This week, I will discuss the spark that will effect more change in your firm than anything else.
But first –
Your firm needs a human face.
Gone are the days of showing trust with polished corporate images and facades.
Our firms don’t have a B2B model but rather an H2H model – Human to Human.
The general market has lost confidence in brands and is looking for trusted voices instead.
Believe what you want about the value of influencers, but they hold more power over consumer decisions than most brands ever will.
I am not saying you need to become an influencer, but what you use on your website, marketing collateral, and social platforms needs to be human.
Clients want to work with people.
That’s why video is the most powerful form of content today.
Put your face out there. Spend $500 with a photographer to showcase you and your firm. Put those pictures on your website. Post them online.
Voice your opinion. Attract people to you.
Add personalized, authentic and approachable to your professional image.
Yesterday, I reconnected with my friend and colleague, Riley.
We chat 2 – 3 times a year. He’s a CPA, and we get pretty deep about life, family and entrepreneurship.
Yesterday we delved into mindsets, decision-making, and frameworks we use to recalibrate ourselves when chaos creeps into life.
After our chat, I recommitted to the thought: Our ability to wade through internal chaos and distractions is the most significant indicator of the results we get in our firm.
If you don’t remember anything else from this week’s newsletter, remember this:
You are the X Factor in your firm. Your skills, background and tech stack are either amplified or compromised by the way you think.
Before I was a business owner, I would read advice about mindset, meditation and surrounding yourself with the right people.
Honestly, I thought it was all mumbo jumbo.
When I finished college, I had a job offer from a Big4 firm and no debt.
To that point, I had yet to encounter much resistance. A few forks in the road forced me to stop and question whether my decisions were the best.
Decisions were shallow. Changing directions was easy.
I had no sunk cost bias making me triple-guess every decision.
Then things changed. I got married, committed to a career, had kids and launched my firm.
Each step along the way demanded a different mindset and constant reframing. It wasn’t my skills that needed an upgrade; it was how I thought about things.
The needed solutions were just on the other side of my narrow and limited perspective.
The two biggest barriers to my growth are a lack of confidence in myself (can I even do it) and fear of failure (will it even work).
Below are the quotes, ideas and tools I use to reframe my thoughts when the internal voice needs a reboot.
Lack of Confidence
I remember in 2016 when I set up my VoIP system for my side hustle. I recorded the ‘how can I direct your call?’ intro message over 15 times.
What’s funny is that both caller options were redirected to my personal cell.
I thought an inflated image of professionalism could compensate for my lack of confidence and experience.
A lack of confidence is something that I find never goes away. At least not as long as you strive to improve and build something cool. Each new level of achievement puts you back at square one to some degree. Some call it Imposter Syndrome or the curse of knowledge bias.
Either way, it can stop you in your tracks. There have been more than a few nights where I’ve felt entirely competent and qualified, only to feel helpless and depressed a short time later.
How I reframe:
1. Thought: The most qualified people are usually the most uncertain about their skills and their next steps. A little hesitancy is good.
3. Tool: Talk about your next step or issue with someone. Your perspective about yourself is always skewed.
Get a trusted second or third opinion. This is one advantage a multipartner firm has over a solo practitioner firm.
Failure Is Part Of the Game
As AI and bots improve at box-checking and bank transaction matching, stability in our firms will come from innovation.
Innovation comes from meshing our education and expertise with new problems.
Unfortunately, the path to innovation is not a linear one. It’s riddled with failure, lost money and truckloads of frustration.
In a profession where accuracy is one of our most important characteristics, failure seems unacceptable.
However, failure inevitably occurs when:
- Delegating to team members;
- Inviting clients to new software;
- Offering new services.
As your firm grows, the chances and magnitude of failure increase as decision-making gets decentralized. Tolerance for failure is pivotal for growth.
How I reframe:
1. Thought: You can’t think yourself into a new way of acting. You have to act yourself into a new way of thinking.
Thinking differently comes from seeing the results of a new behavior.
New behavior is accompanied by missteps.
3. Tool: Own your failures. Share them with others and write them down in a journal. Normalize mistakes for yourself and your team.
While I am on the topic of mindset this week, there’s a quote that continues to foster a sense of urgency for me.
I’ve shared this quote before, but it is just so darn good:
I hope you leave this newsletter today thinking differently.
Build The Firm You Want.