You are your word. A notion I hadn't considered in quite that way until I read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. So how do I bring the agreement, be impeccable with your word, to the services I render today? For me, that is a tenet that one must bring to every aspect of business. That old way of doing whatever to get ahead may have made folks a lot of money but it left them with little else.
One of my favorite television shows is Suits
. What I find intriguing is the dance between vulnerability and success. To Harvey, winning is all that matters. At least that is what he says. Yet, Mike, his associate and biggest contradiction, constantly requires him to dig deeper. Values like forgiveness, integrity, caring about others, truth and equality are often wrestled between the two as if in an arm-wrestling match. Before I know it, I'm drawn in by the tension between light and dark, ego and vulnerability, loyalty and betrayal.
As captivating as it is, the sobering reality is these contradictions play out in our everyday lives. Every day pits our head against our heart. For me, rather than suit up for another day of war between the two, I've chosen to strike a balance. My bookkeeping is my skill. It is my head, if you will. The integrity that I bring to it is my heart. It's my word.
Part of keeping my word is showing up. It's more than being physically there. Folks drag themselves from one thing to another, but wish they were someplace else. They attend their daughter's dance recital or son's soccer game but miss the specialness of the moment because they are texting or playing Candy Crush. My inner Mike would argue that folks that do that aren't showing up. Distracted is not showing up. Halfheartedness is not showing up. Begrudging or avoiding any aspect of your day is a sign that you aren't showing up. Showing up is being present. Being all the way in. A theme that plays out over and over in my favorite legal drama: Either you're in or you're out. It's what Ralph Waldo Emerson means when he said, "Once you make a decision, the Universe conspires to make it happen."
Showing up is making a decision. It's the coming together of your heart and your head.
Another component of keeping my word is being prepared. It's doing the work. Doing the research. Setting aside the time, focused time, to pull all the pieces together. For instance, today, I have a meeting that is going to require sign offs from my client. In anticipation of my clients' needs, I completed the paperwork so the client won't have to. Was I asked to do it? No. I could have waited until the meeting but I value their time. I know what is most meaningful to them.
Some might say, that's not bookkeeping. I believe it is.
Bookkeeping is more than number crunching and ledger entries. There's an art behind the science.
There is a mindfulness behind the calculation. That's why I'm glad that I started out as an administrative assistant before transitioning into bookkeeping. It's not just what you do, it's how you do it. It's the attitude of service and excellence. It's the going the extra mile. It's understanding that my clients all want to do one thing - run their business. My job, or agreement rather, is to show up and be prepared. That releases them to focus on what matters most to them. That's my commitment. That's my word.