Have you ever wondered how accounting can help you expand your business and reach your goals? In this episode, Camille welcomes Anne Gannon, the owner of The Largo Group, whose mission is to transform the way accounting works with business owners by providing education and tools to entrepreneurs to help them reach their goals.
As an owner, knowing where you are to these targets makes sure that we don’t have a bad week that turns into a bad month, that turns into a bad year, but we’re able to be proactive and change course when we need to.
Anne shares her journey from becoming a CPA working at a big accounting firm to creating The Largo Group and finding her niche within restaurant accounting. She shares her tips on how to create a well-rounded business approach through budgeting and setting realistic financial targets.
The biggest thing was learning and really trying to understand the industry that you are trying to serve. It’s like I’m not just going to serve you as an accountant, but I need to know your language and the way that you think about things if I’m going to be a good accountant for you.
If you’re looking for more resources on how to handle your business accounting and taxes, listen to this episode to hear Anne’s advice on how to grow your business and overcome financial hurdles according to your vision.
At the end of the day, I think when you’re a fulfilled person, you’re a better parent. I try to remember that really, you’re setting a good example for your kids and them seeing you successful and happy is something that’s really worthwhile.
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ANNE GANNON [0:00]
As entrepreneurs, we can be hard on ourselves. And a lot of times, business owners are so hard on themselves for not knowing this, but in reality, it's not taught. And even if you took accounting classes, as entrepreneurs, you're creating something that never existed before.
CAMILLE WALKER [0:23]
So, you want to make an impact. You're thinking about starting a business sharing your voice? How do women do it that handle motherhood, family, and still chase after those dreams? We'll listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know. This is Call Me CEO.
One of my favorite ways to reset my mind and my body through the winter months is to create little staycations or places for me to go, either with my girlfriends or my family for a little time away. And here in Utah, the winters can be very long. That's why I love going to Station Park because it offers a strong sense of community with little weekend events or you can even stay at the Hyatt Place Station Park, which is very close to Salt Lake City, and enjoy the shops, restaurants, and even a spa just steps away at Elase Medical Spa or Massage Envy, which I love both very, very much.
If you're feeling like you need to reset or you want to set some goals for yourself, plan a solo CEO vacation where you can reset your mind, even just take 24 hours alone and reconnect with yourself. Slow down and create some memories. It's great for family. It's great for individuals or even a weekend away with your girlfriends.
Welcome back everyone to another episode of Call Me CEO. This is Camille Walker and I'm going to be sharing with you today how to make accounting sexy. I’m not going to be showing you. My guest is going to be telling you all about it. Her name is Anne Gannon and her company is The Largo Group, and she is a pro golfer turned CPA, and now rocking her own business helping other business owners understand accounting in a way that helps them to be the decision-maker of their business. Not feeling like they have to rely on an accountant to save them because they know the fundamentals of accounting.
This is so profound because I'm actually married to a husband who is an accountant and a CPA, and many times, has told me so many businesses fail because they do not understand accounting. A lot of times, accounting isn't taught in different types of schools, law school, dental school, you name it. There are so many businesses that accounting is one of those far off things we have to deal with, but we don't want to. That is what Anne is all about solving is that problem exactly.
So, thank you and a big shoutout to Station Park, who is the sponsor of this episode. They are one of my favorite places to go to discover shopping and dining, and also staying. If you are in the Salt Lake area, it's only 20 minutes away and it's in Farmington, Utah, which is also right next to Lagoon. So, if you ever come to Lagoon, you wanted to come shopping and get a little reprieve from the sun, Station Park is the place to go. Twigs Bistro is actually a place that we go every anniversary and birthday and they have these incredible donut bites that we like to get every single time that we go. Tell them that I sent you. It's one of my favorite places to go.
