Money Mindset : Using Your Business to Bring Ease to Your Life with Erinn Bridgman
Wealthy women will change the world. This is the mission of today’s guest, money management and mindset coach Erinn Bridgman. Are you ready to change the world? Are you ready to reach your personal and professional money goals? If not, what’s holding you back? It’s likely your mindset around money.
In today’s episode, I’m chatting with Erinn about the importance of a positive money mindset and bringing that energy not only into the growth of your business but into your personal life as well.
Erinn shares five reasons that people avoid “money stuff” as well as five financial goals that will help you manifest the life you’ve always dreamed of. She also talks about the importance of listening to your intuition, putting financial self-sabotage in your past, and how manifestation brings about abundance. You’ll be inspired to take charge over your mindset and bring wealth into all facets of your life.
What’s in this episode:
- Erinn shares what she thinks are biggest money mindset blocks for photographers [03:28]
- The importance of having positive money energy in your personal life as well [06:39]
- How to shift your mindset to believe that creating art can be profitable [ 08:38]
- Money is a form of energy and the energy that you are giving to your clients is valuable [10:21]
- Why it can be helpful to slow down and listen to your intuition to make sure you’re on the path you want to be on [11:42]
- Erinn’s 5 reasons that people avoid numbers and acknowledging which category you fall into [13:42]
- How having a solid understanding of what your money can do for you can help overcome financial self-sabotage [18:45]
- How one of Erinn’s clients was able to retire her husband with her business growth and money mindset success [24:50]
- How one of Erinn’s clients manifested her family’s dream home [25:55]
- The five financial goals you need to identify and prioritize [28:13]
- How Erinn and her husband’s real estate business is a long-term investment strategy [32:12]
- Learning how to work smarter and not harder in your business [38:20]
- How manifestation can bring abundance into your life [39:34]
- Erinn’s advice for someone just starting out as an entrepreneur [45:22]
If you’re ready to shift your money mindset and reach your financial goals, tune into this episode.
Meet Erinn Bridgman
As a money management and mindset coach, Erinn Bridgman empowers female entrepreneurs to design a business that is not just ‘profitable,’ but actually grows their personal wealth. Born with an entrepreneurial spirit, Erinn cut her chops by scaling her photography business to over six figures in under two years, affording her the capital to begin funding the real estate empire she and her husband now run.
Ever passionate about supporting women as they uncover their own potential and earning power, Erinn supports female business owners to not just ‘scale their business’ but to use it as a means for building personal wealth. When she’s not working with clients or finding her next investment property, Erinn can likely be found vacationing around the world and spending quality time with friends, her husband, and daughter, Ava.
Connect with Erinn
Did Erinn’s advice get you excited to shift your money mindset and transform your financial goals? Check out these other episodes for more!
[00:00:00] Erinn Bridgman All of a sudden, I had to really face the music when I was like, I need to do some personal outsourcing and put money, you know, helps to have somebody do my laundry and clean my house and water my plants. And it’s easy to do that in business. But what story do we have to change when we move it into our personal life? And it’s like, I’m worthy of being able to have that and to value my time in that way. And so I love helping women now take that energy and the momentum they’re getting as they’re growing in their business money mindset and amplify it when it comes over to the personal.
[00:00:43] Lisa DiGeso Welcome to the Art and Soul Show where we dove into heart opening chats on photography, business life and that messy in between. I’m your host, Lisa DiGeso, a mom, a photographer and entrepreneur, and I’ll be sharing honest conversations and advice for photographers with insight on mindset, entrepreneurship and creativity. The goal of this podcast is for you to be able to gain insights and strategies that will get you real results. Because let’s face it, having a photography business can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. This is the place you can go when you need a boost of encouragement, a kick in the pants and inspiration to pick up your camera. This is the art in social. Hello, my beautiful friend. Welcome back to the show. So today I’m hanging out with Erinn Bridgman. Now, do you ever just meet someone and you are instantly connected? It’s almost like you’ve known each other forever? Well, that is the experience I had with Erinn Bridgman, and I’m so excited to dove into this conversation now. Erinn’s a money management and mindset coach and empowers female entrepreneurs to design a business that is not just profitable but actually grows their personal wealth. She was born with an entrepreneurial spirit. She cut her chops by scaling her photography business to over six figures in under two years. This afforded her the capital to begin funding the real estate empire she and her husband now run. She’s passionate about supporting women as they uncover their own potential and earning power, and supports female business owners to not just scale their business, but to use it as a means for building personal wealth. Now, when she’s not working with clients or finding her next investment property, Jamie found vacationing around the world and spending quality time with her friends, her husband and her daughter, Ava. Without further ado, here is Erinn Bridgman. Welcome, Erinn.
[00:02:36] Erinn Bridgman Wow, I’m so excited to be here. Thank you.
[00:02:39] Lisa DiGeso So tell us who you are and what you’re passionate about.
[00:02:42] Erinn Bridgman Well, I’m Erinn, and I live in Indianapolis with my husband. He’s my best friend and my serial entrepreneur, partner and my sweet baby. Ava and I have another one on the way. And I am really passionate about helping women become wealthy because I believe wealthy women will change the world. That’s my mission, and I’m one of the biggest things I believe in is work hard, play hard. And so I want to help people have money to make the world better and to also enjoy life in the process.
