Check out the latest GRACED Podcast Episode 💖

If you dread tax season every year, this episode is for you! Hannah Cole is a tax expert for creatives and soul-centered entrepreneurs. We all have a money story and in this episode, Hannah dispels “being bad” with money and any negative beliefs that you might have when it comes to money. This episode combines the spiritual aspect of money, why we might not pay attention to it, and what we can look out for to better balance our books. Hannah also mentions that not everyone needs an accountant and common mistakes when bookkeeping. As artists, we want to focus on the creation process, but in this episode, we talk about the importance of approaching your finances like a ritual so that you are better prepared for tax season and can feel at peace with your finances. We also talk about money rituals that we both do in our own lives, which you can try at home too!

Watch Hannah’s free webinar “Understand Your Taxes and Make Money: The Ultimate Guide to the Hard Parts of Self-Employment”: ⁠⁠

Register for Money Bootcamp: – get $200 off the entire program with code GRACED

Leave a podcast review on this episode and receive access to an abundance meditation which can help you get through any money blocks you may have to attract more abundance! Listen to details in the “Endtro” section.

00:00 Introduction – Mysticscopes first video on the Mystic Mondays YouTube!

01:53 Interview begins

04:20 Money Stories and Accountants

08:22 Human Connection in Accounting

11:07 Measuring Success as an Artist1

13:55 Healing Money Stories

18:11 AD – Hannah’s Program – Money Bootcamp, get $200 off with code GRACED

20:35 Common Mistakes with Bookkeeping

24:21 Who needs an accountant?

26:30 Money Rituals

28:00 Money Dates

29:26 Money and Joy

30:31 Celebrating Money Wins

37:14 What’s Next for Hannah?

38:22 Money Wins and Challenges

38:58 Where you can find Hannah

48:28 Endtro – get access to an abundance meditation when you submit a podcast review!

Full Transcript:



Hello and welcome to the GRACED podcast, where we infuse everyday magic into your everyday life. First off, some news – my first Mysticscopes video launched on the Mystic Mondays Youtube so thank you to everyone who watched the video or listened to the podcast episode!

Today’s episode I have Hannah Cole, who is a tax expert for creatives. Now, what’s a tax person doing on your podcast, you may ask? Well, something that I’m passionate about is enhancing your everyday life through rituals and why not approach your bookkeeping and taxes like a ritual?

As a creative myself, Hannah’s work really spoke to me – so much so that when we met at a virtual workshop, immediately afterwards, I signed up for her program Money Bootcamp. At the time, I was feeling pretty lost and confused about my own finances and I was really glad to have this program to help me sort it all out. so that I could have a better understanding and ultimately feel like I was in more control over my finances, and not my finances in control of me. Not only that, but Hannah is also an artist, so while taking her program, it really spoke to my creative brain the way she simplified how to approach your taxes. Because let’s face it – you are not taught how to do this stuff in school! Which can make adulting hard and unnecessarily complex. And taxes can sneak up on you! Especially if you’re working for yourself, like I am.

We’ve all got our money stories and this episode gives the scoop on how to handle your finances as a soul-centric creative and solopreneurs, without selling your soul. 

Now let’s dive in!


01:53 Interview begins

Hannah Cole: Hey, Grace.

Grace Duong: Hey, Hannah. Thanks for hopping on the podcast.

Hannah Cole: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Grace Duong: Yeah, definitely. So I know as a creative entrepreneur, artist, multi-disciplinary being

Grace Duong: that I tend to be, sometimes I can get a little confused about how to approach taxes.

Grace Duong: And I know we met virtually in a workshop.

Grace Duong: And I remember you explaining what you do.

Grace Duong: And I was like “Oh my god, I need that!”

Grace Duong: So can you tell us what you do and how that has evolved from the first time I’ve met you?

Hannah Cole: Sure.

Hannah Cole: So I am the founder of Sunlight Tax. I’m an artist by training.

Hannah Cole: So I’ve been a professional painter for almost 20 years, including still.

Hannah Cole: And I basically have always felt very ill-served when it came to taxes and accounting.

Hannah Cole: I’ve had some really traumatic experiences sitting in rooms with accountants where they were like,

Hannah Cole: when are you going to get a real job?

Hannah Cole: And I was like a professor of painting. I was not exactly an amateur.

Hannah Cole: So I have just seen that people in the world who have their focus somewhere

Hannah Cole: deeply important to them, and often that means it’s not on money.

Hannah Cole: So whether you’re a creative person, whether you’re a spiritual person, a sort of soul-centric person,

Hannah Cole: I think that we can tend to get misaligned when it comes to our money,

Hannah Cole: because we have so many traumatic experiences like that,

Hannah Cole: that we start thinking of money as the bad thing.

Hannah Cole: Instead of associating it with the experiences we’ve had with money, which can be terrible.

Hannah Cole: And so I wanted to create a company that serves people like us, mission-driven, heart-centric people,

Hannah Cole: with tax and financial information so that they can set up really well and basically,

Hannah Cole: not get distracted and be able to have a bigger impact with their work.

