I want to ask you: Will you be one of the 20%, or one of the 80%?
Today, I want to educate you around the science of what that means, the five key areas that I primarily think that bookkeepers make mistakes around that leads to struggling to find the success they want and need, and, the three big keys to making it work so that you can be one of the 20%.
Before we get stuck in, I thought I would share something a little personal with you: I'm totally into the Science of When, it's Daniel Pink's science-based book and it is why elective surgeries are done in the morning. For me, I'm always listening to the bookkeeping community, primarily in The Strategic Bookkeeper's Way Facebook group – and based on listening to what they tell me they need and want and what they're struggling with, my little brain gets working and I come up with this thought leadership and ways to educate you, inspire you, challenge you, and that is generally in the morning.
So it is a gorgeous morning here on the Gold Coast, and I'm writing this blog for you. And I am so passionate about this one because I'm passionate about bookkeepers making the decision to take a step in the direction that will lead them to having success, because I just see it all too often that inaction costs them everything.
In this post, I'm going to name it to tame It. It might sound like I'm pitching the program, but I'm not. And I want to explain that what I'm pitching is
that you learn the statistics around success and failure,
that you accept them to be true,
that you realize that there is a choice around action and inaction,
and that you take action.
I am pitching you to take action, in order to find success.
In terms of my program, you're going to read my book or listen to the audio book. You're going to listen to my podcast, you're going to attend my free trainings, and you're going to SELF-ASSESS when you're ready to join. But, here's what I know,
inaction can and will cost you everything.
And that's what I dive into here. And so I just wanted to name it to tame it before we got started that if it sounds like I'm pitching the program, look, I have no problem singing the praises of the program because I know it's extraordinary, but I'm actually pitching you to take action. And I was talking to an accountant friend not so long ago, we're great business buddies, and we were talking about our clients getting a return on investment for our services.
He is absolutely a strategic accountant as I am a strategic bookkeeper. And so we were kind of chewing the fat on that, and then we talked about something else and he said, oh, that seems to be expensive or That costs a lot. And then he caught himself, and he put his hand to his mouth, and he said, I just did it - I'm such an accountant. Everything for me is a cost.
Whereas ultimately, whatever we were talking about was something that was a clear investment. It was like a Yes, if you do that, you're going to basically get a really quick return on investment higher than the fee – which is also exactly what my program is. It's what my book is, it's what my podcast is. I know that my podcast is free, but it is something intended to give you value in order to do better in business. That is my VALUE approach.
So what I expect is for you to kick goals, for you to make money, because then I'm giving you value and I'm proving myself to you. My book is very low cost, and you know that you can make lots of money and save time by using the book.
These things are not a cost, they're an INVESTMENT. And in fact, our bookkeeping practices are a form of investment. And when we become time rich and we're still pulling six figures profit out to put food on the table and prioritize the things we want, that is the return on the investment.
So in terms of the program, same thing. Within no time, you make more than the program fee. As I said, inaction have been costing bookkeepers and accountants everything, and I do believe it is linked to all of us, myself included – we find it very easy to see things as a cost rather than investment. And actually, basic bookkeeping alone is seen as a cost, not an investment.
Let's quickly take in the difference between a cost and an investment: A piece of clothing that I really don't need is a cost, but a practical snow jacket is an investment in me not freezing to death. But yeah, definitely consider your own profile and your own bias.
I am the same as you in that way because, if, as a bookkeeper, you can actually shift your mindset to invest some time and money in something that will help you to find the success that you want and deserve, then that is the action that will help you get what you want. Because in terms of the program, just for example, if you say, well, I'm not going to do the program because I don't want to pay the fee for it, I don't want to spend the time in it, then that is inaction. And then in the year or two or three or four or five years that you're struggling along trying to find success, it is the inaction that has cost you.
Whereas let's say, with the program, you go, okay, I see that's an investment. Jeannie has guaranteed I'm going to get a return on investment or she'll give me my money back. Or, actually when I do my sums, if I invest this specific amount of money and a specific amount of time, then I can see that within a 12 month period I'm going to get a return on my investment.
But ultimately, the kicker here is that with bookkeepers and what I've seen in the 80/20 rule – it is a science-based rule, and in fact, if you look at all of your clients, 20% of them will be giving you most of your revenue.
It is a science model, and
80% of bookkeepers, through inaction, will never find the success they're looking for. And that's why 20% of us in the industry are winning the work and finding the success.
We're winning the work off the 80% who are getting it wrong. It's a bit of a hard pill to swallow, but it is the art and science of it. When I talk about joining my program, I have no shame in talking about that. It is not a sales pitch. I recently said to someone, my program is probably not right for you – because at that time, this person couldn't find it in themselves to trust me, and that's not going to work. When you step into the program, you step into a place of trust. Since then, that wonderful community member has joined, and we are great business buddies and we're going to do great things together.
