When I was running my publishing company, I used my (sadly, rather inept) accountant exactly five times: once to set me up on my accounting software — a disaster through-and-through — and once a year for the four years to do our taxes.
I hope I don’t need to explain why it’s important to do your business accounting. (How the heck can you make strategic business decisions without knowing what’s going on under the hood?!)
But if you’ve never tried using cloud accounting software, aka accounting software that lives online vs on your computer, you’re in for a treat. I recently made the video above describing all the ways that cloud accounting makes your business life That Much Easier. Check it out if you need more inspiration to make the switch!
The Xero Video Team set out to create a series of goofy, accessible, vlogger-style videos to support people who are just starting their own businesses. I hope they’re fun for you to watch; we sure had a blast making them!
This one is my favorite because I got to tell the story of starting one of the most influential businesses in my life. It didn’t go exactly as planned because… well, I didn’t have much of a plan, and I certainly wasn’t that clear about WHY I wanted to start a business in the first place. Don’t make the same mistake I did; watch this video for 4 things to do BEFORE you start your business!
When I was back home in California, I tried to shoot a video about the pros and cons of working from home. It didn’t work out as I had hoped, but it also kinda made my point:
Fortunately, we did follow up with a video that covers actual tips on running your business from home! Because as anyone who has tried to do it knows, working from home isn’t always easy:
When your business has grown to the point where working from home no longer works (or when you’ve just had enough of that lifestyle), here’s a video that covers several alternatives to running your business from home… both temporarily, and more permanently:
This one is a companion to the video above. I thought I’d share a little bit more about my personal experiences trying out several different office setups, and how each of them affected my work-life balance. It DOES matter where your office is, and who you share it with!
You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to suffer from insomnia… here’s a video covering the things I’ve found work best when I can’t sleep in the night:
I’m just going to come out and say it: I think the Burgerfuel logo looks like a vulva. Watch this video and let me know if you agree, or if I’m imagining things. In addition to covering some sketchy business decisions, this video contains lots of practical tips for creating a business logo, including advice on how to work with designers:
Waiting until everything is perfect to start your business? Don’t! Here’s some inspiration.
Don’t want to read my whole TL;DR story? No worries, here are my four critical questions I recommend to anyone looking for work you’ll love:
What’s the ultimate impact you want to have?
What industry do you want to be a part of?
What type of work you want to do?
What kind of people you want to work with, in what kind of environment?
Read on if you want to hear how I worked through these before landing my job at Xero. Better yet, get your own dream job (or freelance work that you’ll love) by answering these questions for yourself!
After happily working for myself for over four years, some nagging voices started bugging me. “You’re not using all your gifts,” they said. And, “where is your team? Why do you insist on working alone?” And there was a lot of, “there’s something much bigger waiting for you, but you have to look for it.”
I knew I was ready for something different. And I couldn’t shake the feeling that I wanted a full-time job where someone else would be responsible for hustling my paycheck, and I could focus on doing My Work. But other voices tried to justify the status quo: “The way things are now, you can go hiking or surfing whenever you want!” Or, “what about your weird sleeping patterns? You’ll never be able to work regular hours.” Or the worst, “do you really want to commute over an hour a day EACH WAY from gorgeous Bolinas to an office in San Francisco?!”Continue reading “4 questions that will lead you to work you’ll love (or: How I ended up at Xero)”
I hosted the Xero Gravity small business podcast from episode 21 through its final episode 98, when I shifted my focus to video. What a joy to interview such fascinating, insightful people! I’ve posted some of my favorite episodes below, or you can:
It’s one thing to have a game-changing idea, but pulling it off can feel like trying to defy gravity. Xero Gravity shares the business+life stories from those who spin the world on their own axis: the highs, the lows, the big wins, and the massive fails from those who have lived to tell the tale. Join me and guests from around the world for a dose or two of inspiration + been-there, done-that advice to boost your own venture to the next level.
Female pleasure is still largely a taboo topic in most societies, which is exactly why Lydia Daniller knew she needed to use her voice as an activist and storyteller to speak up. Driven to educate, inform and destigmatize, Lydia launched into a truly ambitious project: a sexual pleasure research website called OMGYES. This kind of honest radicalism isn’t new to Lydia – from early on in life she’s been crafting the unexpected through her love of poetry, photography and videography. “It takes a lot of bravery in general to do anything big and bold and new,” Lydia tells me. “Trust in that thing that you want to do… Of course, you’re going to doubt it, and of course you’re going to be insecure at times.” Listen in as Lydia talks about making time for the things that are really important to you, and why sometimes the best move might just be to step back from something you started. Xero Gravity #81 – Get ready for a feel-good episode!
You’re climbing a gigantic cliff face, it’s 2,300 metres to the summit, and there’s no guarantee you’ll even get to the top… this sounds hard enough as it is, but imagine doing that without the use of your legs… Timmy O’Neill’s outlook in life is shaped by conquering what others would call the impossible. No matter how many times he’s failed, the decision to succeed has always been Timmy’s driving force. “Failure is a way forward,” says the professional rock climber, comedian, and founder of Paradox Sports, a nonprofit that runs adaptive climbing trips for people of all abilities and skill levels. Tune in to learn what it truly means to live life on the edge. Listen along to Timmy’s stories of trial and error, as he opens up about the people in his life who have inspired him to move mountains. He also makes amazing sound effects. Be uplifted with Xero Gravity #77!
The life of an artist is typically all or nothing and so is their taxable income. As such, many accountants don’t have the patience to guide creative clients through the motions of each financial year.
Introducing Paco, founder and director of the HellYeah Group – a boutique bookkeeping agency aimed at creative folk needing financial support. Paco joins me to discuss some of the financial holes creatives find themselves in and how she assists them in getting their finances and lives on track. “For a lot of people it’s feast or famine so a lot of times they have to come up with the patchwork of incomes or different revenues streams and at the beginning at least you either have to have a pile of cash that you can rely on or you need to hustle your ass off so you can build a pile of cash so that you have flexibility there in terms of cash flow timing,” says Paco. Listen in for more recommendations from Paco and to hear about her incredible entrepreneurial journey.
When you’re a startup, you only have about a billion things to think about. So it’s understandable if accounting isn’t top of mind. That’s why I worked with Liz Mason from High Rock Accounting to produce this 37 minute online course, designed to provide the accounting basics you need to know to become a successful small business. It covers:
Why accounting is better in the cloud
Basic accounting definitions
Track what’s important (ie, enough to glean meaningful insights, and not so much that you get bogged down in unnecessary detail)