The concept of abundance is different to everyone and can also be different during various stages of your life.
When people think of abundance, they quite often think of money. As accountants, I think it would definitely be ranked in our top 5!
There are however many other forms of abundance:
As accountants and business advisors, we pride ourselves on the quality of advice we give our clients so that they can achieve their financial and personal goals, yet we get so caught up with deadlines and client demands we often forget about our own business and our own financial and personal goals.
With the first month of the financial year gone, how are you travelling with your goals? I am sure you have had many a discussion with clients over the last month or two about what their aspirations are for the 2014/2015 year, you may have assisted them with creating their budget, uploaded it into their accounting software but have you done it for yourself?
Are you dying to implement change into your practice so you can start spending more time at home with your family instead of more time at the office away from your family? It may be that you are in business with an older partner(s) that this trend has been part of their life for the past 30-40 years, but seriously is this what you still want to be doing in 20 years time too? I am 43 and 5-10 years ago this was me too. My normal day started at 4am with reviewing jobs as there was no time for this during work hours as that was taken up with back to back appointments! I was probably getting home from the office around 6-7 most nights and working on weekends too! I did however finish work at 3pm most Fridays to collect my children from school and head away for the weekend to our weekender which was an hour away from the office. My husband used to say I was a different person as soon as we crossed the Hexham Bridge, as I knew I was escaping for some much needed family time. Mind you at this point in time I still had work to do on the weekend, however the beach nearby did allow me some quality down time and was my inspiration to make some positive changes to the way I did business.
As a treat to my staff we started closing our office at 4pm each Friday so they too could get away for an early start to the weekend. For the last 12 months or so, they don’t finish at 4pm anymore though, they finish at 12.30pm and our office closes. How good is that! How many times have you received an “urgent/crisis call” at 4.50pm Friday? This call certainly could have been made earlier in the day or in the week, however poor planning on the clients part has now turned to a crisis that you have to deal with, you will not be able to leave the office on time, you will have to phone your partner and tell them you won’t be home in time to attend Friday night sport, dinner and you will meet them there after you deal with the crisis just thrown at you to sort out, while your client is able to join their family at Friday night sport or keep their dinner date. Seriously, why do we do this? If this scenario resonates with you, yes you need to make changes. Now I am not saying closing the office at 12.30 or 4pm is the answer for everyone, but what is the answer for everyone is to start setting boundaries! Boundaries for both you, and your clients. Instead of agreeing to solve the crisis on Friday afternoon, respectfully listen to the client concerns and explain to them that you have some time spare in your diary on Monday/Tuesday to deal with it and you will get back to them. If they really wanted a resolution Friday afternoon, perhaps they could have called you first thing on Friday morning or even earlier in the week – I have found that in about 99% of these cases, this could have occurred. Now that you have set a boundary, guess what? Next time the client will make sure they contact you earlier.
This is just one example of how I have made a positive change in the way that I operate my practice, which in turn has allowed me to physically attend the office for only three days a week. The other two days I work from home on client engagements or on practice development work. I also no longer have to escape to beachside paradise on weekends as we actually made a sea-change to the area 3 years ago, bought a house and now have the beach as my inspiration every day.
If you truly want to change the way you are operating your business to achieve a work/life balance then you need to sign up for my exclusive “Abundant Accountant Program”.