Episode #032 5 Ways Bookkeepers Can Overcome Invoicing-Day Guilt & Fear Mindset
Invoicing Guilt and Fear doesn't have to dominate your life anymore
Is there anything worse than the horrible guilty feeling you get when you're invoicing the clients for work you've actually done? Do you find yourself writing off time because you feel bad for invoicing clients or following up bad debts?
Your guilt and fear around invoicing and chasing owed monies, doesn't just cost you financially! Yes, it costs you in a loss of profit, but even worse is the negative effect on your self-respect.
In this episode, you'll learn the best 5 things YOU can do to overcome invoicing guilt and fear and help you step into being the self-respecting, courageous business owner you were meant to be.
Host: Amy Hooke
Guest speaker: None
Topic: 5 Ways Bookkeepers Can Overcome Invoicing-Day Guilt & Fear Mindset
Good morning, everybody. And thanks for joining me again today. Today I'm going to be talking to you about shedding your guilt mindset when it comes to charging for the work that you've actually done. Now, I've spoken about this a little bit before I did a Facebook Live a little while ago. And I guess my question, the question I started out with was, how much is hourly rate billing really costing you? And the reason I asked that question is because a lot of people probably don't really think about it. They think, well, hourly rate billing doesn't cost me anything. It makes me money. That's how I make my money. But the thing is, because I've worked with so many bookkeepers over the last, you know, especially over the last 12 months, and you know, what we do is we we look at overall billings of the practice, we look at the the number of hours being worked by the bookkeeper. And it's so interesting. And honestly, I think it does come as a bit of a shock. So with the bookkeepers that I've worked with, what you know, what we've done is we've mapped it all out. And we've had a look at, you know, how much how much you're working on your actual client work. So you can make a rough estimate, you can do this right now, as you're following along. But yeah, what I guess what you want to do is work out how many hours a week do actually work. So some people, you might, I mean, you might be tracking your time, which is good, you can just look at it and say how much time you're spending. On bookkeeping work or on your bookkeeping business, there's going to be billable and non billable hours. And for those of you who are not tracking your time, you'll have a rough idea of how much you work. So you'll know that you start at eight o'clock every morning, for example. And then you leave at three o'clock to pick up your kids, or you work until 5:30, or whatever your standard business hours are. You'll also know if you work in the evening or early early in the morning, before kids get up and before the world is awake. Some of you might be getting up before the sun comes up. And then you know, I guess you'll also know if you're working on weekends. So what you want to do is just do a rough tally of how many hours you think that you work. Now you will be surprised, I don't know, I was surprised. But a little while ago, I've mentioned a couple of times on my podcast that I work 30 hours a week. Now, I have an automatic time tracker that sits in the background. And it just tracks everything that I do on my computer. And then what I'm supposed to do is go in once a week and allocate all of my time that hasn't been allocated. Like what it does is it kind of records which apps I'm in which browser windows I'm in. And it kind of guesses where things should go or it sits in unallocated. So what I'll do is go in and allocate all of the various times that I spent on different things. And so I hadn't done that for a really long time. And I thought maybe a couple of weeks ago, I should actually go in and do it and see how I am actually spending my time because I've been evaluating my team capacity and how many hours my staff are working and what's kind of being delivered and things like that. So I thought well, I might just go in and see what breakdown my time is between billable and non billable and how I spend my administration time and everything. And that took me by a little bit of a shock because obviously I've been saying for ages that I work 30 hours a week, well, I don't work 30 hours a week, I work 50 or 60 hours a week. Probably any of you could have guessed that. So people always, you know, messaging me and whenever I have conversations with them, they're talking about oh, you know, you're like you're so busy. You've got so much going on and everything. I'm like, No, not really only work about 30 hours a week, you would be surprised how you can think you're working 30 hours a week. So there must have been a period of time where it was maybe it was over the Christmas holidays. I don't know. But I had a look.
