Bookkeeping Wasn’t Her First Career Passion: Ean Price Murphy

Bookkeeping Wasn’t Her First Career Passion: Ean Price Murphy


Check out all episodes on the My Favorite Mistake main page.

My guest for Episode #107 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Ean Price Murphy, who founded Moxie Bookkeeping & Coaching Inc in 2003 to work with creative businesses and nonprofits.

In today's episode, Ean shares her “favorite mistake” story about believing financial advice without questioning it. She was told, and believed, the idea of “follow your passion and money will come.” Is that always true? It wasn't true for Ean in her first career, but she did, thankfully, find another field to be passionate about, as you'll hear her discuss.

We talk about that and other topics including:

  • Why it was a mistake to think she needed to just work harder to earn more
  • How did you, personally, get into this line of work?
  • What would you have done differently? Do that sooner?
  • What are your thoughts on so-called “hustle culture”?
  • What makes your firm different than other bookkeepers?
  • You have an approach called “Profit First” system? What is this?
  • The 5 Money Myths” — free download

Find Ean and her company on Social Media:

Scroll down to find:

  • Watch the video
  • How to subscribe
  • Full transcript



"I feel like failure is a daily thing in a wonderful way. If we're not failing at stuff, we're not trying enough stuff."
"Failure is what tells you something's not working so that you can go find what does work. Maybe you happen upon it, but, no, overnight successes take decades."

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Automated Transcript (Likely Contains Mistakes)

Mark Graban (0s):

Episode 107, Ean Price Murphy, founder of Moxie, bookkeeping, and coaching…

Ean Price Murphy (8s):

You know, failure is a daily thing in a wonderful way.

Mark Graban (16s):

I'm Mark Graban. This is My Favorite Mistake. In this podcast, you'll hear business leaders and other really interesting people talking about their favorite mistakes because we all make mistakes, but what matters is learning from our mistakes instead of repeating them over and over again. So this is the place for honest reflection and conversation, personal growth and professional success. Visit our website at For links, show notes, and more, go to Please follow rate, and review. And if you like the episode, please share it with a friend or a colleague.

Mark Graban (56s):

Thanks. And we're joined today. Our guest is Ean Price Murphy. She is the founder of Moxie, bookkeeping and coaching. She founded the company in 2003. It's work with creative businesses and nonprofits. So Ean, welcome to the podcast. How are you?

Ean Price Murphy (1m 12s):

I'm good. How are you? I am

Mark Graban (1m 14s):

Doing really well. It's a it's Ean with an E. Is that the mistake people often make then?

Ean Price Murphy (1m 21s):

No, I, I think people ask me a lot of times, you know, is that short for anything or what's the origin of that? Or how do you say that hippie parents is my excuse. Yeah. My sister got named after both of my grandmothers, so there, you know, what were they going to do with me?

Mark Graban (1m 46s):


Ean Price Murphy (1m 49s):


Mark Graban (1m 50s):

So we'll dive right in and we'll, we'll talk more about your business and bookkeeping and maybe some mistakes in that realm, but we always like to start off with the personal story. Ean, what's your favorite mistake?

Ean Price Murphy (2m 4s):

My favorite mistake, one of the biggest events and mistakes in my life and kind of where everything else came from was believing the advice that I was given without question specifically, financial advice, specifically work hard and you will succeed, follow the passion and the money will come. And in my case, working as hard as I could and trying to create a life around that without having any financial literacy led me to bankruptcy. And yeah, that was brutal.

Ean Price Murphy (2m 45s):

I could smile about it now because I'm way on the other side of it that happened in my mid twenties and I'm really glad it happened young and I'm really glad it happened to me personally and not through a business, but

It definitely started me on the path that I'm on now. And I would never have gotten where I am without it. So, so we can maybe dig into some of the details of your story there, but you, you, maybe this is kind of intertwined the founding of Moxie. That wa that was not your initial career path. Right?

Ean Price Murphy (3m 25s):

I would say it was my initial career path because I didn't have a career that was part of the financial issue was, you know, I always thought I wanted to be a teacher. And then I did my senior internship at a last stop high school in New York city. And I just was like, whoops.

