How to Escape the Nonprofit Starvation Cycle

by | Dec 22, 2021

Ever wondered why so many nonprofits are stuck in their financial struggles that they end up failing their communities?

Want to make sure your nonprofit doesn’t suffer the same fate?

Then you have to listen to what Chyla Graham has to say. 

Chyla is the Founder and CEO of CNRG Accounting Advisory. She helps nonprofits get financially established so they can achieve their goals.

In this episode, Tosha and Chyla talk about how you can give a better support system for your community by helping yourself and your staff first. Find out:

  • Why Chyla lists “You Need to Eat” as one of her company’s values. And why nonprofits need to learn to put themselves first. (2:47)
  • The first 2 core decisions you need to make before building your operating budget. (6:58) 
  • How you should think about money as a nonprofit leader (11:13)
  • The #1 behavior you should adopt from for-profit entrepreneurs you need to learn from for-profit entrepreneurs (17:06)
  • The ONE thing that all financially sustainable nonprofits have in common (24:36)

Thanks for listening. Be sure to subscribe for new episodes every week!

For more nonprofit accounting resources check out www.thecharitycfo.com

For more information on how to get your nonprofit financially established so that you can achieve your goals, visit CNRG Accounting Advisory @ https://www.cnrgaccountingadvisory.com/

Some books to help you start and grow your nonprofit mentioned in the podcast:

eMyth by Michael E. Gerber
Clockwork: Design Your Business to Run Itself by Mike Michalowicz
Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman

🎥 Click the video below to watch the episode on YouTube.

🎧 Click here to listen to the Podcast on  AnchorFM or Apple Podcasts

👇 Or scroll below the video to read the full transcript of our conversation

 

 


A Modern Nonprofit Podcast

How to Escape the Nonprofit Starvation Cycle

12/21/2021

Tosha Anderson: (00:01)

Everyone welcome back to another episode of a modern nonprofit podcast. I’m Tasha Anderson. I’m your host. But today I brought along kind of an old accounting friend, Chyla Graham is the founder and CEO of CNRG Accounting. Yes. I brought along another accountant and it’s so funny, Chyla, whenever meet people. Um, and they’ll say, oh, I know another woman that does, you know, accounting. Uh, and I always have to ask, well, you know, for nonprofits and I always have to ask, well, who is it? You know? And usually there’s like four of us or something in the whole country. Definitely. I know you probably had instances like that and like, oh, Tasha actually know her. Um, and you know, we’ve, we’ve kind of crossed paths because we are one of very few accountants that work in the nonprofit space. And I wanted to have you on today because you come with kind of a different spin on what you offer nonprofits than, than what I offer. And I think there’s, um, probably, uh, it’s just good for me to be a good company and share some of the things that, you know, as, as two individuals that have spent a lot of time, um, in the nonprofit accounting space, some of our lessons learned some of our tips, tricks, hacks, all those sorts of things. So I’m excited to have you on today. Excited about the conversation, Kyle, thanks for joining us and looking forward to it.

Chyla Graham: (01:19)

Yes. Super excited to chat with you again, Tosha,

Tosha Anderson: (01:22)

It’s always fun to reconnect. Um, so the first thing, um, for anybody looking go to synergy, spelled CNRG accounting, advisory.com, that’s, that’s kinda those website and you’ll be able to reference some of the things that we’re talking about today. And, and if you’re interested in working with Chyla, we’ll share that, um, a little bit later, too, but on your website, speaking of your website, you reference, you need to eat in your values. I want this, this struck me because I had a conversation just today about a woman that was starting a nonprofit. And she was really struggling. She was struggling because she comes from a nonprofit background. Leadership background partner has like a master’s degree, nonprofit management. And, um, they thought they’d be really well equipped for starting a nonprofit and what they realized as many founders do that it is much, much, much harder than, than they realized and what I’m hearing. And it, um, when she shared that they’re not able to pay themselves yet. And they’re kind of really struggling. And when I saw this on your website, it made me pause because I just had this conversation this morning, you need to eat first. Um, and making sure that that’s, you know, important to a nonprofit, tell us in your words what that means.

