The Abundant Accountant Podcast

AA 57 | Overcoming Fear

 

Overcoming the technical side of the accounting profession is the easy part. It’s often overcoming their own fears that get into many accountants and hold them back from building the practice of their dreams. The Visionary Accountant, Tatiana Tsoir, learned this from her own experience of getting stuck in a place of wanting to be her own boss but being afraid of doing what is necessary to make that possible. Does it sound like the story’s going to resonate with you? That’s because it does for a lot of people who are similarly confronted by the fear to take the leap of faith! Now out of that limbo, Tatiana compiles the lessons from her clients’ and her own experiences in her upcoming book, Dream Bold, Start Smart, a  step-by-step guide to bulletproofing a business idea and setting it upright with the strategies and finances to not only survive but to thrive. Listen in as she shares some of these lessons with Michelle Weinstein.

Listen to the podcast here:

How To Overcome Your Fears And Be Your Own Boss With Tatiana Tsoir

We cover topics from sales, networking, handling objections, negotiation, pricing, finding those ideal clients and how to get rid of the ones that don’t suit you and how to set those boundaries. You can stop giving away your time, working for free, putting yourself on sale and start to get paid for the value and the worth that you bring to your clients. You’ll learn tips, strategies, as well as hear others from personal interviews, from successful accounting professionals. This show will tell you exactly how to create the firm and life of your dreams full of abundance. Before we welcome our very special guests to our show, if your accounting practice is not where you want it to be, I get it. Many of my accounting clients that come to me are stuck, frustrated, circling the atmosphere of fear. What I found is that it’s typically because we’re not charging what we’re worth, and then we don’t have a solid plan or system to work through, to attract and work with high paying clients.

That’s why I created the Selling Without Ever Selling System, without being bothersome, without being a nag and without harassing a soul. Having this information in your hands will give you the confidence to position yourself as the expert, get consistent high quality referrals and revenue coming in your door. If you want to build your firm, feel confident to sell high value services with ease so you can spend more time with your family and have the abundant life you’ve always dreamed of. Head on over to TheAbundantCall.com and book a session with me, let’s discover together and explore what challenges and cracks that you have inside your boat, which is your accounting firm, where are the leaks happening?

On the show, we have a special guest. She has several years of experience and her name is Tatiana. Tatiana helps ambitious dreamers get to know their numbers, get their taxes under control and reduce their anxiety. She is also an author, and she calls herself a visionary of numbers. She wrote a book for entrepreneurs. If you’re an accountant who works with startups, this book is a great gift that you could give when you onboard clients, it’s called Dream Bold, Start Smart. It’s a step-by-step guide to bulletproofing a business idea and setting it up right with the strategies and finances to not only survive, but to thrive. You can get that on Amazon for pre-orders, but it will be in your mailbox in March of 2021. Let’s welcome, Tatiana, to the show.

It is awesome to have you here, Tatiana. As always, this is going to be a fun story for all of you who have these fears that are bubbling up inside of us. We’re in this fight, flight, fear, freeze mode all the time. Tatiana, before we get into your story and what you’ve overcome and where you’re at now, can you share with everyone who you are, where you’re at, because you’re an East Coaster, and maybe where you’re originally from too because that’s very unique. What is it that you also have created in the last several years?

I usually introduce myself as an author and a visionary accountant. I also positioned myself as a numbers expert. I have had my practice for several years. It evolved. I started out as a bookkeeper, but I serviced a number of firms, I learned accounting in the meantime. At the same time that I was going to college, I had my own little business and then went into the CPA firm to get some tax experience, and license requirements everybody does that. I realized that I will always want to be my own boss. Time came when I got pregnant to start my own tax and accounting practice. Continue my practice but add the tax aspect to it. That’s what I’ve had for the last several years. Since we’ve met, I’ve transformed my practice and I’ve also written a book and built out a little academy where I train business owners or aspiring business owners to skip the mistakes and the failures and learn the right way and do it the right way.

There might be an accountant reading and we’re going to get back to how you always wanted to be your own boss and what it took to get there and what you’ve created in the last several years because it is amazing. Who’s your book for and where can they get it as this could help their clients?

