I just got home from the 3rd Annual Institute of Professional Bookkeepers of Canada conference. While I was there a question was posed to me that made me think about the people that play in my sandbox. Gary Olynick CPA, Sage’s Accountant Advocate posed a very simple question, “What does SAN (Sage Accountant Network) mean to me?” Well, I am pretty sure I stuttered. I couldn’t put it into words why I belong to this group, and what it meant to me.
I am sure I said after stuttering, it’s all the excellent resources that being part of the program enables me to use. There is the unlimited technical support, the amazing LEAP (Leadership Education for Accountant Professional) courses, Sage University, and the access I have to all of their fantastic programs. However, these are just the resources or tools that I use in being part of the program, they are not the REASON why I continue to sign up year after year.
After the meeting, it made me think about the associations I allow to come and play in my sandbox, such as IPBC (Institute of Professional Bookkeepers of Canada), SAN, CPA (Canadian Payroll Association) and even my local Prince George Chamber of Commerce. Why do I invest so much time and money to these associations that really provide a lot of the same courses, tools, or assistance? It wasn’t until after the IPBC conference, while driving the seven hours home, that it finally hit me.
I sign up year after year for the people. It is Jennifer Warawa that shakes my hand, and dances with me on the dance floor. It is Kim Creamore, who has for the last three years helped me question the possibilities in my own professional development and, for better or worse, taught me to use twitter. It is Gregory Dyer, who said, “Who loves money, get your certification.” It is the Mark’s, the Gary’s, it the PEOPLE that wake up at 7am to help solve your client’s software problem, or provide education. It is the amazing bookkeepers around Canada that have formed a merry band of bad ass bookkeepers who are wanting change in our industry. It is the professional business owners in my community. These are my mentors, my cheering squad, my inspirations and thought-leaders.
It is the REAL PEOPLE that have me signing up year after year. These associations are fundamentally all the same, but if you seize the opportunities to meet the people within, that’s when it becomes a game changer. So go to the conferences, the monthly meetings or local events, become involved and listen to the amazing people in your sandbox. If you don’t like what someone is saying, tell them to take their ball and go home, and fill your sandbox with the people who can help you build one kick ass sandcastle.
When writing this blog, I went on the SAN program webpage to make sure I quoted it correctly, and I happened to read their mission statement for the first time. Part of it says, “Guidance – Real People giving you expert advice you can use at every stage of your journey with your clients.” Well SAN, mission accomplished.