And also I oh my gosh, my average work hours around the 55 hours a week mark. So there you go there I've been busted being unsavoury. Thinking, like here, I was thinking I you know, I don't work that much. And so I said to my husband, I said, did you know I work about 50 or 60 hours a week, like I just realized, and he's like, yeah, so he knew. And you guys knew? I didn't know. And so I guess what I'm getting to here is there is also a possibility being you know, because we're all humans, and we kind of, you know, our brains tend to work in a similar way. Well, some of our brains do anyway. So some of us are a little bit different in the way that our brains work. But basically, there is a good chance that you might be working a lot more than you think you are because what can happen is ours can creep in an early morning here and they're a little bit of all I just got to get this done for a client over the weekend and it just really can add up and all of a sudden you can find yourself working a lot more hours. than he thought. So my recommendation is to track your time. I mentioned a background app that I use, it's a Mac only app. So it's probably not that helpful for most of you who wouldn't be on a Mac. It's called timing app. So you can check that out. Although I don't necessarily recommend it for a bookkeeping business. I like toggle. So we've started using toggle because I realized I need to actually track the team time, not just my own. And, you know, being able to get in and track the team time is actually really good. So I used to do it in the past, I always use WorkflowMax. And then I kind of had a break, I just I felt WorkflowMax is or, you know, also known as SPM. Zero practice manager is so like, detailed. And I don't know, I found it really complex. I found it difficult, like the the staff had challenges using it and that kind of thing. So I just went for something a bit easier, which is toggle, it doesn't integrate with for billing and things like that. But it doesn't matter because it gives you some good reporting and some good insight into the business for decision making. And so one of those decisions that you need to make is about your billable time. Because this is going to come as a shock to like, it's not uncommon that I'll meet with a bookkeeper who, once we sit down and work out how many hours a week they're working, we work out, okay, like a lot of bookkeepers work, you know, 50 hours a week, like that's very common, some work 60 somewhat more. And so that's not uncommon, not common at all. So someone might come to me, and they're, you know, they're, they think, oh, you know, I work, you know, I'm pretty decent money, like maybe they're earning 120,000 A year or something like that. And then when we sit down, and we work out that they're actually working 60 hours a week, and they really even take time off, then suddenly, it's not really looking as good. So for example, if you're working 60 hours a week, and you're earning 120,000 a year, that means that your hourly rate is, let me just double check that this is right, but it's about that's about 3000 hours a year. So that's quite a bit higher than a standard workweek. And so if that's about three, there's about 3200 hours a year or something like that. So if you're on 120, that's $38 an hour. And that's before your expenses. So that's not necessarily that good. Like, once you deduct your expenses off, they're like, you might be lucky if you're getting 25 bucks an hour. So it is important to take a bit of time out to kind of have a look at this, and to be able to kind of make those decisions, because I think that it's very, it's actually quite easy to lose money on, you know, when you're billing by the hour. And we've found this so many times with my clients. So what we do is once we sit down and we evaluate, so we look at all their client invoicing and things like that, we have a bit of a, we have a bit of a check of the number of buildings that are going out, and we compare it to how many hours the team are working. And often we discover there's massive gaps. So for example, you know, we work out okay, well, we know this many hours is getting put out as output, but we know any this amounts coming in as billings, so there's a massive gap. So we think where is the gap coming from? Is the gap been caused by potentially it could be caused by a number of things, it could be the staff, I'm logging their time, it could be that that business owner, the bookkeeper is not logging their time either.
