Happier than ever with a sustainable business with Hayley Jenkins

Do you feel like you are working hard, but the money isn’t reflecting in your bank account? In today’s episode, I chat with one of my Profit Academy Foundations students, Hayley, about how from learning about her finances she was able to mix up her business model to get sustainable growth and find a new love for her work.

In this Episode:
05.29: How Hayley felt about her business finances and why she chose Profit Academy Foundations to help her 

10.41: Hayley’s fears around joining the course and learning about her numbers

14.32: How Hayley felt the course helped built her up rather being overwhelmed

21.16: How Hayley’s business has grown in numbers as well as how she has regained her passion for her work 




Guest Bio

Hayley Jenkin is a leading Queensland based Creative Director and Stylist, and the founder of Wholehearted Studio.

So many people struggle to find the time to even think about their styling. At Wholehearted Studio we use our personalised approach, to style our clients shoots, interiors, and socials, so that it sets them apart and they can present themselves with confidence.

Hayley has worked with clients Australia-wide styling brand campaigns, editorial features, and interiors. Her styling has seen her win a national styling competition, and style campaigns and interiors that have been published in magazines, television and billboards.

Now working with our handpicked team in our studio, we work closely with each client to create bespoke projects by embracing creative personalisation. We believe in providing an individualised and friendly service, and working on our clients’ projects as if they were our own.

Our work has been featured in Inside Out, Real Living Magazine, House and Garden, Australian Traveller, Hello May, and Apartment Therapy. We have also styled campaigns for Australian artisans, builders, and designers, as well as larger brands like Pottery Barn, James Lane, and West Elm.

With an active social media presence, Hayley loves to collaborate with brands, showcasing her favourite things, her work, and her passion project; the restoration of her 1930’s Queenslander, Oxleigh House.



* Transcript created by AI – may contain errors or omissions from original podcast audio

CLARE: Have you ever felt like you are working and working and working and the money in your bank account doesn’t reflect all that hard work? Well, if you can relate, you’re going to love today’s episode of the podcast because I am chatting to Hayley, who’s one of my grads from the Profit Academy Foundations about how she learned about finances, was able to mix up her business model, and is now loving her business more than ever.

I found this story really inspiring and I’m sure you will too.

Welcome to the podcast hayley, it is so lovely to be chatting to you again because it’s been a little while since you came through my course. Maybe we start with a quick intro to who you are and a little bit about your business.

HAYLEY: My name’s Hayley Jenkin. I’m a stylist and I have a business called Wholehearted Studio. And we specialize in styling a variety of projects for clients who are primarily business owners to help them stand out and look their best so they can be really confident in how they present themselves.

CLARE: It makes such a difference. You know, I, I’ve shared on the podcast before that I, I worked with an interior stylist on my house and when you walk into a room that looks and feels cohesive, it’s just such a beautiful feeling, isn’t it?

HAYLEY: Yeah. It makes a big difference. And especially, I mean, social media and website presence and everything is such an important thing now that really the transformation that we see happen from like the before and after of a business that goes through that process and and for homeowners to and we’re working on magazine shoots and things like that that are starting to the finish that all of a sudden people are like, wow, my house does belong in a magazine. I didn’t think it did, but now I do. And I love that working with people that process,

CLARE: I know this is a bit of a segue, but I think it’s relevant to share it here. A couple of years ago, I had a client who’s an artist and she was talking about, you know, the feeling, I don’t know if guilty is the right word, but you know, about charging for things. And I said to her, but you have to understand someone like me, I don’t know what looks good together. I know what doesn’t look good, but I can’t, I don’t have that visual eye. And I said, when I come into a space that looks beautifully put together, it makes me feel happy. It makes me feel joyous. And as a business owner, it makes me feel more confident to want to show up.

So that was what I was sharing with her is that, that the, it’s about the transformation that you’re delivering for people. And I think it’s funny because a lot of times creatives are like, but. This is just fun. This is intuitive to me, but it’s not to a lot of people, so it’s very important to remember. People are happy to pay for that skill set.

HAYLEY: That’s right. And I think in the early days it was probably when I first started, it was more probably from a place of being a hobby. And I just love doing that for people, but over time it’s evolved. And yeah, I love getting to watch the, especially like photos that we’ve styled and things, and then seeing it work in the social media campaigns afterwards, like it’s this double dip of getting to watch them head out into the world kind of thing. And yeah, so it’s really exciting.