[00:03:17] Lisa DiGeso I love that so much. I love it so much. Wealthy women will change the world. Yes. So what do would you say is the biggest mindset block around money for photographers?
[00:03:28] Erinn Bridgman I love this question. I think that I would say, of course, everyone’s story is unique. But and being a photographer in my roots, that is what I did as the beginning of my entrepreneur journey for about seven eight years. I think there’s two. I think one common one is that we have to work really hard to make good money and that we really just exchange the time for money. We have to hustle, we have to grind. And that is definitely a limiting belief. And I also think that there’s a. And this is common among female entrepreneurs in general, as I work with them, is this idea that of worthiness around money and particularly as a photographer. Many times we get into photography because we love the art of doing photography. We love having a camera. We weren’t doing it to make it a business. And so then as it evolves into a business, we have this kind of block we come up against is like, How can I make money with something I love so much? And so then it becomes this like worthiness conversation. And I think that can be a massive block for us. So those are the two biggest ones, I would say, specific to photographers.
[00:04:44] Lisa DiGeso Yeah, I totally totally see that, especially tying in your worth. I think when people are like, that’s the thing that I always hear is like, Charge what you’re worth and you’re like, What does that even mean? Like, how do you know, like, you’re worthy, you’re priceless human. Like, that doesn’t have anything to do with what you should be charging, right?
[00:05:00] Erinn Bridgman You know it is. You know what I found as I run my intensive and when worked with people is an underlying like, common theme. It’s that people come to me and they really want the management piece of money, and they don’t realize that they have the mindset piece that they need. Oh, I thought my money mindset was great. And then they’re like running up against these challenges and they’re like, You want one client, for example. She was like, really wrestling with this concept of buying herself a Peloton, and she’s like, I can afford it. My company’s doing great. And so I had through the mindset work we’re doing, she had to like, really drill into this is coming from a worthiness place because I saw it modeled by my mom. And my women in my life that they do not splurge on themselves, they put themselves last and so by me purchasing this Peloton, I’m rubbing up against this belief of like, am I worthy of something like that? And so and that is just a common denominator I see when working with women.
[00:06:03] Lisa DiGeso Yeah. One hundred percent. Here’s a funny story. So a few like I you know, that’s like the Louis Vuitton never filled black bag, like the one with like the grid. It’s it’s a it’s like it’s honestly it’s like a fifteen hundred dollar bag. It’s really not that expensive. I mean, it is when it comes to bags, but like when it comes to bags, it is. But why don’t you look in relation to like, say, a lens? Maybe like.
[00:06:24] Erinn Bridgman Yeah.
[00:06:25] Lisa DiGeso So I have no problem going and buying myself a new lens at any point. Yet I will not buy myself a fancy purse and I like, what is this really about?
[00:06:38] Erinn Bridgman Yes, right? I yes. And I talk about this because in my work, I don’t want to just style into how to be the CFO of your business. Yes, all that’s important, but that’s half the piece. I’m really about helping women build their personal wealth and transferring the energy of money in your business into your personal life. Love and yeah. And I think it is. It’s what we are able to rationalize or to kind of explain why we would buy a lens for this. Why would we hire a VA in our in our company? Oh, well, that’s going to, you know, it’s going to be good for the business. I can make more money. It makes it more scalable. But then when we come up against buying a luxury, a
[00:07:23] Lisa DiGeso luxury like something that delights me, that we just simply just for delight, I’m like, OK, well, I don’t know. I don’t I don’t need dessert and fight right, right?
[00:07:33] Erinn Bridgman Or like, I, you know, I rubbed against this in this past year of like really thinking about my time as being a mom and a wife. And I mean to company is our real estate company and this coaching one. And all of a sudden, I had to really face the music when I, it was like, I need to do some personal outsourcing and put money, you know, helps to have somebody do my laundry and clean my house and water my plants. And it’s easy to do that in business. But what story do we have to change when we move it into our personal life? And it’s like, I’m worthy of being able to have that and to value my time in that way. And so I love helping women now take that energy and the momentum they’re getting as they’re growing in their business money mindset and like, amplify it when it comes over to the personal.
[00:08:26] Lisa DiGeso I love that so much. Now, I think that many photographers suffer from starving artists syndrome. So what advice do you have to start switching that thinking that creating art can actually be profitable?
[00:08:38] Erinn Bridgman Yeah, you got to dig into the story there. You know, what is this story that you’re believing? What is that? Because we we know that that’s producing. So if we think of a thought loop, right, if we think about that, it starts with our feelings, thoughts and moves to feelings that moves to action. And so if you’re feeling like a starving artist or your wife is showing you by your actions like you are scraping it together and you are living real tight paycheck to paycheck and not barely right, we know that there’s a group belief that is causing you to show up in the world like a starving artist. And what is that? What is it? And it’s probably very closely tied to the one I mentioned at the beginning that I’m not worthy to make good money, you know, doing something that I love. And then you drill into that and you’re like, Oh, well, well, so why is that? Or is it just does it have to be hard to make money? You know, what is the belief in that in this framework that you’re building, not thinking around
[00:09:45] Lisa DiGeso when that I have really because I’ve really struggled at raising my prices over the years, that’s one thing that I continuously bump up against. And I think for me personally, I. My personal story is if I if I’m charging a lot, it means I’m taking advantage and I’m like, Oh, and I don’t want to be viewed as someone who takes advantage of others. And so I purposefully will under earn in order to to do that. So it’s like, OK, yeah.
