Status Update: An Overview of What Changed in My Life + My Bookkeeping Business in 2023Jan 29, 2024
I’ll be honest with you, friends…
I am stressed out.
That’s unusual for me, especially since I started my bookkeeping business. I don’t think I’ve been this stressed in a December-January period before, and there are a few reasons for that…but let me back up to the beginning of the story.
I just finished up my yearly vacation with my sister and our five kids. We both drive from South Florida to North Carolina to visit our other sister and get our eight collective kids together, and the drives home are always…interesting, to say the least.
On road trips like that, you’re mostly unplugged, at least when you’re driving. But when I’m not taking my turn driving, I try to get some work done.
And I’m sure you’re thinking, “Katie, you’re on vacation. Isn’t your whole thing being able to actually live your life because of your bookkeeping business?”
That is true. However, my nervous system doesn't love not doing any work in my bookkeeping business for an entire week or more, especially knowing what I’ll be coming home to. It can be overwhelming to get home and have to catch up on everything I’ve missed in my bookkeeping business on top of things like laundry, unpacking, etc.
Because of that, I personally have been known to work on the road. But when I'm driving, I can’t actually do anything but drive, so my brain starts to work through what I need to do when I get back.
So that’s what I was doing on the way back from this trip, and candidly, I was being a little bit hard on myself, because this period right now feels heavy with stress.
Like I said, this is unusual for me, so I was kicking myself for getting into this position in the first place. So I started to problem-solve by talking myself through it:
“Well, Katie, it is what it is. This is the position that you're in right now, so let's think it through. What are you doing now? Are you still saying yes to things that you should be saying no to? Do you need to table some things in your life? In your bookkeeping business? How did this happen?”
And, most importantly: “How do you get yourself unearthed from this and build parameters to make sure that you don't feel this way coming into next year?”
Following that line of thinking, I began to dive into what I did this past year, and what might have contributed to this period of stress. And I realized that last year was actually incredibly full; some parts of it felt more spacious, but a lot of it ended up packed for one reason or another.
That said, I want to update you on everything that went on in my life and in my bookkeeping business during 2023…and then tell you where to go to learn what I’m doing to set myself up for 2024 to be filled with ease and peace.
I Bought a House
First of all, back in February 2023, I closed on a house in North Carolina.
This means that now, when I go to North Carolina with my sister, I'm visiting my home in North Carolina, which has been a vivid dream for me since 2020.
When I went up and first visited the town that my home is in, which is Southern Pines, North Carolina, I absolutely fell in love with it. I stayed at an Airbnb for about two weeks, and I just adored it.
At that time, I had just started coaching, and my bookkeeping business had just gained its wings. It was less than a year from the time that I had intentionally set out to grow it, yet my bookkeeping business was already allowing me to be nomadic; I wanted to make sure that I witnessed and enjoyed and gave myself credit for that. But as I was staying in that Airbnb, I began to really desire that kind of property for myself. I wanted to be able to pick up and go whenever I liked, but still have a home base to stay in while I was away.
Fast forward to last December. I went up to visit my sister again; she’s a realtor in the area, and she had listed the home that I now own.
The place looked absolutely stunning, and I just wanted to see it and tease the idea of owning that home. And once I saw it and felt it, I knew that it was the home I’d been dreaming about.
That desire was in motion in 2020, and near the end of 2022—almost three years later—I was in the house that I now own.
Now, I’m still living in Florida—so I’ve listed that North Carolina property on Airbnb, and I rent it out when I’m not staying there!
I will share the listing in the links below. You've probably seen some photos of it before if you’ve been following my Instagram; I would encourage you to check out the listing and come and stay and enjoy the space!
Lots of Travel
In the same vein, I traveled a ton in 2023, both for pleasure and for my bookkeeping business.
I went to North Carolina several times. I also went to Tennessee. I visited family in the Panhandle. I went to Vegas for my sister's 40th. I went to Sedona for the first time. I went to Colorado. I went skiing for the first time. I went to Texas for a Kajabi event. I went to Atlanta and spoke at the Xero Road show.
Like, hello? No wonder this year felt busy!