Before I tell you who the book is for, I want to tell you a little bit about how the idea for this specific book came about. It’s relevant for other accountants and non-accountants who are reading because many, especially accountants, will feel the pain that I felt for many years.

What kind of pain? Can you be more specific please?

It’s a cocktail of pains.

Let’s go through the cocktail of pain. This is the cocktail that you don’t want to buy at the bar.

If it’s only you, you’re never going to be free. Click To Tweet

The frustration pain, the anxiety pain that a business owner goes through, the not knowing what to do next, not knowing what to do in general, how to proceed, how to address all things money, numbers, and taxes. All of those pains, we as accountants perceive them a certain way, but then our clients see them in a different light. What I’ve seen was heartbreaking often, especially people who are starting a business or already started and had to shut down or weren’t making money and lost money.

Let’s get one specific story. Who’s the one that stands out the most that you saw that they went through the worst cocktail of pain that any entrepreneur or business owner could endure?

It’s a client of mine and her name is Angela. Its name was changed and everything, but before even starting the watch business, she had a bad experience with partners in her other businesses prior to that. There was some aggravation already at that time before she started this new company. The product that they were producing was interesting, unique and beautiful and had a personal, touching story that I can’t reveal, but she put her heart and soul into this business. She has put in all of her savings into promotion, marketing, brand building, raising brand awareness and brand loyalty. Three years into the business, she still was losing about $80,000 to $100,000 a year. There was no control over ad spend. There were no ROI calculations. About three years into it, they’ve gotten a quasi-investor who was also helping them grow. Helping that business grow, develop and provide some cash infusion when it was needed.

This sounds like my previous life, Tatiana, with my company, FITzeeFoods that tanked. Keep going. I’m like, “Is Angela, Michelle?”

No, but you can be my story for the next book if you want.

I’d love to be your story. I have a great one called My $2 Million MBA Program.

A couple of years into it, the business was still losing about $100,000 sometimes $140,000 a year. It wasn’t just her money. It was also an investor’s money. In the end, after maybe 5 or 6 years into it, she quit the company that she built. The product is phenomenal. It’s beautiful, touching and unique, but it turned into this cash eating monster and it’s heartbreaking for her and for me.

Your book is for others who have gone through the emotional cocktail and who had a cash eating monster, it looks like I needed your book, Tatiana.

For those folks, there’s another book called Profit First.

I said that at ProfitCon. I sponsor ProfitCon. I told Ron, “Maybe you were there.” I didn’t even know about Profit First. I had to close that March of 2017. I should have probably had that bookin 2010, 2011 or 2012, but I don’t think it was around then, maybe it was. It might’ve saved the day.

AA 57 | Overcoming Fear

Dream Bold, Start Smart: Be Your Own Boss and Make Money Doing What You Love

My book is for someone who is starting out, who has a business idea, but is afraid or cannot afford to fail, cannot afford to get to that point that Angela got to.

How much did Angela lose in total with the investor money and her own, granted her time, but in total amount of money?

Probably close to $800,000.

That’s a lot. My story is very similar. I feel like I should know Angela. Your book is for the people who are starting out. Maybe an accountant who is working with startup clients, those people with this idea that are like, “I can’t afford your bookkeeping services because I don’t even have any sales yet.”

Yes. The reason I wrote this book initially was because my practice has gotten to a point where my services are expensive. Only companies who understand what we can do together, hire me because they see the return on investment. They see my services and investment in their company. I no longer work with people who are starting out because it takes a lot of time, a lot of questions and the questions are all the same. I wanted to write a book so that it serves both the accountants and the aspiring business owners. It allows them to get the expertise like mine more affordably and it’s more accessible so that they can skip all that anxiety, mistakes, failures, money waste, and save that money. Make the right moves, grow their business and then be able to hire someone like me or a firm like mine to help them because they’ll be able to afford it at that time.

