Happy New Year and welcome to this fun episode of The CPA MOMS Podcast where I get to share the highlights from the most popular and thought provoking episodes over the past two plus years. This is episode #119, which means for the past 118 weeks, I’ve been teaching accountant moms how you can have the career and the life you most want.
The whole premise for this podcast is to show you that you can have the thriving accounting career as well as the happy family you desire, by learning some of the tools that I have learned along the way in my 30+ year career in public accounting. I just knew that what I was learning in my own personal studies wasn’t taught in any accounting classroom or any continuing education seminar.
I wanted to make everything that made my life so balanced and manageable, available to you so it can help you as much as it’s helped me. To be able to have a career in public accounting, as well as be there for my children, without the stress and overwhelm that most accountants experience, was something that I knew other accountant moms would want to know and should be able to know how to do.
As I learned how to achieve better results at work and at home, as well as create a very balanced and peaceful life, create more time for the things I needed and wanted to do, and build my self-confidence, I knew I needed a platform to share this all with other accountant moms. By significantly decreasing my overwhelm, especially during tax season, successfully handling mom guilt, and feeling happier in all areas in my life, I knew that you all needed the tools that I had discovered.
As a mom trying to balance your work life with your home life, I know exactly how trying to be superwoman and supermom can take a toll on your health, your relationships, and much more. I also know that the best gift you can give yourself, your career and your children, is to be open to learning how your brain actually works and how to take charge of it, instead of it taking charge of you.
So now that you know why I started this podcast, let’s talk about some of the highlights from the past two plus years, and how this podcast can help you be the balanced accountant and mom that you deserve to be. This week I’m going to break down the most popular podcasts into three categories – how to manage stress like a pro, how to confidently own your worth, and how to boost your time management and productivity.
How to manage stress like a pro
If you want to have a thriving accounting career, you have to know how to handle the demanding profession of accounting. There will ALWAYS be deadlines, changes to the Tax Code, and continuing client demands, however, how you perform under pressure will make or break your career.
Not only do you need to know how to manage stress for your career, but for your health and your family as well. The risk of heart conditions, strokes and even diabetes, are all drastically increased in women who experience continual stress at work.
With overwhelm and burnout being such important topics for accountants, the ability to manage both were incredibly important topics to cover as the podcast started to unfold. By learning how to manage stress like a pro, you also have the ability to manage everything else in your life as well.
In episode #17 – Beating Burnout, I discussed that one of the biggest issues that working moms face is burnout, but unfortunately we tend to normalize the symptoms believing that this is just the way it is. Unfortunately, when you are constantly reacting and putting out fires, your brain gets used to declaring everything as an emergency.
In episode #27 – How To Overcome Overwhelm, I discussed that when overwhelm goes unchecked and unaddressed, it can easily turn into burnout. Overwhelm can feel like a swirling tornado, sweeping everything into its path, making things challenging both at work and at home.
What I introduced you to in both of these episodes is the fact that your human brain can be overly dramatic and has been programmed to sense threats to your survival. What was once a protective response to a predator outside your cave when humans were cave dwellers, has now become an overreaction to the massive amounts of stimuli you encounter on a daily basis.
In episode #59 – Accountants And Anxiety, I discussed that in a study of accountants, over 50% reported that depression and anxiety leaves them dreading going to work. The real problem for accountants is that your “accountant’s brain” has been educated and trained for the problem-solving work you do and when it goes unchecked, always seeing problems can then become your default way of thinking about everything.
In episode #71 – How To Win The Battle With Busyness, I explained that as an accountant you’ve probably normalized thoughts like “This is the busy time of year” or “Once this is done, I won’t be so insanely busy”. Unfortunately, once thoughts like these are practiced day after day, year after year, they become the default programming in your accountant mind.
In order to learn how to manage stress like a pro, you have to learn where stress actually comes from. Whether you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious or experiencing full blown burnout, the cause is always the same – it’s not the lack of time, the looming deadline, the difficult boss, or the to-do list. It’s always your thoughts about those things that cause the feelings of overwhelm, stress and burnout.
The single most important thing I’ve learned and applied to manage my stress to the point where I’ve been able to take on even more work and feel less stressed, is the skill of managing my mind. There is nothing that has helped to create the relatively stress free, balanced life I now live, than understanding my unique accountant brain and uncovering how to feel better no matter what time of year or what’s happening in my life or in the world.
How to confidently own your worth
If you’ve struggled with self-confidence, I’ve got good news for you – no one is born with it, but it is a skill that you can and should develop if you want to have a thriving accounting career. You cannot depend on others to create confidence for you; you have to create it for yourself.
In a male dominated profession like accounting, you need to stand in your power if you are going to have a successful career. Unfortunately, many women are taught at a young age to play small and look to others for approval.
It’s sad to see highly intelligent, capable accountant moms who stop themselves from having what they want, both personally and professionally, because of a lack of self-confidence. What I want you to do is imagine eliminating the need for approval, acceptance and validation and instead, train your mind to produce self-confidence and own your worth.
In episode #28 – Desperately Seeking Validation, I shared that the issue isn’t that you feel good when you are paid a compliment from others; the issue is when you desperately need other people’s positive opinions to create your own self-confidence. You want other people to compliment, approve of or validate you because you haven’t been able to provide it for yourself.
