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Episode 191: Minding Your Money and Money Mindset—with Danielle Hayden

Deb Zahn: I want to welcome you to this week's episode of the Craft of Consulting Podcast. On this podcast, we are going to talk about money, money, money. And in specific, we're going to talk about how to pay attention to your money and to your money mindset, such that at any given time you know that you are making good choices that enable you to have a profitable, sustainable consulting business. I brought somebody on, Danielle Hayden, who is going to talk about how to cultivate a healthy and helpful money mindset. And then the details behind the types of financial numbers you need to be looking at a regular basis and how to stay on top of your finances so that you know that you are ultimately building the business that you want to have, including the business that brings in the income that you want to have. So, let's get started.

Hi, I want to welcome Danielle Hayden to the show. Danielle, welcome to the show.

Danielle Hayden: Thank you so much for having me here.

Deb Zahn: So, let's start off, tell my listeners what you do.

Danielle Hayden: Yes, I am the founder and CEO of Kickstart Accounting Inc. We help business owners understand their numbers so they can make a better business decision. What we found is that although that sounds great, we all want to know our numbers and make better business decisions, a lot of us don't have the basics in place like bookkeeping. So, we help our clients get their foundations in place, so they have accurate and on time bookkeeping to then be able to make the important business decisions that we all need in our businesses.

Deb Zahn: Yeah, I love that. So, we're going to dig into that today because I know particularly for a lot of new consultants, or let's be honest, even consultants who've been doing this a while, it sort of goes, "Oh, I need to get clients. Oh, I need to get paid. Oh, I can pay my bills. Oh, I can't pay my bills." And that's their financial system, right?

Danielle Hayden: Yeah. And there's no judgment. I'm glad you said that. It doesn't mean that you're new in business. I was very surprised when I started this business eight years ago that just because you've been in business a long time doesn't mean you've got your financial house in order. So, no matter where you're at in your journey, if you don't have this in place, it's OK. Deep breath. We got you.

Deb Zahn: Yeah, I love that. So, I know one of the things that somebody who used to be employed and is now a consultant and not just doing work for clients, but also now the CEO of a business, which is a very different thing than a lot of folks have had to do before, they now have to pay attention to finances in the way that we're going to dive into. So, if you were talking to a consultant who's like, "I don't know, my system seems to be working. Why do I need to do anything more?" What would you tell them? Why would you tell them, "Look, getting your financial house in order matters because of this"?

Danielle Hayden: I find that a lot of business owners are making business decisions based on their heart or their gut. "I feel like this is working. I think this is my top grossing customer. I think I'm profitable. I think I should take this much home in salary or in ownership." And those aren't decisions that are being made with facts, quantitative information. They're being made on gut and your heart.

So you might have a system, it might be a Google Sheet or an Excel file that you're keeping track of a few things, but it's not having the whole picture together so that as you continue to grow, you can make the important business decisions based on data that then you could use your gut to help you manage what to do with that, but that you have the right information.

Here's the other thing I'll say, is I have seen so many business owners over the last few years have this accidental, beautiful, amazing high growth. Every single one of them said to me, "I wish I would've gotten my back end, my finances, my systems in place before I experienced this growth. I had no idea it was going to happen at this time." And we've had a lot of economic uncertainties and a lot of things were-

Deb Zahn: ... to use.

Danielle Hayden: Right. Yeah. And we didn't know how that was going to impact small businesses. I've had so many people tell me that they grew during this time. So, we might be heading towards a recession, we might not, but it depends on what you believe, it doesn't matter. But what does matter is that you are set up as a business owner that as you continue to grow in your business and you have that growth, that you are prepared, and you are set up to be able to have that information and then be able to do something with that information.

Deb Zahn: Yeah, whether there's a crisis or not. I know when COVID hit, a lot of consultants, myself included, had that moment of panic. Lots of folks had business canceled, lots of folks... I had business delayed. Getting a handle on my finances is what actually calmed me down because I knew “Am I OK, am I not OK, and not just, Oh my gosh, I'm in a free fall because I can't see the next check coming in." And that's what I saw a lot of consultants’ experience is they hadn't been tracking their finances, so they felt like they had a bigger reason to panic than the reason that was actually true and legitimate.

