Finding Balance as a Busy Working Mom: What Your Boss Doesn't Want You to Know About BookkeepingFeb 14, 2022
Do you want to be let in on a secret that your boss doesn’t want you to know about bookkeeping? Of course you do! Lucky for you - I’m here to clue you in!
In today’s post, I’m spilling the secret and talking about the freedoms my business has provided me with, which I value more than anything. I have a LOT to share, so keep reading!
The Secret and My Story
So here’s the secret: a bookkeeping business may be the answer to your prayers and your ticket out of your corporate job. If your job knew this - they probably wouldn’t be in their job themselves. So we can’t blame them for not spilling the beans.
From the time I was 15, I was always working. Before I knew it, I was a CPA and had been promoted to a manager at my corporate tax job. At the time, I also found myself to be pregnant - which was also part of the plan! I found myself not really knowing how I was going to continue working and be the mom that I had always wanted to be.
Coincidentally, right as I was having these thoughts, my company offered a severance package to employees who had been there five years or more. In my heart, I knew I had to take it and make a change. It was scary! But I felt it was right for me.
For a season, I was “just” a stay-at-home mom. In that time, I was able to see what was possible and my bookkeeping business started to build. I knew I was going to want to stay home with my kids forever, and I have a feeling that you’re also craving that freedom.
But, if you landed on this post, it’s likely that bookkeeping may be your ticket to the freedom I achieved. I used to think of bookkeeping as an entry-level job with a low hourly rate. You might think that too.
But if you stick with me long enough, you’ll realize that’s not true. Let me start in explaining what the CPA designation is. The CPA license is the highest designation you can get in the field of accounting. To get licensed, you need to pass four separate parts of a grueling exam. It could take years to pass them!
All of these sections need to be passed within 18 years and - in most states - you need to hold a bachelor’s degree to even take the exam. In Florida - where I live - you also need to have 30 advanced credits and at least a year working under a CPA.
So, I’m a CPA - which is basically like being a black belt in this field. But, bookkeeping is commonly seen as the lowest level of accounting. Many see it as data entry.
But yet, for me, I’ve grown a bookkeeping business earning more than I did in my corporate job working the hours equivalent to what it used to take me to commute - 10 hours on average. And - I’ve taught others to do the same!
There’s a lot that goes into it, and it requires a level of technical expertise, discipline, and an intentional mindset.
Now that you have the backstory of how I got here, I want to share with you the things I value most about my bookkeeping business and the things it allows me to do in my life that I never thought I’d be able to reach.
It’s not about the money necessarily. It’s about what money can do - how it allows you to live your life and show up in your life. I’m living a life that I used to sit in my cubicle and fantasize about.
What Does Being Rich Mean to Me?
Everyone’s idea of being “rich” is different. For me, it’s not about physical riches. Instead, it’s about having freedom and autonomy, and peace and security. It’s also an ability to do what you want independent of finances.
The moments I feel the richest come from the simplest things: not having an alarm set, dropping my kids at school, never missing bedtime, or watching a sunset at the time I used to be in deadlock traffic commuting.
I am so grateful I don’t have to choose between work and my kids. I’m able to make a living and be there for them whenever they need me and truly enjoy them.
All of the wonderful moments that exist for me are little miracles, and they all come from my bookkeeping business where I serve 25 clients and employ three bookkeepers part-time. It allows me the “richness” I was after in my life.
The Freedoms My Bookkeeping Business Has Afforded Me
When I was home with my first two kids, they were three and one and a half. I was living the life I loved and wanted, but I didn’t feel secure. However, the idea of going back to the corporate world suffocated me.
I was working on my own schedule and making good money through one large client that was a referral from my old CPA firm. But I didn’t feel like I had the security I needed to truly enjoy it.
That’s why I worked to build my business, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the freedoms it’s afforded me. I will talk about them below.
The first freedom that a bookkeeping business can give you is autonomy. It’s everything! It gives you the ability to say yes or no to anything. It allows you self-reliance.
When you work for someone else, you have virtually no autonomy. You’re on their schedule and working with clients they choose and tasks they dictate.
But the truth is that once you can provide for yourself financially, so much stress diminishes. That makes autonomy my number one freedom that I’m grateful for through my bookkeeping business.
This is the one that most people are after when they start their own business. It’s the clearest thing that people believe they’ll get from that change. You need to be diligent with yourself and your efforts to truly achieve this, but it’s definitely possible when you go about it correctly.
You’ll have more time to travel, more time with your kids, more time at home, or even the time to take your kids to the doctor. When my kids get sick and I need to bring them to the doctor, I’m able to do that without communicating it to anyone.
Time freedom doesn’t always have to be fun, but it allows you to do things in your life for other people that you love. Things you wouldn’t be able to do in a regular corporate job because you wouldn’t have the time to do it.
