Tracy’s 35th birthday really changed things for her. She was working as a substitute teacher and wasn’t really enjoying it when her husband suggested that taxes may be a way to go. She stumbled upon some videos put together by Ben Robinson, and...
Tracy’s 35th birthday really changed things for her. She was working as a substitute teacher and wasn’t really enjoying it when her husband suggested that taxes may be a way to go. She stumbled upon some videos put together by Ben Robinson, and she decided to jump in with both feet.
[4:20] Tracy learned most of her bookkeeping skills by going through Ben’s course, in addition to some minor experience in high school and college accounting.
[5:40] If you don’t have clients you don’t have a business - you have a hobby. Once Tracy completed the course she dove in to trying to secure her first client, and she actually connected with her first client through a Facebook post.
[8:45] You can’t give away too much for free. Giving value always seems to come back to you.
[10:00] Tracy is currently serving 18 or so bookkeeping clients plus another handful of tax clients.
[11:00] The first year was the hardest. Tracy was studying for her EA and some other exams at the time and combined with some personal issues she faced a few challenges. Around May of 2018, things really took off, largely due to a mindset shift and a snowball of referrals.
[15:40] Tracy’s vision is to start hiring some help and growing her business while still maintaining her family time. Our business needs to fit into our life, not our life into our business.
[17:30] Entrepreneurs never arrive, but it is important to stop and take stock of what you accomplished. Overcoming challenges builds confidence.
[19:50] Time management is crucial. Keeping up with the momentum Tracy has built is a challenge.
[23:20] The STEP Framework is key to getting stuff done. Time management happens across the whole Framework, but Execution is what needs to happen right now. What do you naturally gravitate towards that you’re happy to do? For Tracy, it’s the client interaction.
[25:50] Where do you add the most value to your business? The goal of hiring someone should be about optimizing that work. Even the thing you love can wear you down though, if that’s all you do.
[28:20] Tracy also enjoys putting together the processes of the business as well as blogging and video creation. As bookkeepers, there aren’t many ways to be creative. What you want to do is maximize the things you like to do while at the same time providing value to your clients and helping you feel fulfilled.
[32:10] You have to schedule time to be creative and dream. Be intentional about putting the things that are important into your life. Start off with just 15 minutes and you’ll find you have much more energy when you’re done.
[34:50] Time management isn’t the thing you need, it’s what time management can bring into your life.
[35:15] Bookkeeping is first and foremost a relationship business. If you build your business on relationships and not the transactions, you will be job secure forever.
[37:50] The repetitive tasks are starting to get tedious for Tracy. That doesn’t mean it’s trivial, but they are not important and not the best use of Tracy’s time. List the tasks you do in your business and then ask if they fall under your Unique Ability.
[41:50] What is the hourly rate for your Unique Abilities? What about your competencies? If you can less than the dollar equivalent for those tasks you’re making money. Look at your business tasks and ask is this something to continue doing, stop doing, outsource, or delegate? The point is to free up your time so you can focus on what you do best.
[43:40] You shouldn’t be looking to hire a specific person, you should be looking to outsource a specific task. Don’t throw people at a process problem. The tasks you’re competent at but don’t really enjoy doing, are the first to outsource. Time efficiency is all about saving 15 minutes at a time, those 15 minutes add up fast.
[48:30] You can do the work and set up the process by recording those tasks. Videos are a powerful way to offload the tasks you don’t want to do anymore. Dissect the task and show the logic behind it. Upwork is a great place to find freelancers that you can offload your tasks to.
[54:15] It’s going to cost you time at the beginning. The first task you should offload is something that is not going to directly affect a customer. Start with the admin or support work, the lowest hanging fruit.
[57:50] Processes before people. You build the processes then you bring in the people to run them.
Mentioned in this episode: Ledger Harmony