Danielle Hayden: Yeah. And you don't have an opportunity to plan for the future, right? So, a lot of people say to me, "Well, bookkeeping's looking to the past." But how do you ever look to the future without knowing what's happened? So, by looking backwards, we can see the future. So, by looking backwards, we can know how much do we need to have saved, right? How much are we paying ourselves? How much are we paying our contractors? How much are we paying our employees? How much are our clients paying us? What does our profitability picture look like? And if we're profitable, how do we keep replicating that? And if we're not profitable, what changes do we need to make so that we have a healthy, sustainable, profitable business?

Deb Zahn: Love it. And I love that it's based on decisions. Well, we have to start with mindset because I know that everybody's got stuff around money, and we tell ourselves stories about money and our relationship to it and it can get in the way of doing some of the things we're going to talk about. So, what is a helpful and healthy money mindset to cultivate?

Danielle Hayden: Yeah, it's really interesting. So, I came from a corporate world. I was working as the CFO for a midsize business. I didn't understand that there was this thing called money mindset. I thought we as people looked at money as data points and that we looked at them and we said, "Here's the data. Now what business decision do we need to make? And let's march forth and make it."

But I was presenting financial data to investors, board of directors, the management team. And those individuals, well, they cared, and they had a vested stake in it. It wasn't their identity, right? It wasn't their baby; it wasn't their business. And there's this shift that happens as a business owner where we can still look at the numbers as data points; however, we're tied to them in a very different way. So, this is something I've learned a lot about over the last eight years.

Now, I think what's really important to understand first and foremost is that you have a money mindset, right? Because if you are a new consultant, you could just be just like me where you came in from a corporate world, you were getting a paycheck, you might have been an overspender or a saver, and maybe you identified with that a little bit, but it didn't really mean as much as it does now that you are running a business, right? So just like myself, right? You're probably going through the shift where, "Oh wow, hold on. Wait. When I spend a lot of money, it might feel really good. I'm getting that dopamine rush." Or "Ooh, I do not like spending money in my business. I want to have so much money saved, and I'm holding on to all of this. I'm not taking a paycheck. I'm not paying anybody. I'm holding onto all this.” And you might just be noticing that you have these icky feelings or feelings of excitement.

So that's the first step, is just understanding that you have a money mindset and that it's OK. And you could start to reflect on it. Maybe if you are a journaler. Maybe you can write it out, right? If you're somebody like me, I like to just go get lost in the woods and go hiking and figure my thoughts out. So, whatever your style is. But take some time to really just think about it. What was the relationship around money growing up, right? Did your parents talk about money? Was it positive? Was it negative? What was your friends around you growing up? What did that look like? Maybe you had a business owner, or maybe one of your friends had a parent who was a business owner, and they went out of business, right?

So now you've tied having a business to, "Oh, running a small business is hard, and you might go under." So, what were the experiences like growing up? Maybe you had a teacher, an aunt, an uncle, cousin, right? What was the economy like as you were growing up? What was the economy like as you were going through your corporate career? So, as you learned your trade, what was the economy like? If the economy was more robust, you might have a tendency to spend because you feel comfortable in that robust environment. If there is a downturn in your industry or your economy, you might be more, "I want to close to the best," right? "I need to save this money. I need to keep it."

And then what was the tone around money during your corporate career? Did your CEO talk about money? What was the CFO like? Was he or she saying no to everything? In every idea you ever had? There's a lot there, right? That's a lot to explore.

Deb Zahn: Yeah. Yeah.

Danielle Hayden: I wanted to go through all of that because there's not one thing that's wrong or right, it's just noting what your experiences were so that you can start to understand why you have that feeling of excitement or maybe that icky feeling as you are spending money.