CLARE: It’s such amazing work that you do, and it must be just such a beautiful feeling to witness that transformation.

So speaking about transformations, I’d like to have a bit of a chat about my course. So I think what we might do, let’s maybe start right back at the beginning. Maybe if you could share a little bit about where you were at before you decided to invest in the program. You know, how did you feel about money, about business finances?

HAYLEY: I think I was at a place when I first found you and I was trying to rack my brain last night. I can’t remember exactly who it was that told me about you. I know someone did so thank you to them.

But I remember just starting to listen to your podcast. So that was the beginning of it. And I was in a bit of a, I guess, I’ve come to a bit of a breaking point or a crossroads in just my life in general. And I run myself into the ground when COVID happened, our business got really impacted. So it was, you know, nearly at a standstill. I don’t know how we survived that time actually, I look back and I can’t even figure out mathematically how it happened, but we did, got out the other side The result, though, was that when we came back, everybody wanted to catch up on lost time, and by then I’d ended up on my own. The other ladies who had been helping me had started a family and things like that, and weren’t going to be able to come back.

I was on my own and I was doing triple at my normal workload and looking after my little boy and everything else that moms have to do. And I just really snuffed myself out and at the end of it, I realized that I actually it just wasn’t as profitable as I thought being three times busier, time wise actually wasn’t worth it. And I realized that I needed to just stop and start a strong foundation all over again. I didn’t learn the lesson properly in COVID and I had to learn it all over again.

I guess when I came to you, I was really feeling like, If it didn’t start working money wise better, then there was really no point doing it, but I love doing it. So I was kind of like, if I, you know, yeah, if I didn’t do it, it, the result was going to be the same. So I just figured it was worth a go. And that’s how come I enrolled in your course.

And I remember asking you, because it’s probably hard to explain to people without showing them exactly what the content is exactly what it’s going to be. But I just remember saying to you, do you think I need to do this? I remember just being a bit unsure about it. And you saying, yeah, just do it. You know, and I literally just went off that sentence that you said and jumped off the call and then I think I agonized over it for another day or two and finally scraped in at the end.

 But yeah, I just, I’ve always been good at budgeting and everything. So I was in the beginning a bit unsure if we were just going to be covering doing a budget. But once I did it, I realized it was so much more than that. It was just, everything you need to know before you go talk to your accountant basically, it exactly did that, gave me this strong foundation that now has caused me to like revisit the whole business plan and everything. And then we’re, as of this month, starting to experience all the benefits of doing that hard work.

CLARE: Yeah, it’s funny. I mean, obviously I’m biased, but this really is a course that I’m like, every business owner, whether they do my course or learn these skills another way, every business owner needs these financial literacy skills.

They need to know What a profit and loss is, how to do cashflow forecasting, what metrics they need to look at to know if their business is on track. And that’s basically what I wanted to do with the course was like, take my six years of accounting qualifications and just put it into something that was easy. Cause most business owners don’t need to know all of the things about everything in accounting land, and I just wanted to compress it and make it easy and, and straightforward for people to understand. But yeah, I know that I can say, I could say to you with confidence, you need to be in these programs.

HAYLEY: Yes. With my group of friends and everything, I was known as like the budgeting queen, like I could stick to a budget, but my problem wasn’t that. It was knowing like, how much money it actually had to make to be profitable, I guess, and setting up for growth. That would be the big thing, because just making what you need to earn to make ends meat is not the same as making money to be around in 10 years time.

And yeah, so it was just definitely the beginning of this whole, overhaul of my mindset and everything, but just needed to do that work first before I could do the next bit.

CLARE: So I know that you did leave it to the end to join, what was coming up for you? What fears, holding you back from actually taking that step in and joining?

HAYLEY: I was tossing up, like, do I need a business coach? Which was the emergency thing that I needed to do first? So it was trying to decide, but the more I think I listened to your podcast, the more it cemented. Okay. Yeah, I definitely, I knew I had mindset things coming up, changing how I made decisions. So I knew that was sort of becoming a problem and I was probably aware of it for a while, but never realized how much it was affecting how I did things.