[00:10:14] Erinn Bridgman And yeah, I mean, you have to remember that. And I hope women with pricing strategy and with raising pricing, and I think it’s really important to remember that money is a form of energy. Yes. And you and giving your skills and talents and creating as your website talks about like memories that will last generations, you are giving an energy to your clients. You are. Giving them something of significant value, and they in turn, give you money, and that’s the exchange. And so we just have to make sure that we are so filled with integrity and very confident that that exchange is in alignment and is accurate. And we think I think that as women were trained in society to, you know, we were trained to be the helpers were trained to like, give our own and you can see statistically that, you know, we’re the ones in the workplace, like doing the volunteer work or doing all these types of things, which isn’t serving the greater good or ourselves. Because, you know, we have limited energy, we have limited time. You’re going to end up burning out, you’re going to end up becoming bitter if you’re not aligned there. And so what you think might be serving people by, you know, lowering your rates and all that is actually going to make you burn out and you are going to be in the game of entrepreneurship long term, which means you have to have aligned pricing.
[00:11:42] Lisa DiGeso I love that. It has to be sustainable and I can speak from experience like I have. I’ve burned myself out repeatedly and it’s not a good place to be. And so I mentioned before we even hopped on the call that I am closing my doors for my business just for a little while to figure things out. I’m going through a new pricing structure, revamping everything what I want to do and serve. So for me, I just had to break it before I could fix it. So I was
[00:12:06] Erinn Bridgman beautiful. I really I did that recently in like last year. And just like tapping into my intuition, slowing down, things weren’t feeling aligned and like, really, you know, being willing to like, stop. I was 10 tens of thousands of dollars into something, and I was like, This isn’t right, and we can serve the world better when we do that. So cheers to you and
[00:12:29] Lisa DiGeso thanks and cheers to you. I think, honestly, I think it’s so hard when you start to get those little rumbles and those little whispers of like something doesn’t feel right. The smell is off. I’m not happy. I mean, obviously you start doing things like, you start self-sabotaging and it sort of just snowballs a little bit unless you actually start listening to it. So, yeah, I’m really excited what the next year’s going to hold for both of us. Really awesome. So I think that there can be a little bit of a shame and embarrassment and basically just a general EQ when we’re talking about numbers or maybe just being accountable because we’re neglecting them. So what advice do you have to rip the Band-Aid off and what numbers do you feel photographers should now?
[00:13:09] Erinn Bridgman Ho ho ho. How much time do we know? Yes, I think that we as creatives, so I work with creatives that’s like my heart. That’s where I come from. I’m a kind of a weird combination of being a creative and also being a nerd. And so, you know, the way that I approach all my coaching and all my tools is very much for the woman who is freaked out by numbers who doesn’t want to is nervous to step into that. And what I like to say in the beginning of this kind of conversation is what I’ve identified is that I believe there they’re sort of and this is the first step of what to do about it is acknowledging maybe which one of these that you fall into. So I believe there are five reasons that five reasons that we avoid the numbers. So I’d love to just kind of like go outside for your audience to just kind of think about which one resonates with me, because then you’re going to be able to kind of identify that and then start to drill into that deeper. So the first one is, I hear this a lot like, I’m not a numbers person, I’m not good with math, I’m just not a numbers person. And the truth is, nobody is born knowing numbers. I mean, you learn to count. You learn to do math. You take algebra. You take all those things. This is a skill that we attain. And so if you are now a business owner, you have gone from being an artist who does it for the sake of art to business implies money. You’re doing it to make money. And so you have to get your head wrapped around the idea of like, this is a skill I can learn. And so that’s the first one. I think that a lot of people, especially creatives, and they use it as an excuse, honestly, like it might sound like self-sabotage. It might sound like, oh, but like you’re putting that label on yourself and then you’re not doing anything about it because you’re leaning back on that label. You know what I mean? Yeah. And it’s the second one is you’re afraid and you’re afraid of what you’ll see. So sometimes we just close our eyes. We’re like, OK, you know what, if I don’t see it? Maybe it’s not there. And that’s not how it works. And I’m in the throes of being a young mom. And so I always think about like, Oh. If I just don’t like I smell the dirty diaper, but if if I just don’t find it like me, you know, in the rain or whatever. Maybe it’ll just go away. Actually, it’s going to get worse, you know, and I think with knowledge comes power. And so if it’s bad news, better to see the bad news sooner and do something about it, I would hate for people to be scaling a business that’s not profitable. Let’s make it profitable and then scale it. So that’s my second one. I love it. The third one is maybe numbers define you or you have this negative relationship with numbers. So it feels pretty like a toxic thing for you. Whether it’s the number on a scale, whether it’s your Instagram followers, you’re very hung up on numbers, how they define you. And so you have a hard time maybe entering into this conversation because of that, you don’t think it matters, which is number four. And that’s like the worst. And most people don’t think that if they’re listening to a podcast like this, if they’re engaged, they they know that they are coming up against an issue, a challenge that they know has meaning and whatever our financial or whatever, a lot of our goals in life, whether it’s to I was just speaking to the women in my intensive and they were talking about their why. And it was like, So I know I can pay off debt so I can buy my dream home so that I can know I can afford another kid. Like, you know, all these things, these big dreams and aspirations that we have many times have dollar signs connected to them. So we know that that that it matters. And then the last one, I think, is the tools aspect, the kind of like the second half of your question, like what numbers should photographers know and how do I make the numbers make sense and not be like numbers, soup and things like that? So those are my five things. And so I would just encourage your audience to maybe just think about which one of those kind of resonates with me. And then how do I go deeper in that space?
