Hey Ambitious Bookkeepers! Today we're dropping a special Bonus episode to help inspire you if you're new to the thought of starting your own business, or you've recently made the decision to. A couple times a year, we open The Bookkeeping Biz Workshops — a workshop series just for those who are wanting to start or who have recently started their businesses. After the workshops are over, I usually bring in a few bookkeepers who I've worked with either in the Workshops or In The Accelerator program I have and I interview them about their journey of starting their businesses.
I've never shared these outside of the workshops, so as a podcast listener, you're getting a sneak peak into what you might experience inside of the workshops or my other programs.
I hope these interviews inspire you to take action—in whatever way that is, big or small: deciding to quit your job, or even just declaring that you will start your business and joining us in the upcoming workshops.
Like I said, these are interviews from the last round of workshops in 2021, so if you want to hear the new stories that will be showcased in this new round, make sure you sign up.
First I'll be interviewing Erin Pohan, an accountant, mom, and the owner of Upkeeping.
Next you're going to hear from Misa, who was in my very first cohort of BBA, when it was a brand new program. I'll always hold a special place in my heart for my first cohort, as they've been along for the ride since the beginning. And as you'll hear from both ladies, the community we've built is one of the best parts.
I hope these interviews inspire you as much as they do me, and their words of wisdom help you in some way.
Register for the Bookkeeping Biz Workshops: bkworkshops.online
Thanks for listening. For more information about the Ambitious Bookkeeper Podcast or interest in our programs or mentoring visit our resources below:
Visit our website: ambitiousbookkeeper.com
Follow the Blog: ambitiousbookkeeper.com/blog
Connect on Instagram: instagram.com/ambitiousbookkeeper
Connect on LinkedIn: Linkedin.com/in/SerenaShoup
Connect of Facebook: Facebook.com/serenashoupcpa
[00:00:00] Serena: Hey, ambitious bookkeepers today, we're dropping a special bonus episode to help inspire you if you're new to the thought of starting your own business, or you've recently made the decision to. A couple of times a year, we opened the bookkeeping biz workshop. A workshop series, just for those who are wanting to start or who have recently started their businesses. And after the workshops are over, I usually bring in a few bookkeepers who I've worked with either in the workshops or in the accelerator program I have, and I interview them about their journey of starting their business. I've never shared these outside of the workshops. So as a podcast listener, you're getting a sneak peek into what you might experience inside the workshops or my other programs. I hope these interviews inspire you to take action in whatever way that is big or small deciding to quit your job, or even just declaring that you will start your business and be joining us in the upcoming workshops. Like I said, these are interviews from the last round of the workshops in 2021. So if you want to hear the new stories that will be showcased in this round, make sure that you sign up first.
[00:01:06] I'll be interviewing Erin Pohan, an accountant mom, and the owner of upkeep. Next you're going to hear from Misa, who was in my very first cohort of BBA when it was a brand new program. And she's the owner of perfectly kept books. I'll always hold a special place in my heart for my first cohort, as they've been along for the ride since the beginning. And as you'll hear from both ladies, the community we've built is one of the best parts. I hope these interviews inspire you as much as they do me and their words of wisdom help you in some way. Without further ado, let's hear from Erin and Misa.
[00:02:13] Serena: This is Erin. She had was one of my BBA students. Was it last cohort? Yeah, last one that we just did. Okay. It feels so long ago yet. Not long ago, like just warped lately. Uh, so yes, Erin was in the last cohort of BBA I wanted to bring her on. And just have her share her story.
[00:02:36] her experience in BBA and her story from before she was in BBA and all that good stuff. So Erin, I'm gonna let you take it away and just introduce yourself, give a little background on where you were at, um, in your career and kind of where you're at now.
[00:02:51] Erin: Cool. Hi I am Erin. I own upkeeping, which has been official since March of this year.
[00:02:59] Yes, very exciting. Um, where do I begin? So I have about 15 years of experience now in the accounting industry and it's just been. Various facets, private accounting, public accounting, nonprofit, and then educational sector as well. about this time last year, I applied for a job at a local firm I'm in Seattle, Washington.