Chyla Graham: (02:37)

Yes. So I am a big foodie. And so for me, almost everything will go back to some sort of food reference yeah. What I was noticing was similar to what you mentioned about the person you talked to, that they were like, uh, how do I do this? And people underestimate. And I, I think it’s a combination of the way society frames, the word nonprofits, their own like preconceived connotations. It’s about the way donors think about like, what should nonprofits be doing? They, everyone, all of us, I think have a part to play in like, oh, you should only be spending so much money on this. And heck of the matter is it takes people to run the programs. Mm-hmm people by virtue of being people need food to survive. Mm-hmm . And I used to work at Walmart. I lots of jobs in the past, I worked at Walmart and this woman, it was on assistance, which never for me, like, I don’t actually care.

Chyla Graham: (03:40)

I I’m here all I’m here all day. So whatever you wanna pay with is fine by me. But what struck me about that interaction was she specifically said, she’s like, I work at a nonprofit and that’s why I’m on food stamps. Mm. That was a critical point where I was just like, that doesn’t even make sense because if your job is to serve the community, your staff should not in turn, need to go to another organization to get assistance for their mm-hmm their food. And so really reframing how they think, what does it take to run this organization so that they factor in the fact that you know what I’m gonna need groceries every day, every mm-hmm I’m gonna have to eat and feed myself and have to remember their staff has to do the same. Like you can’t, uh, solely on like the good wishes of your family.

Chyla Graham: (04:30)

At some point, you’re gonna have to say, we have to pay these people. And so thinking about what that means, and especially for organization, you see a lot of organizations that are run by wealthy women and like, how did that happen? It’s because they don’t have to pay to eat. They’re like I have money. And so if people are thinking about starting their own organizations, do you have a slush fund somewhere that is like going to cover that? No. They need to be thinking about that. When you think about your budget and how you plan for things.

Tosha Anderson: (05:03)

Hmm. I, I like that because, um, kinda, you know, about me that they, uh, I used to be a director of finance for a nonprofit. And I think one of the things that surprised me right out of the gate was how many, um, how many staff were eligible for governments. And I know this isn’t unique to my organization. I know the nonprofit world is really doing a movement to get livable wages and to raise those salaries for their employees. But it really is true. And, and you, and I know we see, because we see the numbers, we, we see the financial situation of nonprofits and we certainly see that their own staff, the founders are otherwise. I can’t tell you how many horror stories heard of, um, you know, employees really struggling to make basic needs or, um, founders that have depleted their retirement accounts have taken mortgages against their homes, right.

Tosha Anderson: (05:55)

They borrowed money from their parents. And, um, whether it’s nonprofit or for-profit, I mean, I, as an accountant and as an entrepreneur, I would never advise anyone, whether you are starting a bakery or you are starting a nonprofit to self-sacrifice that much to the point that it’s, it’s detrimental to your wellbeing or to your health or your finding adjustability or any of those things. So what a great lesson, what a great lesson for, so you had mentioned budgeting, um, budgeting is a big first step in mapping out any nonprofits, financial plan. If you don’t have a plan, you don’t know where you’re going and you definitely don’t know if you’re off the mark. Right. So what steps do you recommend a nonprofit leader to do when getting started? I know this is part of the work that you do, and some of your coaching, nonprofit leaders, um, you know, I love that, uh, you need to eat and we’re gonna figure out how to do that by your budgeting. So what are some of those kinda steps that you take with nonprofit leaders that have no idea how to even get started?

Chyla Graham: (06:53)

I love to start with two things, a wish list and your non-negotiable so that you have an idea of what is it that we one exists to do. So those, your non-negotiables, we, this is the service that we provide, regardless of if we get funding for it, we’re gonna always do this service mm-hmm . So in my head, I think of that as putting the mission first, like, this is why we, we are not going to stray from this because it’s easy. It’s very easy. Mm-hmm depending on how the grants get worded, you’re like, oh, we could get qualified. And you’re like, mm-hmm so think, so that piece of the, like, what is it that we, this is the core of who we are and what we do and the wish list, because so often we go back to the point of like, we’ve gotta cut.

