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August 23, 2023 50 mins

Does the nitty-gritty of financial management for your venture seem like an uphill battle? This episode with small business financial consultant and coach, Andy Smiles, will equip you with the tools and knowledge you need to set your independent business up for success, so you can focus on doing what you love!

We kick things off by getting up close and personal with Collective, an all-in-one financial platform tailored for the self-employed. It's not just about crunching numbers and balancing books, it’s about understanding the emotional relationship we have with money. Andy shares her own insight into how Collective has played a pivotal role in her journey, and how it can do the same for you.

We also shed light on different business structures, notably the differences between sole proprietorships, LLCs, and S Corps – because, let's face it, these are more than just fancy business jargon. Together, we decode the pros, cons, and tax implications, and Andy even drops some golden nuggets on when to elect to be taxed as an S Corp.

In the final part of our journey, we turn our focus to business expenses, particularly those that tend to slip under the radar. Andy underscores the importance of investing in yourself as a business expense, challenging existing notions around this concept. Lastly, we turn the spotlight on self-care and its vital role in managing a business. So, join us for an episode that delivers equal parts financial wisdom and self-care advice, and leave feeling more confident about managing your business and money. Remember, knowledge is power – and we're here to make sure you're well-armed.

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LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/indecollec

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Transcript

Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Jan (00:01):
Welcome everybody to another episode of the Modern
Independent.
As always, I am here as yourhost, yann Almasy, the head of
community here at IndieCollective, and today I am super
hyped to have one of our mostattended workshop presenters
here with me, andy Smiles, whois a small business financial

(00:21):
consultant and coach who teachesbusiness owners how to take
control of their finances sothey can step into their
personal power, and he is alsothe director of content at
Collective, one of our partnershere at Indie Collective.
She'll be learning aboutthroughout this entire episode,
so stay tuned for whatCollective actually does and how
they can help you.
She has helped hundreds ofself-employed folks organize and

(00:42):
understand their businessfinances, while also uncovering
their emotional relationshipwith their money.
She has also certifiedprofessional coach and earned
her coaching credential throughthe leadership that works
coaching for transformationprogram accredited by the
International CoachingFederation.
When she's not nerding outabout numbers, andy is walking
her Muppet Rescue Dog with herwife, devouring novels and

(01:05):
volunteering for causes that shebelieves in.
Andy, welcome to the ModernIndependent.

Andi (01:12):
Hi, thanks so much for having me.
I'm excited to be here.

Jan (01:15):
So I always love starting off just by diving into what
makes us passionate about whatwe do and how we kind of became
passionate about the things thatwe love.
So, before we dive into whatCollective is and how it started
, I'd love to know how youdevelop the passion for finance

(01:40):
and then also this relationshipbetween somebody's emotions, the
way that they are leaning intotheir business and the
relationship with money.

Andi (01:50):
Yeah, absolutely so.
As you mentioned in my intro, Iwas a small business financial
consulting coach.
I owned my own business for 11years and during that time I
worked primarily withsolopreneurs in the financial
space, coaching them, talkingwith them about their money.
And what was very interestingto me when I started doing

(02:12):
consulting was that a lot ofpeople came in originally with,
hey, I want to know how to do mybookkeeping or I want to
understand taxes more.
But when we would start talking, what I would discover is that
it was a lot more about theemotional side of money for them
than the tactical side, andI've always said that the two go
hand in hand.

(02:32):
You do need the tactical aswell.
You need the knowledge, needthe information.
I know we're going to get waymore deep into that today, but
you also need the emotional side.
You need to understand youremotional relationship with
money and dig that a little bitmore.
And one of my core beliefs hasalways been that all of us have
the capacity to be good withmoney when given the right tools

(02:54):
and knowledge.
And I saw this firsthandbecause I would start working
with somebody who'sself-employed, who'd come to our
first session crying becausethey're like.
I can't even imagine that Iwould get to the point where I
could look at a report with mynumbers and by the end they
would be messaging me like sixmonths later saying I love doing
my bookkeeping and QuickBooks.

(03:14):
So this core belief obviouslyextends past self-employed folks
.
Right, I think everyone hasthat capacity to be good with
money.
But I think and this is reallylike where the passion piece
comes in for self-employedpeople in particular, it's
really hard because so much ofyour business is you, there's so
much enmeshment between yourbusiness and the personal you,

(03:37):
and so what that means is thatyour money stuff surfaces a lot
when you run your own businessand that's the stuff that can
really hold you back.
You know there becomes anemotional burden.
That happens when you'recarrying that money baggage and
those negative beliefs aboutyourself.

(03:58):
So a lot of my work has alwaysbeen centered around this idea
of what if we talked about boththe emotional and the tactical,
and what if we really began toexplore our emotional
relationship with money andbring that into our business
life and our business selves,and how will that transform our
business?
And what I believe and whatI've seen is that when we are

(04:22):
addressing both pieces of thatrelationship with our money, the
tactical and the emotional,that we begin to show up to our
business more authentically andmore confidently and make
decisions that are really comingfrom a grounded place rather
than a reactive place, becauseyou're having a reaction that's
really deeply rooted in some ofyour emotional money baggage.

