The Abundant Accountant Podcast

AA 58 | Easing Your Fears

 

Going out on your own is a big risk. Stepping out into the unknown in favor of your corporate job’s relative safety and predictable income can present many fears for many people. On today’s show, Michelle Weinstein brings on someone who’s been through this predicament. Serena Shoup used to be a corporate controller who left to have more kids. Now she’s a CPA who’s running a virtual bookkeeping business. Tune in to this episode and learn the five beliefs you need to install in yourself to ease your fears when you finally decide to leave your 9 to 5 job.

Listen to the podcast here:

Afraid Of Leaving Your JOB? Know How To Ease Your Fears With Serena Shoup

Before we welcome our special guests to the show, if you have a quick second, I would be grateful if you would leave a written review and a rating on Apple Podcasts and also hit that subscribe button if you haven’t done so yet. I always love hearing from you and I always read all the reviews. Also, I’ve got a little freebie that I created that you might be interested in. If you head on over to FiveStepsToAbundance.com, this is where accounting professionals who are a little frustrated and stressed trying to get those right referrals or maybe you don’t have control over who you’re working with find a way to get paid what you’re worth.

It’s a simple five-step process that accountants like you have used to go from waiting around for those busy months to gaining higher-level clients right now and having clients who appreciate you for the work that you help them with. Head on over to FiveStepsToAbundance.com if you want to learn how to collect higher fees with confidence and get paid like the accountant or CPA that you truly are. We have a special guest. Our guest is a CPA who’s running a virtual bookkeeping business. Her name is Serena and she lives in Arizona. She’s helped experienced and aspiring accountants start and grow their own virtual bookkeeping businesses.

Over the past few years of running her own firm, she realized there was an abundance of a lot of small businesses that needed help from qualified bookkeepers and accountants. She started mentoring others who had the same desire of owning and creating their own bookkeeping service. A little fun fact, she found The Abundant Accountant show when she googled abundant accountant as the website when she was trying to come up with her blog name. Let’s welcome Serena to the show. Thank you for being here with us on The Abundant Accountant. Yes, this is where we talk about how as an accounting professional, you can have a life of abundance. Serena, before we start, can you share with everyone a little quick bio on you? I always like it from your point of view and your words.

I am an ex-corporate controller. I worked hard my career to get to where I was quickly, and then I left a few years ago to have more kids. I knew at that point I was never going to return to a corporate job and this was my chance to finally start my own firm like I’d been dreaming since the beginning of my career. Now I run a virtual accounting practice and I also mentor other bookkeepers and accountants who are looking to go out on their own.

Going out on your own is a big risk because I do a lot of enrollment calls with accountants and the ones that I see with jobs or you’ve got your corporate and you’re still at a big firm or maybe you went off on your own and you’ve created yourself another job. I had one of those calls one time, Serena, with a gentleman who went out on his own. He’s doing CFO type of work for a client who’s now sucked up all his energy and time and he feels like, “I left corporate and went out on my own and now I feel like I have a job again.”

I know that we’re going to talk about how do we ease those fears of leaving corporate and leaving those big clients that don’t even pay a whole lot and suck up all your time. This gentleman was getting $30 an hour or something like that, which for someone with a master’s and a CPA and all this other stuff seems to be underpaid. He was sick and tired of it. He made a couple of leaps of faith. I know we’re going to talk about some of those limiting beliefs that hold us from staying where we’re at and not moving into any other new position.

This could be for you if you’re an accountant, and you’re in a job and you are trying to switch and do something different. What are those things, Serena, that you had to breakthrough? That’s what we’re going to talk about. You left years ago and you’ve had more kids. You’re training other bookkeepers and accountants with your own programs and things that I always see on Instagram every day. By the way, what’s your Instagram so people can follow you?

It’s @SerenaShoupCPA.

Let’s dive into it because you have a virtual accounting practice and your kids are on your Instagram every day. We’ve got that taken care of. What was the first fear? Maybe you can even define in your word what is limiting belief. You could share it from the accountant’s point of view.

