Stop Being Good at Doing Something Wrong

As an accounting professional, it’s easy to work yourself into exhaustion. That happened with my former business. I sacrificed time with my family, because I didn’t believe I had a choice. Fortunately, I now realize it doesn’t have to be that way. Working too much stifles your business growth.Working too much

Society teaches us about efficiency. Industries have been built around time management and lean models. But, what if a better approach exists? When you are efficient but not effective, you’re good at doing something wrong.

For example, you build your website from a template. The process is efficient because you don’t need any knowledge about coding. If the site, however, is difficult to navigate or has broken links, your visitors will quickly leave. So, it was efficient but it was not effective.

Emphasizing speed and time does not always work in your favor. A positive experience is more important than speed. Think about it. If you went to an upscale restaurant, and they rushed you through the meal, how would that affect your experience? Quick service ruins the experience.

The Efficiency Trap

Simply because you do something quickly - efficiently - doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to grow your #accounting firm. Read full post. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet

Simply because you do something quickly – efficiently – doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to grow your accounting firm. Does it truly improve your quality of service?  Often, it’s something you enjoy checking off your list. Maybe the busywork lets you postpone doing some other things which you don’t enjoy.

Success is counter-intuitive to what most accounting professionals believe. Review the different aspects of your firm. Focus on what’s effective, even when it’s not the most efficient option.

One bookkeeping client consistently underpriced her services. That’s because discussing her fees felt uncomfortable. Since she wasn’t charging what she was worth, money was left on the table. We adjusted her onboarding process to include a thorough diagnostic.  Doing something that took more time up front, actually led to better clients and increased her revenue.

Working Too Much Stifles Growth

Not all tasks are created equal. Be brutally honest with yourself. You’re holding onto things, or following systems, which are not very effective. Give yourself permission to let them go.

You’ve settled into a specific routine. Adjusting to a new routine takes some getting used to. Yes, it’s tough to say goodbye. However, you free up time to focus on things which really matter (including time for yourself).

Running an accounting practice is a process. The things which worked in the beginning may create drag as your practice matures. Set time aside to regularly review and adjust what’s working and what’s not working.

Let’s face it, working too much isn’t sustainable. Over time exhaustion sets in. Consider how to slow down and do less while remaining effective. Is there a new app? Or, are you ready to delegate some of your tasks?

Since your time is a priority, only choose actions which consistently get the best results.

Two Types of Goals

Are you crystal clear about what you want to achieve? If not, you’ll pursue someone else’s suggestion and wonder why things seem so difficult. I urge you to avoid mediocrity. Don’t become trapped with an accounting firm you don’t enjoy.

Are you crystal clear about the growth path for your #accounting firm? If not, you’ll pursue someone else’s suggestion and wonder why things seem so difficult. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet

Set aside time to define your vision of success. What does success mean to you? My clients don’t view money as their number one motivator. Instead, the accounting professionals I work with emphasize making difference for their clients.  Money measures their effectiveness.

working too muchReady to stop working too much? Then focus on these two things.

  1. Outcome goals. These are targeted toward an outcome over which you have no control. For example, you may want to sign on three new clients in the next 30 days. But you have no defined way of controlling the outcome. Wishing won’t make it so.
  2. Action goals. The accounting professionals I coach learn about the only two things which are within their control. That’s their attitude and their actions. For example, regularly attend a weekly network meeting. Then schedule weekly lunch dates with potential referral partners or potential clients. Consistently do these specific activities to attract new clients.

These two types of goals work together. First, define what you want: the outcome. Then, define the specific activities to achieve that outcome.

As you clarify your goals, you’ll realize which activities consume your time, but don’t really contribute to your business growth.

Streamline with Questions

Ask yourself these questions to identify your most important work activities.

  • What outcome do I want to achieve?
  • Which actions will help me make that happen?
  • What are the things I’m doing which get the best results?
  • Which things don’t get great results?

As you consistently focus on the tasks which get the best results, your business grows. You’re probably still holding onto some tasks below your pay grade. Start to target some of your new found income to get help and lighten your workload.

There’s nothing worse for an #accounting professional than loving your business while experiencing burn out. You deserve to enjoy the work you do. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet

Reduce Burnout, Frustration, and Overwhelmworking too much

There’s nothing worse for an accounting professional than loving your practice while experiencing burn out. You deserve to enjoy the work you do. It’s possible to reduce burn out. Don’t compromise other aspects of your life, especially your personal health and well-being.

Reduce the frustration of always working without getting ahead. Remove time consuming tasks which don’t grow your accounting firm. This one move will cause you to fall in love with your practice again. Once you experience the difference, you’ll wonder why you waited this long.

Working Too Much Doesn’t Work

Emphasize the effective activities which will grow your firm. This starts to replace your overwhelm with enthusiasm. Focusing on what’s effective means doing what’s right instead of what’s fast. This renews your joy for growing your firm.

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