"I also get to ask the other accountants in the group what they’re doing and we share ideas and we support each other."
This is one of the many wins that Sarah has got after joining Reza's mastermind programme.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I'm Sarah Jones, I'm the director of Money Pad.
How was life like before you joined the mastermind and what sort of problems did you have before?
Everything was a bit overwhelming. It was an awful lot to do, constantly. And obviously with the pandemic last year, that threw in its own whole challenges into the mix as well. And I think it's quite hard when you're running your own business, generally, you can often feel quite lonely, but I think as an accountant, we were expected to know so much, everyone sort of relies on us that sometimes you just, you wanna run it past someone. So it can feel a little bit isolated at times, but yeah, it's a pretty stressful job. And you're responsible in a lot of ways, for your client's businesses, for your staff. So there's a lot of pressure.
What had you tried before to tackle these issues?
Yeah. I've had a business coach pretty much since I started, and she's been brilliant and worked with me over the years, non-accountant specific as such, and we've worked together really well. And she's really helped support me, really helped me learn more about myself as well and running a business. So I found that, that's been really good. I definitely recommend that for people, but I feel like I've certainly had a gap where I think I wanted to see what other people were doing, accountant specific as well, and kinda understand, so sometimes you look at things and you think, is there a better way of doing this? I've got my own experiences working at other firms as well, but sometimes you just wanna run ideas past people, specifically to accountancy. And I didn't really have anyone I could talk to about that.
Where did you first hear about Reza?
Oh, I think I got invited into a Facebook group. I'm not sure how I got invited into it. Can't remember that, but I remember being invited into it, and it was last year, after the initial bit of COVID, but I was like, oh, you know, that'd be great, actually, really good to join a Facebook group where you know accountants are helping each other and see how that goes. And yeah, and I loved it. It was really good to be able to sort of put questions out and sort of help others as well. And I just really enjoyed that space. And obviously as a result, then I saw Reza's webinars and kinda got to know him a bit more from those videos and started hearing about other things that were out there for help.
What prompted you to join the mastermind programme?
I joined one of the webinars (as a guest). So like a class, a Zoom training session even, which I think Reza put out and invited other people to join in and listen in to. And I can't even remember what it was on, but it was really good at the time! And I watched the Zoom session and I just found it so helpful. I think it might've been about drafting up a proposal, essentially, on like a PowerPoint slide show, and I hadn't really seen anyone do it that way. And there was lots of tips about where to show different things and direction on all sorts of pricing techniques. And I thought it was really interesting. It's a whole lot of things here that I don't do, and I don't think about, and then there was an option to kind of book a session, you know, a session and sort of find out more about ways I could, I could learn more really. And I think I just left the Zoom feeling like there was a lot more I could learn. So I clicked the button and booked an appointment.
What are some of the benefits of being on the mastermind programme?
So apart from the regular Zoom sessions, which are great because they're really informative, and I feel like I've learned a huge amount, and in lots of different areas, it's really cool. So I find that they're really good and I'm finding, I guess what I'm doing for my CPD is really relevant now. It's just, not that what I was doing before wasn't, but sometimes it can be all about tax updates and isn't necessarily about your firm and running your firm. And whereas now I've got some really good constructive and sort of tutorials that I'm doing regularly every month. So I really am, I'm enjoying the education of that, but it's also the community. Obviously, there's the Facebook community that's great. But now there's a much, a more private, safe group of accountants where it's just wonderful, where we all talk together. So I don't just get to ask Reza questions, which obviously I do. I also get to ask the other accountants in the group what they’re doing and we share ideas and we support each other. And that is just wonderful because you know, we all have those days where something comes up and I think, am I right, is that actually right? And you just want to run it past someone, and there's not always someone to run it past, depending on what the question is. So it's lovely now because I've literally got a group I can just turn to, and also help them. There's a really nice feeling of community in that sense of us all helping each other. Yeah. And I just feel like I've, really grown as a business owner through it too.
What are some of the pricing successes you've had?
We're still working on that an awful lot, to be honest, I find that whole concept a bit of a challenge. I really do. It's probably one of my bigger challenges to work on, but I've definitely learned about, I guess what my value should be. And I've definitely not got that right in the past. And I'm much more conscious about that. I have made some big changes already. I never, never ever just put a price in an email anymore, that just does not happen. So there are some really big changes and they've worked really well. I definitely, and even if I don't get something. I now know why, which is actually fantastic rather than actually just wondering, I wonder what happened there. So I know I can work with that feedback to decide what to do, but yeah, I've definitely made a lot of changes, but I also, I've got a lot more to do and I'm much more aware now of what I have to do. And I think that's the thing sometimes, you know, sometimes you're not quite sure where to go, whereas actually I've got complete, clear direction on the other changes I still need to make, but I'm very much more confident with my pricing and what I should be charging even if I'm not charging it, I know I'm still, I'm under charging on that and I need to get to here. At least I know as well.
What do you think of the mastermind programme?
Really it's really supportive, I think is probably the word. It really has been a huge support, in what has been such a hard year and a half. And I think I joined the mastermind course back in, I think it was back in December time, last year. And the difference in how I feel now to before that is, it's huge, you know, and going through that final lockdown and supporting the clients and supporting the firm and my staff through that and all the challenges that come with it all, I felt much more able to face it because I just felt like I was, I was part of a community and I had people to go to and talk, even if you're just sounding off, cause you've had a really, really bad day or a really bad email. It just feels so much easier now. And not just that, I know what I need to change. I know what I've already done and I know where I'm going and that's, yeah, it feels really good for me.
How long did it take you to see the benefits of the mastermind programme?
To be honest, I think it was very quick. I was very quick to realize the value of what I had just been introduced into, you know, I mean, in the sense of that. So it was all very quick, you know, the Zoom trainings start straight away, and I'd already had one session, which was great. So I knew there was a huge amount of value from that. I was brought into the little community group straight away and that, you know, immediately started giving benefits. So it really didn't take long, even if you're not implementing all the changes straight away, there's a whole host of other benefits that you feel almost immediately from joining. And then, you know, I think the one thing, you know, though, if you go into this, you've got to be willing to put the effort in as well, there is work that you've got to do, and you've got to be willing to accept that you might not have it right. And that there might be things you've got to change, but as long as you go in with that, that point of view, and as long as you're able to put some time aside to making the changes things will get a lot easier as a result.
What would you say to someone thinking of joining the mastermind programme?
I definitely recommend it. For me, it's been, it was absolute perfect timing to join. Although, I say that though I do wonder, what if I'd done this three or four years ago, what difference would it have made then? At the same time, I do believe we're all on a journey, and that what happens is important as part of our development and our growth. But yeah, if you're thinking about doing it, and if anything I'm saying is resonating with you, with how you've been feeling, I would definitely give it a try, because it's been brilliant for me.