Mark Graban (3m 46s):

And my last stop, you mean, it's just like kids who have gotten in trouble, those schools that

Ean Price Murphy (3m 51s):

I've been thrown out of regular high schools, and this is the last stop for them before they drop out or go to jail or pass away. So it, you know, for, for a young idealistic suburban girl, it was way too much. I just did not have any of the emotional armor that I needed. I did not have good boundaries around, you know, tough things. Yeah. I just, I, I felt completely out of my depth and unable to serve in the way that I wanted to.

Ean Price Murphy (4m 32s):

And so I sort of thought about teaching in a couple of different arenas. I tried middle school. You can imagine how that went.

Mark Graban (4m 40s):

I tried

Ean Price Murphy (4m 42s):

Boy. Yeah. More than I, more than I had. So the last teaching attempt that I, that I tried was adult ed. And that was really fun, but the, in order to get my certification, they said I had to go back and take college typing. And I was like, I'm no, I'm not right. So from there I sort of had this wandering. I don't really, I mean, so, okay. So let's just start with teachers. Don't get paid well and fake teachers who are not certified and are just sort of in the system to maybe be a teacher someday get paid even less. So that was definitely like cross off, follow your passion and the money will come. If you're a teacher, you can just kiss that one goodbye.

Ean Price Murphy (5m 25s):

And so I sort of try to figure out what else to do. And so I was, you know, bartending at night and temping during the day and picking up odd shifts here and there. But when you live in a city that's expensive, it's, it's really hard, even when you know what you're doing to make a living. And I just, again, hadn't been really taught how to see the problems before they were problems. Right. I thought I just needed to work harder. I thought I just needed to pick up another shift. I thought I just needed hustle more for tips. And it, that was almost true. You know, it is, as I discovered, incredibly expensive to be poor, that you can kind of bump along, okay.

Ean Price Murphy (6m 11s):

As long as nothing bad happens, but things always happen. Right. You know, there's a slow night at the bar and you don't get any tips or, you know, the power goes out at your building and you got to skip work for that. Or a roommate skips out on a phone bill, or you have to change apartments or change jobs. And so, you know, within a few years just by putting living expenses on my credit card for, to make up for the shortfall of what I didn't have each month, I grew tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt with insane interest rates. And I, you know, tried all sorts of six months, 0% financing and shifting things around and paying off what I could.

Ean Price Murphy (6m 53s):

And, you know, I just didn't have the information that this is never going to work. You just don't, you know, you live in a financial drought. You're not bringing in enough to ever make this work. And it took a bankruptcy for me to be able to see that truth. And that was when I sort of was like, well, maybe I shouldn't work for other people anymore to work for myself and set my own wage.

Mark Graban (7m 19s):

And now did having the personal bankruptcy on your record caught create any problems with starting a business and getting started or was that just, that was, that was a good pathway to financial, at least stability, if not success.

Ean Price Murphy (7m 37s):

Yeah. So, you know, because of the kind of business that I started, I just started as a freelance bookkeeper and was on my own for the first few years. I was able to very quickly and thankfully, you know, bookkeeping is a pretty sought after everybody knows they, they need a bookkeeper, right? It's not a hard sell. So I was able to fill up a client roster really quickly and, you know, charge what I needed to charge to get by. And that was such a huge shift. I was making almost three times as much as I was working for someone else. And that allowed me to, you know, stabilize save and plan.

Ean Price Murphy (8m 16s):

And, and that just was a huge difference. And what sort of transitioned me from freelance to being a business owner was, you know, I just, I worried that it was just me. And so again, even though I now have financial stability, if I get sick, if you know, again, all of these, what ifs there was that wasn't going to carry me through six months of not working. And so I was like, I need, I need, I need one level up of stability. I need my income not to be dependent on my time.

Mark Graban (8m 49s):

So at what point did you transition from freelancing to having a company building a team?

Ean Price Murphy (8m 55s):

Yeah, that was when

Mark Graban (8m 56s):

We actually became Moxie. So I was just freelancing as myself and I had a friend of mine from the west coast who her dad was a CPA and I had more clients than I could really manage effectively and knew that I needed to get somebody. And she ended up coming on the team. She's still with us more than 10 years later, 15 years later, she's been with us a while now. So I hired her, I think in 2005. So there was a little period in there where I kind of, you know, knew that that was what I was going to do. And then we got an employee and kept growing and now there's 15 of us, so yeah, slow and steady. So I think, you know, one reflection question on, you know, mistakes, you framed it as, you know, following that advice of follow your passion, money will come, was the mistake not.