I had never heard the term limiting belief until I started on this entrepreneurial journey. It’s definitely out there in our world, but I don’t think a lot of people are exposed to it. It’s any thought that you hold that is holding you back in any way. It’s limiting you. They’re beliefs, they’re not truths. I always talk about these five limiting beliefs or beliefs that you need to install that will help you before you’re able to start a bookkeeping business or even any entrepreneur, honestly.

This goes for any business, but for those that are in one of the big firms or you’re working for a smaller boutique firm, you’re grinding it out, and you’re much sick of working 60 to 80 hours a week, especially during tax season. You want the freedom and flexibility to spend more time with your kids or maybe even have more kids like you had, Serena, or maybe even go and travel. You’re virtual now. You can go do this from Italy. I’m going to Mexico, so I can’t wait. What is the first limiting belief, also known as your fears, that you had to reinstall? You had to delete something out of your computer, put it in the trash bin, hit the trash button, have it go away, and install a new program.

The number one belief that you need to install is to believe that you can start and run a business. You have to believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, how do you expect anyone else to like your clients and your family and everything? You’re not starting a business to be cool or because anyone tells you gone should. You should be doing it because you want to and that you believe you can. Accountants and bookkeepers have a huge leg up. Not knowing how to look at the numbers and keep up with record keeping is a common reason for businesses to fail, so we are totally ahead of the game, to begin with.

That sounds easy, but in reality, it’s not that easy. What did you do to break past the limiting belief? The one that, “I can’t start a business. I can’t run a business.” What had you to break through that? What process did you take yourself through?

I looked at my previous experience in corporate and looked at like, “I helped this multi-million dollar company get from $1 million to $30 million by the time I left.” I built an accounting team and I helped them do budgets and forecasts. I essentially helped get that business to where it was by giving the owners and all of them the tools that they needed to be able to run it. I started to look back at how I was able to contribute to that business growing and I was like, “If I could do it for that company, I could do it for myself.”

That’s huge. I’ve talked about it on previous episodes here. It’s taking inventory of your accomplishments. That’s what that is. You could even take it a step further. How many hours, Serena, have you spent on research, reading the IRS code, CPEs, and taking a CPA exam or an EA? How about going to college or maybe some of you have a master’s degree? What if you tally all that up in addition to the fact that you took a company in corporate from $1 million to $30 million before you were able to step aside? That gave you the confidence to take the action to, I’m going to guess, give it two weeks’ notice.

I left for maternity leave and never came back.

You gave a nine-month notice.

You know how that goes. That’s the first thing. If you have a CPA license, you’re doing at least 40 hours a year to maintain that. Not to mention all the other little questions that come up from clients or your teammates if you’re still in corporate. Don’t discount all the research that you’ve done for sure.

You did that inventory. You said, “I can do this. I’m going to not go back after maternity leave.” What other fears did you have to breakthrough? I know we’ve got four more to talk about and with each of them, how did you do it? You all reading can probably guess what a few of the next ones are going to be, but we’ll wait to know it from Serena. How did you break through it when the fear is so high? That paycheck every two weeks is the nice little cushion, and then you have your nice cushion of 401(k). By the way, you have your insurance benefits from your company that I’m sure you don’t want to let go of.

Yes, absolutely. The second belief ties into how we were on track, but believing that you do have the knowledge and expertise to support other businesses. Not just grow your own. If you’ve been in corporate or at a tax firm or an audit firm, you’ve put in the hours and the work to help other businesses in some way, even if it is more technical. You don’t have to delve into the big picture of the business to be able to help them. Everyone still needs compliance work. I don’t think AI can take all of that away, to be honest.

Your limiting beliefs are just beliefs; they're not truths. Click To Tweet

Anyway, believing you have the knowledge and the expertise to support other businesses. The way that I broke through that one was taking an inventory of everything that I had accomplished, even helping my accounting department and looking at my accomplishments there. I was able to mentor other people and get them ahead in their careers. It’s not just technical work when you end up striking out on your own. I consult my business clients on a lot of other things besides accounting. It’s because I’ve gained that experience over the years.