Deb Zahn: That's great. And I know that a lot of new consultants, and by the way, one of the reasons I did not leap into consulting when I wanted to was fear of financial insecurity often based on experiences of either perceived scarcity or actual scarcity. And that can be a trap that you get into either to stop you from leaping. Or when you do leap, you don't invest in the places that it makes sense to invest in because as you said, you're sort of holding it all in for fear that you're going to go under, it's just not going to work. So, when you see that in folks that you're working with that sort of unhealthy or an unhelpful version of a mindset pop up around scarcity, how do you help people sort of breakthrough that so now they're making decisions based on facts and not just feelings?

Danielle Hayden: Yeah, that's a great question. The best way to start to overcome the money mindset is to know your numbers, right? And so you hear this term, know your numbers all the time. It's like, "Yeah, yeah. What in the hell does that even mean?" But it's the act of, first of all, knowing that you have bookkeeping in place, right? So I know that as a business owner, I have an accounting department. Now you don't have a whole accounting department. That's OK. You don't need one. But what you do have is somebody in your corner who is responsible for making sure that all the information is included, that it's accurate, and that you can depend on this information.

You're the CEO of the business that you worked for previously. They knew when they went to go make a business decision that the financial information, that the accounting was correct. And that helped them make a really empowered decision when the CFO told you yes or no, when they approved that project or not, they did it because they knew that the bookkeeping was correct and that they were using data to be able to support that. So, the first step is, "Let's make sure that I have bookkeeping in place so I have financial information." And then use your bookkeeper to help you create accountability.

One of my favorite parts about what we do with our clients is we create an environment of accountability. Every month they get a set of reports from us with, I call it like your high-level summary, right? An overview of the numbers. So, create some accountability. When are you going to look at the numbers, right? Is it the third Friday of every month you're going to get on the phone with your bookkeeper and you're going to look at the information? It doesn't do you any good. If you are just going into QuickBooks and hitting accept and you're doing bookkeeping, but you don't know if it's right and then you never look at the information, don't bother doing it, right? It's not actually doing anything for you.

Having time on your calendar where you're going to actually look at the information and you're going to ask questions to that money team, right? Because you need to have somebody on your money team. I call it your money team. So, it might be your bookkeeper, it might be a CPA tax account. But whoever's in your money team, find somebody who you trust, who you can ask questions to so that you can say, "I really don't understand what the hell you're talking about. Can you explain that to me?" Right? These are the steps that are going to help you start to come out of that money mindset and to feel confident with your decisions and overcome the scarcity.

I had a client that we worked with, she had stepped out of her corporate position, and she called herself a freelancer, but she was moving into more of a consulting world, but she wasn't ready to call it that because she wasn't ready to be there. She came to me and said, "Danielle, I really need you to help me understand how to run my business at a loss. What did I do? How do I run this business while I'm losing money?" And we did what we call a catch up. We started from the beginning of that year, and we pulled all her transactions into QuickBooks. So, it was like October at that time. Pulled everything in and I said, "All right, let's look at what the numbers have to tell you." And I said, "Unfortunately, I have good and bad news. The good news is that you are now losing money. You are." She's like, "Are you kidding me? What?"

"The bad news is that now it's November and we don't have a lot of time to make business decisions that are going to help you minimize your tax liability. We have to start saving for taxes." Now, watching her understand her numbers because she understands that she was actually profitable and because she had a team to explain it to her, guess what she did? She flipped her mindset around. And the next several years, she's still a client, I still work with her, it's been incredible to watch, she started hiring people. She got the help that she needed. She started having work-life balance. She bought a home. She doubled down in all her marketing. This is her third year having an in-person conference here in Cleveland. It's just this beautiful experience that you can go through as a business owner where you can come out of this mindset of, "I can't spend anything because I don't have it, and I'm losing money" to abundance.

Deb Zahn: I love it. And I love it because it's like it was a caterpillar who didn't know it was already a butterfly. What are the basic financial numbers that you think every business owner is like, "If you know anything, you really got to know these."?