Hannah Cole: So that’s what I do. And I run a program called Money Bootcamp,

Hannah Cole: which is sort of a self-study program to set up your bookkeeping taxes

Hannah Cole: and also your what I call FU money, which is your giant pile of money that

Hannah Cole: helps you be able to make the decisions you want to and have more power.

Hannah Cole: So yeah, that’s what I do.

04:20 Money Stories and Accountants

Grace Duong: That’s amazing and congratulations on being an artist for over 20 years.

Hannah Cole: Thank you, I appreciate that. It’s nice to hear that.

Grace Duong: That’s a big deal.

Grace Duong: Yeah, I feel like the value, if we’re talking about money,

Grace Duong: and the money stories that comes with being an artist,

Grace Duong: I know something I hear a lot is that artists don’t make money.

Grace Duong: And I think that can affect how we even approach our practice.

Hannah Cole: Yeah.

Grace Duong: And I suppose, what was your defining moment in wanting to learn more

Grace Duong: about taxes and how that can actually support your creativity?

Hannah Cole: I’ve had several. I mean, my first most really awful one was just

Hannah Cole: trying to hire my dad’s accountant when I got out of graduate school from my MFA program

Hannah Cole: and just like literally sitting in a room with him thinking I was gonna get, you know,

Hannah Cole: when you buy a professional tax return, when you go in for professional tax prep,

Hannah Cole: I think the mistake people make is they think they’re gonna get

Hannah Cole: more than a tax return and you don’t.

Hannah Cole: So I thought I was gonna get all my questions answered and figure out all this crazy stuff I didn’t know how to do like,

Hannah Cole: figure out estimated quarterly tax payments and you know which retirement,

Hannah Cole: you know the difference between a Roth and a Traditional 401(k)—

Hannah Cole: Sorry, a Roth and a Traditional IRA. I walked in there and he was like,

Hannah Cole: he had no interest or curiosity in me as a creative person I think

Hannah Cole: when I look back at with more mature eyes I see that he probably felt somewhat threatened by me

Hannah Cole: because you know an accountant is so different from like an artist, right?

Hannah Cole: They’ve made a very conservative life choice.

Hannah Cole: They’ve made life choices around numbers and stability

Hannah Cole: and you’re literally looking at someone who did the opposite.

Hannah Cole: So he was very judgmental towards me and just made me feel so small

Hannah Cole: and frankly intimidated the hell out of me because I didn’t know, you know?

Hannah Cole: I didn’t know what these terms were that he was throwing around.

Hannah Cole: I didn’t know difference between a Roth and a Traditional IRA or what ROI meant.

Hannah Cole: So I was too intimidated to ask any questions

Hannah Cole: and I didn’t get any of the value that I thought I should have

Hannah Cole: out of that appointment because it was so honestly scarring.

Hannah Cole: So yeah, it just made me want to do that better.

Grace Duong: Yeah, I mean totally.

Grace Duong: So that led you to learning taxes yourself and wanting to offer it

Grace Duong: to other people or were you doing it as a practice for yourself first?

Hannah Cole: I did it for myself first.

Hannah Cole: And there were many more years that went by.

Hannah Cole: Having a baby flipped the economics of my life on its head.

Hannah Cole: And so that was a big moment where I was like:

Hannah Cole: Oh, I don’t know if my life is working. If the economics work anymore here.

Hannah Cole: And then I had a job at a design agency in New York City for

Hannah Cole: a short time that was a really wonderful job and I loved it.

Hannah Cole: And a very crystallizing thing that happened there was that,

Hannah Cole: my boss, who himself was a creative person,

Hannah Cole: and similarly had kind of an allergy to his numbers,

Hannah Cole: probably very much because he’d had been mistreated as a creative person in those settings.

Hannah Cole: He didn’t know if he was profitable or not.

Hannah Cole: And this is something that a lot of businesses encounter.

Hannah Cole: They’re just like hustling for more work, but they don’t actually know what

Hannah Cole: the numbers are, like how much it costs them to do that work.

Hannah Cole: So one day, when he did finally get his bookkeeping together,

Hannah Cole: he realized he wasn’t making any money at all.

Hannah Cole: He was actually losing money and everyone, the company basically folded within the week.

Hannah Cole: So I lost my job because my boss didn’t do bookkeeping.

Hannah Cole: He didn’t know the answer to, am I profitable?

Hannah Cole: So that made me real. I was out of a job at that point.

Hannah Cole: That was the moment I went back to school for accounting because I was like:

Hannah Cole: Oh, what am I going to do now? So…

08:22 Human Connection in Accounting

Grace Duong: Yeah, yeah. I feel that everything in life prepares you for the next step.

Grace Duong: And these stories, whether they’re uplifting or they just turn you on to another path,

Grace Duong: led you to figure this out yourself because nobody, every tax accountant

Grace Duong: has a different way of approaching things, even if there’s a standard way of approaching numbers.