Jan (04:46):
I love that.
It's reminding me of a lot ofconversations that I've had so
prior to joining IndieCollective and prior to starting
Apex Communications Network,which is the organization that I
originally founded to gothrough Indie Collective with
obviously not for the purpose ofgoing through Indie Collective,
but that's my agency.
I was an RN and I spent a lotof time working inside of the

(05:10):
site space as well, and Iremember having conversations
with people around how importantit is to get clarity on not
just what the symptoms of makinga decision are, but what the
root causes that's causing thenervousness, the anxiousness,
all of these things that we lookat is oh, this is just me, I

(05:32):
have this relationship, this isjust how I am with this topic,
and it doesn't have to be thatyou can peel those things.
Those are just symptoms ofsomething deeper, and so I love
especially the way you ended itright there with you know why
can't it be both?
I always, I always, lovetelling perspective Indie
Collective members.

(05:52):
Some of the best things that ourpresenters do is they ask you
know, what if?
What if it could be both?
What if it could be a balanceof the emotional and the
tactical right and layer thosetogether and mesh those, which
actually leads me kind of intothe next place, because I think
that Collective actually does afantastic job of doing those

(06:13):
things and I, you know, forpurposes of everybody obviously.
I'm, you know, very familiarwith what Collective is and does
and a lot of our members usethe platform and have a lot of
success with it.
We get constant positivereviews.
But for somebody that might belistening, that that is a solo
founder or somebody that is inthat space, that has never heard

(06:34):
of the platform before, what isthis all in one platform for
the founders?

Andi (06:41):
Yeah.
So Collective is a financialplatform that is designed
specifically for solopreneurs or, as we lovingly call them,
businesses of one, and reallythe purpose of the platform is
to support these business ownerswith the not so glamorous tasks
of running their business.
So that's things like thecompany formation side, the

(07:02):
bookkeeping, accounting andtaxes really the tax and
financial side of running yourbusiness and in particular, at
Collective we specialize in acertain type of tax election
called the S corp, which canhelp self-employed people save
money on their taxes.
It's a great option for higherearners, but it is also very
complex and when you beintroduced that type of

(07:24):
complexity into your business asa self-employed person, there
can be a lot of additional tasksthat you have to take on.
So at Collective, our goal isto take all of that additional
task and work related to thefinancial side of running your
business off your plate andreally free up businesses of one

(07:45):
to put their best energy intotheir business.
We just talked a lot about theemotional side of running a
business, and these things arenot only draining from, like, a
time perspective right, it takestime away from working with
clients and making money butthey're also draining from an

(08:05):
emotional and mental perspective, and when you have that drain,
less of your best self goes intoyour business.

Jan (08:14):
I 100% agree with that.
We talk all the time about thepower of understanding your zone
of genius and really leaninginto that zone of genius and as
soon as you identify thatsomething is not within that
zone of genius or your passion,either figuring out a way to
minimize your involvement inthat, delegate it to somebody

(08:35):
that it is their passion ortheir zone of expertise in order
to free up space.
Because I think a lot of peoplewould be really surprised,
myself included, when I firstkind of started thinking about
moving things in this space.
You know, bookkeeping, thefinancial portion, tax,
elections, things of that naturehow much I like to.

(08:59):
I call it like backgroundbandwidth right, our brain is a
computer.
How much background bandwidthjust the tasks on a regular
basis that come with that takeup inside of your head.
And I've heard over and overagain from indie collective
members that have elected to usethe collective platform that

(09:19):
they get to a place two months,three months after and they're
like well, I have extra hours inmy life of free space and now
I'm using that for businessdevelopment or I'm using it for
relationships and networking, orI developed a new workshop and
you know, you don't know whatyou're missing out on
productivity wise until youundergo that process, and I

(09:40):
think that what your workshopinside of the curriculum and
what collective as a whole doesit makes it really easy to
understand a lot of prettycomplex things, because the way
that you're able to explain themjust hits home.

Andi (09:55):
Yeah, and I would say that this is also an antidote to
some of what we were talkingabout earlier about not feeling
like you're good with money.
I've met a lot of people whodon't feel like they're good
enough at this type of stuff toreally run a business, and it
keeps them from owning the factthat they are like running a
full on business and reallygoing all in.
And there is this antidote ofoutsourcing it, because when you

(10:18):
outsource, you're still takingcare of yourself and you're
still taking care of yourbusiness.
It's very easy to feel like youneed to DIY everything in your
business and do it all yourselfas a solo right.
You're newer, but outsourcingis a form of care for your
business and it's a form of, Iwould say, really owning that

(10:41):
you're committed to the businessbecause you're willing to give
up some tasks so you can focuson growing this beyond where you
are currently.

