Walking the Walk vs. Talking the Talk

Walk_vs_talk_imageThank your CPA next time you even suspect she worked longer than your invoice showed. But ask yourself: Can your business afford to miss billing for project time at this point in its development? How much are you missing each month by not billing for all your entitled time? Today, we’ll talk about taking action.

After reading my April newsletter, a CPA friend of mine made the remark that “Every CPA should hire you; they are the worst at billing for all their time”. My point is not to disparage a well deserved, respected industry, but to state – there’s KNOWING what you should do and there’s DOING what you should do. Morpheus says it best in my favorite movie, The Matrix, “There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.”

If you don’t have all your processes in place to achieve maximum billings each week, don’t berate yourself. Unless you were trained in savvy business methods, attained a business degree, and practice business process reengineering daily; how could you expect perfection?

Time is the Enemy

Change takes time. Changing your method of accounting for hours in your business will take time to redesign. You may need to design new daily/weekly tracking forms. You may need to rethink which day of the week works best for consistently setting aside for invoicing. You’ll need to mentally walk through the new procedure to ensure it introduces no other gaps. Putting your self in your customer’s place is also necessary to ensure easy acceptance. The best processes have a cross- check so that when something does get missed, it’s identified by some other telltale signal. Finally, putting any new system into place takes reinforcement, repetition, and resolve until it finally becomes ingrained.

It’s too easy to put the changes into the background of good intentions. After all, you already had a full- time job before undertaking this change. But if you’re serious about becoming a true success at your business, this is the point to make headway. Find a way to change your business while you run your business. Dogged determination works for a while. Most entrepreneurs believe that getting help will yield faster, more reliable, and happier results. Think about using a business coach, a business consultant, or an accountability partner to help you move forward.

Finding an accountability partner

An accountability partner is someone who helps you focus on the short list of things you want to hold yourself accountable to accomplish. By meeting regularly and focusing on a short list of small measurable action items, those items are highly likely to be completed. Replacing completed items with the next steps in the series helps propel you to consistent progress. Natural prioritization results because you focus on actions you ‘promise’ your accountability partner.

How do you find one? You can hire one. Many business coaches serve that purpose well, business consultants too. You can also find another business owner and support each other. But don’t do this with a good friend because it’s too easy to tell stories why something didn’t happen. You’re more likely to follow through with someone who’s not a close friend.

That’s one more tool in your arsenal against talking about it versus getting it done. Find an accountability partner to help keep on track along with a well designed series of stepwise improvements and you could not only be walking the walk but positively running!

Are you getting back what you put into your business? Merra Lee Moffitt learned the hard way while building her own 40-person consulting practice. Now, as a SCORE counselor, and small-business profitability consultant every day is spent giving back. She directs business owners in techniques that make, keep and grow more from their businesses. Your first question is free. Call her at 888-920-2030 or email her at merralee@moffitt.com.  © Copyright 2005 Merra Lee Moffitt