[00:03:25] in my interview process meeting with the owner, he stopped the interview and said, why are you interviewing with me? Why are you not doing this for yourself? And I was like, uh, because I've never thought of that. but there were so many other reasons at that moment why I wasn't doing that. So fast forward to January or February or so when you did your business book, keeping workshop Serena, I don't know how I was targeted on Facebook. I'm still glad I was, I saw your ad and I was like, huh, that's interesting. Great price point. So let's do it. What's there to lose. So I joined the bookkeeping business workshop and I was like, yeah, you know, I was like super involved. I was there for each live session and it was really great. And I would say the thing that I really took away from that experience was there are so many people like me who have experience in bookkeeping, but are too afraid to just try it and go for it.
[00:04:37] And I think I was missing that community. First of all, to know that there are others just like me who want to do it. And then. All the other information that was received, like what tech to use and, how to get clients and how to not, you know, Be a sleazy salesman, which I love that last class. So I finished those workshops and I set off to get my LLC established and I had, I I've had a single bookkeeping hobby client on the side for three years.
[00:05:09] So I was like, okay, well I can do his books. No problem. And once I started the LLC, I kind of put my information out there for the world, started my Instagram account. And, I've grown from March to now. I have 11 clients, which is super exciting.
[00:05:27] Serena: I just got goosebumps, I don't think I realized how many you were up to in six months, basically.
[00:05:34] Erin: Yeah. Six months. And, I think that was my year out goal was to have 10. So, um, it's going a lot faster than planned, but that's kind of what happens when you jump into something and you jump into the unknown and realize that you can actually float and do it. So it's really exciting.
[00:05:54] Serena: Oh my gosh. Okay. So here's the big question, cause I remember you answered a poll on Instagram the other day, and I was like, we have to talk about this. Where have most of your clients come from?
[00:06:07] Erin: So the funny thing is I have three clients from when I attended your bookkeeping business workshop, I attended with a friend who has become a very dear friend and peer, throughout this. And so we've worked together. I've helped her figure out QuickBooks online because she's got desktop down to a T. And so we've worked together to help her figure that out. And then she had a few clients that she gave to me so that she can focus on some of her larger clients. That's kind of been like a referral kind of situation, but I've actually received my. The majority of my clients through Upwork, which is really funny because I have not even sent a proposal to these clients. I set up my Upwork profile and I don't know what the algorithm is over there, but I swear it's like if I just log into my account, like the next day I'll have an invitation for an interview.
[00:07:03] Serena: It detects, I think if you're active on the platform. Yeah. Because I've noticed the same thing.
[00:07:08] Erin: Yeah. It makes sense. So number one, tip log into your Upwork right now or after this. But yeah, I get invitations to interview and I send them to my website and that was a big thing I learned through BBA. Was how to set up my proposal. If I needed to, I had no idea. I was allowed to even link my website to Upwork proposals. I was like, oh, what's the gray area here will Upwork like, cancel me, but they haven't. and so I always linked them to my website and they book a meeting and I think I've got five or six clients that always so far, so, yeah.
[00:07:48] Serena: Wow. Have you gotten any referrals from any of those clients?
[00:07:53] Erin: Yes. One. so I have one client who happens to be semi-local on the other side of the state, but, he did refer me to another client.
[00:08:03] Serena: And are those Upwork clients local? Are they finding you locally because of your location or is it--?
[00:08:09] Erin: No, I mean all over the country. And I will say that is the one thing that's been wonderful about COVID is people have begun to accept, you know, this work from home life, the cloud space life. Accepting that, Hey, I'm in Seattle. And they are in North Carolina and they need bookkeeping services, but the time difference doesn't matter because we can still meet virtually.
[00:08:36] Serena: Yeah, that's so awesome. So yeah, that is one of the bonuses is getting your first or next client on Upwork. So when you joined VBA, you'll get all my tips and tricks. That was where I got all my initial clients too, because like, I've mentioned this before. I was kind of just dipping my toes in and doing this on the side and kind of being like, secretive about it because I was like supposed to be a stay at home mom. Not secretive for my husband, but like my family and stuff. I was just like, I feel like I'm going to be judged because I left corporate to be a stay-at-home mom. And now here I am like trying to work. So that was my way of like, not spamming my Facebook account. And not announcing to the world. Although I do recommend doing that because it does open doors now that I realize it. But, I probably could have grown a lot faster, but yeah, my first few clients were on Upwork and then those people just started referring me. And now I don't really need Upwork, but I go poke around anyways. Cause it's interesting.