Often the cause of this is, it's actually caused by Switch tasking. So what that is, when you're jumping in between tasks, you know, you switch so quickly from one to the other, you go in your emails and you respond to a client, you work a little bit on a file, and you respond to a staff member. And so what's happening is you're switching between tasks, and you're not necessarily capturing all of that time. On your timesheet, you know, sometimes, because you're flicking so quickly. If you don't, if you're not set up with a really good software, platform or time tracking platform that you can quickly switch tasks. So that's why I like toggle, because you can toggle between the tasks really easy. It's got a little desktop app, and you can just pop it up. And you can just look at your list of things that you've worked on recently, and just click on that next thing and it will switch your task across. So that's something like that's really nice is another one called time Lee, I think it's a timely app. That's one that runs in the background, as well. And then obviously, there's Hey, sheets, which I believe is a very popular one that integrates with your billing. So some of them don't I think timely app integrates with your billing toggle doesn't, as I mentioned, for some people, it doesn't matter. Once you get onto packages, it doesn't really matter as much if it integrates with your billing because you're not going to be doing your billing through that anyway. So that's just something to think about. There are a couple of other apps out there that do timing, but obviously you have to research that yourself because it's not really the focus of our topic today. It's more about all Um, you know, thinking about how much money you're losing by billing by the hour. So yeah, so basically the other way that you could be losing money is non billable work. So obviously, there can be lots of work that gets done that's not not billable, the biggest culprit for non billable work, you would never guess, invoicing. So if you spend half a day a week, for example, so if you've got a pretty decent sized client base, like, you could be spending half a day a week, even some some of our clients have been working a day a week, but let's say, you know, a lot of people spend maybe two to four hours per week with their, you know, like actually doing the invoicing for the clients. Now, I don't know if you've ever thought this through. But if you spend four hours a week, someone only spent four hours a month, it just depends how often you do your billing. It could be a day, a month, or whatever. But whatever it is for you write down how many hours per month or week that you do your billing, and then multiply that by your hourly rate. And then you'll know actually how much you're spending. So on average, with a bookkeeper charging out $65 an hour, doing half a day a week on invoicing, the average bookkeeper is losing $15,000 a year just on doing the invoicing. And that's not including last time on switch tasking, it's not it's not taking account of the actual billable work that doesn't get large logged because, you know, because you're switching between tasks. And it doesn't include anything that might get dropped by a staff member, maybe not recording their time correctly, or things like that. So yeah, just something to think about. Because, you know, like hourly rate billing is, you know, it's still a very acceptable way to do billing, and there's actually nothing wrong with it, it just means that you have to be cautious in the way that you, you know, the way that you plan things out the way that you, you just got to, if you have to monitor what's going on from at least from time to time, you need to get an overview of what's actually happening in the business and seeing if there's some gaps that you can close. Because by closing those gaps, you can actually make your business more profitable. And that's really what we're talking about, we're talking about this isn't about whether billing by the hour or packages or value pricing or whatever it doesn't. It's not about whether which one's better. It's about, you know, you running a profitable business and being able to have the capacity within your profits to be able to deliver that service, because what a lot of people don't think about. So sometimes when I talk about business growth with bookkeepers, they're saying, oh, yeah, like, I'd love to have my business be half a million dollars. And then we sit down and we work out.
Alright, well, to deliver half a million dollars worth of work, how many billable hours do you need to put out? And if you need that many amount of billable hours, then you're not going to need X amount of staff to fulfill that work? Could you can't do it all on your own? So do you want to manage let's say, I don't know, let's just say three staff. If you want to get to four or 500,000, you might need three or four staff. Now do you want to manage for staff? That's another question that you need to answer. So it's all about kind of digging in to what's happening in the business, but one of the best opportunities for you to maximize your profit. But not just that, to be able to deliver the service better to your clients. So this isn't just about making your business more profitable, although that's part of it. But when your business is more profitable, you have room to breathe, and you can offer a better service to your clients, your favorite clients. And so that's why I love package pricing. Because it does, it gives you the ability to do that. It gives you the leverage that you need to be able to do that for your own business and also for your clients. Now, the other point that I'm getting to here is about feeling guilty. So you know, one of the interesting things that I've come across very often and it only came about because this is what I experienced myself back in the day, when I'd spend four hours a week in Boise, my clients, I remember the feeling I remember sitting at my desk, and I saw what I do is I generate all of the invoices from the timesheets, and