You can grow a successful 7-figure business AND have time for family
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So before joining NextLevel Scale, yeah, probably even now, my business is really reliant on me; and I'm the key decision maker, I'm the key execution, I'm the accountant, I'm the one that does all the heavy lifting. I've got staff, but everything revolves around me.
Things were difficult because I didn't know how to change the model and hiring new staff didn't seem to change the model. And finding the ways to get myself on top of and out of that rat race. Every time I go to new clients, it was great. I've got a little bit more money, but I just got more work. And I was just finding that I'm now spending, 12, 14 hours a day in my business rather than actually having my business serve me and it was just getting painful.
What made me hesitate at first was the sticker price. I looked at that and I thought, “I can't afford that. I can't afford that right now.” And then what I thought was, “But I can't afford not to do this.” Oli has the marketing background. He's got the experience, he knows how to get businesses out of that rat race, and that's where I wanted to be. So the decision was actually really easy because I rephrased that decision. I said, “I can't afford not to do this.”
So right now I'm still in the early stages of working through Next Level Scale™, so there's a lot of stuff I haven't done yet. But what I really feel like our mindset has shifted. I'm now seeing myself as a business that's four times our size, even though we haven't got there yet. I'm thinking more actively about ways, how can I remove myself from that rat race and be more on my business. Much more about delivering great content rather than just delivering great service, which for an accountant that's a huge mind shift. We're trained to be the expert's service provider and I'm looking at this now thinking, “No, no, I, I want to be the expert coach. I want to be the expert advisor, not just the one that does the work.” And so that shift has really started to kick in.
I haven't got myself out of the work yet, that's what I'm working on right now. Being able to lift myself out of that so that I don't do accounting anymore, I'm now the one that actually runs the business. I'm a business owner, not an accountant, and I'm actually now able to give great content to my clients.
I'm behind on where I should be in terms of doing the online material and starting to put this into practise. What I've seen so far is that as I've been working on my business as as much as working in my business, I'm starting to see that I'm doing things differently. I'm now looking at the problems I'm facing with a systems mindset. I'm now looking at the way I go to market and asking, “How can I deliver this in a way … ” I can't deliver everything fully automated, but I'm now looking at how do I automate my processes? How do I get everything to a point where I'm not the one that's going to slow the process down.
So I've got a long way to go, but as I continue to work on it, as I take these principles and this guidance and put them into place, my goal is within 12 months to not be doing accounting. My goal is to become much more of an expert in my field, to be able to advise other people, and teach … My heart is a teacher. The accounting's good. I love accounting, but my heart is a teacher. I love to teach my clients stuff and this is what really excites me about what Oli's bringing to my business.
I've still got to work through this stuff on top of my business. I've actually made the decision to sort of take a day a month out to do planning. Again, partly because of what all these be teaching us. That's been hard, especially as we go into busy season, but I'm able to start seeing it happen more frequently. I'm trying to cut my hours down. I've been putting a hard limit on how late I want to work. And so I'm slowly starting to see these things happen and then as I get more into my implementation plan, I know that I'm going to start seeing those things happen even faster.
I actually tried to do one day a quarter and struggled with it and I said, “No, no. If I want to do this seriously, I've actually got to say one day a month.” Because you already took out that three or four hours a month to do a monthly checklist. And now it's like no, no, I just block out the whole day. I do my checklist first then I go and update my goals, my action plans and my planning cycles. And it makes it much easier for me to now look at the new month and go, “Right, I know what I have to do.”
So it's actually more efficient for me to try and do one day a month than it was to do one day a quarter because it's forcing me … I'm tired at something I was already doing and that was the change for me. I was already doing my month-end checklist, which takes me about two to three hours. So now instead of taking half a day, just take the whole day. And it's like, “Oh, actually, I can move straight onto that and to my planning and my feedback loop.” So it's actually easier.