This onslaught of travel wasn’t just a milestone in my bookkeeping business; it was a milestone in motherhood for me. Some of that travel had kids involved, but a lot of it didn’t, which required me to lay down some mom guilt and spread my wings a little.
My baby is four years old now, which means leaving is more possible. I know my kids will be fine, so I gave myself permission to do it, and then I did it.
If that sounds insane as a mom…it felt a bit insane, too. I often had to make myself do it by booking the trip and figuring out how to make it work afterward.
So if you are a mom that is struggling with taking the trip…book the trip. If you put it on the calendar, you’re much more likely to do it.
Looking back, I don't feel like I was any less present for my kids because of that travel. If anything, I was better for it; I got to experience places that I would like to take them, and I stopped making travel so scary, which means I can now take on more adventurous trips with them in tow.
Took the Summer Off
I also took the summer largely off from my bookkeeping business, from social media…basically everything that wasn’t my family. I was hugely unplugged in the summer, which meant tabling a lot of big projects that I'm only taking on now.
That’s why when fall started, I came into a busy season with my bookkeeping business and my personal life that I haven't quite picked myself up out of yet; not just because I tabled those things through the summer, but also because…
My Littlest Started School
My littlest started school in the fall, and everything changed.
She’s done amazing with the transition, and she’s the youngest of the three, so I was prepared for it as well.
But it also means I've spent a considerable amount of time in their school throughout the fall, which is something I really wanted to do.
I wanted to get to know the players involved in their lives. Their school will have them from preschool to eighth grade, so they'll be there for a long time. I want to know the community. I want them to know that I'm a bookkeeper. I want to know what my kids are doing, and I want my kids to remember me being involved in things.
The flipside of that is that it has definitely cut into my work days.
For years, I fantasized about what it would be like when my kids went off to school and I could focus entirely on my bookkeeping business during the day. And now that it’s here, I don't even know if I have more time in the day.
In fact, I actually think I have less time. I used to have a babysitter for eight hours a day, two or three days during the week, so I could do the work I needed to do in my bookkeeping business; now I have five days, but only six hours from when I drop my kids off to when I pick them up. That's not that much time at all, especially when I have other things I need to fit in around my bookkeeping business.
Prioritized My Health
For example, I needed to start prioritizing exercise.
Between having three kids, going through COVID, running an online business, etc., I ended up in the worst shape I've ever been in. I definitely have neglected my body and my basic needs for years.
One of the things I did in 2023 was start taking more walks, which has been great for my health, but it also cuts into my work day because I don't want to do them with kids.
Beyond that, I make sure that I drink more water. My alcohol consumption is way down. So between all of those things, I lost 10 pounds, and that is worth acknowledging too.
I went through a period a couple of years ago where I began to tell myself, “Okay, you had three kids. You gained ten or twenty pounds, and that might just be where you're going to stay. You're not pregnant or nursing anymore; this might just be where you are.”
But that's not true. In reality, I just needed to shift my habits.
Split My Businesses
Like I talked about just a bit ago, I completely split my businesses in 2023, which was a huge undertaking.
I split my bookkeeping business and my coaching business in two, which meant a lot of time at the bank, a lot of time in the back end of systems, and a lot of time strategizing and working with lawyers and CPAs and financial planners. So that was a huge undertaking, too.
Want to Hear More?
So those are my life updates, which already prove exactly why last year felt so packed. But I haven’t even cracked the surface of all the things that happened in my bookkeeping business!
If you want to hear the rest—as well as how I plan to get myself unstuck from this stressful state—tune in to Episode 164 of my podcast, Profits + Prosecco!
In the meantime, be sure to check out my Airbnb listing; it’s truly one of my favorite places to be, and I’m thrilled to be able to share it with others, as well. And if you’re relating to this feeling of a packed 2023 leading into a scramble to catch up in 2024…just know you aren’t alone, and I have some plans for myself that I hope will help you, too.
Airbnb Listing: https://abnb.me/VaY6EG2t6Fb
Want a peek behind the curtain into what it really takes to have a simple and scalable (and successful) bookkeeping business? Get access to my free, on-demand four-part series, 6 Secrets to a Simple, Scalable Bookkeeping Business: www.katieferro.com/6-secrets
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