About the episode
In this episode of the Mom Owned and Operated podcast, Rita Suzanne and Gabbie Kelly discuss raising a family, running a business and remembering yourself.
Gabbie is a CPA with over 10 years’ experience helping clients achieve financial freedom. She also has a passion for teaching and has taught 3 courses her alma mater, UNH.
Gabbie is originally from NH and recently moved back to the area from Boston. She enjoys spending time in the seacoast outdoors with her husband, and 2 young daughters. She loves reading, golfing and crafting and is a big tennis fan.
Compassion takes empathy one step further because it harbors a desire for all people to be free from suffering, and it’s imbued with a desire to help. Compassion is the approach Gabbie Kelly has been bringing to her clients.
It is tough to talk about business finances, and it is a vulnerable position to be in. For Gabbie, every operational decision you’re making in your business is connected to the financial impact, so she brings compassion to finance discussions. We all have learned, made similar mistakes, and want to improve things.
She has seen the most significant challenges with start-ups and helped them overcome them by taking away the financial worry and stress and becoming more empowered by having an excellent foundational knowledge of what’s going on with the business.
Having a financial plan is vast and carves out that piece that’s always in the background looming. As a small business owner, or a mompreneur, with all these things on your plate, having somebody lift that off of you and carry that for you and with you step by step is super helpful.
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Rita Suzanne, Gabbie Kelly
Rita Suzanne 00:01
Welcome to the mom owned and operated Podcast, the podcast about moms and for moms, where we have candid conversations about running a business, raising a family, and remembering ourselves. I’m your host, Rita Suzanne, a single mom of four, digital strategist and provider of no nonsense business strategies and tactics. Hi, this is Rita Suzanne. And today I have my guest, Gabby with me, Gabby, I’m so excited to chat with you. Please tell everyone more about you, your business and your family. Thank you so much Rita, I am so excited to be here and be talking to you. I’m Gabby Kelly. I run WAM financial, which stands for we empower mama entrepreneurs.
Gabbie Kelly 00:54
I am a mom of two little girls, four and two, who are both the light of my life and the purpose of everything that I do, and also the source of exhaustion and a lot of frustration. That keeps me on my toes every day, and are really the reason why I’m here. And this business exists because I have felt so mistreated by corporate America and then, you know, felt like I was brainwashed into the hustle and grind culture, and really knew that there has to be another way to do it. And to live your life first and ensure that your business is really working for you. And you know, taking away the financial uncertainty that a lot of people feel when they’re thinking about their business finances.
Rita Suzanne 02:04
Yes, and why did you and your partner decide to focus in on moms as your target audience?
Gabbie Kelly 02:13
Well, it’s really easy to connect. I feel like the mom bond is so fierce. Mom referrals really drive a lot of business, I feel like in this country, getting a referral from a mom really means a lot. And and also women and parents are really one historically underserved in the financial sector, the financial industry. A lot of times when you become pregnant or have a child, you’re written off, as you know, having your career ended. And I think that we’re in an amazing movement right now for women and mom, you know, industry workers, but also entrepreneurs taking back the power to understand everything that being a woman gives you for an advantage. And being a parent and mom, you know, trains you to be an expert, multitasker, and prioritization wizard and really, you have less time and that time really needs to be very impactful. And so being able to give support and take uncertainty and stress and that weight off of other women and moms, is really something that we feel a passion for.
Rita Suzanne 03:57
Yes, I love that so much. Because I think that as mom, business owners, it’s so important for us to be, you know, financially educated, and a lot of times we’re not we’re just going through the motions with our business. And so why do you find it to be so important for moms and just really everybody to understand the Foundational Finance knowledge that they need in order to run their business.
Gabbie Kelly 04:26
When you have financial clarity, you are empowered to make more informed decisions, more long term decisions, more more, less reactive decisions. So what’s going on? You have a plan, you know how to measure your success. And there’s a lot of shame or taboo talking About Money and Finance, in our culture, and so, like naming that bring that to light and helping to talk more freely and less, you know, take down those barriers to, to people feeling like they’re an outsider of their business when it comes to their financials, and really getting them in, in it. And ownership over it and powered by it. And, and feeling like they’re the ones in control. And when we give that power back to business owners, especially women and mom, business owners, they have a louder voice, they bring that voice to the table more often. They’re not talked over. And the more we can do that, and the more voices that we have at the table, you could say, I think, really, the better the world will be.