Jan (10:53):
Agreed, Agreed.
So now I'm curious.
We kind of got why is Andypassionate about finances and
the emotional relationshipbetween money, and we kind of
understand what Collective does.
So where did those two thingsmeet?
Where did your passion for whatyou do meet what Collective
does?
And you kind of stepped intothis space where you're now one

(11:15):
of their greatest advocates asthe director of content.

Andi (11:19):
Yeah.
So I think one of the thingsthat makes Collective really
unique in this space technologyand services for self-employed
folks is that our co-founderswere all self-employed at one
point and they've all felt thepain of self-employment.
So what has happened is youbring together a group of people
who are really passionate aboutthe self-employed community,

(11:39):
really believe in theself-employed economy and also
understand the pain of beingself-employed.
So Collective really startedoriginally with a deep respect
for all of those factors and adesire to contribute something
to bolster the success of theself-employed community.

(12:02):
So, in terms of how I gotinvolved, I was already working
in that space and they reachedout to me for some consulting
services and, I'll be completelyhonest, I thought it was kind
of odd and wasn't fully.
I wasn't fully sold on the ideaand the reason for that was
because I felt very protectiveabout self-employed finances.

(12:26):
Felt protective about it in thesense of do I want to help a
company?
I didn't know enough about themat that point and are they
really here to solve problemsfor the self-employed community
or are they here to profit?
Because I didn't want to beinvolved with something that
wasn't about truly workingtowards bettering the

(12:46):
self-employed community.
So it was kind of funny thefirst time I met with the
co-founders and these were veryearly days and we sat down and
started talking and I was veryguarded and they were also
guarded because they were havingthe same, I guess, level of
scrutiny towards me as I was tothem.
I was looking at them are youreally committed to this

(13:09):
community?
And they were looking at melike, are you really committed
to bringing the real voice ofthis community into our work
together?
And it was a little awkward atfirst because you have two
guarded groups trying to susseach other out.
But essentially what I realizedand where my background and

(13:32):
collective came together, wasthat we both shared a common
passion, a common goal, a commonrespect for the self-employed
community, and I think it was.
You know, both as me and theco-founders, we all deeply,
truly love this community andbelieve in this community and
that's why I began working withthem, because I recognized that

(13:53):
and I recognized that theywanted as much in me as I wanted
it in them.

Jan (14:00):
I love that.
I can't think of them moreappropriate approach to stepping
into that space Because, likeyou said, you come into a
conversation like that where twopeople are guarded, they're
trying to suss each other out,you figure out what the
intentions are and everythinglike that.
But I'm sure that theirreaction to your I'll say I

(14:26):
don't even call it guardednessright, like your healthy respect
for needing to understand whattheir intentions were, is a
really key indicator to somebodythat is actually passionate
about the space or knows whatthey're looking for inside of
the space, not just trying tojump on whatever startup train
is looking to move the fastestinside of an industry.

(14:47):
And I feel that every time youpresent I know that our members
feel that every time that youpresent to us, because you have
been there you understand whatthe pain points are and you're
able to convey things in a waythat I know personally.
When I first went through it, Iwent to nursing school, right,
like I had no idea what I wasgetting into when I first

(15:08):
started the company and so wemade our first six figures as an
agency and I was like, okay,what do I do with my hands?
I'm like this is real.
Now it's happening.
Holy crap, I don't know what todo.
I was not trained for this.
I can figure out how to titratemedications in an ICU like no
other, but when it comes tofinances and understanding

(15:31):
things, I had no backgroundright.
So I was coming into my firstindie collective cohort with no
even ability to even come upwith a metaphor to help
understand things, and Iremember the first time
attending your session, the waythat you were able to piece
things together.
I'm just like, oh okay, thatmakes a lot of sense.
Which kind of leads me to whereI wanna kind of take the

(15:52):
conversation next, which is kindof building for people, like a
series of questions and somethings that we talk about inside
of that, so they can kind ofget an idea of an education on
some of these topics.
And I guess the first placethat I would want to dive into
is what are the typically likethe types of businesses of one

(16:16):
that you run into?
What are they doing, whatindustries are they in, what are
they involved with?
And then we can kind of diveinto what is the typical
structure that you encounterwhen those people initially come
to collective in the firstplace.

Andi (16:32):
Yeah, so at collective we work with a wide range of
businesses of one, but the onesthat we see the most are coaches
and consultants, sales andmarketing professionals,
creative professionals likephotographers, videographers,
designers.
We also have a good group ofsoftware engineers and web
developers, and then alsocontent creators, because

(16:53):
content creation is that's awouldn't even say a budding
industry.
It's a thriving industry now,and we also work with real
estate agents in certain states,which it's a long list, but it
also shows the power of theself-employed movement, of how
many different types ofprofessions exist in this
movement.