Mark Graban (9m 49s):

So what I hear you saying and correct me if I'm wrong is the mistake was not pursuing your own path sooner as a freelancer and then starting the company. If you could go back in time, which obviously we can't, would you have started that instead of temping and bartending?

Ean Price Murphy (10m 5s):

I don't know. I mean, I think again, that's why it's sort of, of my favorite mistake is it's one of the ones where it's like, I don't know that I would change anything because then I wouldn't be where I am. And I don't think following the advice was wrong. I don't think it's bad advice. I think it was wrong to fall. It unquestioningly to think that that was the, you know, that that was an, an immutable truth rather than a philosophy

Mark Graban (10m 35s):

Or at least one philosophy.

Ean Price Murphy (10m 39s):

So, right. I mean, you know, I think that the way that I ended up working it out was finding my passion in what made me money, you know, because again, I think that part of the reason that I really love what I do is because I've managed to weave teaching deeply into it. You know, I'm not a bookkeeper that just shows up does, and then leaves. I want to talk about it with you. I want to make sure you understand. I want to make sure you know, what to do next. And, you know, and we do a lot of software setup and training. And I really love that part of watching people say, oh, that's actually not that hard.

Ean Price Murphy (11m 20s):

You know, with a couple pieces of information, those were the keys that I needed to start the bookkeeping car, and now I can drive it around on my own. And I just love those little moments where people realize they know way more than they thought they did, or that they're much better at something that they just assumed they would never know.

Mark Graban (11m 39s):

Well, that's great that you can do the teaching. Do you end up as you're working with clients, is there any overlap between giving business, coaching, anything into the realm of how that affects personal?

Ean Price Murphy (11m 54s):

Always, always. And part of that reason is if your business isn't doing well, likely you are borrowing from yourself and jeopardizing your personal finance. And if you don't have, okay, spending habits in your personal life, likely you're going to be draining your business. And I had a client that I had to stop working with because he had a fantastic business. He was making tons of money and had a great team beneath him that were really underpaid. And they knew it and, you know, but he was saying, I don't have any money left.

Ean Price Murphy (12m 37s):

He was taking home $350,000 a year and felt broke. And that was because his partner, his wife felt like they needed to be living a lifestyle that was not what they could afford. And so, you know, they had two kids and they were just, you know, going for all of the everythings. And, and so she would just rack up a huge credit card bill and then he would have to take from the business to pay it. And yeah, so, you know, so he was sort of asking me if I could step in and mediate that

Mark Graban (13m 17s):

That's a different realm of counseling.

Ean Price Murphy (13m 20s):

That's I was like, that's marital therapy. That's not bookkeeping. Right. You know, so, I mean, I'm happy to give her the information, but I feel like you've probably already given it to her and what her behavior suggests is that she's not interested in changing. So, you know, I can't, I can only really help you with the business stuff, but even that, until you have this figured out, I don't, I don't think it's worth, you're paying me to tell you stuff you already know, and aren't going to do anything about,

Mark Graban (13m 51s):

And if thinking of the context of you and Moxy and your business, if you are busy enough to pick and choose to an extent who you're working with, that's a good, a good position for, for you or for any business to be in.

Ean Price Murphy (14m 5s):

And that is for sure where I will lean into follow your passion. And the money will come is I, if I were to work with people that I don't like, I might as well be working for someone else. So I just have a hard and fast rule that I don't work with people that, that you know, who treat me like the help or who don't respect their time or my time or their money. I can't care more about your business than you do. You know, even if I like you as a person, that's just a, that's just a deal breaker for me. And I'd rather not have that client and make room for the possibility of the right client.

Ean Price Murphy (14m 49s):

Then be a little fearful and say, well, I don't have anybody to replace you. So let's just keep doing this.

Mark Graban (14m 55s):

And the, and that can drag you down personally, or drag your business down. Like there's an author. I'm thinking of Michael port who wrote a book called book yourself, solid. If you're familiar with that book. And that's one of the points he makes is like sketching out your ideal client in different dimensions, including kind of on a personal level. Who are you energized by? Who do you like working with? Because you're more likely to be successful. And then you get word of mouth referrals, which is the cheapest form of marketing. So if there's something besides for that, but you have to be in that position where you can pick and choose. And there are times me personally, some people that I've worked with refill, you feel pressured to take work because while it's work warm, you, you do have to be careful about that.