[00:17:41] Lisa DiGeso Yeah, I love that. No, I was telling me it’s like more of like no overwhelm. And then I’m like, Oh yeah.
[00:17:48] Erinn Bridgman So yeah, that’s I got it. I know that’s a very common one. And that’s why I’ve created this money matrix system of sexy, beautiful spreadsheets that
[00:17:59] Lisa DiGeso we love that help you
[00:18:01] Erinn Bridgman understand the numbers.
[00:18:02] Lisa DiGeso Love it. So let’s talk a little bit about financial self-sabotage, ignoring budgets and overspending. Confession I have fully been guilty of this in the past two, but since I’ve become more aware of it, I’ve definitely dialed that. So what advice do you have to get out of your own way?
[00:18:20] Erinn Bridgman So good. I was listening to one of your previous episodes with Denise, and I talking about you being a celebrity as one of your secret money archetypes. You’ve got a little giggle. I think you were talking about being a and you were like having champagne glasses with soda in it for your birthday. Oh yeah. Oh yeah, love it. And there’s beauty in that. Each one of those archetypes has its strengths and has a force with it. OK, so how do we deal with this and this kind of financial sabotage? So I like to get super practical. Love it, and I like to be practical like piles of green cash are not very motivating. So this idea of I want to make more money. I want to be wealthy. I want it. Whatever it kind of like doesn’t hold a lot of weight. And so if you are able, though, to tap in more specifically with what money will do for you and how much money you need for that, you will start to do different things with your habits, with your spending, with your budget. And so this is what I love to do with people, and I talked a little earlier is like my passion is not just stopping with your business numbers, but bringing it into your personal life. And so when I work with women and those listening, I would encourage you to tap into like, how much do you spend figuring out there are free apps or very low cost apps that you can use and maybe do a 30 day audit on your spending, really singing? Like what does it take for you to currently live your current lifestyle? And this is what we do. And then, OK. And so that how much do you need to pay yourself out of your business? And an earlier question you ask, like what numbers should a photographer know? And one of the biggest ones is like your personal salary. How much are you paying yourself every month? And a lot of people do not pay them, so no salaries they take, they pay themselves last. They are just kind of like, I got a job, the business to make my rent or to do this or to pay that mortgage or to make up for the rest of the income that my partner, whatever. And what’s that saying about you? Your worth, your proactive ness? We know photography can be seasonal, but you can pay yourself consistently in a seasonal if you’re proactive. So anyways, so if we have a goal, if let’s say. You know, and a lot of women I work with are very successful and I want to just say like, and they have debt and they don’t have savings and they don’t have a plan for investing yet. And I see that to, like, help people and maybe not feel alone. And these are women that are brilliant women, and I look up to that. I and my colleagues, you know? And so, you know, if you say, OK, I’m going to face the music, I’m going to drill down. I have nineteen thousand dollars in debt. That’s it. You know, like, really like. And how is that debt making me feel? And, you know, like, really like getting in touch with that, OK? And if I do certain things of my spending, if I do certain things with my income generating part of my business, I can create a plan literal dollar to dollar of paying off the nineteen thousand dollars in the next six months. And you have you have that all you know, sketched out and you’re really seeing that. I guarantee you’re going to have a lot more motivation around, you know, not spending around putting that purposeful dollars to your goal. Because you know what? You can see what it’s doing. You have the psychology of seeing the progress and you’re also tapped into the feeling of what would it feel like for me to be debt free and what is this debt making me feel? And all of that. And so, yeah, there’s like a lot of other things we could talk about like habit. We could talk about a lot of other things, but I think that’s my biggest one is really tapping into what could the money do for you? What could it? What feeling could it generate? So not just, oh, I could, you know, pay off this debt? How would you feel? How is it making you feel? How do you feel debt free and then working a specific practical plan dollar for dollar of how you’re
[00:22:32] Lisa DiGeso going to do? I love that so much. I love what you said about no one really gets excited about Pellegrin cash, because that’s so true. Like, if you’re working towards just that pile, it’s not entirely motivating. But if you’re like, OK, this is what it can do for me like this, that’s a far more exciting. I love that so much.
[00:22:51] Erinn Bridgman I feel like a lot of people like a lot of us in the business, right? We were like, we we create these random goals like, yeah, I want to hit six figures.