Instead of the cocktail pain, they could have the cocktail success and bypass, the heart surgery. Tatiana, that’s beautiful and lovely, but we all need to know a bit more about you because when you and I met, you were going through a lot personally. You were going to enroll in a program called Certified Tax Coach with Dominique Molina. You and I were on the phone. I can’t remember all the things you told me, but fear was that its peak. Skepticism was up there too. Share with us the reason you are getting an ROI for your clients and you are pricey, and you only work with bigger companies is because you got specialized on the technical side of your knowledge and got niched too. Can you share a bit about those fears that you had and how you’ve changed your business in the last several years? I know you’ve had your business for several years, but my guess is your percentage of growth has increased substantially. What’s your growth in the last several years, from when we first spoke to where you’re at now?

It tripled.

Where were you when we first spoke? A lot of the readers might be able to relate to you.

I tell this story sometimes, and often when I talk to colleagues who are feel stuck, it helps them. Early 2018, I’ve been in my practice for about 5 or 6 years. I had this goal to have a practice of $200,000 to $300,000 gross revenue, be on my own, not hire anyone, because as my husband says, “When you hire people, their problems become your problems.” Also, I’ve ended up putting a lot of labels on myself. I always told myself, “I’m not good at sales. I hate sales. I’m not a good writer. I suck at writing.” In the past several years, I’ve destroyed each and every one of those labels that I’ve created for myself on my own with no help whatsoever.

It’s the mindset shift that I’ve experienced, that when in 2018, I knew that I wanted to be on my own. I was stuck in that mindset that I don’t want to hire other people, that I’m comfortable doing everything myself. I got into this webinar by Dominique. I listened to it. It sounded great, but it also sounded a little too good to be true. You and I met, and this was in about August of 2018. We had this conversation, and I was in that mindset of not being able to afford a lot. I was making decent money, decent projects and clients, but we barely financially survive because I quit my CPA firm job when I got pregnant. I wanted to be more at home. I built my practice from ground up. We spoke and I had a lot of my own labels that are my own fault. The readers might also be in that mindset. Hopefully, my story will help them see that there is another way. After you and I talked, I ordered Dominique’s book, Get Paid What You’re Worth.

Don’t let fear run your life. Click To Tweet

You did not sign up for Dominique’s class and enroll in CTC when we first spoke. There was a lot of fear.

At the call, I knew that this was the right thing for me, but I had a lot of concerns that I’m not going to go into, but I didn’t sign up. That’s the bottom line. I did get the book. In the book, as I was reading it, there was this one place where Dominique shares her story and says, “I always wanted to be on my own, but I realized that if it’s only me, then I’ll never be free.” It dawned on me. I was thinking, “This is me. I’m never going to be free.” That was that little push that I needed. Interestingly enough, in about two weeks from then, Intuit announced their firm of the future finalists and my firm, a one woman show, made it to the top fifteen, 1 in 3 US companies. I got some prizes, and my client got a prize. Both of those things or three of those things, speaking to you and then I’m reading the book and then this thing happening, I knew that there was something bigger out there. I decided, “I’m not going to say any more of that, I want to be my own firm forever. Let me see how it goes.” Later that year I signed up for CTC. I also signed up for QuickBooks Connect where I connected with a coach. Before I connected with a coach, my mindset was like, “Who hires coaches?”

You said, at that moment in time, it was October 2018, “It costs a lot of money. I can’t afford it. There’s not a lot of freedom with money.” Those are your exact words. Does that all sound familiar?

The, “No freedom with money,” sounds weird because it’s not something I would say, maybe it is what I said. I can’t remember that part. I do remember the other things. As I talk to you then I signed up, I also decided to go to QuickBooks Connect because I was one of the top finalists. I connected with a coach and I had this notion that, “What could they possibly teach me?”

“I know everything.” Tatiana, a lot of people reading have that same mindset in that process. Nobody’s training you on all these other elements of the business. On the technical side probably you can get it, but it was the mindset shift and how do you connect the dots. When you’re thinking about this coach and, “What could you possibly train me,” what was going on in your head?

I’ve been working with small businesses for, at that point, thirteen years and I thought, “I know pretty much everything. What can I possibly learn from somebody else who’s not even an accountant?”