With the knowledge and expertise that you gained, a big part of what entrepreneurs, and I’ll make this a little bit more general, for those of you with all of your knowledge and expertise, we’ve never written it down. You’ve never said, “I’ve been doing this for fifteen years in corporate. I’ve done these trainings. I’ve done a specialty in tax planning. I’ve spent over $10,000 to $20,000 on different programs and education to become better at my technical ability, knowledge, and expertise.” We’re not giving us credit for it. It’s looking at it for yourself. Can you share the personal wake up call that you had with this?

AA 58 | Easing Your Fears

Easing Your Fears: You’re not starting a business to be cool or because anyone tells you, you should. You should be doing it because you want to and that you believe you can.

 

One of the things that happen with this is if you don’t quite believe that you have the knowledge and expertise, then you get stuck in this feeling that you need more credentials and more experience. That’s going to keep you from striking out on your own because you’re never going to feel ready if you have that mindset. What I like to tell my students and other people that in my industry is you’re never going to stop learning. Go out on your own and the learning experiences will come with each new month of working with clients or training. You’ll find the training you need when you need it. I wouldn’t worry about continuing to get all these credentials and certifications and all that stuff because those are holding you back. If you have a little bit of experience, you have what it takes.

What about all the cushiony stuff, the insurance, benefits, and guaranteed paycheck? That’s the scary stuff. It’s frightening for people.

It totally can be. One of the things I work with people on is figuring out like, “What is that dollar value assigned to what you would be leaving behind? Let’s build your business with that goal in mind. Start with the end in mind. What is that number? Add some back to it for taxes and all that stuff, and then you have what your revenue goal should be, and then expenses and stuff.” I like to reverse engineer it. That way I can see what’s possible.

We work backward and figure out what pricing you need to have in order to achieve that in however many months. I’m huge on doing a slow ramp-up. I’m not saying you have to quit your job before you have any clients. All of us can agree as accountants that we are totally risk-averse. That’s not something most people are going to do but you can start working toward it. You can have a side hustle, start getting clients on the side and make the switch slowly.

It’s so true. I’m still working with a woman, and if you’re reading you already know who you are but I’ll make up your name. We’ll call her Jill so I don’t divulge any personal information. She’s in corporate and has that corporate comfort and she’s completely terrified and frightened of the thought of quitting her job. She did my eight-week sales mastery training and she’s got sales under her belt. I can’t believe it. She even thinks that the sales process is super fun and that she could do it full-time. Her husband finally said, “You can quit. It’s okay. We’ll be alright.”

It’s the worry that we’re going to be inadequate, completely worthless, or all exposed to our clients when that’s probably when you’re going to do the best work. You have to go walk off the diving board and jump two feet off and start swimming because that’s truly what entrepreneurship is about. There’s a difference between an entrepreneur and an onetrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are going to take the risk and I understand as accountants, we are conservative but if you start to look at it, your benefits, and your insurance, you pay quite a bit of money for all that. It might seem like you have a “benefits package” but you pay a lot of money for that package.

Here’s the other thing, which I didn’t realize until I was already in the entrepreneur game. There’s not a limit on my raises or anything like that. If I want to make more money, I can raise my prices or I can get a bigger client. I have way more control over how much money I make than I did in corporate, especially as a woman.

It’s so true. There’s no ceiling, per se. For Jill, I found what she emailed me because I was like, “I have to share it.” She said she thought she would never be good at this and eventually would fail at business. I hear this a lot and now she feels confident, eager to practice, and excited about sharing not only her wins but having a process to follow. Serena, what you do is you have a process and when we have a process, then that will help us with our confidence and what to do.

Knowing what to do when you get a client and having the confidence to speak with them is important. She said she learned the language of truly being of service and couldn’t be any happier. It is possible for all of you in a job. Has Jill quit her job yet? Not yet. We’re almost there. We shall see. I know there’s a lot of other fears that are bubbling up in everyone reading and you’re sweating sitting at the edge of your chair feeling perplexed reading this episode. You’re like, “Michelle, you guys are talking about this stuff.” What’s the third fear that you personally had to deal with leaving corporate and never coming back after your pregnancy?

It’s still a work in progress and it always will be but believing that you can have a business and a family. Maybe some people don’t have families, but they have other hobbies and stuff that they’re worried they won’t be able to pay attention to if they have their own business. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that it’s easy running a household and a business even if you have help, but it is possible. Think of the example that you’re setting for your kids when you do it.