[00:09:32] Erin: Yeah. I totally relate too. I have two kids. So it's always been trying to find that balance between like using the knowledge that I've obtained, the experience that I have and then being at home. So that's why it was always important for me to. Have, you know, that flexibility in my schedule, which is super nice.
[00:09:52] My kids go back to school next week. I've got a coworking space that I'm signing up for and I will be, yeah, I will be really focusing on upkeeping, which is exciting, but I also, and this is like a huge thing is I let go of that part-time job that I had. When I started--
[00:10:12] Serena: Congratulations.
[00:10:13] Erin: Thank you. Yeah. When I started up-keeping earlier this year, I was actually balancing two part-time jobs and that was about 50 hours a week.
[00:10:21] It was a lot. Wow. Not sustainable. So I let go of one of those, and that was just kind of educational content for accounting. So I let go of that in April, almost right after I started the LLC. And then, Two weeks ago, a little over two weeks ago, I put in my notice for my local firm here. So I could just take off with Upkeeping and make that my, my thing.
[00:10:46] Serena: I can't wait to see what happens now that you're creating that space. You're probably still going to be working way less.
[00:10:52] Erin: I know. That's the thing I do. I have so much more time in my schedule. I feel like I'm in trouble. Like, what am I not doing? But I've got all my August bookkeeping done.
[00:11:02] Serena: So what are you doing with your free time now that you are getting that extra time? Are you just kind of like. Enjoying the time with the kids?
[00:11:11] Erin: Oh, well yes, last week before school. So yes, but I'm also studying for my CPA,
[00:11:17] Serena: Oh, congratulations. Yeah. You know, that tends to happen with us when we do get time, we just we'll fill it.
[00:11:23] Erin: We fill it, yeah. It's a problem
[00:11:25] Serena: We're a little too ambitious,
[00:11:26] Erin: It's a little bit of a problem. I should just sit back, but it's good. I need to keep my brain busy.
[00:11:32] Serena: Yeah, that's so awesome. Oh, how exciting. So, okay. Another question. How did you come up with your LLC name? Something generic or unique?
[00:11:41] Erin: Yeah, that took time. So I was on the VIP calls after the workshop. Before I joined BBA. And that was one of the things that came up, was coming up with the name. And so I just had to really think about it. And it just kinda came to me and I wasn't even married to it at first, but I was like, I'm just going to run with it. I can change my name later if I need to. And I've actually grown to really love it. So
[00:12:06] Serena: Yeah. Explain the rationale or the story behind the name?
[00:12:10] Erin: Yeah. So Upkeeping is accounting cleanups and bookkeeping services. So you've got the up and the keeping. The part that I wasn't particularly married to was the fact that it was so closely related to Upwork, which is where I was finding my clients.
[00:12:26] But, I looked up the definition for up-keeping and it was like to maintain in good financial condition. And I was like, oh my goodness, this is it. This is perfect. So I, you know, the other thing was I went and did an LLC search in my state to make sure no one else had the same name. And so you don't want to buy a domain name or do any of that work until you make sure that you can actually use that in your state. So, yeah, it's free and yeah, so I ran with it.
[00:12:55] Serena: Awesome. Are you thinking about trademarking it nationally since you work with people everywhere?
[00:12:59] Erin: Yes! Yeah I want to really bad. And so I, that, that's kind of on my. Of things to do. It's kind of like down there in the list and I probably should move it up.
[00:13:09] Serena: You should definitely bump it up. I had been putting off trademarking. Well, I've been in the process of trademarking Ambitious Bookkeeper for quite a while. It's a long process. So. I think we started at like eight months ago and we still haven't gotten the final letter cause everything's just backlogged.
[00:13:25] But I had been waiting on trademarking the course name, cause I was like, oh, it doesn't matter that much. And it was kind of on my list for 2022 to trademark it and I put it on a post-it on my bulletin board and was like, this is going to be the first big investment I make in 2022.
[00:13:43] So when I have like the extra 25, cause it's, it's pricey to use it, have an attorney, do it for you because you need to have an attorney do it. It's like $2,500, the attorney that I use. And she's amazing by the way. And so I just kind of had it sitting there, like looking at it every time I was in my office. And then I had this random unexpected $2,500 kind of come into my life through my business. So I was like, okay, it's time. Awesome.
[00:14:09] Erin: That's encouraging.
[00:14:10] Serena: Yeah.
[00:14:11] Erin: Really cool.
[00:14:12] Serena: Yeah. So how important do you think the name thing is?