Grace Duong: But something you said before was,

Grace Duong: the dehumanization you felt in the presence of your dad’s accountant

Grace Duong: and how you didn’t feel seen and heard as a human being.

Grace Duong: And so I’m wondering how you bring that human connection into your practice?

Hannah Cole: Yeah, that’s a great que  stion.

Hannah Cole: I mean, I get crushes on my clients. I mean, not like a romantic crush,

Hannah Cole: but I like see the work that my clients are doing. And I’m like:

Hannah Cole: “Oh my god, it’s so cool.”

Hannah Cole: I stalk them on their websites and just see like I have people doing really amazing things.

Hannah Cole: And it’s a part of my mission of my business to make sure the clients know it.

Hannah Cole: You know, when I talk to somebody. The fact is, a lot of creative people,

Hannah Cole: a lot of your success may not be reflected in your numbers,

Hannah Cole: but it is reflected in other ways. And so I try to always see that.

Hannah Cole: You know, like if you’ve got this grant that’s really, really hard to get,

Hannah Cole: because I know that world, I will say like:

Hannah Cole: “Oh my gosh, congratulations on that grant. That must have been really hard.”

Hannah Cole: Or, you know, I just try to witness them where they are.

Hannah Cole: And it’s basically just being an artist together with them.

Hannah Cole: They’re not all artists, but like, you know, whatever!

Hannah Cole: I mean, with you, Grace, you’re doing amazing.

Hannah Cole: But like, I remember when you came in and you had just like,

Hannah Cole: you had all these different Tarot decks and you were getting all this business success,

Hannah Cole: I just wanted to let you know that I saw that.

Hannah Cole: I thought it was incredibly impressive.

Hannah Cole: So that feels like an important thing.

Grace Duong: You know, I remember that very clearly too,

Grace Duong: because I definitely, I felt confused myself.

Grace Duong: And I was like, it just felt very validating to hear that from you and like,

Grace Duong: seeing that you saw the numbers and things that I think

Grace Duong: I had an allergy to at the time as well, just like understanding where I stood.

11:07 Measuring Success as an Artist

Grace Duong: So just hearing that from somebody else, and I think having the standpoint

Grace Duong: of being an artist or being a creative and understanding the work that goes into being a creative

Grace Duong: because like you said, sometimes it’s not measured by

Grace Duong: monetary success necessarily, although that does tell a story.

 Grace Duong: I think it also stands to the courage it takes to choosing a different path,

Grace Duong: to choosing something that may challenge these ideas of stability and

Grace Duong: creating a different way of life or a different way of a foundation for yourself.

Hannah Cole: Yeah, I totally agree.

Hannah Cole: I mean, I think you said exactly what the problem is,

Hannah Cole: it’s like a lot of times when you’re really focused somewhere else.

Hannah Cole: Whether it is making the best Tarot deck you can,

Hannah Cole: whether it is connecting deeply with someone you are delivering some type of healing to,

Hannah Cole: whether it is a creative experience. When that is your biggest focus.

Hannah Cole: And in fact, when you’re so hyper focused on that,

Hannah Cole: that sometimes you g et a little unfocused on the money part.

Hannah Cole: That will reflect in your money. You know what I mean?

Hannah Cole: It will be visible on your balance sheet and your profit and loss statement.

Hannah Cole: And that’s okay. Like we don’t need to say that’s good or bad.

Hannah Cole: I’m not here to say it is good or bad, but I’m saying like it will show up.

Hannah Cole: It will appear. And so it’s kind of, I think a lot of accountants are

Hannah Cole: obviously, it’s their job to be oriented to the numbers.

Hannah Cole: So that’s what they’re looking at.

Hannah Cole: And they fail to see all the rest of the human sitting there in front of them, right?

Hannah Cole: So to me, having been personally judged in that way makes me very sensitive to that

Hannah Cole: and be like: “Wait a minute, you are a lot more than the numbers here.”

Hannah Cole: In fact, I’m recognizing that as you walk into this space,

Hannah Cole: I’m saying as though I have an office people walk into, it’s a virtual company,

Hannah Cole: but when you come into this space, I’m going to see all of you

Hannah Cole: or I’m going to see the part that, I recognize that you’re coming in with a lot of

Hannah Cole: fear about these numbers and actually part of what feels terrible to you

Hannah Cole: when you deal with your numbers is the fact that your focus really is somewhere else

Hannah Cole: and you haven’t put maybe the focus you might know that you need to here.

Hannah Cole: And I’m gonna help you get your focus there without feeling judged and without, you know.

Hannah Cole: Making it clear that this is not the only metric in the world that you have to be judged by.

Grace Duong: Absolutely. And there’s always room for improvement.

Hannah Cole: Of course.

Grace Duong: It’s not like these numbers can’t change, grow, or expand as you expand.

Grace Duong: And I tend to experience changes whenever I’m going through an internal change myself.

13:55 Healing Money Stories

Grace Duong: So, so much of what we attach to money is also attached to

Grace Duong: our childhood wounds, our traumas, what we’ve experienced

Grace Duong: generationally or what’s passed down from our lineage.

