It’s the Money, Honey

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,

PTA treasurer,

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:

money in,

money out,

money remaining.

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.

And play.

5 Responses to It’s the Money, Honey

  1. Tiger Danky July 31, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

    I’m looking forward to seeing Fox and I push more off our plates, and onto others’ and feeding everyone at the same time. 🙂

  2. Joe Mazur August 7, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

    Sue Ann,
    It’s been refreshing working with a business owner such as yourself, someone that is truly interested in making sure their finances are in line and that they make total sense to you. So many business owners look at bookkeeping as a burden and not a tool to help drive business decisions.

    It’s satisfying to be able to provide a bookkeeping service that can be used anywhere virtually and to see it utilized by you in particular. It’s been fun thus far.

    I’m looking forward to our continuing relationship.

    Thanks for the shout out,
    joe

    • Sue Ann Gleason August 7, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

      Thank YOU, Joe. I am learning so much from you. You have been a patient and wise guide at my side and I look forward to our continuing relationship.

  3. Matt Roberge August 7, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

    Sue and Joe,
    This is very rewarding for me as a business owner to see our service work as I planned. I set out to start a service that offered more than bookkeeping. When a bookkeeping system works properly it should add value to the business owner beyond being prepared for tax time.
    Keep up the good work.

    • Sue Ann Gleason August 8, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

      And that it does, Matt! I feel very grateful to have found you.

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