[00:14:16] Erin: I think it's pretty important. I mean, like I said, you can always change it later, but that comes with, you know, time and work on your end and a lot of communication to, you know, advise your current clients and whatnot. But yeah, I think it's good to take time if you don't have a name right now, take really take time and dive into what you want your clients to feel when they see your name and experiencing that through their eyes. so I've worked with a branding coach since forming the LLC and I think one of the questions that someone asked on our BBA page was about like, should I put my picture on my LinkedIn profile or my, my LinkedIn business or my logo. And working with the branding coach really showed me that I can be the face behind my brand of upkeeping and I can make it really personal for my clients and prospective clients to know who I am. So even in the name Upkeeping, like, I feel like my personality is showing through.
[00:15:23] Serena: Yeah, that's a really important thing to think about. I agree. I think you should have your face in your profile pictures of whatever your social media is are. You can still layer in your logos and stuff, but people need to know the face behind the brand, even if you're eventually gonna not be the complete face of the brand. Like I still use my face on everything for my bookkeeping business, but I don't do most of the work anymore.
[00:15:50] I'm still kind of the face of the brand, but my clients also know that I have a team. So, yes, I think having your face on there is really important. And same with Ambitious Bookkeeper. It was a hard decision. Like, should I use a different name or should I go with my personal name and be like a personal brand?
[00:16:07] I'm like, there's no way around it. You have to be a personal brand anyway. It's just a matter of like, if you want to use a different name or use your own name.
[00:16:16] Erin: Yeah. And it was easier for me because I don't have my CPA yet. I think I would have been more enticed to be like Erin Cohain CPA
[00:16:23] Serena: Because you worked so hard for it that you're like, I want that bad boy on everything.
[00:16:31] Erin: Yeah exactly.
[00:16:31] Serena: Yeah. I was like that at the beginning too. When I first got my CPA license, I added it to my email signature and corporate and stuff. I was so proud of it. And now I'm just like, I'm still very proud of it. But it does attract people that want tax.
[00:16:43] Yeah. So.
[00:16:45] Erin: Not doing that. Sorry.
[00:16:46] Serena: Me either.
[00:16:47] Erin: Been there, done that.
[00:16:49] Serena: I still have, like, I still sprinkle it in, I don't use it all the time, but I still sprinkle it in because yeah. I'm very proud of it, but yeah. So anyway, Erin, thank you so much.
[00:16:59] I'm gonna ask you one more question. What advice would you give somebody if they were on the fence of starting their bookkeeping business? Like they think they should do it, but they're just still kind of on the fence. What would you tell them?
[00:17:12] Erin: I would say stop saying I can't. Stop saying I can't. You have to let go of your limiting beliefs. It's scary. It's not easy, coming from experience. I'm still letting go of limiting beliefs. My limiting beliefs just for full transparency were I'm not going to get clients. What do I do? If I have questions, I don't have someone to ask anymore. It's all on me.
[00:17:41] I was assuming my client's affordability, which was huge too. And so I have worked through all of those and it's going to be a continuous process, but what BBA brings is community with the hot seat calls and that Facebook group that you get to join. If you have questions, people are so, so helpful and if they have the answer, they want to help if they don't Serena or Mariah jumps on. And it's so great because I've seen them jump on and say, let's hop on a call and figure it out. So you're not alone. You don't have to do it alone.
[00:18:18] And as far as. Rejection rejection is huge. I made rejection like a huge thing in my head. But the first time I was rejected was through an Upwork opportunity. And the problem with Upwork is there's a lot of people on there who will accept jobs for a really small fee. So you're kind of competing with those people, but at the end of the day, the client who puts those projects out there is going to get what they paid for in my opinion. So this client that I really wanted, ended up going with somebody who was far cheaper than me. And the rejection in that was actually really wonderful because it helped me know my worth. Like I didn't settle for prices that were way below what I should be accepting. So it was actually a really empowering feeling.
[00:19:14] Serena: Wow. You're just like on it with the goosebumps today. I'm like, oh my God, you keep giving me goosebumps with everything you're saying. that's, really awesome to hear, to be able to flip it around like that is really amazing.
[00:19:27] okay. So how much do you think that setting up your process has helped you with being able to manage taking on that many clients so quickly?
[00:19:36] Erin: Yeah. Processes. So. I don't use Asana yet, which plug for the Workflow Queen. I actually signed up for one of her workshops and then I wasn't able to commit to it, but that's also on my list.
