I want you to imagine that there are 2 ladders.
At the top of one ladder, there is:
- An income cap of about £100K per annum
- A 50-hour work week. Minimum!
- Lots of pressure and overwhelm because you are the ‘centre of the universe’. Without you, it all falls apart
And at the top of the other ladder there is:
- No income cap, you earn as much or as little as you want and it’s in no way linked to the hours you work
- You can choose to work 50 hours a week (I know plenty of people like this) or you can choose to work 20 hours a week – the point is you have choice
- Much less pressure and overwhelm. Not everything relies on you, so it doesn’t matter whether you’re there or not
Both of these ladders are hard work to climb, and can take years to reach the top.
So, which one do you choose to climb for the next 5, 10, 20 years?
I’m guessing you choose the latter one, right?
You see, the first ladder is the ladder that most practice owners are on. This is the ladder of the ‘well-paid accountant’.
These ‘well-paid accountants’ are hard workers, no doubt about it. They show up every single day (sometimes at the weekends), they meet with all the clients, complete accounts, tax-returns and other work, respond to the 187 emails in their inbox that have come in since this morning, in fact, they do just about everything they can in a day.
The interesting point here is that although these practice owners think that they own a ‘business’, they don’t.
What they actually own is a well-paid (hopefully) job.
They are still the ones ‘doing things with their hands’. If we were to take their hands, and tie them behind their backs, things would fall down very quickly.
The second ladder is the ladder of the ‘thriving business owner’, and these are a different breed of people all together.
They are also hard workers, but the difference is that they can choose to show up or not. If they want to do some technical work they can do, but there’s no dependency or requirement for that to be the case. They aren’t trapped working in the business, instead they spend most of their time working on the business, figuring our new and exciting ways to grow and offer even greater value to their clients.
So, my question to you is; if both of these ladders are hard work to climb, wouldn’t you rather climb up the one that has the greater reward at the top?
In order to become a thriving business owner, you must first change your model.
The model that you’re currently running your ‘business’ on is broken, outdated, inefficient and unprofitable. It’s also the reason why you’re trapped in the centre of it all unable to get out.
So, in order to change your model, and to start climbing up the correct ladder, a few things need to happen:
1. Change your thinking
I’m a firm believer that model beats mindset. Stick somebody with an awesome mindset on the wrong model, and they’ll still fail. But this doesn’t mean that mindset isn’t important…
Part of you changing your model, involves you changing your thinking.
You must stop thinking like an accountant, and start thinking like a business owner.
Accept that not everything has to be done by you or through you.
Question absolutely everything the lands on your desk. Is it something that 100% only you can do? Or can somebody else do it given the right training/systems? Which leads nicely onto the next point…
2. You need to build a self-reliant team of A+ players
If your team are currently over-reliant, B or C players, then there is no way you will ever become a thriving business owner.
I know what you’re thinking, if only it was that simple?
This one takes time and persistence, but it’s absolutely possible.
Here are a few of my other articles which might help with this one:
- The 5-step A+ player recruitment process
- 9 top-tips for increasing staff retention and creating a desirable practice to work in
- The CSM practice model – who, what and why?
3. Systemise like you’re going to franchise
The key to scaling any business, is to have robust systems in place for absolutely everything.
If something only exists in your head, then only you can do it.
The concept of systemising like you’re going to franchise is great one, because it means that no stone is left unturned when it comes to documenting how things should be done.
This doesn’t mean you should franchise, but if you have systemised every single part of your practice from sales, to marketing, to customer service, it becomes very easy for you to extract yourself from the day-to-day operations, and for the practice to begin to scale.
(The above points give you a brief overview of what needs to change. If you want to find out in more detail the exact step-by-step model complete with example systems that my clients are using right now to go from well-paid accountants to thriving business owners, I’m running a free morning-seminar in Manchester next month. You can find out more and book your free tickets here)
Which do you choose?
Which ladder are you currently climbing?
There’s no shame in realising you’re on one ladder when you thought you were on another.
Perhaps you’re somewhere between the two?
Whatever your choice just remember that both ladders take hard work, dedication and time, but end up in very different destinations.