Most entrepreneurs have problems with money because they aren’t open enough with their financial planners. Financial planning is very important as an entrepreneur, especially if you want to make a dent in the world. Trust your financial advisors because they know what is best for you and your business. If you’re struggling with taxes or generating wealth, it’s time to make a plan.
Join Susie Carder as she talks to the CEO and founder of X2 Wealth Planning, Hannah Chapman. Discover Hannah’s journey into financial planning and why she helps entrepreneurs build wealth. Learn how to follow your financial plan so that you can scale your business. Start focusing on your wealth strategy today.
I am excited to share with you my friend, Hannah Chapman. She is the CEO and Founder of X2 Wealth Planning, where she empowers visionary entrepreneurs to stop worrying about money, take charge of their income, and build their business and financial legacy with ease and joy. Please welcome to the show, Hannah.
Hannah, thank you so much for joining us. I am excited. Your industry has a bad rap. I’m going to be honest. I remember meeting with a planner. I said, “What’s your net worth? What’s your strategy? How much do you have in your portfolio?” She got mad at me. I’m like, “Isn’t this your job? Shouldn’t you be able to tell me?” She would not tell me, so I did not use her. What I love is that you help entrepreneur women live their dreams. Tell me who you serve and what you are most passionate about. What’s your niche? What’s your strategy? Tell me about that.
Thank you for having me on. This is such an important conversation to have because of exactly what you said. My poor industry has such a bad rap because there is so much not listening going on from the advisor’s side of the table. When I step in to work with my clients, that’s the thing that’s different. I work with entrepreneurs.
The way I like to describe them the most is that they are visionary entrepreneurs that want to make a dent in the universe. They are here to change something, and every single one of them is a little bit different. When I can help these visionary entrepreneurs build wealth more quickly, efficiently, and with joy and ease, they turn around and spread that so much farther because they have this piece of them that they want to pour out of.
I will give you an example because this illustrates the point perfectly. I have a client, a DEI consultant, and such a beautiful human. She works to take research in universities like scientific research and make that a safe space for women and people of color. She’s doing beautiful work in the world. When we did her financial plan to see how she could build her wealth, when we got to the part where she could see what it was going to look like down the road, she told me how much she wanted to help. She wanted to create this generational wealth for her family and create a space in the world where she could help other children and help lift up other people of color.
I had goosebumps. When my clients see what they are doing and when we make those adjustments to how they are working in their business and building their wealth, they are little adjustments, truly. When you expand them over time, it turns into millions upon millions of dollars. When you have someone who sees those millions of dollars and says, “I can create. I can build the foundation. I can create that housing for the homeless. I can feed so many children,” my heart explodes open. It’s like, “Let’s do it. Let’s create that. You already are but you are going to do even more.”
I started helping women a little more selfishly because I was on a cachet in Italy journal writing. I wanted to travel with my girlfriend. My next thing was, “I need girlfriends that need money,” so I’m like, “Women make their own money.” I love that we are the girl gang together and we can make this fun. When I was young, I wanted to find someone like you. I’m a little more seasoned than you. There weren’t a lot of women in that industry.
I found Suzanne LaTour, who is a straight shooter with me. She’s like, “You got to stop spending your money. You don’t need another pair of shoes.” I would’ve never taken that from a man. She was like, “You don’t need another pair of shoes. You don’t need another bag. I want you to put that money away. Let’s watch that grow.” It was that tough love of telling me as it is, whereas if a man told me that, I would have been insulted. I would be like, “How dare you? Call me on my crap,” which I love.
You make a point. Even still, 18% to 20% are women in the financial advice industry. We are still a very small percentage. During COVID, I heard something around 30% or so of women stepped back from the financial advisory space. We shrunk from COVID because of all of the pressures that we live day-to-day, all of us who are women entrepreneurs. We are still primary caregivers, primary school facilitators, and all of the things that we had to be during COVID.
[bctt tweet=”18% to 20% of the financial advice industry is women. And during COVID, around 30% of them stepped back because of all the pressure.” via=”no”]
How did you get into financial planning? It’s interesting. My daughter is in that field. It’s not financial planning. She’s an equity investor. That’s because mom was like, “Where’s the money?” If I learned anything, let’s follow the money.
