I just finished up a call with my bookkeeper. I never thought I would leave a call with a bookkeeper feeling grounded, at ease and looking forward to the next time we sit down with my books.
For years, I meticulously organized my receipts, coded my Visa bill, and carefully placed everything in a nice tidy envelope that I mailed to my bookkeeper:
a lovely woman,
very good with numbers.
That envelope would come back to me with lots of nice reports. I glanced at them momentarily, eyes glazed over, and then placed them in a nice tidy box for my end-of-year appointment with the accountant.
Meanwhile, I was making all kinds of little diagrams on my computer to track my earnings and chart the growth of my business in a language I understood:
I comprehended dollars and cents. I knew my business was growing. Nicely. I just didn’t understand the language around money and, frankly, I was more than a little intimidated by it.
A few years into my business, in the context of a teleclass series I was conducting, I interviewed financial therapist Bari Tessler Linden. She was using the BIG words. You know: profit, loss, assets and equity. I decided I needed to understand those terms. I realized I was running a business without having the conversations needed to really track my income and make informed decisions about its trajectory.
I stepped into a bigger pair of money shoes and hired a new bookkeeper. I took an even bigger leap. I moved to a virtual bookkeeping experience.
Here’s what I learned about courage, confidence, and taking a larger leap into the world of conscious bookkeeping.
Sharing my computer remotely is not nearly as scary as it sounds.
Allowing someone to access my computer remotely was a big step for me. I had all kinds of stories in my head about security breaches and what else might happen if I gave someone access to my computer yet, for years, I thought nothing of packing up all of my confidential information, including credit card numbers and bank statements, and sending them off in the U.S. Mail.
I now watch the computer with fascination as Joe, my bookkeeper, enters all the information into QuickBooks. I’m even learning QuickBooks by default in the most nonthreatening way possible.
Having a monthly money conversation with a skilled bookkeeper helps me play bigger in my business.
There is something exhilarating about articulating my financial goals to someone who is tracking my income and expenses as closely as I am. This practice empowers me to make wise decisions about my programs and services and to hold myself accountable for carrying them out.
For the first time in over five years, I am actually paying myself.
I hear this all the time when I work with clients: “My business is turning a profit, but just barely enough to pay myself on top of all the employees.” I realized that was true for me, too. I have gradually grown my team and I am committed to paying them well, yet I had not worked out a plan to reimburse myself for the monies I had invested in my own business.
Turning my books over to a competent guide has freed me up considerably to spend more time on the creative aspects of my business where I love to work.