Creative people, get your finances together!

Listen via iTunes

The life of an artist is typically all or nothing and so is their taxable income. As such, many accountants don’t have the patience to guide creative clients through the motions of each financial year.

Introducing Paco, founder and director of the HellYeah Group – a boutique bookkeeping agency aimed at creative folk needing financial support. Paco joins me to discuss some of the financial holes creatives find themselves in and how she assists them in getting their finances and lives on track. “For a lot of people it’s feast or famine so a lot of times they have to come up with the patchwork of incomes or different revenues streams and at the beginning at least you either have to have a pile of cash that you can rely on or you need to hustle your ass off so you can build a pile of cash so that you have flexibility there in terms of cash flow timing,” says Paco. Listen in for more recommendations from Paco and to hear about her incredible entrepreneurial journey.

It’s brave and completely inspiring.

The point your love song misses

I’m going to see Andrew Bird tomorrow night, so I’m trying to catch up on his latest… but since discovering this duet I’ve barely been able to focus on anything else. What a spot-on depiction of That sort of conversation, gah!


The whole album (what I’ve made it through so far, at least) is stabbing me between the ribs in that Andrew-Bird-is-a-fucking-genius, “how does he KNOW this is perfect?!” kind of way Continue reading “The point your love song misses”

Accounting 101 with Liz Mason

When you’re a startup, you only have about a billion things to think about. So it’s understandable if accounting isn’t top of mind. That’s why I worked with Liz Mason from High Rock Accounting to produce this 37 minute online course, designed to provide the accounting basics you need to know to become a successful small business. It covers:

  • Why accounting is better in the cloud
  • Basic accounting definitions
  • Track what’s important (ie, enough to glean meaningful insights, and not so much that you get bogged down in unnecessary detail)
  • Payroll concepts
  • Integrations with other small business software

Spring upwelling: as within, so without

Big changes in the physical landscape never fail to put “big” changes in my life into perspective; this week, it’s been calming to think about seasonal shifts that affect West Marin.

In case a diagram like this didn’t appear in your high school and college textbooks, here you go:

On my way to work yesterday there were so many egrets hunting I pulled over to watch for a bit – there’s clearly more life in the lagoon these days. The Spring Winds have started, and Sito was telling me that the water temperature dropped dramatically over the last week. Then Sam posted this amazing piece… it’s all connected.

Continue reading “Spring upwelling: as within, so without”

Raising capital without selling your soul: interview on the Small Food Business Podcast

ElizabethU_Podcast-683x1024

It’s always a pleasure to serve as a guest on other people’s podcasts. Back in November, Jennifer Lewis interviewed me for the Small Food Business podcast series. They released the episode today, saying:

Many of us start our small businesses with a broader mission or vision for what we’re hoping to achieve beyond just dollars and cents. In today’s podcast, we talk with sustainable small business expert and author Elizabeth Ü about how mission driven businesses can raise the capital they need in an environment that seemingly values the bottom line above all else.

But my favorite part about this podcast is the end, when I had the opportunity to describe how my passion for supporting small business owners ultimately led me to take a job with an accounting software company: Continue reading “Raising capital without selling your soul: interview on the Small Food Business Podcast”

Nonprofit fundraising with Kishshana Palmer

Kishshana-14.jpg

I recently worked with Kishshana Palmer, an experienced non-profit executive and consultant, to produce what was possibly the most engaging nonprofit fundraising education session I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing. Check out fundraising for nonprofits on Xero U!

Kishshana not only knows what she’s talking about — she’s a Certified Fundraising Executive who has helped organizations raise over 35 million dollars collectively — she’s also a wonderfully engaging person to listen to. I found myself laughing and nodding in both agreement and self-awareness, in much the same way that I might at a good comedy show, dharma talk, or author event.

“She totally GETS it,” I kept thinking to myself, remembering how I used to feel (ie, not awesome) when trying to raise money for my own nonprofit organization, Finance for Food.

Don’t wait to apply Kishshana’s insights and action items to your own nonprofit fundraising efforts; check out Fundraising for nonprofits on Xero U!

Águas de Março

I love Elis Regina’s version of this Antonio Carlos Jobim song, and as is perhaps fitting for a song whose title translates to “Waters of March,” on this rainy first day of Spring, it’s been running through my head.

More than anything else, this song makes me wish I could speak Portuguese so I might be able to sing along with a better sense of the meaning behind the beautiful sounds. In the meantime, I’ll just watch Elis sing it, and laugh, and improvise… over and over.