The other day this question was asked in the From Bookkeeper to Business Owner member-only Facebook group by Tasha Glasman from Mint and Honey Bookkeeping (shared with permission):
“What do you guys do when you feel like quitting? It is all so overwhelming right now and I don't know how to fix it. Any help getting out of my head would be great!”.
One of the things that I just love about our member-only group is the support and encouragement within the group. What followed was such a great thread with the other bookkeepers in the group jumping in with helpful advice.
Because the thing is, we've all been there! And we will probably be there again sometime!
The advice from the group was so good that I asked if I could share some of them with you all and they said yes.
Jessica Millar from Accountable Bookkeeping advised:
“Take time away from the business, go and do something with the kids, take a weekend off, turn the phone off and computer away. I also start back at the basics; why did I start my business? What have I achieved? What do I like about my business and what can I change?! Honestly, we all go through it!”
Sarah Burgess from Little Black Books said:
“I hired a team of people so I can have a break from the business whenever I feel the need to. Having a team and the right support is crucial. Also, sleep and exercise.”
And Melanie Jones from Hassle Free Bookkeeping sympathised, saying:
“We have all been there. It springs up on you and it's all so overwhelming. When I feel like this, I always pull myself back to the ground and unpack everything and look at it from a different perspective. Look for areas that are not adding value, there may be clients that make you anxious. These should be moved on or change the situation, so it works better. Identify those areas that really sit well with you, where you find peace and give you time to take a breath. For me, the simple task of coding a cash book takes me to a place where I know I kick ass and it is "easy" work. I use this time to push and pull all the pieces around until I find a new way of putting it all back together. This allows me to take the control back.”
I know, right?! Such great wisdom!
Business can be stressful, and it’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed at times – especially when you’re pushing yourself and in growth mode.
Maybe you’re feeling like you have way too much to do, and not enough time to do it.
Maybe you’re feeling like you’re not being paid or valued enough
Are you saying ‘yes’ to too many requests and stretching yourself too thin.
Do you having a client who demands more than you can offer?
Do you feel that you don’t have the necessary skills or resources to do your job effectively?
Do you have multiple deadlines coming up fast!
Or maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed due to other things going on in your world right now - covid stresses, physical injury, home life, family or relationship issues.
Whenever I would start thinking like “what am I doing this for?” and “I should just go and get a J.O.B.” (Just Over Broke), I would think about what that would look like.
I would think about having to work for someone else - not being in control of my day, having to ASK someone for time off for a school trip etc., capped income potential – and, I don’t know about you, but these things don't seem that attractive to me.
By doing that I am reminded of why I'm doing this bookkeeping business thing in the first place, and what I'm getting out of it.
Coming back to your purpose and your mission statement can also make a big difference. Why are you doing this in the first place?
Also consider the difference that you are making in your client’s lives, and in the lives of their families.
There are normally one or two things that, if fixed, would make everything else feel less overwhelming. Even a 1% reduction in stress levels can be the tipping point.
What are the critical success factors in making your business and life juggle work?
Once you’re clear about where the overwhelm is coming from, you can start to implement things to change the situation.
Do you need to drop a demanding client? Maybe hire a team member to take on some of your workload? Do you need to plan your time better to ensure you’re not stretching yourself too thin?
There are practical things that you can do to get yourself out of overwhelm and back into running a bookkeeping business that you absolutely love!
After all, that’s why we’re doing this right?
Take a deep breath. You’re not stuck, and this situation isn’t going to last forever. This too shall pass.
I do hope this has helped you today.
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PS: Get in touch if you want to create a successful bookkeeping business that you love.