Hannah Cole: So true.

Grace Duong: and I think there’s a lot that goes into healing, healing money stories.

Grace Duong: And I’m wondering, how much of this spiritual healing have you

Grace Duong: done for yourself on your money stories, if any?

Hannah Cole: What a good question and not the thinker.

Hannah Cole: I mean, I have really sat with a lot of people and their pain around this stuff.

Hannah Cole: I mean, I really consider myself kind of a shepherd for this work.

Hannah Cole: And I feel like my role is witness, you know, like I,

Hannah Cole: I mean, I’ll just give you an example, because I think that every single individual,

Hannah Cole: no matter what gender identity, race, ethnicity, etc. we all have trauma around these things.

Hannah Cole: Like honestly, I see everyone has shame when it comes to their money, literally everyone.

Hannah Cole: People you wouldn’t assume had it, do have it.

Hannah Cole: But I have learned so much about, I’ve seen a lot of patterns, right?

Hannah Cole: So I do see that a lot of people socialized as women

Hannah Cole: are taught certain things about money and that it’s not for them.

Hannah Cole: It’s not a space that is okay for them or safe for them.

Hannah Cole: I see that pattern. I also see, I mean, I’ll give you an example.

Hannah Cole: I have this client who is a Native American and she said this thing to me that will never leave me.

Hannah Cole: She said, she owed a fair amount of tax when I was talking to her and she was like:

Hannah Cole: Hannah, you know, honestly, as a Native person,

Hannah Cole: I feel historic trauma around the US government taking things from me.

Hannah Cole: And it just like, that really hit me.

Hannah Cole: I mean, that’s not my experience in the world, but to hear that,

Hannah Cole: it just gave me the sensitivity to the various,

Hannah Cole: the lineages that people bring to their money. It can carry a lot of weight.

Grace Duong: Absolutely. 

Grace Duong:  And how does one heal from that?

Hannah Cole: I think I want to tell you I know the answer.

Hannah Cole: I’m not positive that I do.

Hannah Cole: I do think that the first step really is to forgive yourself.

Hannah Cole: I think a lot of us take mistakes we’ve made in the past and we make them tell a story that isn’t really true.

Hannah Cole: The fact is like everyone makes mistakes, especially with money.

Hannah Cole: There’s no one who doesn’t.

Hannah Cole: And yet some of us take those mistakes and they make it mean

Hannah Cole: that we are bad with money or like kind of permanently bad at this.

Hannah Cole: And if you think about that in the context of anything else in your life,

Hannah Cole: that’s a ridiculous thing, right?

Hannah Cole: Like you would never as a toddler fall down when you’re walking and be like:

Hannah Cole: “Oh, I guess walking is not for me. I’m bad with walking.”

Hannah Cole: That’s how you learn to walk, actually.

Hannah Cole: And in fact, experiencing pain and doing things wrong

Hannah Cole: and making mistakes is actually how you stop doing it.

Hannah Cole: The role of pain is to teach you not to do that thing.

Hannah Cole: So, and I stand here as a shining example of this.

Hannah Cole: At the moment, I’m an expert in tax and I have really locked down my finances.

Hannah Cole: I feel very proud of where I am with my money at this moment.

Hannah Cole: Who I was 20 years ago? I would have been the last person on Earth you thought would do this work.

Hannah Cole: I mean, literally my husband and all my accounting professors laughed at me when I started this path.

Hannah Cole: They were like: “You are going to teach people about money?”

Hannah Cole: And I was like: “Who better? Because I’ve made all the mistakes.”

Hannah Cole: Like, nobody’s gonna feel threatened by me.

Hannah Cole: And actually, I think that’s a good thing.

18:11 AD – Join the Money Bootcamp!

Ok so if you’ve ever felt like you’re quote on quote “bad with money”, this is a good pause to take because, like Hannah mentioned – is an absurd belief. But let’s face it! With the lack of education on how to properly take care of your finances, bookkeeping, accounting, and preparing yourself for tax season basically sets you up for failure in our Adulting lives. And if you have a feeling of dread every year come tax season, well I’ve got the thing for you. Hannah has a program called Money Bootcamp and if you use code GRACED, you get $200 off!

But first, I’d like you to see if you like Hannah’s teaching style and see for yourself by registering for her free webinar called “Understand Your Taxes and Make Money: The Ultimate Guide to the Hard Parts of Self-Employment”. After the one hour, free webinar, you have the option of going deeper into understanding your finances by enrolling in Money Bootcamp. From there, you can use code GRACED for $200 off the entire program. 

You can register for the free webinar at 

OR if you already know Money Bootcamp is for you and want to claim that $200 off the entire program, you can go to to register now.

Links will be in the show notes!

Now back to the show.

Grace Duong: Well, what I feel with you is I relate to you because you’re creative too.

Grace Duong: And so there’s a sense of trust versus if I was speaking to somebody who didn’t understand

Grace Duong: what I do and there might be that judgment or there might be just a misunderstanding.