then I would feel this horrible feeling in my body is feeling in my chest. And I'm like, what is that feeling? And then I realized it's actually guilt and I would sit there and sometimes I'd be too scared to press send on the invoice because I would picture the reaction that the client might have. Because, you know, sometimes when you you know, when you're billing by the hour, you've got you kind of fluctuations in the work. And sometimes, you know, like, there'll be extra work that needs to be done, and it's not your fault. It's not because, you know, obviously there's times where you have to write off staff time if they're not being productive and things like that. That's just the reality of being a business owner. But sometimes there's things that that that are actually happening in the business that are causing the hours to go up. And then what happens is, you know, well, I remember just feeling guilty to send the invoice off for work that I'd actually done. And so for me, this has been a massive shift to go from hourly billing into doing packages. It removes that guilt because The regular invoice just goes through. And it doesn't, you know, like there aren't those surprises for the client, but also it just takes the burden off of you, because it's just a regular thing. Now, obviously, you do need to closely monitor the scope, you need to make sure that that is in your engagement letter properly, I have found out in our industry, that there are not any engagement letters that are suitable for package based pricing, because they don't properly cover you for scope changes. So we've actually developed one that is perfectly suitable for package pricing, which, you know, because you need to have a grounds to be able to go back to the client and say, Look, this has gone over scope, but the thing is, if the clients not prepared for that, and they don't actually understand what causes the scope to change, then you're going to run into problems. So you know, I always help my clients to be able to, you know, to be able to make sure that that doesn't happen to make sure that the business owner understands what causes the scope to change in the first place. So that they it puts the ownership back onto them, you know, if they're, if their business is growing, and things are changing, and getting added to the business, you know, or if they're doing things like putting private expenses through their business accounts causing extra work for you. They're not of course, that's going to change the scope. But the point that I'm getting to here is that you should not feel bad for invoicing for the work that you've actually done. And you know, to me, now that I'm out of that headspace it just, you know, I look back on it. And I think it just doesn't make sense. But why? Why do we feel guilty about changing charging for work that we've done, like that is work that you've done, and there shouldn't be any guilt associated with it, you know, or, you know, fear of rejection by the client and things like that. It's just like, to me, it doesn't make sense. But yeah, it happens to all of us. And it happens over and over again. And there are ways to actually deal with it.
1. Track your time
And so, like, really, I've broken it down into what I think are four things. So the first one, I've already talked about this quite a bit, which is what I've talked about for the first half of the podcast, which is tracking your time, this is the first step in dealing with the guilt, because it's putting something in place that's going to help you manage what's going to potentially happen in the future.
2. Set expectations with the client
And the second one is what I've just mentioned now, which is to set expectations with the client, you need to have a proper engagement letter with a proper scope. And the client needs to know upfront what can happen and what causes the price to go up what causes the fluctuations in the bills, because the reason the clients get upset is because they just don't understand what's going on. They don't. So it's just about setting expectations with the client. And you know, being transparent. And the cool thing is that, you know, once you've moved on to the package pricing, you don't have those same kinds of issues anymore, but you do need to still set those expectations with the client.
3. See yourself as a professional who is providing a service to your client
And so I would say the third thing in all of this, which is starting to come through as you like you need to respect yourself, you need to see yourself as a professional, you need to see yourself as someone who is providing a service to your client. And I talk about the employee versus business owner mindset. And so this is about this is not only about respecting the client, but it's about respecting yourself. And so when you think like a business owner, you're thinking or, like you'll see yourself as an employee of your client. The reality is, you're the leader, you are there to help that person, you're there to actually make their business better. And so there's a problem when you come into a business and you see yourself as almost like a victim of the business owner, you see yourself as at the mercy of the business owner, rather than coming in with an approach. And sometimes if you've set yourself in a position where you're, you know, where you're kind of like viewing yourself as an employee who just does whatever they, you know, tell you to do, then it sometimes it becomes very hard to change that if you try and flip yourself to being an equal with them, they may not want that, because you've set the expectation with them for such a long time that you're below them that you're you know, and so what you need to do is you need to respect yourself, it doesn't mean elevating yourself above them. And gosh, I say this way too much in our industry, bookkeepers, just talking about, you know, like the clients as if they're just complete idiots, and which I also don't agree with, but you need to, you need to see yourself as an equal. And so what I do is when I'm helping