I Just Can’t Want to do That
From the mouths of babes…when our oldest son was just barely old enough to talk, he would respond to some of our requests to him with: “I just can’t want to do that.” We often jokingly repeat this around our house even to this day.
It was funny because he would say it in a very matter-of-fact way. It was like he was saying… “Sorry, I’d love to help you out, but it’s simply out of my control…I just have no motivation or desire whatsoever to do THAT. You are out of luck.” (It’s worth noting that this one is now 16 and has definitely given us his fair share of grief.)
What does this have to do with accounting?
Last week I spoke with a partner of a 3-partner CPA firm who is at the point in his career where something has got to give. He greatly respects his other partners and enjoys working with them. He’s got great clients. They pay well and are fun to work with, but he can never seem to keep his head above water with his workload. He has trouble returning phone calls and reviewing the work that needs to get out the door. There are probably tons of opportunities with existing clients, but he can’t think about getting to them all. He’s making great money, but he’s at the point where the money isn’t really worth the price he’s paying.
I asked him a few questions about his practice and we both very quickly came to the conclusion that he needed to give up a few things. First of all, they were doing a handful of audits that were incredibly frustrating and break-even at best in terms of money. (If you are only doing a handful of anything, it is probably costing you money.) Secondly, he needed to let a few clients go; and thirdly, he needed to delegate some of what he was doing to someone else.
As accountants, a lot of us have fallen into thinking that we have to do everything that is requested of us…that more is always better.
A lot of business owners fall into this and it simply is not true. If you find yourself saying, “I just can’t want to do that” then you need to listen to that. You cannot be all things to all people. Once people realize this, incredible growth can occur….focused and intentional growth.
I’ll end this post with an incredibly powerful question you should ask frequently of yourself:
What is one thing I should stop doing?
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