The 2 Things You Need to Have a Truly Successful, Sustainable Bookkeeping Biz

podcast Feb 12, 2023



If you want to become a bookkeeper, starting a bookkeeping business isn’t the complicated, multifaceted process you might think. In reality, there are only two core things that you need to run a successful bookkeeping business, and I happen to have two programs that will help you achieve both.

Firstly, you need the ability to do the work itself. You need to understand bookkeeping on a base level, and my program BABs—Become a Bookkeeper—is the one that focuses on that technical skill. Secondly, once you have the technical ability down, you need to know how to turn that into a business, and that’s where LIBBY—Life by the Books—comes in.

These two skills are very different things, and they're both very important. Depending on where you are in your journey to become a bookkeeper, one may seem much harder than the other, or they both might seem daunting, but they're not impossible. You can absolutely learn them. All that can keep you from learning them is…yourself, really.

At the end of the day, it’s likely that if you're reading this, bookkeeping has the potential to be the type of business that will actually give you the things that you're looking for from your life…if you are willing to allow it.



Become a Bookkeeper

The first one is Become a Bookkeeper, which is a self-paced course that goes through the basics of accounting, tax, and bookkeeping in phase one. Then in phase two, you get to shadow me as if you are actually watching me behind me or in front of me.

If you've ever shadowed somebody for a job, that’s basically what it is. You’ll be shadowing me as I go through an entire client setup.

Then, in the third phase, you get to apply your knowledge. You get to really implement it and test it and see it all come together. This is a highly valuable program that roughly 200 people have gone through. It gets rave reviews. You can go to the sales page for Become a Bookkeeper and scroll down toward the bottom, where you’ll find a yellow button that says “See the comprehensive case studies.” You can open that up to see where real students have put in their feedback, and it's completely unedited.

(If you aren’t quite ready to jump straight into Become a Bookkeeper, I also have Tech Talks once a month, which are an hour and a half to two hours long. They happen live on Zoom, and if you’re bookkeeper-curious, it’s a great place to come in and get some really deep knowledge. They’re great for anyone at any stage because they're low-dollar and low-commitment. You can sign up for one at a time, or you can purchase the whole vault. They make a great add-on to Become a Bookkeeper, or a prequel, if you will!)


Life By The Books

Once you get the technical skills down in Become a Bookkeeper, you’re ready for Life by the Books. If you’re joining Life By The Books, you should probably be rating yourself an eight out of ten as far as skill level, unless you're somebody that is really hard on yourself.

You should be good at what you do and stand behind your ability to take on a client and do the work if you're going to be joining Life By The Books, or at least feel comfortable enough to where you could figure it out, even if it took you longer than you wanted.

In Life By The Books, we go into how you can take that skill and turn it into a business. And the reason I say you need to get the skills down first is because it doesn’t matter how well you can sell a service if you can’t actually perform that service. You could be a sales machine, but if it's not built on a deep understanding of what you're doing and you end up doing a poor job, it's not going to be sustainable. So I want you to have that rock-solid skillset.

Once you’re comfortable with taking on clients, then you're ready for Life By The Books. And again, you don't have to be a perfect ten out of ten—we're going to work to boost your confidence on things. But when it comes down to it, you need to know that you know what you're doing.

At this point, you’re just scared to put yourself out there. And maybe you have lots of questions about how to run the business side of things…

How do I set up my business? How do I find clients now? How do I talk to them? How do I package this? How do I price this, and how do I deliver this? How do I quit my job? How do I hire a team to support me when it starts to grow faster than I could have ever imagined?

Any of those questions sound familiar? You’ll get your answers in Life By the Books.



Which One Is Right For You?

Ultimately, if you really want to focus on honing your technical skills, Become a Bookkeeper is what you need. If you’re thinking, “Katie, I am a ten out of ten on the bookkeeping. I just want to grow this thing into a legitimate business,” then LIBBY is the place for you.

Even people who already have clients come into Life By The Books and say, “All right, I'm at ten clients. But I really want to build this in a way that I can continue to grow.” Maybe you want to make some adjustments, maybe even scale back…maybe even remove clients or increase prices higher and pause while you reestablish how this structure is going to look and how clients are going to come through in a way that can be maintained and grown without killing you. Those are all things we work on inside Life By The Books.



Get Ready to Celebrate!

When you become a bookkeeper and build your bookkeeping business to the point where you can quit your corporate job, plan on receiving a little something from me!

I just sent out a bottle of Prosecco. That's my thing that I like to do when somebody quits their corporate job. I like to celebrate that, send them a bottle of Prosecco, welcome them into the quitter’s club, and celebrate the fact that they're a quitter.

In this space, quitting is amazing. I even have an inscribed glass Yeti that says, “You call me a quitter like it's a bad thing.”

I'm here to help you learn to quit. I'm here to help you grow a business that actually supports the life that you're trying to live. And that's the whole philosophy inside of Life By The Books. It's about living a life by having a bookkeeping business. It's about allowing things to be simple. It's about saying yes to the things that you want.

And it’s also about saying no…saying no to the things that are going to stand in the way of that life you want. It's about helping you bring in structure and boundaries and processes so that you are focused on who you want to bring in. You're okay with letting the rest go. You're building up a supportive team in a way that feels good for you, at a pace that feels good for you.

So there you are: the two things that you need to have in place in order to have a truly successful and sustainable bookkeeping business are the ability to do the work and knowing how to turn that into a business with clients, and these programs can help you get there.



You can find all my programs (including mini courses, workshops, and Tech Talks!) here:

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).

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

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