I’m going to be so excited if one of my three children decides to be an entrepreneur because they saw me do it. You’ll start to get good at letting things go that aren’t all that important like the dishes for a night and you’ll start to find ways to be more efficient like outsourcing things that take you too long or aren’t in your zone of genius in the home and in your business. I’m all about trying to do work-life integration and not trying to balance it all. I figure out where my zone of genius is. I even love cooking, but I outsource the meal planning part and I do the meal kits.

Did you buy a service? Did you invest in a service? Which one?

I use Sunbasket. I love it. It’s fresh. You can choose organic ingredients if you’re into that. It’s easy. I still get to cook but I don’t have to do all the meal planning part, which was starting to weigh me down.

Serena, I don’t like to do any of it and I don’t even have a family. I don’t know how you all do it with 2 and 3 kids, because there’s a lot of accountants that I’ve worked with that are like, “It’s a lot to juggle.” With the pandemic, you’re also a full-time teacher for some of you who are doing the school at home. Not only are you running a business, but you’re running a household and you’re running a school. You now opened a school, your second business.

It might be a good time. People are thinking of it because they’re having to work from home, but they’re also having to do so much for their corporate job that they’re like, “How am I going to do all this?” If you’re capable of doing this now, or if it’s even a little bit of a struggle, you’d probably be fine running your own business from home because you’re going to get to work on your terms with your hours and stuff that you want to do.

I hear that a lot when I talk to accountants, either for someone else’s program or for my own. It’s like, “I want the freedom and flexibility to do what I want when I want.” Also, you invest all this time growing someone else’s business. You helped a company go from $1 million to $30 million. How much money did you get from that increase in revenue?

Not enough.

That’s another part of the wake-up call. If you can step back and do an inventory of, “I helped this company get to where it was.” When you start pricing your own services, as the revenue increases, your fees can also increase based on the amount of work that you’re able to support them with and guide them through in order to keep their taxes to a minimum. Also, have clean books, and not have any mistakes. Is there any specific process that you did when you had to say, “I do believe in myself that I can have a business and a family,” or did you say, “Let me see, because if I fail at this whole thing, I could still probably go get a job?”

Have a massive gratitude for what you have in your life even if it's not quite what you want yet. Click To Tweet

The second part of what I said, “Let me try it out.” There have definitely been days where I’m like, “What was I thinking?” That’s another thing that I work with my students and with myself. I go back to why I’m doing this. Why am I doing this? That will bring me back to, “It’s worth it. There are going to be some sacrifices now for long-term gain.” If I eventually sell my practice, and I don’t have to work at all, it’ll be worth it a couple of all-nighters that I had to pull. That’s pretty much it. I said, “I’m going to try it. If worse comes to worst, I could always get a job but I’m going to make this work because I’m super stubborn and determined.”

What else is not in your zone of genius that you outsource? I’m curious.

I have a part-time bookkeeper and I also have a graphic designer that helps with all the back-end website stuff. I hired a marketing intern to help with launches and things like that. It’s not that they’re not my zone of genius but I don’t have enough time to do everything. I like doing a lot of it but I also recognize that it’s not where my time is best spent. I might be good at it. I like it, but do I have the revenue to support it. Also, when I make that decision to outsource things, instead of looking at it, “What is this going to cost me? Is this such a sacrifice?” I’m like, “How much more money do I need to make to support this hire?”

I love that mindset. Few people have that one. I do the same. I outsource all my podcasting and I have an amazing assistant, Katie. How much help can I get? How much extra money do I need to make every month to pay my team? Instead of, “How much is this going to cost?” “I need to cut back.” That’s what I hear from most people. We go into a cutting mode.

It’s typical with most accountants with the cutting costs. I’m more like, “How do we add revenue?” That’s the best way to grow instead of cutting costs. Cutting costs isn’t going to help you grow.

Only adding expenses helps growth because you have a team that’s supporting you. You’re like an octopus. You get extra tentacles to get further a lot faster with the team.

Let’s move along. We’re number four.