You all probably think that of me. “What does Michelle know?”

It’s a limiting belief. I have done a 180 on that since then, because then I signed up for Jackie and Chuck’s program. What it gave me was freedom. It took a lot of work in the beginning. First six months were hell because I needed to implement new graphics, new campaigns, everything that transformed my client experience. That required a lot of time. That happened to be during tax season.

I talked to accountants, I’m like, “In the world of accounting, I don’t think there’s ever a good time. It’s like every couple of months there’s a deadline, then it’s taxes and then it’s this, then it’s that, but look at what happened.” It’s interesting because the people that do my 8-Week Sales Mastery Training during, January, February and March 2020 have the best results. It’s the most strenuous time, but I feel you got more practice. You were implementing your new client experience, your clients experienced it. You have a touch point with everyone during tax season. Your revenue shows that it’s tripled.

It tripled as of now. At that point, it’s increased about 35%. I had a 135% total. I went into that program. What it allowed me to do and what was mind-blowing is the efficiencies that Chuck taught, the application of CTC that Jackie taught, the templates, the processes, I would have probably gotten to that point on my own, but it would have taken me years to get there. The CTC program, plus the Concierge CPA, both of those have saved me years of time. I’ve gotten to that within six months. That’s what was mind-blowing with my experience. Since then, I’ve got trained in price psychology. I offer now that as a service to clients. If they don’t know what to charge or are making sales but aren’t necessarily profitable and they can’t reduce their expenses anymore, maybe there’s some repositioning that needs to happen with the pricing, but you also have to do it carefully. I help them with that.

AA 57 | Overcoming Fear

Overcoming Fear: When you help a client get more money back in their pocket, that’s when you start building a relationship with them and coach them.

 

I also got trained in Profit First. I help clients be the masters of their cashflow. I realized that my role as an accountant is a lot more than getting the stuff done because getting stuff done is what people need, but not necessarily care for. Clients hate preparing for taxes, paying taxes, paying someone to file their taxes. It’s all a lot of hate going on in that corner, but when you give people what they want, and what they want is more money back in their pocket. It’s that simple. That’s when you start building a relationship with a client and coaching them to help them set their goals and reduce their debt and get out of their limiting beliefs. My job has transformed from an accountant compliance to not only doing that, but doing some proactive tax planning, plus price psychology, plus some coaching too.

For the readers, they’re either in a job they’re on the verge of quitting, they’re scared that their security net is about to go away, and they’ve always wanted to be their own boss. You know how many times I hear that, Tatiana on a weekly basis? It’s a lot. “I want to be my own boss,” but yet they’re not willing to make the leap of faith. You can’t be one foot in and one foot out. It’s like, “It’s time to jump in the pool and go swimming, we’re going to go under the water.” You talked about your cocktail of pain, how did you get past some of the frustrations, some of the fears, some of the anxiety? What to do next when you made the decision, the first one was to enroll in CTC, however many months after you read that part in the book that you can’t do it alone from Dominique? I know you got past some of your mindset stuff on your own, which is phenomenal. I always say, “It takes money to make money. I’m not cheap. I’m a pretty penny to invest in,” but you got a good ROI. CTC is the same way, but what did you do?

I used the same approach I’ve used 2 or 3 times before in my life. When I was seventeen, our school had an exchange trip with Germany, and it was my first trip abroad. I’m from Belarus so Germany’s one country away.

You were in Belarus and went to Germany?

Yes. For two weeks or whatever that program was. As part of the trip, they took us to a water park and I’ve never been to a water park before. I went on every slide there was. I’ve explored all slides multiple times. I was going crazy. There are people who were probably looking at me and thinking like, “She’s insane.” There was this huge, deep swimming pool. There were three different diving boards. The top one was 33 feet or whatever the equivalent of that in meters is in Germany. I was like, “I haven’t tried that. I need to, because maybe that’s the last time I’m going abroad.”

