So this year for me is all about “Thriving not just surviving”.
Last year and probably for the last 3 years my main focus has been on building a business but there was a small part of myself that was using this as an excuse of dealing with personal stuff.
So towards the end of last year I realised that I could no longer sustain this long term and needed to make some changes. So I sat with my whiteboard and came up with some simple changes I could make that would enable me to be a better human. Now I really wrote these only thinking of myself personally and not my business. But by ensuring that I am not just surviving personally I feel much better equipped to thrive in my business and in every area of my life.
So what changes do you need to make to ensure that this year you don’t just survive but thrive?
One of our values here at Balancing Bookkeeper Canberra is “We balance”.
“We strive to be a workplace that practices what we preach. We aim to provide a flexible and supportive environment that enables all staff members to balance work and life. We believe that as individuals we are able to have a healthy work/life boundaries. We are an example to others, including clients, by efficiently and effectively managing the work that they provide to us.”
So quite a few years ago we rebranded the bookkeeping business that was being traded under my personal name and it was rebirthed as “Balancing Bookkeeper Canberra.” Every day since I have been reminded that life is not just about balancing the accounts for small business but also balancing the many other balls many of us juggle.
I had the knowledge of this but must admit I just loved balancing the books more than I did in managing my health, family, friends and self and other commitments. However this did end in me being quite unwell for an extended period of time and made me realise that if I am not balanced “emotionally, physically, mentally, relationships and self care” I am really no use to anyone.
One of the hardest things I have had to do is to keep going in my business when battling depression and anxiety. However have these two new “friends” has taught me what is important and how to manage my stress and how to give to full capacity in the work I do by making sure I have adequate down time.
How are you coping with the work/life balance? Is there something small that you can change today that will make this balance a little more equal?
One of our values here at Balancing Bookkeeper Canberra is “We are switched on”.
“Being switched on to us at Balancing Bookkeeper Canberra means that we are not afraid of change or evolving the way we do things. We are always looking at how to do things better; in a more streamlined, efficient and effective way, both in our business and for clients. This means we aim to be providing solutions to our clients either before they are aware that a problem exists or in answer to their questions. It also means that all team members are required to have an attitude of learning and willingness to go the extra mile to get something done to make the process easier.”
To me being “switched on” reminds me of a lightbulb. The invention of the lightbulb is a remarkable story in itself and though it still emits light how this has changed over time and is constantly changing to be more efficient and keeping up with the changing times of technology.
Being in business for me is much like this. I love that technology is changing and equips us to do life and business more efficiently and effectively. We are passionate about keeping up with the times and making your life easier when it comes to running your business and the numbers of your business.
Is there an area of your business that you feel like you could be doing better in? If so will you take a moment away from the busyness of business and ask yourself what you could implement to make this process easier?
One of our values here at Balancing Bookkeeper Canberra is “We are passionate”.
“We are energetic and unashamedly love what we do. That is, helping others with their business numbers and encouraging them. We demonstrate this by responding effectively and efficiently to client questions and seeking assistance when in need of clarification. We are dedicated to our clients and always give them the time, energy and focus they need with healthy boundaries. Our passion for what we do is shown in the joy and excitement we demonstrate when interacting with them.”
That’s right our passion is not just in the helping part but by doing something that we absolutely love doing. There have been times that I have felt unmotivated or feeling down in my personal life however put me in front of some unreconciled items in a bank account, a system that needs implementing, a payroll to setup or a problem that requires a solution my heart is happy and I have a skip in my step. All of our staff here have the same ethos and get all excited about the things that you may not necessarily find exciting.
But did you know that we are also attracted to people who are also passionate about what they are doing? It actually doesn’t matter what you do in business but whatever you do you must love it. Ok, I am not talking swinging off the chandeliers excitement 24/7. I am well aware that business is a lot of ups and downs and it can often feel like a rollercoaster road. But you know that no matter what or how much you are challenged by business you still have the fire in your belly about what you do.
A couple of years ago I was chatting to a prospective client and they were excitedly telling me about what their organisation was telling and there was such a personal story of why she was doing what she was doing. This passion and her heart for what she was doing was so evident in the language she spoke and the emotion she was expressing. After that phone call I was also emotional and we are very proud to be part of the difference she and her team are making in the world.
How do you show you are passionate to those that you do business with?
One of our values here at Balancing Bookkeeper Canberra is “We are honest”.
