While I’ve long since given up my boyhood hopes of becoming a superhero, I continued to hold on to the notion that there was some special, magical “something” out there that allows us to have all the great things we want in life, and little or none of the bad stuff. Fortunately, to my surprise, holding onto that childhood wish paid off by leading me to discover that there indeed is a special, magical “something”. It’s actually an ancient truth that if applied, can exponentially increase the chances of us having the practice and life we really, truly want.
The Real Truth
Before I share this truth with you, please allow me a brief moment to disassemble your view of reality. Ready? While each of us thinks we live in the “real” world, we actually live in a self-created, mental world of perceptions. At some level we know this is true, yet we continue to believe, based upon a lifetime of evidence, that our view is THE reality when in fact, it’s simply our view of reality. If you give this some thought you’ll see the truth of it. It’s actually pretty obvious.
Our views shape our lives
What’s really interesting is that the views we hold shape our lives, which of course includes our practices or careers. Sages, business leaders, as well as current research in psychology and applied neuroscience all confirm that our lives are shaped by thought. While it might appear that our thinking is a result of what happens to us, the opposite is true. What happens to us is more likely to be a reflection of our thinking. It follows then that a practice is a reflection of the thinking of its leaders. If we want a different result in our practice, we must change our thinking. Understanding and applying this simple truth can be a complete game changer.
Consider the growth rate of two different firms in the same market – firms of equal size, resources and abilities. One of these firms might be thriving, the other just getting by. What’s the difference? It can’t be any of the factors we just said were equal, nor can it be economy, client opportunity, or talent pool, because those are equal as well. The difference, as you are about to read, is in the thinking of its leaders.
Firm #1 – (Is this your firm?)
For the first firm, things are not so good. They’re locked into a “scarcity” mindset thinking. “It’s hard to attract new clients. We better keep what we have, even if they’re difficult to work with or are not a very profitable client. Something is better than nothing.” The folks in this firm likely work hard to produce a quality product and really do care about their clients. They’re always, going from one deadline to the next, just managing to keep up with the workload. They feel fee pressure, which doesn’t allow much room for growing profits. When they occasionally have an opportunity for new business they keep their fees low in the hopes of getting the client. Bottom line is they are on a treadmill, and their practice runs them rather than the other way around.
Firm #2 – (Or are you more like this firm?)
The other firm is thriving. Its leaders have an “abundance” mindset. Their thinking is, “There’s lots of great business out there. If we are smart about how we communicate and deliver value, and differentiate our firm, we can be selective and still take on all the profitable new business we want.” Such leaders know there’s lots of opportunity to attract great clients who will pay well for the value they know they can bring. They know there is more opportunity for business than they could ever serve. They are selective, only accepting work that is aligned with the firm’s values and business objectives. Such leaders enjoy a practice on their terms, and shape their firm how they want it.
You can shift your views
Two firms with a seemingly equal set of possibilities are producing two dramatically different outcomes. The difference is in the thinking of the leaders. That’s it. How does thinking affect outcome so profoundly? It’s actually rather simple. As I said, our thoughts shape our world. They guide our decisions and actions, and tend to produce the results we’re expecting. Consider your views about how much clients will or won’t pay for services, the level of engagement team members will commit to, how hard or easy it is to attract great clients, what’s possible for your firm’s growth, the list goes on and on. No doubt there is ample evidence to support your view. The interesting thing is there is ample evidence to support any view. Once you begin to recognize that your thinking can form the biggest blocks, you also see that a genuine shift in thinking can create amazing opportunities.
The world doesn’t care what we believe, it reflects it back as truth. You might not be a superhero, but if you choose, you can access the special, magical “something” this ancient wisdom affords, and apply it in your life for amazing results. Added bonus: It’s much easier than you could possibly imagine!
Enjoy the journey and never, ever believe in anything that limits you!
About the Author:
The author Rick Solomon, CPA has been a practice growth and profitability consultant for two decades. Rick has created and facilitates the two-day Accountants Reboot where professionals learn how to peel away those self-limiting views that are unnecessary obstacles to the practice or career of their dreams!