Abundant Accountant | Denise Mandeau | Learning To Earning


Many firm owners get so laser-focused on the learning part, but when will you start earning from it? How will we see the ROI immediately instead of thinking about the next designation? In this episode, Denise Mandeau, Business Growth Strategist and Business Owner, shares some shifts to step into financial abundance and break free from the learning trap. She suggests that overcoming the fear of change requires us to address that fear, analyze it, and reframe our mindset. Using her expertise as a business owner, Denise explains the importance of taking action on our knowledge to earn from what we’ve learned. Begin your day by focusing on the earning part instead of the learning part. Join Denise as she takes you from learning to earning today!

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Break Free From The Learning Trap And Step Into Financial Abundance With Denise Mandeau

Our special guest is not only my partner in crime, but she’s also a business growth strategist and has proven success as a business owner, and financial planner, and is also an award-winning sales professional with over 35 years of experience. It actually might be over 40 years now. She has learned what it takes to produce results and has been working with professionals and sales teams over the last few years, helping them generate millions of dollars in new business.

She has personally closed over $1.8 million in new business in the last twelve months. Before we welcome our special guest to the show if you are like many smart, hardworking, tax bookkeeping accounting firm owners, and you think that the way to get new clients or retain current ones is to keep your fees low, do free work, or simply just work more hours, it is not true.

We both know that ends up in burnout, growing resentment for your clients and for the work that you do. The firm owners we work with at the Abundant Accountant charge premium fees by ethically doubling or even tripling their fees to their current clients by following a much newer and far simpler method that we’ve created here. It allows the firm owner to charge those higher fees with confidence, get paid first and upfront, and never have accounts receivable.

Giving them total financial security and a lot more disposable cash. If you are ready to make the change and start creating the firm that you have always dreamt of, then head on over and book a call with us, and let’s explore what’s possible together over at TheAbundantCall.com. Now let’s welcome our very special guest, Denise Mandeau to the show.

It’s great to be with you again. I love our chats.

I love our chats too and I was just sharing with everybody before you got here that you’re my partner in crime. We always talk about firm owners getting paid first, being able to charge fees with confidence, doubling their revenue, and having total financial security. You’re the one that helps me make it happen. I’m so excited about our topic today because we’re going to talk about going from learning to earning.

Instead of just reading a bunch of books, taking CPEs, and doing all of the learning stuff, how do you make money doing it? I think Denise is so fantastic, my right-hand lady. If you go to TheAbundantCall.com and book a call, you’re going to probably talk to me or her. I’m honored for you to be here, thank you.

I’m honored to be your partner in crime. We have so much fun, but more importantly, we get to serve the accounting industry every single day and help people avoid burnout, help people grow their firms, be able to go on dream vacations, and be able to pay in full for their children’s education. There are so many things that we get to be a part of and be like the pebble in the pond, the catalyst for all the good that gets to be experienced through our clients.

It’s so true and I think what we’re talking about today is crucial in how you can get those results in your life, in your firm. If you’re stuck in a job and you’re sick of slaving away for someone else, how do you have that courage and confidence to give your two weeks’ notice and say peace to that whole thing and slaving away and having someone else tell you your ceiling of how much money you can make.

Overcome The Fear Of Change

It stems from going from just being a learner and being a student to earning and those shifts that have to be made. We’re going to talk specifically about 3 or 4 shifts today that you need to do in order to start earning. Denise, I’d love to talk about the first one that we’ve come up with and I think you’re the best person to talk about it.

It’s the fear of change for people in a job. You’ve been there for a while. You get a paycheck every two weeks. That’s comfortable. If you’ve been discounting your services to your clients, you’re a total people pleaser, and you are terrified that if you raise your rates to your current clients, they’re all going to leave you, the fear of making that change is probably really high. That’s your livelihood at stake.

Denise, what are some ways a firm owner, accounting, tax, or bookkeeping firm owner can take, everything they’ve learned, their knowledge, and their schooling? Some of you have CPAs, EAs, Masters in tax, you name it. There’s so much learning they’ve done, but really earn and overcome that fear of change.

First of all, Michelle, you have to be truthful with yourself. We talked to hundreds of accounting firm owners and professionals or people who are working for someone else and want to start their own firm. They have the knowledge, they have the experience, and fear just keeps them from taking the leap. What we found though, especially in the hundreds of probably even in the thousands of conversations we’ve had is that people who are in this field feel like they always have to prove themselves.

They have to learn more to show their value instead of being clear that they already have the value. They’re afraid that if they don’t learn more and if they don’t show how smart they are, clients will leave them or whatever it is. They’re afraid to raise their fees because they believe that clients will leave them, or they feel bad charging them too much, or things like that. The way that we overcome that is to first acknowledge that we have those fears.