Chyla Graham: (07:43)

We, we can’t do this thing. And that’s how you lose staff. mm-hmm, , mm-hmm, , we’re constantly cutting. We never have a chance to like build up or build up a plan or plan ahead. And so the, I think of is what is the thing that at your staff is like, I would love to do this thing. And here’s what it would do for the organization. Mm-hmm so saying I really wanna do this professional developments because it’ll help me serve our clients in this way. So think about what do they want and what would it do that way when it’s time, you know, you send to the board and you’re like, please approve mm-hmm when they, you can say like, okay, here’s also what we’re gonna lose. So be aware. Um, and you can start to rank that and think about for yourself, like, okay, this is a wishlist item. If we have to think about where is, where are we going? This year’s a organization, which wishlist items line up with that. Mm-hmm it doesn’t feel like, oh, you are always saying, no, you can say like, no, this year, this is what we’re prioritizing, and next year we’re gonna prioritize something else. And so everything on the wish list, you, some, you hit at some point mm-hmm, all in the same year, there’s a plan. There’s like a concerted effort to do this thing. We just have to figure out when is the appropriate time.

Tosha Anderson: (09:07)

I love that non-negotiable and wish list. And I would add a, I like to walk in with the wishlist and kind of contingency plan because, you know, you’ll, you’ll hear well, you know, if I add my wishlist, that means I have to add $50,000 to the budget. And what if my board pushes back on me? How do I have that conversation? It’s like, look, we have a contingency plan. If, if we are not hitting our revenue marks to finance our wishlist, then we have already identified the things that we will cut that or forgo or defer. So having that kind of in your back pocket, when you’re pitching your expansion plan to your finance committee might be helpful to you. So talking to all things, money, um, today, I, I loved to that you, that you talk about understanding leaders of nonprofits and their thought around their thoughts on money.

Tosha Anderson: (09:56)

Right? It’s so interesting. I’ve seen so such a spectrum. I have some CEOs EDS that are hypervigilant with money. They know where it’s coming in. They know what’s going out. They know the seasonality, they know the timing, they know all of the things, right. And then I have some people it’s like, I don’t wanna look at it. I don’t wanna open it. I don’t wanna know. Um, um, are very frugal and like to save and save and save and some, just blow every dollar that hits their bank account. so, um, tell me, that’s my experience. Um, kinda tell me, what do you see wrong or right. With having conversations on leaders and their thoughts on money. I’m curious to know what comes out of those conversations and, and how do you, you think nonprofits should think about money?

Chyla Graham: (10:39)

Yeah. I think it’s always important for them to know and like say out loud what their deal is, because that’s gonna affect like all of those decisions. When you mentioned the one who’s super frugal and you’re like, we need you computers. And they’re like, no, we like our computers work. And you have to think, think about, well, how do I frame this? Hi. If my computer dies one more time during an intake session, we’re not gonna, like, be able to do services. And so that’s why I think it’s important that they say out loud so that you, for me, like, I can help them say, oh, how do we need to like, adjust this framing so that you feel comfortable with it and it’s accurate yeah. So really helping, having an understanding of like, oh, they’re, they’re gonna be frugal. They’re gonna be like, why do we need to spend this money?

Chyla Graham: (11:28)

Oh, okay. Let me show you the justification. Because again, that goes back to the point of like, are they gonna say no? Like we never get to do this thing. We never is it that we never get to do it. Who, who most them out is gonna be the other piece of that mm-hmm so is, are they a team of people? So is it like the executive, maybe a deputy to director? And you’re like, oh, you two play off with each other. Got it. mm-hmm . And you’re like, all right, we need to get you to this place where you feel comfortable letting go mm-hmm . And one of the times where I knew that it was really important to have that conversation was like, you have also been director of finance editor organization. And when I came into my role, I met with the director director and found out that she was keeping her own little spreadsheet so that she can compare what the finance director’s reports mm-hmm with her spreadsheet.

Chyla Graham: (12:27)

And that was just like, this feels like a lot of work on your mm-hmm . But for her, she had a, a lot of fear around money and how we getting spent and are we doing the right thing? And so I knew that we needed to get her to the point where she felt confident that the finance me was gonna do the thing and be able to give reports on a timely basis, because that’s why she was keeping those reports. Mm-hmm like money, cuz she was like, no, I don’t wanna touch it. She was very much like, I would love to, to put my head in the sand. I just feel weird that I don’t know what’s happening. And so getting to the point where you’re like, oh, this is what transparency looked like. Mm-hmm and this is how often you should be getting the reports and here’s our rhythm in a cadence. So she didn’t feel like I’ve gotta do it cuz no one else is gonna manage it. Um, so that’s why I feel like having those conversations is important because then you can see like, okay, what’s the underlying issue. Mm-hmm never come out on time. Hey, we’ve gotta fix that. Mm-hmm mm-hmm . And so getting to the heart of the matter for me is really what’s like, okay, this is how we get you in the right direction.