And make sure that you're taking time in your budget to use your expenses as a business to go out to eat because you can actually expense half of it. So, any time that my husband and I go out to eat, we will discuss something business-related, not the whole conversation, but you can actually write off half of that tab in your own small business. And those are little tips that having an accountant around is helpful to know. So, let's dive in and get to know how we can understand accounting, so that it doesn't leave us screaming.
Welcome back everyone to another episode of Call Me CEO. Today, we're talking about something that people don't like to talk about. It's death and it's taxes. We're going to talk about accounting today with Anne Gannon. She is the creator and owner of The Largo Group. Their mission is to create accounting for business owners that's a toolkit to help make your life easier to make your decision-making better. That's a tall order. I'm really excited to hear what you have to say because I know this is a pain point for nearly every business owner I talk to. So, Anne, thank you so much for being here with us today.
Yes, thank you so much for having me.
Let's talk a little bit about you. Tell us where you're calling in from. Tell us about your family and how did you get into the world of accounting?
Yes. So, I'm a CPA. I've been a CPA for over 15 years. I live in Philadelphia now. We actually used to live in Boston, and then moved about a year ago to Philly. So, outside of Philly, although we have offices in both cities, but really, I would say my journey, I started off as a golfer. I grew up playing competitive golf, played a year professionally. But what I realized is I loved entrepreneurs. When you play golf and you travel around the golf communities, a lot of business owners.
And so, my whole life, I really had grown up talking to a lot of these business owners, creative people. And what I realized in my early 20s is that I loved the business talk more than the golf talk. At night, I would be talking to these business owners. I'm like, "Oh, that's so cool. You started a pizza business" and not really talking about my golf swing. So, after a year of playing professionally, I’m like, "I don’t think this is my passion. It's fun and it's been great, but I think I'm more drawn to business." And so, went back to school for accounting, and then, when I got out into the accounting, you don't really know what that life of an accountant is. At least I had no idea, but I knew I liked it and was interested by it.
But then, when I got into a big public accounting firm as my first job, I realized that I was so different from everyone I was working with because they had grown up wanting to be accountants and I had grown up knowing all these entrepreneurs. So, to me, there was not this separation that there was for most accountants where you're just looking at a tax return, but it doesn't really mean anything. I knew these were real people and I felt like the way that we were doing it with this cramming as many returns as you possibly could into your days in March and working crazy hours, that you really weren't having the time to share your knowledge with these business owners that needed it. And you couldn’t even ask, "Oh, you lost money last year," because I'm just so behind and have to get this return done that it's not really serving the business owners.
So, ended up going out on my own and just with that whole goal of I want to help business owners because my why is, when I was growing up, my dad was an entrepreneur and his business actually failed because he had no idea how to learn his margins. He wanted to learn furniture and he made great furniture, but didn’t know what he needed to charge to make it successful. So, to me, it's a very real thing to be a business owner because you have this dream, but you also have to be profitable because you want to survive and that's a really hard juggling act. And I think I was always committee do this.
I've been doing this a long time, but when COVID hit, to me, that was very real because, all of a sudden, every one of my clients was in the same position my dad had been. And I knew the other side of that. I knew he never got over it. When he passed away, he never got over the guilt of having a failed business and to me, having 100 clients that every one of them didn’t have revenue coming in the next day, it was a terrifying thing.
And it wasn't just something I could sit back and say, "Oh, okay. We'll figure it out." It was like, "I will be on the phone with you. I will make sure that this will not fail on my watch." And we spent hours and hours on the phone with every one of our clients like, "All right. If thinking monthly is too big, let's go weekly. How much revenue in the door next week? Is it enough? What can we cut? How do we get through this together?" And I think what came on the other side of that is our company's commitment to every one of our clients should have the tools in their pocket. So, you're not waiting for me to help you, but you know what you need to do to survive any situation, and that really is our why.
Wow. That's a strong mission. I can relate to this so much and I feel like you have a double whammy because my husband, he's a CPA as well. I think accounting is the language of business. It just is. It's its own language and it's essential. Not everyone can speak it and then golfing, he's like, "That's where business happens, is on there."
