In 2016 I stumbled upon a webinar by some guy who wrote 2 books in 30 days (each). So I signed up for the webinar where he talked about how he did it. And I thought: “Ha! A book in 30 days- I would love that!”. I didn’t buy his course — he wasn’t convincing enough. But I did take quite a few notes for myself and writing a book “some day” go onto my long to-do list.
This “project”, or idea rather, went nowhere for about 2 years. In 2018 I applied for an award by Intuit (leading small business bookkeeping software company that owns QuickBooks) called “Firm of the Future”. The criteria was to describe how I used technology to transform a small business (client). So I described how I used QuickBooks’s Budget feature to convert it into a Cash Flow Forecast for one of my favorite clients.
Sure enough (by no means did I expect it), I got a top-15 place around the world! 3 firms from each country were selected (US, UK, Canada, India and Australia) my little 1-woman show firm was one of them!
When it happened, I realized that I’ve got something good and decided that I needed to do something with it. I just wasn’t sure what, exactly. Being a non-native English speaker and a natural introvert, I had a ton of self criticisms and reservations. I told myself I was a bad sales person, that I was a bad writer, I was a bad reader, and many more of those self-diminishing thoughts and remarks for myself.
In 2018, when I got the Runner-Up “win”, it gave me strength to seek help. And yes, that meant investing money into my own development. I came across a training program to become a tax planner. That means that in addition to filing taxes and giving people what they need (but hate, cause, I mean, who loves dealing with and paying taxes?), which was tax preparation & bookkeeping, I would provide them what they want, which was more tax money back into their accounts. Clients LOVED that. Who doesn’t?
The training program promised a lot of business and revenue, yet I was a bit skeptical. My gut was telling me that I should do it. So 3 months later, I gathered up the courage, got 2 0% credit cards and signed up for the program. Around the same time I came across another coaching program, by, now my favorite, Jackie Meyer and Chuck Bauer, which promised to teach me efficiencies and selling and all the good stuff.
I was, surprise surprise, skeptical. I thought “What can a coach possible teach ME?”. Ha, ha, ha. Do you hear that ego talking? I didn’t either. But it was there. Again, I couldn’t shake off that gut feeling that it was the right thing for me to do. And this time, I trusted my gut again. I realized that, YES, I can get there myself: more income, more clients, less work, etc etc. But what I also realized was that it will take me years to get there myself.
With a coach, you can get to where you want to be, just FASTER and with less hiccups along the way. And I did. I tripled my revenue in 1.5 years, I worked less and took more time off.
That same year, 2018, the desire to write a book resurfaced. I bought a bunch of books I thought were well-written, and decided that I will figure it out on my own. My goal was write a business-card book. You know, the one that would bring more business to my business and position me as the authority, celebrity and expert, as that same guy 2 years ago promised it would.
Well, I got busy with coaching and never did anything with those books.
The Belief System
Accountants are known for their introverted personality, often lack of people skills and also speaking gibberish. Yup, we do that without even noticing. Hence the perfect accountant personality, it makes really great number crunchers.
But here is why it doesn’t work for either side of the business owner- accountant relationship. Because we speak gibberish instead of plain English, people, as human beings would, pretend they understand what we’re saying, when they don’t. We all do that, just in different industries. I remember one dentist I used to go to, who always explained what it being done, how it works and why we’re doing it. I actually felt confident in my dental health!
Imagine if accountants did the same thing? Talked to you in plain English instead of accountant speak. Wouldn’t that be great? You could actually learn how to become a CEO of your own business. You could actually stop stressing out and chasing your next big project, or the next payment.
With Chuck & Jackie’s coaching (this program was specifically for accountants, but there are other programs they teach) I got a 135% ROI within 4 months of the program. I structured my client onboarding process, automated many things, and got my confidence in my own service.
You see, accountants are also known for giving away a lot of stuff free, and then stressing out because they have to work a ton to get a decent standard of living. Most of us enjoy the work, but hate the stress. We also sacrifice a lot for clients, who often don’t appreciate any of that.
With coaching I started charging for everything I’ve done. Sounds a bit greedy on the outside, but it’s actually fair to both sides. We do the work for you but actually get paid for it. New concept? I don’t think so.