Tosha Anderson: (13:31)

You know, that’s not uncommon. I hear that all the time. You know, we have our own separate little spreadsheet or own little tracking, whether it’s the program team or the fundraising team, especially for those that have, um, grants or something they have to report to another body about. Um, they just don’t trust the accounting records. And you know, I think we’re here to say that if you are having to do that, um, you’re probably working maybe with the wrong accountant. So , if you’ve had experiences where you have to do that, you’re probably working with the wrong accountant. Um, that’s good. That’s good. And I think it’s interesting. I’ve met so many leaders of nonprofits and this is gonna be a little controversial, but I just like to sprinkle a little bit of that in there where they’ll say I’m not good with money. I don’t wanna handle money.

Tosha Anderson: (14:12)

I don’t wanna do all those things. And I think that the problem is as somebody that has worked with nonprofits all the time as somebody that now runs a for-profit business. And I think sometimes people look at us as, oh, well your accountants you’re just naturally good at money. Look, I’ve met a lot of accountants that are not necessarily good with money. I that’s a little secret in the industry. Um, that’s not always true, but I think what is true to have a successful, sustainable profitable business, you have to take on some element of your identity as somebody that is good with money or good with numbers or good with understanding, you just, you have to, you have to spend less money than what you bring in and you have to be willing to strategically reinvest those funds, whether it’s through fundraising efforts or through your program expansion or whatever.

Tosha Anderson: (14:55)

And so I think it’s not okay for leaders of organizations. When I say leaders, I’m not just talking about the CEO, I’m talking about all the program leaders, I’m talking about all the fundraiser development directors. I’m talking about all the people that have a director or a manager or, um, chief something, uh, they all have to take on an identity of being good with money and knowing where that money goes. And um, I think obviously in my biased opinion, um, that’s a surefire way to, to become successful and sustainable that everybody has that buy-in everybody has that responsibility. And look, I mean, when you to a leadership role kinda, you know, I mean we’re building our businesses and we are not comfortable with all the elements that it takes to run a business that is not uncommon. Um, that is quite common. Whether you’re for-profit or nonprofit, you’re running a nonprofit, you’re running an accounting firm leaders of any business.

Tosha Anderson: (15:46)

They’re always challenged with things that aren’t part of their natural personality. Um, so I think we just have to push ourselves to, to become more comfortable in some way or another. And I tell people too, um, you know, just start really simple, like knowing the AC the natural activity of your bank account know kind of what comes in and kind of goes out, you can just start simple. So what do, what do you think kind of for, I’ve talked a little bit about for profit? No, always like to compare the two because I’m always inspired by startup entrepreneur, mind hustle people, um, that I think sometimes we often just see in the for-profit world, but that’s simply not true cuz I meet some really incredible people on the nonprofit side, making those same things happen. If you were to put it into your words, you know, how do you see for-profit entrepreneurs different are the same as nonprofit leaders that you work with?

Chyla Graham: (16:35)

Yeah. I would say it’s really about the ability, the rebound ability, like getting used to the nos mm-hmm and to the yes. And that’s where I find the organizations. They struggle, um, that acceptance of the no, or when people are like, oh, I have to step into this fundraising role as part of my, you know, new position. And they’re like, uh, I don’t know if I like that. And I’m like, guess what? gotta go and make these calls or send the emails or do the thing going to bring in that mm-hmm . And so that is one of the ways that they are very entrepreneurs, you know, and nonprofit leaders are very much the same. It very different in that approach of like, mm-hmm like, oh, so 70 knows today. Yeah. Making calls tomorrow, um, and nonprofit leaders needing to have the at same gumption and figuring out maybe it’s not you on the team, like maybe you are not that person, but who else is that person on the team then who’s gonna say, you know what?