What’s the fourth fear that’s holding us back from getting us to where we want to go. We’re talking about how you use your fears, and how you can leave corporate, or leave your contracts CFO job that you created for yourself because you’re like, “I’m going to start a business.” “They want contract work.” Instead of a W-2, you’re getting 1099. Congratulations.

Not believing that you can do it on your own terms. Believe you’re created for more than sitting in a cubicle and working 40 to 60 hours a week and getting in the car and having a crappy commute. While maybe not now, there’s not a commute but I remember the days of driving to work with an almost hour-long commute in San Diego, it was not fun. You’re here to serve multiple small businesses with the expertise that you gained by working in that cubicle. You’re here to show up for your kids, as a mom or a dad that can be a CEO and a CFO of the home and your own company.

You were meant to create all of this on your own terms. If you want to work less than 30 hours a week, if you want to skip the commute and work in your pajamas, and even if in that situation that you brought up, working as a contract CFO for a client, you can still create it on your terms. It’s a matter of having a good engagement letter that you can fall back on, which I’m grateful I have because I’ve had to set those boundaries with clients. I get that this is your business and you would like for me to eventually be your full-time CFO, but that’s not my vision. These are my terms. This is how I communicate, this is how often you get access to me. If you don’t like it, maybe we’re not a great fit.

You’re detached from the outcome is what you’re sharing. That takes time. That’s not going to happen overnight. That’s the one that takes the longest from everyone I’ve seen.

It does take a while and it takes a lot of inner work on that one because you’re leaving it up to God or the universe or whatever you believe in to find the best option for you instead of trying to control the outcome and living in that lack, there are not enough clients or, “I need to land this one.”

It’s about being trusting in the process and being optimistic. When we’re optimistic we’re hopeful and when we’re hopeful inspiration is boiling up and that’s where you can have the opportunities that you’re looking to create. When we get down the rabbit hole of scarcity, it’s a mess. It becomes such a mess and you feel so isolated, and you feel, “I need to go back and get a job,” because you were banking on this one client.

It’s such a hard one for accountants because we literally have it drilled into us at school to be skeptical.

Is that where it happened? I always wondered. Some of you are so skeptical. I can’t tell you how many times I hear, “Michelle, this seems too good to be true.” I’m like, “It is true and it is good.”

It was drilled into us in textbooks and in classes to have a healthy skepticism. I can’t remember the way it was worded. It’s almost brainwashing and now that I’m out of it, it’s like, “Oh my gosh.”

What did you do to undo the skepticism that was drilled and ingrained in you in school?

I don’t want to get too far on a tangent but it all started when I decided to go out on my own. I started following other online entrepreneurs. I started learning about vision boards and all sorts of woo-woo stuff that people are probably going to be like, “What?”

What’s one thing an accountant can do now? I know that we’re not going to do all the woo-woo stuff. How do they undo the drilling that happens in skepticism? I think that is one of the things that’s holding a lot of you back from where you truly want to be, having that life of abundance, being able to outsource, buy Sunbasket. Also, be a bookkeeper but even hire one for yourself, that’s pretty cool, and be in your zone of genius. What’s one thing that’s not too woo-woo that an accountant can do now.

I would say, probably other than a vision board where it started too, I was practicing gratitude and I started keeping a gratitude journal. I know one of the questions you like to ask your guests is, “What abundance means to you?” I’m going ahead. I’ll bring it back to the fifth point. To me, abundance is having massive gratitude for what you have in your life even if it’s not quite what you want yet. I struggled a lot with being happy my whole life. I’ve had a lot of things happen in my life and trauma. I also thought that I was genetically predisposed on the lower spectrum of happy and I have to work a little bit harder than a lot of people. Gratitude changed that around for me, writing in my journal three things that I was grateful for. It’s not like, “I’m thankful for my husband and thankful for my house.” It’s the little things during the day. I’m thankful that I have soft sheets to sleep in. I’m thankful that I can sit into my walk-in closet and record a podcast. Things like that, random stuff, it starts to put things in perspective. Starting and ending my day with gratitude has helped so much.

AA 58 | Easing Your Fears

Easing Your Fears: You’re never going to stop learning. Just go out on your own, and the learning experiences will come with each new month of working with clients or training.