What’s interesting is that when I was little, I was obsessed with counting money. We had those 5-gallon jugs and would fill them full of coins. I was probably 6 or 7. I would dump the whole thing out and spend a whole weekend rolling coins and counting money. I was slightly obsessed. I thought it would be so much fun to work at a bank. That would be my dream job. You get banker’s hours. You get special days off. You get to count people’s money. Seven-year-old Hannah thought that would be great.
Fast forward, I graduated from college with a Flute Performance degree. I had all this creative energy. The math side of my brain was still, like, “I’m still loving counting money.” I started working at a local bank. That was it. That was my first full-time job out of college. I loved working with the business owners that would come in, and we would talk. They bring their drops, and we count their money. We do all their deposits, and they tell us how their business is going. I loved it.
From there, it was a leap from banking to financial services or the financial planning side because my husband got into grad school in a different part of the country. I was like, “We are going to go. He’s going to go to grad school. I will work and get another job at a bank.” I applied at twenty different banks, and no one would even call me back. While I was in college, I was a Flute Performance major. What I really did was built a flute studio. I taught private flute lessons. I built the largest flute studio in the city outside of the college campus. I did that.
You have that entrepreneurial spirit and the love of counting money.
I love counting money. I built a business. I applied to work at a big broker-dealer. I was like, “Maybe I could do this job instead and be a financial advisor.” They hired me immediately because of my banking and studio-building experience. It was interesting. I was like, “Look at what that did.” I got fully licensed in Series 7, Series 66, and all the stuff that you have to do to be in financial services. I did not make it through my first twelve weeks. It was a terrifying experience.
Why was it terrifying?
It was the hardest thing I ever did in my whole life. I will be fully honest. Moving across the country and being in a fully new city. I had to get five clients to stay in that role for twelve weeks. I busted my butt so hard.
It’s entrepreneurship. Clients are being handed to you. They are like, “That is awesome. You got to get five or you can’t get paid.”
There was a whole lot of sales PTSD from that time in my life. I didn’t end up with enough clients to keep moving forward. That was one of my first entrepreneurial failures. It felt like a big one. I was crushed.
You were letting yourself down. You were letting your husband down. You were supposed to be the breadwinner while he went to school. There was so much pressure.
It was a lot. I was so driven. I was fully licensed. I was like, “Something has to work out here.” I got picked up as a paraplanner for a large practice in the area. That turned into my professional home for the next thirteen years. It was the blessing in disguise that I needed because instead of building from scratch and working with whoever I could get at the very beginning, I started doing financial planning for executives at Procter & Gamble from the get-go.
I got to cut my teeth on all of these super complicated situations. They were these people who had stock options and restricted stock units, business owners who had thriving businesses, teachers, firefighters, and lawyers. I had a huge array of experience from working there, doing comprehensive financial planning work. Before I ever stepped into a client meeting of my own where I was the advisor, I had a decade of experience.
Not just doing the planning but what’s hilarious is when someone else does all of your financial planning, I was doing all the work and handing it to the advisors who were presenting it to their clients. They would call me and would be like, “Hannah, I don’t know how to present this. What does this mean? Can you call the client and tell them what this means?” I was also getting all that practice from these big financial concepts and turning them into what this client can understand. I was doing that in writing, talking it through with clients, and building relationships before I was ever even an advisor.
I got bored. I got tired. I started when I was 23. In my early 30s, I was like, “I’m pretty bored of passing my work along.” I would normally get 7% to 10% raises every year because I kicked butts. I was a rock star employee. In one year, I got a 5% raise. They were like, “It is not because we didn’t want to give you the bigger raise but you are hitting the ceiling of what we want to pay for your position.” I was like, “That’s not where we stop. This is not where Hannah stops.” That was the next push to be like, “What’s next? Where do I go from here?”
Why entrepreneurs versus the bigger companies like Procter & Gambles, the city or your environment? We are tough nuts. We are a little resistant. We are like, “I invest in myself. I got this bill to pay.” Why entrepreneurs?
It is for many reasons. First of all, my parents were entrepreneurs. It was not just my parents but my aunts, uncles, grandparents on both sides, and brothers. My entire family is self-employed. For most of my life, especially growing up, I thought they were too stubborn and couldn’t get along with others. I’m like, “That does not play well with others. That is why you can’t be an employee.” I thought maybe it was a character flaw.