Acknowledge, address it, and tell yourself, I have a problem. It’s similar to if you’ve ever worked with someone, been in a relationship, have had a loved one who is an alcoholic, or have an addiction of some sort. The only way to change is to first address and admit that you have a problem, that there is a change that needs to be made, and be truthful to yourself like you said. Think about and analyze for yourself what is that fear for you if it changes.

You have to recognize that sometimes it’s subtle. The way that you recognize that you have fear is that you’re maybe complaining a lot, “I worked too many hours. This person’s a pain. When am I going to see my family?” All those things, if you complain a lot and you always are feeling crappy or you’re starting to feel resentful or you’re tired all the time, those are signs that you’re comfortable in your own poop if you will. You can’t even smell it anymore but that means you need some fresh air. You need to make a change. You might want to ask yourself this question. Is it more scary to stay where I am and keep doing what I’m doing or more scary to potentially do something different and experience some fresh air?

I think what you’re sharing, Denise, is what we call Reframing Your Mindset. To reframe your mindset, you have to ask yourself a different set of questions. If you ask yourself or think the same thoughts or think the same questions, that’s the definition of insanity. The questions that you just shared, that’s a reframe on the way you see the change.

Maybe you don’t see it as a fear, but now you start to see it, “That’s an exciting challenge. I could achieve bigger goals. I could help high-level clients. If I make this change, I might not have to feel completely burnt out. I might not have to work crazy hours anymore. I might be able to finally get rid of low-paying clients who drive me nuts and have the space to take on high-quality clients.”

Those are all what’s possible when we start to reframe the way we see, which is our mindset. I think that some of the biggest shifts that you can do is ask yourself a different question to get a different result and achieve a different goal. That’s one of the first steps to go from being the learner to being the earner.

You have to stop hiding behind, “I just need to take another course,” or “I just need another class.” No, you need to be in action.

You can earn way more by getting into action than going to get another designation, get another certification, or sit for your CPA exam. Nothing against any of that but if you’re trying to help people grow your firm, and earn more, none of that matters. Some of the most successful people on the planet don’t have any credentials.

You can earn way more by getting into action than going to get another designation. Share on X

They learn a lot, they read a lot of books, and they’re always learning and growing, like myself and like you. How do we get a return on that learning time? How do we see an ROI immediately instead of thinking, “The next designation, the next credential, that’s what’s going to take me over to the edge,” because let me tell you, it won’t.

Because your clients don’t know what you do anyway. They don’t care.

They care to an extent but they’re more interested in the outcome that you provide reducing their taxes, keeping their books clean, and being able to get a loan any day of the week. That’s what they care about. They don’t care about all the schooling you did, how many CPEs you get on an annual basis, how many podcasts you listen to like this one, how many books you read, or how many hours you spend researching the IRS code.

Take Action

That doesn’t matter to your client and getting them the end result, what they might be looking for if it’s a resolution case if you’re offering CFO services, and if you’re helping them grow a profitable, successful business. I think that brings us to our second point to go from learning to earning. How do you take action on all of the knowledge that you’ve learned?

That’s the thing. If you think about a carpenter. A carpenter has a lot of tools in their toolbox, but if they don’t pick up their tools and use them, they aren’t going to build anything. There’s nothing to have a roof over your head because nothing’s happening. That’s what we see a lot, is people getting a lot of knowledge, but then not taking their knowledge, packing it, and using it to build something, using it to fix something.

That’s what needs to be accomplished and sometimes what we’ve found is a lot of accounting professionals are trying to sell themselves, sell their knowledge like their tools, instead of understanding what that knowledge is for and applying it for the client. That’s what being in action is about, understanding that, learning how to take all those tools and package them up and then put them out there.

Abundant Accountant | Denise Mandeau | Learning To Earning

Learning To Earning: Being in action is about understanding and learning how to take all those tools, package them up, and put them out there.


Thinking about the tools and that analogy, the question that you want to ask yourself, which I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times is what’s the next thing I can do right now to take me one more step closer to earning? If you use my analogy with an addict, they first address the problem, “Hi, I’m an alcoholic” or “Hi, I’m a whatever addict or whatever,” and then, “What am I going to do today and the choices that I’m going to make today to implement my new actions to become sober or for us to become richer, to have a hefty bank account?”