Grace Duong: Because I think money is a sensitive topic to so many people.

Grace Duong: And I think most of the time, most of us do feel like we’re doing it wrong.

Hannah Cole: Yeah.

Grace Duong: And there’s no one really validating if you’re doing it right, you know?

Hannah Cole: Yeah.

Hannah Cole: Totally, totally.

20:35 Common Mistakes with Bookkeeping

Grace Duong: So what are some common mistakes, if any, that you’re seeing

Grace Duong: because you mentioned something along the lines of

Grace Duong: you’re able to tell when there’s confusion in the books.

Grace Duong: And what does that tend to look like?

Hannah Cole: Yeah.

Hannah Cole: Well, I think what happens—bookkeeping is basically built on financial accounting.

Hannah Cole: And when I went back to school for accounting,

Hannah Cole: I learned that there’s not just one kind of accounting,

Hannah Cole: that tax accounting is actually a little bit different from financial accounting,

Hannah Cole: the system that bookkeeping is based on.

Hannah Cole: And something that is just not clear to you if you don’t have formal training, right?

Hannah Cole: Nobody knows that who’s not an accountant.

Hannah Cole: And the fact is that the way that just a standard bookkeeping setup

Hannah Cole: doesn’t account for a lot of stuff that you need to account for when you do your taxes.

Hannah Cole: And so what happens is people, even when they’re really sincerely putting in a lot of effort and trying to do their best,

Hannah Cole: like documenting all their expenses, they end up having to recalculate stuff at tax time.

Hannah Cole: And I think it feels really yucky because you’re like:

Hannah Cole: “I thought I was being organized. Why do I have to redo my numbers

Hannah Cole: when I thought all year I was doing this right?”

Hannah Cole: Well, it’s not you. It’s because the bookkeeping system you’re using is not accounting for taxes.

Hannah Cole: And so there’s some stuff. It’s not a lot of stuff.

Hannah Cole: Like there is a tremendous overlap between financial accounting and tax accounting.

Hannah Cole: But there are some key areas where they don’t overlap.

Hannah Cole: And that’s basically, those are the areas that cause people stress and cause people confusion.

Hannah Cole: Because the IRS, in tax law, a lot of times you get to take the bigger

Hannah Cole: of two different, you can take one deduction, whichever one is bigger this way or this way.

Hannah Cole: And so the only way to know which one is bigger is to actually be tracking both.

Hannah Cole: And so if you set up your system, for example, where you track both all year long,

Hannah Cole: then at tax time, you just see the answer. You know which one is bigger.

Hannah Cole: But if you haven’t tracked it, way all year, you have to go back

Hannah Cole: and you have to recalculate it again with this other method.

Hannah Cole: And that’s one of those sources of stress for people, just for an example.

Hannah Cole: There’s also other areas in your bookkeeping where

Hannah Cole: you never track the things that go on your tax return.

Hannah Cole: So for example, like personal expenses,

Hannah Cole: there’s a lot of things that the tax law will allow you to take a little portion

Hannah Cole: of something that is mixed use between your business and your personal life.

Hannah Cole: For example, your phone, right? So I use my phone in my business

Hannah Cole: because I only have one cellphone and I don’t even have a landline.

Hannah Cole: So all my client calls are on my phone.

Hannah Cole: Well, I’m allowed to deduct a portion of that and that’s reasonable because I really do use it for business.

Hannah Cole: But I can’t deduct the whole thing.

Hannah Cole: So my bookkeeping doesn’t show my phone at all

Hannah Cole: because my phone is, most of it is a personal expense.

Hannah Cole: So there’s a little piece of it where at tax time

Hannah Cole: I pull out a piece and I put that on my taxes and it’s deductible.

Hannah Cole: So there are things like that also that are like not in your bookkeeping

Hannah Cole: that it’s easy to forget about at tax time and you have to be like:

Hannah Cole: “Oh wait, my phone, my internet, my home office, my car, like all these things.”

Hannah Cole: So there’s just little details like that that to me I have learned

Hannah Cole: cause a lot of confusion for people and if you don’t have an accountant

Hannah Cole: sort of full service taking care of that for you, which cost a ton of money,

Hannah Cole: then you just feel confused a lot about it. That’s what I see.

24:21 Who needs an accountant?

Grace Duong: Sure. So who needs an accountant?

Grace Duong: Like who would you recommend to have an accountant versus not having an accountant?

Hannah Cole: That’s such a good question.

Hannah Cole: I don’t think everybody needs an accountant.

Hannah Cole: I don’t even think you need necessarily somebody to do your taxes for you.

Hannah Cole: But there are times that it’s a good idea.

Hannah Cole: So generally, it’s good to get someone to help you with your taxes

Hannah Cole: in a year where you have a big financial change.

Hannah Cole: And that’s because you can’t use the tax return from the year before

Hannah Cole: to help you with this year when you’re doing something new.

Hannah Cole: And also there are places where you might not know the

Hannah Cole: tax law and it would be very helpful if you did.