bookkeepers to transition their existing client base onto packages, what I do is I get them to re establish the position in the relationship, which is I'm a business owner just like you and when you help that person to see oh, you're not just an employee who's there for them to boss around. And also they're not You're not just some kind of like, you know, Miracle Worker in their life who they can come forward to for counseling and things like that. That's the other extreme, but it's in the middle. It's you are a business owner just like them and you want to grow your business just like that. And, and what you need to do is you need to teach them that. And so I teach my clients that right from the very start in the bookkeeping business, I let them know that I don't do any of the bookkeeping myself. Often they'll ask me that they'll say, or when I talk to them about allocating their bookkeeping, they'll say, also, I won't be working with you. And I say, you know, you and I will catch up on a regular basis. We can meet monthly or quarterly or once a year, it's up to you. But the book, I don't actually do any bookkeeping at all anymore, I just run the business. That's what I say to them. Because I want them to know, I'm not your bookkeeper. I'm a business owner, just like you. And I'm here to help you to, you know, reach your goals in the area that I can help you in, in my area of expertise. And, you know, and I find found that works really well, like with the bookkeepers that I've helped to transition their client bases, and I'm talking bookkeepers with large client bases, like, you know, some have 30, 40, 50, 60 or more clients, and my proposal acceptance rates, but transitioning those old clients onto new packages is between 92 and 97%. So that is really high. So mostly the the clients, the bookkeepers who come to me for help with this. They don't, it's not that they don't know how to set up their packages, they could figure it out if they wanted to, it's about how do I transition the clients without losing them. And I, you know, I don't want to sound like I'm bragging here or anything, but my conversion rate is really high. And I'm not taking full credit for it myself. It is definitely a testament to the relationships that the bookkeepers already have with their clients. But I help that process to go smoothly. And the way that I do that is helping the bookkeeper to position themselves as the equal, as I'm a business owner just like you. And this is how it's going to work. And what you do is you let them know that these changes are happening, and you let them know that, you know, this is the way that it's going to be rather than you know, or is it okay, would you mind if you know that kind of approach, you're putting yourself beneath them, and you're letting it be an option. Whereas you have to think about this, this is your business, you need to decide how you want to run your business. And if people don't fit in with that, then you can then decide if you want to cater for people who don't respect the way that you want to do things. Sometimes you just outgrow clients, you know, sometimes that's going to happen, you can then decide. So some bookkeepers decide to keep their clients a couple of clients on hourly billing, because they know it'll just be too painful. But I can guarantee you, sometimes the ones you think are going to be difficult, like it ends up being fine. You've just got to have that real conversation with them about how you're an equal with them, and how you're a business owner who also has goals. And your goal is to be do as well as you can so that you can support them as well as they need you to.
4. Treat others with the same respect you expect for yourself
And so I guess the final point in all of this is, you know, the fourth one is really about treating others with the same respect that you're then demanding for yourself. And, you know, like, one, I'm not involved in too many other industries. But I do see a lot of conversation that goes on with bookkeepers about how, you know, they either placing themselves below the client, or as I said, before, they're placing themselves as above or more important than the client. And that is also wrong, you know, we do need to treat others with the same level of respect. And I would say bookkeepers are the first people to come out and to to complain, when someone doesn't pay their bill on time, or when someone's you know, causing some kind of problems. And, you know, like, like, I would just have to say, you know, like, just to give a little bit of an insight like, I find since I've been working with bookkeepers, as opposed to directly with the original set of business owners that I worked with, in off the hook bookkeeping, I had a lot of problems with my clients back then. And you can listen to other podcasts to hear me talk about some of those issues, and how I've overcome them through you know, working on my niche and that kind of thing. And so I work with bookkeepers. Now, that's who I work with my primary client is a bookkeeping business owners. And since I've started working with my clients as bookkeepers, you know, like I just thought, what a breath of fresh air because bookkeepers are great to work with compared to sort of the general world of business owners. That said, not all bookkeepers are perfect. So I've definitely had a couple of challenges with some bookkeepers. But overall, I would say my clients are really great. But I have actually started to notice, you know, just over the last little while that like I've had a number of people so what they'll do is they'll booking for consultations with me, I've had this and the reason I thought I'd mentioned it today is because it wasn't really happening. But I guess it's it's happened like five times in the last kind of six weeks. So I've had some people and I don't know why it's just sort of starting to suddenly happen and it's been quite unexpected. But I've had bookkeepers come and booking sessions with me and then you know, like not comply with the terms and conditions of the booking.