I know a lot of you want a hefty retirement. Do you know how many firm owners we talk to that don’t have a very large retirement? That’s not what I think you plan for. How many of you want to sell your firm for a very high multiple? How many of you want to create a legacy for your family and your kids, to put them through college, and to do all of these things and go on vacation every quarter? I’m sorry, money doesn’t fall out of a tree. We need to take action on our knowledge and create the next step. Maybe don’t even think five steps ahead. What’s one thing you can implement today?

One thing you can implement each week, each month. It might even be to stop giving away your time for free.

Yes, or stop answering the quick question, or I’m not going to give a discount anymore to friends and family. We hear that quite often. The 12-Step Program, the reason I know so much about this is I had a best friend when I was younger go through it. I have a significant other who’s going through it. There’s so much going on, but they say it’s just take one day at a time. If you implement that same mindset into your firm one day at a time, what’s one action step that can move you forward today to go from learning to earning?

You don’t need to take another class except for ours. That’s the last one that you need to take.


Our stop will be your last stop because we help you transform your firm, be compensated, create all of this, and help walk you over the bridge of fear to make the changes because some of you need accountability. Some of you need a step-by-step structure, some of you need handholding, others might listen to this episode, and it might be enough. We can explore that at the end. Denise, what would be the next major important part of going from learning to earning on what you need to assess yourself?

Going back to fear, to identifying what’s been holding you back from making changes in your firm. We hear a lot of excuses like, “I don’t have time, I just can’t think about that right now,” or whatever. Listen to yourself and stop at the moment. Instead of saying, “I don’t,” say, “What can I do differently right now? Where can I find some time?” Reframe your questions and give up the belief. We all have the same 24 hours. I don’t know if you’ve heard this, Michelle, but what I’ve known to be true my whole life is busy people, if you give them something to do, they will get it done. They’ll figure out a way.

Abundant Accountant | Denise Mandeau | Learning To Earning

Learning To Earning: If you give busy people something to do, they will get it done.


Very true. The busiest people get the most done even if you give them more to do. I’m one of them.

I think what happens is that people feel like they don’t know what to do. Instead of saying to themselves, “Who do I need to talk to?” or “Who do I need to reach out to so that I can get feedback and learn what my next steps are that will get me to my goal?” That’s another thing too. What we also found is that a lot of people are focused on where they are right now and what’s going on right now, but haven’t looked at what do I want.

Knowing what you want, but I think you brought up a good point and having the people around you to bounce these ideas off of because if you continue to do the same thing, or you continue to fear change and stay stagnant, or you decide to not take any action steps, and like an alcoholic, you’re just going to keep drinking every day, that’s different if you change who you hang around.

I think to set yourself up for success to go from learning to earning, if you put yourself in a place with a bunch of other people who are earning, that will put you into action a lot quicker and access those earning opportunities. With my analogy of the 12-step program, for those of you who have experienced it and have been around loved ones, when you go to an AA meeting or whatever meeting, you’re now getting into action in a positive format.

Here at the Abundant Accountant, we have a select group of people who are part of our abundant millionaire mastermind. They are earning. We are always talking about how we grow our firms. How do we serve more people? How do we take everything we’ve learned in our past and our current and convert it to dollars? That group of people. That is the importance of the relationships they’ve built with others who are earning at a very high level.

It’s the community they chose to get access to and we invited them in but that is one way to move forward quicker, to help you bridge the gap between having the fear or saying, “How am I going to ask myself a different question to get into action to get to a million in revenue in my firm or to get to whatever the goal is.” Like you said, you have to know where you want to go. I know Denise, you always talk about having a destination and putting something in the GPS and knowing where you’re going to go. Otherwise, you’re going to get lost.

Yes, or you run out of gas because the brain’s a goal-achieving machine. You’ve heard the old story that whenever you want to buy a new car, all of a sudden you start seeing that car everywhere on the road. It’s not because they weren’t there before. It’s just you weren’t focused. That’s what we’re talking about here. Stop focusing on the learning and focus your brain on the earning part. If you want to double your revenue in the next year, focus on that.

Stop focusing on the learning and focus your brain on the earning part. Share on X

Just say, “All right, I’m at 250K right now, I want to be at 500K.” What are the steps I need to take to get there? How many people do I have to talk to? Where do I need to raise my prices? Maybe you don’t need to. Maybe you have your existing client base and you haven’t raised your fees in five years because of your fear. Maybe it’s time to take that step. We see results quickly. When we start to make new decisions to take action, that’s when results happen quickly.

Yes and having actionable steps. I think the actionable steps could come from the questions you ask yourself but I think for today thinking about, “Michelle and Denise, you talked about a lot sounds easy, but what do I do next?” What are three questions that you could ask yourself every day that are different, that would reframe the mindset to get an end result that’s a different goal than you’ve had for yourself in the past?