Hannah Cole: So those are times that you should use an accountant, I think.

Hannah Cole: And what I mean when I say that is like,

Hannah Cole: if you buy or sell a business, if you’re buying a house,

Hannah Cole: if you’re getting married, actually the year that you get married,

Hannah Cole: I think is a good year to hire an accountant for your taxes because

Hannah Cole: that’s a huge financial shift for both people in the couple.

Hannah Cole: But I also think that most people, if they set up bookkeeping.

Hannah Cole: And for that, you don’t need a whole accountant.

Hannah Cole: You can hire a bookkeeper to set it up and then you can maintain the books yourself,

Hannah Cole: or you can set up your own bookkeeping.

Hannah Cole: You want to get some expert input when you do that because

Hannah Cole: setting up your bookkeeping wrong is an expensive mistake to make.

Hannah Cole: But if you have good books set up, you can maintain them yourself

Hannah Cole: and you don’t really need an accountant for that.

Hannah Cole: So that’s kind of the baseline of where I recommend.

Hannah Cole: I do think, once you have a larger company, if you’re making six figures or so,

Hannah Cole: at that point you might want to consider outsourcing

Hannah Cole: your bookkeeping to save yourself time as the CEO.

Hannah Cole: And also to get some higher level advisory, because at that point you might be considering

Hannah Cole: more complicated things like hiring someone, running payroll,

Hannah Cole: and those are good check-in points with an accountant, I think.

Hannah Cole: Yeah.

Grace Duong: Definitely.

26:30 Money Rituals

Grace Duong: So rituals, I think are really important for someone’s life.

Grace Duong: And would you consider bookkeeping a ritual that you do for yourself?

Grace Duong: And how often would you recommend bookkeeping as a ritual?

Grace Duong: Like weekly, monthly?

Hannah Cole: Oh!

Hannah Cole: I love that.

Hannah Cole: I love it. I love to think of it as a ritual. I think that’s great.

Hannah Cole: I think if depending on the size of your business,

Hannah Cole: if you don’t have a tremendous amount of transactions,

Hannah Cole: then I think a sort of minimum bookkeeping to be doing a good job is quarterly.

Hannah Cole: So if you do bookkeeping every quarter, that’s usually pretty good.

Hannah Cole: And that corresponds to the fact that businesses, small businesses,

Hannah Cole: If you’re making your income, if you’re making your living from your business,

Hannah Cole: then you will need to be paying quarterly taxes.

Hannah Cole: So doing your books every quarter is a good idea

Hannah Cole: because then you can estimate a quarterly tax payment.

Hannah Cole: So that’s why quarterly is a good minimum standard.

Hannah Cole: I like to light a candle, like play good music and clean my desk.

Hannah Cole: Like I really do like to kind of turn it into,

Hannah Cole: yeah, like a special moment, kind of a ritual

Hannah Cole: and think of it more as self-care than as a duty.

Hannah Cole: Because it just helps me.

Hannah Cole: And I like to associate it with something like I get a nice cup of tea

Grace Duong: I love that.

Hannah Cole: and just try to make it a pleasant atmosphere and I find that helps me quite a bit.

28:00 Money Dates

Grace Duong: Absolutely. Do you ever have money dates?

Hannah Cole: You know, I know that there are people who teach this.

Hannah Cole: The idea of money dates, I have not so much.

Hannah Cole: I do it a little more like a business meeting with myself, which is probably not very sexy,

Hannah Cole: but I will put it on my calendar like Money Monday,

Hannah Cole: and I’ll just like sit and just like look at my spreadsheets and make decisions about things.

Hannah Cole: I definitely, at this point in my business I do my accounting monthly

Hannah Cole: and so every month I look at my profit and loss statement.

Hannah Cole: And so that’s kind of my—at this point, that is my ritual.

Hannah Cole: Looking at my profit and loss statement, seeing how high my expenses are, if they’re still all worth it.

Hannah Cole: Things like that just seeing what I can see in my numbers.

Grace Duong: Totally. And I feel like what you’re describing is really similar to a money date.

Grace Duong: So it’s whatever relationship you want to have with your money.

Grace Duong: Whether it’s a business meeting or however you want to preference it.

Grace Duong: But I think what I’m hearing is through this business meeting,

Grace Duong: you’re removing some of the emotion from it that might appear

Grace Duong: maybe during a money date or something that might feel a little bit more personable.

29:26 Money and Joy

Grace Duong: So I’m wondering how, if you do,

Grace Duong: how important is it to remove emotion from your accounting and bookkeeping

Grace Duong: and how important is it to let your emotions fuel your money making decisions?

Hannah Cole: Wow. Such an interesting question. I mean.

Hannah Cole: In a way, I feel like I don’t want to say that you need to pull all the emotion out.

Hannah Cole: For me personally, based on my own experience with money,

Hannah Cole: my challenge has been to bring joy to my money.

Hannah Cole: So I want emotion. I just want it to be a positive one.

Hannah Cole: Like I have, as an artist for so lon g, I was living so close to the bone.