I have a coaching business and a bookkeeping business. I am super passionate about both, but the bookkeeping side is particularly rewarding for me. I love being able to provide a transformational service to my clients that helps them financially succeed in their business.
I have deep relationships with my clients and act as a safe space for them. I love being the person that helps them reframe things with money or see things differently. For anyone who likes to see data and trends, being in this business is really cool.
I love feeling secure in my job. I have a diversification of income because I have different clients. One client could go away in a moment because of a myriad of reasons. But, thankfully, I have many clients. So, even if one or two decide not to work with me, I still have stability in my other clients.
The relationships with bookkeeping clients in particular are pretty perpetual. As long as you do a good job, you can likely work with your clients for a long time to come, which is another nice thing about this line of work.
Even when I was working in the corporate world, I never felt completely secure in my job. I’m not sure why. But in my business, I only lost one of 20 clients during COVID and actually ended up signing more in that time.
I have confidence in the ability to follow trends in this business, and I know that I’m not going to lose all of my clients in one day, and that brings me a deep sense of security.
This business is custom fit, and that’s something I value so much. We’re all different and the things that we want and what we determine to be success are all different.
You can do this any way you want. Maybe it’ll be a side hustle and you’ll continue working corporate too. Or, you could scale it to be your full-time business at whatever capacity works for you.
You have an abundance of choices in this line of work: it’s all up to you! I love that you can design it however you want and change it in accordance with the different seasons of your life.
Turn On or Off Your Open Sign
The next thing I value is the ability to turn on or off your open sign. You’re able to choose the clients you want - you don’t have to serve an industry you’re not interested in. You don’t have to provide services you don’t want to or you can even say no to personalities that aren’t a fit for you.
You can even limit how many clients you serve. I love that about bookkeeping. You don’t need to be chasing sales. Once you start building a book of clients, you’ll likely keep them for a while. So, you won’t need to be constantly out there scouting out new clients.
The other amazing thing about this business is that you can set your own hours. If you want to work in the early hours of the morning, the late hours of the night, or somewhere in between - that’s your choice to make!
You can be on your own schedule and find the times you produce your best work and maximize on them. Plus, you will be able to set your own vacation time, which is another huge benefit.
There’s no cap on earnings in this business. It’s much different than a corporate job where you have more of a limit year after year. One thing I like to do in this business is to take the monthly fee I charge a new client when they sign on and times it by 12. Say their fee is $300. Well - guess what, I just got a $3,600 raise by signing that client!
While you may have a capacity that you max out at, that’s for you to decide. But, it’s not all about money - it’s about what the money can provide. Having financial flexibility is such a huge asset to this business and it’s something that really means a lot.
How I Run This Business: The Bottom Line
Now that you’ve heard these amazing benefits, you’re probably wondering, how do you do it? For me, it really comes down to three things:
Being good at what I do - I have a lot of experience as a bookkeeper and I’m good at it.
Being specific in service - I’m very specific in the industries and services I serve. I’m focused in my clientele, which makes it easier for me to stay in one headspace and to train a team.
Staying excited throughout the process - I never allow myself to get discouraged. This makes a big difference in my success.
I am so lucky to have this business that I love that provides me with all of these amazing freedoms. I’ve learned a lot through my experience and I want to help you have these same freedoms in your own life through a bookkeeping business. Check out my programs and resources to get started today!
Ready to take action? Apply for the program that's right for you:
If you're looking for more insight on how to become a bookkeeper, and how to say hello to a more confident business model, enroll in Become A Bookkeeper (BABs).
Or, if you’re confident in your skills as a bookkeeper and want to learn how to grow and scale your bookkeeping business, you can apply for Life By The Books™ (Libby).
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35 - How to Learn From Failure and Use It to Your Advantage: https://www.katieferro.com/blog/how-to-fail-forward-38
37- Why I Prefer Xero Over QBO: https://www.katieferro.com/blog/how-to-work-efficiently-37
46- 3 Skills You Need to Start Your Own Bookkeeping Business: https://www.katieferro.com/blog/start-a-bookkeeping-business-46
47- Do You Need to Prepare Taxes to Have a Bookkeeping Business: https://www.katieferro.com/blog/bookkeeping-business-47
48- The Expenses I Have In My Bookkeeping Business, & Which Ones Are Optional: https://www.katieferro.com/blog/what-do-i-need-to-start-a-bookkeeping-business-48
51- How to Make $2,500 Profit While Working Part Time and Without a Team: https://www.katieferro.com/blog/make-money-as-a-stay-at-home-mom-51
55 - 11 Signs You’d Make a Good Bookkeeper: https://www.katieferro.com/blog/successful-bookkeeper-55