Never turn your back on the ocean

tim-marshall-179371Having been privileged to have worked with thousands of accounting firms over the past twenty years, helping them to navigate the ever-changing software landscape, implement solutions and processes to enable them to achieve more – I’ve found those that succeed, are those that have the desire and have a truly agile mindset.

I was fortunate enough recently, to be given a book by Paul Miller, MD of Cornish AccountingMake Your Own Waves by Louis Patler as we have a mutual interest in surfing and body-boarding. While there are some good analogies between the world of surfing and entrepreneurship, one chapter title in particular really resonated with me; hence the title of this blog post – “Never turn your back on the ocean”.

Surfing, at its most basic, is the art of ‘reading’ the ocean; knowing when to paddle, when to line up, and more importantly knowing the exact time to catch that wave. It’s about planning, preparation and being prepared to adapt to ever changing conditions.

While some make it look all too easy, there are, of course, many cautionary tales of those that just simply get the timing wrong, being caught off guard by the biggest waves. But also, those that prefer to remain in the shallows because it feels safe, it’s within their comfort zone, it’s what they know – only to miss out.

You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf – Joseph Goldstein

For accountants, adapting to the market challenges you to consider some key areas; function, process and skill set to name a few. The key to success is the same – planning, and preparedness to adapt to the changing conditions – your agility.

Compliance is safe, it’s what you know, it’s your comfort zone, but some small changes can give you greater confidence to define and deploy more of the services that your clients want, confidence to price those services correctly and begin to transform to the role of the true trusted advisor.

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