshiftcoaching.com/quiz/The Mindset Gym: https://lucidshiftcoaching.com/the-mindset-gymConnect with Clayton :Website: https://claytonolsoncoaching.com/YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtKW9swe4-j596iCIh2_nrALinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/claytonrolson/IG: https://www.instagram.com/claytonolsoncoaching/Connect with Ben:Website: https://lucidshiftcoaching.com/Lucid Shift Coaching IG: https://www.instagram.com/lucid_shift_coaching/Project Candlelight: https://airtable.com/shr5p0P2793RtRk2k
69. How to Stop White Knuckling It Through Life with Paige Easter31:07"You will only ever do anything in your whole life, ever, if you want to do it." says Ben Easter.Ever been caught in the trap of feeling unmotivated, pushing through tasks with sheer willpower? Ben and Paige Easter understand the struggle. In this episode, they challenge some of our beliefs about motivation and the art of getting things done. They explore motivation that stems from our genuine desires and interests. They question the heavy "should", "have to", and "need to" phrasing that often burdens our tasks, nudging listeners toward a more genuine approach: focusing on what genuinely excites us.They encourage a routine self-check-in, emphasizing the need to prioritize well-being and align with our core desires. By doing so, they suggest, we can sculpt a life more attuned to our values, one that is inherently more fulfilling.Key Takeaways:Motivation is not something that can be forced or summoned through willpower. It is important to connect with our intrinsic motivations and desires.The language of "should, have to, need to" is not useful and often creates resistance. Instead, focus on what you want and connect with your desires.Prioritization is key when feeling overwhelmed with tasks. Identify your big rocks and align your actions with your values and goals.Check in with the four physicals: sleep, nutrition, movement, and energetic cycles. Taking care of your physical well-being is essential for motivation and productivity.Practice connecting your desires with your actions. Ask yourself if there are alternative ways to fulfill your desires that align better with your preferences and values.Quotes:"The thing that I hear so frequently is like having trouble finding motivation." (1:41 | Ben)"I think motivation is a myth because we're all motivated to do things intrinsically." (2:31 | Ben) "I think the error in thinking here is that it comes down to willpower…willpower is not as useful as people tend to think." (03:09 | Paige)"People think the solution to this is better time management…if only I could figure out how to pack more into the day." (05:27 | Ben)"You will only ever do anything in your whole life ever if you want to do it." (15:40 | Ben)"Quit pretending that there's something else other than what you want." (19:54 | Ben)"Connect with your desire…focus your energy on that and continue to connect with it." (22:56 | Ben)"Can I think of any other way that I can get that experience without doing this thing that I don't want to do?" (23:19 | Ben)"Check in with your motivation, your intrinsic motivation…think about what is driving you as a person." (28:12 | Ben)Connect with Ben and Paige:Website: https://lucidshiftcoaching.com/Lucid Shift Coaching IG: https://www.instagram.com/lucid_shift_coaching/The Mindset Gym: https://lucidshiftcoaching.com/the-mindset-gymProject Candlelight: https://airtable.com/shr5p0P2793RtRk2kPodcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm
68. The Art of Connection: Navigating Social Anxiety, Building Networks, and Embracing Rejection with Paige Easter35:27"Networking is not just about connecting with others, it's about finding a values-aligned community where you can thrive and grow together." says Ben Easter.In today's Shift to Freedom podcast episode, Ben and Paige Easter delve into the important topic of building community through networking. They tackle the pervasive sense of isolation that many entrepreneurs experience, especially common with founders and solopreneurs who suffer from the absence of a peer group in their businesses. The duo navigates the complexities of forging connections in our modern, ever-changing society while spotlighting the growing opportunities offered through online relationships. They also explore how to conquer hurdles like social anxiety and the fear of being turned down, emphasizing the importance of aligning with individuals who resonate with your fundamental beliefs. Ben and Paige share their own networking journeys and offer actionable advice, including leveraging meetups and tapping into networks that align with your passions. This episode will encourage you to take steps forward to build a broader base of support for your entrepreneurial journey.Key Takeaways:Building a network is important for overcoming the loneliness of owning a business and having peers to connect with.In today's world, networking can extend beyond geographical boundaries thanks to the internet, allowing for connections with people who share your values.Overcoming social anxiety is crucial for building a network, and it