“We aim to create a workplace that encourages and inspires everyone we come in contact with to be themselves. Our team members are authentic with their skills, experience and knowledge and share this knowledge with their colleagues and our clients with passionate gusto. In our team, no one has to pretend they have all the answers and we encourage you to ask for help when needed. To best support our clients, and ourselves, we will always seek advice from other professionals when we are out of our depth.”
For many years, well actually probably most of my life, I have struggled with the concept of being myself and being accepted for who I am. Being in business and discovering that you can be yourself and still be an expert in your field is one of the most freeing things that I have discovered. I love harnessing this sort of ethos in other business owners and small businesses, that being honest with who you are and how you interact with the world around you is important and unique.
We are passionate about always being honest that we don’t have all the answers but if it is in scope we are willing to find solutions to your questions. We will also let you know if you we need to reach out to other professionals as giving you the best and accurate advice is the name of our game.
How can you show honesty to those you interact when in business?
One of our values here at Balancing Bookkeeper Canberra is “We care about people”.
“We are focused on numbers, but also on helping people. We also interact with people in a helpful, efficient and effective manner. This means no matter how many clients we are juggling or how busy we become, we always take the time to give individualised attention and support to every client.”
Did you know that not only do we love to share the love by caring for those clients, staff and suppliers in our business however we also love to see this in action in your business?
That’s right having a heart of compassion to those you do business with is such a beautiful to witness and it makes our hearts happy.
One of my fondest memories of being in business was meeting a long-term client where we had not met face to face. I was already aware of how much respect he had for his customers and his employees from the interaction we have had via email and telephone. But it was a complete gamechanger to see this in action when met him in person.
There is also another client that shows this wonderfully by being a jovial workplace that when we frequent to pick up paperwork we instantly feel like we are part of the family!
How do you practically show that you care about the customers, clients, employees and suppliers in your business?
To us here at Balancing Bookkeeper Canberra the values that we hold onto and how we do business are very important. It can often dictate the small decisions that may seem mundane and happen daily or they may come into play with bigger strategic decisions.
So I am going to take a moment to let you know what is at the heart of what we do and then will also delve deeper into each of those in greater detail in later blog posts.
We care about people: That’s right as much as we love numbers, people are more important and it’s about the relationship we build with you and your business.
We are passionate: That’s right we are going to get excited about your accounts and about the numbers of your business. It’s ok if you don’t we have enough nerdy passion to be excited on your behalf!
We are honest: Integrity and honesty are at the heart of who we are as individuals here at Balancing Bookkeeper Canberra as well as a team and how we conduct ourselves as a team.
We are switched on: That’s right we are like a light bulb, we are switched on. Ok, seriously streamlining and making your life easier is what we are all about. Solving problems is something we love to do and we love using technology to assist in making this as efficient for all.
We balance: That’s right each of us here at Balancing Bookkeeper Canberra also wear many hats in life; whether we have families, friends, volunteering positions we lead by example by ensuring that we have a good balance between work and life so that we can give the very best to you.
So what are your values in business and how do they define how you do business?
So when something awesome is happening in your life; whether that is business or personal what is your first reaction?
Are you excited, fearful or a combination of the two or any other emotion?
I think for me I like to do the combo of the excited and fearful. When big things are happening in my business there are sometimes I want to grab a pair of joggers and run for the hills even though I know that what is in store is actually awesome.
There are others times the fear of the unknown about the situation has me wanting to sit in the foetal position because staying where it is comfortable seems like the better option. So how do you combat that initial emotion to stop you from not stepping into all that is in store for you? For me actually acknowledging why I am feeling this way is the first step.
Sometimes that feeling is completely warranted as it is risky and it is a way that I am protecting myself or other times it is completely irrational. So then I actually need to assess whether what I am about to step into is actually the right thing to do and the right timing. If it is something I do need to be doing and I have acknowledged it I then hold myself accountable to my support network and verbalise that I can’t stay in this place and that I need to be pushing myself beyond how I am feeling.
Then I get on with it.
Well, sometimes it is but sometimes it is so freaking hard as you know that you need to fight on ahead however you feel like sitting in the corner. How do you keep yourself pushing forward?
For me making sure that I am keeping myself balanced with work/life, health/fun and work/play is the first step.
Then I make sure that I have the goals of my life and work firmly in my head and that if I want to push through to see those happen that there is going to be a little discomfort as I step into that; the unknown, the scary and the exciting!!
What strategies do you have in place for ensuring that you are living up to your best version of yourself and stepping into all that you are meant to be doing?