What the key takeaway to this is that, when I talk to you about my program being a return on investment, I do that because the cost of inaction for bookkeepers breaks my heart. So hopefully I'm being really clear on that. It is for you to self-assess the right time to join the program. But if I didn't educate you on this, if I didn't tell you this, if I didn't tell you what I'd seen, if I didn't tell you the science of the 80/20, I wouldn't be serving you.
Now, all these actually translates into business. The official business statistics globally are that 80% of small businesses go bust in their first five years. Bookkeepers are not separate to this. Bookkeepers are in that pool – 80% of bookkeepers through inaction and through thinking the wrong way and taking the wrong action, will shut up shop within five years, or be in a position where they're scratching their heads wondering why they're not making as much money or time as they probably could in a regular job.
So my question to you is, are you going to be in the 20% or are you going to be in the 80%? And if you're struggling right now, what are you going to do about it?
Based on those metrics and even my own journey, if you've read my book, you'll hear me talk about my first five years as my f*ck-up years. And if you haven't read my book, read my book. Inaction will cost you everything. It's available in audio form, less than six hours long, an hour a day while you're going for a walk, okay? Please start with the book. (And actually, it's compulsory before you come into the program, and we give you all the audiobook files in there as well just in case you haven't done it.)
Back to the science and statistics – it is natural to understand that within five years, you should have got there. So if you are beyond five years in and you haven't achieved what I achieved, which was a six-figure income and the ability to work a handful of hours a week to work whatever I wanted, then you are absolutely at risk, and you need to take action and get some help.
Five years in, you should absolutely have nailed marketing, selling, and systems.
You should have nailed pricing system, the marketing X factor, which is trust, keeping your promises relentlessly.
You should have nailed leadership and management brand and brand assets, and you should have nailed what rather than why.
I thought about it, and I've determined five KEY AREAS that bookkeepers fall over on – the five key areas you need to nail, non-negotiable, if you're going to be one of the 20% that succeed:
1. Pricing and products
It is globally recognized for every service-based business that one of the pillars for finding any success is pricing strategy. So again, in bookkeeping, we are professional services. And this is not just my stuff, this is not my rule of the game. This is the rules of the game. So in terms of pricing, there is a pricing system and productized services micro niched into helping bookkeepers, and that is OUTCOME BILLING and PRODUCTIZED SERVICES.
You can listen to my podcast on pricing and for outcome billing, the important bit is that outcome billing is selling an outcome not an hour, okay?
Productized services are selling benefits and outcomes, not just features and functions.
And if your head is spinning right now and you're like, this is all new to me, I recommend you jump into the Facebook group and actually say, Jeannie, I just listened to this podcast and I don't fully understand what you're saying – I will point you to content that explains more, okay?
So the next thing on the list,
2. The marketing X factor
I would sing about this one all day. It's simple, but 80% of bookkeepers are getting it wrong.
It is trust. It is keeping your promises.
What does trust look like at work? It looks like I'd do what I said I'd do, in the timeframe I said I'd do it. It looks like time and task. Are you surprised that 80% of bookkeepers are getting that wrong? And they'll actually tell me, oh, it's okay. My clients understand. No, your clients are ringing me to change over.
And actually, I'll let you know that what contributes to bookkeepers getting this wrong is, more often than not, they take on more work than they can handle, which is poor capacity management. Now, everything I give you right now, everything I talk about, is nailed for you in the program. I've got all the detail. Please do listen to my podcast Some of my favorite things because it explains the impact.
The third one,
3. Leadership and management
Boy, did I learn this the hard way. I was actually thinking about this yesterday and I was like, what if I had have known this way back when? It's like almost this ethereal stuff that explains everything. Now, leadership, which I did not understand at the beginning, is,
As a leader, you set the vision and the mission of the organization.
This is outlined in brand, your organization's personality, why you exist. I didn't start that way. I didn't have a vision or mission early on, and I've dived into the science and art of it the last four years, to create a groundbreaking vision and mission, which is done for you in the program. Because as a bookkeeper, we can leverage this together.
You need to be able to have a clear vision – that is why you exist in the eyes of your customers. And then a mission, that's how you going to achieve that vision for them. And then, you need to inspire the team to bring that vision to life by following your mission. When you have team, whether that is a subcontractor or through a digital marketing agency, you need to be able to wear the manager hat and wear it well. That is Plan, Organize, Staff, Direct, Control – zero tolerance, my friends. So once again, jump in the Facebook group and just say, Hey, Jeannie, no idea what you're talking about. Give me more content. And I'll just point you towards all of that.
These things, they are also a diagnostics tool. You can look at them and, oh, I'm not getting that right, et cetera. And then, you can start to diagnose the problems to come up with the solutions, which, I'm going to put my hand on my heart and say, the easiest, quickest solution is join the program.