Rita Suzanne 06:04
Yeah, so like really understanding their finances, gives them confidence, right, in order to really just know what’s going on in their business. A lot of times, you know, we talk about, you know, you need to be looking at your numbers, at least monthly just to see what’s going on in your business. But I find a lot of people ignore their numbers, right? What do you feel about that? Do you find that to be the same thing?
Gabbie Kelly 06:30
That was super overwhelming, some people don’t look at the numbers, until the end of the year, when they have to put it together for their taxes. And then like, talk about additional stress, when you’re like, where am I supposed to? I thought I had a good year, where am I supposed to come up with this money to pay my taxes now, it’s just setting me behind to start start my new year. And so yeah, looking at your numbers is really important. But also, knowing how to manage the cash day to day in, in terms of what your bigger plan is, is really important. Your financials, you know, your typical balance sheet p&l, they can give you a lot of information. A lot of that can be historical. And so having an under up plan, and and understanding day to day, what your cash situation is, and how to manage that gives you real time information, and gives you the ability to make those decisions when you need to, versus you know, kind of doing the review for the previous period or a year yeah, being like, How can I do better, which is really important, too. But I think what we’re missing more of is the just education of foundational cash management that gives you day to day information.
Rita Suzanne 08:01
Well tell us a little bit more about cash flow management, like Do you have tips like what can people do in order to kind of get that handle on their own cash flow?
Gabbie Kelly 08:10
Totally. I think one thing that’s a huge barrier is that there there are some guidelines out there that are really helpful in knowing where business your size should be, as far as paying yourself like what percentage of your revenue, saving a percentage for taxes, putting aside money for profit, and then knowing how much is leftover to cover your operating expenses. And starting at the guidelines, gives just that gives so much takes off takes away so much uncertainty, because a lot of people don’t know where to start. And so we start at the guidelines, we say, Okay, you’re making $100,000 in annual revenue, you probably should be taking half of that 50% As a business owner in a in a salary, whether that’s a draw or a W two, depending on you know how your business is set up, but just say just giving permission for somebody to take 50% from their business is huge. A lot of our our strategy and service is helping to work through breaking down the barriers of your money mindset that you have right now that might be I don’t know if I deserve that, or I have to pay everybody else. Or I have to pay for these things that I think that I need but really aren’t generating revenue and so starting in a place of General guidelines. And then understanding where they are now getting there, getting to their targets by using baby steps is is really the first place that we start. And so those tips are usually sounds crazy, but open five bank accounts for your business checking accounts. And every time you get paid, put your money into one of those and just call it your income account. And then every month, twice a month, we help figure this out. But you’re going to take a portion of that, and put it aside for your salary. Take a portion of that aside to save for taxes. So that way, you’re prepared, you’re not surprised by anything. And you’re setting yourself up for success, you’re starting a habit of paying yourself taking a part of your income and putting it aside. For profit. People think profit is something that happens after you’re done year after year, after you’ve looked at the month that you’ve had. If you take that profit first and you set aside a chunk of money, then you’re only give yourself something left to work with. And that creates innovation, you know, that scarcity that you’re creating for yourself, helps you think you know more clearly helps you prioritize what’s really going to move your business forward. And though those are the first things that we work through, and that are basically our whole education is based off of you can get more information just by splitting up the money that you’re getting from your clients or your for your products.
Rita Suzanne 11:55
So use the Profit First method, right? I took that I took a class by him and I the author of that book and course and stuff and I can’t remember his mike something Mike McCalla wits? Yes. So I love I love love, love profit. First, I think that it is so smart. And I think that if I think that people are intimidated by having to open five bank accounts, fees and stuff on them, but also, I think that people get overwhelmed by breaking down the percentages. So I love that you’re able to help them because it’s like, no, I can’t pay myself 50% just yet, right? Because my expenses aren’t going to be covered if I do this. And so having someone else who’s going to be able to help you to see the bigger picture, I think is definitely imperative is like super unnecessary. Sometimes we’re so close to our business, we can’t even move past, you know, the place that we’re stuck in. Yeah, to be.
