Today is July 28th. At this very moment I am 3 days into my corporate “retirement” and pursuing a lifestyle that is more in tune with my desire for flexibility, time with family, and a focus on things that I care deeply about. Beth and I decided to go All-In on Universal Bookkeeper. What that means is we are making UB our full-time job and pursuing a lifestyle that is a bit different from those of you who are reading this post. The dream of working for myself is something that I have had an itch to do for a long time. Over many years, I have told Beth all of the different businesses I was going to run and that I was going to be self employed (“retired” is what I liked to call it) by age 35. For some reason I never thought the profession that I went to school for, studied my ass off for, and grinded out so many days and nights doing was going to be the profession I chose to take me where I wanted to go. It wasn’t until I started doing some side accounting work for a few clients did I finally learn what and where my passion was really coming from. The passion and niche that I have grown to love, that started Universal Bookkeeper, Inc. over 2 years ago has lead me to where I am now.
But, to be honest, even though the passion plays such a large part of the reason why I am making this transition, it isn’t the whole story. To get to this point there were also a lot of growing pains and opportunities that I took and learned from. Over the past 6 years, my career has been in growth mode. During this time I have had job titles of, Staff Auditor, Senior Auditor, Director of Finance, Chief Finance Officer, and Controller. These roles began with me not managing any financials, to managing budgets over $160 Million. Each role also came with additional responsibilities, and I was always up for the challenge. I actually joke with myself, saying that every time I am in a role that I get to the point where I understand the entirety of the job and it seems to get too easy, and then I decide to leave to work on the next challenge. Fortunately that is one of the ways that I have learned to grow so fast. But with more responsibilities inevitably comes with a larger commitment. A large piece of you needs to be invested into the business or idea that you have signed on for, or it just doesn’t work.
Over the past 10 months I have seen my life and time needing to be invested at a very high level. I have had to sacrifice significant time away from my family, interests and hobbies, side businesses, and Universal Bookkeeper, Inc. which has been extremely difficult. However during this same period I have learned many new things. Most of which I didn’t necessarily want to learn. I have learned what my limits are. I have learned that I can work 15 hours a day, sleep 4 hours with multiple wake ups from 2 different kids and still push through the next day to meet deadlines. I have learned how very easily people can become “married” to a job, or a career, and how easily you can watch your kids grow up from the sideline. This is because you really can’t doing everything at the end of the day, and you have to choose what you want more. It is very difficult to do both family and work at 100% all the time. And what I have learned in the past 10 months is that time and happiness is worth more than any salary. Most importantly, I have learned what really makes me happy.
Which leads me back to Universal Bookkeeper, Inc. I remember when the idea of Universal Bookkeeper started. My second son had just been born, Beth had left her full time job, and we had all this extra time, so I needed to fill the void…. Just kidding. The first 2 are true, but time was the key ingredient that was lacking. The following 2 years have been a tremendous investment in time and energy moving the business to where it is today.
I would like to say the rest is history, but to be more specific, since that day when the business started and every day going forward, I have found where my passion truly lives. It is with helping small businesses succeed. The very idea of someone or a group of people who have a concept for a business and who are pursuing it for any type of betterment is something that I want to help and be apart of. It drives me to want to be better and grow every single day. It also just so happens that I love accounting and it works perfecting into the web that all businesses need to help them succeed.
Universal Bookkeeper, Inc. is not just a business that Beth, Chris and I started 2 years ago. It is a way of life that I want to devote all of my energy to. That way of life comes with flexibility. The flexibility to meet the needs of my family and also those of my clients. Time is the new ultimate currency which I am ready to pursue whole heartedly. Rich by definition means: plentiful or abundance. Having the time and flexibility to work on my own terms is the “rich” that I desire to obtain.
I can’t thank enough people that have helped me and the business get to this point. Beth for supporting the decision to pull the trigger, Chris for his time and enthusiasm to make this business great, my parents and brother for their encouragement belief in UB, our clients that believe in the service, and Chris Talgo who may have got me over the hump by telling me “if your not doing this full time by 2018, its not because you don’t have a good product, its because your a [insert vulgar word]”.
I am excited to see what Universal Bookkeeper is truly capable of, and to realize the product enhancements that are coming down the pipe for our current and future clients. We have made so much progress in such a short amount of time and there is so much more to come! Stay tuned!