So I guess, also, just giving it the attention because I was at a point where I was really time poor, so it all coincided at the same time where I started you know, being really careful with what I said yes to for the first time ever, because in the old days, I was just all about like, Booking, booking, booking and then I started to really think about actually who is it that I want to help? Who am I going to best help as well? You need to have those right customers so that you can do that transformation for them as well. So yeah, it was kind of a variety of those elements,

CLARE: It’s always scary to make an investment. I have to say, I’ve got a bit more comfortable with it as the years have gone on, but not just the investment of money, the investment of time, you’ve hit the nail on the head. It’s always like, Oh, do I have the bandwidth to do this?

But I’m really proud of you for taking that courageous step and saying, I know my money’s important and I can’t keep working this hard for this little money.

HAYLEY: I was working hard, I was working till 2 o’clock in the morning and then getting up at 530. I’m not even joking. And then I was getting in the car, driving to Brisbane for a 12 hour shoot day, coming home at 9 o’clock at night. Picking up my three year old boy at the time, driving him home, then making his lunch for daycare, and then doing it again the next day.

I just remember sitting on the Bruce Highway, just crying on my way home, because I was like, this is not going to be, like, I can’t keep doing this long term, but how do I get off this train? I just couldn’t figure out, how do I stop this rat race? I knew I needed to. But I just didn’t know how to, I guess, and that your course actually made me properly stop as well and make the time to do it and yeah, and it’s, it was well and truly worth the money like I know it’s going to pay dividends, especially this next year.

Now I’ve done all this hard work over the last year, perfecting how we’re going to roll this out and what it’s going to look like. It’s really exciting.

CLARE: Yeah, for sure. So let’s maybe talk a little bit about inside the course. I’m super conscious that my clients and students are time poor and I’m pretty, I’m a bit of a direct straight shooter. I deliberately didn’t want this to be, you know, a 12 module, three month long course. I wanted it to be succinct with the information that you needed. As someone who’s come through, was that your experience inside?

HAYLEY: Oh, I just loved it. It was so succinct and I used to be a school teacher and I just loved it. It was like you’d had a education person put the whole… Way it rolled out together just the worksheets and everything. It really Was scaffolded in a way that from week one All the way to the finish.

It was just really what you could handle at that point in time I felt like it was drip fed to us in these little bits. I never felt overwhelmed I knew that by the time we were meeting you again, it was achievable, if we had to do a budget or something like that, or a forecasting spreadsheet to fill out, it really was only half an hour to an hour of my time to action it and then come back and reflect on it in the next session.

So I thought it was probably the, in, in a weird way, the easiest course I’ve probably done because it was so good in how it was bite sized and I wasn’t left feeling overwhelmed afterwards. I knew exactly what to do.

And I still use all those Excel spreadsheets that you gave us. I still use them every single week, actually and it’s been amazing.

So, yeah, I think it’s definitely for people who are really time for if you’re feeling really. You know, I guess like me where you weren’t sure what to do first, it’s definitely a really like the best place to start.

CLARE: Oh, that makes me so happy.

I put a lot into really trying to, because I’ve done courses myself where I’m like, Oh my gosh, there’s so much information here. It’s so overwhelming. And then my reaction is to just step back from it. And I think that when I’m creating products, I’m really trying to say. Do they really need to know that bit of information or, and, and try and keep it really action oriented rather than just all the theory.

It’s like, what does a small business owner actually need to do? So of the things that you learn inside, what do you think was the most valuable thing that you took out of the course?

HAYLEY: I loved the most was 12 month I can’t remember the exact wording that we called the document, but it was like the 12 month budget tracker. Like it was kind of like a prediction of what you’re going to earn and then all the expenses you’re probably going to have.

That for me was for the, like the first time, it sounds terrible saying this, but for the first time where I was like, Oh, that’s how much money I need to make. It was like, for once someone had said, that’s how you do it. This is, if you want to have this life or this ability to reinvest in having people help you and all of that, this is how you do it. And that’s how much money you’re going to have to make. So for me, that was probably the most transformational thing. And for me, I realized real quick, smart it was nowhere near enough.

The figure I had in my head of what I needed to make each month was quite incorrect and yeah, so for me, that was the biggest thing. Like, when was that document and the other one is the we got a, like a profit booster document that was a whole bunch of ideas that you could use to make other, you know, make extra income and I have referred to that on and off since the course too, because if I ever have a quiet month or maybe a couple of jobs were postponed or something like that’s happened, I just look at that and it’s like I can trigger my brain to, Anything’s possible. Actually, I can still try to hit that goal.