Who are some mentors, peers, and other people that you could start surrounding yourself with? It is true. If you want to up-level, you have to up-level who you hang around. I joined a very high-level mastermind this year. It’s up-leveled us a lot quicker. The conversations they have versus conversations I’ve seen in other groups, it’s very different.

Different levels of human beings, I’d like to say. It’s refreshing, I like it up there. It’s like we’re above the clouds. You’re flying and the plane’s taking off and you’re, “I see everything below me.” You’re flying through the clouds and then you’re on top of the clouds, it’s like it’s so freeing. That’s where you can create different actions because you’re in a different space.

When you start to ask yourself different questions, that’s how you can bridge that gap between going from just learning, soaking in knowledge, and reading books, but not making any money or discounting yourself or doing free work and all the things that we’ve talked about. Having those tangible goals to get you the outcome that you’re looking for but you have to know where you’re going like Denise said.

That doesn’t mean just I want to make X amount of dollars. That should be your homework assignment. To sit down and write out, what I want my life to look like and my firm to look like one year, three years, five years from now? Am I going to be lying on the beach during tax season and still make half a million dollars? I don’t know. What do you want? Don’t put any limits on it.

It’s so true. If you need some ideas to think about what you want, what have you not been able to do for the last 6, 12, or 24 months that you keep putting off, that you keep complaining about? Maybe you’re not going on vacation. Maybe you’re not spending time with your family. Maybe you’re working 24-7 and feel like you’re chained to your desk. Maybe every year you’re, “I’m not going to have another tax season or a tax deadline like I just had.”

Make a list of all those things that you complain about and on the other side of that, those are the focal points that you can focus on and get your life back. Not feeling chained to your desk ever, and not being at the backend call of your clients ever. Being able to see the future and have that feeling like I was on top of the clouds, having that freeing feeling. I think and I know that when you can go from learning to earning, you’re going to charge higher fees to your clients. You’re going to get paid upfront before you do any work.

You will never have accounts receivable. If you have AR, you never will again. This is also how you get treated with respect from your clients, the respect that you know you deserve, but they’ve been running the show for too long. It’s time to take control back of your firm. If you have a firm on the side and you’re still in your job, this is how you get the respect from your boss and from your clients to tell your boss, “Peace out.” In two weeks, to quit that job.

We’ve had a lot of clients who feared having to go back to corporate if their firms didn’t work out. All of that is how you can go from learning to earning. Denise, is there anything you want to add or share that we didn’t talk about that is at the tip of your tongue on how to leverage all of the elements to take everything we’ve learned, and our knowledge, and bridge that gap to create revenue? Put it in our business bank accounts and have a lot of revenue and a lot of clients we’re helping to have profitable firms, save for retirement, not work 24-7, and enjoy and have a life balance again.

I think the only thing I would say is to stop trying to second guess yourself, take some actions, and be excited. We’ll be excited. Share with us what action steps you took and what the results were.

Abundant Accountant | Denise Mandeau | Learning To Earning

Learning To Earning: Stop trying to second-guess yourself. Just take some action and be excited.


I love that. You can share by sending an email to Hello@ThePitchQueen.com and I will share them with our team and myself. For those of you who need your handheld to get past that bridge of fear, to get past some of the road bumps, because you are committed to doubling your revenue and you’re done trying to get more clients or send out proposals or quotes or negotiate and discount your fees and price based on what your competition’s doing.

If you’re sick and tired of all of that or you’re on the verge of burnout, just stop all that right now and go to TheAbundantCall.com and book a call with us. We can explore together what’s possible because it doesn’t have to be that way. You can leave burnout at the door. You can have a full bank account in your firm and the simple fact is our clients are doing this by using a proven step-by-step process to raise their fees, double their firm revenue, and get paid upfront.

Never have AR again, and if they have it, they collect every dollar that’s owed to them. They work way less hours than they ever thought was possible. If that’s you, head on over to TheAbundantCall.com. Myself and Denise look forward to talking to you. Thank you so much, Denise, for being here with us today on The Abundant Account.


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About Denise Mandeau

Abundant Accountant | Denise Mandeau | Learning To EarningDenise Mandeau, Business Growth Strategist and has proven success as a Business Owner, Financial Planner and award-winning Sales professional for over 35 years. She has learned what it takes to produce results and has been working with professionals and sales teams over the last few years helping them to generate millions of dollars in new business. She has personally closed over $1.8 million in new business in the last 12 months. Denise is passionate about teaching others to learn how to sell without being salesy!



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