I started selling. But not in a sleazy salesy way. I started selling my service for what it’s worth. And I destroyed my own belief of being a bad sales person: I no longer feel weird selling my firm, because I know exactly the transformation I offer the clients. And what I offer is not only the “need” service (the well-done accounting, taxes, forms), but also a concierge support and… coaching. Yup, I do their work (with some help from my team) but I also coach entrepreneurs to be better at what they do, to build not only a stronger business they have now, but become a serial business owner and master the skill of entrepreneurship. After all, it’s just a craft like anything else.
In 2019, Mike Michalowicz, a super-well-known author, invited me to his Author Up Live event in Middle-of-Nowhere, PA. I was excited. As he was talking at the event about what authorship has done for him and how much he enjoyed transforming people’s lives with his books, it dawned on me… That I did NOT want to ONLY do taxes for the rest of my life…
Wow… I never thought to that day I would say that out-loud: “I want to be more than an accountant.” And everything changed since.
I joined Anjanette Harper’s “Top Three Book” Workshop that teaches aspiring authors how to write books that change lives, including their own. And I was hooked. I wrote my first ugly draft in just 3 months. And the editors did the rest.
I finally got my dream. It just took me some time to go for a bigger, bolder dream I could imagine. I knew that working with clients in this new CPA-Coach-Advisor capacity is life-changing for them. But with my book out in the world, that transformation is available to anyone. And I also know that if my dream doesn’t scare me, it’s not a bold dream.
In the book “Dream Bold, Start Smart” you will learn how to build a business, which will give you a skill, a craft, if you will, to start any business you ever want. And you should have more than 1 business, more than 1 revenue stream so that you have options and are pandemic-proof.
Bottom line is that in the last 3.5 years I’ve absolutely destroyed every label I’ve put on myself: “bad writer”, “bad sales person”, “bad ____” fill in the blank. And all of that was due to realizing that entrepreneurship is just a craft, like any other.
What that means is that anyone can learn a craft. You just need to set aside the “I’m not good at math”, the “I don’t have the money to start”, or the “I’m afraid to lose money” or any of these because none of them are true (e.g. there is a ton of businesses you can create with virtually no initial investment).
When I was attending the Top Three Book Workshop, I learned a few things (well, more than a few). I learned that writing a book is a craft also. How so? Well, AJ will tell you that you start with the reader: who they are, what they feel. Then you create an outline of their journey, and the rest… is you fill in the blanks.
Certainly writing books, and writing and delivering speeches that change people’s lives is no easy feat. But it’s a craft that can be learned.
People aren’t born with Entrepreneurial vein. It’s a skill that’s acquired. And here is a secret not many people talk about: being your own boss is the ONLY way to be free. I believe that to my core.
Entrepreneurs have the ability to change lives with their businesses. And, along the way, change their own lives, too. When was the last time YOUR dream was so bold, it scared you?
It takes work, but not necessarily hard work. It requires smart work. Learning the basics, treating it as a business and not faking it with money numbers and taxes. A great CEO always knows their numbers. Some of the best CEO’s I work with look at their numbers DAILY. And plan ahead, too.
The Building of the Life You Want
Coaching transformed my life. I got to work less, make more and take more time off. I also got very clear on the fact that most business owners need help, but don’t ask for it. In fact, the reason Life Coaching is so powerful and popular that entrepreneurs need to have someone who’d hear them out. It can be a little lonely sometimes, but it’s the only career that doesn’t have a ceiling of how much you can make and what you get to do, and when.
Granted, I am biased in a way. I’ve worked primarily with small businesses in the past 16 years and I absolutely loved to watch many of them (not all) building the life for themselves that they wanted. This means different things to different people, but for many of my clients it’s time with loved ones, with kids, time to travel, time to do nothing, while enjoying the freedom of the financial comfort.
What’s Your Dream?
If your dream doesn’t scare you, it’s not bold enough. That’s the truth. It doesn’t mean that you must move fast toward it, but it does mean that you need to make small simple steps and keep going.
I’ve never met anyone who’d tell me that working for someone else is their dream. It could be a mini-dream for now, because you don’t know it can be different. But we all have something in us that can change the lives of others for the better and that’s… magic.
Our products, our services and apps and all the things entrepreneurs are selling are needed by someone. And if done well, your business will change someone’s life, and that is truly special. It’s special to be able to be your own boss and make money doing what you love, and it’s a craft that can be learned just like anything else.
Take a few days or weeks or months and write down what your perfect life look like to make you happy. Go BIG. And maybe it won’t involve being an entrepreneur. It’s okay. As long as you live your happiest life.