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  • Writer's pictureJacob Curtis

Escaping the Crushing Weight of Debt Can Only Happen with Profit

Well-dressed poverty is still poverty. Just because your business is making a lot of money doesn’t mean you’re keeping it. Often, we focus too much on the top line (sales) and think that someday we’ll make it.

“If I only work hard enough. Once I break $250,000 in sales, I’ll finally have enough to bring home the bacon!” 

And so you take out a loan and buy inventory. You get your shop looking cute. Customers come; you’re making sales and paying (most) of the bills. And before you know it, you’ve made $250,000. But you’re not where you thought you’d be.

And so, you think, “Everything will be fine when I make it to $500,000.” And then $500,000 comes, and you’re still barely taking anything home for yourself. This pattern continues up and up. I have seen it with small $250,000 shops and all the way up to $2 million dollar shops. You have the wrong focus.

You are trying to sell and borrow your way into financial freedom. But business just does not work that way. There are more factors to consider. You can piece together financial freedom by using the Profit First system in your quilt and craft shop because it accounts for those additional factors.

.You Need Profit

You need profit, especially if you are drowning in debt and barely keeping your head above water. Only with profits can you dig yourself out of that debt hole.

This is the ultimate survival moment. If you focus all your energy on paying down debt, that is all you will achieve. You’ll still be caught in the top-line thinking mentality, which will more than likely end with you in another debt hole and probably an even bigger one.

Even when your quilt and craft shop is in debt, you must establish a habit of putting your profit first. You must pay your business first. Using the Profit First system will fix the problem permanently. Financial crises will be a thing of the past once your business is debt-free because you’ll have cash and won’t be paying it out as debt payments. Financial guru Dave Ramsey says debt is the number one wealth killer today.

The Profit First system I’m teaching you will keep your focus on a super healthy quilt and craft shop, working in your sweet spot to provide goods and services for your ideal customers. This laser focus will automatically keep your costs down, allowing you to pay off debt faster and eventually increase your Profit percentage.

Each quarter, when paying your quarterly profit distribution, take 99 percent of the profits and pay down the debt. The remaining 1 percent of your profit distribution goes toward rewarding yourself. This way, the debt gets hit aggressively, but you still strengthen your Profit First habit by rewarding yourself.

Suppose you wait to start Profit First until after you’ve paid off or paid down your debt. In that case, you are less likely ever to build the business efficiencies that will permanently eradicate your debt and create a perpetual profit stream. Start the habit now, and that 99 percent will eventually go toward building up your cash reserves and your own profit distribution.

Here Are Four Tips To Help You Destroy Your Debt

Number 1 - Enjoy saving more than you enjoy spending. When something makes you happy in the moment, you’ll keep doing it. If spending makes you happy, you’ll spend more. And that spending could range from an extra bolt of fabric here to a new hire there, racking up the debt even more. But when you enjoy saving more, you’ll look for opportunities to save more—coupons, sales, bargain bins, etc. And saving 100 percent because you eliminated the expense entirely is a satisfying, lasting joy!

Give yourself more joy when you choose not to spend money than when you choose to spend it. Give yourself joy when your bottom line grows. Give yourself joy when you increase your profit percentage. Enjoy saving more than you enjoy spending.

Number 2 - Keep your numbers in perspective. Your best month is not the new normal. Looking at your numbers daily, weekly, or monthly can be dangerous. If you have a great month, you may expect to do well the following month, so you prepare for it, usually by spending more than you should. This new “best” month becomes the expectation, not the exception. Instead, you should look at a rolling twelve-month average and compare that to the current month.

And that is why Profit First is a valuable tool. When a big month comes, you put a larger sum of money into your accounts. When a terrible month comes, you put in a smaller sum of money in your accounts, but always the same percentage, keeping your numbers in perspective.

Number 3 - Freeze your debt. By this, I mean stop adding more debt to your quilt and craft shop. Cut up the credit cards; stop drawing on the line of credit. How can you expect to pay down (or pay off) your debt if you keep using debt to run your business?

Number 4 - Read The Momentum Theorem by Dave Ramsey. This quick read is encouraging and motivating. It is about creating unstoppable momentum in all areas of your life, including your shop. The cliff notes version is this: Focused intensity, over time, and multiplied by God equals unstoppable momentum.

Momentum builds slowly but relentlessly. Small, repetitive, continuous actions, chained together, build significant momentum. And that is how you destroy your debt and piece together financial freedom.


Using these Profit First principles (and common sense) saved our shop. They can help you as well if you stick with them.

Remember, you can only pay off your debt with the profits from your quilt and craft shop. You get profits by enjoying saving more than spending, keeping your numbers in perspective, freezing your debt, and employing the momentum theorem.

Next Steps

Debt is a symptom of larger problems. Email me at if you would like access to my new quick-read ebook, 7 Financial Mistakes That Put Quilt & Craft Shop Owners Out Of Business. In it, I explain each mistake and how to fix them.


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