Getting To Know: Jenny Karlsson of Financials for Creatives
Unequivocally, one of the best things about starting my business has been the opportunity to connect with so many incredibly smart, kind, and generous business owners. One of the very first people I met in this online business owner world was Jenny. I was instantly attracted to her brilliant mind, gentle soul, and encouraging words to help me push past my own mental blockers to seek out more for myself.
What started out as an Instagram camaraderie turned into a real friendship. I feel so lucky to now have regularly scheduled monthly Skype chats with Jenny where we get to talk about everything from the struggles & triumphs of running our own businesses, to all things tarot & crystals. When you're feeling down, or like you need a cheerleader, Jenny is your woman. I dare you to read this and not feel like you, too, can be Superwoman. Her words are that powerful.
In an effort to spread the love I have for these women, I'm starting the "Getting To Know" interview series. My hope is to make this a weekly series, so stay tuned! I'm kicking it off today with the dazzling Jenny Karlsson of Financials for Creatives. Read on to hear more of her genius.
Tell us more about your overall journey for how you breathed Financials for Creatives into being.
When I left my full-time job to follow my first entrepreneurial dream of being a pet photographer, I worked heavily on ensuring that my business was profitable and that our personal finances were optimized for the uncertainty ahead. I soon realized that fellow women entrepreneurs, leaders in their own right, were often held back by their financials. I begun meeting with women in my local network to help them know their numbers. My soul was calling me to integrate my expertise, as a creative business owner with ten years in academic research and an MBA in finance, to serve my community in a bigger way. I listened to the whispers that were getting louder and louder, and Financials for Creatives was born. Now I coach women around the country and lead them through the very framework that enabled me to make the leap.
What aspect of this work is the most life-giving for you?
Helping women-owned creative businesses increase their financial flexibility/security/independence by identifying financial weak spots and implementing smart solutions is tremendously rewarding.
Not only have several of my clients been able to leave their day jobs to pursue their entrepreneurial dream, but they could do so knowing that their bank accounts offer security in the form of an emergency fund, and they’re equipped with financial systems that enable them to make smart decisions about their money going forward. I love getting joyous emails from clients when they’ve sold their highest package or crushed their revenue goals, not only because it surpassed their wildest dreams, but also because knowing their numbers backwards and forwards allows them to stand firm in their pricing, serve their ideal clients, and thrive in business and life.
Was there ever a time when you happily ignored external validation or outside advice about your business so that you could follow the True North that you created for yourself? If so, how did making that choice to follow Your Why impact not only you, but your business?
When I first started coaching, I was wondering if I should add certified money coach to the repertoire. I interviewed several potential mentors whom told me that it would allow me to learn their system, and I wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel. Here's the thing though. I already knew enough. My way of doing things wasn't broken. The biggest learning lesson was knowing when to say no. What I ultimately realized was that it isn't about the tools or the title. On a much deeper level my why is anchored in being able to help creative entrepreneurs manage the money they have in smarter ways so that they get to keep more for themselves, and are able to do more of what they love.
I love that you incorporate tarot and oracle cards into your sessions! Can you tell us more about what that looks like and how it has impacted your approach to your work?
Finance can be perceived as very black and white. Especially if we only look at the outer work involved in creating new habits around money. However, a lot of how we handle our finances is linked to our personality (inner work), and spirituality (higher work). Tarot and oracle cards are amazing tools that help us tune in to our intuition and find answers within.
I especially love using the Sacred Creators Oracle Deck during coaching sessions because it was developed specifically for creatives. Sometimes I pull a single card to aid in our discussion or to provide inspiration that my clients can carry with them between sessions. Other times I love using the abundance or client alignment spread to look for clues. Since I love animals I often pull a card from the Animal Spirit Deck by Kim Krans. Animals carry so much wisdom, and it often helps to visualize their spirit in order to bring certain parts of our life into balance.
Recently, you’ve been learning more about crystals. Do you have a current favorite, and why?
