I’m a self-taught bookkeeper who always prepared our personal taxes myself and even did all the payroll and tax filing for our business. My thinking was “why pay for them to do it when I can figure it out myself” and “we can’t afford to pay someone yet.”
I’ve been telling my husband for years “this is the year I’m going to hand it over” and then we’d have our busy season and I wouldn’t call a CPA and then tax time would roll around and it was our slow season so I had plenty of time to prepare the taxes myself so I wouldn’t call a CPA then either.
Meanwhile the years crept by and I worried about the mistakes I was sure I was making. I’d lose sleep, lying awake at 3 am thinking about those errors and judging myself for them and feeling ashamed for not hiring help, and worrying about how expensive it would be to pay somebody to fix my mistakes. I worried about potential audits and financial disaster.
Add to that some more circumstances that happened where I actually reached out to financial professionals and they didn’t follow through on what they said. Or they said I wasn’t in their league financially (big shame-thought trigger) or they didn’t have time. I didn’t know how to fail well so there were long intervals of time during which I slowly got up the courage to try again. Deep down I didn’t really believe I would ever hire help.
I even went so far as to take some mini-courses to try to learn how to fix my own accounting errors so I wouldn’t have to be exposed and shamed by another accountant. (Kind of like thinking “I’ll sign up for Weight Watchers as soon as I lose enough weight to fit into my skinny clothes…) Crazy, right?!!!!
There were lots of negative thoughts that kept me in shame, denial and anxiety that resulted in me not taking action.
But today my husband and I met with an amazing, helpful CPA and we met the woman who will help me clean up my bookkeeping errors and another woman who will be handling our payroll going forward. The CPA gave us a quote that was SO doable for our budget. YES!!! I feel so free!!!
How did 4 months in scholars (and doing the homework, mind you!) get me there when I spent the last 20 years of adulthood denying myself help because I “couldn’t afford it” or felt too ashamed of my failures?
I’ve known for ages that I had some heavily entrenched scarcity thinking. It’s one of the reasons I was attracted to SCS. After a few months of work I’m starting to understand (not just intellectually but on a visceral level) that scarcity thinking is just a sentence in my brain. I notice that I don’t waste as much time fearing my own scarcity thinking. I still experience the thoughts, but I just don’t take them so damn seriously!
The thoughts that inspired me most recently were Brooke’s teachings on treating your business as an asset, delegating tasks to people who can do the work better, for less, and freeing yourself to create more value for your business.
So instead of spending mental energy trying to constrain my budget more and more in the hopes that there will be sufficient funds to pay for consultants and coaches and all the amazing helpful service people out there I am now spending my time PLANNING to pay them for their services and EXPECTING myself to show up and create value and earn more than ever before.
When I shifted my focus to what I will be doing with all that time and energy that I used to spend on taxes I see a huge opportunity opening up. I felt free. And then I took action, which resulted in today’s meeting with a CPA.
It wasn’t meeting with the CPA and his team that caused my feeling of freedom. I was experiencing freedom before I even walked in the door.
(And by the way, the CPA looked at our last year’s tax return and asked what we were doing to increase our income this year. When we disclosed our goal of doubling our business revenue he said, “No reason why you can’t!”)