"to help fill those gaps and support me while I was learning how to do all these new skills, like leading a team, and all the fun stuff that comes with running a firm. "
This is one of the many wins that Elyse has got after joining Reza's mastermind programme.
Tell us a bit about yourself
Hello, I'm Elyse Burns-Hill. I run SGW Accountancy Services based in Hampshire. I was working with the previous owner of the firm for a couple of years before he was then sadly diagnosed with cancer. And as he was going through his treatment, we talked quite a lot about potentially me taking over if it went the wrong way, and towards the end of last year, it did go the wrong way. And he passed away in October. And at that point I took over the firm, but having had little, although I've worked in practice for quite a few years, up until this point, I've never run a firm. So that's where I felt I was lacking in skills, I suppose. So that's why I came to you, to help fill those gaps and support me while I was learning how to do all these new skills, like leading a team, and all the fun stuff that comes with running a firm.
Where did you first hear about Reza and why did you decide to join the mastermind programme?
Well, that's a funny story because quite a few years ago, just after I'd had my first daughter, I was applying for jobs. And one of the jobs that I applied for was at your firm. So we met a few years before, and I didn't take a job with you, I took a job somewhere else, but when all of this started happening, I was with SGW. I decided that I needed somebody to support me. So I started looking out and on Facebook mainly, at the sort of accounting coaches that might be available. And when I saw your face pop up, I thought, "I know that face." So I did a little bit more digging, joined your group. And, I had intended to have a chat with you and another coach, but you were the first one and I felt comfortable talking to you. So that's how it ended up.
What are some of the benefits of being on the programme?
Other than our monthly one to ones, which have been really helpful just on a, well, basically for me to have an offload, that I can't really get anywhere else as really useful. But the other big thing is the virtual mastermind group, having loads of other accountants in a similar position, to be able to bounce ideas off and get technical help from because although I've done a lot of the accountancy based stuff, there's still plenty of stuff that I've never even touched before like P11Ds. That's been fun recently. So having somewhere to go and get information from, and several different people, it's a nice closed group so you know that the world at large, isn't seeing the sort of questions you're asking so you can ask all the really silly ones, that's really useful. And it's other people who know where you're at because they're at the same place, looking for growth, looking after a team. Yeah, we're all very similar. So it's nice having that group, nice safe group to fall back on, I suppose.
What is the most valuable benefit of being part of the group and why?
All of your resources are probably the most valuable part of it, 'cause I know that any particular area of running the firm, I know that you're gonna have something there. So I can just go and log on and have a look around. If I can't find exactly what I'm after, then I can come to the group or to you and say, "This is what I'm looking for, have you got something?" And then if you do, you can just point me in the right direction. I don't think I've had to do that too many times. I'm still trying to catch up with all the work over the last eight months since I took over. But, I definitely think that's gonna be a very, very useful resource going forward. So I can have you on my computer screen at any time that I want, so that would be definitely useful.
How does it feel to implement things you've learnt to your business?
Yeah, it feels a lot easier just running things now, I suppose. Having the knowledge that I know what I'm doing, rather than just making it up. I think that's probably the biggest part of that, because I would've just felt had I not had their support, I would just feel like I was making it up the entire time. I mean I do still at times anyway, but for the most part, it is giving me assurance that what I'm doing is the right thing. And I'm walking in the right direction. I might need to tweak very slightly to get it exactly right, but I know at least I'm walking in the right general direction. That's made it a lot easier, and helped me be a lot more sure of myself, I suppose, which probably comes across in a lot of things. A lot of ways that I deal with clients and how I work with the team and all that sort of thing.
What would you say to someone thinking of joining the mentoring or mastermind programme?
So I would say definitely do it. It's really useful having the group of people around you in the mastermind, the resources that are available and also having Reza's brain available.