Hannah Cole: I mean, I was proud of the fact that I could live on like a $20 grocery bill every week for many years.

Hannah Cole: Until I had a baby and then that didn’t feel ethical anymore.

Hannah Cole: So I definitely sort of had like scarcity feeling was really big for me.

30:31 Celebrating Money Wins

Hannah Cole: So to me, when I make money or get a grant or something like that,

Hannah Cole: I actually find it really important for me to like celebrate a little bit,

Hannah Cole: like associate some joy with it instead of just being like:

Hannah Cole: “Well, this has to pay down debt only!” or “This can only go to my retirement account.”

Hannah Cole: I make myself buy some little pleasurable item.

Hannah Cole: Like not a vacation to Mexico necessarily every time,

Hannah Cole: but like a pair of earrings or a nice dinner out.

Hannah Cole: And so to me, having some positive emotion, like actually on purpose every time

Hannah Cole: doing something positive, and that includes actually how I do my bookkeeping or like

Hannah Cole: I light a candle, get a nice cup of tea.

Hannah Cole: Bringing that joy in feels very important to me.

Grace Duong: Absolutely. Especially if you are the vessel for making the money,

Grace Duong: the money is not necessarily separate from you

Grace Duong: and how you treat money is often a reflection of how you’re treating yourself.

Grace Duong: So in a lot of ways, when you’re treating yourself to that nicely lit

Grace Duong: candle or the nice cup of tea or the nice earrings, you know?

Grace Duong: You’re acknowledging yourself to be able to embrace the abundance that you’re naturally attracting.

Grace Duong: So I feel like the more we acknowledge that energy, the more that we’re able to receive it.

Grace Duong: And with this whole giving and receiving energy, it’s also about giving to yourself, right?

Grace Duong: And like being able to give yourself nice things,

Grace Duong: but also being able to receive the nice things that you’re giving to yourself.

Hannah Cole: So beautifully stated.

Hannah Cole: Yes, yeah, I think that is all so true.

Hannah Cole: And giving yourself a—when you make it a pattern,

Hannah Cole: training yourself that you can look forward to it,

Hannah Cole: that it will be a good thing. Yeah.

Grace Duong: Totally! And then it becomes a ritual.

Grace Duong: You know, the money ritual that you’re creating for yourself.

Hannah Cole: Yeah.

Hannah Cole: I like that.

Hannah Cole: I’m curious if you have any of these, Grace, yourself,

Hannah Cole: like when you’re handling your money, if you do anything to try and like

Hannah Cole: either make it joyful or pleasant or create a little ritual around it.

Hannah Cole: Do you have those things?

Grace Duong: You know, I’m really trying to embrace that a bit more.

Grace Duong: I also like to light candles and sometimes I’ll etch in my intention or a word

Grace Duong: that I’m working on, so maybe it could be abundance and I just etch it into the candle.

Grace Duong: I have started doing money dates for myself, so I’ll track my bank account,

Hannah Cole: Nice.

Grace Duong: I’ll look at my bank account and I’ll track the numbers and

Grace Duong: I put like a sexy little burning heart next to my money date tracker.

Hannah Cole: Nice.

Grace Duong: And I just, I try to actually be as neutral as possible

Grace Duong: whenever I view the numbers because whether,

Grace Duong: whatever it is, I don’t want it to affect my own sense of my self-worth.

Grace Duong: And I think this falls into like a lot of people who are working for themselves might feel a certain way

Grace Duong: about themselves because of how much their bank account might reflect.

Grace Duong: And so something that I’ll take myself out on this money date, but no matter what,

Grace Duong: I’ll just illuminate a feeling of lightness when I’m looking at my bank account

Grace Duong: And I think that’s important to remember because It’s a state of flux and permeability

Grace Duong: and that we have an opportunity to create change in our lives.

Grace Duong: And so if it’s something that we’re working on,

Grace Duong: I always just try to visualize what I want and how to attract that more into my life.

Grace Duong: Some other things that I’ve been doing is I’ll put like

Grace Duong: a wallpaper on my phone to remind myself of what I want to attract in.

Grace Duong: So that could be money. That could be other things.

Grace Duong: I also find that it’s helpful to a point that you said earlier that

Grace Duong: value is not always dependent on money.

Grace Duong: And to find that in other avenues.

Grace Duong: So it could be through how fulfilling your relationships are,

Grace Duong: or it could be through how you’re treating your body that day.

Grace Duong: You know, it really depends on what we qualify as worthy.

Hannah Cole: Yeah.

Hannah Cole: Yeah, totally, totally. I’m finding this honestly in my like entrepreneurship journey

Hannah Cole: that there are times that I find very difficult like to receive feedback.

Hannah Cole: For example, I can find that very difficult. I’m very sensitive.

Hannah Cole: I mean, I don’t know who’s not but I feel like I really want to do a good job.

Hannah Cole: And so I hate reading that, if I could have made my program better in this way or that way.