[00:22:59] Lisa DiGeso Yeah, arbitrary numbers. Like, I
[00:23:01] Erinn Bridgman mean, what? What does that do for you? Yeah, it’s just the stat I want to be able to put on my website. I don’t think that has a lot of motivation to like.
[00:23:10] Lisa DiGeso Yeah, no, I totally agree with you. So do you have a favorite story of transformation from a client, a coaching client of yours?
[00:23:18] Erinn Bridgman Um, I have a few. I talked about the Peloton one earlier and the worthiness conversation, and she, you know, she did buy the Peloton, which I have a person. I love it. But like, who cares as much? It’s more about the fact that she stepped into that worthiness. And, you know, like the Peloton was just like the moment, like the reflection of that, you know, OK, so I when I share two stories because I think this like helps to maybe help your listeners like really be able to see what happens when you press through these things, like digging into your numbers, like digging into your money mindset, like the pain of that and the challenge of that, like what can come from that? So I had a client I was working with and actually I still work with. We worked together for almost three years, but one of her goals was to retire her husband. And with her business and at the time, it felt very out of reach. It felt like this kind of like what I was talking about the super ambitious goal that was like out floating in the air and through our work together, she was able to increase her business revenue. Great. Awesome. Got to do that part of it. But really, she was able to understand her money and her numbers. She we dug into what is their personal budget? What do they need? A family of four with four kids, a family of six? So it’s like, what’s their lifestyle, OK? And like, what does he bring? What does she bring? What’s the income OK? And then digging into that business to understand not just your revenue and expenses, but knowing all of your taxes, knowing your profitability, knowing where you need to reinvest? And then, OK, what can we draw off of to then bring in enough income that your husband’s income line can disappear and you can cover it all? And numbers are not natural for her, but we also work through a lot of the mindset and she was able to. About a year ago, she retired her husband and
[00:25:33] Lisa DiGeso right now, and
[00:25:36] Erinn Bridgman so something that felt like a dream job a decade from now or whatever became. A reality and so he can be home with the kids more, and he has his own adventure going. And so the pain of doing the numbers and doing the mindset like the edit a dream for her and I love that story. And one other all-share is I just finished up. We finished up our Valentin ciVH and I live in Indianapolis and the market’s crazy. I don’t know if it’s crazy where you are, but yeah, it’s crazy. Yeah, yeah, I think it’s crazy. Like kind of, yeah, over there. But so she, her and her husband and her little boy had been looking for a home for a year and it was no. And that can be very discouraging with overall and obviously like they had had just had him. And so there meaning a bigger space in there, you know? And so at the end of the program, a kind of talking about our wins and talking about her progress and she’s like, I just have to share that because I did this work because I Preston, my husband and I now know that we can afford to build our dream home. Yes. And so they are currently in the process. They are literally building their dream home and they’re not having to compromise on location or all this stuff. And she said, Erin, I you know, I have people do sometimes like future manifestations like what? OK, I’m in my office with and you have this these French doors and a lot of natural light coming in. And she’s like, I wrote that down and I’ve written it down and I’ve written it down. And I ask the builder, like, can make this happen and they’re making that happen. Oh my God. And so if there’s real, yeah, there’s the tangible of bringing your partner home and there is like building your dream home and those are really exciting. And but so is the personal transformation of people saying, like, I have a new confidence and you found worthiness that is making me show up in relationships way healthier. And oh, that so I could go on about my clients. They’re like, I bet they’re the best. And I always say the magic is inside of them, and my role is to just draw it out and so really proud of each and every one of them.
[00:27:53] Lisa DiGeso I love that a dreamy red stars are my favorite. I was like visualizing that for her. I was like that. Oh, like, so, so dreamy. So yes. So I want to switch gears and talk a little bit about diversifying your income streams and what are some ways to start tiptoeing in that direction?
[00:28:14] Erinn Bridgman Well, I think there’s some, depending on where you’re at, right? There’s different phases of this. And so I think it’s important for people to identify. I talk about there’s five financial goals that we large goals that we work towards once we’ve created our budget, our monthly budget and our short term savings budget. And those five things are debt paydown savings, and I teach two levels of savings. One is creating a short term like emergency savings situation that you, we, my husband and I literally call it our no techy bank account yet. Love it. Don’t touch it. And then if you have other long term saving goals, you would put that in there. Then we have lifestyle improvements, large lifestyle improvements that you need to save for. So that could be a new car or, you know, a second home or a boat or whatever. The fourth is generosity. And so this is we know and I say, well, commitment will change the world. I say that for many reasons, but we know statistically that women are more altruistic with their money, so they will literally take the power of money and invest it into really important places. In so many times, women want to make more money so that they can make the world better in a real state like, OK, I want to give to this organization, I want to create this in my community. And so that’s four and then five is investing. And so depending on where you’re at, you’re going to need to do different things like I would not advise somebody to go straight into investing in real estate or investing in the stock market. If you have a bunch of debt, that’s going to be best to use your money and especially credit card debt with the interest rates and stuff like pay down your debt. Yeah, get a saving a good savings. But then there’s exterior like don’t keep saving, you need to invest, right? And I always like to say, you know, as entrepreneurs, we are handed a retirement plan. We don’t have a 401k, we have to plan for our future. And so I think, you know, the first steps are deciding where you line up in these five financial goals and then knowing the numbers in your business, knowing the numbers in your personal life and identifying the overflow, figuring out how do I how do I create enough income and live a life that I love and have overflow because that’s where you? Create additional money to be able to invest, and so those are the beginning stages, and I can only speak for my own personal experience, I’m not a not a financial adviser and I are my husband are just starting to really invest in the marketplace because our story has been real estate. And so 20 fourteen from our business, we had eighteen thousand dollars, so we had that extra cushion. And we had almost a hundred thousand dollars in student debt. And so we said we could take the eighteen thousand dollars and we could pay off one of our student loans, or we could take the eighteen thousand dollars invested in a property. And over the period of time, we could pay off all of our student loans. And that’s what we did. And of course, that was an investment and we were killing debt first. But now it is investment and drive around Indianapolis. And we’re like, Hey, there’s Ava’s college fund, right? Yeah. You know, after 30 years, that’ll be two hundred thousand dollars in our pocket for her college. And so we believe in real estate. We believe in when it’s done. Our company last year purchased eighty five homes. And here we have some big goals for this year. And it’s just a proven strategy that you know you can grow. So that’s ours. But I guess those would be my my my initial thoughts around, holy crap,
[00:32:04] Lisa DiGeso add five homes last year, and so are you flipping them? Are you renting late? Tell me how that works.