Do you ever have moments where you feel like the whole world is on your shoulders or you are knocked down by a situation and you can’t seem to think straight?
Well, I can say with 100% confidence that I have found myself in this place on more than one occasion. For me often it has to do with something that has conjured up as a problem before it even exists or on a personal level if my medical condition is playing havoc and I get stressed about keeping myself alive and make wise decisions.
Often I have a friend on the other end of the phone or chat giving me the advice that all will be ok. The way this is delivered is either filled with more compassion and love or a forceful voice dependent on the situation. One instant I had about this recently was with my employee who is also my mum.
She was calling me to talk work on a Saturday.
She quickly picked up that I was not ok and I ended up sobbing about whatever I was heartbroken about. She listened, challenged and offered me practical advice. We then continued to talk about work but before hanging up I said
͞”Thanks for talking me off a ledge”
She then quickly replied ͞
“The only ledger you are allowed to talk about is general ledgers.”
Despite the pain I was feeling, we were able to laugh hysterically about her ability to find humour and make a bookkeeping joke.
Who do you have in the life that supports you when you feeling like you are hanging on to the ledge of life? How will you find humour in the small things in life no matter what you are facing?
I had a moment when I was looking after my friend’s kids. I adore these kids like my own and we always have crazy adventures. The daybed that is set up in the loungeroom was quickly converted from a single to a king size thing. There was already one sheet on there, however, this kid was adamant that a single fitted sheet could fit on the other mattress as well. As I was quite a few years older and had made a few more beds than him I knew I was right.
Within a flash he was getting the house phone and was using his outside voice inside “we need a parent”. I could imagine the phone conversation that would entail so I stepped in also used my outside voice grabbed the phone and said “together we can sort this out” even though inside I was thinking oh my goodness I am not even considered a proper adult I need to prove to this kid that I can do this. I ran down the stairs opened the linen cupboard and found another fitted sheet and made the bed. It wasn’t quite the same but it was good enough in my eyes. This was the second time I needed to regain composure in a situation I found myself in.
I went to a personal party earlier that day where I literally felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb where I am at a different stage of life than most. I was one of few people who was wearing jeans – clearly, I didn’t get the memo that flora dresses were the go-to outfit of the day. Someone asked how my week was and I answered honestly how it was the first week in a long time how I felt like it was going to be ok and wasn’t going to drown in work overwhelm and the exciting changes happening in my life. Inside though I was dying I felt like no one in the room was being honest and it was all just fake smiles and laughs. There was a point I wanted to yell and scream and cry however I made a sarcastic remark and pushed my feelings down. As soon as the party was over I rushed to my car and broke down and cried.
To me, I consider this a moment of success as an adult that I didn’t lose my sheet when I clearly could have and probably ruin an event and be quite damaging. I would then like to say that I have then been an adult about my feelings about this party by thinking about why and how I felt this way and what I am going to do about it. So where is it that you have a what the sheet moment and how will you be an adult about it even when you want to scream and cry?
So I used to run and have recently just commenced again. I had been doing some planning about all of the runs I wanted to participate in over the next 12 months and then just kept yapping on about how I wanted to run.
It was Monday and my usual cheerful bubbly self was in the worst mood I have been in for awhile.
My poor staff who had to put up with my bad attitude. I even had to promise that I would do some sort of exercise to release this emotion. I was already wearing my gym gear so was adamant that I was going for a run. So eventually my bad mood and I put some joggers on and went for a run.
I warmed up for about a nanosecond and then started running wanting to run
away from all of the emotion I was feeling. Ok, did it feel good to run again? Hell yes it was amazing. Did I discover how unfit I was? For sure. But did I do anyway? You betcha.
But what did I learn about commencing running again? That you can plan until you are blue in the face but actually taking action is necessary to make it a reality. That been properly prepared is actually going to hurt less in the long run; it may seem unnecessary or time wasting but it will be better in the long run. (And in my case I won’t look like an idiot trying to walk or bend my leg cause of excruciating pain). That having people support you and keep you accountable makes the whole journey so much more pleasant and less lonely.
Funny story on the encouragement point is that I had forgotten where I had parked the car and had to double back. I decided that one last sprint run would be good and make the journey back to my car quicker. I was running along with music pounding in my ears when all of sudden there was a guy coming in the opposite direction and he then yelled out to me͞
you are doing a great job”
͟ This was the encouragement I needed to keep going. So what is that you need to plan for? What action do you need to take to make it a reality? Who do you need to have in your support team to keep you accountable to achieving your goals.