I recently made a discovery about myself, which I’ll share with you….It was sitting at a restaurant with my cousin and his fiancée, Steve and my daughter. The question arose, as it typically does over dinner – “How’s work?” But the subsequent question was a little different, but more surprising was my answer. The second question was “After being in the industry for this long, do you still enjoy doing it?” My response, with surprisingly very little hesitation was “You know, I don’t necessarily enjoy working with the numbers as much as I used to, but I love being a business owner.”
The words came out of my mouth, and it wasn’t until after I had said them, that I realized what I had said. I’ve spent the last 20 years working heavily with numbers, whether I was working for a company, or after I started AIS and was working with my clients. Numbers were everywhere……everyday….Accounting, Bookkeeping, Cash Flow, Budgets, Forecast, Profit and Loss Analysis, Financial Statements. I spent most of my days either in Excel, in front of an Accounting Software program of some description, or tapping away on a calculator. Even when I would be approached by organizations to join their Board, or their Committees as a volunteer, the position has always been as Treasurer…and more numbers….. It has really been only over the last 3 years, that I’ve started to look at AIS less as creating a job for myself, and more like creating a business.
That is a huge distinction, even though it may not sound like one. A job is me working in the business, on specific client tasks. Me working on the business is where I am developing or creating something which can run independently of me. Working with my team, setting up systems to make us run better, with more consistency of results, and with greater results for our clients. And sitting at that dinner table, in a little restaurant in Oakville, is when I realized that I have finally reached the point of viewing myself as a Business Owner, not an Accountant or Accounting Professional. (Thanks to Dan of ActionCoach for that epiphany, as I think he has been trying to get that through to me for the last 2 years )
So the point of me sharing this story? Right, I did have a point somewhere in there…..the point is to do what you love. Whether that is being a technician in the business, working hands on with the product or service you are selling; or being a business owner and creating an amazing environment for your team to provide those services to your clients – it’s up to you. You, as the business owner, get to make that decision. Just make sure that whichever side you choose to focus on, that you have hired the right people to support and carry the other side of your business. Your role is likely to evolve over the years, as mine certainly has. And depending on where you are in the life cycle of your business will also determine your role. As long as you are aware of your role, what it is now, and what you want it to be in the future, that is the only way you will ever get there.
Although I love writing, just for the sake of writing, I certainly hope that me sharing my experiences helps, or inspires, or at least gets you thinking about a different viewpoint in your business. Would love to hear from you – whether you agree with me or not I’m always open to hearing a different opinion and getting my mind thinking in different directions.