It does. No one realizes it, but it is. It's like this weird universal thing where you're like talking to people who are incredibly successful and they're like, "Are you good at your drive? Like 200 drive?" And you're like, "Why do you care? You've done way more than I have in life, but sure." It's a very weird thing.
Yeah. I think it's one of those places where it levels the playing field of being out of the office where you can break down those barriers and walls that otherwise might be there and that you can connect on a human level. I know my husband's much improved if he's been outside and had some Vitamin D.
I see you and I appreciate you. One thing my husband talks a lot about as well is that people are not taught how to run a business when they start a law firm. He works with lawyers, or when they start a dental practice and those are big businesses, not to mention all the other small businesses that exist everywhere where we all need this language. And so, I really appreciate that you're breaking this down and making it attainable because it's needed now more than ever.
Yes. No, I think that's true and I think that's where as entrepreneurs, we can be hard on ourselves. And a lot of times, business owners are so hard on themselves for not knowing this, but in reality, it's not taught. And even if you took accounting classes, as entrepreneurs, you're creating something that never existed before. So, the idea that your model is proven, it just isn't.
So, it's like you have to understand like, okay, I'm going to get better every day. And if my pricing was wrong last year, I'm not going to beat up myself. I'm going to fix it and just constant improving your models. Because even if you look at the biggest companies or entrepreneurs like Jeff Bezos, Amazon lost money its first eight years or whatever in business, so it's okay to lose money, but we just have to fix it and make it better and find the answer versus beating ourselves up for not knowing right away.
I think that's something that having an accountant as an ally is you have that perspective of the whole picture. Whereas an entrepreneur, when you're in the minutia of the creation and the fulfillment and whatever else it is, that can be a piece that gets lost because having that picture or knowing where you are week-to-week, month-to-month, can feel very overwhelming. So, when you're starting with this process and someone is coming to you for the first time, what is the first step that you take in reigning all that in, so that you can create a framework that'll work?
Yeah. I think that it starts with building a budget, which sounds like an accounting term. It sounds terrible and I know it's not fun, but I look at the budget as me also understanding your vision. So, where do you see your company going this year? Not just, "Okay, our sales are this, so our sales are going to be this next month or whatever," but what are the things that we could do to improve sales and improve margins and things like that?
So, I like to start with a budget because I do think that helps us have some good conversations because it's amazing to me when we can find a tool that we both see the great visions that come out of it like, "Oh, I can have a wedding and I can have events or whatever it is. I could sell this product or people really love this. Let me see what happens if I grow that." And then, all of a sudden, it's like the creative juices flow, and then now, we see like, "All right. That's the potential." So, then, from there, how do we get there and what are the targets that we set to make the budget a reality?
Now, when you're setting a budget or a vision plan with a creator or an entrepreneur or whomever it is that you're talking to, a business owner, do you like to do a scale of one year, five years, 10 years? How do you scale that?
So, I think it depends because every entrepreneur is different. Some are way big picture and they are not going to go line by line and that's great. I try to learn that about our client at the beginning because I have two. I have one that's literally your 12 months and we can put growth in there and it has a bottom line. And I have another that's really more of your three-year plan which is five lines, but it's like, "Okay. If sales grow X amount," and it has a whole section about acquisitions. Are you going to have another location? Are you going to have another product line? What is changing in the next three years, and then what does that look like to your bottom line?
To some people, that's too much at the beginning, but others it's like that's a great place to start because I see that like, "Okay. I really need more revenue next year, so I need to think about how I'm going to get that more than worrying about my supply costs because that is what it is and there's not much I can do there to change." Because really, budgeting or any time we're thinking, like you said, accounting is the language of business, it's like what do you see in your head for this or what did you see when you started this? So, if it's a pizza restaurant, is the idea that you have 12 of them one day or we're good with one and we just want to keep it and do exactly what we're doing now? Because that's really the starting point to building tools that get you there.