Jan (17:14):
Yeah, and one thing that just strikes me is you lay all
of those out and it kind oftakes me back to what you were
saying earlier on inside of theintroductions, each one of those
positions, each one of thoseroles.
When you are a business of oneinside of any of those spaces
coach, consultant, marketingprofessional, brand strategist,

(17:34):
web developer I mean you areputting so much of you on the
line with your business as amarketing and branding
professional inside of thatspace.
I know, when I'm preparing adeck and a customer pays me to
come in and say here's my dream,here's what I'm working with
funding-wise, here's where Iwanna go.
I am going to pay you to comeup with a strategy to figure out

(17:57):
how to put all of this togetherand give me the timeline where
I wanna execute.
It's a lot of my personal, myresearch, my personal
interpretation of data.
It's me, and so putting thatout on the line is intense.
It's an intense experience thefirst couple of times you do it
and I think you have a healthyrespect for it as you continue

(18:20):
to do it over time and havingthe ability to like focus all of
your emotional energy on thatportion without having to worry
about how is the backend of allof this actually going to
function properly, so that I'mnot shooting myself in the foot
is huge inside of those spaces,because you are so emotionally

(18:42):
invested as that business of one, especially in those verticals
that you just laid out.

Andi (18:48):
Yeah, exactly, and I think , like one of the, being
self-employed is really scary.
It's a scary risk to takebecause it's all on you, but the
flip side to that is thelimitless potential of being
self-employed.
There's no ceiling of how muchyou can earn.
You can go and take yourbusiness anywhere.
Right, and that's the reallyexciting part.

(19:10):
And going back to what you'resaying, when you have a platform
or tools that allow you toreally invest in that limitless
potential side ofself-employment and not the
drudgery of, like, bookkeepingand filing paperwork, it gives
you more of that freedom, thatliberation, that sense of oh, I

(19:34):
could do anything and take thisanywhere.
You have more time to sink intothat 100%.

Jan (19:44):
So if those are the main verticals, I know what I
consistently hear inside ofIndie Collective.
I call them office hours.
I actually think about renamingthem because I don't
technically like what officehours is, but these half hour
coaching sessions that I hostwith are cohort members
throughout the year A lot oftimes.

(20:04):
There are two main categoriesof business structure that I
hear of.
It will get to S-Corp at someway, but the two main ones that
I hear about early on are soleproprietorships and LLCs.
So for those that are maybethinking about starting the
business and they haven't quitegotten there yet or they have

(20:26):
one of those structures, what iskind of the compare and
contrast or the pro con betweenthose two structures?
And then we can maybe expandthat and we could start to dive
into S-Corp after we set thesefoundations.

Andi (20:39):
Yeah.
So the first thing to knowabout a sole proprietorship is
that it's not something that youchoose to become.
You by default, when you haveself-employment earnings, become
a sole proprietor.
So if anyone's listening todayand they're thinking, wait, what
am I?
I'm not quite sure I'm hearingthese terms for the first time.
If you were earning money as aself-employed person, you are a

(21:03):
sole proprietor.
So that is one of the maindifferences between a sole
proprietorship and an LLC,because an LLC does require that
you file paperwork andbasically register your business
as a separate entity with thestate.
The other key difference betweena sole proprietorship and an
LLC is that when you are a soleproprietor, under the eyes of

(21:24):
the law, you and your businessare considered one.
That means that all of yourbusiness assets and all of your
personal assets are Consideredone in the same.
And we're talking about theeyes of the law, because this
can get a little bit confusingIf you're somebody who's like no
, I have all my business assetsin a different bank account, so
it's separate, right?
Yes, the money is separated,but we're talking about the way

(21:48):
it's considered and viewedlegally.
So when you are a soleproprietorship, there is no
legal separation between yourbusiness and your personal
assets, which means that thereis some risk to your personal
assets if your business is sued.
Now an LLC is something that wecall a legal structure or a
legal entity and, as I mentionedbefore, in order to become an

(22:12):
LLC or form an LLC, you need togo to your state and Formally
organize or register yourbusiness as a separate entity
from yourself, and the benefitof doing this is that when you
have an LLC, it createsliability protection between
your business assets and yourpersonal assets.
So we're once as a soleproprietor, everything is

(22:34):
considered one.
As an LLC, there is separationthat exists, which means that in
most cases, if your business issued, your personal assets are
going to be protected fromlawsuits or creditors.
Now there is a key call out herethat I want to mention, because
this is something that isconfusing to people.
One of the things that does notchange between a sole

(22:57):
proprietorship and an LLC is thetax structure.
By default, an LLC is taxed thesame way as a sole
proprietorship, and this is veryconfusing to folks.
I've heard a lot of people sayoh, I formed an LLC, my taxes
are going to be different.
Your tax structure will notchange.
The only thing that changeswhen you are an LLC is that you

(23:18):
have tax flexibility, whichmeans you can ask to be taxed
differently than the way thatyou are taxed by default.
A sole proprietor can't do that, so you do get a little bit of
Get more options as an LLC, butthere is no automatic difference
between your sole proprietorand an LLC taxation.

