3 Beliefs That Didn't Serve Me As I Grew My Bookkeeping Biz

for bookkeepers libby Aug 28, 2023



Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been reflecting back on what I would do if I had to try starting a bookkeeping business all over again.

I’ve gone over what I did before that I would do again and what I would do differently this time around. Today, I want to talk about the beliefs that didn’t serve me when I was first starting a bookkeeping business…and why they won’t serve you, either.



It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect

The first belief I had to shake while starting a bookkeeping business was that everything had to be perfect. It didn’t, and it still doesn’t.

We talk about this all the time as bookkeepers. We have a tendency to want things to be perfect, but they don’t have to be.

This is one of the first things that you need to lay down in order to be successful in starting a bookkeeping business.

A thing does not have to be perfect before you put it out into the world or talk about it. You don’t have to wait until you have the perfect name for your business to start talking about it. You don’t have to have the perfect website, the perfect systems, the perfect sales call script, any of it.

The way that you show up, the way that you speak, the first post that you put on Instagram, the first time that you hit the live button…none of it has to be perfect. Because if you wait for it to be perfect, you will be waiting forever.

When starting a bookkeeping business, you have to be willing to do it messy. You have to be willing to put all of the fears that you have aside and just move. And once you show up imperfectly, you’ll realize that it's not as bad as you think it is, and that's going to give you the courage to take future steps.

Perfectionism is fear. That’s all it is. Because if you felt like it was safe for you to make a mistake or for you to show up imperfectly, you wouldn't need to be perfect. You would allow yourself to be whatever you are. To stumble and mess up and improve. And that’s exactly what we need to commit to doing as we’re starting a bookkeeping business.



Don’t Let “Professionalism” Rob You Of Authenticity

The second mindset you need to release while starting a bookkeeping business is that everything has to be professional. These might feel like the same thing, but they're not.

Professionalism was something that I really had to shake.

I don't know why I've always shown up that way. I had to shake it off in order to show up as who I really wanted to be, as well as allow my potential clients and my team to be who they are.

For example, one of the symbolic and significant things that I did to drop the need for professionalism was to go by the name Katie.

My legal name is Katelyn, but that name just does not feel like me. I’ve always gone by Katie with my family and close friends, but when I got my first corporate job, I just thought Katelyn sounded more professional. I felt like “Katie” made me sound young, and I wanted to be taken seriously in my field.

I don't know why I thought there was some significant difference between Katelyn and Katie, but to me, there was. So I went by Katelyn in the corporate world. And when I started my first LLC and did my CPA certification, I also went by Katelyn.

But then, when I entered the Instagram world, I started experiencing platforms where people used personal branding, and they were just…themselves.

They weren’t always professional or polished. They were quirky and silly and fun and honest, and I thought, “That's how I want to do this. As I'm starting a bookkeeping business, as I'm doing something for myself, as I'm rebelling against corporate and rebelling against the idea that I have to go back to that life, I'm going to embrace who I am. I'm going to go by Katie.”

I reclaimed the part of me that felt most like me, and I let that be okay, both in social circles and in my work. I didn't have to hide behind a name that didn’t even sound much different.

I am sure that there wasn’t a person on earth that took me more seriously because I called myself Katelyn instead of Katie. That was all internal dialogue rooted in fear and insecurities.

So I let go of the idea of external professionalism. I can be who I am, and I can do that because I make the rules, and if I'm going to make the rules, I want to be me.

For instance, back in 2020, I still had babies at home. I took some sales calls with kids who didn't nap. You've heard me run series with kids who didn't nap. I've held Life By The Books coaching calls with babies walking in and interrupting us.

It's not ideal. I work hard to put the right parameters in place so that doesn't happen. But when it does happen, it is okay. Because the people that I'm talking to are also running a life and running a business, and when I give myself permission to live that way, it gives them permission to do the same. It relaxes them, because they don't have to show up in a persona to match my persona. I get to be me, and they get to be them.

When I'm me, I attract people who find that comforting, and I repel the people who would want me to show up differently.

So will it repel some people? Yes. Are they people that I would want to work with? No. Would I work with them if they were okay with me being me? Sure. But if you want me to change who I am, then the answer is no.



Mistakes are Fixable

The third belief that didn't serve me when I was starting a bookkeeping business was that the choices I made at the start would be permanent.

I would tell myself, “Whatever I do today, I better get it right, because if I make a mistake, then what happens?”

Let me tell you what happens: if you make a mistake, or you do something that you realize later you didn't want to do, you can just…change it. It's okay.

You can course-correct. You can find a way to adapt. You can reposition. And if you can't, you either let it go, or you let it be a mistake, and that’s okay.

Whatever choice you make today, you can change it later, and that gives you the power to mess up, to let it not be perfect, to let it not be professional, to let it not be permanent.

So remember those three things: it doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to be professional. And it will not be permanent.



If you're looking for more tips for bookkeeping, insight on how to become a bookkeeper, and how to say hello to a more confident business model, enroll in Become A Bookkeeper (BABs). 

To learn about the programs and get a peek behind the curtain, head to www.katieferro.com/6-secrets.

Learn how to take your bookkeeping skills and turn them into a business that allows you to replace (or surpass) your corporate salary, be present for your life, and profoundly impact your clients without selling your life in the process by joining Life by the Books (LIBBY).  

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Website: https://www.katieferro.com/