“Yeah, you’ve seen the picture.”
I had, but it seemed a lot smaller in the picture. Now the water was forever away and I wasn’t sure I should have said I would do it. I stood and deliberated for a while, quieting the voice in my head that told me I was too scared.
The moment of decision came when I realized that voice would only get louder and justified if I walked down instead of jumping.
So I yelled above the fear, “THREE!…TWO!…ONE!” and I jumped.
The cliff was so high I had time to regret the decision on the way down, my mind was screaming as my arms and legs pin-wheeled against the force of gravity. I had to succumb; I didn’t know how to fly. I hit the water and went down, a LONG way down, and was gasping for air and grateful for the lifejacket I was wearing when I finally surfaced.
It took a few seconds to catch my breath and realize I was still alive. As soon as that happened, though, I couldn’t take the grin off my face. I had done it!
Letting go of fear and jumping off that cliff quieted the voice that told me, “You can’t. You won’t. You’re not going to make it.” This wasn’t the only time in my life I have had to quiet that voice.
Fear and self-doubt are “voices” that make an appearance in all our lives at one time or another. What do you really want? What is it that helps you to let go and make the jump? For me, it was my competitive nature, a supportive team, and wanting the experience.
10 years ago Backyard Bookkeeper was born. Yes, you calculated correctly – they started a bookkeeping business during the financial crisis of 2008. Why? Because two friends had a passion for bookkeeping (weird, I know), quieted the voices of doubt and the voices of the people around them who thought they were crazy; and supported each other in the risk they took.
Today there are 13 employees and hundreds of companies who are glad that Julie and Alex decided to jump off the proverbial cliff and do what they had a passion for.
Happy 10th Anniversary, Backyard Bookkeeper!
Let these stories be an inspiration to you and ask yourself (in business, in life):
“What do I really want?
“What is it that will help me let go and make the jump?
I was wandering the business section of my local library, trying to find inspiration and direction to help myself move forward in life. I turned the corner and this screamed its title at me, DO COOL SH*T. I knew immediately it was coming home with me. 3 weeks later, when it was due back to the library, my own copy was already on its way to my mailbox.
Miki Agrawal expresses herself as a powerful, energetic person. Throughout the book, her voice is loud and clear. She is excited about her own journey and the things she has done to get where she is. This excitement is absolutely contagious.
Agrawal delves into her own business successes and failures and then uses them to suggest ways to apply those stories to your own desires to “Do Cool Sh*t.” She leads the reader through an organized narrative of ways to step out and try things on your own. Each chapter includes a “Do Cool Shit Takeaway,” something that you can do or apply to help you “quit your day job, start your own business & live happily ever after.”
I really appreciated how she showed effective ways to network, throwing parties that lead everyone to walk away with good connections and she would end up with a solid plan for her next steps in her own business.
Agrawal also shows the importance of persistence and learning from her mistakes. This book really opened my eyes to some fun and memorable marketing techniques, ways to effectively grow a business, and how to make a living out of something you love.
This book is definitely worth your time. It’s a fast moving narrative with so much good to take away from it that you’ll want a notebook and a highlighter with you when you read.
Post by Jess, our Office Manager
I have always been “one of the boys.” I was the only female percussionist in high school band, the only girl on my biking team and in my electronics classes, a junior high shop and computer teacher with 90%+ males in my classes, and the list goes on. I have always felt more comfortable talking, playing, and working with boys than girls.
So, imagine my trepidation when I found myself working for a women-run business with a staff entirely made up of women.* I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to handle it. Words like “catty” and “clique-ish” came to mind when I considered a large group of women coming together for any reason. But I really wanted that job, so I put aside my hesitations and hoped for the best.
We all work from home, so my first introduction to everyone was in a virtual meeting room. I looked around at the smiling faces on the screen and was welcomed with open arms. “Hmmm…everyone seems to get along.” Over the course of the next several months, I removed “catty and clique-ish” from my thought processes. My co-workers were kind, helpful, and genuinely concerned about my well-being and grateful when I helped them. Not what I expected.
Starting a small business shows you believe in yourself and in your product or service enough to invest in yourself. Marketing is the way to grow the seed you planted into something substantial. This article from OnDeck has some great tips for promoting your business in free and easy ways.
It’s 1099 filing season again! All forms need to be filed with the IRS and delivered to your contractors by the last day of January. (Postmarked by 1/31, at the very least.)
A lot of business owners still think that they need to buy stock forms, print, and mail. However, the very easiest way to fulfill your 1099 filing requirement is by using an online filing service. All you do is type in your company information, enter the vendor’s name and tax ID, and fill in the appropriate box with the correct amount. The website will then file the form with the IRS electronically, and often also has a secure email delivery option for your vendor, or maybe even a mail service. Either way, you were going to have to type up the forms manually – why not input it directly into a service that also files it for you?
For Backyard Bookkeeper, 2017 has been an incredibly busy year. Luckily, that also meant that we had a great year, and that is all thanks to all of you who joined our company, both new clients and new team bookkeepers. Welcome!
With this short newsletter, we would like to tell you a little about the changes we’ve made this year and introduce you to our new bookkeepers and specialists–see their pictures and bios below.
We also have some big news to share, which is that starting in January 2018, we are expanding our payroll service offering, including setting up a dedicated payroll team in a new company, Backyard Payroll LLC. We are very excited about this change because we want to provide you with the best service possible and we know that with this new service we will be able to do just that. To find out more about the payroll service options or to sign up, go to http://backyardpayroll.com. If you are a current payroll customer, look for an email from us this week explaining the changes in detail and how they affect you. Your current payroll pricing will not be affected in any way by the change.
This post is also featured at Intuit’s Small Business Center!
The internet is full of depressing statistics about the failure rates of small businesses. But I’d like to offer an alternative view, one based on my real-life experience in the real world, which is considerably more hopeful than those stats would lead you to believe.
As a bookkeeper, I’ve had the privilege of working with a diverse array of entrepreneurs and their various projects. I’ve seen a few of them fail, but by and large, the vast majority of them have been successful. So I’m always puzzled when I see headlines like “5 Reasons 8 Out of 10 Businesses Fail,” and I wonder about their sources and the way their statistics were gathered.
This post is also featured at Intuit’s Small Business Help Center!
The Internal Revenue Service: a name that strikes fear into the hearts of taxpayers and business owners everywhere. If you’ve had to deal with them recently, chances are it wasn’t a very good experience. But fear not, below are a few suggestions that may ease your pain the next time the IRS comes calling.