requires courage and a shift in mindset.Networking can be approached as simply connecting with humans and getting to know them, rather than focusing solely on sales or client acquisition.An ideal network is one that is values-aligned, where you can find support, collaboration, and mentorship from like-minded individuals.Quotes:"I think having a conversation about making it easier and more inevitable to build a network and a supportive group of peers and mentors and colleagues that you can talk to to help you feel more connected in the world is really useful." (01:37 | Ben)"All things being equal, people choose to do business with their friends. And then all things being unequal, people still choose to do business with their friends." (14:43 | Ben)"Finding places where people are congregating around some activity that you really enjoy is a great way to get yourself kicked off finding people in values alignment." (28:41 | Ben) Links:Connect with Ben and Paige:Website: https://lucidshiftcoaching.com/Lucid Shift Coaching IG: https://www.instagram.com/lucid_shift_coaching/Project Candlelight: https://airtable.com/shr5p0P2793RtRk2kPodcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm
67. Taking Action: Transforming Tolerations into Accomplishments with Paige Easter27:18"Every toleration we hold onto is like a program running in the background, draining our energy and holding us back from living our freedom. It's time to reboot, clear the list, and become the version of ourselves that takes care of what's important. Zap those tolerations and watch as your mental space and self-image transform." - Ben EasterAre you tired of feeling overwhelmed and burdened by the little things in life? Do you want to break free from the energy-draining monster known as tolerations? In this week’s episode, Ben and Paige Easter dive into the important topic of tolerations. They discuss how tolerations can drain our energy and hold us back from living our best lives. Drawing from an analogy of computer system maintenance, they emphasize the importance of identifying and addressing these tolerations to free up mental space and boost productivity. The hosts share practical strategies, such as creating a list of tolerations and prioritizing them based on values alignment and impact. They also highlight the transformative power of taking action on these tolerations, not only in terms of clearing our physical and mental space but also in shaping our self-image and identity.Key Takeaways:Tolerations are the things in our reality that we are unsatisfied with or that require our attention.Tolerations can lead to feelings of overwhelm, burnout, and confusion, as well as negatively impact our self-esteem.Writing down our tolerations and creating a list helps us identify and prioritize them.Taking action to address tolerations not only frees up mental space but also reinforces our identity as someone who takes care of things.Quotes:"There's just this aspect of reality where you just like you decide that you're going to take care of the things that are important to you to take care of in your reality. And there's something so both kind of nervous and intimidating about that decision, and also at the same time, so liberating once you've made the decision, you're just like, yeah, you know what? I take care of the things that are in my reality that I'm going to take care of." (5:40 | Paige Easter)"Sometimes just getting them out of your head, you can be like, oh, that's actually not that hard to do. I can just handle that. And you might feel inspired just writing the list down. You might notice that you get a little inspiration to go take care of some things because they're now present in your mind and aware. And as you write the list, you start to imagine yourself doing it." (25:03 | Paige Easter) "Every once in a while, go grab something off that list. If you do one a week and pull one of your tolerations off a week, you'll feel amazing." (21:12 | Ben Easter) Links:Connect with Ben and Paige:Website: https://lucidshiftcoaching.com/Lucid Shift Coaching IG: https://www.instagram.com/lucid_shift_coaching/Project Candlelight: https://airtable.com/shr5p0P2793RtRk2kPodcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm
66. Listen to Your Heart: Lessons from Pocahontas with Paige Easter27:04"Love and fear are the driving forces in life. When we lean towards love, listen to our hearts, and take courageous leaps, we contribute to a better reality for everyone. It's about embracing courage and understanding, rather than succumbing to fear," says Paige Easter, Co-host of the Shift to Freedom podcast.This week, Ben and Paige are digging into their impressions of the beloved Disney classic, Pocahontas! While Ben experiences the movie for the first time, Paige fondly recalls it as a cherished part of her childhood. The hosts explore the film's themes of love and fear, and the thought-provoking interplay of toxic masculinity versus healthy masculinity portrayed through the movie’s supporting characters. While Pocahontas may not boast metaphors like other Disney classics, the hosts celebrate the lessons and insights