Office Gossip Part 3: The Transition, aka Build on Your Solid Foundations to Embrace a New FutureJan 31, 2022
Time for part three of my three-act production with some of my most beloved characters. (And if you missed the first two acts, start here first!)
Here we go!
The Players: BOB, Katie (me), and Libby (my vision for the future)
Scene One: Katie and BOB on the hunt for a new team member/replacement for BOB
Katie: Hey, BOB, come check out this application that came through.
BOB: Oh, you got one already?
Katie: One? I've had dozens, but this one is standing out. Guess who it is?
BOB: Do I know this person?
Katie: You sure do. It's Libby.
BOB: Libby, a past student. Hmm, that's amazing. I didn't even consider that.
Katie Yeah, a past student of our program makes a lot of sense, right?
BOB: Absolutely. Not only do they understand our ideology, but they walked in that capacity. In some sense, I think this could be even more valuable to future students.
Katie: Yeah, definitely. Plus, Libby has had a lot of success, and she really embodies the lifestyle that we're always so focused on. She's not somebody who has gotten a lot of clients but is now not living life the way that she wants, for sure.
BOB: So when are you going to talk with her?
Katie: Well, I'm shooting her response now to see when she can come in. It'll be really good to see her again.
Scene Two: Libby’s interview with Katie
Katie: Libby, it's so good to see you.
Libby: Same, I'm so excited to chat about this opportunity. Tell me, why is BOB leaving?
Katie: Oh, you know, BOB the wind is calling him. He's actually going to retire. He's putting his stuff in storage and getting his house ready to take photos to list on Airbnb as we speak.
Libby: Oh, that sounds fun. I can totally see that for him.
Katie: I know, right? So of course, that leaves a vacancy we need to fill so our students are fully supported and we can continue on empowering them to succeed in their lives through their bookkeeping businesses. A thing you know a little bit about, right?
Libby: You bet. Man, I really miss the community. I'd love a chance to get more deeply connected with other bookkeepers again.
Katie: The community is really valuable, isn't it?
Libby: It's immensely valuable, actually. I think it has the potential to be the main focus of the program.
Katie: Oh, really? Tell me more. We already have a community aspect.
Libby: Yes, but I'd love to see it be THE thing.
Katie: Ok, I'm listening.
Libby: Well, the philosophy and actual techniques to grow your business are really important, of course, and I think the philosophy inside the program is different from how bookkeepers and accountants typically operate, you know?
Katie: Of course, much more flow, much fewer formulas.
Libby: Exactly. So I think all of that should stay the same. But what if the focus was in the long term, not in just building your clientele and booking out in a short period of time, per se, but in just staying the course and being fully supported for the long haul of your business? Hear me out. When I got started, it was hard to shift from corporate to being on my own for a lot of reasons. I liked feeling like I had somewhere to go to ask questions and bounce ideas off of. And I think there's always value in having that support. Whether you're brand new or into the elusive six figures and surpassing your corporate salary, there's always value in being supported and not feeling like you're ever really alone. Always having a place to be heard and supported. Not because you need it, but because you desire it and you're worth having support. You're worth investing in that. Plus, once community is the main focus, it allows us to foster deeper connections and leaves room for more collaborations.
Katie: Ok, tell me more about what you mean by collaborations.
Libby: Well, like hiring each other, referring each other; sometimes I get inquiries when I just can't take another client or a client who really wants to work with me, but they're in an industry that I just don't serve or want to learn. I would love to be able to quickly see who's in the group and refer and likewise be referred if I'm open for a client and someone else has one that they can't take. Plus, working with and for each other, you know how sometimes people within the program will actually contract each other or hire each other at different stages, like people who are just starting, will be contracted to help people who are growing their business and need some help in that season?
Katie: Yeah, yeah.
Libby: And also, taxes. It would be nice to bring all groups together and be able to see who's there and then see who prepares taxes so we can refer bookkeeping clients to tax preparers we know will be good to work with, bringing together all levels of students and having the ability to have discussions and then be able to easily refer back to those discussions. Facebook gets a little messy, especially as the history grows, but such valuable conversations happen inside of this community.