Chyla Graham: (17:44)

No does not hurt my feelings. I don’t take this personally. Mm-hmm not now got it. I . Um, and really thinking through that piece of, it’s not a quick yes. So definitely have seen, you know, new organizations towards this, like, oh, we had a fundraiser and no one came and I’m like, well, you’re new. They’ve never heard before. How many more reach out? Is there a plan? And really remembering that everyone needs a plan. It’s what are your follow up gonna be? What’s your campaign looking like mm-hmm because people don’t give the first time to hear about you and not even because they don’t wanna give you forget.

Tosha Anderson: (18:25)

Yeah. You do

Chyla Graham: (18:26)

Forget the thing. And so peop remembierng that like the fortune is in the follow up. So, um, one of the books I read, I wanna say F is spell Katie Meyer. She’s she’s um, she’s out here in co, Colorado. She wrote a book about like the fortune is in the failure. It’s in like getting and doing the follow that you actually accomplish. The thing that you wanna do. And I think that’s a lesson that we don’t talk as much in the nonprofit community about is like mm-hmm okay, cool. Not yet. We’ll follow up with that grant officer to find out why you didn’t get the inform, get the funding mm-hmm you can improve as opposed to saying like, oh no, we’re not gonna apply again. Well, why not figuring that out? I think is gonna help them get to the yes. And I think entrepreneurs just lean more to that because they’re just like, yeah, well I’m still gonna keep pitching this thing. So what is it that mm-hmm buy from me or you want to hear that this solves,

Tosha Anderson: (19:26)

You know, I think it’s funny. I was having a conversation about this and somebody had asked me, it was actually, um, somebody that’s running a nonprofit and they reached out and were interested in just hearing how I’ve been able to grow a successful business, which I thought was kind of interesting coming from, you know, somebody wanting to start a nonprofit and asked, you know, what do you attribute that to? And it it’s along the same lines, but, um, I’ll paraphrase it a little bit differently that I think, um, for profit. So, so number one, the key to the key to the success that this firm has had is that every single day, the very first thing that I focus on now keep in mind, I’m a CPA, I’m a natural accountant. Like I am a service provider. Like I do the things that create financial reports, but the very, very first thing I do every, every single day, my number one priority is revenue generation.

Tosha Anderson: (20:16)

Now I’m not talking about just billing out the tax form so that I can get paid. I’m talking about going out there and finding potential new clients, right? That’s the number thing, or they, they reach out to me and I respond. It’s the very first thing I do every single day, right. Is focusing on revenue generation, growing the firm, because if I’m not growing the firm, then I’m therefore shrinking the firm. And then if I’m not growing the firm, then I can’t reinvest into the firm to get bigger and get more people and, and get my life and my sanity. Right? All of you folks out there that have small nonprofits listening, like I’m doing all of the things. And I told her that the easiest way to get yourself out of this is to grow bigger. And what I think that people wrestle with is that, well, if I get bigger, then it’s gonna be even more stressful.

Tosha Anderson: (20:55)

And I’m here to say it was so much harder being much smaller than it is being the size firm that we are now. So I think that entrepreneurs, oh, if you have an entrepreneur, they’re not necessarily with figuring out how to create a widget the most perfect way. I mean, maybe to some degree, but they’re focused on how do I sell the widget? How do I get money? Right? How do I, they’re focusing on sales and the nonprofit world. We focus on the service delivery. We focus on the programming. And usually because you’re, you know, one or two people and all of the energy goes into the service delivery. There’s not a lot of focus on the revenue generation side. Right. I, I meet numerous organizations that have been around for years and years and years, and they’ve never invested in the revenue generation side, which means like grant writers, fundraisers, you know, and when I say fundraisers, I mean like development directors or development staff, rather than like fundraising events, right.

Tosha Anderson: (21:50)

They’ll do little fundraising events. It’s very labor intensive. And they’re like, oh, we don’t raise enough money. But, but it’s usually like the for profit world will spend so much time initially up front on revenue generation, as opposed to, that’s kind of more of an after thought in my experience with the nonprofit side. And so that’s where I think things are a little bit different. And I was sharing with this leader. I said, I’m, uh, of this nonprofit. I said, I’d be very curious if it was flipped. Now I get, I get, I’m gonna get some hate mail maybe. And people say, Natasha, we’re a nonprofit world. We’re not supposed to be focusing on revenue, but going back to, you need to eat. Your staff need to eat. You want big things to happen in your community. You want big goals. The only way you can do those things, if you have money and if you don’t have money, then all of those things are just, they just, they’re not sustainable.

