I've shared a few times about the reasons WHY I started Breanna Stephens, HR Consulting. But I haven't shared much about HOW I am doing it, and I think this is such an important topic that bleeds over into our personal lives, and I'd love to share it with you.
One really important principle that Caleb and I have implemented into our marriage early on is being debt free. If you haven't heard that story yet, you can watch it in an interview I had with Real Oregon Lifestyle. The short of it is that a few years after Caleb and I got married, we took Dave Ramsey's course Financial Peace University. His 7 step process, called the Baby Steps, walked us through paying off debt and setting ourselves up to live like no-one else, so that we can live like no-one else. If you aren't familiar with the baby steps, here's a summary:
Save $1,000 starter emergency fund (We actually already had this done when we started)
Pay off all of your debt (except your house) starting with the smallest debt and working up through the biggest debt using the "Debt Snowball". (We paid off $51,000 in 17 months. It was as insane and as boring as it sounds.)
Save a 3-6 month emergency fund (We actually did this, ran through all of it the year we had Emma due to being off work and then having our roof replaced unexpectedly. I'm happy to report it's saved back up, plus some)
Start investing 15% of your income into retirement (Check)
Start funding kid's college (Check)
Pay off your mortgage (We have about $85,000 remaining)
Build wealth and be outrageously generous
We're working on baby step 6. BABY STEP 6, FRIENDS!
I owe so much of my success to the hard work we spent in our personal finances to allow us to start and run a business completely debt free. But how did that practically work? I'm glad you asked.
I started BSHR with a personal investment of a whopping $300.90. That broke down to include a business license for $100, a website and domain for $165.90, and some flyers that I made on Canva that I printed from staples for $35.
And then I hit the streets, handing out my flyers, telling everyone that I knew what I was doing.
For the first few months, I didn't have anything going on. Even after offering to do things for free initially. And I was starting to get nervous. My risk tolerance can be described as extremely adverse. Caleb's is definitely more tolerant. Thank goodness opposites attract, and I've got such a supportive husband, right?
Then, things magically (read: blessings) started happening. I started getting inquiries for work. I started making money, and was able to start investing back into my business for various networking opportunities, and it's just gotten better and better, and I don't owe anyone anything. It makes doing businesses so much less stressful.
This has been one of the biggest blessings of our lives. It allows me to make money, while being home with our daughter. It allows me to meet new people, be generous, and love on small businesses.
Thank you so much for your support!