Okay. So, I'm listening to what you're saying right now and I'm thinking if someone is coming to you, your ideal customer that's bringing on this toolkit that you created for them, what are the questions that you like to have them have made before they come to you? Does that question make sense? If someone's listening right now and they're like, "I need more help with accounting, I need to understand my vision and my plan," what questions do they need to be asking and answering right now as they're listening to this and applying this?
So, I think the key question that not enough entrepreneurs ask themselves enough or answer enough, it comes down to cash flow. I think we all love our product. We all love what we're trying to do, but realistically, what is the money that you need to make in this business to make your life work? Because I think so many times, I was even at a client's yesterday and it was like it just opened and they loved their business and they're so proud of it and they haven't paid themselves in five weeks. And I'm like, "You guys are going to kill yourselves. You're going to kill your own ROU. You're going to get to a point where you don't want to show up tomorrow because you haven't paid yourself." That's not the answer. Let's pay yourselves, so you're happy and you feel good about yourselves because that goes a long way and it's so much more than just, "Oh, I took money out of the business," but it's your own self-worth. If you don’t feel like you're worth anything, why are we here?
So, I think it's being realistic with if your goal is to make $500,000 a year, that's fine, but let's build a plan to get you there instead of having this friction of like, "I know I'm worth more. I know I should be making more. I can't make more and just be stuck in this thing that doesn't work." So, I think it's being honest about what you see as your financial goal outside of your business, and then how do we get your business to meet that for you?
Okay. Yeah, I like that. Now, when you were creating your own business and you were branching off on your own, what were the foundational pieces that you made sure you had in place before you felt comfortable to branch out on your own?
I'm not your typical accountant. I’m a crazy entrepreneur, so I was like, "Let's do this. Let's go." And my husband's like, "What are you doing?"
Which is funny because when you said, I'm not the typical accountant, accountants, they are planned, they have a map. It's funny when you said I'm not your typical, you have more of that creative visionary, which that's amazing.
Most people can't operate on both sides so well.
No. Yeah, and this was while we were still living in Boston, which is a very expensive place to live. And we wanted to have kids and I was pregnant with my first son, so I'm like, "I got it. We'll move to Florida." Our families are in Florida, so it wasn't completely off the wall, but my husband loved Boston. And we had just bought a house and we were really happy there. But I'm like, "Oh, but it's cheaper to live in Florida. And if we go to Florida, I won't have to work full-time and I could do my own accounting thing." So, I had a friend who actually got my husband an interview. He didn't really know I gave his resume out and I found him a job in Orlando. I'm like, "This will be great. It's fine. You'll see. This is fine."
And so, yeah, that was really the biggest thing was I knew in accounting especially because it's seasonal, you're probably looking at two or three years before you're like up and running and you have your own book of business and it's just what takes time. So, to me, the biggest hurdle was just how do you make that work without causing stress? And being a young mom was actually really good because at least you're home and it's just my time. So, if it takes me five hours to do this at night, that's okay. So, really, it was finding, how do I know that this is going to take me two years that I'm not going to freak out about it?
And then, the other thing I did, which was actually really good for starting out also was I got a part-time job at a community college and that actually was great because I got to go back to the way accounting was taught in school and see the differences and what works. So, I actually used some of my early classes as, how could you talk differently or how do I keep them engaged? And really almost using them as case studies for, "Wow, this is when everyone starts to tune you out, okay. Good to know. Don't talk about assets and liabilities. Let's call it something else." But it was a good way to play around because in accounting, you are always talking to accountants, so you forget the rest of the world really doesn’t want to talk about this, so how do we make it more engaging?
I think you talked about a lot of really well-rounded approaches to business that all of us need to process, which is giving it the time to grow. That's how it is with any business. And then, also knowing that you may have to supplement with an income as you're figuring it out, as you're getting this business going. So, I think that that applies to everyone. That's really good advice. Would you say that as you started your business, did you do it from home? Yeah, okay. So, as you were acquiring clients and making accounting accessible, what is the biggest hurdle or misunderstanding about accounting that a lot of people were missing?