Ean Price Murphy (15m 40s):

Yeah. I mean, I think that that is one of those things where you have to, you just have to look at it at a case-by-case basis, if it is a short-term project that, you know, has an end date and you have a very strong contract on scope of work. Okay. But nine times out of 10, you know, the work that you take, that's not an ideal client. There's a reason you didn't want to take them. And they often end up using more of your energy and not being a profitable project. So, you know, again, you gotta do what you gotta do, but those are the moments to really make sure that you are as solid and clear as possible with all of your boundaries around scope of work.

Ean Price Murphy (16m 25s):

When you can call me, you know, not 2:00 AM on a Saturday kind of a thing, because clients will do that. Not all of them, but you know, the ones that are desperate to find you are desperate for any reason. Yeah.

Mark Graban (16m 39s):

Well, I want to go back, you know, we talk more about your business and Moxy and some of the approach, but, you know, going back to what you were talking about earlier, two things come to mind. One is, you know, the idea of hustle culture. I don't know if you, I don't think he used that exact phrase there's been, you know, in some circles, a backlash to that maybe to the point you were making of, we can preach work harder, harder, harder, harder, but that, that might work for some, that doesn't mean it's going to work for everybody. Right. When do you have any more thoughts on, on that?

Ean Price Murphy (17m 12s):

Yeah. I mean, I think that the whole sort of hashtag grind, hashtag hustle side hustle, just, just like those sort of advice, platitudes, it's not wrong. It's just, we shouldn't take that unquestioning. Right. Wha why are you, if it's a, again, a short term, I'm going to really put my back into it for three months so that I reach this objective, and I'm very sure that I can great go for it. But if you live in this state of anxiety and stress, like A) you are literally killing yourself and B) what are you losing?

Ean Price Murphy (18m 1s):

Sleep, family relationships, time, money, like it, to me, it's, it's not worth it. Most of the time. I do not glorify the grind. I understand that it is necessary from time to time, but, you know, and I do think we're sort of moving away from that as a culture. You know, the eighties, nineties was all about like, oh dude, I only got two hours of sleep last night. You know, I was grinded hard work and I don't, I don't hear that as much anymore, other than from, you know, some, some very visible business leaders who I think have a very effective chemical imbalance, you know, they've got this, I only need to sleep two hours a night weirdness about them.

Ean Price Murphy (18m 48s):

And that's cool. Mine's the opposite. I like to sleep 14 hours.

Mark Graban (18m 53s):

Yeah. I mean, I think I still do see more profiles of entrepreneurs or business people, their articles, more likely to say something about how they're up at 4:00 AM and they're in the gym by four 17 every morning and very little sleep. I can't remember reading a profile about an entrepreneur or executive, and they must be out there given to this variation in people and how they operate of somebody who prioritizes getting a good seven hours of sleep a night and they find ways to be effective instead of bragging about how many hours they wore.

Ean Price Murphy (19m 27s):

Yes. I mean, for sure, that's true. And I don't know, again, whether that's just the people that are being profiled or there was a nonprofit I worked with and, and the executive director, there was a woman who really only needed two hours sleep a night. She was, she was up and effective 22 hours a day. And I just was like, wow, you know, of course she's successful. She's got three times longer in a day than the rest of us does, but, you know, and I, I have all sorts of thoughts and opinions about, you know, why, and we're four, et cetera.

Ean Price Murphy (20m 7s):

I think the thing that's important for me to remember is not to let anyone else tell me what success should look like. You know, for me, success is getting eight to nine hours of sleep a night and waking up in time to take my dog out on a walk. And I do like going to the gym in the morning, cause that helps my day go better, you know, but I want to be done at a certain time and I really want my light. Right. I'm definitely a work to live kind of person, not a live to work. So, you know, is that why I didn't make the 40 under 40 lists? Yeah, probably I'm okay with that. Right. My bills are paid. I have a beautiful home that love.

Ean Price Murphy (20m 48s):

I feel like the things that I want to go do, I can, I have enough that I, you know, am able to support the causes and charities that I like both in a consistent, monthly way as, as well as when something urgent pops up. I feel no lack in my life. I can't imagine a better definition of success than that.

