Navigating the In-Between: Samantha’s Quitting StoryFeb 26, 2023
I’m so excited to have Samantha Myres on today to share the long story of how she started her bookkeeping business! She is a BABs grad, an active member of Life by the Books, and a recent member of the Quitter's Club. If you listen to my podcast, you’ve probably heard her voice on the retreat recap we did recently.
Samantha recently quit her job, and even when someone has wanted to do that for a long time, that's still a big, scary decision to make. I can’t wait for you all to hear the story of her journey from corporate to quitter! (We celebrate quitting here, btw.) Please welcome Samantha!
Samantha: Thank you for having me! It’s definitely still out of my comfort zone to sit here and talk about myself; introversion is kind of an inherent trait of being an accountant, after all, but now that I’m a business owner, I have to put myself out there and sell myself and be my own advocate, so I’m learning!
So, let’s start the story in September of 2021. I had some very major life changes then, because I was actually losing my grandmother.
She was in the hospital in Oklahoma. I live in Arizona, and she was in Oklahoma, and we had to fly out there. Long story short, we lost her, and while I was sitting in the hospital with my family, I had to do a lot of soul-searching surrounding quitting my job.
I was getting very frustrated in my job. I was very unhappy and under a lot of stress. I worked for the federal government. I supervised between five and eight people at one time, and it was just nonstop. We always felt like we barely had our heads above water every day, and every day involved putting out a fire. There was never any downtime or lag time or time to do some training or anything to make your job better.
I think that life-changing moment of losing my grandmother really inspired me to take a look at my life and consider quitting my job. My grandmother actually raised me since I was eight years old. And even though I had my father and my aunt, I very much was like a third child. So she did raise me most of the time when I was a baby, but when I turned about eight or nine, I lived with her full-time. She was like a mother to me, so losing her really made me stop and think, “What do I want out of my life?”
She was the very big cornerstone of why I became an accountant…and not just that, but why I went to college and found something for myself, because my grandfather left her later in life, and she was alone. She didn't have a career or ways to take care of herself, so she had to do that kind of late in life.
That was one of the things she instilled in my aunt and myself, because my aunt is also a very strong, independent woman. I grew up with that knowledge that I needed to do something for myself. I needed to take care of myself, even though I'm a very loving relationship with my husband and we do our best to take care of each other.
Life isn't always guaranteed, and the happiness of having a significant other in your life isn't always guaranteed. So if something were to happen, I always know that no matter what, I can go out there and take care of myself.
That’s why I finished high school, went to college, and got a career, all while raising two children doing that. I’m out here now quitting my job and doing my own thing, because she instilled a lot of those qualities in me as I was growing up.
Let me backtrack a bit. In 2019, my husband opened his own business with his business partner. One was in sales, one was in service, and then I became the third peg and handled everything financial and admin.
It was during that time that I realized I had lost my passion for accounting while working in the federal government. Even though I was an accountant and I was in the numbers and I was doing it all—reconciling and paying bills—it wasn't the whole picture, it was just accounts payable and the travel program. Those are the main things that I concentrated on. It wasn't everything accounting.
Once I started doing the books for my husband's business, that passion came back alive because I was able to see the whole picture, look at AR, look at AP, and just see everything that I had forgotten about.
That’s why I went to BABs even though I already had experience, because my first step toward quitting my job was to see if I remembered what I learned in college. I wanted to see if I remembered my debits and credits and how to do accounting and get financial statements created out of that. BABs was a great refresher for me, plus it allowed me to relearn things I had forgotten or to learn new things that had come up in the time since college.
Here we are almost a year and a half later, and I've accomplished quitting my job and I'm working for myself full-time.
The Grand Exit
Katie: I remember when you had your last day, you shared very eloquently about your journey to exiting. But I would like it if you would talk more about the decision to quit, the timeline of that decision, and if you can highlight some of the things that you think that people would enjoy hearing.
Samantha: When I started in my business in November of ‘21, I thought I would start my business and then be quitting my job on March 30th, 2022.
Then I started doing the backend admin things, and I realized there was a lot more there than I thought. So in January of ‘22, I pulled the trigger to join LIBBY, which I loved because I got that support that I needed on the backend of running a business, because I didn't know how to run a business.
So I set a new deadline for quitting my job and set the date as June, 2022. Then March 4th, my dog took me out and I broke my wrist badly. I had to have two surgeries, and I've got still plates and seven screws in my wrist—not to mention it was my dominant hand. So obviously I would no longer be quitting my job in June.
I had to have my second surgery and stay in a cast in July and couldn't move my thumb at all, and that blew all of my timelines for quitting my job out the window. Finally, I got my first client in August, and I started working with him, and I loved it. Then I got another client, and by the fall, I was warning my boss that they had three months until I was gone. I’d been telling them for a while that I was quitting my job, but after so many false starts, it took a bit for them to realize I was serious.
So I did it. I accomplished quitting my job, and I had my one little client, and I had my husband's business. That’s really all I have to this day, but that’s okay for me. I am going to have to watch my spending for a while—no more trips to the mall while I get my clientele geared up!—but it’s good for me.
There wasn't anything that surprised me through the process of quitting my job other than that I thought I would grow a little bit faster than I am. But I’m planting a lot of seeds, and hopefully soon they’ll start growing.
The Best Part of LIBBY
Katie: What is your favorite part of the Life by the Books community?
Samantha: Well, my most favorite part was the retreat. But I have to say, I also really enjoy our Voxer and the way we all throw ideas out there. It feels informal in a good way, to the point where we can get a little bit personal.
Not only are we asking technical questions and seeking out information, but I feel like we get to know each other. I really like the camaraderie that’s built within that little app, because it's just a wealth of information, not only as far as accounting, but as far as the people you work with.
Thanks for Coming, Samantha!
I love getting to share all the different stories people have of starting their bookkeeping business, because I feel that the more examples there are of different kinds of people making their dreams become reality, the more other people will be able to see it’s possible for them, as well. So thank you, Samantha, for sharing your story!
If you want to hear my full interview with Samantha, listen to Episode 120 of the Profits + Prosecco podcast: https://open.spotify.com/show/4dB0ZE8JaxqrkImm3Ifxrb
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