Danielle Hayden: Yeah. There are three specific numbers that I want you to know at all times. First is your gross profit. This is different than the revenue coming in the door. This is not the amount of sales you have, it's not the amount of invoices going out, it's not the amount of cash coming in. This is your revenue minus any of your cost of goods sold. And in this industry, your cost of goods sold is any direct labor, so anybody you have to pay to deliver the services to your clients. So maybe you have an assistant or operations or somebody who is servicing your clients with you. Or your salary, right? If you are doing nothing but serving your clients, you are direct cost. And then minus any software that is specific to just serving your clients, so project management software. That is your gross profit.

It's not all your other operating expenses, it's not everything else you need, but it's what goes into, well, who do you need to pay for you to be able to provide this service to your clients each month? So that's your gross profit. And you're going to look at that month, that number every single month.

The next number I want you to look at is your net income or loss. When you're looking at your income statement or your profit loss statement, go all the way to the bottom. That is your net income or your loss. So, it's sales minus cost of goods sold, minus all of your other operating expenses. Everything you need to pay for, your advertising, your marketing, your website, your cell phone, the co-working space you go to, everything that you need to pay. Are you profitable? Are you bringing in money? Are you losing money? And I want you to track that month over month. And you can go backwards, so you can start at the beginning of the year and then you can keep tracking it moving forward.

These two numbers are going to tell you a story, right? They're going to help you understand if there's any issues. And it's going to alert you, "Hello? Hello? Pay attention to me. I need your attention." We need to pay attention to this number so that you're not waiting until tax time when your tax accountant says, "Well, you took a loss again this year, so you don't have any taxes." We don't want that announcement, right? We want to know what's contributing to our profit and what's creating our loss. On a service-based business, you're likely to have a profit, right? Our expenses are a little bit lower, but we need to be able to see when we're making changes in our business and it's not having the right impact. If we're doing a lot of hiring and our costs are going up and we're not paying attention to that, it can catch us by surprise.

Let me give you one more number. It's a whole report, but there's a lot of numbers in there. It's a percent of sales profit and loss report. You can find it in QuickBooks, and I believe you can find it in most accounting software. So, it's the percent of sales, profit and loss. What this report is going to tell you is where you're spending money, right? Where are those problem issues? Because I don't want to tell you to look at your profit and loss and then not give you a tool to go figure out what the problem is. When you are seeing trends that are alarming, you have a report to go to to figure out the next step.

Deb Zahn: For example, if you said, "Oh, I got to do more marketing" and you're spending a chunk of change every single month for a marketing firm, which is a higher expense, but your revenue ain't going anywhere, this would help you say, "Oh, wait a minute. This is telling me where I might be spending some money that doesn't make sense because it doesn't contribute to profitability."

Danielle Hayden: That's a really great example. In that example, you would see your profit declining over time. Over the last few months since you hired the marketing firm, you've watched your profits decrease because you're investing in something new. Now what we want to see is our revenue increasing, right? So, our profit's not decreasing. Our revenue is increasing and our profit's increasing. Now they might not go at the same speed because you're paying the consulting firm. So that's OK, right? You're paying the marketing firm, so maybe your profit is not increasing at the same speed as your revenue, but there's a correlation between the revenue and your spending. And so, when we don't see that correlation, we just see ourselves losing money, you can pull up that report and say, "OK, what did I change? What did I do? Who did I hire? Where do I need to focus my attention?"

Deb Zahn: Gotcha. And conversely, if things are going really well, that can also help you look at what's contributing to that, I would imagine.

Danielle Hayden: Yeah. Yeah. Thank you for saying that because sometimes we put finance in this category of, "We have to cut expenses. Things are going bad. We're losing money," right? That's not what finances are always telling us. Sometimes if our finances are telling us, "It's time to freaking celebrate. Great job. You as a business owner are doing awesome." And it's OK. As that number's telling us that we're becoming more profitable, it's telling us to, "Look, what do we need to do more of? How do we do more of what's working and less of what's not working?"

