In our last post, we discussed the need for a clear process to help you price, sell, and deliver your new advisory services for clients. When your process communicates the value you offer, you are on the brink of achieving major success.

There’s just one more step, and we’ve saved the best for last. The truth is, you can give the best advice in the world and have a fantastic sales process, but still not be able to fill your roster with high-quality clients.

What’s standing in your way? It’s that four-letter f-word: F-E-A-R. Fear boils down to the belief that you’re worth less than you are, that you aren’t truly capable or deserving of greater success. And that’s not something that can be solved from the outside, because the problem lies between your ears.

How does fear show up in your practice? It might sound like the following:

  •      My clients are fee-sensitive. I can’t raise my rates.
  •      I’ve worked with my clients for a long time and don’t want to feel like I’m selling to them.
  •      How can I charge more for the work I’m doing already?
  •      Anything beyond a small fee increase and my clients will go to the firm down the block.
  •      I’m naturally not good at being a salesperson.
  •      If I get a high-paying engagement, I’m not sure what I offer will be worth the expense.

The thing about fear is it’s sneaky. It shows up in all sorts of ways and often masquerades as the logical, sensible, or practical choice. But what fear is really doing is keeping you stuck in the status quo. All too often, that status quo looks like 60+ hour workweeks, a burned out staff, constant worry about the future, diminishing profits, and less and less quality time with your loved ones.

It’s time to get off the hamster wheel and make a change. Ask yourself: At the end of your life, will you really wish you had done more tax returns? Or will you wish you had helped your clients in more meaningful ways and had a great quality of life with family and friends outside the office?

The conversation around fear is our big differentiator in the coaching and consulting market. There are lots of people in the accounting space talking about the shift away from compliance work and into advisory services. There are plenty of excellent sales processes and scripts available. But unless you address the underlying issue, the fear and limiting beliefs you hold, the other changes simply won’t take root the way they could, and your success will always be limited.

When you hone your ability to let go of fear and limitations (and you have this ability already!), you embrace both your value and your power. You’re willing to courageously explore what you don’t know, learn something new, and follow your true calling. The result is more fulfilling work, more money, more confidence, and more time. More stability and more of your life back.

The first step is awareness. Something as simple as this blog post can help you start to become aware of the ways in which your limiting views hold you back. You may begin to notice when you’re operating or making choices out of fear. Stick with it and stay alert. You’re on the right track.

A personal note on conquering fear.

We speak about fear not only from working with thousands of accountants over three decades, but also from the very personal experience of running the Center for Enlightened Business. When we started our company several years ago, we were in classic “scarcity mode.” We took on any client who seemed remotely interested in our services, often working with people who we had to drag along (as you probably know from your own experience, clients who aren’t committed are a tremendous drain on your time and energy).

We worried about getting enough business and about keeping afloat financially. What we were really afraid of, as an organization, was stepping into our own greatness. We were afraid (without realizing it) of being thought leaders in our industry. As a result, we faced internal struggles and didn’t have the kind of success we knew we were capable of.

What turned us around was taking a long, hard look at what was holding us back. We rededicated ourselves to only working with the best clients. In practice, this means saying no to clients who weren’t a good fit for us. When we instituted this policy and committed to it on a daily basis, it infused our practice with energy. We began to consistently serve the right people at a higher level, and today we’re getting our clients best results and making more money than ever before. Most importantly, we’re having fun.

There is more meaningful work and a better lifestyle available to you right now. The first step to getting there is deciding to claim your own power, and confronting and conquering the fear that holds you back.

About the Author

Matt Solomon is the CEO of The Center for Enlightened Business. He takes an unconventional and bold approach to teach accounting firms of all sizes to learn how to get highly profitable clients and find more personal freedom. Empowering these firms to increase their engagements to $3,000-$15,000 per month while decreasing their hours by 20% or more.