5 Reasons I Need To Fire Myself

I’m a little bit stressed right now…….ok, maybe a lot stressed. I had good intentions of avoiding this, but here I am again…….staring down the end of March without my taxes done.

I know better. I’ve been trying to improve. But the reality is, I just need to fire myself. Specifically from doing my own bookkeeping for our real estate business. It was fine when things were simpler. When we only had a few properties and one property manager.

The truth is, I CAN do it. I’m just not that great at it and it isn’t what I do best. What I do best is analysis and strategy……..which needs good bookkeeping to do properly. So I need to step into self awareness, look in the mirror and say “You’re fired.”

Several things have happened this week to remind me that it’s ok to suck at stuff. Everybody does. The important thing is to be at peace with your skill set. Forget about the crap you suck at and play to your strengths.

Gary Vaynerchuk says it best — it’s the number one thing we all need to develop. Self-awareness.

So I’m firing myself and I have an appointment on Monday with my new bookkeeper, Brian.

It isn’t easy to let go. I cringed a little giving him access to my Xero account. But I had to do it. It’s going to give me an opportunity to focus on the stuff that I am good at and move forward instead of staying stuck.

Here is what I had to realize:

  1. Someone else can do a better job. I love systems and order. The right information in a timely manner is critical to good decision making. Creating the right systems isn’t my strength. Focusing on the details to make sure the system is working properly, isn’t my strength. I want the end result but someone else can do that middle part way better than me.
  2. I’ll have the information I need to make better decisions. I’m not so upset about not having my taxes done as I am not having the right reports to make decisions. It isn’t a bad thing to have to file a request for an extension. Filing by April 18 simply means I’ve complied with the law. I can still comply by filing later in the year. The real problem is I’m spitballing decisions. They are probably ok, but could be a lot better if my information was a lot better.
  3. I’ll have the time to do higher value work. Bookkeeping isn’t low value work. It’s just that it is a low value use of my time because my skills don’t match up. High value is matching your skills to the job.
  4. It will relieve stress that has been hanging over my head like a dark cloud. What I have come to realize is that the pile of marginally organized stuff is a constant stressor. It’s always in the back of my mind tugging at my attention. It was like trying to focus when you could hear a faucet dripping in the background.
  5. It builds a better economy. When everyone is playing to their strengths, we all win. We all do a better job. I’m not frustrated and struggling to get something done inefficiently. I’m helping someone else build their business based on their skills.

So, after Monday’s handoff meeting, I’m letting myself go. And I couldn’t be happier about it.

What about you? What do you need to fire yourself from? What could you hire someone else to do? How could you give someone else a job playing to their strengths?

MaryEllen Miller is a former CPA and CFO. She retired from her corporate gig at age 48 and is currently a business owner and real estate investor. You can read her blog at maryellenmiller.com

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