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I’m going to break an old taboo about talking about money with other people; I’m going to break it hard by talking to Sowmya Ranganathan about money AND broadcasting it to anyone who will listen. I personally think this rule is kind of stupid because it keeps people ignorant about money which causes us to make poor decisions about our money. This is especially problematic for small business owners who deal with money more directly than those who work for someone else.
For many reasons, I have wanted to cover this issue in the podcast for a long time. One of the minor reasons is to talk here about my own issues and journey regarding money. Growing up poor-ish and always pinching pennies I learned a lot about money, but I also absorbed some bad money habits, like buying something ONLY based on price…only later realizing that when you skimp on quality you end up spending more in the long run on a replacement or repair. I also always had a hard time spending money on on intangibles whose value I couldn’t quantify, like a weekend away to recharge the batteries and come back stronger. I know from conversations online that a lot of you have questions and outright fear regarding money.
I also wanted to cover this issue as part of my not-so-secret feminist agenda. Let’s face it, most henna artists are women and we exist in a world where the power and the pursestrings are not always in our command. Most of us grow up without the skills to ask for what we are worth (financially, but also physically, emotionally and intellectually). When I first started doing henna professionally I used to state my prices with a question mark at the end and a look of begging for approval on my face. I have learned to put a period at the end of my sentences, but there are days when I feel guilty for asking for what I am worth. I’m nearly 50 and I recently asked for a raise for the first time in my life! I’m embarrassed to admit this. My boss agreed I deserved a raise, but when it came time there just wasn’t the budget for it. That sucks but it’s beyond the scope of this podcast!
This podcast may not be able to address our issues of low self-worth (I’ll see if I can find a guest who can), but I think that we can get valuable information out there to empower us all to take our finances to a new level. My guest, Sowmya, is a henna artist (JoyofHenna on IG) but also works in accounting at an internet startup in San Francisco. As you may or may not know, I also have an alter-ego as a software trainer. We talk about accounting concepts and tools, but also the soft science of how to set prices.
We are both fans of Square, Sowmya because she is an employee AND a user of Square products, and me because I am a user. We refer to Square a lot because we both use it, but what we say applies to similar products from other companies. We have also talked about doing a google hangout where we demo some of the concepts we talk about in the podcast, showing you how to work with spreadsheets and formulas, and also to give you tours of some of the products we discuss.
I promised that I would list the products we discuss in the episode which I will do soon. Feel free to mention in the comments any tools that help you with your henna business.