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Do you lack confidence in your leadership skills? What about your ability to run a practice whether or not you have a team behind you?
At the start of my practice, I was determined to wear ALL the hats, do ALL the tasks, and put out ALL the fires. But I quickly learned that being overworked and burnt out was not cute and certainly not what I’d envisioned for myself as a practice owner.
The real truth is that owning a business of any kind is HARD. As the owner, you think you are expected to have all the answers no matter what. If you do have a team, you may be under the impression that you need to know more than them in order to appear legitimate.
Can I tell you a secret?
Your team doesn’t care if you have all the answers. Your clients don’t know that you don’t have all the answers. The only person who thinks that you should have it all together is probably you.
If you lack confidence in yourself as you run your practice, keep in mind that no one said it was going to be easy.
Let me tell you a quick story –
One night, I was struggling with imposter syndrome and felt a huge gap in my confidence as the CEO of Workflow Queen. I reached out to my Operations Manager and opened up about my lack of confidence.
Note: I know I am smart. I know I’m the best person to educate bookkeepers and accountants on how to develop workflows and implement systems into their practices. I know the value I bring to my community and company.
When I let myself be vulnerable with her, I also told myself lies about what she would say: I am a phony. I just need to stay positive. I’ve got to get it together if I want to be successful.
I was surprised by her response.
She told me that I wasn’t alone. She told me that everything is figure out-able and that my team had my back. I was not expected to know how to do all the things.
To say that this was a relief would be an understatement, but I truly could not believe the pressure that this took off my shoulders. I was able to exhale all the stress of the judgement I assumed would be placed on me for not having all the answers.
Now that I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, I want to make sure that I share my experience with other bookkeepers and accountants. Keep reading to learn my tricks for how to deal when you lack confidence as a leader.
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Use Your Weaknesses
One thing that can make us lack confidence is focusing on our weaknesses. Some of us feel like having weaknesses is unacceptable, but that is just not realistic. There is no way you can be good at everything, and why would you want to be?
If you already have a team or you are planning to build one, determine your weaknesses and hire team members who help fill in the gaps. For example, if you lack confidence in your ability to network and communicate with clients, add someone to your team who LOVES reaching out to prospects and managing accounts. I can tell you firsthand that there are folks out there who enjoy doing tasks that you may dread. You just have to look for them!
Identify Your Strengths
When you get ready to build a team, it is super important to protect your zone of genius. If you are unfamiliar with this term, it simply means that you need to focus your energy on what makes you the most excited about running your practice. Maybe you light up whenever you reconcile bank accounts for clients! This means that as you build your team, you will want to keep that task on your plate, and outsource the tasks that prevent you from spending time on reconciliations.
Leveraging your team so you can focus on your zone of genius is a great way to overcome those moments when you lack confidence in yourself. I’ve found that giving people the liberty to spend most of their time doing what they are good at is incredible for morale and productivity!
Check out my favorite resources for personal development if you need a little guidance on identifying your strengths as a leader!
Find a Community of Support
If you are a solopreneur, that doesn’t mean you are alone. Workflow Queen is proud to own three Facebook communities full of bookkeepers and accountants at all stages of practice ownership.
We have a free community just for bookkeepers and accountants who are committed to implementing systems and workflows as well as private Facebook communities for students of each of our programs (Kickoff with Asana for Bookkeepers & Accountants and Workflows in a Weekend for Bookkeepers & Accountants)!
Whether or not you have a team, I encourage you to bring your questions into the Facebook communities whenever you lack confidence in any aspect of running your practice. The members of these groups and Team Workflow Queen are always prepared to support, motivate, and encourage you throughout your journey!
Be Transparent with Your Team
Like I said before, I was so grateful to have my Operations Manager to lean on when I had a lack of confidence as a leader. I know there are financial blocks that can prevent you from hiring right away, but the value you get from building a team goes far beyond the actual work. Even if you start by bringing someone on for five hours per week, think of what you may accomplish with that extra time. Maybe you use this time to take your child to soccer practice or learn how to paint, it doesn’t have to be related to work!
Because I have an awesome team, I have support when I need it. I am proud to say that I have cultivated a company culture that promotes transparency within the team. If someone is having a bad day, I want them to step away until they feel they are ready to come back. We prioritize health within the company because it shows through the work we produce.
You as a practice owner do NOT have to have all the answers. As you build your team, remember that you chose them for a reason! They are smart and have awesome ideas, too. Use them to your advantage by creating a culture that celebrates everyone’s differences instead of trying to make everyone do things your way.
Do You Lack Confidence as a Leader? You’re not Alone
I used to believe that wearing all the hats in my practice meant I was the best bookkeeper out there. Do you know where that mindset got me? Stressed, burnt out, and overwhelmed.
I wore burnout like a badge of honor. I had to learn the hard way that missing family events, vacations, and sacrificing my mental health was not worth the nonstop grind. I want to prevent you from doing the same.
Don’t be afraid to lack confidence as a leader. You have resources and support out there for when imposter syndrome comes knocking! Even if you feel like you are the only one who can put out fires, I challenge you to give a team member the opportunity to extinguish one at some point.
Psst…implementing systems and workflows in your practice will help prevent fires from starting in the first place. Sure, they will happen once in a while. But they are so much smaller when there is a procedure around how to handle them!
Hopefully, if you still lack confidence as a leader, you can rest assured that you are not the only one and there are ways to combat this feeling.
If you want to see more of my transparency and vulnerability, follow me on Instagram where I don’t hold anything back!