My absolute favorite is blue kyanite. It reminds me of a cold mountain stream in northern Sweden - my homeland. The crystal brings honesty and is said to be able to remove energy blockages. Kyanite aligns and balances all chakras, and the blue in particular opens the throat chakra in order to speak truths from the heart. Sometimes I'll keep it in my tarot deck pouch to add some good juju to the cards or put it in my pocket during coaching sessions. Even though crystals can be used for their healing properties, I use them mostly as visual reminders for what they symbolize - instead of an affirmation or mantra so to speak.
What is the best piece of financial advice you can give to other creative entrepreneurs?
You must know where your money is coming from and where it is going. The best way to do that is by implementing a budget (or spending plan) and giving each dollar a job. Not only is it crucial to have one for your personal finances, but you must have one for your business as well. There are several options available (YNAB, Mint, Everydollar) and my favorite is YNAB or You Need A Budget. It is completely customizable and requires active participation, which is key for a money habit to stick. Once you have a system in place you must prioritize paying yourself first, and operating within your means.
I know you’re an avid reader. What are some of your favorite books, blogs, podcasts, other resources, and what makes them so special?
Ah yes! Books are definitely my guilty pleasure. I’ve created a bookshelf on my website that I update regularly to share my top favorites. I mostly read non-fiction, and always seem to be in the middle of five books or more. Right now I am reading Sacred Success by Barbara Stanny. I've been a fan of her work since reading her earlier book Overcoming Underearning, and love that this newer book on creating financial miracles focuses on the spiritual element in helping women step into their power around money. I am also devouring Amanda Steinberg’s book Worth It to learn more about how to build strong financial roots and how our personality affects our relationship with money. My favorite two podcasts are Being Boss and Real Talk Radio with Nicole Antoinette. Both podcasts offers a tremendous source of inspiration, authentic conversations, and make the entrepreneurial world feel more connected.
What is your marketing strategy for Financials for Creatives? Is there one element that has been most successful for you?
Since day one I have built my business on personal referrals, writing a weekly newsletter, and using Instagram daily to grow my audience. I believe in quality over quantity and subscribe to the farming mentality of building strong business relationships and choosing curiosity in my endeavors to not only educate my followers but also myself. When I write my daily Instagram posts I remind myself that being in business is not about me. People hire you because they want to feel understood, and know that you can solve their problem. The main focus of my posts is always on showing that I understand their struggles as creative entrepreneurs and how I can help. In addition to that I sprinkle in a tiny bit about myself to create a stronger connection.
We all hit rough patches of low motivation, fighting the comparison trap, and overcoming self doubt. When you find yourself up against that wall, how do you pull yourself out of it?
When I find myself in the comparison trap or look too much at my analytics, I evaluate whether the voice in my head is the voice of ego or the voice of love. Ego loves status quo and hanging up achievements on numbers. However, the soul chooses compassion and finds more value in the overall impact created. Entrepreneurship can be isolating and lonely if we choose to view it through a lens of competition (that and comparison are the biggest thieves of joy). However, if we instead decide to reach out beyond our little business islands to connect with industry peers, it opens up space for beautiful conversations, supportive communities, and collaborations.
What element of your daily routine is most important to ensure you have the most successful day?
I am a huge fan of the Miracle Morning Routine which constitutes of six components called S.A.V.E.R.S (Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing) that can take anywhere from 1 min to however much time I can block off for myself each morning. I personally don't do all of the components anymore, but I make sure to meditate daily, I sometimes write in my 5 min journal, I always incorporate some form of exercise (my dog gets really cranky if she doesn't get her morning walk) and of course reading. I especially like to listen to an audiobook while I'm out walking to learn new concepts or add to my personal development. I am a lifetime learner for sure.
Want to know more? Eager to connect with Jenny? Here's how:
Work with Jenny:
Schedule a discovery call to find out more about how she helps women-owned creative businesses gain financial freedom by implementing solutions that increase your net worth.
Fun little extra:
Sign up for weekly financial strategies on her website.