[00:19:48] I do want to get Asana. I don't have it yet, but I'm keeping up with my current clients because I just have a ton of Google Tasks checklists and reminders on my calendar to do all the things. So whether it's like EFT, PS deposits on one day.
[00:20:05] I also prioritize my schedule. And Serena, you've talked about this too, like on Sunday nights sitting down. And figuring out what you're going to do for the week. And so I focus like on Mondays, I do deposits and I do bill payments. And then I also go into each of my client's books almost daily, or at least week daily to accept and transactions that are already set up with rules and stuff like that, so that I keep those outstanding transactions really minimal at month end. So when it's time to go into the books, it's really easy. I'm only like working on the ones that I may need to log into their bank accounts for, or get more information from them for. And so I feel like just keeping... up-keeping each day really helps at the end of the month and it's not overwhelming.
[00:20:59] Serena: That's awesome. That's a really good insight because everybody works differently. Right. Doing daily bookkeeping was not my style, which is probably why I hired it out so quickly. I like to not really have to do much during the month and then just go in at month end and do it all. I'm one of those like "project completists" where, when I sit down for something, I want to finish it. So, I like doing the deep work, but yes, that is really great insight to have because everybody has a different style and I can see where, I mean, I, we do weekly stuff on a few of our clients just to stay caught up. But everyone on my team is part-time so no one really does anything daily. So that's fun too, is having the flexibility to do that. So thank you for answering that question. All right. I am going to let you go for the rest of your day and I can't believe you're up to 11 clients.
[00:21:56] Thank you so much, Aaron for coming on here and I'll see you soon.
[00:22:01] Thanks. See you soon.
[00:22:05] Serena: I have Misa here. She is one of my first cohorts of BBA. Right?
[00:22:11] Misa: Yes!
[00:22:11] Serena: And which seems crazy like it wasn't that long ago, but it was also a long time ago.
[00:22:18] Misa: Yeah it was.
[00:22:21] Serena: So I wanted to bring her in to allow you guys to just continue to be inspired by people's stories so let's get to it. Right. So I'm going to ask Misa I'm just going to do some like rapid fire questions and let her just kind of have her story unfold.
[00:22:37] So Misa, where were you at in terms of like in your career and the thoughts of starting a business when you first came across me?
[00:22:49] Misa: I had always thought I wanted to start a business, but I never knew exactly what. It sounds like. Okay. I'll just continue to try to climb up the corporate ladder, you know, as they say, so, you know, I'm working in corporate. I was in corporate what almost 12 years. So I was there and I was kinda stuck there cause I got to the point where I couldn't get any higher than I was. I made it to a supervisor level and I couldn't get past that because there were just, they didn't want me to go high. And I was like, okay, okay.
[00:23:20] Serena: I see what's happening here.
[00:23:22] Misa: I understand now. So I was like, you know what? I need to figure out what I need to do. And. I studied accounting. I've been working in accounting. Okay. So how can I translate those skills? And then I was like, I don't know what it is. Like one day he just popped into my head, like bookkeeping.
[00:23:40] And I was like, huh. So then of course, when I do that research, so I started researching and I was like, oh my goodness. Like this could be something because every business needs bookkeeping. Like if you have a business, you have to, now whether you're doing it or not, that's another thing, but every business needs to have it done.
[00:23:59] And so I was like, oh, this is great because I would always think about like how many times I would come across other businesses. Like while I'm working in corporate where they're like double paying or doing weird things, they're like, what's going on with it. And I'm just like, who's handling your books?
[00:24:14] That, that would always be my thought. If you're, if you're on top of your bookkeeping, there should be no duplicates. There should be no, like, so I was like, oh, it's like, it connected finally. And so of course I'm doing all my research and I really can't tell you how I came across Serena. I have no idea. It's like one day I was--
[00:24:33] Serena: It was the algorithm. You started researching and Big Brother was all over that.
[00:24:40] Misa: And also the thing about it is like, I'm real weird about, you know, working with certain people. Cause like, like you really, you really have to connect to me in some type of way. And everything I was reading, I was like, oh yes. I was like, I love what she's saying. It's really resonating. And I was like, okay, let me see what she's talking about.