Deb Zahn: Yeah. Oh, I love that. Especially if you have multiple offers as many consultants do. So some consultants are like, Ooh, I show up and I do whatever the client wants" and others have products, they have other types of offers, which I always encourage diversifying those, in which case it'll tell you like, "Where are I actually making money that I might want to double down on or I might want to do less of this and more of this?"

I know often when consultants, particularly new ones, get clients, they're so excited like, "I got clients." It's really, really validating, but not all clients, depending on how firm you are about how you price the value of what you provide are necessarily going to be profitable clients or the juice ain't worth the squeeze may be. So how do you help folks pay attention to, "Where am I really making the money?" even from a client perspective?

Danielle Hayden: Yeah. So, we have this really fun worksheet, and I would encourage everyone to download it. You can go to And in that, there's two tabs in the sheet. One is how to grade your clients, and one's how to grade your expenses.

Deb Zahn: Nice.

Danielle Hayden: When we're signing clients…we've all been there, right? We're just so steep and excited. However, we need to pause and reflect. I like to do this quarterly with our clients. So, once a quarter, taking a list of all of our clients and the amount of revenue we've brought in for the last 3 months or you could do it over the last 12 months. I like to see the last 12 months because I think there's powerful information in looking at things annualized. So, in the sheet, you're making a list of your clients and the total amount of revenue that's come in over the last 12 months from that client. And then there's a few things that you can grade them on. One is cringe factor. And you're grading them.

Deb Zahn: Say it like it is.

Danielle Hayden: Yep. A, B, C, D, E, F, just like you're grading a report card. A is you light up, right? They email you. You see their phone call and you light up. You're like, "Oh great, I can't wait to talk to Susie and find out how that's going for her. I can't wait to pour into this project and make this the best star project ever for Susie," right?

Deb Zahn: Yep.

Danielle Hayden: And then there's this client that you are ignoring their emails, you're ignoring their calls. And every time you have to work on their stuff, you're dragging, right?

Deb Zahn: You're like, "Ugh."

Danielle Hayden: It's like doing your bookkeeping. We're grading it on cringe factor, but that's not the only thing. There are two other items to grade them on. Do they pay on time? So we send our clients an invoice, right? It's pretty darn important. And especially as we grow when we start to hire, whether it be in our operations or other people to help with our service offerings, we have to pay to run our business. And if your clients aren't paying on time, that's an issue, right? So, you might really want to help Sally because she's a really nice woman, but Sally never pays you. So, she might get enough.

Deb Zahn: That's right. Or you have to remind Sally six times over four months and then you might get a payment, you might not.

Danielle Hayden: Right. Sally's always on a darn payment plan. And we need to grade them on that. And then we need to grade it on profitability. So that word scares people, like, "Ugh, how am I ever going to figure this out?" Here's the one time I'm going to allow you to use your gut. Does this client take you a lot of time? Do they drain your energy? Do they drain your time? Again, you might really like Sally, she's really nice, but every time you have to work on a project, she actually has 20 different edits and always has something to say. So, although I enjoy working with her, it takes me a long time to actually complete any project that Sally hires us for.

Deb Zahn: That's right. So, your effective hourly rate would end up being like Burger King wage.

Danielle Hayden: Yeah, exactly. Or they're satisfied, the work has ease and it doesn't take me as long, or it doesn't take my staff as long, right? So this worksheet will give you a grade at the end. And you can do the same thing for the expenses. There's another tab for expenses where you're listing all your expenses, the annual amount that you're paying for each expense. And you can do this for contractors and employees too. And I want you to explain to yourself why are you paying for that. It's a powerful exercise.

When I worked as a CFO, we had to explain to the board why we were spending money right? And in the act of we'd get ready for these quarterly board meetings and when we were getting ready for them, oftentimes we'd show up and say, "Hey, we spend a lot of money here. We've already talked about it. We realize that it's not worth the money and we're not going to continue it." But it's because we had to prepare to explain it to them-

Deb Zahn: That's right.

Danielle Hayden: ... that we even realize we didn't need this expense.