CLARE: Love that. Yeah. I mean, talking about the budget planner, because something that I, I learned very early on in my business journey, my very first client, actually, I sat down and looked at her numbers and she had a rapidly growing business. She was super busy. And when we looked at her numbers, I’m like, you know, you pay your admin person more than you pay yourself. And she sort of was like, what? Cause in her mind, she had this really successful, really busy business and hadn’t really realized how little money was actually coming out of it.

And so that was like my first experience in small business was really supporting her to say, Hey, we need to do things differently. Let’s actually have a look at your plan and how much you’re investing compared to, you know, what you’re turning over. So I love when people have those ahas when doing their budget.

I actually have it myself in my own business. When I sit down and do my budget, I revisit it every six months. Like I teach inside foundations and sometimes I’m like, Whoa, I need to, I’m going to need to add an extra revenue stream here, or, or, you know, maybe we need to cut back some of these expenses.

 So I love that that resonated and the 50 revenue boosters was an idea of mine. It’s a bonus inside the course. The reason why I wanted to add it is because sometimes when I find that people sit down and look at their numbers, they get across them and then they’re like, Oh, crap. And I didn’t just want to have this course where I got to the end of it. Okay, good luck. Sorry that it sucks. See you later. I really wanted to have, there’s a whole module in there, which is like, how do you actually grow your business? And the 50 Revenue Boosters is like, here’s not just an idea, here is 50 different ideas of how you can add money into your business.

Because I don’t have a formulaic way of teaching. Some people don’t want to run a course. And so in there, it’s like, Hey, why don’t you try this? Why don’t you try this? And, you know, even now off the top of my head, I’m thinking of ideas of things that you could do.

Like that’s literally what I created that you can go, cool. I could go in you know, and, and teach another person how to actually set up and start a design business. I mean, there’s That there in and of itself is one of the ideas that’s in the revenue boosters. So I’m really glad that you loved that. I definitely get a lot of positive feedback about that. So glad that that worked for you as well.

So let’s talk a little bit about, you know, getting into your numbers and, and what, what changes or transformations have you seen both in like how you feel about numbers, like how you feel now, but also has it actually changed things inside your business?

HAYLEY: Yes. So for me, once I’ve done the course and I realized we needed to grow, like I knew I’d cut back any expenses I could, but I was at a point where it was kind of like, do I just let my hair go gray?

And then it was like, okay, next things try to increase our profitability like sales and turnover. I was realizing that We had a really fluctuating income, like when I was looking back in your course, I could see like one month it had done 10 times what I normally would. And then the next month was like negative. And then the month after that, You know, it was just this really big fluctuating, you know, it was like big ginormous jobs. Then the next month was smaller ones, and it was just couldn’t be controlled.

So when I was looking at that 12 month forecast and that budget, I just realized that what’s more important to me for my Personal situation and how I want to leave is getting some kind of balancing.

So that’s when we started growing a monthly service where we have clients that we look after every single month. And the really exciting thing is. It’s been a slow burn. Like, if you look at my numbers, it won’t look that different until probably last month and this month. It’s been a very strategic, slow thing.

 We’ve purposely waited for the right people and the really exciting thing is that I literally am just loving work. I have like a whole, I loved it before, but it’s this whole new love for it now and you get to work with the same people over and over again instead of doing this one mega job and then not seeing them again for another two years. So you’re talking sometimes monthly, maybe even weekly, hearing how clients are going and building that really strong support system for them, where they’re feeling really supported by our work that we do for them. Like a recent client we submitted their shoot to House and Garden Australia. It got published. So just like all these things like that have been happening more often because I’m there thinking all the time or like channel nine will ring and say, Hey, do you have any cool houses that would be good for our new TV show? I’ll be like, Oh my God, get on the phone, ring around. There’s all these opportunities and clients can choose to take them or leave them. They don’t have to always do them if they’re busy or whatever, but at least there’s, I feel like we’re able to give this extra level of support. So that’s probably been the biggest change for me.

 As of last Friday, we hit the target I had for the amount of people that we were going to sign up for that monthly amount. And then over the next six months, we’ll slowly add another person a month. So each month that new client becomes the hero for that that time. So then I’m not distracted on boarding too many people at once. And then, yeah, so it’s been really exciting to bring that whole new layer to the business.

