After the conference season, I end up with a huge stack of books from speakers that have inspired me, but they sit there for months after. Staring at me because I know the answers I seek to be a better bookkeeper, business owner, boss, and human being is in that stack waiting for me to discover them. This time I have made myself a goal that during my Christmas break, I will work my way through the stack.
My first book I decided on was “The E-Myth Bookkeeper” written by Michael R. Gerber, Debbie Roberts, and Peter Cook. I have read “The E-Myth Revised”, and “The E-Myth Accountant”, and always enjoyed the easy to read and insightful information provided. In fact, “The E-Myth Revised” is in my share library that I have the customers read. However, it wasn’t until I read Debbie Robert’s words that The E-Myth sung to me.
Walking through her bookkeeping business pains and pressures, it felt like I was reading my story. I have had my practice for seven years and have experienced much of the same moments she writes about, and some, I am still working through.
The whole book has great information that I want to start building into my practice (if you read the book, you will understand why I say practice not business) right now. The detail procedures is an absolute given that I will start right away. Even before I read the book, I knew that by not having everything that’s in my brain written down and that I assume is common knowledge, has been causing undue hardship to my staff and myself. We started a procedures book but now after reading the book, I realized we just wrote the preface. The book is great at laying out bases to start all the other chapters of our procedure book, but I must admit the process sounds absolutely daunting.
Although it was Chapter 21 that reverberated around my brain like fireworks.
Speaking of bookkeepers, Michael Gerber wrote:
“Some make a real effort to control time. Maybe they go to time management classes, or faithfully try to record their activities during every hour of the day.
But it’s hopeless. Even when bookkeepers work harder, even when they keep precise records of their time, there’s always a shortage of it. It’s as if they’re looking at a square clock in a round universe. Something doesn’t fit. The result: the bookkeeper is constantly chasing work, money, life.“
That’s me. Over the last year, I have tried every time management system and read every book, thinking that if I could just control my time, I would have enough time to complete all the work. But now I realize that I have not been valuing my time. So instead of looking how to control my time, I need to value it by setting up a system that allows me to live a life that I enjoy. Will having the system in place stop me from working non-stop? No, because I love working. But now I have the system in place to do the parts I love about my business – helping my entrepreneurs.
Some chapters I didn’t feel as strongly about, like hiring bookkeepers for your practice. It relies heavily on the skills of the bookkeeper, which I agree are important, but my hiring relies on personality first. I can teach skills, but I can’t teach personality. My business culture is such that personality is of highest importance.
This book gives me hope and has given me a swift kick in the keister. It has almost broke my resolve to get through my stack of books during Christmas and start writing out our system, but I realized if this what I got out of book one, what will I learn in book two? It is definitely a book I would and will recommend to all my badass bookkeeping posse.