Jan (23:39):
Right, yeah, it's, it's all in the options that you choose
and you have to, you know, kindof elect those on your own.
That's one thing that I learnedkind of the hard way early on,
you know, because UnfortunatelyI didn't have a collective when
I was first, you know, launchingapex and and if I hadn't met
Sam, yet I hadn't met anycollective, hadn't met this

(23:59):
platform whatsoever, and so Ididn't realize that there was no
automatic transfer.
And you know, learning thingsabout Pass through income
directly to the owner and otherthings of that nature can be a
little bit harrowing when yourfirst kind of getting stuff

(24:20):
launched into that space.
So I mean, I think that all ofthat information is Super, super
helpful.
And if you're listening to thisand you're you're thinking, man
, you know, I Maybe need toreevaluate some things, or I
assumed some things and this iskind of bringing me a little bit
of light to the conversation.
You can straight just go tocollectivecom.

(24:42):
That is the the URL, and thereis an FAQ section there.
That is amazing.
They have so many, you know,questions and answers and things
of that nature that you cancontinue to dive into on that
space as well.
I Am curious now.
So so the next layer up rightand and you kind of said this in

(25:04):
the beginning that collectivespecializes in this escort
election and Well, hopefully,and hopefully I'm phrasing that
right is that it is an election,right.
So what is what is an S corp?
And how is that different Then,an LLC, is it?

(25:24):
You know what is that phraseelection actually mean?
And I'll just, you know, stepback, because this is definitely
not my zone of genius.
I will surrender that to you.

Andi (25:34):
Yeah.
So, as I just mentioned, an LLCis what we call a legal
structure and an S corp is a taxstructure.
So that's a key differencethere.
The other thing to know is thatan S corp is you have to ask to
be taxed as an S corp, so itdoesn't happen automatically.
So we just talked about the LLCversus sole proprietorship, and

(25:57):
one of the things we mentionedis that you get tax flexibility,
that is, the option to ask theIRS to change the way you're
taxed.
So we always say the words oh,it's an S corp, I'm an escort, I
want to become an escort, butreally, if we were being
Technical about it, it is, myLLC is taxed as an escort.

(26:19):
So when it comes to LLCs and Scorps or other legal structures
because LLCs are not the onlystructure that's allowed to be
taxed as an escort we just tendto specialize in them because
they're the most appropriate formost of the types of business
owners we work with.
But what we're really talkingabout here is not an either or
situation.
It is an LLC or escort.

(26:39):
It is LLC taxed as a soleproprietorship or LLC taxed as
an escort.
So it's important to keep inmind, especially for those of
you who are listening, who wouldlike to Consider becoming an
escort, that you don't give upyour LLC.
Your LLC and I always say yourLLC is the foundation of your

(27:02):
business structure.
If you're thinking aboutbuilding a house, a tax house,
anytime you build a house youhave to have a foundation.
The LLC is that foundation andthen the tax house that you
build on top of that Is theescort.
So you must have the foundationfirst in order to have the
escort or to build the escorttax house on top of it.

Jan (27:24):
I love that and that was one of those main realizations
for me speaking of, you know,the first time that I attended
one of the sessions is that theLLC and the S corp are part of
the same pairing.
Right, they are paired together.
It is two separate things.
The LLC protects you in someways and the S corp is an

(27:45):
election of how you are taxedwithin that structure, and that
was something that just it wasso fundamentally cool to
actually understand that here isthis divider.
The LLC helps me separate mypersonal and my business assets
so that, if something were tohappen, I'm not getting sued and
losing my home, right Like mypersonal assets are now

(28:06):
separated from my business.
Oh, okay, cool.
There's this other layer thatnow I can actually have even
more flexibility in the waysthat I choose to pay myself and
things of that nature.
That is this election on top ofthe LLC.
So, with that in mind, what aresome of the main, the main

(28:33):
benefits of that S corp taxelection?
Or how do you go aboutnavigating, educating a business
owner on?
Okay, you are saying that youwant to become an S corp.
When is that actually the righttime?
Because I know in the marketingspace.
There's plenty of times wherecustomers come and they ask us.
They're like I need this.

(28:53):
And it's like, well, you mayactually need this before you
need this, or why do you believethat you need that?
So what are some of thosecommon things when people come
and they say, well, I heard thatan S corp is the way to go.
Why is that the way to go?
What type of flexibility doesit give you?
And, yeah, what are some ofthose main benefits of taking

(29:15):
your LLC in that direction?