[00:32:11] Erinn Bridgman Yeah, so it’s been. I think this is one of my lessons that I learned last year. I had all these goals, all these specific things, and it’s like, Whoa, life like totally shifted. I mean, we hired our first full time employee a year ago into the business, and last week we acquired our fifth full time employee and we had goals of like purchasing three times a month now and now we’re purchasing fifteen. And so we’re our goal for this next year is one hundred and eighty. And so we don’t own all of those homes. We have different buying entities, but our company, we we own or co-own about 40 doors. Wow. So yeah, our goal in what we call the conveyor belt is to keep as many on the conveyor belt as possible in our names, because then that’s like the wealth generating thing. That’s where you keep an asset for 30 years and your renters pay down the mortgage and now you have a home that you can sell and put two hundred thousand dollars in your pocket. Don’t forget taxes, but you know, OK, so we do as many as we can as buy and holds, and then we do a portion as flips. And that’s just or turnkey is which is selling directly to somebody who wants to invest it. Maybe they live in California and there’s like, there’s no way they can. So our company supplies a lot of if you go on bigger pockets or something like that, us and then our business partners, business partner and another company are what the majority of Indianapolis homes that we sell the turnkey. So, you know, we try to keep that maybe like a third of what we do and two thirds more buy and hold, but that’s just to bring the cash back into the business so we can keep buying more.
[00:34:00] Lisa DiGeso So fascinating. I love that. So tell me how you went from photography to buying homes and how that sort of integrated both into your life as being serial entrepreneurs together in your marriage?
[00:34:15] Erinn Bridgman Yeah, yeah. So marriage is key. He like my husband, Brant, who is audacious for both risk takers. We both are mavericks. If you know the money architect architect. I’m a little more of the string to the kite than he is. And yeah, I was back in a job where I made literally no money. It was twenty thousand dollars a year plus my apartment that Brett and I were living in and we were like, This isn’t we’re not satisfied with that. I’m not going to live a lifestyle, you know, I want more and I can have more. And so that’s where we started the photography business and scale that. And that’s and we have the eighteen thousand dollars. And so Brett is a researcher. He is a nerd. He is always learning and listening to lots of podcasts and just gaining a ton of knowledge around real estate. And I was like, I really like the idea of keeping that $18000 in my bank account and just like feels nice and cushy. And like, I like it, you know, and he was just really, you know, pressing into and I have the right side and I get the, you know, all that. I’ve grown that a lot since then. But so I said, I literally we went to bed. I said, Brett, if you really think I see your precious, your buyer, I want to support this. I believe what you’re saying, if you’re like really anonymous, like, I’ll go and I’ll do it. Let’s do it. I’m not kidding you, the next morning I woke up, he wasn’t in bed. He calls me on his bike. Hey, I am around town. I am finding our first investment property. And I’m like, Oh, I’m not losing any time. Obviously, we lived in a college town. That was my work. So you can make really good money doing rentals with college students. There’s obviously risk and reward. And within a week we had pended our first investment property, which was the one that ended up making us over a hundred thousand dollars paying off our student debt. And it’s a glamor story. Yeah, but it has not always been glamorous, known throughout the years, we’ve learned a lot of lessons. We I will never forget the time I was painting the front porch. I’m like, Why is this life? And brightens like in the cross space with a shovel broke it in half, digging a six foot hole to like, fix this problem. Because if we didn’t physically show up on to the job site, we were going to lose money. And you know, so it’s that our very real estate venture started in 2014. And so fast forward eight years, we’ve learned a lot of mistakes and we’ve had some good wins too. And it really has been kind of steady. And then this last year, we just really just
[00:37:03] Lisa DiGeso exponential because you put in that you put in the hours right to learn what you’re doing. I mean, photography is like that too, right?
[00:37:10] Erinn Bridgman Absolutely. Absolutely.