Gabbie Kelly 13:03
Oh, for sure. We are certified Profit First professionals, we’re licensed to use that framework that foundational, and that is the core of our services. And so by bringing that to our clients, by helping walk through that by giving them other strategies, right, if you’re like, I can’t pay myself 50% Because I have to pay for all these other things. Well, maybe you need to look at your expenses. But going back for one minute, I don’t think I named every account. So the income account, the profit account, the tax savings account, operating expense, and you’re gonna see your profit
Rita Suzanne 13:42
income. Yes. And it’s you know, and then it’s your salary.
Gabbie Kelly 13:46
Yes. Right. Pay yourself first, I should have said that first. But those five bank accounts, and we really struggled because opening bank accounts is so frustrating. And that’s where a lot of people stop, if they read the book, or they take classes. That’s where a lot of people stop because a lot of national banks require you to go in person to spend hours and hours there. And so we’ve finally found a baking partner called really financial, that’s another tip, go look, it’s all online, it takes 10 minutes to sign up. And that was because I was trying to find a solution. If I can’t help my clients get past the first step of opening the bank accounts. I can’t I can’t help them, you know, ensure the long term longevity of their business and their you know, happiness and living the life that they have dreamed. Because we can’t get past the
Rita Suzanne 14:48
bank boundary right and that you were able to help them find a solution. You know, that’s good for everybody, not just those who are maybe in your state or your setting but for anybody, probably in the US. Oh, yeah. Yeah,
Gabbie Kelly 15:06
they’re really amazing.
Rita Suzanne 15:08
So what is so for some people, I think paying themselves is a huge obstacle that they face. So what do you think is the fastest way for someone to then start paying themselves so that they feel, you know, more like a business owner, right, like it actually more legitimate.
Gabbie Kelly 15:30
Two things, one, just starting a habit, just putting aside, even if you don’t open all the bank accounts, create a separate one and put aside a little money every month, creating that habit, it’s like the snowball effect, it really gives you some joy, some boost. And it can, it can grow into a fully fledged salary, if somebody’s not taking, which a lot of people are not taking anything from their business. And then your profit account. So the whole Profit First is named Profit First, because their whole belief is you create your profitability, have it within your business first, then you’re never not profitable. It’s not something that you think of after it’s upfront, and then you pay for everything from your business. So that profit distribution, that we we help coordinate and help create accountability for our clients. Taking that distribution quarterly, is a celebration, it’s it’s us all celebrating the sacrifices that they’ve made and the hard work that they’ve done, you know, as a business owner, you’re your best employee. And you can’t replace yourself with anybody who’s not gonna get paid, who’s gonna work more hours than anybody else. So when you think of it in those terms, it’s really easy to see why you deserve to be paid. And that money mindset shift can take take a while, once you see progress, and really, you know, like, actually get paid a lot of our clients, you know, email us back and say, like, this is the first paycheck I’ve ever paid myself, like, our this is my first profit distribution, and I’m taking my family out to dinner that doesn’t have to be big, maybe it’s $100. When you’re by yourself some shoes and like, the next time you go somewhere, you feel really amazing. It’s the you start small, and you gain momentum. And that is so powerful.
Rita Suzanne 17:48
Yeah, I think that’s one of the most important tips because I see a lot of people running their business in reactive mode, like you mentioned earlier, because and I’ve done that I did that for years, where it was very much reactive. And now that I’m restructuring everything this is the stuff that I’m paying attention to is, you know, making sure that the financials are in order and that I’m checking on not just my financial numbers, but like all numbers once a month just to make sure things are going in the right direction. Right. And because I think that that helps you with growth over time, a lot of people are just at a plateau with their business where it’s just really maybe not creating, you know, not growing as quickly as they would like it to grow. And maybe that’s because they’re not really paying attention to the numbers because they overwhelm them.
Gabbie Kelly 18:45
Oh, for sure. Some people say you know, you feel like a deer in the headlights when you have to look at your bank or you have to look your financials. Or you know, it’s just not your thing is numbers. And that’s okay, that’s normal. Nobody teaches you like I went to business school nobody teaches you you know how to manage cash. I never expected to be in an entrepreneurial position. And I find that you know that everything a lot of things are so overwhelming and there are a lot of experts out there and there’s a reason because we cannot do it all. We it’s okay to ask for help. Right where we’ve tried the burnout track we’ve tried the grind and hustle and look at where where the state of our you know, environment is in like mental health and, you know, people trying to take back their power and their time and their their life knowing that we’re not guaranteed tomorrow. We can’t wait until our business is profitable in order to take a salary. We’re we need to build that into our business. That should be a requirement of our biz Let’s plan. And so all of those. That was a Rambo, but all of those things are really, truly important. And we just need to be talked about once you name them, right? They, they, they hold less power.