Mark Graban (21m 11s):

That's great. One other thing you mentioned earlier about following your passion reminds me, one of my favorite movies ever is office space. Are you in an office space span?

Ean Price Murphy (21m 22s):

I am a fan. I've never really worked in a cubicle. So a lot of it, I was like, that looks horrible. Why would people do that for a living? But yes, there was,

Mark Graban (21m 32s):

I tried cubicle land for awhile. I am thankfully out of cubicle land for a decade now, but you know, Peter Gibbons, who's not happy with his job. He's talking to his next door neighbor. Who's like a construction worker and you have to have a following your, your passion. And one of them says like, no, man, that's BS like the garbage man. Nobody would ever become a garbage man.

Ean Price Murphy (21m 54s):

And we definitely need garbage

Mark Graban (21m 55s):

Men when we do. And so I think it's, it's tough because I mean, we, you know, this is not to get too philosophical, but there could be dignity in all work. And hopefully organizations and society can help create that. But I, you know, I feel at times personally really blessed that I do get to follow passions as you put it, following a passion that also makes a living and not everybody has that, that good fortune.

Ean Price Murphy (22m 23s):

And yeah. And, and so for, for the garbage man or whoever who has a day job that they don't love, maybe that's, you know, what funds their passion on the off hours. And hopefully they didn't burn themselves out. I knew a woman who worked at Goldman Sachs and worked there for years and years and years. And she really was a singer. That was what she wanted to do. And on her off time, she's saying constantly she was acquired. And then 2008 happened, she was laid off and her pension was gone. And, you know, she just, she has, she and I were sitting and having coffee and talking, she was just like, why did I, you know, I gave up so much for this false notion of stability and my heart just broke for her.

Ean Price Murphy (23m 11s):

But I also think that she did the right thing for her at the time, you know, because it did fund her ability to go do all of this stuff in the moment. Maybe it didn't work out the way that she wanted it, but that's no guarantee for anybody no matter what you do.

Mark Graban (23m 29s):

Yeah. That's a good point. And you know, I'm just thinking back, just, you know, real quick version of my story. When I was a kid, I had a friend whose dad was a journalist and he was a baseball writer. I loved baseball. My friend's dad got the travel with the Detroit Tigers and go to every game and about it. And I wanted to do that or I wanted, you know, I really wanted to be a journalist. My dad, who's an engineer steered me towards engineering because I also had the math and science ability to pursue that. But thankfully, that's sort of like what you were describing about being able to incorporate teaching into the work you do. Now. I learned, well, as an engineer, you can still find things to write about. I'm not a professional journalist, but I get to scratch that desire to, to create and write.

Mark Graban (24m 16s):

So I'm, I'm fortunate to have found a path to that. And I would hope listeners and others who are still trying to figure that out can find something the way you have the way I have.

Ean Price Murphy (24m 26s):


Mark Graban (24m 28s):

So let's talk about that, that business and the passion with Moxie, it seems like there are a couple approaches that make your, your firm different. I mean, how would you summarize that? Like the elevator pitch of before talking about some of the specific approaches and programs, is it a matter of attitude or the way you go about things?

Ean Price Murphy (24m 50s):

I mean, I, honestly, I think that it, it is the program that we follow. That's really what makes us different and then also our attitude, you know, but even before that, when people would ask me, you know, so what's the difference between you and another bookkeeper? I'd be like, not, not much, you know, it's essentially a personality flavor, like it's Coke versus Pepsi, really close. We do the same things. Ideally, you know, hopefully, well, there's not a lot of leeway in bookkeeping. It either lines up or it doesn't how you get there. You can take a couple of different paths. So for me, finding the profit first methodology was not only the system that I just think is so easy and elegant and beautiful, but also the differentiator.

Ean Price Murphy (25m 44s):

We tend to work with creatives, primarily service-based businesses, but we focus really, especially on creatives, online business coaches that sort of bleeds over into health and wellness a little bit every now and then we get a really creative attorney. Who's a collaborative thinker and a creative problem solver. And those people tend to fall into one of two camps either. They know that their time is better spent on something other than the back office or they're downright loafing that work and would rather, you know, pull their hair out then than do little numbers and little boxes, but they know they have to know where they stand financially.