And I can see that it’s going to be sustainable growth for hiring people to help me eventually. And. You know, I have a little bit of help now, but one day I want there to be a full time role for someone and I can see now that that’s possible because the ebb and flowing has sort of stopped. So that’s been great.

And yes, that’s probably been the biggest change. I would probably, yeah, just stopping that whole roller coaster effect is what I’ve sort of been calling it. And yeah, I think probably that and then knowing, like having the tools has helped my mindset because I know I can prepare myself like, okay, this is a conscious choice that I’ve made.

We’re slowly building. That’s okay, because we’ve got this person and this person penciled in for the next two months, and then, you know, we can sustainably grow which has helped my mindset a lot, and it’s stopped that, like, as, as the numbers were rollercoastering, so was my mind all the time, so it’s shut that right down too.

CLARE: I love that. You’ve chosen a path that’s aligned for you and your circumstances and you’re starting to see the fruits of it. That’s really beautiful.

HAYLEY: Yeah. And I’m like, there would be ways that I could probably grow this faster. I know that that would be possible, but at the moment for me, that’s where I can see it being a really sustainable thing and also beneficial for our clients too. I don’t want to get so busy that then we’re not giving that level of excellence that we, always, you know, aim to deliver. So yeah, so just trying to keep that balance in place that everybody that’s already been with me for such a long time isn’t impacted by that either.

CLARE: Yeah, for sure. And hopefully no more 2am, oh my gosh, I don’t even know how to do that.

HAYLEY: Yeah, I don’t know either. It, it was really like now looking back, I’m just like, you know, but when you’re in it, it’s like, you know, a frog in boiling water, they don’t know to jump out. And I just was so cooked and tired in the head, I couldn’t think how to help myself is really what it was all about at the end of the day.

And I think making that little tiny bit of time, like I can’t even remember what the day was we did that course, but you know, it might be one hour on a Monday morning and then maybe half an hour after we’d hop off where I’d quickly write down everything that I had epiphanies about while you were talking. And make a to do list. That’s all I had to do. And that it was that action that helped stop me from, I guess being overwhelmed all the time.

CLARE: Oh, I’m so proud of you. Like it’s really courageous to carve out the time, make an investment like that. And you deserve to have everything, all, all of the wonderful things that are coming your way.

And I know as a mom too, like there’s, it’s almost invaluable to have that, that time. Back, you know, where you can actually be like, Oh my gosh, I can actually be a present, a present mom.

HAYLEY: My whole schedule’s changed now. Like even on my email signature, it’s nine till three. I am usually there to pick my boy up most days now instead of only one day a week, you know, and it’s made a big difference I think to us and you know, how we do life together as well. I can see that it’s possible that we’ll be able to go away on holidays more often, and we’ll be able to do a whole bunch of things that I never thought was humanly going to be possible. And now I can see that that’s possible for my son and I. So it’s been really, transformative. And if you’d said to me, this was all going to happen after doing just, you know, a short term course, like I did, I wouldn’t have believed it at the time. So yeah, it’s been an amazing effect for me.

CLARE: Oh, well, thank you. And I love you can, you really, you’ve made the effort, like that’s the thing you can do a course.

And if you don’t show up and do the work and implement the changes, you won’t get the outcome, but you were there, you put it into place and hats off to you.

So you know, I love to give my, my interviewees an opportunity to share a little bit about their business and how people can work with them. If people are listening to the podcast and want to connect, what’s the best way they can do so.

HAYLEY: The best way is via our Instagram, Wholehearted Studio and we also, you can find us on our website at www. wholeheartedstudio. com. au. But yeah, they’re the two best ways, and yeah, usually get back to everybody pretty quickly. So if anybody wants to just jump on Instagram and have a little quick chat, happy to do that too.

CLARE: Amazing. Well, I’ll pop those links in the show notes. If you’re listening to this podcast and you’re not watching a recording, you, you won’t be able to see, but she’s got a beautiful background, beautifully styled background as we sit here and, and chat right now.

So look, it’s been really lovely to chat to you again, thank you for investing in the program and thank you for coming and sharing your experience.

* Transcript created by AI – may contain errors or omissions from original podcast audio


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