Hannah Cole: For example, I’ve had people write in that they wanted close captions because of

Hannah Cole: hearing impairment and I didn’t at the time—I do now,

Hannah Cole: but I didn’t at the time have closed captions I was like:

Hannah Cole: “Oh, I’m a terrible person. I didn’t think about that!”

Hannah Cole: You know, but I needed the feedback in order to be able to implement

Hannah Cole: this thing that is important I just couldn’t see—you can’t see everything.

Hannah Cole: So taking those things in with a little less of a sense of like

Hannah Cole: judgment about myself as a person and that I had failed people and more like,

Hannah Cole: oh, this is information and I can respond to it.

Hannah Cole: I find it challenging.

Grace Duong: And that reminds me of when we did our consultation and you were like:

Grace Duong: “Grace, you’re doing great!” and then I was like:

Grace Duong: “Whaaa—oh my god! That made my day”

Grace Duong: The whole thing is like, we can be so critical of ourselves.

Hannah Cole: Yeah.

Grace Duong: And we’re seeing it in a certain lens based on our own experiences and whatnot.

Grace Duong: But I think it’s important to try to step of that.

Grace Duong: And I think in that case, it does help to have an outside eye,

Hannah Cole: Yeah.

Grace Duong: to like help guide you if you’re not comfortable looking at it yourself yet.

Hannah Cole: Absolutely.

Hannah Cole: No, I know.

Hannah Cole: And also, you can’t read the label from inside the jar.

Hannah Cole: Sometimes you just need a different person to reflect to you what you’re doing well at,

Hannah Cole: you know, like you can’t always see it yourself.

37:14 What’s Next for Hannah?

Grace Duong: Right. So what’s next for you?

Hannah Cole: What is next for me?

Hannah Cole: Well, I’m sort of switching seasons a little bit.

Hannah Cole: We’re kind of in the moment right now of the actual tax deadline.

Hannah Cole: And so people are either just finishing, having done their taxes,

Hannah Cole: or they’re kind of feeling the feelings of: “Oh, maybe that didn’t go as well as I wished.”

Hannah Cole: So that’s kind of the headspace that I’m interacting with a lot,

Hannah Cole: trying to sort of talk to people about: “Well, If you if you’re interested,

Hannah Cole: if that feeling didn’t feel good, what would it feel like if that was better?”

Hannah Cole: And so just trying to sort of talk about my program a little bit

Hannah Cole: in that context of making next year better.

Hannah Cole: Setting things up so that it’s easier.

 Grace Duong: Yeah.

Hannah Cole: Yeah, that’s kind of my plan.

Hannah Cole: And I started a podcast a couple months ago.

Hannah Cole: And so I’m super, super excited to just be digging in on creating episodes there.

Hannah Cole: To talk about different money issues because it’s kind of my favorite thing to talk about.

38:22 Money Wins and Challenges

Grace Duong: I mean, money wins and challenges are so interesting

Grace Duong: because I think it speaks to much more than just money most of the time.

Grace Duong: It’s like there’s so many different layers to it.

Hannah Cole: Definitely, definitely.

Hannah Cole: I mean, my father’s always like: “I don’t understand how you can think of something to talk about every week.”

Hannah Cole: And I’m like: “I have endless ability to talk about money.”

Hannah Cole: Because when you’re talking about people about their money,

Hannah Cole: they will always bring new things to your attention.

Hannah Cole: So it’s delightful to me.

38:58 Where you can find Hannah

Grace Duong: So Hannah, where can people find you?

Hannah Cole: You can find everything at my website

Hannah Cole: So there’s the Sunlight Podcast is linked to there,

Hannah Cole: or you can find that on your Apple on iTunes, Spotify, etc.

Hannah Cole: And yeah, so just come to Sunlight Tax.

Hannah Cole: And also, if your listeners are interested in downloading a guide to their tax deductions,

Hannah Cole: I have a visual guide that is just a one page reference and it’s very colorful

Hannah Cole: and it’s really built for people who are oriented visually.

Hannah Cole: So you can just print it out, have it right above where you do your bookkeeping or your taxes,

Hannah Cole: and then just got it all where you need it, when you need it.

Hannah Cole: So that’s also available at my website,

Grace Duong: Perfect! Make sure to check those out.

Hannah Cole: Nice.

Grace Duong: So thank you, Hannah, so much for your time, knowledge, and compassion for

Grace Duong: I feel like the human connection within managing your money.

Grace Duong: I think that’s missing a lot from other, I would say, tax advisors and bookkeepers.

Grace Duong: There’s so much more that goes into managing your money

Grace Duong: because it’s very much about managing your lifestyle

Grace Duong: and our beliefs that go along with it.

Grace Duong: So thank you so much for being here today.

Hannah Cole: Such a pleasure. Thank you for having me Grace.

Hannah Cole: I’m so honored. It’s really nice to talk to you.

Grace Duong: Absolutely, same here.

Grace Duong: Alright, until next time.

Hannah Cole: Alright, bye!


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Alright friends! Sending you so much grace, today and everyday.