Day 3 - Are You Really Ready to Become a Bookkeeper? - An Honest Discussion About Imposter SyndromeJun 12, 2023
Welcome back to the Six Secrets to Starting a Simple, Scalable Bookkeeping Business. Today’s topic is…are you really ready to become a bookkeeper?
Today we will consider six critical questions to help you determine if you're ready to become a bookkeeper, and if BABs (Become a Bookkeeper) is the right program for you.
When I created this program, it was at the end of 2020. It had been about a full year of me knowing that people wanted this type of program without being able to come up with a way to execute it. So for a year, people wanted me to teach them the skill of bookkeeping, because they were sold on the dream, but the ability factor was an issue.
Back then, I had a program called BOB, but it was basically the predecessor to LIBBY. You needed to have the technical skill down already.
So everyone was seeing people who had the technical skill turn it into a business, and these people were taking fast action and getting big results, which was amazing to watch. So then there were people who were following along that were asking me if BOB could help them if they didn’t know bookkeeping already.
I wanted to be able to help them, but for a long time, I couldn't see how. Finally, close to the end of that year, I got hit with an idea for how I could do it in a way that I could really stand behind. So that's what you get to see today.
Today, we’re going to build upon the first secret we discussed before, which is this: the best marketing strategy is being really good at what you do.
So if the only thing that you ever did to grow your bookkeeping business was make sure your skill was solid, it would translate.
But if you implemented everything to grow your business perfectly in Life By The Books, and you focused on how to find and sign clients and get them in the door, but then you weren't actually good at what you did, it would be just a matter of time before things fell apart. And that would not only affect you and your potential team, but it would also affect your clients.
It’s really important to me that my students and the bookkeeping industry in general understands that it's important to do a good job, and you get to reap better rewards when you can do a good job and do it efficiently so that you can make a higher hourly wage by spending less time and being able to take on more work.
Are You Ready to Become a Bookkeeper?
Here are the six questions you need to ask yourself to find out if you’re ready to become a bookkeeper:
If I gave you a client today, how confident would you be that you could do the work or figure it out yourself?
When I asked students, “How confident did you feel in your ability to do the work of bookkeeping before and after joining Become a Bookkeeper?”, on average, students rated themselves a 2.9 out of 10 before Become a Bookkeeper and a 9.8 out of 10 after completing Become a Bookkeeper. That’s nearly a 3X in confidence, which is huge.
It just blows my mind that this is the average, because I actually wasn't expecting that average to be that low before, and I wasn't expecting that average to be that high after.
Do you have imposter syndrome, or are you an imposter?
There are two possible answers to this.
Firstly, you could have imposter syndrome. This means that deep down, you know you have the skills; you just fear that you might be missing something. But you actually do have what it takes. You're just not sold on that.
Or you could actually be an imposter, meaning you've got knowledge and ability gaps to close.
And lastly, you could be none of these things. You could be absolutely confident in your ability to take on clients already.
When I started, I was in the third camp. I didn't have imposter syndrome, and I wasn't an imposter. I knew that I would be able to get in and figure it out if given the opportunity.
I will say… I spent a lot of hours figuring it out, and Become a Bookkeeper can help you get to that point without the time suck. So even if you have the confidence that you can figure it out, Become a Bookkeeper may still be worth the investment for you to get there faster.
What is your educational and experience background?
Do you have the education to become a bookkeeper, or lack the education? Do you have the experience, or do you lack the experience, or do you have a certain subset of experience that might not be the whole picture?
Maybe you have the education and you don't have the experience, or maybe you have the experience but lack the education.
Whatever your situation may be, you need the true understanding of what needs to go on behind the scenes of bookkeeping so that you not only know what to do, but why you're doing it. You want to be able to think things through and problem-solve when you're taking on your own clients. So you need to gauge what pieces you already have, and what pieces you’re either missing or could potentially strengthen.
No matter where you are, as long as what you want to do is learn efficiencies and close your gaps on the bookkeeping process, understand how to do things within the program, and understand why you're doing them, Become a Bookkeeper is going to be an incredible resource for you.
How confident with your ability to work efficiently are you?
Working efficiently is really, really important, because it's the thing that's going to give you a greater dollar amount per hour.
It's the thing that's going to bring home more money for you while giving you back more time, especially if we're dealing with fixed monthly billing.
So if you can take somebody on and charge them $400, and you can get that done in an hour and a half instead of three hours, you have doubled your hourly rate.
Working efficiently and leaving little room for error is another thing that I'm really focused on right now.
We're human. Our team is going to be human. But if we can have a very good system in place that thinks about how this can be done accurately, quickly, and gives less room for human error, we're going to be able to sleep at night as we take on more clients. Because even if we are not the ones doing the work, we trust the process and our check figures and we can easily train our team on how to make sure that it's accurate.
Are you comfortable having tax conversations with your clients?
Here’s my hot take on tax and bookkeeping. While people often think that they should go hand in hand, they actually don’t. I believe they should be separate; however, having an understanding of tax is crucial.
You will likely be interfacing with your clients’ CPAs, and you want to be able to have a competent conversation with them. You also want to be able to answer some questions for your client, while also having an awareness around when a question is better directed to the tax preparer.
I get asked tax questions all the time by my clients, and what I try to do is give them a general answer and explain it in English, because I'm pretty good at breaking down complex concepts, but I follow it up by saying, “Talk to your CPA about this. Here’s what you want to ask, and here's the question that you want answered.”
Tax is not something that you can ignore as a bookkeeper. You don't have to do it, but you can't ignore it. However, there is a whole tax section in Become a Bookkeeper. So if you aren’t familiar with tax or aren’t sure how to work with it, Become a Bookkeeper can fill that gap for you!
Of course, I'm not teaching you how to prepare taxes. You should not be giving your clients tax advice, but you should understand how this stuff works.
How valuable would it be to see behind the scenes of someone who does what you aspire to do and does it well?
The best way to learn is to do, of course. But before you do the thing, if you were trained in a corporate job of any kind—really, any job of any kind—you likely shadowed somebody beforehand.
There are very few jobs where you don't shadow somebody. Even when I went to Baskin-Robbins for my first job, I had to walk behind somebody for several days before they handed me an ice cream scoop.
This is where I came up with the concept for the Shadow section of Become a Bookkeeper. People often ask me if they can come and shadow me within my business, and there are a lot of reasons why the answer to that is no. But what I could do was create a shadow section in which I would have more time to be able to really explain why we're doing things.
So in the learn section, you're building up to understanding what you're going to see in the Shadow section, followed by a practicum, which allows you to try your hand at it yourself.
If You’re Not Ready, Get Ready!
So to summarize, to determine if you're ready to become a bookkeeper, consider elements such as your current confidence, your background and technical skills with bookkeeping, and your comfort level around certain bookkeeping topics.
Again, the main signal that you need Become a Bookkeeper is if you have any doubt that you are capable and have the skills.
Become a Bookkeeper is the program that will teach you the technical skills of accounting, bookkeeping, and tax so that you can be more confident in your ability to grow a bookkeeping business, because you'll know you have the practical skills to back it up. If you’re ready to join or want to know more, the links are all ready below for you!
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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