So, I think it was trying to find a way to engage with people because, like you said, there's such a stereotype with accountants that even if you go to a networking event, it's like, "Oh, you're an accountant. Okay." And what was really hard is I was also a mom, so I wasn't out networking a lot. So, when I did go out, it was like, "Oh, you can refer me people." I'm like, "I have five clients. I can't refer you to people." So, it was really hard.
So, what I immediately changed because pre-kids and when I had been at a big firm, networking was easy. It was like, "All right. We're all going to go to the happy hour. We're all going to pass business cards around." But when you're not part of a big firm, people just don't want to engage with you as much. So, what I found was I know a lot about hospitality just because I played golf for so long and I always either worked at a restaurant just to earn extra money when I was home or I worked in a golf course. So, I knew a lot about retail and food and beverage and things like that.
So, I was like, "Let me go to people in the hospitality business because they're not going to care that I don't have this big firm. They know they need accounting." So, I found that going out into a different industry was a lot easier than trying to do networking the way people have always done networking. And so, that's really where we started to grow was just making contacts that were unique, but that actually saw what I was trying to do versus trying to keep in the box of normal networking.
I like that. So, when you say you were going out to them, were you calling them or emailing or were you going in person? How were you making these contacts?
Yeah. So, it was hard at the beginning. I went to trade shows because the hospitality, there's usually like several food shows throughout the country, so I went to three of those. And then, I would send emails to just say, "If you need somebody to talk to, I'm happy to offer my services for free." And then, I finally got a spot in the Florida show, which was we lived in Florida, so that was easier. But I really wanted to get into the New York show, but I knew you only could get into the New York show if you had people who attended your seminar, which having a seminar for accounting, I'm like, "No one's going to attend my seminar, so I'll never get to the New York show."
So, I ended up giving a $300 gift card out to anyone who attended and I walked around. They gave me the last spot on the last day, so nobody's around. And I was like, "Come to my seminar. Just come to my seminar. You might win $100" and thankfully, got 40 people, which was a really good number for me. And who cared that they didn't really care to be there? They're there for the gift card, but I got the registration.
They got you in, yes.
They got me in. So, that was my shameless bribe.
Okay. That's really smart. So, I'm just going to reiterate what you just said, just so I understand and people listening too. So, you were at a trade show in Florida and you had the ability to teach a lesson at that trade show, but to be able to get into the New York one, you had to show you had attendees there?
Okay. So then, you said, "Get a chance to win $100." It wasn't everyone that came.
No, but I promoted it. Yeah.
Okay. Yeah, just like, "Come for your chance to win and attend my seminar." So then, you got your numbers and you filled the seats. That is so smart.
I love that. So, you bring it to New York and what happens?
So then, when I went to the New York show, I actually had really a chance encounter with a consultant who was very well-known in the restaurant industry and he saw what I was trying to do, which he was really the first one to not think I was crazy. Because you go to these trade shows, there's no accountants. Everyone's a restaurant person. And so, you're this person with three heads and they're like, "Why are you here? You don't own a restaurant." I'm like, "But I'm an accountant and I want to learn about restaurants."
And you need one, yeah.
And you need one, so why do you think it's weird I'm here? But he was the first one who saw my vision and to this day, I'm so thankful for him seeing it because he said, we met right before my seminar and he's like, "Okay. I see what you're trying to do. I think your message could be worded differently because again these aren't accountants." And I'm like, "Okay." And I never thought I'd talk to him again.
And he called me two weeks later and he's like, "I'm going to refer you to every one of my clients because everybody needs accountants and no accountants ever care to learn about the restaurant business, so the fact that you're trying to learn about the restaurant business says a lot." And he did and it was crazy. I was like, "Really?" And we did a joint webinar and it worked really well because I learned his system.