Ean Price Murphy (26m 31s):

And so what I love about profit first was that it answered the question that I think small business owners are always really asking, which is not, can you show me my P&L, but what can I afford to do this month? And so by separating out the money into these different bank accounts and assigning each one, a purpose, they can then look at their bank balance and go, yep. I'm okay for the month or, Ooh, little I'm a little low. I better go figure out what's what's going on. Do I need to call in some collections? Do I need to go make some sales what's up? But that what's up. It gives them the time and space to go figure it out and correct it before checks are bouncing, which is usually what happens, right?

Ean Price Murphy (27m 19s):

We live our lives. We go out, we try to get as many sales in as is reasonable and, you know, hope that someone's kind of taking care of it and hoping that our accountant will figure it out for us at the end of the year, but that's not their job, right? Their job is to get you paying the least amount of tax legally possible to keep you in compliance. And it's not really the bookkeeper's job, either. Their job is to make sure that your books are perfect. So there's that whole middle zone where CFOs live in a large company that for small business really hasn't been even illuminated as a need that can be filled much less actually filled.

Mark Graban (28m 1s):

So what I hear you saying is you're trying to proactively keep people out of business trouble, as opposed to just reacting to it. At some point, maybe it's too late. You can't fix a bad cash position once you're into it, or it's difficult,

Ean Price Murphy (28m 16s):

Difficult, it's difficult. And even then you need to have a plan, right? That was how I ended up in bankruptcy. That's how, you know, 50% of businesses end up closing in the first couple of years, the statistic is 82% of those businesses. That close site cashflow is the reason. And that doesn't mean not making sales or not having a product or a service that people really want. It just means not having the money that you need when you need it. And sometimes that's just one big tax bill at the end of the year that can really knock you out.

Mark Graban (28m 51s):

So when you say profit first, that doesn't mean profit only because you know, you're going to think of as a, as a business person myself, you've got, you've got profitability, but then, and then there's cashflow and there are many profitable businesses that have gotten into a cash crunch.

Ean Price Murphy (29m 3s):

Yes. So profit first doesn't mean profit at any cost. It doesn't mean profit only. It's it's recognizing in a two word kind of way other catchy way that what profit is, is sustainability growth savings for emergencies, savings for needs, you know, annual needs, et cetera. A lot of times it's also owner's pay it's the tax payments. So the idea is just to flip the traditional accounting formula sales minus expenses equals profit, where profit comes last, so that it's sales, profit equals expenses.

Ean Price Murphy (29m 44s):

So once you set aside what you need to pay the government and what you need to set aside, to make sure you protect that cash profit, that entrepreneurial profit, not the on paper accounting, profit, and make sure you're setting aside a way a sustainable wage for yourself. Then what's left over is what you can afford. Now, you don't need a budget spreadsheet that has a hundred dollars a month for office supplies, just because you want to make things balanced. And you're like, wow, I don't need that. And now I don't know what to do with my budget.

Mark Graban (30m 18s):

And when you talk about having different accounts, is this a matter of thinking, like you're making me think about my own business here. There's there's payroll, there's ongoing operational expenses. And then maybe at some point there's the ability to spend money to invest in growth. Would you look at that as a separate bucket to make sure we're not investing in growth at the expense of some of the basics that we need to meet? Or is it very situated?

Ean Price Murphy (30m 44s):

Yes. Short answer is if you're reinvesting the profit, that's not profit, that's an expense. So the five basic accounts in profit first are an income account so that you have all of your income flowing into a single place. And you can begin to see the patterns. What are my peak seasons? What are my slow seasons? Do I get paid the first week of every month or the last week or something in between once you understand how the money flows in, you can then better plan when it should go out. Right? So if I collect the vast majority of my income on the first week of the month, then I know that I can do all my bill paying on the third month, third week of the month, because that's close enough, but I'm about to get that cup refilled.

Ean Price Murphy (31m 35s):

So we have an income account. We have a tax account where we put aside a percentage for estimated taxes and annual taxes. That is not our money. It never was, do not touch. Then we set aside money for again, that cash profit, because so often I see business owners look at their profit and loss and say, well, this says that I made $80,000 last year. Where is it? It's not in my bank account. And I go, yeah, I remember that credit card. He carried over, like it went there and I went and paid on the loan and it, and it went to pay you. And when you look at that, like, that's not very much money anymore, but you still have to pay tax on it, which is why we like to set aside that cash for taxes and why we like to set aside the cash for profit, because that's, then what we can use in case of a true emergency.