Andi (29:18):
Yeah.
So the main benefit of an Scorp is that, depending on how
much money you're earning inprofit, it can mitigate your
taxes, your self employed taxbill, which, as anyone who's
self employed knows, can be verypainful.
And the way that that works isthat typically, when you are

(29:39):
taxed as a sole proprietorremember an LLC a single member
LLC by default is taxed the sameway as well.
You pay two types of taxes onyour business profits.
Your business profits passthrough to your personal tax
return and then you pay incometax and self employment tax on
those profits.
So let's say that you earn$100,000 in profit in your

(30:03):
business.
That's going to pass through toyour personal tax return and
then you're paying both of thosetaxes together on that pass
through profit.
Self employment tax is 15.3%.
It's paying into your socialsecurity and Medicare, so it
does help you a bit, like we.
Self employment tax isn't, youknow, inherently bad, but it can
be expensive.

(30:23):
So with an S corp tax structure, what happens is that you, the
owner of the business, youbecome an employee of the
business.
So when you have an S corp, theS corp entity, the business
entity, is employing you, theowner, and as the owner, you are

(30:45):
required to be paid what'scalled a reasonable compensation
.
In other words, you're going toget a salary from your business
and what's cool about thesalary is one it's tax
deductible expense of thebusiness.
So you get to write off yourown salary.
And two, only your salary inthe S corp tax structure are

(31:05):
subject to social security andMedicare taxes.
So that 15.3% so just to remindeverybody, sole proprietor
taxation, all the profits yougot to pay those social security
and Medicare taxes on S corptaxation, just the owner salary
that you pay yourself is subjectto those profits.

(31:27):
Then for subject to those taxes, subject to the social security
and the Medicare taxes, the Scorp profits still pass through
to you and your owner tax return, but you are only paying income
tax on those profits plus theW2 wages that you receive.
So the TLDR of it all is thatyou have less money that is

(31:50):
subject to social security andMedicare taxes.
You just end up paying less taxbecause there's less money that
is required to be taxed withthat 15.3%.
And that is why people like Scorps, because after a certain
income level it can save youquite a bit of money on your

(32:11):
taxes if it's a good fit for youand your business.
So in the terms of you knowbecause probably people
listening right now that arelike this sounds great, I want
to do this like no selfemployment tax on my self
employment tax on my profits,like I'm in.
So who is this really good for?
The guideline we use here atCollective is anyone who is

(32:33):
earning $60,000 in annualself-employment profit.
So remember, profit is revenue,the money that you earn from
selling your goods and service,minus expenses.
So that's what profit is.
So it's not all just the moneyyou make pre-expense.
We want to focus on the profit.
If you are earning more than$60,000 in self-employment

(32:57):
profits per year, you do want tostart considering the S-Corp
election and digging a littlebit deeper into if it's right
for you.
So the next question people askis why is it $60,000?
S-corp's are inherently morecomplex.
I mentioned this a bit earlier.
They have more complexaccounting and bookkeeping
requirements.
They have more complex taxrequirements.

(33:18):
You also now have to be doingpayroll, which is a whole new
area of your business if you'renot doing that.
So there are times that theS-Corp tax savings don't
outweigh the additional costeither financial or time cost to
you that you're going to incur.
So what we have found here atCollective because we specialize

(33:40):
in S-Corp is that at the$60,000 mark, that is where
those tax savings becomesignificant enough that the
additional complexity, theadditional cost, is outweighed
by the tax savings.
Another thing you want to keepin mind about the S-Corp tax
election is are you committed toyour business for the long call
?
Because if you are thinkingabout being self-employed for

(34:04):
like six months and then you'regoing to go find a W-2, it's not
worth making the investment inthis tax election Because,
remember, there's all this newcomplexity you're going to need
to set up.
So it's best for folks who arereally committed to
self-employment for theforeseeable future.

Jan (34:23):
I love the frisology that you're using there and really I
mean, I just I love a lot ofyour frisology across, all the
different ways that you kind oftie these complex financial
topics together.
And if you're listening to this, I can promise you that this is
really just the tip of theiceberg of some things that we
dive into inside of the cohort,and you have Andy for Q&A after

(34:48):
the session and stuff like that.
This is a really powerfulworkshop every single year and
if I'm capable of digestingthese, I can promise that you
will also be.
As I said, I had zeroexperience in this prior to
coming into these spaces.
But calling it an investment,right, you are investing in a

(35:08):
structure that is going to serveyou in the foreseeable future,
especially once you reach thatcertain level.
And so one of the other areas Iknow that we kind of we
mentioned that it's 60,000 inprofit, right, and there's that
difference between revenue theoverall revenue of the business

(35:31):
and the profit that you haveafter expenses and things of
that nature to kind of driftaway from the S-Corp structure
just a little bit and more intojust general business practices
and things of that nature.
As far as expenses go, I feellike when you are in that LLC
headspace.
I remember having conversationswith my accountant where it's

(35:53):
just like expenses as much asyou can, here's some expenses,
here's some expenses.
We need to get this down andthere was always this constant
battle of like can we really dothis or what is this?
What are some of these places?
So, as far as some expenses goinside of your business, are
there any ones that just rightoff of the top of the head, that
, and it may even seem extremelyrudimentary because of your

(36:14):
experience in the field, but forpeople that are listening, what
are some of those most commonexpenses that people might look
into or be awakened to as far aslike, oh, I could be expensing
that through my business?

