So you have yourself here and then you have the client. Okay?
You have the client. The question is, do you know things? Right?
You just graduated with a degree. I can guarantee you don’t know much.
When I graduated with a degree, I was dumb as a doornail, right?
So I didn’t know anything, right? I didn’t know anything.
So the idea that I would go and take my knowledge to the client, right?…No stinking way.
I didn’t know anything. That would never work. And most people think, “I know things and I’m going to help clients and I’m going to teach clients.”
I’m too stupid for that. I’m way too stupid for that. So what do I do? I don’t do that at all.
I don’t try to teach people what I know. What I do is I study them. First I study them, right?
So one of the things we do for anybody that just got started working with us is if you have a niche you’re interested in working with, let’s do 7 to 10 interviews.
Let’s just ask what are their biggest problems?
And then from that study, I have personally studied and personally spoken with 4,000 accountants.
Somebody told me a few days ago, they said, “Andrew, I know some things about accounting and I don’t think what you know is right.”
And I said, “Okay, well how many accounting firms have you ever talked to about their pricing and what they’re doing?” And they said 3.
I said, “Okay, you’ve talked to 3. I’ve talked to 4,000.”
It’s not like these are my opinions guys.
Like I’m not telling you, oh this is the world of Andrew and Andrew is so smart. I’m not that smart.
It’s just that I’ve been fortunate enough to meet 4,000 people that do this type of business and share that knowledge with other people.
So it’s not like everybody’s living in the world according to Andrew.
I’m just looking at what are the best people in the world doing and how do we do more of that and how do we take that information and knowledge and get it to everybody else.
I studied them. I personally have studied 40,000 people.
But even if you study 100. Even if you study 20, it’s huge.
But it’s the way of thinking. So dude, what you gotta do Chandler in your situation is study these people, talk to them.
You have to talk to them first because you don’t know anything. You have to learn from them.
And then once you study from them, then you create for them. Create for them.
Invent on their behalf, invent on their behalf. Okay?
That is a different way of thinking. Most people think I have a degree, I have a CPA, I have job experience, and I take my knowledge to the client.
Those people are never going to get anywhere. Because even after having all those things, they’re still not anywhere near as smart as they think they are.
We are all much dumber than we think we are. Myself included.
And so the more that you can bring your ego down and constantly be someone that’s addicted to learning. Addicted to helping. Addicted to learning new things, studying the niche, and constantly creating better and better and better solutions for them…total game changer and a totally different frame of mind.
And with this way of thinking, not only can you get started today talking to people and getting clients, you have to.
Because if you have to wait for 10 or 15 years to learn something, the reality of it is at the end of that, once you try to go talk to people, you’re still not going to know what you’re doing.
The Importance of Sales When Running Your Own Firm
Sales are really important to running your own firm…
After all, if you don’t have sales, there’s not any work and there’s no money to live off of.
When I think of sales, I don’t just think of making money…
I look at sales as an opportunity to get to know prospective clients…
To develop a relationship with them…
To really understand what it is they need and to figure out solutions to their problems.
When all of that is done, yes, there is an exchange of money, but at the end of the day, you’re going to have a relationship with your client.
They’re going to trust you…
Going to like you…
They’re going to refer more clients to you.
You are going to get satisfaction and enjoyment working with those people.
Overall, you’re going to have a better quality of life.
Sales in that way and in that definition is absolutely critical to your business, mindset and your overall mental health.
Getting up every day and being happy about whom you’re working with and not getting burnt out and not being overworked is absolutely the only way to be sustainable in any job, especially entrepreneurship.
So many people in accounting in the past have been generalists and worked with anybody…
Although that’s not the end of the world and you can actually get away with it…
You’re much better off if you pick a narrow niche market and innovate and dominate for that specific type of person or industry.
Learn everything, learn about the best tax structure to be able to pay the least amount of taxes…
Learn about the best way to set up the P&L…
About the best way to incentivize staff…
There are so many different layers of providing value to clients.
You’ll be innovating on it for that, but you’re constantly trying to make the process better.
If instead, you’re constantly working with different types of clients in different types of industries, you can only really hit the high-level points and the truth is that there is incredible nuance within every single type of business and for you to really create massive value to create something that’s never been created before.
You have to pick a very small group and you have to innovate for them…
You have to create for them…
What are the key problems that they’re struggling with?
How can I create new services that are built specifically for them?
And just hit on that rather than just high-level points.
When you focus on one type of person and you innovate, you’re creating new value that never existed before and that’s something you can charge a premium for.
When I think about the future of the accounting profession, I think of how the college barriers are really coming down and especially nowadays where you’ve got so much information and access available to you on the Internet…
You can find out how to succeed and how to do so many different things, just in the click of a button.
We really don’t need that many barriers put up for people to be able to succeed.
When we think about the future of the accounting profession, the biggest thing is the amount of time that it takes someone to be successful doing this career is going to shorten greatly.
Many of the daily accounting tasks are automated now. All these reconciliations are coming through in a completely automated manner and so the process of doing accounting is largely being improved by software technology, the Internet, and machines.
It becomes something that you can learn about a lot easier because you can go online and learn some of the best things ever that back in the day in the eighties and nineties, you know, whatever was in a university would have been crap compared to some of the stuff that’s on youtube or that’s in our programs.
The information is out there which allows you to learn a lot quicker…
The technology is out there so we don’t have to actually do as many things…
The future of the profession is going to be one where people can succeed quickly, they don’t have to wait tons and tons of years and it can be much more effective in a shorter period of time.
With the right training, with the right community, with the right background in a very short period of four to six months or a year, someone even with no traditional experience in accounting can learn the right things to compete with absolutely some of the best people in the industry.
I didn’t always believe that this was the case.
I used to think that you need to have a degree. You need to have a CPA. That’s why I went on the traditional career path.
But really after meeting with thousands of people that are running their own accounting firm, I’ve learned that’s simply not the case.
We’ve got people that have come through that don’t even have a high school degree, college degree and they’re doing almost a million a year on their accounting firm.
It’s really about…
Do you have what it takes?
Are you willing to learn what you need to learn right now to get the transformation that you want to be?
If you’re willing to learn, it doesn’t matter where you came from.
All that matters is if you’re willing to do the work and you’re willing to do what it takes to succeed.
You don’t have to go the traditional career path, and I really think the future of the industry is one where it’s democratized.
It’s much more flat.
Anybody can join and they can do it very, very quickly if they’re willing to do what it takes to succeed.