In episode #34 – Overcoming Imposter Syndrome, I explained that whether it’s your role as an accountant or your role as a mother, imposter syndrome creates the feeling that everyone around you is smarter, works harder, or does a better job than you do. You may know rationally that you are good at your job and that you are a great mother, but you can’t help feeling fear that someone’s going to discover some hidden truth.
Unfortunately, the need for approval and validation often starts at a very young age, making you look outside yourself to others and to your achievements as the source of your self-confidence. As you move forward in your education and in your career, imposter syndrome starts to wreak havoc because now you are surrounded by other intelligent, capable accountants, making it easier for you to compare yourself to others.
In episode #44 – Stopping The Cycle Of Compare And Despair, I discussed how your brain is constantly looking to see who you may be in competition with and determining who is “winning”. This means you believe you need to accumulate validation and gold stars in order to feel good about yourself.
In episode #73 – The Key To Building Self-Confidence, I shared that what often happens for accountant moms is that you believe that your accomplishments will finally give you self-confidence, so you try things like working longer and harder, dieting or exercising more radically, or trying to please everyone. The issue is that when you try to fix self-confidence by creating something external, it doesn’t last.
And in episode #104 – Owning Your Financial Worth And Value, I explained that unfortunately we often look to men, or people in authority, to base our sense of worth and value. The truth is that you already check the only box that matters just by the fact that you exist. When you think about a newborn baby, they aren’t less valuable just because they haven’t done anything other than come into this world; their value is in the fact that they just exist, and the same goes for you.
The main thing I really want you to understand is that the key to building self-confidence and owning your worth is that you have to know your brain. You have to recognize and catch it when it’s indulging in self-doubt, confusion, insecurity and fear.
Unless you slow down to understand it better, you’re going to always be looking to do more, achieve more, and know more, especially as an accountant, believing that that is what will finally create self-confidence for you. While you can’t fake self-confidence for very long, you absolutely can create it by learning how to manage your mind.
How to boost your time management and productivity
You’re smart, capable, and hard-working, yet it just seems like there aren’t enough hours in a day to get everything done at work and at home. Does this sound like you?
Now imagine getting more done, in less time, with energy to spare. If this sounds like an impossible dream, I promise you it’s not.
As you probably already know, this profession we’ve chosen is not for the faint of heart. In order to be a successful accountant, you need to be able to produce at a high level, and as a working mom with only 24 hours in a day, you have to be able to use your time wisely.
Unfortunately, the topic of time management can be tricky for the deadline-driven world that accountants live in, but that’s what makes it so important. If you want to have a balanced life as an accountant and a mom, you have to have a better time management system.
In episodes #65 and #66 – Making It Easier For CPA Moms To Get It All Done Part I and II, I shared that we aren’t taught how to create a system that makes it easier to get it all done and are often tossed into the deep end of the pool with other working moms, struggling to stay above water. Without an easy to use system, you can become stressed, overwhelmed and easily experience burnout.
In episode #105 – How To Overcome Avoidance, I explained that the pressure you probably feel trying to balance your career with your family will only be exacerbated when you don’t deal with the issue of avoidance and learn how to overcome it. Basically avoidance is what happens to procrastination when there’s no deadline to make you actually do the thing, which is why it can become so easy to fall into the trap of avoidance.
Here’s the secret that no one has probably told you – time management and productivity have nothing to do with how much work you have to do, how much time you have to do it, or what time of year it is. It has everything to do with what you think about it all.
In order to boost your time management and productivity, you need to learn how to master your mind. Honestly, your time management and success depends on how aware you are of what you are thinking, and how to powerfully and strategically direct your mind.
In episode #108 – How Accountant Moms Can Create More Time, I discussed that in order to create more time, you also have to understand how you are wasting it. This is when perfectionism and overwhelm are so important to understand because they are the two biggest time wasters for accountant moms.
Therefore, if you want to boost your time management and productivity, you need to understand your brain better and why you do or don’t do the things you need to. There’s no calendar or app that is going to make better time management possible, unless you know your unique accountant brain better.
The system I have used in order to be incredibly productive, efficient, and have a very balanced life between my career and my family, is all hinged on managing my mind. As I’ve said throughout this entire podcast journey of over 100 episodes, when you learn how to manage your mind, you can manage everything else.
So thank you to all the podcast listeners over the past 2+ years, for being a part of this journey with me. I’m looking forward to coming up with more topics, interviewing more informative and inspiring people, and supporting you, your career and your family as you balance it all.
- The whole premise for this podcast is to show you that you can have the thriving accounting career as well as the happy family you desire, by learning some of the tools that I have learned along the way in my 30+ year career in public accounting.
- If you want to have a thriving accounting career, you have to know how to handle the demanding profession of accounting.
- If you’ve struggled with self-confidence, I’ve got good news for you – no one is born with it, but it is a skill that you can and should develop if you want to have a thriving accounting career.
- In order to be a successful accountant, you need to be able to produce at a high level, and as a working mom with only 24 hours in a day, you have to be able to use your time wisely.