And I was like, "okay. I understand this whole proactive approach. How do you make it better and how do you talk about accounting?" Because a lot of what he was saying was accounting, but worded differently and breaking those barriers, so it was great. We were a great team. We continued the referral back and forth, but I think that looking back, the biggest thing was learning and really trying to understand the industry that you are trying to serve. So, it's like I'm not just going to serve you as an accountant, but I need to know your language and the way that you think about things if I'm going to be a good accountant for you.
So smart. I teach women how to build virtual assistant businesses from home and so often, they'll say, "How do I find someone?" And it's putting yourself in a place where your ideal client is where for you, you thought, "I'm going to think about this differently and show up and tell them what they need without them even knowing it." Because I think everyone needs accounting or everyone needs a virtual assistant, but it's being in the place and speaking the language and making that first big connection. So, that is so inspiring. I'm just over here like, "Yeah," fangirling because that's so cool.
So, as you got into building this clientele and the hospitality and service and everything else, taking on those clients one by one, what is the biggest stress that a lot of the business owners have that you could help maybe answer questions for. For those who are listening right now, what are some of those big first hurdles that you helped them come over?
I think inherently, if we all go back to high school or college or wherever we first learned that there are accountants, it's that mindset. I think there is an intimidation factor that people think, "I just can't ever learn it. It's never going to make sense to me. What's the point? I just am going to pay someone to do it." And I feel like that is hurting your business more than you realize because the business owners, and I consider myself I'm incredibly lucky that I have the opportunity to just talk to all the different types of entrepreneurs every day, I think it's fascinating how different people are, and yet, we're all the same in so many ways, but the ones that I see the most successful have just forced themselves to find a way to understand.
I wouldn't say that they are smarter or they have a better education or took more accounting classes, they have literally found a way to make it make sense in their head and however that is it's different for everybody. Some it's guts. Some it's like, "I'm going to do this spreadsheet." But whatever it is, they found a way to overcome the mental side of accounting and just force themselves to take complete ownership of their business.
Because I would say even when we were growing and continue to grow, one of the biggest misconceptions is you're going to sign up with me as your accountant and everything's going to be great because it's not. COVID happens, so it might be great that I'm your accountant, but things are still going to go south in your business. And there's going to be challenges and it's going to be hard and things you didn't know and pipes burst and fires and all of that is still going to happen. So, we have to find a way to make our own decisions and not rely that like, "Oh, because I have a good accountant, everything's going to be great and I don’t have to do this ever again" because that's not the case.
Yeah. So, walk us through your product a little bit, how it works, and how it helps others with being able to be decision-makers.
Yes. So, really what we do is it's normal accounting and bookkeeping and tax, but it is the element of engaging with our clients every week, so what we do is have these tools, the four tool kit, which really we've developed from COVID, that even before COVID, it was always important to have a budget, but it also now brings in the element of cash flow planning and just making sure that every week, you know how your business has performed on some level.
And again, that's where breaking through this mental barrier really for most business owners there's two numbers you need to watch every week regardless of what the business is. Those numbers might be different, but you don't have to know every line on your P&L or spend five hours a week drilling in. There are probably two things that change every week. It might be sales, knowing what your break-even point is, and then maybe it's your margin or your cost of goods. For restaurant owners, your labor, but maybe it's two to three numbers.
And if you know, "Okay, going into this week, I need my sales to be 20,000. I need my cost of goods to be 30%," that's all you need. Then you can go through and just make sure that you're hitting those targets every week. So, that's what we really try to do is communicate with you, "Okay. I know your sales target is 20,000. You're at 18,000, so it's a little off. What can we do differently? Or I know your food cost should be 30% and it's 40%, what can we do?" That's it. Everything else is on autopilot and will take care of itself and all those things, but as an owner, knowing where you are to these targets makes sure that we don't have a bad week that turns into a bad month, that turns into a bad year, but we're able to be proactive and change course when we need to.
