Tell us your bold boss story!:
My team and I provide bookkeeping and tax services to (mostly) female founders across the country. I absolutely love supporting women-owned businesses. Sometimes I have to pinch myself when I get off calls with my clients because I can't even believe that this is my life.
I've always had an entrepreneurial heart since I was young. I remember going through those old Oriental Trading catalogs my mom would get in the mail, and mapping out the items I would buy, how much I could sell them for, and what my profits would be. I'd also figure out how I'd get the money to invest into my retail business, usually from washing cars or babysitting. When I was around 10, my friend and I built a website from scratch and would go around into different AOL chatrooms recruiting people to sign-up for our newsletter. I think we were trying to create an online version of MoxieGirl magazine (did I just date myself?!) or something similar.
Once I was older, my entrepreneurial drives got more serious. While in college and struggling to juggle a 9-5 (or two) while in school, I quit my job with nothing lined up to start my own housekeeping business. That grew rapidly, all from referrals. I had a couple girls assisting me, made great money for a student, and had all the flexibility in the world! Once I progressed through my educational career, the housekeeping turned into tutoring, which turned into bookkeeping, which turned into tax prep. When I moved to NYC about 7 years ago, I worked full-time jobs (but always had my side hustles) to get the experience and training I needed for my CPA license. If anyone's worked a corporate job in NYC, I'm sure you can relate to burnout. It was real and rough. I tried finding other jobs, but I kept running into the same issue during the interview - that there was no work-life balance in sight for me. I'd leave interviews crying, making vows to myself and my work wife that if ever given the chance I'd build a place where women in finance could thrive without having to make a choice between career and family. My friends and family kept asking me why I didn't just go out on my own. I was scared.
But then something changed. Things in the universe started conspiring to make it possible for me to leave my job. My side hustle work was growing, and I had an offer on the table from a large client that I wouldn't be able to accept if I was working for someone else full-time. This was about a month before my wedding. I was so torn about what to do. Leave my job a month before my wedding to make less than half of what I was making, all banking on one client? Uh, hello riskiness?!?!?
But I'm telling you - there was this voice inside that made me feel like it was the right move even though it was not logical. My husband, who is literally the most supportive person ever, was even like, "Uhhh I don't think so. This can't be right." But I was still torn, because I knew it was the right move for me. So - the thing that did it for me was one of those cheesy viral videos on Facebook. Yup. As crazy as that sounds. It was something like "We put up a chalkboard in NYC for a day and asked people to write down their biggest regret - you'll be shocked to find out what it was." (LOL) - #dontjudge - the whole video was just about people regretting the chances they DIDN'T take. It made me think about my late father, who had his share of successful and unsuccessful businesses. I imagined that in the moments right before and after he passed he was not thinking about his failed businesses - he was thinking about his family, his friends, the love he experienced in life, the memories he made, the moments of joy. And how the decision in front of me was not about whether or not my perfectionistic ass was going to be successful or not in this venture, the decision in front of me was whether or not I was going to show up in my life and say YES. I knew in my heart of hearts, that if my father was still alive, the only advice he'd have for me in this situation was to do it. I got up, right then and there, and quit my job.
The best part was that they offered to keep me on as a contractor at 60% of my existing salary, and allow me the flexibility I needed to grow my company. I'm in tears as I type this. This shit makes me need to pinch myself, too.
The journey from that point hasn't been easy. I've considered giving up. I've told myself I'm not cut out for this. I've been lonely, depressed, tired, hopeless. But it's these divine moments of grace that keep me going. Sometimes all we can do is put one foot in the front of the other, even if we can't see more than 6 inches from our nose.
So - what inspired me? My father, my family, my friends, and feminism.
We're all about bold boss moments, tell us about one of yours!:
In my second year of business, I saved up all of my tax season profits and invested them into brand and website development. It's easily the best money I've spent in my business to date. It was a scary amount of money for me, but I just knew that the firm I worked with would be able to really bring to life what I was trying to accomplish. It's no easy task to make accounting cool. That was really the first real investment I made into my business.
My other bold boss moment is a series of moments. Being a serious workaholic (I literally cannot even sit still; my idea of relaxing is doing chores around the house) I was on my way to some nasty burnout. In my first year, I was literally up until 2am working on the reg, having constant anxiety, and just not living my best life. I started going to acupuncture to get help with sleeping, but it's really helped me with everything. No matter what, I go about every other week and have been for almost 2 years now. It's allowed me to listen more to my body - I don't overextend myself any more. I used to be scared that if I wasn't always going, going, going - doing, working, hustling, shaking, everything would fall apart. But I've learned that the literal only thing that was falling apart was me! I no longer work past a certain time, I got a separate cell just for work and turn it off at a certain time (GAME CHANGER!), I made sure I worked routines into my day to keep me balanced and sane, and I just try to make different choices. It's not always pretty or easy, it's a literal balancing act, but I've made a lot of progress. Sometimes being a boss doesn't involve work at all :)
What advice or words of encouragement do you have for the Bold Boss Tribe?:
You got this. I truly believe that we have all the answers and guidance we could possibly need within, so make sure you're taking time to connect with and nurture the relationship with yourself - it will never lead you astray.
Also - don't get behind on your taxes - make sure you're saving at least 30% of your net income for taxes as you go throughout the year and save for retirement! It will be here before we know it and compound interest is powerful AF.