Deb Zahn: Yeah, I'd like that because it's also not saying you or your business is not worth investing in. It's that it's so worth it that you want to have a rationale to make sure that it's the best investment.

Danielle Hayden: Yeah. So, you're explaining the expense as if you're explaining it to your board of directors. And you are your board of directors, right? You're allowed to be that, right? You have to justify your spending. So, you're going to do that and then you're going to grade it A, B, C.

Deb Zahn: Yep.

Danielle Hayden: A is, "I need this. It helps me create a seamless process for my client. It helps me create efficiencies in the way I do business. It helps me do what I do more efficiently in a better way." So that's A. B is, "It's nice to have. I wish it has more functionality. I wish I could use it a little bit better. I don't always use it, but it's nice to have." And C is, "Oh shoot, I'm still paying for it."

Deb Zahn: "Didn't I cancel that. What?"

Danielle Hayden: Yeah. Or "They used to have this feature and so I used to use it a lot, but since they got rid of that feature and they did that upgrade, I'm not using it as much." So, this grading experience is a really good way of reflecting. And again, you can do this once a year, once a quarter. We have clients who are all over the place and how often they do it. But this is a really great way to focus on, "Who do I want to work with and where do I want to spend my money?"

Deb Zahn: Love it. Love it. So, one thing is, and you talked about people look at different things at different times. So, you don't ever want finances to move to the back burner because other things seem so much more important than that, which is usually, "I'm afraid to look at my finances."

Danielle Hayden: Yeah. Avoidance.

Deb Zahn: Yeah. Let's just call that what it is. How do you encourage folks to make sure this is a real, true priority that they're going to act on?

Danielle Hayden: Get an accountability partner.

Deb Zahn: Yeah.

Danielle Hayden: I've always been surprised at the industry of coaching, right? There's a ton of coaches and health coaches and personal trainers. And why is that? Because as humans, when we pay for accountability, we're held accountable. And find somebody on your money team that can help hold you accountable, that's not going to let you disappear. That's going to email you your financial results whether it's good or bad, whether you want to see it or you don't want to see it, and who's not afraid to give you the hard truth.

It hasn't always come easy for my team and me. We've talked about this recently where it's, "What happens when a client's not doing well?" I'm like, "Sorry guys, but we have to be the one to share that. We get to share that space with them and ask the hard questions of what happened and what can we do differently." So, find someone that you like, know and trust, to hold you accountable, be able to ask you the questions and then tell you what you need to hear no matter what whether it's good or bad, and give you the space in a non-judgmental way to ask questions and feel through the emotions of what the money story tells you.

Deb Zahn: I love it. So, give me sort of one, if you were in front of a consultant who's the boss of their biz, one thing you would say, "Never do this" and one thing you would say, "Always do this." And you can only pick one of each.

Danielle Hayden: Oh geez.

Deb Zahn: I know, right?

Danielle Hayden: OK. So never hide from your numbers no matter what they're telling you, right? So, no matter what, we need bookkeeping in place whether it's scary or not. You're a grown up, right? And we need to put our big girl pants on, put our big boy pants on and face it. It doesn't matter if you're scared, you have to face it. I think that's a hard truth for people to hear. And I've really been enjoying saying it lately because I think we think, "Oh, we're just going to get into business and start collecting payments from customers" and we forget that now you have a responsibility, right? You have a responsibility to those clients to make it. And you have a responsibility to your vendors, contractors to make it. So never avoid your numbers.

I think for always, I would say always ask questions. You can use this everywhere in your business, but always ask questions of the numbers. So, it's not just, "Oh, darn it, I lost money again." It's, "Why?", right?

Deb Zahn: Yeah.

Danielle Hayden: "Oh, fabulous. I'm profitable again. Yes, let me go spend it at the bottom this weekend, you feel me? Oh, I've been meaning to try out that steakhouse. Hold on. What created this profit? Am I going to be profitable again next month? Is this sustainable? Am I even paying myself? Am I profitable because I'm not taking home a paycheck?" So why am I profitable? What's working in my business? What's not working?" And forever asking questions of your numbers. Asking questions of yourself as a business owner is going to make such a big difference.

