Seven years ago, I had my first phone call with bookkeepers for my business.
I was sick to my stomach and fighting back tears.
Not because they were mean––they are wonderful––but because I was scared out of my mind and embarrassed by my lack of organization.
I fully expected them to ask me questions I couldn’t answer and shame me for my lack of planning.
They didn’t, of course. They were wonderfully accommodating and assured me that they’d seen worse.
A few years later, I needed a new CPA.
Same thing. I was sick to my stomach every minute of my first meeting with him.
I expected to be called out or have him wonder aloud how I’d gotten so far without a better system.
None of those things happened. But it didn’t make me feel much better.
I had a meeting with my new CPA today.
Same firm, just a different accountant.
I kept waiting for the butterflies to start fluttering. I anticipated the familiar feeling of dread to wash over me.
Instead, I calmly shot him an email: “Everything you need should be right here in this folder. My bookkeeper will send you my year-end file and I sent you an invite to my other company’s books yesterday. See you soon!”
I hopped in the car, bringing the few pieces of tax-related paper I’d received along with me.
The butterflies never came. The dread never surfaced. I smiled through the whole meeting.
My financials still aren’t perfect––but I got my act together, both organizationally and mentally.
After the meeting…
I couldn’t help but think about how worth it taking the small steps to do what works has been.
For instance, to prepare for taxes this year, I started a “Taxes 2019” folder on the desktop of my computer. Every time I received an email with a form or a report, I’d download it and drag it into the folder. The few bits of paper I received I put in a single pile by my purse.
That simple system sure beats the panic I would go through every year searching through my inbox to find all the bits & pieces.
These are extremely small, simple things––but they make me feel confident, organized, and on top of things.
And that feeling––especially when you’re trying to grow a business––is no small thing.
There have been years on end when everything hurtling toward me or rattling around in my brain has taken priority over the little things that keep me feeling calm. There have been times when the crush of what needs to be done and what could be done gets the best of me.
But since I’ve committed myself to consistently doing the small things that really matter, that stuff just doesn’t get to me anymore.
(Okay, it doesn’t get to me very often.)
I’m now obsessed with finding the small ways I can up my confidence and make things more efficient. I’m on a quest to simplify, prioritize, and thrive every day.
What’s 1 small thing you could do today to make you feel more confident, organized, or on top of things?
Go do it.
Founder, What Works
P.S. Ready to feel more confident, organized, and on top of things? Stay tuned for our brand new program, 100 Days of What Works, coming next week. It’s all about the small steps that lead up to big results.
MANAGING MASSIVE PROJECTS & HONING YOUR CRAFT AT THE SAME TIME
Isaac Watson is an event producer. That means that he’s in charge of planning, organizing, and managing multi-day conferences that often involve thousands of attendees. That’s a massive project. So I knew I had to include what works for him in our series on project management. What I didn’t expect is that I’d also learn how creating an effective project management process has also helped him hone his craft!
I’VE RUN 40 DAYS STRAIGHT TO PRACTICE THESE BUSINESS SKILLS
Back on December 21, I ran a race and decided I just wouldn’t stop. Every morning since then, I’ve run at least 1 mile. I wanted to experiment with “streaking” this year so that I could work on some key skills: restraint, consistency, patience, and courage. And, it’s working.
YOUR CUSTOMER MIGHT NOT KNOW WHAT YOU THINK THEY KNOW
One of my favorite marketing concepts to share is the customer awareness spectrum. It blows minds every. single. time. Customer awareness is simple what your customer knows right now–and the more you know about what they know, the easy it is to connect with them. Janelle Allen does a great job of breaking it all down.
LOOKING TO GROW YOUR EMAIL LIST THIS YEAR?
One of the easiest ways to grow your list is simply to “convert” more of the people who stop by your website to read a blog post, check out your services page, or find out when your next event is. But that’s easier said than done, right? The folks at RightMessage share this simple tutorial for making your opt-in messages more personal and relevant so more people subscribe.
OVER SALES FUNNELS? LET’S TAKE A VISIT TO THE CONTENT PLAYGROUND
I’ve had writing a piece about the evolving strategy of content marketing––and how creating a sales & marketing ecosystem will serve you better than a sales funnel––for at least 6 months. It’s not yet written. That’s okay, because HubSpot released this gem on creating a “content playground.” I am here for it.