Welcome to Wear Wag Repeat Podcast Episode 9: Jenny Karlsson of Financials for Creatives is talking to us about money! Dog treats don’t grow on trees, so how can you create a budget for your business and your dog? Learn how you can use tarot to tap into your financial personality… and get some professional tips on the best way to capture your dog’s personality in photos.
Listen to the Episode
Jenny Karlsson, founder of Financials for Creatives, teaches creative business owners step-by-step how to increase their net worth. Before she became a financial coach she photographed pets and their people for the past six years, and took the leap to self-employment three years ago. Equipped with an MBA in Finance and 10 years of experience as a Research Specialist at University of Pittsburgh, she figured out exactly what it would take to make the jump to pursue a very niche business. Once she made the transition and experienced the ups and downs of being a small business owner 24/7, she founded Financials for Creatives to help heart-centered creative women entrepreneurs implement simple strategies to stay out of debt, pay themselves, and run a profitable business that is aligned with their goals.
Tori: How did you get started with your pet photography business?
Jenny: I was pursuing my MBA part time while working at Pitt and needed a creative outlet. So I picked up a DSLR and started photographing in my spare time. I came across a dog photographer in Seattle and my mind was blown! I had never considered that dog photography could be a career. The next day I told my supervisor at work that I had found my dream job! Now I’ve been doing it for about 6 years.
Tori: Tell us about your experience photographing adoptable dogs.
Jenny: A good photo is everything, so capturing their personality makes a huge difference in someone seeing an adoptable pet. We would take the dogs outside to get a nice background. It was the perfect way to take them for a walk, and get a great photo. That’s actually how I met my own dog, Alice. She was one of the adoptable dogs where I volunteered with my husband. We got her outside and she was so gentle, and so different from the other dogs. I drove home that day and my husband and I talked about what it would be like to have a big dog. We adopted her a few days later!
Tori: How did you decide to take the leap from a full time job to being a pet photographer?
Jenny: It was definitely calculated. I set up a budget to figure out how we could save more while knowing that my income wouldn’t be as consistent. I knew about the cyclicality of being a photographer and entrepreneur, so I knew that I had to build up a following first so I would feel comfortable making the change.
Tori: What is the best piece of financial advice you can give to other creative entrepreneurs?
Jenny: It’s always important to look at the money that’s coming in and going out. You have to be on top of that. Then see how much money you can set aside to give yourself a little cushion. You don’t necessarily have to make a big jump to start your business, you can build it up gradually while working your day job.
Tori: How do you budget for owning a dog?
Jenny: You can’t just make a “pet” category. The more you break it up, the better you can save for all your pet related expenses over time. For example, if you’re taking a trip in 6 months and know you’ll need boarding or grooming you can plan ahead and save up so you’re prepared. If your dog has their annual vet appointment at the same time each year, you have 12 months to save for it. Of course, for the fun stuff like toys and treats, if you actually put money aside, it shows what you value in life. Our dogs are our family so being able to buy them fun toys and treats feels good.
Tori: I know that you incorporate tarot and oracle cards in your coaching sessions. How does that look like and how has it impacted your approach to your work?
Jenny: Finance can be a very black and white subject, especially if you just look at setting up systems. But there’s such an intangible aspect if you take into account our mindset and the spiritual side. Tarot and oracle cards open up another side of how we think about money. It gives my clients questions to ponder on. I love to use an animal spirit deck of cards that show the elements like earth, air, water fire and a magical element. Each animal in the deck has a different spirit which can help you think of those qualities and how you embody them in your life. For example, if you are the spider, that’s someone who builds their web and works hard to build their wealth.
Tori: Have you ever read your dog Alice’s tarot?
Jenny: No, but I will have to try that!
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