Most clients pay us from January to December each year. We draft their fees monthly. Sweet cash flow! So every December, Julie and I go through client renewals with our clients. Though the renewal season is only a month, the process seems to take forever. Who will renew? Who will leave? Will someone step up their agreement with us? Will next year be short of this year in terms of monthly revenue? Yay, they doubled their contract! Wait, no they went back to what they had last year. Ugh. Honestly, it’s painful to walk through. For us and our team (since our technical team is paid a percentage of our revenue). But every year. Every year we make it through. We come out on the other side, and we learn something new, and we become a new firm from the process. We walk through scary places together, and we are a stronger team because of the trenches we found ourselves in. We’ve done our annual renewals like this for many years, and it’s honestly hard every year.
But we are not doomed to stay this way. This past year, we’ve started quoting contracts that end at odd times, like May, July, and August. Why? Because renewal season completely sucks. And when something sucks, we get to change it.
And so do you. Your past is just an experience. It isn’t a reality.
And humans that believe true things create new realities. People that realize they’ve been living under a wrong view of the world, or their limiting view of their company, can begin to take control of their future. It all starts with beliefs. And the problem is we are all fraught with wrong beliefs (“this is the way we’ve always done contract renewals”). Or, at least, uneducated beliefs. We allow others to educate us as to what their beliefs are, and we falsely believe what others tell us simply because of our relationship with them.
But you get to create your own future reality regardless of what anyone tells you. That other person telling you things also believes things, often wrong things. Just like you do. So why do we listen to them? Are they our guru? Nope. They can’t be our guru because they aren’t living our life. They don’t have the context of our past, so they can’t apply that to our future. We have to go make our own future. And we can. We just have to believe we can. And I’m not talking about a bootstrapping-talk-yourself-into-a-frenzy-go-do-it type of belief. It’s a real belief. Looking at real things, and believing you can do those real things. Real beliefs can often be seen when we vet out the lies we are believing (or being told). So to begin our journey into the new year, it’s healthy to talk through false beliefs that many entrepreneurs believe.
These are the messages we often believe:
- This is the way it will always be.
- It can’t change.
- My firm can’t grow larger than this.
- I’m not as good as that person.
- They make more money than I do.
- I should have done this differently.
- I hope I can do it like them.
- I wish I was a speaker.
- She always speaks so eloquently.
- I should be further by now.
But we fail to look back at our own journey to see what we actually have done. What we actually have completed. Things others couldn’t have accomplished because they don’t have the context of our past. And it’s a lot. Running a business is not for the faint of heart, so kudos to you if you are still hanging around.
Here are some truths for you:
- The burden of your family’s future is solely on your shoulders. You’re reliable.
- You price clients, ask for money, and fire people. You’re a badass.
- You may not be where you want to be, but no one is. At least you aren’t where you used to be.
- Have you hired someone to provide for their family? You’ve got guts.
- Can you name one thing you’ve done that was hard this year? Yep. You’re tough.
- Your clients had many choices for a firm. They picked you.
- No one has the same client and team mix you have. No one fully understands.
- You are still learning and you are growing as a result.
It’s time to believe the truth about your leadership and your firm. Forget the past. The past is not a fatalistic determiner of your future. The past and the future aren’t related. You may have experienced that they are, but they actually are not related. Your past is just an experience. It isn’t a reality.
So maybe 2018 is a time to believe new realities, instead of being locked down to a past experience. Experiences are often dumb, wrong, and just simply mistakes. But the future is unknown and open for you to create. What will you create in 2018? Don’t let your past hold you back.
If you want to know how Thriveal can help you believe new realities, and grow as a firm entrepreneur, why not join us for one of our monthly Thriveal Intro Calls by registering here? We’ll challenge you to believe the truth.
Jason is the Founder of Thriveal and the Chief Innovative Officer of his CPA firm, Blumer & Associates. He is the co-host of the Thrivecast and The Businessology Show and speaks and writes frequently for CPAs and creatives, his firm’s chosen niche. Jason loves to watch documentaries on just about anything. He lives in Greenville, SC with his wife and their three children.