Rita Suzanne 20:16
Yeah, I think that’s true. So tell us why what made you decide to actually start your business and leave corporate? Because I think that that’s an interesting point that you made earlier that I kind of skipped over. And I’m curious, what made you leave?
Gabbie Kelly 20:32
Yeah, um, every child I had my first. Um, my first time went back to work. And I felt like, I was there for eight years, seven or eight years. And I was like, you know, who I am? Why do I have to show why don’t have to be here in front of you, in order to prove my value. And like the worth to the company. I have priorities. And if I can get my things done, I don’t need to be here in front of you just, you know, to be another face or button a seat,
Rita Suzanne 21:12
just in case I need you. Yeah, right.
Gabbie Kelly 21:15
Yeah. And looking at how far we’ve come right for online and digital connections. But I really didn’t feel valued once I had a child I wasn’t able to work weekends with and I was like, wait a minute, I’m waking up. Now. Why am I working weekend, this is the only life that I have. It’s like, we’re all brainwashed until you wake up when you have something more important to do than work. And realize, you know, your partner, your relationship, your, your, you know, family, extended family, your friends, all of those require a lot of time and bring you so much joy, and it shouldn’t be work or them should be your life, and how does each one of those fit in for you to live the life that you want. And so I left and went and left that was public accounting, and I went that was financial auditing. And I went to an internal corporate accounting and through COVID, had another baby for all and was doing the fell back into old habits and, you know, was had my kids home during the day, and was working until midnight to try to make up for it. And there was no, there was no support for parents, you know, working through COVID. And there was no you know, we’re after layoffs, and you’re doing one and a half times your job. If the value is just continued not to line up. When people talk about their culture and their work life balance, you can talk all you want, but if you’re not walking the walk, if you’re not providing support, this is what happens the like, you know, great resignation, people quietly quitting, and I just hope that, that these large companies are paying attention. I think that you know, some are, but that led me to go take a break. I was like, mentally I cannot do this anymore. I should be here with my family. That’s my priority, took a break, went part time doing a CFO consulting and found my business partner, and he and I were searching to be able to give more value and help more and really nail down like who we want to support. And I know I talked about that earlier. But you know, just giving more empowerment to parents and women entrepreneurs is, is where we thought like if we can help one set of people then like, you know, we think the whole world will benefit.
Rita Suzanne 24:01
Yeah, because I feel it’s like you found that niche or niche because you as a mom realized like how important it was because other moms, you probably saw other moms, business owners struggling with the same thing. So then I have a quick question. If if another mom came to you and say Gabby, I really want to start my business. What would be your advice for her to do? Like what would you recommend she
Gabbie Kelly 24:30
do first? Huh? There we go there. First call us no but reading, reading, Mike’s book Profit First is even if you don’t take anything away from it, you’ll learn just talking about money and how to set up your business in a way that starts with profitability. We all know you know like bootstrapping your your giving We enter your business for the hope and investing into your business for the hope that you know you’ll, you’ll benefit later and knowing upfront what you should be doing, from the beginning, only set you up for greater success. Right? You know, it’s like planting a tree, the best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago, but the next best time is today. So if you’re starting the best time to like, implement cash management strategies is when, when you start and then next best time is for any of those listening today, right? You don’t have to wait until you’re making 10 grand a month, you don’t have to wait until you’re making a million dollars in revenue. The point is to do that today, setting yourself up for exponential success,
Rita Suzanne 25:54
right, because it’ll help you grow faster, and be prepared for that growth. Because I think that a lot of times people wait until they’re starting to grow. And then they have all these pain points and all these issues because of the growth, right, they’re not really prepared for their growth. And for those that don’t really want to read I, I read the book, but also there was a creative live course by him on profit first. And it was I don’t know if it’s still there. But if it is, it was $20. And I’m like it was worth everything, you know, just hearing, like he goes through every single phase of the book. But just hearing him explain it, in his own words was really super valuable for me, because, you know, it goes through all of the aspects of it. So I just want to put that little pickle in there. So one thing that I always love to talk about is self care. So you have your two little ones, and you’re running your business with a partner, which sometimes can be a little bit of a challenge. Like I’ve had businesses before with partners. And you know, sometimes it’s tough to manage the relationship because it feels like a marriage of sorts, right? So, tell us what are you doing, Gabby for yourself? What are you doing for self care?