Andi (36:28):
Yeah.
So I think the ones that arecommon.
There's the sort of typicalones like advertising.
I think those are the easy onesto wrap your head around.
You're like, yes, advertising,yes, bank fees.
Maybe I charge people creditcard the merchant processing
fees.
Those are the really standardones.
The ones that tend to getmissed are the ones that are a

(36:51):
little bit harder to wrap yourhead around.
So, for example, educationexpenses Are you taking
workshops to better yourbusiness?
Right, like, arguably, theindie collective membership if
that is a professional.

Jan (37:06):
I was just about to say that I have not thought about
that at all.

Andi (37:12):
Because that has a business impact and the way the
IRS defines business expensesand tax deductions is necessary
and ordinary expense.
And necessary does not mean ithas to be necessary, as in
without this expense I cannotrun my business.
Necessary means it needs to bebeneficial to the business and
tied to your business activities, of course, like you do need to

(37:32):
have it tied back to what youdo.
So people often misseducational expenses.
That's a big one that peopledon't realize they can write off
.
And then another one thatpeople often miss are the ones
that are split between personaland business.
For example, if you don't havea dedicated cell phone for your
business and you're using yourpersonal cell phone for your

(37:53):
business, you can write off apercentage of that, the
percentage that goes towardsyour business, same with your
home internet.
So those are the ones thatpeople don't tend to think about
as much.
That usually are like.
The shockers of it all and Iwill say one more that people
often are scared to write off isbusiness travel.

(38:14):
You know, if someone'straveling down to a conference
or, let's say, in a collectivedid like a live event with
panels and things like that,that again has a business impact
.
It has a beneficial andbusiness impact.
The cost of the event, thetravel, the lodging, you know if
you ended up running a car, allof those would be business
expenses.
But I find that people tend tobe kind of scared and skittish

(38:36):
around travel expenses as well.

Jan (38:39):
Yeah, I love that.
I mean A.
This isn't going to be a videobased show, but if you, if you
all, could have seen my facewhen I had that the light bulb
moment just now, that IndieCollective is a right offable
right offable, that's definitelya word.
Now, expense, it makes completesense, right, like taking it
back full circle to thebeginning of the conversation as

(39:00):
a business of one, as a soloproducer.
You know, founder, whatever youwant to call yourself an
independent, they're sointimately tied to each other.
And I think so often and wetalk about this in the designing
your life section of the cohort, there at the very beginning

(39:21):
that we so many times overlookwhat's good for our business
versus what's good for us.
And one of the things that wealways bring up is you know, you
really want to build a businessaround what we call the three
L's.
Right, you're not just making aliving, but also having that
living create the space for youto have the lifestyle that you
are looking to have and createthe time for you to spend in

(39:45):
developing the lovingrelationships in your life.
And because that, you know, itoverlaps so much when you think
of business development, whenyou are a business of one.
That means that when you doself care, you're doing business
development.
When you do education, you'redoing business development.

(40:07):
All of these things that you doto take care of you, to educate
yourself, to network, tofurther your space are all tied
back to your business as abusiness of one.
So I absolutely love that andyou know, if you're listening
100%, take that in and say I ammy business, investing in me is

(40:30):
worth it.
And now you know it is a rightoff the ball expense.
I love that, so I am.
I we're getting close towrapping up our time here and
there's two different thingsthat I always love to do at the
end of these podcasts, and oneis just, you know, allowing you

(40:51):
the freedom in the space that ifthere's anything that you would
want to pass on to a newbusiness owner, somebody that's
just kind of starting out andsay you know, if there's one or
two things that I wouldabsolutely love for you to hear,
these are them right.
And then the other space is Ialways like to provide resources
and I'm also fascinated withthe things that people look at

(41:14):
and I always ask are you areader, a watcher or a listener?
And depending on which of thosethree you tend to engage with
most.
Could you recommend a greatbook, and it doesn't have to be,
you know, self-help or businessrelated, it's just you know it
could.
Could you recommend a book, apodcast or a YouTube channel
that you thoroughly enjoy andbelieve that people would find

(41:35):
interesting?

Andi (41:37):
Oh, put me on the spot there.
So I'll start with the keytakeaways, because I have to
think about the second question.
You know, the key takeaway isreally what we began with, which
, if you are a business owner nomatter how long you've been in
business, you know I really wanteverybody to embody the idea

(41:58):
that they can be good with money.
And that can mean a lot ofdifferent things.
If you're DIYing it right nowand you think, oh my gosh, I'm
doing everything wrong, you knowtrusting yourself a little bit
more.
If you're to the point whereyou are ready to outsource and
you're scared about what thatmight mean for your business,
you know allowing yourself to dothat and looking at that as a
form of financial self-care foryour business as well.

