Spending too much time thinking about how to grow your accounting or bookkeeping practice can often get in the way of consistent action. Here’s how to up level your mindset and start doing.
No question about it, there’s a lot to think about when transforming your accounting or bookkeeping firm into a lucrative freedom practice. It often feels as though your attention is being divided a million different ways, until you get utterly overwhelmed and are forced to admit that you have no idea what to focus on.
It’s only natural to start overthinking everything during this process, but this actually gets in the way of taking action. You want to plan for every possible outcome and minimise your chances of failure, but that’s no good when it stops you from getting started in the first place.
At some point, you’ve got to just start. I’m not saying jump in over your head, but there are things that you can do to stop overthinking and start doing. You need to work on your mindset and up level your thoughts if you want to create the freedom practice you’ve always dreamed of, so here are five ways to go about it.
1. Find Your “Who”
When I want to up level my practice, the biggest changes come from shifts in my mindset rather than my actions.
Often, when you’ve reached a certain point where you’re financially stable and have a decent work-life balance, it can be hard to push yourself to the next level. A fancier car usually isn’t enough motivation to double down on growing your practice.
The secret is to stop thinking about WHY and start thinking about WHO.
Other than yourself, WHO will be impacted by the growth of your practice?
It could be your children, your spouse or your parents. Beyond them, it will be your clients who will then be able to transform their businesses thanks to your services.
There’s then a ripple effect that passes onto their clients, and their clients’ clients, and so on…
When you realise that there are people out there who truly need your help, it’s much easier to stop over-analysing and take action to start creating change.
2. Surround Yourself with the Right People
I really can’t stress this enough. Surrounding yourself with the right people is the number one way to improve your mindset and inspire consistent, effective action.
The saying goes that you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. Humans are social animals and we are greatly influenced by others around us – more so than we would probably care to admit.
I’m speaking from experience here. Back in 2009, I was struggling to grow my practice because I simply wasn’t putting in the work. Every afternoon, I would give into my friends’ cajoling to ditch work and join them for a cup of tea and some trash television.
Several nights a week, I would find myself being dragged down the pub, staying out late and then being too tired to work at my best the next day.
I’m not blaming my friends – those decisions were all mine. What I am saying is that my social circle certainly wasn’t conducive to my growth, both as a business owner and a human being.
I needed a different social circle in which hard work and self-improvement was the norm. After all, I’m willing to bet that Bill Gates’ best friends aren’t found drinking the bar dry every night.
I joined a group coaching program and quickly found that a new standard was set for me. I was connecting with different people who were further ahead on their journey than I was and who set an example for me. I suddenly found myself working twice as hard as everybody else.
Many studies on birth order have found that the youngest sibling in the family tends to be the most confident. It makes sense; they have older children to show them the way and so they don’t spend their lives figuring everything out from scratch. They simply take action.
Of course, the chances are that you don’t have older siblings in the same profession as you. Instead, you need a mentor and a strong group of peers to support you and raise the bar. Group programs aren’t just about the expert in change. There’s a tremendous amount of value in simply connecting with others on the same journey as you.
3. Audit Your Time
Plotting, planning and overthinking leads to a lot of wasted time. If you feel as though there just aren’t enough hours in the day to grow your accounting or bookkeeping practice, you need to audit your time.
Over the next fortnight, set a timer for thirty minutes from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to bed. Every time the timer buzzes, write down what you did for the past half an hour. You need to get a clear picture of what it is exactly that you do during your working hours, personal time and even your weekends.
The results of this time audit may surprise you, and they will certainly give you actionable data that will allow you to make some necessary changes.
It could be that you’re spending too much time on your phone every evening, that you’re stressed because you’re not prioritising self-care or that you’re distracted because you feel disconnected from your family. Whatever it is, performing a time audit will illuminate the next steps you need to take to stop overthinking and up level your mindset in order to create change.
4. Content Repurposing
One of the key ways to grow your accounting or bookkeeping practice is through content marketing.
The problem is that creating content takes up a lot of time… or so you’ve been led to believe.
In reality, when you know how to outsource appropriately, you only need to spend 30 minutes to one hour per week creating content as a practice owner.
I show up and post content every single day. However, everything I do comes from my live videos. I go live four mornings a week from 5-15 minutes at a time. I simply show up and answer a question or address a pain point that I know accountants and bookkeepers are struggling with.
My team then takes these pieces of content and turns them into Facebook posts, LinkedIn updates, Instagram tiles and blog posts.
All of the content still comes from me and contains my unique expertise, but I don’t spend hours each day creating it myself.
By creating a system like this, you can stay front of mind and position yourself as an authority in your chosen hunting niche, without neglecting the rest of your practice.
This is also why I created The Content Lounge. Members enjoy access to social media posts, blogs, eBooks and more that they can use to dominate their chosen hunting niche without hiring an expensive in-house copywriter.
5. Narrow Your Focus
It’s easy to fall into the trap of overthinking when you’re trying to handle every single aspect of your business by yourself.
In order to grow a successful accounting or bookkeeping practice, you need to learn to outsource and delegate certain tasks so that you can focus on what you’re best at. As a practice owner, you need to prioritise client generation and providing top-level service.
Write a list of all of the tasks within your practice and assign a value to each one. Compare each task against the value of your own time. This gives you a clear picture of which tasks you need to outsource, and which require your specific expertise.
The DIY approach can only take you so far. Your time is a valuable resource that you need to invest wisely. A big part of being a successful practice owner is the ability to delegate so that you can use your time in the most lucrative way possible.
When taking your accounting or bookkeeping practice to the next level, you must first up-level your mindset. In order to be a freedom practice owner, you first need to think like one. By getting laser focused and surrounding yourself with the right people, you will find it much easier to step up and take effective action to grow your practice. The truth is, nobody ever went anywhere by overthinking, so instead employ the above strategies to start taking consistent and impactful action.