Yeah. I think that's a really good way at looking at it, looking at a good week to a good month to a good year to a good forecast for your business because it really does come down to the day-to-day, week-to-week decisions, which can be overwhelming if you try to do it in reverse, those big decisions in the beginning, back. So, now that you're doing this from home in COVID, how many years has it been, because you're referencing COVID that it changed, so where did you start with that restaurant hospitality approach, and then what was that transfer to where you are now?
Yes. So, actually, right before COVID, we were growing a lot. I had a great referral that I mentioned I met at a trade show and I had actually asked him to join our business formally because it worked really well. And after three months, it just didn't work out. Accountants are unique and not everybody can see themselves as part of an accounting firm, so we're still friends and it was fine. But that was a huge gut check moment for me because it was like, "Oh, you don't see this as this cool business?" And to me, it was I had always thought of building a team. And so, when he decided it wasn't really for him, I'm like, "Does that mean we're not going to grow as a team? What is this?" And so, I actually had gone through this crazy gut check moment three months before COVID.
So, right when COVID hit, I think that was part of my driving force of like, "No, no, no. I've made it way too far. I have decided this is for me. This is my future. We're 90% restaurants. We were in a big a hole as anyone." But it was also because I had already gone through this whole, "Is this for me? Is it my future?" to become like, "No, this is my future. I have to find a way to make it work."
So, it really was a pivotal point for our company because we actually grew in COVID. It was our biggest year, but the reason it was our biggest year is because we, all of a sudden, had this voice and people resonated. Where pre-COVID, no one wants to talk about cash flow, now it's like, "Oh, I need cash flow. How do I get there?" And so, all of a sudden, we had a bigger voice and we were out there more and meeting more people. And it really turned into this time for our business where we grew a lot and we brought on new team members and really just found our niche. And I think that's part of where we will go from here on out.
That's so inspiring. I think that there are so many circumstances where COVID drove people to the ground and also so many where that's really where they found their rhythm because opportunities opened up for more to be happening in different ways. And are you doing this primarily from home and you're able to keep doing it that way?
Yeah. So, actually, we're back in the office for the most part now.
You're back in office, okay.
Yeah, just because it's hard being at home.
Yes, it is.
People were such in a terrible situation and the last thing they wanted to hear were your kids in the background. Yeah. We've been back probably for almost a year.
Okay, cool. So, let's talk about that juggle a little bit of being a mom and running the business. How do you navigate that?
Yeah. I feel like it's really hard for everyone. I think it's the hardest as entrepreneurs though because you're doing something different, so it's not like, "Oh, my mom's a nurse," so you work these hours, and then you're home. I definitely found that it became more of a struggle in COVID because obviously, everyone's routines were off and people were home.
But I think to me, it's just reminding myself that I love my job. Like I said, part of that 2019 was like, "Why am I even doing this? Would it just make more sense to go get a part-time job and be home for my kids more? And is the time I'm spending really worth it, and the stress?" But what I found for me is I love talking to my clients. I would literally talk to them for free. I love being around entrepreneurs and that's a really hard thing. Even if you go out and get a job as an accountant, you might not be able to talk to the same people that I get to talk to now. And at the end of the day, I think when you're a fulfilled person, you're a better parent.
And so, I try to remember that really, you're setting a good example for your kids and them seeing you successful and happy is something that's really worthwhile. And I actually had a really cool parent moment. A couple months ago, I went out to a trade show with one of my clients and he invited his son who's now 30. And it was really cool to see the next generation and you think back and you think all of his sacrifices for 30 years of running a restaurant, which can't be easy and stressful and ups and downs, now it's coming to fruition because you have this business that could sustain your son to work in it. And the next generation can take it and go well beyond where it is today. And I'm like I think that's a cool wish as an entrepreneur is that I hope my kids grow up and want to be accountants and want to continue this on to create a legacy beyond yourself."
