If someone were to ask you why you haven’t yet built the accounting or outsourced CFO practice you really want, what would you tell them?
Probably something to do with either a lack of time, knowledge or money – or perhaps all three.
In fact, you probably tell yourself hundreds of stories each day as to why you can’t have the practice you want, whether it’s having small children, a busy schedule or a lack of opportunity.
But the truth is, it’s none of these things. It all comes down to your mindset.
Look at Oprah Winfrey. She grew up in terrible circumstances and the odds were stacked against her, yet she went on to achieve incredible things thanks to her positive, goal-focused mindset.
It’s easy to dismiss people when they talk about mindset. I agree that it’s very difficult to listen to privileged people who were handed everything wax lyrical about the power of positive thinking. However, trust me when I say that I myself did not have an easy journey.
I’m not saying I’m Oprah, but when I started my business I had two young children – one of whom had health issues that meant never-ending doctor visits and multiple days off of school each week.
I was also on housing benefits and had just left an abusive relationship. My children and I moved 200 miles away from our home and had to start our lives from scratch.
No-one could have blamed me if I’d given up, but I refused to admit defeat. My attitude set me apart. I was determined to take action and get out of that situation, even if it meant investing money that I didn’t really have.
Step #1: Identify Your Stories
“I don’t have enough time.”
“I don’t have enough money.”
“I don’t know how.”
None of this is true. These are just stories that you tell yourself, and they get in the way of your growth.
You can make time. You can earn or save money. You can learn how.
There are plenty of people out there who came from horrific backgrounds and went onto achieve phenomenal success.
Why? Because they were prepared to do what others weren’t for a few years, so that the rest of their life would be the way they wanted it to be.
They gave up nights down the pub and Netflix binges to work on themselves and their business. They put everything they had into making themselves successful because there was simply no other option.
And if they could do it, so can you.
You need to identify these obstacles you’re putting in your own way in order to overcome them. It’s not that you don’t have time, it’s that you’re not making time. It’s not that you don’t have the knowledge, it’s that you’re not prepared to go out there and get it.
Step #2: Plan Backwards
In order to build the practice you really want, you need to get super specific on what you want. Then, you can work backwards to create a plan to get you there.
Let’s say you want to have 20 clients paying you £20-30k per year. However, you currently have 100 clients paying £1,000 per year. What’s missing between where you are now and where you want to be?
It could be that you don’t know how to get high value clients, and you’ve never worked on your business before, only in it.
Instead of sitting back and saying “I can’t do it”, adopt a growth mindset. Maybe you can’t do it right now, but you can certainly learn how. Go out and invest in sales and marketing training to create a predictable lead flow and attract the right kind of clients.
Step #3: Get Support
The journey to practice growth is a roller coaster. You need someone there to listen to and reassure you so that you stay on the right track. Don’t underestimate the importance of support, whether that’s from a business buddy, a local mastermind group or a mentor.
When you try to go it alone, it’s easy to tie yourself up in knots. It’s important to have someone – or even a few people – who will listen to your ideas, give you feedback, keep you accountable and encourage you when things are difficult.
You need someone who will help you create a plan and give you the tools, ideas and specific targets that you need to take you where you want to be.
Step #4: Invest
Finally, to achieve success you need to adopt a growth mindset and invest.
A fixed mindset is where you believe your skills and abilities are inherent and unchangeable.
A growth mindset is where you know you have the potential to improve and change your situation.
When you have a growth mindset, you are willing to invest in the training and mentorship that you need to get you where you need to be. You are willing to invest time and money into building relationships and doing the work to create a predictable lead flow for your practice.
Building a freedom practice requires a huge investment. You will have to sacrifice a lot of your leisure time and work hard. You will have to invest your money and energy in growth. You will need to stop spending your nights flicking through social media and instead start reading books and listening to podcasts that can impart new knowledge.
Practice growth is a journey and in order to proceed, you have to stop standing in your own way.
I know that this isn’t a warm and fuzzy message, and that it could even prove triggering, but I hope it functions as a wake up call. Ultimately, the words of Henry Ford ring true: “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t – you’re right.”