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A LITTLE SELF LOVE

Hello Dear Readers!

Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day! Personally, I love Valentine’s Day… it was the day growing up that you got to wear pink (can you tell it’s Taylor writing this blog?!) and you got to give all your little friends cute Valentine’s with the latest Hello Kitty graphics. It was a day that you just got to feel “in love” all day, with life, with your friends, with your world. I know, I know, visions of an imaginative 3rd grader here, but who doesn’t like to feel like they can show and receive love in their world? So, as we move into this next week, let’s forget about the commercialized overkill and just think about it as a chance to tell those around you that you love them and appreciate them in your life!

Let’s not forget about self-love, too! As important as it is to show others love, it’s most important to show yourself some love! Whether this is picking up your favorite latte on your way to work, or maybe just giving yourself 20 minutes to read a book with a cup of tea (or wine, or beer, or whatever floats your boat!), treat yourself!

So, in honor of Valentine’s Day and showing yourself some love… we’re going to do just that! We’re going to use this blog to give ourselves some shoutouts on the changes we have made internally over the last two to three years and how they have changed our business for the better! Ultimately, we’d love for you to take these concepts and perhaps apply them to your own business if they aren’t at play already so that you can change for the better, too!

Establishing Core Values

Yeah, yeah, yeah, the age-old story about core values. Just some phrases like “have integrity” and “be respectful” that live in some dusty corner of your website, right? Wrong! That’s what we thought initially too. In fact, the first time we took a stab at this, we had a list of these words that we had our team “vote” on what represented us best… the list included: Honesty, Integrity, Accountability, Trust, Teamwork... are you bored yet? We were too. Which is why those quickly got thrown out. Not that they were bad words, but they were generic and didn’t speak to us.
Then we did some digging… some reading and watching really. We figured out that core values were meant to be about who we were as a team and who we aspire to be, not just some boring words. In fact, I think the best advice we received while making these was to think about your favorite people on your team, what makes them your favorite? Use those qualities as your starting place. And then put them in your company’s personality!
It’s no secret that we’re a kitschy crew over here, that we like to laugh, and don’t take ourselves too seriously (except for the actual work we do, of course, that we take very seriously!), so we made ours into quippy phrases that we knew our team could remember and utilize in their day-to-day activities.

Our core values are:

    • Treat everyone like your favorite aunt.
    • Don’t find faults; find remedies.
    • Work smarter through automation.
    • Honesty and transparency make you valuable.
    • Be a boomerang.
    • Run your day.
    • We all have lives.
And you know what? Our team does remember them! Our team actually knows our core values (we maybe incorporated them into a meeting or ten 😉) and they like them! They reference them and take ownership in embodying them when they come to work.
Another benefit? We promote these as both our internal and external core values. Meaning, we expect our clients and vendors to also embody these values as well. And if they don’t, we take a hard look at the relationship to see if it’s the right fit. We want to work with people that want to work with us and appreciate us for who we are. Welp. These core values are who we are. Period.
Above all, our core values have acted as a source of truth over the past two-three years. And I think if you really take a minute and identify what these are for your company, they could do that same thing for you and your business!


Defining Our Vision, Purpose, and Mission

I’m not going to lie, this was a little bit harder… like your purpose? Ummm, to make money?! Sure, yes, we do need that green stuff to keep the virtual doors open, but at the end of the day that’s not why we picked accounting. I mean, if you really just want to make money, pick something easier. So, we really had to dig deep here to find what made us tick. And there were two things we discovered when we did:
    1. Having a badass team of people that come from all walks of life but somehow get along. I mean, we put 8 women, most of which had never met in person, in a house for a week and they didn’t kill each other. In fact, they came out stronger than ever. Win? I think so.
      1. Helping badass small business owners feel like they can win, like they know what they're doing, like they are not drowning in poorly kept books and reports they can’t read. I have a unique experience with this one because at one point in my life, I was that small business owner, and when I met Alexis & Accounting Therapy, it was like I could finally breathe again, let alone sleep at night.

        Those, we decided, were the things that drive us. So, we built our Mission, Vision, & Purpose around those things. Here’s what we came out with:

          • Our Vision is to rewrite the accounting story by transforming the classic characters of yester-year into today's accounting superheroes set out on a mission to protect & rescue small businesses from financial insanity.
          • Our Purpose is to empower accounting superheroes to serve as a launch pad and on-going support system for eager and dynamic small businesses.
          • Our Mission to is to cultivate a tenacious team of accounting superheroes by...
            • Encouraging personal development and creativity
            • Exploring and implementing technology to automate processes
            • Promoting work-ownership and confident decision making
            • Creating a unified fun & funky remote work environment
            • Bringing together kind, open-minded, & fun-loving individuals

        You can see our Purpose & our Mission really center around our team, that’s because we defined the Vision as the “What”. What are we going to do? We are going to protect and rescue small businesses from financial insanity by growing a team of accounting superheroes. So, then the Purpose becomes the “Why”. We want to empower our team to be that launchpad for our small business clients. And finally, the mission is the “How”. How are we going to fulfil our “Why” to do the “What” – we are going to build up that team of accounting superheroes to be able to provide those small businesses with the help they deserve.

        Identifying these, while tedious, was really valuable. It gave us direction and a common language to use with our team to explain what our goal is for this company and why we do what we do. It also helped to define who we wanted to work with… eager and dynamic small businesses.

        Defining our Proven Process

        Last but not least, we defined our Proven Process. This was a bit easier as it was “there” but not identified or implemented. We first started by clearly spelling out exactly what new leads and clients should expect and the process that they will enter into when working with us.

        Now, truth be told, this is still a work in progress… and I imagine it always will be as processes change and evolve over time for the better! So, while we identified this about two years ago and started using it in our client interactions, it was still not clearly spelled out in a document until the end of last year. Now, every new lead receives a “Launch Agreement” that clearly defines who we are, how we work, and identifies our “Proven Process”.

        We envision this as a tool to help new leads and clients understand us and our services right out of the starting gate. It will manage expectations of how we work and also set expectations for the part we expect our clients to play in the engagement. Letting people know you have a “Proven Process” gives newcomers a sense of confidence as well as commands attention, saying “we know what we’re doing, this has worked time and time again.”

        So, when identifying your Proven Process, think about your ideal workflow and how it could be easily paired down into key steps. Further, illustrate it with a flow chart, or any type of quick visual to give those with a short attention span a quick “down and dirty” understanding. Here’s a clip of what ours looks like:

        Alright friends, the self-love train is about to come to a stop! We hope that sharing some of these improvements we’ve made over the last few years will help to spark some ideas of things you could put into action in your own business to help give clear direction to your team, your clients, and even your vendors! And if you have any questions about how we came up with these things, please feel free to outreach to us. Yes, we do accounting, but we also are small business owners who are running and growing a business with a team of rockstars! So, use us how you can, after all, the goal is to serve as a launch pad for badass small businesses… is that you?! We hope so. 😉

        Until next time!

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