Yeah. That's really powerful. I like that you said a fulfilled person makes a better parent. I think that it just is. It is what it is. And what I love about that too is that to be fulfilled does not look the same for everyone. And so, the fact that you said, I would do this for free, that really is a testament to you tapping into your wheelhouse and that's really powerful.
Thanks. It's true.
Yeah. Do you feel like it was easy for you to fall into it or do you feel like you just followed the path of like, "Yeah, this feels right" and just kept going in that?
Yeah. I think it's a combination of both. I feel like I've always just been a very passionate person. If I'm not mentally engaged, there's no chance. It was a struggle working in a firm where it's like someone else decides what you get to do because you're like, "No, that's not what I'm doing this week." So, I've always known I have to be on my own because that's just how I'm wired, but I really feel like the experiences that I had at the beginning of the restaurant industry, because as an accountant you're thinking like, "Who needs accounting and what different industries can I go into?"
But I really feel like the first few times that I went to a restaurant and met someone who's an owner, it's powerful because you've created these businesses that are incredibly complicated. It's very hard to run a restaurant. There's just so much money in, so much money out, so much money at risk, and just how hard they work and how much they just love their customers that you're just driven to help them because it's a hard business. And not everyone who goes in a restaurant understands how to build a margin net works or even knows food costs. A lot of them just love what they do and they want to make pastries or they want to make barbeque. And then, I think seeing that passion, you're like, "Wow, I really want to help you get there because this is a cool vision that you see and nobody else sees and I want to be part of it."
So, to be clear, you specialize with restaurant owners and this product that you've built is for any type of business owner. Correct?
Yes. It really is universal. Restaurants are just hard because there's a lot of different moving parts, but any business owner, our toolkit really is designed to, like I said, give you meaningful information that gives you ownership again of your business.
That's awesome. And what are your kids' ages again?
Nine and seven.
Nine and seven. And do they see mom doing what she does? Do they talk to you about it? What do they think?
I think they do. I try to point out like one of our clients is near our house, so it's like, "Isn't that cool? They make barbeque." So, I try to get them excited about it and get them thinking about it. And I think they're somewhat aware of what I do.
What you do, yeah. So, moving forward, I'm curious because you're still in that infancy stage of this newfound way of doing business. What are your goals for the endpoint or where is your vision?
So, it's definitely I would love to keep growing to really have our tools resonate. I think what COVID taught us and it taught me as a woman business owner is pre-COVID, I always took the back seat. I didn't necessarily need my voice to be heard. I just did my work and it was what it was and that was great. But I think COVID taught me that our vision and our voice does resonate with people and there's no reason why we can't be out there and be promoting ourselves and be helping people see the way of doing things.
Because, like I said, I was saying these things in 2018, but nobody cared. So, it's like this vision has always been there, but now you have the unique opportunity. People know have the pain point of, "Oh, wow. I sees what happens when I don't know my cash flow." So, now, I think this is a great opportunity, but there's no reason that what we're doing can't be in any economy. It doesn't have to be this crazy pandemic, but it's just reminding people that the fundamentals of accounting are important and I think that that's something that will always stay with us now that we've developed it.
Yeah. It sounds like an incredible resource and I appreciate your time so much today. I feel like you have such an amazing package of business and entrepreneurial mind and just amazing things. Tell our audience where they can learn more about you and your resources.
Yes. So, please check out our website. We have new courses out every month. They're always free, but if you go to www.thelargogroup.com, you can register. And that's something that we're committed to, so check out, you can be registered to get our promotions and our goal is just to continue to provide information that business owners need to get better.
That's amazing. A free resource, so that's The Largo Group, L-A-R-G-O?
So, you're checking that out. Awesome. Thank you so much for being here on this show today. I really appreciate it.
Thank you so much for having me. This was great.
Hey, CEOs. Thank you so much for spending your time with me. If you found this episode inspiring or helpful, please let me know in a comment and a 5-star review. You could have the chance of being a featured review on an upcoming episode. Continue the conversation on Instagram @callmeceopodcast. And remember, you are the boss.
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