Gabbie Kelly 27:22
Ah, one, I hired a life coach, so I could be accountable for self care. I have my morning routine with my meditation and my workout. And that really helps ground me every day. I absolutely love to create to get crafty. To write, I just created a, you know, email post, which talks about how I love writing poems about my kids and like, you know, how emotional that can be. And as a mom, and reading, you know, clearly I just recommended reading a book, but I’m a huge book nerd, I could probably spend a year off reading, just devouring books. Maybe that’ll be my, you know, five year sabbatical coming up. But yeah, just getting out all the things I truly love, you know, doing so many things. That also I think that’s the reason behind this business is to allow me to do more of those volunteering and getting involved in my, you know, community in town, and then getting outside and traveling. And I know, that’s not very specific, and it’s all over the place. But I think, you know, tapping into those facets of your life, that make you feel whole is so important. And there are many facets, I think, to everybody’s playing.
Rita Suzanne 28:59
I think that that’s really important. Because when people talk about balance, they like to look at it as like a scale, you know, and it’s 5050. And when you look at balance from a maybe a pie instead, and you take all of those things that you mentioned reading and writing poems, and traveling and doing all of these things, all of that can fit within your your pie, right, and it doesn’t have to be equal. It doesn’t have to be 5050 it can be whatever you want it to be as long as you’re doing the things that will that you love, and that light you up. And I think that that’s really important for people because when they start a business it and when they have children, right? And you start to lose some of yourself and if you’re not really aware of you know, making sure you have time for yourself, then I think you can lose yourself way faster.
Gabbie Kelly 29:56
huge. It’s huge. I totally agree with that night find that every day, as I’m working with more clients, as I’m, you know, like continuing to, to fight for my flexibility and freedom and give voice to that for everybody else do. I’m doing more of the things that I love. And that just gives me more motivation and more momentum to carry on. And, you know, try to bring this to everybody that I know.
Rita Suzanne 30:23
I love that because it’s your business is you know, giving them confidence, but it’s also giving you confidence and knowing that you’re doing what you love to do and what really lights you up. Yeah, yeah. So Gabby, tell everyone how they can find you and hire you to help them get all their cash flow issues in order.
Gabbie Kelly 30:46
I would love to hear from anybody listening. My email is Gabby at whim, w e m.co. And that’s Gabi G A B, I II, I like to be different and it causes a lot of problem but um, please email me We’re also on Instagram, at whim financial, LinkedIn and Facebook the same, but we do free gameplan calls, you know, if you’re just like, I don’t even know where to start. Is this even something that can help me where I am in my business, and I love connecting with other moms. And I made a goal last year of having every one of my calls be like, Mom Coffee Chat, like, you know, there’s just something about getting on the phone face to face. I know it’s not in person, but just face to face. So then the another mom and there’s so much understanding there and vulnerability about talking about your business and the worries that you have. And, and so it’s a safe place. We I try to give as many tips as possible for you in the right direction. And it’s something that makes sense for you, in the spot that you’re at. I would love the opportunity to help to help get you to a place where you feel confident and have that clarity.
Rita Suzanne 32:11
Yes. And your website is
Gabbie Kelly 32:15
wham.co really simple. W e m dot c o,
Rita Suzanne 32:20
thank you so much for being a guest Gabby and sharing all of that with us.
Gabbie Kelly 32:25
Thank you Rita. I love this so much and love everything you’re bringing to all of your audience as well.
Rita Suzanne 32:32
And there you have it. I want to encourage you to remember that being a mom who runs her own business is not easy. We all struggle, but just keep moving forward. And don’t forget to make time for yourself. As moms we are usually the first thing to go to the bottom of the list. If your business is overwhelming you and you need real solutions, not just some sugar coated suggestions apply to work with me at ritasuzanne.com/apply