 

I’ve done that, too. I’m not an accountant. Hopefully, for someone reading, you can try this. If you don’t have a journal, put them on your yellow notepad because I know you have one of those, or you have a pack of sticky notes because that’s the other thing that you might have right in front of you.

I put sticky notes everywhere.

I have a friend like that. She has sticky notes on her computer, her notepads, on the front of her binder, and that’s how she organizes her tasks for the day. It’s like the Kanban method. Have you heard of that?

Yes. You can do it in actual programs.

That’s what it is but in physical presence life.

I love that. I like to crumple up the sticky pad when I’ve checked everything off the list. It’s satisfying.

You’re joyful and proud of your day and everything you accomplished. This is your fifth fear or limiting belief that you need to breakthrough to go all-in on your business if you are an accountant reading, you’re in a job, you’re in corporate, you’re working for a small firm, and you’re sick of seeing all of your hard work go to someone else’s top line, and you want to create that for yourself.

This one was huge for me because this is the thing that held me back for so long. I wanted to start my own firm at the beginning of my career. It’s not believing that you can get clients as an introvert and I know that this is a topic that’s near and dear to your heart. It’s something that I had to work through too because I am not an extrovert. I used to sweat and have the shakes to even get up in front of my team and speak in front of five people. I waited so long to take the leap into starting my business because I was afraid of networking and having to have difficult conversations with clients and then, of course, to have to sell, which felt gross to me because I’d always seen it done in such icky ways. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Part of creating a business on my terms that piggybacks on number four was that I would only work with clients on a cloud software. I wouldn’t need an office because everything would be virtual and I could be home with my kids. In that respect, I was like, “This is going to be perfect because I’m an introvert and I can hide behind my computer.” In the years of working in corporate, I learned a lot more about being a leader and how businesses run. I almost felt ready to start my own business but then I remembered I’d have to find clients and also sell to them.

Selling doesn’t have to be sleazy and this is something that Michelle can work with you on. It doesn’t even need to feel like selling. My biggest tip for selling is to go into the conversations ready to serve and to get to know somebody. As far as networking goes, it’s easy online with a little bit of practice. It’s not that hard in person if you allow yourself to be open to conversations and opportunities. That’s also abundance, being open to the opportunity. I go into conversations ready to serve and get to know somebody. If we click, I’ll sell them my services. If we don’t, it was a conversation.

You’re detached. I don’t think you could have said it any more beautifully. I love the sales thing because that’s what I do for all of you. I have many testimonials of people that got many clients without ever spending a dime, no marketing, no nothing. This is coming from talking to people without getting the sweats and shakes as you talked about. In my last class of women, they said the jitters. The jitters have been removed. Do you know when you drink too much coffee and you’re like, “I have way too much caffeine in my system? This is not good.” How do you do it without being a nag, bothersome, being gross, icky, pushy, salesy, and all those experiences? I’m curious, Serena, what was the worst experience that you went through with some sales rep or sale to somebody that crafted that sales were gross and icky for you?

The incessant follow-up and trying to sell me something I knew I didn’t need but they were trying to convince me of it type of thing and then continuing to badger me.

What was it?

I don’t even remember. It’s been years since that happened. I’m not a fan of, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” That’s a horrible saying. I had a boss that used to say that and I was like, “I don’t want to be the squeaky wheel that gets the grease because I was squeaking. I want to get the grease because people know they need it.”

Sometimes, people need a reminder. I may be the devil’s advocate because some people have told me this, especially some of you who I’ve worked with. I wouldn’t call it incessant but I have been told that I have been professionally annoying in a way where if I didn’t follow up with you, I would be doing yourself a disservice. Let’s say Serena and I are going to work together. She’s like, “No. I don’t need you.” If you come from a place where you’re helping someone and you’re ready to serve, that’s the place that I’m coming from.

If you shared with me you wanted to outsource the cleaning of every single situation in your household and have an extra $5,000 a month to go on vacation every quarter, I’m going to be committed to what you tell me. It’s also about your sales process. If we don’t have a good sales process, the follow up can feel like what you shared. $5,000 every quarter for a vacation, having the house cleaned every single week, laundry, the chef coming in, in addition to SunBasket, of course, having a wine delivery service at your doorstep, all of these things, if you shared with me and you’re like, “Michelle, I don’t think it’s a good time for me for your class.”