So for example, I require 48 hours to reschedule because my calendar gets really full. And so when somebody cancels on me at the last minute, that doesn't give me an opportunity to rebook. And so, you know, I've had a number of conversations with people who have engaged me for a specific service. So whether it's a consultation or a package of consultation, or whether it's setting up their pricing for them, so a couple of times, just recently, I've had some bookkeepers say, I've like I've, I've changed my mind, or I've got some financial situation going on in my life, and they've tried to pull the pin. And I've thought to myself, hang on a second here. So when you request a service from somebody, and they send you an invoice, so for example, with a consultation, if you say to me, Amy, I'd like to meet you for a consultation, and I send you an invoice if you haven't paid that invoice and you decide to just cancel it. Because, you know, I don't know, like, some, like big expense came up or something like that. I don't know, maybe you read Joe came up, this is just an example. Because I don't really want to talk about the real life examples. But let's say some expense comes up and you just go, oh, Amy, I can't afford to pay this anymore. So I want to cancel it. And I think to myself, like what gives you the right to actually do that? Like, what? What is it about? You know, like, why is it that someone might perceive me as someone who would be okay, to just pull the pin on a service. So sometimes the services have already been initiated, or sometimes often lost the opportunity to be able to refill that booking appointment. And so then what happens is, you know, and for me, I went along with this for quite a while, you know, for quite a time, like over the, you know, especially over the last six weeks as it's kind of there's been a little bit of an increase. And I've just said, I've started saying to people like no be when you request a service. And your intention is to keep that service, it doesn't matter whether it's in writing, it doesn't matter. You know, when you request that service, you're creating a verbal agreement with the person and a verbal agreement is a legal arrangement. And so that's part of commercial more, which you may or may not know about, but it is something that's important for you to know. So if someone requests a service, and then just changes their mind, they still have to pay those invoices, but what I was doing is I was just kind of saying to people, I you know, like it's fine, just wanting to keep the pace. And then I actually realized, no, like, what I need to do is also recognize the impact that that has on me. So, you know, I don't know how people perceive me and how they perceive the savvy bookkeeper. But, you know, like, I'm a hard working business owner, like I work very hard, I have quite a large team of staff now who I have, you know, once you've got a team of staff, you've got a lot of responsibility on your plate. So I have responsibilities to my staff. And so when someone just simply changes their mind, and my staff have been doing the work, I still have to pay the staff. And so what was happening is, you know, to be able to just kind of like to say to someone or you know, like, Yes, I know that you made a legal contract with me by arranging this.
And then you received the invoice and you received any,you received email with the confirming the terms and conditions of the agreement. And then you turn around and say, I didn't agree to that, or I didn't know about it or anything like that, you have to actually recognize like, the way that the law works, and to be able to respect the law, but then on the other hand, is respecting the other the person who's on the other end. So I don't know, like, sometimes I'll have a client who's coming to me and saying, you know, can we change our monthly payment arrangement? Because this is what would suit me better? And I think to myself, Okay, like, what about the fact that I have to pay my staff wages for the work that I've delivered to you? Like, how about that? And so I've started to actually just come back to people and say, no, sorry, you have to pay or, like, you know, telling them that they have to stick to the agreement that they made, that they entered into a legal agreement, and that we don't just give people refunds for changing them. And, and so it's, I guess, it's just got me thinking, you know, this isn't really just about me at all, although, obviously, you know, I do think it's time for me as my business is growing, that I start setting some, you know, stronger expectations with the people that want to book my service, because my time is very limited. But I'm not a millionaire or anything like that, you know, I work very hard. And yes, our business has grown a great deal over the last 12 months, which I'm so happy about. But I, you know, I have a big payroll responsibility, and I have responsibilities to my mind family as well. And I like to just kind of put it out there, you know, to treat me with the respect that you would want other people to treat you within your business. And, you know, I think if you know, if bookkeepers Are you know, willing to take to Facebook and you know, complain about a client paying them like, like, I really think that that same attitude and respect should be, you know, granted in the other direction. And so I think, you know, part of getting rid of the guilt that you might feel when you're invoicing somebody is sometimes it's actually baggage from, you know, past issues that have happened. So, you know, treating others with respect, like, if you've, you know, it's easy for us to say, Oh, I would never do that to someone, I would never pay the invoice late. That's so disrespectful. But if we tell the truth, I mean, I've done it. I've had suppliers who, you know, I've had cashflow issues in the