Clarity Comes From Taking Action: Jennifer Warawa's Eight Tips To Accountants

I had such a blast this past week. If you follow me on Twitter, I was blowing up your feed with updates from the Sleeter Conference in Vegas, #Solutions14. This was my second accounting conference and it was so awesome to meet some of the people that I look up to within the industry.

One of those people is Jennifer Warawa, VP of Sage North America. She is one of the most powerful women in Accounting and hasn't even turned 40 yet. Incredible! And she's super nice and let me take a picture with her. So cool.

I've been following Jennifer ever since she appeared on Doug Sleeter's show, Mr. Sleeter's Neighborhood, back in June.  Although she's super down to earth, within a few short minutes you can immediately sense how sharp and savvy she is when it comes to business development, accounting and technology.

 Me with Jennifer Warawa, Executive Vice President- Partners, Accountants, Alliances at Sage

Me with Jennifer Warawa, Executive Vice President- Partners, Accountants, Alliances at Sage

Read below for her 8 tips to entrepreneurs.

  1. Determine your why. If you need help with this, check out Simon Sinek's Ted Talk. I've watched this video a million times and I always hear something new. He helped me dig deeper to realize that my why isn't to just make accounting fun, but to also help women become financially independent and to live life on their own terms.
  2. Evaluate tools. Technology is meant to help us. Upgrade your bookkeeping program to a cloud based tool like Sage or Xero*  so you can invoice on the go and manage your books from anywhere. (Full disclosure, at the time of this writing I am compensated by Xero.) Some of my other fave business tools are Basecamp for Project Management and TimeTrade for scheduling appointments with my clients. 
  3. Evaluate things that haven't changed. If you are still singing the same ol' hum drum woe is me song from last year, something has to give. Figure out if you need to revamp your website, shake up your service offerings, hire a business strategist or go to more networking events to give your business a boost. 
  4. Don't leave with notes. I am a note fanatic. I will take notes until I am blue in the face and during Jennifer's speech, she gently reminded us that taking notes won't do anything. You have to use those notes to create an action plan and then execute. Whether you've attended a conference or listened to a webinar, implement what you've learned immediately.
  5. Ask clients for feedback. If you want to improve your business, you have to be open to feedback. Your clients are a great place to start so you can improve your business. But, also think about people within your industry. Matt Rissell, CEO of T-Sheets and someone I truly admire, graciously offered feedback to me about how I can improve my presence within the accounting industry. Reach out to your clients, or someone within your industry that you look up to, and ask for their input. 
  6. Determine your first steps. One of the hardest things about taking action is trying to figure out what to do first. Take a moment to think about your goals and the logical steps that need to take place in order for them to manifest.
  7. Find an accountability partner. I don't know where I would be without my girl and health coach extraordinaire, Val Bisharat. We meet weekly via phone to discuss our wins from the week before and things we need to accomplish during the coming week. Find an entrepreneur who you can meet with regularly to help hold you accountable to your action plan.
  8. Be BOLD. I love this! No one gets anywhere without taking risks. Do something everyday in your business, and life, that scares or challenges you. I did this when I auditioned to be a NFL Cheerleader with no dance experience and ended up making the squad. Whatever it is, I promise you will be happy with the results.

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About Danetha Doe: Danetha is a millennial thought leader in the accounting industry. Named a "next-generation accountant" and one of the top 40 under 40 accounting professionals, she is an international speaker and leads business development trainings for accounting firms.

Danetha Doe