I would follow up because if I didn’t, I know that in 6 to 12 months, not a whole lot is going to change because I’ve seen that and I’ve got facts and stats on it. That’s what the statistics tell me. If the sales process is painful for somebody and they feel gross and icky about it, I know it can be fun. I’ve had many introverts change their whole perspective on what sale is that I know what’s possible. When you take a stand for somebody and you are there to serve and you’re committed to helping someone, if you don’t follow up, you are doing them a disservice. That’s what I wanted to share.

There’s a way to do it that’s not icky.

That’s for a different episode, which I’m sure we’ll do one day. Is there anything else, Serena, that we didn’t talk about that you want to share that someone might need to process, do an inventory, check it out, go through everything on how to ease their fears of leaving corporate or leaving a CFO contract work, aka you got yourself another job, or leaving a firm and leaving that stability and cushion that we didn’t talk about yet?

Make sure that you’re set up on the legal side of things. Make sure you have a good engagement letter and not for the legalities but as a scope of service.

Make sure you are in compliance, get an attorney, get your engagement letter ready. Thank you, Serena, for being here with us. It’s always an honor. It was great to have you.

What a great episode with Serena. For those of you who are ready to take that next step, go for it. My boyfriend and I were having this conversation. I take a lot of risks. I hop in the shower even though the water is cold from when he took a shower. I will go all-in on a trip. When I fly business class, I’ll eat and drink everything they serve me on the plane. I will go all-in. I’ll go walk out on that diving board and jump two feet.

Here’s the thing that I want to share that she shared, you’re never going to stop learning. I know a lot of us don’t take action because we think, “We’re not good enough yet.” I don’t have enough technical ability. “I need this. I need that.” To be honest, the learning never stops and there’s never a good time. I would encourage you to take an inventory and think about everything Serena shared with you. I had to do the same thing. I had one corporate job and it was at Moss Adams, the up and accounting firm. After three years, I was like, “No math. No more. I’m going out on my own.” Ever since then, I have never worked for anybody.

Same as you, I had some independent contract work but I didn’t have a W-2 and I wasn’t reporting to a boss. I didn’t have the cushion of a paycheck every two weeks. I didn’t have the 401(k) benefits. I have my 401(k) now but that’s because all of you taught me that I should have it. I pay my own health insurance. All of that seems it’s a benefits package but you pay a lot for that package. Imagine what’s possible for you.

Serena shared gratitude. Everyone’s definition of abundance is different. For some of you, abundance might mean, “If I can quit this job, I’ll feel like I have an abundance.” Starting to have the mindset of abundance stems and starts from gratitude. What are you grateful for right now? Take an inventory of that. Maybe list out three things every single day. I promise you, over time, your whole life and perspective and paradigm will shift its flow. It doesn’t happen overnight but it will shift tremendously. Take a peek at that. Over time, I would say you’re going to have to do that for at least 90 days. Take an inventory of what are you grateful for. You’re never going to stop learning. You’re always learning. I do 1 or 2 sales education-type classes every single year where it never ends.

If you want to get my five-step process that accountants have used to go from waiting around from that busy season time to being able to attract higher-level and higher-value clients and get paid what you’re worth who appreciate your work, head on over to FiveStepsToAbundance.com. It’s completely complimentary. It will help you start working on more of these things we talked about. You can collect higher fees with confidence. You can be that expert, accountant, and CPA that you truly are while, hopefully, working less all year round. As Serena did, start outsourcing the things that are not in your zone of genius. I’ll see you on the next episode.

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About Serena Shoup

AA 58 | Easing Your Fears Serena is a CPA running a virtual bookkeeping business from her home in Arizona, and helps experienced and aspiring accountants start and grow their own virtual bookkeeping business.

Over the past few years of running her own firm, she realized there was an abundance of small businesses that needed help from qualified bookkeepers and accountants, so she started mentoring others who had the desire to start their own bookkeeping businesses.

 

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