(42:21):
But in whatever spectrum you'reat right now, just giving
yourself a little bit morebelief and a little bit more
trust that you really can do it.
And I have seen it likefirsthand seen it.
So this is why I'm saying thatI know that you can do it.

Jan (42:38):
I love that.
I will echo that as well.
And I just was looking at my.
I keep like a tracking sheet ofall of the interviews and the
different coaching sessions andthings that I've had to engage
in as the head of community, andI just recently went over 100
coaching sessions individual 30minute coaching sessions with

(43:01):
Indie, collective, cohortnumbers and I would say 100%
double click on that.
If there's one thing that Ithink consistently shows up is
we have this somewhat of adisconnect.
I mean you can look at yourresume, you can look at a piece
of paper and see all of theskills that you have and the way
that your business is growing.
And I've met people that theirbusiness is growing by, you know

(43:23):
, 100 plus percent, six monthover six month interval, and
they still are having troublebelieving that they're a
business owner.
And I'm like how, how is this?
How is this happening?
And a lot of that comes backdown to more of that self belief
and really leaning into that alittle bit more.

(43:45):
So I can't double click on thatenough.
If you're listening to this andand you are resonating with
that and needed to hear it, it'sokay.
You know, we can all kind ofget into our heads at some point
along the journey and most ofus multiple times along the
journey of self employment,because it is difficult and

(44:06):
scary and all of the things thatwe talked about but also to
Andy's point can be limitlessand can provide you so many
different opportunities to go,to travel to places, to do
things, to meet amazing people,and I'm just super, super
grateful that you were able tocome in and hang out and explain
things in that way.

Andi (44:27):
Yeah, so glad.
And now to switch gears, I didthink about the second question,
so I'm going to completelyswitch it up.
This is just if you.
I am more of a listener.
I listen to a lot of podcastsand this is my podcast when I'm
like I just need some levity,some joy some don't take it all

(44:51):
so seriously just to laugh, justto get out of whatever I'm in.
It's a podcast called NormalGossip and it is essentially
stories about regular peoplethat are sort of wild and take
some twists and turns and it'svery funny If you like to hear

(45:12):
about things that happen topeople, but it's fun, it's low
stakes, nothing bad happens,it's all fun gossip, people that
you don't know.
It's all anonymized, highlyrecommended.
It is just a space.
When I put in the headphonesand listen for an hour, I'm
laughing nonstop and giving methat mental break to just enjoy

(45:33):
something silly.

Jan (45:35):
I, yeah, I absolutely love that and that's why I always
love asking that question,because there's so many times
where and why I always put thequalifier on it that it doesn't
have to be self-help or businessrelated, right, because it's.
I've gotten true crime podcastepisodes.
I've gotten, you know, gamingstreamer YouTube channels.

(45:57):
I've gotten fantasy books andthis is just another podcast and
to what we were just talkingabout, it's important to have
those spaces for yourself and tobe able to step away and, you
know, take a, take a breather,laugh a little bit, get some
endorphins running and have agood time and remind yourself

(46:18):
that you know, no matter how badof a day, you could be happy
having a lot of times.
There's nothing a good bellylaugh can't fix.
I 100% agree with that.
Well, so to wrap up our timehere, I mean, this hour is
absolutely flown by.
I'm super, super grateful forthe information that you're able
to provide today.
I always learned something.

(46:39):
I'm sure that everybodylistening is also going to have
a lot of takeaways.
If those people listening wantto continue to learn more or
connect with you, where are someof the best places to do that
online?

Andi (46:54):
Yeah, as you mentioned earlier Collectivecom, we also
have a very robust blogs andguide section of our website
with tons of wonderful articlesabout being self-employed,
making some of these decisions,about S-Corps, but even things
about different types ofbusiness structures.
You might be hearing aboutthings you may have heard on
TikTok.
We have a lot of articlesaddressing those, so it's a

(47:17):
great resource.
And we also have a YouTubechannel.
Just look up Collectivecom onYouTube, where we also have
videos that are very shortthey're all under four minutes
that do deep dives into certaintopics and again, if you felt
like how I explain things made alot of sense to you.
This is really our content.
Philosophy is ensuring thateverything that we put out there

(47:40):
is digestible for people.

Jan (47:43):
I love that and if you're also listening to this and as I
was talking about earlier in thepodcast, this is really just
the tip of the iceberg of thethings that we address inside of
the Indie Collective cohort.
Andy's session is alwayssandwiched by sales and other
structures and other ways to tryto grow your business inside of
the curriculum and you wouldlike to actually attend Andy's

(48:07):
workshop while in the cohort orthe curriculum?
Shoot me an email at Jan lookslike Jan, Jan at Indie
Collective that's I N D Ecollectiveio to get some more
information about the IndieCollective cohort, or you can
visit our website at IndieCollectiveco.
Until next time.

(48:27):
This has been another episodeof the modern independent Andy.
Thank you again for hanging outand I can't wait to record the
next episode.
I will see the listeners on thenext show.
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