Katie: Yeah, that's true. I can see that. I've definitely had that frustration with Facebook.
Libby: Yeah, so that's what I'm thinking could improve an already really good experience.
Katie: All right, Libby. So if you had to have one focus inside of the program, what would it be?
Libby: Mm-hmm. Staying the course. Definitely staying the course. And that is where I see this being a perpetual program with no time constraints, just an entry point and a month-to-month community membership. So time is removed. That allows continuous support and open-ended commitment to growing your business as a part of a truly supportive community to be something that you use, love, desire, reciprocate and receive an energetic and income-based ROI from.
Katie: Ooh, I like where you're heading.
Libby: Yeah, I think it removes the natural instinct to judge yourself in a defined period of time. I noticed that the most successful students didn't leave at the end of that three- or four-month mark.
Katie: Yeah, that's a really good point.
Libby: Some had definitive results in that original time frame, but a lot of people just laid the groundwork and the ones who were in it for the long haul are the ones who a year down the road have clearly made changes in their lives in a positive way as a result of being here.
Katie: Yeah, Libby, you're making a lot of really valid points. What other ideas do you have?
Libby: Well, actually, I was thinking; I think there's room for greater access to one on one help.
Katie: Ok, that's a thought.
Libby: Yeah. Like, what if we cut back on how many times we had group meetings and instead opened up Voxer access? So if it's something that a quick voice memo could solve, then they can get their answers faster and without having to fit another call onto their schedule.
Katie: Oh, do you think that they would like that? Removing some calls?
Libby: Oh, definitely. Scheduling is one of the hardest things, but we still want access. It's sort of the vibe of “could this meeting be a memo?”, only, “Could this Zoom be a Voxer?”
Katie: Oh, OK. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense, and it really resonates. I definitely use Voxer the most with my coach and scheduling calls and being seated for them while I value them when I'm there is definitely a challenge when you're busy, which is sort of where all of our clients are. Whether it's busy with kids or working another job as they get this off the ground.
Libby: Yeah, and then removing some commitments and obligations; I think it could allow room for more intentional connections when inspired. I'm thinking, pop-up trainings or special topics, calls like year-end or even happy hour style where we don't record and we can just speak a little bit more freely.
Katie: Oh, that sounds fun. Well, Libby, I'm so glad that you reached out and I love all of these new ideas. What would you keep?
Libby: Oh, Katie, so much of this works and works well, we'll keep all of that. It's just a slight shift in structure to really align with our core values, which creates a shift in energy which creates everything.
Katie: I couldn't love it more. So when can you start?
Libby: Right now!
Scene Three: Bye BOB; The Bottomline
Honestly, I don't really feel like scripting this part. I could go on forever and keep doing my bad acting, but just visualize and run with the idea that now we're throwing an office party.
We are bidding farewell to BOB and we are welcoming Libby. The whole crew is there; past students, present students, future students and we're cheers-ing to BOB and we're so excited for his retirement plans.
We're welcoming Libby, and we're so excited. Libby has the best parts of BOB that she was able to learn from him. We love and respect BOB, and he is a huge part of our journey. We'll be forever grateful, but we are so excited for Libby and what she will bring. She is what we didn't know that we needed, and at some point in the party, Libby and BOB get a moment to chat. Libby pays him respect and shares her new ideas. BOB is very excited about her perspective, and he can sense that he made the right move by the company and the team by being honest and letting someone better equipped to do the job step in for him.
BABs finally relaxes, and she and Libby become instant besties.
BOB has been amazing, but he is replaceable and we will all be better because of it. Underlying friction will be gone, and he will go on to live his best life. Libby will come in and she'll crush it, and the office party will be an energy of pure excitement and celebration.
So that wraps this three-part office gossip series, and I'll see you in the next episode where I will break this all down for you in English and let you understand some of the behind the scenes of what we're doing, why we're doing it, and what the future holds.
Ready to take “action” (get it)? 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 Booked Out Bookkeeper™ (BOB).
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