I go up the stairs, I wait my turn, I come to the edge of this diving board, I’m standing there looking down and I’m suddenly beginning to feel terrified. I’m like, “I’m going to die. I’m going to hit the water and die or become disabled.” For a second, I tried to step away and even go back. I turned around and I saw people waiting in line for their turn. I felt embarrassed that, “She’s afraid to dive in.” I turned back to the edge of the board and I thought to myself, “Somebody already run the numbers. Somebody already did the math. If they build this diving board this high, they know that the pool is deep enough and I’m not going to kill myself.”

I gathered up my courage and I was like, “I’m not going to let the fear run my life.” I dove in. I didn’t die or nothing happened to me. I remembered that feeling, that experience. When I got pregnant with my daughter, every first-time pregnancy is a little scary because you don’t know anything. You’re hoping and praying for the best. What I thought when I got pregnant, I was obsessed with not having a C-section, I don’t know what happened to me, but I had this in my head, “I can’t have it.” As soon as my fears started coming into my head, thoughts with fears, I would start thinking, “This is going to go wrong. The kid is going to be born with defects.” I pushed them away. I switched my mind to be thinking about something else. It was like, “What is that squirrel doing over there?” I forced my brain to switch the topic, to not even look back, to not even go there, to not let the fear drive the car of my life.

That creates the anxiety of what’s not even true that’s coming in the future. It’s like a downward spiral. For someone who’s not going to go jump off a 33-foot diving board or 33 millimeters, what is something that you do when this fear, frustration, anxiety still comes up? It’s not like it goes away.

I didn’t finish that journey. When I signed up for CTC and for Concierge CPA Program, those different fears, fears of losing money, of not getting the money back, of no guarantees, those came rushing into my brain. I was like, “What did I do?” I decided, “I’ve already made the commitment. I have a good feeling about this, and I’m not going to look back and let the fear influence what I do. I’m going to give it my 100%.” I did. I saw results within two months. Within three months, I had 135%, 35% increase in my annual revenue and things were going up from there. I invested in the programs and I never looked back. That worked.

That’s typically what will happen. It’s getting past that. You had to set the fear of losing money and the no guarantees and all that to the side and put yourself in your mind off that diving board, 33 feet or meters in the air and jump, and know that you as an individual is what’s going to create the results. I don’t know if you did this, but I hear this a lot, even when my program, “Michelle, can I talk to someone else about how they did?” I’m like, “This is about you, but you can talk to anyone you want, and you can watch every video on my website.” That doesn’t do any good. Your results are like what you said, you gave it your all. When we give it our all, then you’re betting on yourself at that point.

There’s no better person to bet on than yourself. Click To Tweet

There’s no better person to bet on than yourself. That’s the thing. Many of us don’t realize that if there’s anyone in the world that I would bet on, that would be me.

It’s 100% accurate. What do you feel was the biggest paradigm shift that you’ve had that got you to 300% increase in revenue, working only with bigger clients, writing a book and all the other stuff? What do you feel was the biggest paradigm shift that you’ve seen?

The biggest paradigm shift came from CTC program. That was looking at a tax return and thinking, “How complicated is this? How much time is it going to take me? What else is involved? What are the services can I sell them?” Looking at a tax return as that versus looking at a tax return and saying to yourself, “What can I squeeze out of this situation? What else can I ask the client for? What can I learn from them to save them money on tax?” It’s a different mindset. Once you get into that, you can’t go back to the same approach. You never look at a tax return again the same way, which is interesting.

That is the amazing paradigm shift. If you learn anything from CTC, if it’s just that one thing, that’s a big paradigm shift that could generate tons of revenue, because you’re looking at it like, “What else can you offer them? How else can you support them?” Profit First. There are probably a million different things. Thank you for sharing that, Tatiana. Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers? You’re an amazing “case study.” Thank you for sharing your story with others who might need to know from a peer that this is possible because we do live vicariously through others at times. This is your opportunity to live through someone else’s story.

I’d like to share that we as accountants should not look at each other as competitors at all and should not compete with each other based on price or try to compete to allow clients to price shop. That’s one thing because there’s so much work for everyone. The reason that I wrote my book is so that we as accountants can focus on better work, higher service level to clients, as opposed to dealing with cleanups, setups, free questions and free tips that we provide, so that we both can skip the time in a client’s life where they need direction. My book will provide them a direction, what to do, what to start with, what to do next. That book is not competing with other accountants, it’s making their life and the client’s life also better.

