Are these statements true? “The shoemaker children go barefoot." - “Don't trust the skinny chef.'' - “The preacher’s kids are always the wildest.” What about this one? "You are your own worst client."
Maybe it is time for us to break these limiting “phrases” that we have been hearing over and over for generations.
There was a point of stagnation in the history of my business. I had passive income coming in and I had kept the same clients for a long time. My books were always done by April 15th and I never had to file an extension.
But then there was change.
We are changed in the blink of an eye in only two ways. Either a massive event happens from an external source or a divine awakening and deep conviction from within creates transformation in us.
For me, both forces of change happened at once so the change was drastic! I lost my passive income. And then, immediately after that, I went into a deep self-reflection. I wanted to know what I really wanted from life and I wanted to know and understand my departure point.
In the accounting and bookkeeping industry we get so involved with our clients' books and tasks that we do our own books last. And there is much more beyond simply “doing our books.” It is about our overall finances and overall well-being.
Think about it, can you really give what you don’t have?
My reflection was sparked because I felt like something was wrong. I will call it “lack of congruence.”
I recognized that if I wanted to grow my business, I needed to work on myself first. So I decided to find out - what if I become my own best client?
Which led to - what would it feel like to see my own financial reality in real-time? Which led to - the next question and the next. And these questions led me into a life of possibilities.
I knew all the accounting cycles and financial statements for my clients in theory but when it came to my own I did not walk the talk. I was not practicing best practices for my own finances. This was a strong indicator that I was not really understanding my clients' needs. I found that I had to do a “sales pitch” when instead, I could easily attract clients if I understood their needs.
Our numbers reflect our actions and the only way for me to learn was to first understand my personal finances and then my business finances. I did an audit and took inventory about the behaviors that increase my assets and lower my debts. Then I asked myself what would make my value increase.
Finally, I made a plan with actionable steps for this process and then intentionally worked all action steps.
There is power in being your own best client and your own best boss. You do all the weight lifting first. Then you can hire help. When my books were clean and organized, I handed them over to my "boss" - my son who is my business partner.
How to become your own best client.
1. Define "becoming your own best client" as a project. You may choose to break this larger project into multiple sub-projects, but keep in mind that the ultimate outcome is that you will become your own best client.
2. Think and dream about what it looks and feels like to have your personal and business finances in order and to have insight into them in real-time. Write it down.
3. Take ownership and commit to working intentionally to achieve your outcome. When you become your own best client, you will have completed the most important goal - you will have ownership of your finances and you will have ownership of your lifestyle.
4. Start with personal finances. Then move on to business finances.
5. Calendar please! Set a deadline for when each stage of your project(s) will be finished. Get an accountability partner who will proactively check in on your progress and share your deadlines with them.
6. Collect and capture all the data and documents that are part of your finances.
7. Schedule and block time to audit your finances.
8. Based on the audit, define the steps it will take to get you from where you are to where you want to be.
9. Intentionally work the steps you have defined.
10. Repeat the process with other projects you defined. When you finish one project, go back to your list, re-evaluate your priorities and do the next most important one.
Be honest with yourself.
If you are not as successful in your business as you want to be, then be honest with yourself. If you aren't doing your own books, or if you are doing them but you are not using the financial data to plan, then it is time to start.
Start doing for yourself what you know how to do for your clients.
Now you’ll be in a position to grow your accounting firm into what you want it to become and be a successful accountant!
I urge you to become your own best client. It is time for you to be well compensated for what you do.