There is some truth to that, though.
There’s a whole spectrum. I didn’t realize that was my tie. When I started working with business owners at my old firm, I was noticing that the other advisors would be like, “How much money are you taking from your business? How much are you making? We will plan from that.” We would create this whole financial plan based on what income they were taking from their business. When anything went wrong in the business, immediately, they were like, “We can’t do that. Also, we are going to take everything out because we have to fix this.”
When I would come into the situation and start to dig into why and what’s going wrong, it’s always an issue, we are putting this wall up, “I’m going to tell you what’s over here, so you can plan for it and I’m not going to tell you what’s going on on this side.” When I came in and was able to get them to soften, open up, and tell me what was going on when we can look at the business and how it relates suddenly things change. They are able to make different choices.
It is a lot of what you do as well. It is teaching people how to create a profitable business. Once you can create a profitable business, then you can get the profit out and build your wealth. If all you are doing is just looking at that side, then you are not building the relationship so that the entrepreneur trusts that you have their best interest in mind all the time.
We are not a particularly trusting bunch. There’s a lot. Everyone wants to sell to us. That’s what it feels like. Someone always wants something from you. To be in the seat that says, “We are here. I am here on your team to build your business with you. That is how you succeed,” suddenly, we are able to have the conversations that they can understand how to.
They usually give you a budget. “I’ve got this much that I’m going to allocate to that.” It’s like, “Is that right? Should we be doing something else?” You are an anomaly. You are a unicorn. I want to say that out loud. You want to understand the piece. That’s the man I worked with. There’s the whole piece, and it’s like, “Don’t take more money. Let’s put in an executive bonus plan. You don’t need more money. You’ve got plenty of money. Let’s do other things with it to grow that money systemically.” He was educating me. When I first started working with him, I had to open my eyes wide like that was going to make me understand more. He would talk and I’m like, “I don’t know what you mean.”
When you grow up with entrepreneurs, you know how to take complicated issues and simplify them. Financial wealth strategy can be complicated. It doesn’t have to be hard. It has to be strategic. We have to get it as entrepreneurs. There’s so much emotion that goes into it. Let’s talk about that because you work on that as well with the emotional, financial ties, and decision-making processes. How do you help us? I’m saying us because I still have it, too. It’s like, “Security, I want it liquid.”
That’s the crux. That’s where the breakdown happens for most people. You can create the most beautiful financial plan. I can give you all of these recommendations. “Here are the charts. Look at how they go up. That’s what you want. That’s so nice. Here are the five recommendations. Save this much to this account.” You can write all of that out.
If you don’t work with that entrepreneur to figure out how they make decisions and what emotional roadblocks are going to come up along the way, they will never be able to implement that plan. They will start to implement it, and when a fire starts, they will pull it right back out. I know because I have experienced it with my clients for so many years. It took me a while to figure that out because our process was that you meet with people once every six months.
You are the first to go, which to me, is bizarre. Even now, I will go, “I need to put that on hold because I don’t know what’s happening.” It is like when COVID hit, “Stop everything. I don’t know what’s happening.” I then had to make up for when I stopped everything to go, “I got to make up for this because this is the plan,” which is crazy making for myself. He told me that but I’m like, “I need that security.” It’s about understanding, especially for entrepreneurs, because we don’t know. We know what we don’t know. It’s that unpredictable predictability, if you will, inside of that. What are the things we should be doing as entrepreneurs? What are your musts when you go, “When I work as an entrepreneur, to build your wealth, you must.”
For me, we start with two things. The very first piece that most of my clients come to me for is because they are on the back foot with taxes. They are constantly freaked out about what their tax bill is going to be. This is seriously almost every single client I have. They used everything they had to pay their Tax Bill in 2021, and they are scrambling. They extended all the way to October 2022 so that they could pay that last Tax Bill, and they have to scramble for 2023. They can’t ever seem to get out of the loop to where they are on the front side and prepared.