Ean Price Murphy (32m 31s):

We have our owners pay, which is a holding account so that we can pay ourselves the same amount out every two weeks, regardless of fluctuations in. We just have to make sure we're refilling that glass faster than we're drawing from it. And lastly is our operating expense account. And so those are the basics in my business. I separate out marketing. Some people separate out annual expenses or, you know, thinking, I know that I'm going to do a big push in a couple of months. And I want to fund that account. One of the most interesting uses of an extra account that I've seen in suggest is when someone says, I want to come up with a new, regular expense, for instance, I want to hire somebody and I go, okay, well, so how much about would you be paying them a month?

Ean Price Murphy (33m 17s):

Well, $5,000 a month. Okay. Let's see if we can slice that out of your operating expenses now over to a new hire account. And if we can consistently fill that for two or three months at our target 5,000 a month, then we know we can absolutely afford that person. And we've got a cushion to do so. So that if the first hire doesn't work out, which is unfortunately the case, sometimes we're not like, oh, now what you know, now I invested all of this and now I'm broke and I can't afford to hire somebody else, but it still needs somebody else. It's fabulous. Yeah.

Mark Graban (33m 56s):

Well, people can learn more about the profits first system and the work at Moxie bookkeeping. Final question here, our guest again has been Ean Price Murphy on there's a free download available on Ean's website and encourage people to go check it out. I'll link to it in the show notes, the five money myths. Can you, can you give us just one, like, you know, and leave the rest as a w w we'll tease the other four for people to go and check out that downward.

Ean Price Murphy (34m 25s):

I think the one that pops to mind for this case specifically is that only successful people have this figured out. And I think it's quite the opposite. I think it's people who figure this out become successful. And so just because you don't think of yourself as good with math or good with numbers or that you don't love bookkeeping, that's okay. You don't have to be the mechanic on your own car. That's what we've got experts for, but you have to have a system in place so that you can go back to paying attention to the things that you want to pay attention to and know that everything else is running smoothly.

Mark Graban (35m 4s):

And so the myth there is say that, say that one more time. Cause I think there, there was an interesting twist there. I just want to ask you to repeat that

Ean Price Murphy (35m 12s):

The myth, the myth is only successful. People have this stuff figured out and I believe that it is figuring it out is what makes you successful.

Mark Graban (35m 24s):

Yes, that's a good twist. And it reminds me of, you know, just kind of the general theme of the podcast here where sometimes people think, oh, they must be successful because they've never made mistakes. Well, I think quite, quite the opposite district people are successful because they learn from their mistakes. And it sounds like you as, as my other guests happy and have a track record, I'll give you the last word. You, you reacted pretty strongly to that idea. What, what else do you have to say to that before we get?

Ean Price Murphy (35m 56s):

Yeah, I mean, I feel like failure is a daily thing in a wonderful way. Right? If we're not failing at stuff, we're not trying enough stuff. Failure is what tells you something's not working so that you can go find what does work. Maybe you happen upon it, but no overnight successes take decades.

Mark Graban (36m 23s):

Then it just seems like overnight sometimes. Yeah. Well, that's great. Well, again, thank you so much for being a guest for sharing your story and you know, your reflections and great conversation with you. So again, Ean Price Murphy has been our guest from Moxie Bookkeeping my mistake. I don't have it right in front of me. So I'll just ask you, the website is

Ean Price Murphy (36m 44s):

Mark Graban (36m 46s):

I would have guessed that, but I wish we had it to be

Ean Price Murphy (36m 50s):

Then I would have said, “No! That's wrong.”

Mark Graban (36m 55s):

So like you said, mistakes, daily thing, myself included. So anyway, I hope you didn't think it was a mistake to be here on the podcast. It certainly wasn't a mistake to have you. So thank you again for show notes, links, and more about Ean Murphy Price and Moxie Bookkeeping and Coaching. Go to As always, I want to thank you for listening. I hope this podcast inspires you to reflect on your own mistakes, how you can learn from them or turn them into a positive I've had listeners tell me they started being more open and honest about mistakes and their work. And they're trying to create a workplace culture where it's safe to speak up about problems because that leads to more improvement and better business results.

Mark Graban (37m 39s):

If you have feedback or a story to share, you can email me And again, our website is

Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. He is also a Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Marketing with the healthcare advisory firm, Value Capture.