past, and I've had to actually pay them late I've had, you know, I've even had a supplier who wasn't happy with their service, and we didn't exactly end on good terms. And I purposely held back the payment, like, out of just sheer frustration with that person, instead of communicating with them. So I'm not saying, you know, I'm not pointing my finger at you, and judging you and saying, you know, you're like this, and you need to behave this way. But um, you know, I'm telling you person to person and human to human, that I've done these things as well. And, you know, each day, in my own business, I, you know, like I'm on, I'm on a path to learn to respect myself, and also to treat others with the same level of respect. And so that kind of brings me to the very last one, which is number five, which I think is really about being able to forgive, you know, there have been times where I've just been given somebody's invoice or I've issued a credit note, because, you know, sometimes I do it, because I think I can't be bothered dealing with the hassle. And it's not really worth my time arguing with people. But then I had to reach a point where I go, okay, it might not be worth the time, but that person did enter a legal agreement. And to be able to say, Look, you do actually have to pay, but for me to bring up the courage to have that conversation with the person. And so now, whenever anyone wants to, you know, cancel anything, or they've got any kind of issues with anything whatsoever, maybe they didn't, you know, get the service that they wanted, with people that, you know, come to me like that one of the requirements that I make now is you can't just send me an email, like, if somebody's ever going to ask me for a refund or to cancel an invoice, they have to have the courage and the respect to get on the phone to me and actually give me a call and tell me what the problem was. Because otherwise, like, how am I supposed to kind of process this, you know, for example, I had to terminate a staff member who wasn't performing. And I had a lot of, you know, complaints from, you know, this person, students and things like that. And, you know, I had to kind of clean up the mess. And what happened was, you know, people, I got a couple of like, very upset emails, but once I got on the phone to the person, we had, you know, we had a really great conversation, we saw each other as human beings who had gone through, you know, both gone through bad experiences, and we were able to rebuild that. And I'll always offer my customers what, what is fair for both parties, because I don't believe in the saying that the customer is always right. I think that's wrong, I think the customer is, like, sometimes very wrong, but what I do is I seek to now get a win win situation for both people, both for myself, and for the client, because it used to be just, you know, give the customer what they want, you know, out of trying to avoid confrontation.
Or, you know, on the other hand, like getting really upset and doing the whole debt collector thing, or, you know, like, back in the early days of my business, I get so upset, and I take it so personally, but really, like, I think one thing that's going to help to deal with the guilt of you know, that comes with money and asking for what you deserve, is to be able to forgive, sometimes we've got a list of people in our head who we need to forgive. And whether that means forgiving them of a physical debt of money that they owe, or whether it's just forgiving them and releasing them from, you know, allowing them to cause bitterness in your heart. And so, you know, that's something you can even do right now. Like you could jot down a list, but there's probably already people coming to mind, but write down a list of people who have ripped you off, or people who have not honored their agreement to pay you people who have broken, you know, verbal agreements, or written agreements, people who have just done a runner on your disappeared and just refuse to pay their invoices and things like that. Make a list of all those people and just go through one by one and just say, you know, say it out loud, like, I forgive this person for this, and I choose to release them. And whether you want to forgive the physical debt or not, you can do that or not do that. Sometimes, you know, doing it, you know, can make you actually feel relieved, especially if it's just a small amount, but then, you know, but then the or on the flip side, you know, there's probably some forgiveness that you need to do for yourself where you haven't stood up for yourself, and you haven't treated yourself with respect and you haven't been willing to back yourself or have the courage to pick up the phone and call a person and find out hey, I'm a business owner just like you I have wages to pay just like you I have, you know, rent to pay and children to feed just like you you know, we're all in the same boat. And you know, we need to recognize that when you you know, the impact that each each other that we have on one another, you know, when someone pulls a pin on me that that has a huge impact on me. And when I, you know, decide to you know, let that go, that that has an impact on me, there's a cost to me and sometimes I'm able to better that and other times I'm not and you'll be the same, you know, so to be able to go look, you know, this didn't go the way I wanted to, but, you know, pick up the phone, call the person and you know, with an attitude of forgiveness and wanting to see them as your equal and wanting them to see you in the same way. I'm a business owner just like you to pick up the phone to be able to do that. But really, you know, I think it actually sometimes has to start with you. Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed today's podcast, and I will see you again soon. Thanks for tuning in. Hope this has been helpful.