Two pieces that go with that, from my perspective, are creating a system for your income where you are consistently saving towards your taxes. You are funding it throughout the year. You get on the front side. A lot of times, that first year we work together is getting on the front side, and then we can implement the system of whatever the percentage is. It could be 8%, 10% or 15%, whatever is right for that person that we are going to shave off every single time you get paid. We are going to shave it off and put it away. That is not your savings account. That is a tax account.
[bctt tweet=”Create a system for your income where you’re consistently saving towards your taxes.” via=”no”]
There are lots of different ways. That’s not a recommendation for anyone in particular. There are lots of ways to handle taxes for a solopreneur who has a few hundred thousand dollars of revenue up to $1 million of revenue. A lot of times, that’s the first step. We carve it off systematically. The second piece is creating the business cash reserve. This is the place where you create your own inner safety in your business.
If something happens, if COVID happens again, if you get an illness that takes you out for a while or if you have some overnight competitor come, things change. If you have to pivot your business, that business cash reserve will give you a buffer of time. It gives you time to pivot your business to figure out your next step so that you can move from a place of power and decision rather than from reaction.
When I started with my clients, we would take it in stages. “What are the regular expenses that you would have to pay to keep your business going? Let’s get it up to 3 months, 6 months, and then 9 months.” That doesn’t mean you are going to have millions of dollars sitting in cash but it does mean we are going to have a war chest set aside in some way, shape or form that you can get so that you have that safety while you are still funding your business or still growing. We figure out how you do all of those things at the same time.
It doesn’t have to be hard because we are entrepreneurs. What I love is that I write my own paycheck. When I don’t have a paycheck is because I didn’t write it. That means I got distracted by the non-essential things that are bringing me revenue. What you are saying is what I have been using in my business for years. It works for my peace of mind. When COVID hit, even though I freaked out, I didn’t have to freak out. That was a human response of, “What’s happening? How long is this going to last?” We did not intend it to last this long.
I have not been in the tax situation because I learned early on. Pay them first, pay yourself, and pay the taxes. Make sure you do that first. Let’s shift a little bit. You talked about what your biggest failure was. Is there any other one that’s been a big life lesson around building your wealth that you like to go back and go, “I should have, could have, and would have?”
There are two pieces to that. It hurts like hell when you are going through it. When you look back on it, it couldn’t have been any other way. The first big failure was not getting to stay as an advisor in my first twelve weeks and having to move to a support role. The second big failure for me was when I became a client-facing advisor. I was supposed to take over and be the successor for an advisor who is in his 70s. He was supposed to retire. We all know these people. They will not retire. It gets to be too easy. It is easy when you put it on the cycle but then, those clients aren’t getting what they need.
I was an advisor. I was getting new clients in the door. I was also supposed to be receiving clients from this other advisor. I didn’t have any clarity about when I would be able to buy my book of business. I didn’t have any clarity about when I would be able to start growing and benefiting from the work that I was doing. I was being paid $75,000 or so. The book that I was working on was bringing in $500,000 or $600,000 of revenue. I started saying, “What’s going on? I’m working so hard. I feel like I’m not benefiting from it.” I started asking these questions and ultimately started to feel resentful.
That turned into the partners and the team thinking that I was not going to be successful in this role and telling me so to my face. I knew that wasn’t right. I’m like, “I am good at this job. I am good at what I do. It’s just not here.” There were a lot of tears. That dream that I had cultivated of helping build that business, being part of this team, and making $500,000 a year there, that was like, “I can do that. It’s going to be so great. I get to be surrounded by these people.” That was a big vision.
I thought I needed their support but because of my first experience, I was scared. At the same time, knowing that they did not believe in me the way that I believed in myself, my higher self was like, “This is not your place. This is not where you grow.” Honestly, it felt like a failure. It ripped me apart until I was broken down enough to realize, “This is it. I have to shift.”
[bctt tweet=”If your people don’t believe in you the way you believe in yourself, that is not the place where you should grow.” via=”no”]
We call that the cosmic boot. The universe smacks you upside the head and goes, “That’s not it.” You can only have a pity party for so long because you got to get back to work. There’s a time limit. You are like, “My pity party is over. I got to pull up my big girl panties. Let me do it.”