[00:37:11] Lisa DiGeso Yeah, I love that. What a great story I’m like in my head. I’m like, Oh my gosh, I would make such. You would make such good HGTV. Like I would watch the show.
[00:37:20] Erinn Bridgman Yeah, people think that people are like, You need a TV show and it’s funny. We are like Chairman Joe because I do all that. I do all of the design of the ref LABS and I am the one who comes in at the end and stages the home and everything. And Brent’s the goofy one. But the construction guy. But there’s actually already an HGTV show here in Indianapolis. Good bones, it’s a mama daughter show. So hey, maybe someday Mama doesn’t want to do it, but I’m like, Oh, right, you’re
[00:37:51] Lisa DiGeso like my show, whatever.
[00:37:54] Erinn Bridgman But I would be like, Oh, we can show them pretty homes, but let’s just educate them more on how they make money with homes. I’d rather do that than just like, and here’s some ship lap and.
[00:38:04] Lisa DiGeso Right, exactly. I love it. So let’s talk a little bit. We’re going to flip back to about the misconception about trading dollars for time and how that’s just bad math and also not true. So how can photographers start to work? Smarter, not harder.
[00:38:20] Erinn Bridgman You know your numbers. I don’t know how many times to say this in this interview, but you can’t make good decisions about money and move out of that grind without seeing, Hey, what’s my ability to scale? And for photographers, right? It becomes things like the first type of hires we do are things like starting to outsource our editing and starting to hire in a social media manager or a VA. Those are often the first, and there’s a lot of resistance for people in choosing to start doing those views. And you can’t make those decisions, though, with confidence, without knowing your numbers, without seeing that there’s so profitability that you have the ability to do that. Oh, that’s so like really practically those are, I think, ways that we start to not like. I raise our hourly rate significantly, obviously changing our pricing structure, all those types of things, figuring out a more scalable model, whether that’s associate photographers or whatever the case. But this is what I was alluding to before. I want to remind people like, don’t forget the magic we can plan, the way you know, we can make our plans. You can do all that. And then we’re reminded that the universe has our back and the universe is for us, and we all of a sudden find this other avenue that opens up and we’re making money and in minds and said we do a manifestation challenge. Everyone in the group chooses a number that’s in alignment and stretching, and then we do it. We record individually and as a group and it’s an exercise and this is something your audience could do as well. It’s an exercise to notice all the money that comes in that we typically don’t because we’re typically wired to see we take it as instance helps us program ourselves differently and kind
[00:40:16] Lisa DiGeso of gets you into that noticing abundance, right?
[00:40:19] Erinn Bridgman Like absolutely acting it appreciate and like, Oh, I mean, this is like a really small example, but like, I didn’t have to work for that coffee that my friend just bought me. And that’s showing me that I don’t have to grind for every single gift in my life. You know, I don’t know the can be small things and that back to and then it can be huge things that you’re like. Hey, you know where I mean, this is funny story that along with that, that house that we first thought that was a cash flow and cash flowed great, and if we would have kept it and whatever, it would have still been a great thing. But. And this is a little like kind of weird. But we were in California on a vacation and we got takeout. And the fortune cookie said an investment will soon share profits, show greater profits than ever before or something like that. And I was like, Ooh, this was funny. And I was like, this and it’s a fortune cookie, so I love it. And like, you know, whatever, it’s fortune cookie. But still, I’m going don’t know what that positive, positive energy hit me. And the next day, we’re supposed to be going to Joshua Tree with some friends, and Brad is late. Where are you really need to go? Like all the kids are packed up and he’s like, I am having a terrible morning. You’ll never believe it. And I was like, Oh, come on. What the heck? And he’s like, No, Erinn, literally. Our house is on fire. That’s in Indiana. I was like, Oh my gosh, you’re not kidding about, you’re not kidding about a bad day. And the property, we had a home in the front and then the back was a garage with one apartment, one bedroom apartment above, and we changed it to be a full house. But luckily, like we were strategic and we pulled two insurance policies out of a full insurance policy on the back in the front. And that fire right turned into about fifty five thousand dollars in our pocket.
[00:42:22] Lisa DiGeso Oh my goodness.
[00:42:23] Erinn Bridgman So there’s a lot of, I guess. Yeah. And that can happen. Yep. So just I want to illuminate, yeah, their strategy. And there’s all of that. And I love digging strategy to help a lot of people do that. But also, don’t forget the magic. Yeah.
[00:42:41] Lisa DiGeso Random house fire. Maybe not be a disaster.
[00:42:44] Erinn Bridgman Yeah, yeah. You know, you actually want your house to catch on fire. I love
[00:42:49] Lisa DiGeso it. Do I? Whenever I’m asking, I always ask for signs from the universe. I do. And I asked for white feathers. And I actually have a collection. Well, this is even funnier. So I actually found this bird’s nest like this, this bird’s nest on this trail. And I was like, And the funny thing was, I was like, Who am I to take this home? Like, I’m like, Hey, Philadelphia tree, there’s no baby birds. Nobody’s using it. It’s no, it’s my nest. I found it, so I took it home. And every time I find white feathers like my notes from the universe, I take them home and put them in my nest.
