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A Tax Trap for Small professional service companies - BA Review

So often our thoughts stop us from growing and leading our practice into greatness. Yet, a simple change in thought pattern could change your business’s future. Sandi Leyva looks at common thoughts that will halt your business growth.

If you feel you should be doing better than you are in business, your unconscious may be holding you back. The first step is to bring it to the surface. Only then can it be addressed, released and replaced with a belief that will lead you to increased success.

Here are five of the most common thinking patterns or beliefs that will halt your accounting business from growing.

1. Deserve-ability

If you flinch when I ask if you “deserve” to be wealthy and successful, you may have a “deserve-ability” issue to work on. If you can relate to the following thoughts, you fall into this belief pattern:

  • I have trouble asking clients for money even if I’ve worked hard and completed the work.
  • I know I don’t charge enough, but I am frozen when it comes to raising my prices.
  • I often do things for my clients for free.
  • I am really uncomfortable calling clients who pay late.
  • I usually give up when a client disputes their bill.
  • I was taught money is dirty, rich people are “filthy rich” and you’re better off being poor.

Ask yourself what’s behind this belief; then decide whether the “current you” deserves more. Why don’t you deserve a successful business? That is a good place to start.

2. Comparisons

If you spend any time of your day thinking about your competition or people who might compete with you, then you might have an unhealthy thinking pattern. Here’s when you’re in real trouble:

  • You constantly look at what your competition is doing.
  • You immediately copy your competition’s strategies when they come up with something new, whether or not it’s a good fit for your client base, mission/vision or company culture.
  • You think more about your competition than you do your own business strategy.
  • You gossip about your competition to others in hopes your friends will take sides and commiserate with you.

In an accounting practice, it’s highly unlikely that you need to spend much time worrying about your competition. Your own uniqueness is your firm culture. If you’re flying solo, your personality is enough of a difference to set you apart. You don’t need to develop any more uniqueness than that, contrary to the beliefs of many of our profession’s consultants.

3. Fear of success

A huge percentage of entrepreneurs hold this belief, which may be subconscious or fully in their awareness. Here are some problems we’ve talked ourselves into that are completely wrong:

  • If I am a woman, how can I make more money than my husband? This is a “can of worms” situation for some couples. Communication is the starting point.
  • Having employees really ties me down. Or, I don’t play well with others. Wrong; employees are freeing; the problem could be your hiring and supervisory skills!
  • I will have to work more hours – or harder – than I already do. Wrong; you’ll need to work on different things, but the hours are not longer.
  • If you are afraid of success, you will end up playing much smaller than you really are. Although this hurts mainly yourself, you also cheat the world out of your brilliance by not helping more people.

4. I have to do it myself

This thinking pattern is one of the more ironic ones for the accounting profession. Someone who will not delegate lacks trust in other people. When clients hire us, they have to turn over their very private, very sensitive financial information. This is scary for some people!

Being able to build trust in others, but not having it ourselves, is being a bit hypocritical. We need to know – and feel – what our clients go through when they sign on with us. It just makes us better people and perhaps better accountants too.

With this thinking pattern, you have sentenced yourself to no more than five figures a year in revenue. Take the first step away from it by learning how to tolerate vulnerability and trust others.

5. Worthiness

Worthiness is somewhat similar to deserve-ability. People who have this belief pattern:

  • Let people waste a lot of their time because they don’t value their own time or know what it is worth.
  • Work on tasks far below their ability.
  • Squander their time on things that don’t generate income.
  • Might have had some setbacks.
  • Might be afraid of other people without really realising it.
  • Can’t say no.
  • Are more passive or reactive than proactive.

Lifelong learning, gaining experience, determination and persistence will help this one gain steady progress. Once a person has experienced a series of successes, they can get the momentum they need to feel worthy of getting the life they want.

Thinking small or large

Did you resonate with any of the thinking patterns above? You’re certainly not alone if you did. Choose the one that’s got you nodding the most, and bring it to your awareness more and more. Only then can you take steps to start playing bigger.