She Was Once in Bankruptcy Court. Now She Runs an Online Business That Makes Over $100,000 a Quarter

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Is it still possible to turn a new hustle and bustle into a thriving online business? According to this entrepreneur, the answer is a resounding yes.

Nicole Barham is the founder of Design your wealth† Its main offering is a membership program called 5 Minute Bookkeeper™in which she provides simple finance tracking, support and accountability tools for female entrepreneurs to stay on top of their finances in just a few minutes a day.

“I started the company after my own experience of not managing my finances properly brought me into bankruptcy court. I have a background in accounting and have looked after my employer’s finances for many years, so it was particularly heartbreaking to be in this position. function.”

Barham says the rebuilding process — and the empowerment that came with it — inspired her to take a side job that quickly grew into her full-time career.

“I decided to use my skills to change my finances and teach other women to do the same so they can actually build wealth in their businesses.”

How Watching Your Money Builds Momentum

The buzz around personal entrepreneurship as a means of achieving financial freedom is bigger than ever. From the United States Trademark Office: a record number of new requests for millions of people exploring sidelines, professionals are taking advantage of trends such as online business and the creative economy to increase their income and build wealth.

As your side business or online business starts to pick up momentum, one of the first things you’ll want to take care of is accounting. But as Barham points out, many newbies avoid getting into the trenches with QuickBooks or other calculators and finance tracking tools because they feel overwhelming.

“I’ve learned that the reason most of us don’t have our finances together is a lack of simplicity in the tools and platforms we have at our disposal,” she says. “That and the lack of support and accountability.”

Top-line earnings usually get all the attention in entrepreneur success stories, but these sexy numbers don’t always paint the full picture. Often new entrepreneurs do not even know whether they are making a profit or a loss. They sometimes take out loans or other financing to raise capital, but then avoid tracking their numbers consistently, which usually makes things worse.

Barham notes how she sees this avoidance—and her past experiences—in many of her clients.

“I saw so many female entrepreneurs like myself who didn’t know their finances, didn’t know if they were making a profit or a loss, didn’t set income goals and track them down, didn’t create budgets, and were just clambering to the tax deadline to get all of that. get their numbers together.

“But more than that, I saw myself in it. I had been in their shoes and knew I had the expertise and tools to help them.”

“A personal trainer for money”

To combine financial know-how with accountability and community, Barham created 5 Minute Bookkeeper™, a membership program that provides women entrepreneurs with simple, intuitive tools/software for tracking finance and access to a private group of other entrepreneurs and tax/accounting experts who provide ongoing support. The membership also has weekly “Money Dates”: collaborative sessions to help customers keep their finances on track.

“This is our secret weapon to achieve amazing results for our customers,” says Barham. “It’s the difference between a gym membership and a personal trainer. I wanted to make sure my clients get the results they want.”

Barham was clearly not the only entrepreneur who wanted a money-tracking solution. Her offering was an instant hit and led to some notable milestones in 2021, including $100,000 in single-quarter sales as a solopreneur.

“Last year I also had a month where I made more money from my business than I would have made in an entire year from my previous full-time job. It is certainly a challenge, but the rewards far outweigh the challenges.”

Advice for people considering a side business or business

The term “sideshow” has been around for nearly 70 years, but as DollarSprout research shows, 2021 was a game changer. According to them annual survey on a side job:

41% of side hustles rely on that income to cover monthly bills, up 50% from 2020. The percentage of people who spend more than 15 hours a week on their side hustle(s) will increase by 2021 than doubled, from 12% to 27%.76% of respondents predict that side hustles will become even more popular in 2022.

Barham agrees. She emphasizes that her quest for entrepreneurship also started as an afterthought – just 18 months ago.

“I started out working with just a few people while keeping my full-time job, and I learned along the way,” she says. “I’ve been constantly testing and adjusting.”

Pro tip

She started with a sideshow and fully validated her idea before taking the plunge.

For makers, side printers and online entrepreneurs, the testing and tweaking never stops. According to a 2009 report from IBM, 98% of CEOs interviewed admitted that they were iterating and adapting their business models. If listed companies can experiment and tinker in real time, so can we.

“Even though my business is my biggest bustle right now, I’m still testing and tweaking. My advice [for aspiring entrepreneurs] would be to just start, because it will never be perfect.”

Barham also notes that being an entrepreneur has allowed for a degree of financial flexibility that allows her to be more at home with her family.

“Being an entrepreneur is the best decision I’ve made in my life, both personally and professionally. It has given me the freedom to work from home and be there for my autistic son.”

As the employment landscape continues to shift, more professionals are taking matters into their own hands when it comes to their financial future. Barham encourages it.

“Stop waiting and go for it.”

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