Deb Zahn: Oh yeah. Well, and it's the curiosity and reflection, which are two superpowers of any successful CEO of any business. If you have to have anything, those two are really, really good to have. So, this is all fabulous stuff. I love this. Where can folks find you?

Danielle Hayden: is the best place to connect with us. If any of this felt heavy or you want to talk about anything further or maybe you need help with bookkeeping in your business, I encourage you to book a call. You can do so right there on the website. There's also a five-day video boot camp. So, if you want to try to get this Kickstarter on your own, there's also a five-day video bootcamp. We have our podcast, Entrepreneur Money Stories, a great resource to start to improve your money mindset. If you're not sure what questions to ask, there's lots and lots and lots and lots of questions on that stuff.

Deb Zahn: And I've listened to a few. It is really fabulous, so I do encourage it. So, let me ask you this last question, one of the benefits of getting your financial business in order is to have the life that you want to have, so how do you bring balance to your life however it is you think about that?

Danielle Hayden: Yeah, I gave up having balance the day my kids are born. I had my kids young, so I have never had balance here. Here's my approach to it, and my kids know that I take this approach. There are going to be days where I am an amazing business owner and I'm going to celebrate that and I'm going to celebrate that with them. And so those days I might be traveling, and I might miss a football game or a track meet. Or maybe I have to do something, I have to hold client meetings. I might be locked away in this office for longer than I want to. However, today I was a really great business owner. And tomorrow I might leave early and make it to basketball on time and take my kids to eat afterwards or take them on vacation or a weekend getaway and I'm going to be really present with my family and I'm not going to be an awesome business owner that day, week, or month. And my team knows that, right?

So, my team knows that when I'm checking out and I'm focusing on my family, that they pick up. And my family knows that when I'm not going to be there and then I'm focusing on my business, to give me some darn grace, right? Like, "So, what we're having pizza tonight for dinner? Who really cares? They probably liked it better than my casserole anyway." So, I've communicated that to both parties that they need to give me grace and that I'm not trying to have balance, I'm just trying to be really awesome sometimes.

Deb Zahn: I love it. And they probably are outside the door going, "Wait, it sounds like a late call pizza."

Danielle Hayden: For real. They don't care. I'm the one that cares. I'm the one that has the mom...we, we have parental guilt. I wouldn't even call it mom guilt because it actually bothers my husband more than it bothers me when we go during the week. But it might be a story you're telling yourself, right? It's not even a story that your kids hold. It's a story that you hold.

My kids have had a scrunchie system for a long time that they know that there's certain colors on my door. I've worked from home forever. I worked from home before working from home was cool. There are different colors that mean, "I'm on a podcast, do not make noise. Don't even come near the air of the door." There are ones that are, "I'm doing something. Don't come in the door. But if you're making noise out there, it's not a big deal." And then one that's, "I'm just working, you can come in if it's dire, but I'm doing something." I just take communication, right? We set that boundary early. We can all work together in our home now.

Deb Zahn: OK. I can say without a doubt, having a scrunchie system, that is the first time I've heard that. I'm not a huge fan of scrunchies except now for that reason because that's an awesome reason. Oh my goodness, that's fantastic.

Danielle Hayden: Get yourself a few colors and just communicate with the colors mean to your family.

Deb Zahn: I love it. Well, Danielle, this has been a pleasure to talk about you. It certainly has inspired me to go look at my numbers, and I appreciate you sharing this with everyone.

Danielle Hayden: Yeah, my pleasure. I'm so excited to be here. And yeah, take some inspiration. Go take action.

Deb Zahn: Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the Craft of Consulting podcast. I want to ask you to do actually three things. If you enjoyed this episode or you've enjoyed any of my other ones, hit subscribe. I got a lot of other great guests that are coming up in a lot of other great content and I don't want you to miss anything.

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So as always, you can go and get more wonderful information and tools at Thanks so much. I will talk to you on the next episode.

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