I was going. I was still trying to build through this whole time. I was running and listening to Dare to Lead by Brené Brown. I have listened to this book probably five times but there was this moment in that book where I can see myself running, and I broke down into tears. There’s a section in the book that talks about how there are two kinds of people. People believe that everyone is doing the best that they can, and there are people that don’t.
Those that believe that everyone is doing the best that they can are happier, more fulfilled, and successful on the whole. I was mad at that point. I was like, “They are not doing the best that they can. They are not listening to me. They are not taking me seriously. They are not all of this. I am a victim.” When I heard it again that time, I broke down into tears because I realized they were doing the best that they can, and I didn’t fit there.
That’s where you talk about lighting up your desire and the gap and navigating between the two, correct?
You are still young. You are not ready to retire.
That will be a long time.
What’s your biggest wealth strategy for yourself and your family?
My biggest wealth strategy is building my business. I am in that place myself were building my revenue is my wealth strategy. There is a lot. I do it, too. I’m putting the money back into the business. I pay myself. I pay my taxes. I put money in my profit account, and we are saving a little bit of what we can for retirement but a lot of it is going back into the business.
I’m on track for $250,000 of revenue this 2022 in my one business. I opened another arm of my business for coaching and consulting that will be a fully different revenue stream and building recurring revenue. That’s one of the gifts of what I do. The way that I do it is that I can build this recurring revenue stream that’s every single month. That is a beautiful gift.
I am in the building phase myself, and I love it. I’m also excited for my own ability to make those big retirement deposits and be like, “We’ve got the executive comp in place. We can make those big transfers each year. I can pay my employees abundantly, do big profit sharing, do profit sharing contributions, and things like that.” I’m right there with you every which way.
She walks her talk. That’s awesome. You should pay the taxes. My first wealth strategy is my business. My business spends off cash. It is the cash that I can invest in real estate, other businesses, my community, my family, and myself. It’s a smart strategy. You are not going to get rich on a W-2 income. You are not going to build your wealth. Could you be comfortable? Sure. Could you have some measly Social Security? Sure. As an entrepreneur, we pay into that anyway. We will get that anyway as an entrepreneur but let’s plan bigger. That’s my goal.
How do we play bigger? How do we plan bigger? How do we find people that talk our language? If you hear the language that Hannah’s talking about, looking from a multicultural community, a spiritual base philosophy, and putting her family first to taking risks and walking the talk, that all speaks loudly. That stuff that you weren’t even saying that you were saying speaks loudly of your character and who you are.
How can we play with you? How can people find you and help themselves to figure out their own gap? We are entrepreneurs. It doesn’t matter how old we are. It’s never too late to start. It’s never too late to get back on that horse. Whatever economic challenges we’ve had in the past, we’ve all had them to get back on the horse and find the right coach and advisor. It takes a group of people to help you build your wealth. How do we find you? What can you share with us? How do we schedule time with you if they want to hit you up?
I have two different ways to help people. One is in my container of being an entrepreneurial wealth coach and financial advisor together. That is where we build that comprehensive plan that’s for you, and then we walk through it together. You can go to my website X2WealthPlanning.com. There’s a contact link right there. You can email me. You can sign up.
I have a beautiful PDF that I love that I have my clients do. I call it my Light Up Your Desires journaling prompts. My clients do this when they come in because I want to know what they want. We must know what you desire first before we can ever point our wealth-building in that direction. The journaling prompts are free. I send them out. You get to play around with what it is you want for all these different areas of your life.
The new side of my business is called Expansive CEO. It’s ExpansiveCEO.com. Through that arm of my business, I’m doing a mastermind community that I’m so excited about. It’s a live interactive workshop where we go through the pieces of discovering what you want and aligning your money, time, and energy towards what you want. What happens when you expand? What crap is going to break when you start expanding? What do you need to watch out for? What are you already experiencing as you expand that you can figure out how to fix and hold that expansion? It’s called the Art of Having It All Workshop. Those pieces will be available on my website.
Hannah, thank you for your time. Thank you for who you are. Thank you for being a powerful woman in the world, leading the charge, and making the way. We appreciate what you do. We look forward to playing again.
Thank you, Susie.
Hannah Chapman is the CEO and founder of X-squared Wealth Planning, where she empowers visionary entrepreneurs to stop worrying about money, take charge of their income, and build their business and their financial legacy with joy and ease!