Bookkeepers are all about impact. We want to make a difference to our clients' lives, and we certainly do just that!
We facilitate amazing change in the lives of our clients. We help small business owners to really get on top of the numbers and to understand what's going on in the business, and we often take a considerable burden and weight off our clients' shoulders.
In fact, in my experience coaching bookkeepers over the past several years, bookkeepers often value impact, for their clients, over self-interest and self-preservation and it's time to change that.
Absolutely, continue making an impact. The world needs you. The world needs bookkeepers to help business owners to be profitable business owners.
But it's also time for you to set some boundaries and create impact in your own lives as well.
Think about the impact you are having on your own goals and dreams and on your own business.
What impact is the work you're doing have on your own health, and on your own ability to earn an income and create wealth for yourself?
I was talking to a bookkeeper client this morning about an ongoing cashflow problem that one of her clients is having, and she's been working some hours at no charge because she feels that they can't afford to pay her for cash flow projection work that needs to be done because they're really tight on cash flow.
She's getting paid for her regular bookkeeping work, but this is work that needs to be done over and above that, that she's not getting paid for. She really wants to help them and can see that they really need this cash flow projection, because they have recently been in a situation where they couldn't pay their GST.
An important piece of this particular puzzle is that she actually hasn't asked them to pay her. She hasn't sold the need for it and they haven't agreed to pay her for it.
What I counselled her to do was to tell them that they need it, and why - so they can pay their tax on time, so that they know in advance where they might run into a cash flow issue and do something about it before it becomes a real problem, etc.
And if they understand the value and importance of it then they will agree to pay you for it. If they don't see the value, then you really don't want to be doing that work for them anyway, and you most certainly don't want to be doing it for free.
So by prioritising that kind of impact in our clients' lives, we sometimes overlook the impact that we're having on ourselves, and on those around us.
Consider the ripple effect of what we're doing. What is the impact that you are having on those around you? Your family, your friends. There are so many layers to that.
For example, you're prioritising their financial situation - which, by the way, if they have not got a sustainable business, it's better to fail sooner rather than later - over your own financial situation and over other client work where they do value what you do for them.
It's not ours to stress about. Help where you can but be mindful of the cost. Create impact in the lives of your clients but not at the detriment of ourselves, our family, our health, our wealth or our own businesses.
What are you modelling, and what behaviour are you tolerating, and at what expense?
We're all about impact, yes! But make sure it's a postive impact, for you as well as for your clients.
If now's the time to do something different with your bookkeeping business then book a call with me and let's see what your future could hold for you.