As I write this blog in response to the question "How much time in a week do I need to dedicate to the program?", I feel a little vulnerable— because, the way that you get RESULTS through the time you spend in the program and the way I've structured it is deeply connected to why I created The Strategic Bookkeeper in the first place, why I wrote and published a book and a companion podcast, and why I launched the program. And so today, I'll share a little bit with you.
As you know, I started the practice almost 14 years ago now. And there was a point in my life where it was... I got to a point where things were hard. I mean, the practice was coming along. So the first five years, you'll know if you've read my book, I call it the f*ck-up years. Five years into starting, my husband and I went our separate ways. We are great mates and great co-parents these days, but without going into it: I'm a woman who's experienced divorce, and definitely had to think about financially being able to support myself totally and being able to support my son (although his dad definitely holds up his part, he has him and does that). But, I also actually ended up taking my niece in and my stepdaughter. (My joke is that I kept her after the divorce.)
I think my point here is that, as a woman and a mum of a special needs child, and like a lot of mums,
I found myself juggling the normal demands that are at play there
– being a mum, being self-employed, and life does get in the way. Putting a roof over my stepdaughter's head, putting a roof over my niece's head... They have spread their wings and flown since then, but it all kind of happened at once. (And I think, like me, if your stepdaughter or your niece turned up on your doorstep, you'd be welcoming them in with open arms.)
And so, why am I sharing this? Because the amount of TIME that you need to spend in the program is actually connected to my why. When I was going through separation and getting back on my feet, like I've heard from other bookkeepers, my HEALTH had suffered terribly. I was really ill physically, mentally, and spiritually – I was really hanging on by a thread. So five years in when I SCALED into a lifestyle practice, I was then able to take a big sabbatical and take time out to get my physical, mental, and spiritual health right. I was able to have that six-figure income that took away the stress, and allowed me to take the break that I needed to get myself well. And so,
I have structured the program and the time that you need to spend in it so that the busy, multitasking mum can get it done.
So basically, imagining myself back then, or even now, and even other mums I know... I'm pretty sure we all listen to PODCASTS, and that's a very convenient way to learn. So what I've done – we've got an academy, and that has all the education and the learning in modules.
you listen to the audio,
because that's going to do a few things. Number one, it's going to allow you to digest the content. And then, number two, because everyone's in a different place in their practice...
(Some of you have told me, "I'm brand new. I don't have anything, Jeannie. I'm working in a job, and then two days a week I'm trying to build a practice." Some of you have told me other things like, you have got 20 clients, but you've realized that they're low value and there's other things at play, and you're like, "Okay, I get it. I need to make some changes here.")
...depending on where you're at, you listen to the content, and then,
you're going to be able to choose your own adventure.
Now, I've structured the content so that I want you to listen to everything in a linear fashion. For example, the first two things I'm going to get you to do is, first of all, do the INDUCTION. Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I'll spend the first four sharpening the axe. I'm going to get you to sharpen the axe. So that's induction done. You can do that on the audio.
The next one's called The CUSTOMER JOURNEY, and this is at the heart of everything. I honestly think you'll be surprised and delighted by what I teach you and show you in the customer journey. I think you'll have so many aha moments. It connects to everything, because everything you do is from the journey that your customer is going through. I call it part one and part two. Part one is from when they're in your market to when they say yes (if they say no, they go circling back). Part two is after we onboard them.
I'll ask you a question right now: if part one is before they become a client, and part two of the customer journey is after they become a client,
What's the first thing that happens in the customer journey after they become a client?
Ask yourself that question.
Give yourself a moment and then hold that in your mind.
What is the first thing that happens after a client presses go, the first thing?
Now, I tell you: the first thing that happens in the customer journey after they press go... is called buyer's remorse. And we have SYSTEMS and processes and ways to completely eliminate it, but that is a normal part of the customer journey, and it can affect retention later.
How they feel and what they experience in the customer journey at that first stage of part two affects everything moving forward.
The reason I shared that with you is, I'd love you to consider that sometimes, we don't know what we don't know – and I can tell you right now, there's a lot of stuff in the program that you don't know, you don't know.
So, you've got all the content digestible via audio – and then let's say you're listening to it and you're like, "Okay, I need to grab that resource. I need to watch that video," – so then, you will combine that with when you are already at your desk, at your own time, going into the academy, and grabbing the resources as you need them, watching any video you need to watch.
Here's what I don't expect you to do:
I don't expect you to have this magical extra amount of time to go to your desk and sit and learn the content, be at school, go to university, and be on top of everything that else that you've got.
In whatever time you can give me... ideal would be an hour a day, but that's listening podcast-style to start with. The lessons that I give you, they are usually under 22 minutes. So it's a podcast, that is 22 minutes or less.
So, if you can give me 22 minutes a day, then I can help you move the needle.
One of the things that I will do with you as you progress through the program is I will help you get that beautiful thing called TIME – to build a thriving practice, delight your clients, live your dream on your term.
Your dream on your term means being TIME-RICH as well, so you can prioritise what is important to you.
As business owners, we need PROFIT and CASH, and we need an income. They are the needs. What we want at the end of the day is time. Otherwise, why wouldn't we be in a job? There are other things that we want and need, but if we boil it all down, it's income and time. It's income and lifestyle.
So, as you progress in the program, the things that we do together will allow you to SCALE. And scaling is ultimately about freeing up time, increasing PROFITABILITY, while extracting yourself to some extent from the business. When I talk about my dream on my terms, once again in that kind of vulnerable space, that comes from me being a mum and realizing that my dream on my terms is as a single mum of a special needs child, who've always struggled a little with my health. So with the desire to prioritize my health, my dream on my terms was unique, but it also was similar to all the other mums.
Never was I aiming to make the most amount of money that I could ever make. In fact, once I started living a lifestyle business, some of my friends said, "Why don't you work more and make more?" And I'm not sure I have to explain that to you. That is because I wanted to be time rich to prioritise the things that are and were important to me, being my health and my family, my son, my stepchildren, my nieces and nephews, my sisters, my parents.
Do one lesson a day, bare ass minimum.
And I think using it podcast-style to listen to a lesson a day would be great if you are multitasking, and also taking care of yourself.
And so when you go for a walk, or you're going to the gym, or you do something else where, you can listen. I remember years ago when I was doing a program, I absolutely listened to the audio while I was at the gym. So if you have an hour a day, go and spend it on anything to do with the program – so that could be an activity I give you, for example, do a critical driver, or attend a networking event, or get your social media sorted – do your normal activities as you listen to the audio.
The stuff I give you, it's like grab it and go. You've listened to the audio, you know what you're doing.
It's progress over perfection.
I mean, an hour a day will get you pretty massive results, but 20 minutes a day will also give you good results.
So to rinse and repeat and kind of finish up with how much time do I need to dedicate each week to the program, an hour a day in a perfect world. And then, you pivot to using the academy on that job. So literally, when you are doing the things in your business, you are just grabbing what you need from the academy while you're at your desk. And then if you're not doing an hour a day, if you can only give me one lesson a day, five days a week, you're going to be doing five lessons a week – you're still going to be kicking goals! And from there, we'll work together on freeing up more time for you.
If you think you can listen to one of my podcasts of under 25 minutes, then I think you've got enough time to kick some goals, and have some fun with me and the community in The Strategic Bookkeeper Transformation Program.