How to Start Paying Yourself

Business Management

How to Start Paying Yourself


Heather Pranitis

You can overcome the challenges of paying yourself – I promise. I keep saying it but it comes back to knowing your numbers. KnowGetting paid. It sounds so simple and it’s why we all go into business for ourselves in the first place. But dang, it can be a STRUGGLE! You’re worried about paying taxes, you don’t want to not have the money available so it just sits there, or you feel like there is NO money to pull out. 

I hear that last one from business owners a lot, especially when they’re just starting out. They feel they don’t have the right to take money out of the business to pay themselves. They think they haven’t earned it.

I get it. 

But it’s SO important to pay yourself – even if it’s just $100 in the beginning – so you don’t start to resent your business that you’re pouring your blood, sweat, and tears into. And it’s not as hard as you think. Like so many things, being able to pay yourself is a matter of knowing your numbers. 

I’ve got a warning for you. When you get into the habit of not paying yourself, all of a sudden you haven’t paid yourself for three months, six months, nine months and boom, your savings are gone. Now you’re in real trouble. 

So now I want you to ask yourself… what’s YOUR reason for not paying yourself? 

If it’s because you’re too scared to pull money out, then start small so you’re comfortable. You need a reward, even a nominal one, for all your hard work!

If you’re worried you’re not withholding enough for taxes, tax bracket information is readily available online, so you can figure out where you land before withdrawing. While I don’t do taxes at Number Nerd (I’m not a CPA), I can tell you the typical rule of thumb is to withhold 15% to 35%. Feel like that’s too much? Then it’s time to raise your prices to offset those costs! You need to be paid!

Your overhead, your services, where your time is going. How is that going to help you break down the pay yourself barriers? Because once you know how much you have to spend each month to keep the lights on, what is making you the most profit and where you’re wasting time, then you can begin to price for profit, cut unnecessary overhead and make sure your time is being spent making you money. That is how you get paid, plain and simple.  

I know figuring out the numbers can seem overwhelming, so remember: break it down into small, bite-sized chunks. Set aside the time regularly and tackle things one step at a time. You don’t have to master it all today, but figuring this part of your business will empower you to take the leap and pay yourself. 

The final takeaway here – you work too hard to feel like you never have enough money, you have no free time and you now resent your business. There is no point in having a business doing things you love if you’re not rewarding yourself at ALL. Price yourself so you can pay yourself and get off the business hamster wheel. 

If you’re looking for some extra support on how to set your prices so you can get paid, check out my 3 Secrets to Pricing for Profit webinar. It covers how you can determine the right pricing for your offers and what to do when you’re afraid your audience won’t pay it. Figure out your pricing means figuring out your profit—and that’s how you get paid for all your hard work!


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