Fourth on the list,
4. Brand and brand assets
I was chatting to a bookkeeper the other day and they kind of were trying to tell me what they needed and what they didn't need in the program. And this bookkeeper's in Canada, and I had a look at their website and I could see that there was a complete lack of brand, which is organization personality, and the brand assets had been developed without the brand, which leads to them being... how would I put it.. it's like they lack the power, and therefore they can't actually do what they're intended to do.
A brand is intended to connect you in a deep way to your market, and it does it positioned in your brand assets and your brand sphere, which is your brand weaved through your brand assets.
And primarily, this is the digital ecosystem. Website and socials is the fundamental way that you are going to create an invisible pipeline in your bookkeeping practice, which is one of the big five keys so that you're not on the seesaw strategy of do the work, win the work, do work, win the work, one at a time. You have an invisible pipeline of people that float in a brand sphere that quickly connects them to you being able to find, onboard, and retain them without price as a priority. And you've got the competitive advantage.
So the very last of those five things, your five point plan for really diagnosing why maybe you're not finding the success you are finding, is
5. The What rather than Why
What we need to do is have the Why rather than What, or two Why's to every What, okay?
And the bookkeepers who know me well enough know that I'll always talk about it.
It's very connected because your why is your brand.
It's why, in the eyes of your client, they want to work with you.
And then what is the features and functions.
So the What is what you do, like bookkeeping, financial reporting, tax accounting, all these other things that is like a car that you jump into, drive to your dream holiday. And the dream holiday is the Why.
What I see bookkeepers do all the time, and I did this at the beginning as well – so bookkeepers, we are detail orientated people and we will always talk about What we do, not Why we do it. And to really have success, you need to be able to connect the Why, the benefits and the outcomes. So just as an example, the bookkeeping is the What, the benefit of having your bookkeeping up to date and accurate is peace of mind, numbers in your pocket, these kind of things. The ability to see how your business is performing, which is how you're going to improve your profit and cash, it is optimization of business performance, optimization of profit and cash and more. So if you come into the program and you hear me talk and you hear me educate you, or even in the free trainings that I've done, you'll hear me go deep into the Why language. Now, this takes time for you to bet into habit. How much time? A year – and that's why the program is a lap around the sun.
So, I've given you five point plan, okay? You can re-read this as often as you want. I want to wrap up by reminding you that inaction is what costs bookkeepers and business owners everything. You need to take the right action and invest the right amount of time and money to get the right return on investment, find the success that you want, and be one of the 20%. Remember, this is a global statistic – 80% don't find success. If you join the program and you do the work, and you work the system with me, then your success is pretty much guaranteed. Because, you're buying into a system that is proven.
So another fact is that, while 80% of small businesses go bust in their first five years or near on bust, systems like franchise systems have a failure rate in the very small, single digits. The best of the best is 1% and less. And, The Strategic Bookkeeper Transformation Program is a licensed membership system, a proven system with a money back guarantee. So joining in, you're buying into a system and the global data and metrics around the success of a proven system (which is talked about in the E-myth, a world bestselling iconic book). The statistics are that, the failure rate is 1% rather than 80%. The systems which aren't as amazing, their failure rates are still in the single digits, but they can be up to 6%.
When you buy into a phenomenal, amazing system, the failure rate is 1%.
If you go at it alone, the failure rate is 80% – I absolutely want to help you be one of the 20%.
The last thing I want to share with you is something close to my heart, and that is something I know and that is, when you come through the program, you're absolutely going to be one of the 20%, right? And then, there's going to be 20% of my program participants who shine the brightest. And that is the 2% – because the 80/20 rule continues to work within itself. So for example, if you look at your client base, 20% of your clients are bringing you the most work. Now, look at the 20% of that 20%, and 2% are the highest value to your practice. And so what excites me is that, I know that 20% of you, which ends up 2% of you, will just shine so bright. And I'm so excited! My vision is for you to become tribe experts, and for you to be in there delivering some of the training as you shine.
So absolutely, you can aim to be in the top 2% of bookkeepers globally that shine the brightest, okay? I am absolutely proud and humbled to be in the top 1% or less of bookkeepers globally that are shining the brightest. I absolutely pinch myself, but I did the work and I invested the time and money.
And recently, a business buddy and someone I work with actually said to me, Jeannie, nobody gets results like you. And then she said, but Jeannie, nobody shows up like you. And showing up is about showing up ready to not just work hard. You absolutely have to work hard. In the eight weeks before I launched The Strategic Bookkeeper Program, I worked seven days a week, day and night. So show up, ready to work hard, make harder decisions, invest time and money, and then back the hell out of yourself. I have backed myself like a crazy woman over the years, and it's not hard. There's times I've folded and I've listened to the voice of shame, or I've listened to some well-meaning person who thought they knew better. And I'll tell you what, I reflect on the inaction that I took when I didn't back myself, what I didn't do, the different decisions I made based on well-meaning people who thought they knew better than me, and if I had have made those decisions, if I had have taken that action, I would be better off today for it.