that Pocahontas imparts about having the courage to follow your heart in the face of adversity, taking the time to truly listen to those you disagree with in order to resolve differences, and generally following your heart’s call.Key Takeaways:Love and understanding possess the power to conquer fear and turmoilAttentive listening bridges gaps and nurtures connectionsChoosing the path less traveled, coupled with an adventurous spirit, can lead to genuine personal fulfillmentQuotes"I think it is a risky path to ride the river that is less known and that is choppier, and that is less smooth. But ultimately, the willingness to embrace courage, and listen and understand things in your world will serve you in the long run and will amount to much more safety than just following the traditional path where you actually still don't know what is around the bend." (25:42 | Ben Easter)"For me, it was all about love and fear and that when you are leaning towards and allowing yourself to want things and listen to your heart that you take courageous leaps in it contributes to a better reality for everybody who's in it - versus being afraid and fearful and ending up (where) people get hurt." (25:37 | Paige Easter)LinksConnect with Ben and Paige:Website: https://lucidshiftcoaching.com/Lucid Shift Coaching IG: https://www.instagram.com/lucid_shift_coaching/Project Candlelight: https://airtable.com/shr5p0P2793RtRk2kPodcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm
65. Becoming Your Own Bank: Creating Financial Freedom with John Ensley32:08Unlocking financial freedom remains a tantalizing dream for many, but the journey to true independence is fraught with hurdles. In a riveting discussion, Ben Easter and John Ensley peel back the layers of a little-known financial strategy: cash value life insurance. Diving into the mechanics behind these policies, they unveil how cash value accumulates over time and the myriad advantages they hold. From exploiting tax benefits to harnessing policy loans for diverse purposes, the conversation unveils the potential for tax-free retirement income. With an expert's touch, they underscore the significance of tailored policies aligned with unique financial ambitions. Prepare to be enlightened as John divulges the inner workings of this extraordinary financial system, offering invaluable insights and long-term benefits for individuals and enterprising business owners alike.Tips on becoming your own bank:Unravel the enigmatic realm of Cash Value Life Insurance, a unique pact between individuals and insurance companies that holds the keys to both a life-changing death benefit and a mysterious cash value component. Discover the myriad of tax advantages concealed within Cash Value Life Insurance, where tax-deferred growth, tax-free policy loans, and a mesmerizing tax-free death benefit can grant you financial power.Take advantage of Policy Loans, the secret weapon of those who wield Cash Value Life Insurance. Ascend to the realm of self-banking, accessing funds to fuel your dreams, from ambitious investments to grand business endeavors, all while basking in the allure of remarkably lower interest rates and unyielding growth.Quotes"It's similar to any other savings vehicle, where you're investing money regularly, but without all the restrictions of traditional retirement accounts. The cash value grows over time and can be accessed through policy loans for various purposes." (John | 04:36)"The underlying contract continues to grow, as if you didn't borrow the money, while you can access financing, and you have the potential for tax advantages on both sides of the transaction." (John | 12:35)"Life insurance is one of the most underutilized sections of the tax code. It offers tax-deferred growth, tax-free policy loans, and a tax-free death benefit to beneficiaries." (John | 13:13)LinksConnect with John Ensley:https://jumponwithjohn.com/Connect with Ben:Website: https://lucidshiftcoaching.com/Lucid Shift Coaching IG: https://www.instagram.com/lucid_shift_coaching/Project Candlelight: https://airtable.com/shr5p0P2793RtRk2kPodcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm
64. Core Values: The Compass for a Purposeful Journey with Paige Easter31:19Are you living within alignment with your core values? In today’s episode, co-hosts Ben and Paige Easter are back to guide you on a purposeful journey toward freedom using core values as a compass. Whether you are brand new to the idea of core values or already have a list that you live by, reflecting on what matters most to you is a useful tool for growing and creating meaning within your life. If life’s purpose is the experience of your values, then you owe it to yourself to get really clear about what those values are and how you wish to see them expressed in your life. When you take the time to put words to these abstract concepts, it becomes easier to remember your values in the moment and make aligned decisions.Tips for creating your compass:Core values are intrinsic, abstract and universal.We feel joy and purpose when we are living in alignment with our core values.Values are shorthand. They are