Buy a book, give it to your clients for the holidays, or as an onboarding gift for any startup. That would be an amazing, unique client experience. Here’s your homework, before we start our next episode, read this book. Are you going to tell us what it’s called and where we can buy it?

It’s called Dream Bold, Start Smart. It’s available for pre-order on Amazon. It will be primarily solved through Amazon and it’s going to be released on March 16th, 2021.

Tatiana, it was an honor to have you here, keep thriving, keep growing. We always do that without being desperate, harassing and you don’t need to be a nag. If that ever comes up, you can always call me. Thank you for being here.

Thanks so much, Michelle.

That you all so much for joining Tatiana and I on another amazing episode. I have a story very similar to hers, because you probably are wondering, “Michelle, I’ve never dived off a diving board.” I did a personal development class. One of the days we went to a ropes course. If you’ve never been to a ropes course, make sure you go with other people and make sure you put all your fears in the trash can before you go there. Imagine climbing a telephone pole like an electrician all the way to the top and this beam starts to go back and forth, but you climb it like a ladder and you’re on a harness. You have a safety net, but it doesn’t feel like it.

AA 57 | Overcoming Fear

Overcoming Fear: Accountants should not look at each other as competitors. They should focus on better work and a higher level of service.

 

You have to stand at the top of the pole with two feet and put your hands out on the side like you’re a tree. That’s what I did. From at the top of the pole, you jump onto a trapeze and you hang on the trapeze and then after you make that jump, they rappel you down. That was my physical experience of overcoming fear. I got my first stint at it at Shark Tank because of what they put you through. This was another good reminder that if you can do that, it doesn’t matter about all those thoughts that you have about, “Am I going to invest in Michelle or CTC or Jackie’s program.” Whatever coach you’re about to hire, you’re betting on yourself.

Like Tatiana said and how I feel too, there’s no better person to bet on than me because I am in control of what happens. If I put in the work or I put in the effort and I do my best, then I know the results that will come from it. That goes the same for you. Maybe there’s something a little scary you could do. I have an idea. I did this. It wasn’t as scary because I’ve done enough other scary stuff. I went to this place called iFLY, it’s indoor skydiving. You’re low to the ground, but you have that jolt of little fear. If you can put yourself through physical experience, overcome it, then when you have that mindset shift and a physical sense, then when you’re dealing with it in your business, it will be much easier to say, “That’s like when I was at iFLY. I need to shift. I can do it. I’ve got this.”

You can get past those fears of, “It’s too good to be true. That’s a lot of money to invest. I can’t afford it.” Whatever those fears of or anxiety or frustrations that come up. It’s what physical fear can you overcome to have something that can change your state of mind. That would be my $0.2 for you. If you go to a ropes course, enjoy, it’s scary, freaky, but after you’re done, you’re like, “I can’t believe I overcame that.” If your accounting practice is not where you truly want it to be, I get it. A lot of accounting clients that I work with are frustrated, stuck, and in the sphere of fear. What I’ve found is that when we’re not charging what we’re worth and we don’t have a solid system in place to work with to get high paying clients, we’re on this hamster wheel.

Having this information of this program and other things that I can support you with called the Selling Without Ever Selling System will give you the confidence to position yourself as an expert. Get consistent high-quality clients coming through your door and have the confidence to have people say yes to you with paying what you’re worth, not what you think that they can afford. If you want to build the firm of the future and feel confident in selling higher value services with ease so you can spend more time with your family or write a book and live that life of abundance and purpose that you truly want, then head on over to TheAbundantCall.com. We will together explore and discover where some of the truths about what some next best steps are for you and your firm. I look forward to talking to some of you. Make sure you’ve had your accounting business at least two years before you book your call. Have a beautiful day.

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About Tatiana Tsoir

AA 57 | Overcoming FearTatiana Tsoir is the author and a visionary CPA and helps business owners be the boss of their bottom line.

 

 

 

 

 

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