Tosha Anderson: (22:35)

Um, so anyway, I challenged her. I said, maybe consider focus on a revenue generation, but more importantly, being consistent with that. So every single day, to your point, Kylie, like reaching out to people and making those phone calls, sending those emails, like to connect with people, always setting up networking meetings or calls or zooms or whatever. You’d be surprised how many people would take you up on your offer to meet with them. Um, and just to share a little bit more about your organization or your mission. So I, I see that the, and I, and I think you were, I think our experiences are the same in that sense that entrepreneurs born, the for-profit world, focus on this. And then the nonprofit side kind of focuses on this, but it would be really interesting to see what the world would look like. Maybe at both sides kind of came a little bit closer to the middle, but , we’ll leave that for, we’ll leave that for another day.

Tosha Anderson: (23:20)

So my last question is that I think everybody, um, tends to ask me sometimes. So I like, like, I like to ask other people that work a lot with a nonprofit space. Mm-hmm, , you know, Tasha certainly seen some failures. You’ve seen some successes with respect to nonprofits and how they operate of those that are the most successful and successful could mean typically financial sustainability. And I always say this, you know, on a scale of one to ten one, I can’t sleep at night and 10. I never think about it. Where are you at with your finances? And for those organizations that tend to be more on the 10, right? They never have to worry about it. They’re solid. They know where their money’s coming from. They’re gonna make payroll. They can sleep all night. What is the common theme that you see on those organizations that are closer to 10 than they are to one,

Chyla Graham: (24:04)

I would say, they’re not doing it alone. And that can look anywhere from, they have someone on the team. So they’re definitely director who’s responsible for that admin piece. Who’s like, mm-hmm, , you’re not gonna cool. I’ll do that. I am the paperwork person. I will get them in order. Or if they have a treasurer, who’s just like, let me see these reports here. And let me dig into why, why is this this way and what, and so that is the piece because you can’t hold it all in your head. It is in mm-hmm. like, I will be I’m the master of my domain. Sure. But, um, is there someone else who can, I can delegate something to mm-hmm and so we don’t have another person that’s when I see the ghosting or we haven’t seen reports in seven months because, well, I don’t have follow up on this.

Chyla Graham: (24:58)

So it mm-hmm, , I’m done and I’m scared or I’m nervous or, oh yeah. We haven’t put together a fundraising plan cuz what it’s just me and I’m also delivering services, so right on the back burner. And so that for me is where I’ve noticed the people who are gonna be most, most successful are the ones who are saying, I can’t do it alone. Mm-hmm another person. And what that person is a contract or an employee, or just like a volunteer. Who’s just amazing in a rock star, they have recognized this is not a solo operation. Mm-hmm I’m um, I find that sometimes even our strategy calls turn into just that, like they needed someone to say out loud, the thing that mm-hmm and so really making sure like, okay, who are you saying this out loud to no one, Ooh, this is gonna be rough. Um, mm-hmm so making sure that they have that sort of buffer again, is it an employee? Is it a volunteer? Is it someone you just contract with to say, Hey, can you help us keep cold it together? It’s a little bit longer. Um, that to me has been what I’ve noticed, but of the clients who are really successful, they have another person to say out loud to, Hey, this, I love that. It’s hard.

Tosha Anderson: (26:16)

Yeah. And that’s relatable. I can relate to that for sure. And um, you talked about delegating and kind of spreading the work. Um, I am a business book, junkie I’m actually, you all probably can’t see them, but I’m, I’m reading, um, rereading. So a couple tips in, and Chyla, you might have some too mm-hmm um, really love traction and rocket fuel, like for the EOS operating system. Do you, you have that like literally next to you too. so she came in the mail for

Chyla Graham: (26:48)

Me and I was just like, asked our CO., did you send this to me? She was like, no. And I was like, who sent me this magical book? so

Tosha Anderson: (26:57)

That’s funny, um, waiting

Chyla Graham: (26:59)

For me to finish reading

Tosha Anderson: (26:59)

It. Um, yeah. And then another, um, two that I like so, so kind of before you even go there too, for those, um, I really like EMyth, EMyth is basically a book on how to get out of doing all of the things and how to effectively delegate whether it’s volunteer’s board members or otherwise. Um, and then, uh, also I’m really big fan of Clockwork Your Business. When I realized my business was just sucking the life out of me and I did not take a vacation for two years now, keep in mind, I started this firm so that I could work part-time and be home with my one year old daughter. And then I found myself working an 18 hour days, like more than I ever had. So that was backwards. Um, there’s another one called clockwork, your business that takes email it and amplifies it more to getting yourself like little mini sabbaticals.

