Are you a “Parakeet” Accountant paid to peck at the keyboard all day?
Are you working more “on” the business rather than “in” the business?”
Now, maybe you’re wondering….
“Andrew, what exactly is a “Parakeet?”
I will explain in a minute…
But first I want you to ask yourself, “How can we work less time IN the business where we’re actually doing the accounting, and spend more time working ON the business as an entrepreneur?”
And there are multiple stages that soon-to-be entrepreneurs go through…
Today, I’m going to explain the first stage…
Stage #1: The Parakeet (or typically called the Generalist)
*Charging low fees for monthly services*
Most people that start their businesses in accounting start out as a “Parakeet.” If you don’t have any training, any help, or any mentors, it’s kind of the obvious way to start.
Typically this business is built on word of mouth, networking events, friends, family, and personal connections. You provide really any service that someone will pay for. You could have as many as 30 or more services. How could you possibly know how to do each of those services really well?
When you get into this situation, you’re not only a Generalist on the services you offer, but also the industries you work with.
This really drives low fees.
And the fees are low because, to be honest, the VALUE is low.
It’s very hard to be the best at the services delivered when there are so many different services and so much custom work to be done. Each industry is different and it’s kind of a learning curve with every new client.
So Parakeets generally aren’t respected by their clients and their work is seen as a commodity.
And most of their clients are small.
They’re doing services work only.
There’s no training.
There’s no higher level of value in these services.
Just baseline commodity services.
And most of the companies they’re working with are less than $500,000 a year in annual sales.
Parakeets are typically paid to play $100 a month calculator game.
Just paid to peck at the keyboard like a parakeet.
And it’s a sad story and it’s unfortunate, but if you’re at this level, the good news is that it’s easy to get out of this level.
There’s just one or two key things we need in order to make it beyond the Parakeet stage and get to the Confidant stage.
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.