[00:24:58] And so I remember I even sent you an email and I was like, I found your page. I can't remember how I found it, but just want to let you know, I was like, this is great content. This is like exactly what I need to hear. And I was like. Whenever, you know, rollout, whatever you're rolling out. I said, I want to be a part of that because it's what I need. And so from there it was kind of waiting. cause like I literally waited for Serena to roll out our program. And like, in the meantime, I just kinda like kept researching and just trying to figure things out and downloaded the biscuit. And so I kind of started there, but even then I was just like, okay. I was just kind of waiting. So I literally waited until she fully rolled out the program and signed up and I was like, okay, this is now going to actually get going. And then once the program started going, I was like, that's what I needed because I know sometimes certain things I need a little bit of external accountability and that's exactly what the program gave me.
[00:25:58] Cause for me, like, you don't want to be like that straight A student. So it's like, you know, log in, complete the assignments so that when we meet it's like I did the work, I can ask the questions. And so that's what really got me to take an action because I was just sitting around researching and digging myself into deeper holes. Not taking real action.
[00:26:19] Serena: Yeah. So we talked about that whole outer accountability thing. You're a Gretchen Rubin fan, right? That's what I thought. We talked about that the other day in the workshops too. I'm totally a obliger, which means I need the external outer accountability to get things done. So the program really gave you that.
[00:26:39] So at the beginning you didn't have any clients, you weren't quite putting yourself out there, right?
[00:26:43] Misa: No.
[00:26:44] Serena: Okay.
[00:26:44] Misa: No. Nothing at all.
[00:26:45] Serena: Now, where are you now?
[00:26:48] Misa: Well, I told Serina, like a while back I had made the decision in my head. I was like, I'm just going to go ahead and quit my job. And I'm just going to try. I'm not really where I would want to be as far as, you know, like being like fully, fully booked up. But I said, you know what? I'm going to have to take a chance on myself and just see what I can do because the job was really holding me back because. I mean, like I'm a hard worker, so I'm going to show up a hundred percent for my job, but then also, like, it was taken a lot out of me. And then also they were trying to force people to come back to work. And I was like,
[00:27:24] Serena: My sign.
[00:27:26] Misa: That's my sign right there. Right now I have about. Seven clients. And then I get referrals from I've connected with some tax accountants. So I get referrals from them and people reaching out, just, you know, social media. I've kind of tried to build up my social media presence. And literally it seems like they just come to me. Which makes sense because, you know, I dunno if you know about human design because, you know, that's, that's my latest thing about, you know, I'm all about learning about self and understanding how things work.
[00:27:58] And for me, that's really. That's kind of what it's been. It's like responding to something for me, because like with the job generator, I am, it makes so much sense. Cause I was like, I get bursts of energy and I'm just like going and going and I've never understood why I'm like, that made sense. So yeah.
[00:28:19] And like when people are like, how are you getting clients? And like I said, I'm like, I'm not really doing anything per se. I'm putting myself out there. And then I kind of allow people to kind of find me and come to me just by making sure that I'm out there. Like I'm not, I'm not like in anybody's DMS, like. No.
[00:28:38] Serena: No, we don't do that around here.
[00:28:40] Misa: Like I get so weird about that. I'm like eh no I don't like that.
[00:28:44] Serena: I'm the same way too. And honestly, it comes down to being yourself, putting yourself out there in a sense of showing what you're all about. Not acting desperate, but creating the energy and emitting the energy that you're open to opportunities and it sounds really woo-woo, but it works.
[00:29:05] Misa: No. And it's so true. Cause that's like one of the main things I said, I'm just going to make sure I put myself out there. Make sure people can find me one way or another. And then just put out what I want to see and what I want people to get from me, because I can't tell you how many times people are like, they're like, oh, I can really see how passionate you are about this and how much you're really excited. And I'm like, yes, this is exciting. I'm like, people think I'm like, it's bookkeeping. And they're like, eh, it's just booking. But I'm like, no, this is like, this makes my day. Yeah.
[00:29:34] Serena: Yeah, absolutely. And it's, it's so different than. Even though it's just bookkeeping. It's different because you get to put your own creative spin on how you market yourself. You get to at least for some of us who have that creative side, that was kind of stifled in corporate. It's like this whole new world of like, I get to be myself and do accounting. It's not an either or anymore. Right. I don't have to come to work with my stilettos or whatever you're wearing, your blazer. Like you get to wear whatever you want. I show up like, however I want with my clients. And. They're here for it and it's just, it's awesome.
