The Consequences of Breaking the Norm: Interview with an IG FollowerNov 28, 2022
Hello, friends. Today I have something unique for you: one of my wonderful Instagram followers, Tina Hall, came on today to interview me! Tina answered one of my polls on Instagram and said that she would like to interview me here, and I’m so excited to hear what questions she’s brought to the table. This is breaking the norm for my content, but that’s perfect for the theme of our chat today!
Why the Instagram Interview?
Katie: So, the reason we’re breaking the norm and doing this interview is because somebody was in my DMs asking a lot of questions, and I thought it would be so good to share with everyone. We were just having a conversation, and I mentioned that she should come to interview me, and it just sparked the idea. I posted on my stories thinking that it might be a fun series or just a thing to do, and Tina responded very eagerly.
Katie: So Tina, why don't you go ahead and introduce yourself?
Tina: Well, my name is Tina, of course. I am very, very new in the bookkeeping field, and I’m also a very, very new mother of two. I just had a new baby, and she’s now two and a half months. I've done a lot in my life, but I’ve always been trying to find what I wanted to do, and that's what led me to Katie.
As a mom of two navigating the world of corporate versus a being a mom of two who can stay at home, I think that who I am today is somebody that needs to try breaking the norm to find freedom. So once I ran into your information and the knowledge that you put out there, it resonated completely with who I am today.
About four or five days ago, I quit my job. It was a long time coming; I really wanted to be at home with my daughter. After maternity leave, I started working from home, but they weren’t happy to let me continue breaking the norm there. There weren't necessarily full ultimatums from my corporate job, but there were hints towards ultimatums that I either had to choose work or choose my children, and I chose my children.
Most Impactful People
Tina: I wanted to ask you to tell me about three of the people that have had the biggest impact on your life and how they changed you, because two of mine are my children.
Katie: There's at least one or two that just instantly pop up into my mind, both in work life and personal life. I wouldn’t necessarily think of my kids first, because they’re such an obvious answer it just doesn’t come to mind, but they're the catalyst for absolutely everything. Without them, I wouldn't have questioned any of this. I would've continued to work.
My kids put me in positions where things got grossly uncomfortable, to the point that I could realize that corporate only worked for me when I had nothing else going on. And even then it hardly worked, to be honest, but I could make those sacrifices then.
After kids, I knew immediately that it wasn't going to work. So definitely them, and I guess I'll just put them all in one little package, so let’s call them one.
I can't not say my coach, Katie Fleming, because she's been so insanely supportive. She’s somebody that I've felt like I could really talk to about all of these things in depth. You know how sometimes you have conversations with the people in your life, like your mom, sisters, sisters in-law, and you want to dive deep into what's going on, but you feel like you're chewing their ear off and you need to move on from the topic? I don't know if that's a me thing or if maybe I want to talk about these things to a depth that is not doable. But even just having Katie there to listen and let me go as deep as I want into every little thing has been great. She's also supported me through things within my personal life as well as things that are strictly professional. Because you have something personal that's going on and you don't address that, it becomes a hindrance in your business. She was really helpful in that, and I feel like she helps me expedite through things just by being an available ear sometimes.
I also have to give credit to my kids' dad also, my ex. I was such a rigid person before I met him, and I don't know that there's a rule in life that he follows. He’s constantly breaking the norm. Sometimes I can step back and look and say that him being willing to try breaking the norm and challenging almost everything made me start questioning rules and structures in general. My natural tendency is not to try breaking the norm; I tend to follow the path and do what I'm told. I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable, so I tend to do what I was told to do without actually stepping back and asking, “Why am I doing this?”
My ex is basically dedicated to breaking the norm all the time, and I have taken that into my business with a healthy dose of questioning things, a healthy dose of asking “Why?” and then following it up with, “Do I agree? Do I care to follow that?”
Of course, the other reason I have to mention him is because of his support in the beginning. If he hadn’t been there, I don’t know if I would have been able to make the choice to leave corporate like I did. I got paid to leave, but I also had his support. Without that, I probably would've done something safer and faster. I never would have felt safe enough to experiment, and it was in the experimenting with my business that I learned so many important things. So I have to give credit there.
Breaking the Norm in Life…And in Business
Tina: That's beautiful. That also resonates with me because my partner is the same way. In what ways have you found yourself breaking the norm since then? Not just in work, but in life?
Katie: Well, one example of breaking the norm over something personal is that my ex and I never legally got married. Now I'm super grateful for us breaking the norm there, but I knew him since I was in middle school, and I knew that that was his belief for a long time. I was fighting against loving him, knowing that it was going to be difficult because of his thing with marriage.
I’ve actually adopted that mindset now, but back then, I wanted to do it because I knew that it would make everybody else more comfortable. I didn't actually care about the legal part or the God piece; not because I don't think that the religious element of it matters, but when he pushed me and kept challenging everything I was saying, it was hard to defend.
I'm not knocking marriage either. Breaking the norm in that area isn’t for everyone. It was just that I had a hard time arguing that concept to him because his arguments were better than mine. And when I needed to come up with a reason for why I felt so strongly about not breaking the norm with marriage, I didn't have it.
Eventually, I got to this point where I decided I didn’t need the state of Florida to validate my relationship. The other side is the religious side, but do I think that God needs a state of Florida signature for this to be valid in his eyes? I don’t. And if you can break that kind of belief from somebody whose parents raised them completely united, making marriage really important, then on a logic basis, I have to ask myself a few questions about any “rule” I fight to abide by: what do I think, what do I value, and does this thing actually fit? Am I making sacrifices and refusing to try breaking the norm just to please other people who really don't care?
The other thing that I can use as an example of breaking the norm when I would otherwise follow the rule is when parks were closed here during COVID. They were closed for a very extended period of time in South Florida. Strip clubs opened months before playgrounds, and I was dying. I couldn't handle it. I had three kids and I really wanted to play with them somewhere safe. There was no one at these playgrounds, so I was the one popping fences with my kids to get into a playground to play, knowing that I was breaking the norm.
However, I had to think about what kind of a tone I was setting for my kids, so I came up with like a little framework for breaking rules and following them. I now ask myself, “Who made the rule? Why did they make the rule? And what happens if you break the rule? What are the consequences?”
You can apply these things to breaking rules, breaking the norm, or even breaking with external pressures. I feel a different approach is always the best way to look at any situation, especially when deciding on breaking the norm, and I told my kids that too.
I talked to them about that when we were going to parks. I would say, “Here we have to ask these questions: Who made the rule? The city of Hollywood. Why did they make the rule? To follow COVID regulations. What happens if you break the rule? I don't really know.” Thankfully I never found out, but I was so paranoid that I would be stopped by a police officer for pushing my kid at the playground, and it was enough to kill me. Thankfully we never got there. But the main question to ask yourself is, “What risk am I taking? What bad thing can happen?” Like, is the rule there to keep you safe? In theory, yes, but in practice, no. Because if you look at it, we were at an empty playground. We were socially isolated. Strip clubs, something clearly less necessary and less safe, were open. They were just keeping the parks closed because they were following the rules placed on them, trying to limit liability and stuff like that.
Ultimately, I want my kids to question rules healthily. I want them to look at the rules and to ask themselves “why” before they choose whether to comply. Now, we have to understand what the consequence is of those things. We still can't choose everything willy-nilly. But it’s important to question and be prepared to break rules when necessary.
Thanks for Coming, Tina!
Katie: I’m so happy to have had Tina come on and chat with me, and I can’t wait to do more of these in the future! I hope this has answered some of your questions, as well. Keep an eye out for more Instagram interviews coming up soon!
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