Tosha Anderson: (27:48)

And the idea is, you know, you hear about these, um, disaster recovery plans, risk management plans, and what are we gonna do, or even succession plans for, you know, people of significant influence within an organization might organization included, but you never test it. So clockwork really talks about really delegating, um, the work and creating processes and people in place so that you can remove yourself from the business. And it suggests going 30 days. Right. Can you imagine anyone listening 30 days without checking your email without doing the things? And the reason why is 30 days is a great business cycle. Like is revenue still coming in? Is payroll still being made? Like, are checks still being cut? Like, do I have all the eyes out and teas crossed in the event that I was UN involuntarily, uh, unable to participate in the business. And it’s a great pressure cooker situation for your organization that if you cannot function without your involvement, that is like, Hey, here’s a red flag.

Tosha Anderson: (28:47)

We need to spend a little bit more time on figuring out what that transition plan would look like. It’s really good business. And then what I really love is we’re talking about the book traction by, um, Gina Wickman. And, um, it really talks about, okay, now that you’re like, okay, I’ve made the commitment, I’m gonna delegate to people. I’m gonna do the things I’m gonna get to some help. I’m not gonna do it alone. Um, EOS or traction, um, is, is a really good tool. It’s an accountability plan. And I implemented this several years ago with my firm and I really did it. I have like this little scorecard, super simple Excel spreadsheet. Um, and the idea is there’s a report if you’re trapped on an island, God willing somewhere. Um, and only got, you know, from an airplane, I dropped a little report, um, down to you while you’re, you know, on the beaches somewhere.

Tosha Anderson: (29:31)

And it had information that was key to your business that you could tell, Hey, this organization is running. As I intended to. Um, what would those five to 15 metrics look like? Right? And within those five to 15 metrics you can gauge, like are the people that are assigned to those metrics, are they doing the things that they’re supposed to be doing? Why or why not? And I actually did this, not necessarily for my stats benefit for me, for me to one, create a clear vision, me create clear, clear goals, me to define what those KPIs that are really in important to me. And then every single week I review what those are, right. Or you, you know, they encourage weekly. Um, but that consistency and that, um, accountability has really helped to me delegate, you know, ownership and responsibility of key tasks so that I can stay focused on the things that I need to be focused on.

Tosha Anderson: (30:22)

So I love that. Um, when you said don’t do it alone and some people are like, but how do I not do it alone? Like how do I do that? Those are some of my cuz listen, y’all I was in the same situation. I was drowning and drowning and drowning. I thought there’s no way I could find someone to do that things that I do. And I just went on some obsess hunt for any tools, tricks, tips to get out of this trap mm-hmm and those books have been really, you know, amazing for creating the foundation so far. Um, and that’s worked out really, really well. Um, and that’s not just for startup organizations, but growing organizations or organizations that maybe have plateaued that want to, um, to kind of re-engineer themselves. So thank you for all of those tips. Um, Kyle, so if people wanna find you and wanna hear more about the work you’re doing, but what’s the best way your website, social media, what, how can people find you

Chyla Graham: (31:14)

Email? So go to my website and send me an email. I, um, I, as much as I complain about my, my inbox being ridiculous, it is also me, um, like yeah, you send me an email. Yes, I will. You’ll hear from me if you send me on social media, I’m like, yeah.

Tosha Anderson: (31:36)

Yes. So go to your website. We’ll put the website in the show notes. Um, I think we mentioned that earlier. Um, CNRG what is it? Accounting advisory. Yeah. Dot com. And we’ll put that in the show notes. And so go there first and foremost and, um, shoot Kyle message. And, uh, if you have any other questions, certainly, um, hit either one of us up or stay tuned for further podcast. Right. Um, great. Thank you again so much for joining us. This has been so fun as always. And thank you for sharing all of your words of wisdom. I always love your perspective until next time everybody see you then.

 

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