[00:30:14] So you are now about a year into business, right?
[00:30:17] Misa: Yes.
[00:30:18] Serena: Okay. So just to put it in perspective for people, she quit her corporate job within a year of starting her business. You're at seven recurring clients. Plus you're getting one-off projects like cleanups and catch-ups and things like that. Right. Okay.
[00:30:32] Misa: Yes. And then I also, because I really narrowed down, what I really want to focus on. So I want to focus on, of course monthly, but keeping when people are ready, but then I even want to capture those people who are earlier to kind of teach them, okay, this is what you need to do. I use QuickBooks online. So showing them let's walk through QuickBooks, this is how you use it. This is what you should be doing so that when they do get to the point where they can hand it off, It's not a mess. Now. Other bookkeepers may not be happy with what I'm trying to do, but--
[00:31:03] Serena: You know
[00:31:03] Misa: You know.
[00:31:04] Serena: To each his own.
[00:31:05] Misa: Yeah, exactly.
[00:31:06] Serena: Because like I always talk about inside BBA that there's different options for service offerings for clients. You can offer a DIY service that you're still involved in. It's more of a training aspect, so you definitely have to have that teachers heart, but it's definitely a little bit different, but it's a great funnel.
[00:31:24] Misa: Mhmm.
[00:31:25] Serena: Have you converted any of those, training or DIY clients into monthly?
[00:31:29] Misa: Not yet. Not yet.
[00:31:31] Serena: But you're getting close I'm sure.
[00:31:33] Misa: And that's the thing too. Like, I haven't really like been promoted. That's the thing too. I haven't really been promoting. So like when I actually really start promoting, cause you know, as we get closer to year end that's of course what I'll be doing, but yeah. There's a need for it and I know that that's something that people really, really want because. They don't want to be stressed at tax time.
[00:31:56] Serena: Yes. And the other aspect to that too, isn't necessarily that you're trying to attract DIY-ers, but the fact that you're putting out content, showing people how to do things in QuickBooks, it just positions you as the expert. So they're like, well, obviously I'm going to go to Misa when I'm ready for a bookkeeper because she clearly knows what she's doing. She knows all the pitfalls that could happen. She's got it down. So that's the other component of that is your it's positioning you well.
[00:32:22] This is so exciting So, let me ask you one more question. What would be your advice for anyone who's kind of on the fence where you were back at the beginning? Like, do I want to start a business or do I not want to. What kind of advice would you give to that person?
[00:32:40] Misa: How well, first I would say if you even have an inkling, like if you, even if it's even a thought. Just try it. As I've realized there's many different ways to do it. There's some people who you can just have it as like a little side hustle and you can just, you know, have like a small little group of clients that you work with and that's perfectly fine. You can have, you can be on the other side. And you're like, I want to build up a large firm and I have a whole bunch of clients and I serve all these people. It's so many different ways to do it. It's just what is your personal preference and what are your goals?
[00:33:14] Because there's definitely a need for really, really good bookkeepers, because if I hear one more story about how someone was working with a bookkeeper or an accountant, and they had such a bad experience, or they were supposed to be doing this and they get in there and it's, it's a complete mess. And you're just like, okay, there's definitely a need because. Definitely kind of scammy type people out there. So if you can come in and, you know, kind of feel some gaps, it'll be easy. Because you're filling a gap that's definitely needed because businesses aren't going away. we need businesses and every new business will need a bookkeeper if not today, tomorrow. So.
[00:33:58] Serena: Absolutely. Absolutely. You listen to the cloud accounting podcast, right? Have you caught this week's episode where they're talking about, this website that teaches people how to hold two jobs, basically?
[00:34:11] Misa: Oh! Okay. Now that's so funny because--
[00:34:15] Serena: I'm like, why don't they just start a side hustle instead of like risking, but it makes, it kind of makes sense.
[00:34:23] Misa: It makes sense. If you're working remotely it's pretty easy.
[00:34:25] Serena: And it's a guaranteed salary.
[00:34:27] Misa: Yeah it's pretty easy to do. Now I'm gonna go listen, because that's very interesting.
[00:34:31] Serena: Yes. You have to listen to it. And they were just talking about how hard that would be if you actually worked in public accounting to hold a second job, because you have to bill so many hours and all that kind of stuff. But anyway. Little side note, All right. I hope this was inspiring to you and we will catch you guys later.