[00:43:21] Erinn Bridgman That’s beautiful. I love that little
[00:43:24] Lisa DiGeso white feathers look. So I believe in getting those signs from the universe, too. Yes. So are you ready for our lightning round?
[00:43:32] Erinn Bridgman Yes. OK, I’m OK. I’m ready. Yes.
[00:43:35] Lisa DiGeso Coffee, tea, coffee or tea?
[00:43:37] Erinn Bridgman Coffee for sure. Coffee.
[00:43:38] Lisa DiGeso Most luxurious vacation you’ve ever been on.
[00:43:41] Erinn Bridgman I’m going to go with my standard. We go to an all inclusive resort in Mexico, Paris. It’s the best. Which one is it home? It’s an all adults only. All inclusive. And it’s the exclu. It’s the excellent line. And it is. It is by. I mean, everybody. I’ve probably slept in people there and they love it. So I’m going to go with that one.
[00:44:04] Lisa DiGeso I love it. OK. What was your favorite TV show as a kid?
[00:44:07] Erinn Bridgman OK, this is going to be weird.
[00:44:09] Lisa DiGeso Bill Cosby I did like The Cosby Show in a different world. You remember that one, right?
[00:44:13] Erinn Bridgman No, I don’t know that one.
[00:44:15] Lisa DiGeso What it was like. I think the spinoff from The Cosby Show,
[00:44:19] Erinn Bridgman I watched very little TV as a kid.
[00:44:22] Lisa DiGeso I watched too much. The last thing you did for yourself as an indulgence,
[00:44:29] Erinn Bridgman my indulgence has become, I guess, somewhat regular. But I am on a routine schedule of massages. So I do like massage energy work like twice in LABS.
[00:44:41] Lisa DiGeso Good girl, I love it. I do the same thing in person. It’s so it’s worth every penny, every morning person or night owl.
[00:44:51] Erinn Bridgman I’m just going to say I’m a night owl. I teach all about morning mindset morning routines. Those are all very important. Naturally, I love to stay up late, especially when I’m not pregnant.
[00:45:03] Lisa DiGeso What did you want to be when you grew up a chef? Oh, I love that. Go to karaoke jam.
[00:45:11] Erinn Bridgman This probably wouldn’t be good karaoke, but I’m going to say I’m a b by Black Eyed Peas. It’s my all time favorite pop up song. It’s like
[00:45:18] Lisa DiGeso your anthem. Yeah, yeah, I love it. I’m a B. I love that. Awesome. What advice do you have for someone just starting out as an entrepreneur?
[00:45:27] Erinn Bridgman Trust the journey
[00:45:29] Lisa DiGeso they get on. What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?
[00:45:34] Erinn Bridgman I’m going to say this one. Don’t don’t worry about some cost. Follow your intuition and follow your heart. I think that your intuition, your heart will always lead you in the right ways. And even if we have some time, even if we have sunk cost into things, listen to that voice.
[00:45:52] Lisa DiGeso What makes your soul light up?
[00:45:54] Erinn Bridgman Being with my friends, being with my community and being on the lake, I absolutely love lake life. I love being on a boat. I’m a hard worker. I enjoy work and lake life helps me slow down. And just being by big bodies of water just helps me feel super expensive.
[00:46:13] Lisa DiGeso And where can our listeners learn more from you guys?
[00:46:17] Erinn Bridgman So our most active on social on Instagram, so I would love to connect with your followers and I really mean it. So if you send me a dam all voice message, you backroads, I’m you. I’m very relational, so you can follow me there at Erin Underscore Bridge Man. And don’t forget my name spelt with two ends. So you’re right in n love it. Yeah, I’m sure it’ll be connected in the show notes. But yeah,
[00:46:41] Lisa DiGeso so I love to end my interviews with this last question, and it is what are you currently curious about or artistically curious about?
[00:46:49] Erinn Bridgman I love that question. One way that I really strapped myself as an artist is, you know, since I’ve kind of put my camera down is through design and it’s through the interior design that I do. And I just got done with a really big project. I opened for Airbnbs and each one had a different personality. So you have like the Flamingo and it’s like pink, kind of like, it’s really fun. And then there’s this restoration, like this manly one. Anyways, so I am wanting to push myself and get more curious about what would it look like to you? Like a new build? Like kind of like stretching my design knowledge, and I’m actually training somebody on my team to be my design assistant, and that has stretched me artistically to be able to take out of my brain and out of my intuition and teach it to someone. So that’s kind of where my artistic muscles are flexing right now.
[00:47:44] Lisa DiGeso I love that so much. Well, Erin, thank you so much for joining me today. It’s been a pleasure.
[00:47:50] Erinn Bridgman It’s been such a joy. Thank you.
[00:47:53] Lisa DiGeso All my friends, that was such a fun and great conversation. I loved getting to know Erin. Now Erin actually wanted to share with us, What’s my Money IQ quiz? And you can go and identify what your Money IQ is and your way to becoming wealthy. So the link for it is wwww.ErinnBridgman.com/quiz. Thank you so much for tuning in today, and I just appreciate you showing up every single week and getting to hang out with you. I appreciate you more than you will ever know. I am sending you so much of my light and my love every single day. We will see you next time.
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