represented by words that will spark your memory of whole concepts and do not have to even make sense to other people. Write a list of your core values, whittling it down over time to the ones that are the most important to you.Use your emotions to guide you on what your values are. Try describing your favorite person in the world and see what values you attribute to them.Return to your values list again and again, because values will shift as you grow and change.Use your newly written core values list as a guide to help you along your journey to freedom. If you are engaging in activities that do not reflect your values or hanging out with people who are out of alignment with the world you are trying to build, then it may be time to begin embracing change. Put boundaries in place to protect your values and start living your life to the fullest!Quotes“Joy is the experience of our core values.” (3:56 | Ben) “When we're creating a list of core values, what we're doing is we're making a shorthand for what is our operating system so that we can more quickly run through our checklist instead of trying to hold all things equally important and then find ourselves in analysis paralysis and not able to create meaning.” (4:25 | Paige)“I believe that your life's purpose is the experience of your values.” (5:00 | Ben)“I think of our emotions as our engine lights. These are what come up to tell us, hey, something wants to be paid attention to… somewhere between three and 10 would probably be a good place to start.” (10:02 | Paige) “Envy is a really good emotion to show us what we actually want in the world.” (14:10 | Paige)“We're so close to our values that we might not even notice what is important to us, because it's so core to who we are.” (18:56 | Ben)“Every time there's a fight between two people, there's a core values misalignment.” (25:00 | Ben)LinksConnect with Ben and Paige:Website: https://lucidshiftcoaching.com/Lucid Shift Coaching IG: https://www.instagram.com/lucid_shift_coaching/Project Candlelight: https://airtable.com/shr5p0P2793RtRk2kPodcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm
63. Embracing the Unknown: Thriving Through Risky Actions with Paige Easter31:21It’s time to step into the unknown and unleash your inner badass! In today’s episode, co-hosts Ben and Paige Easter are back to talk about confidence building through having the courage to take risky actions that are outside your comfort zone. So many people mistakenly think they need to wait until they feel confident to take certain actions, but that’s not the case! Confidence does not require you to overcome perfectionism. All it requires is the self-belief that whatever you wish to achieve is possible and that even if you do not succeed, you will still be okay in the end. A few tips for confidence building and embracing your inner power:Don’t wait until you feel confident to act. Taking courageous, risky actions creates confidence. When someone gives you a compliment, accept it and say thank you! While you should not aim to rely on praise as your sole source of confidence, it can be useful for getting the wheel going and helping you to generate authentic self-worth.Develop an inner story where you view yourself as the successful, confident person you aspire to be through the use of visualization.Remember that you do not have to be perfect to be confident. We all know people who are very confident even when it may not seem totally deserved. Start to cultivate confidence through writing and referencing your own personal badassery list where you give yourself credit for all of your capabilities and achievementsYou have everything you need within yourself to be the confident badass you were always meant to be. Each time you step into the unknown and navigate it successfully, you will become more and more confident in your own abilities. So stop waiting around and start taking action! Quotes“If we're sitting around waiting to take action until we feel confidence, then we could be waiting for a really long time. Because it is the confidence that gives us action.” (4:18 | Ben)“If other people in the world around me are giving me praise, then that's a moment for me to have something new brought to my awareness.” (10:06 | Paige)“When you get a compliment, just say, thank you… That’s what a person who is confident says.” (13:08 | Ben)“What I think can be a really great antidote to overcoming lack of confidence is to start spending time with pictures of you being successful. Start visualizing that.” (14:35 | Paige)“I don't necessarily have to have success in sales, or whatever I'm up to in the world to believe that it is possible.” (17:44 | Paige)“What confidence really is, is our pushing of the threshold of what part of the unknown we're willing to traipse out into.” (21:24 | Ben)“If you want to cultivate confidence, take risky action.” (27:56 | Ben) LinksConnect with Ben and Paige:Website: https://lucidshiftcoaching.com/Lucid Shift Coaching IG: https://www.instagram.com/lucid_shift_coaching/Project Candlelight: https://airtable.com/shr5p0P2793RtRk2kPodcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm