Inspiring thoughts from
EA founder, Sarah Gould
EA founder, Sarah Gould
Hi, my name is Sarah and I'm a dreamer.
Jared, my partner, often rolls his eyes and laughs when I drive home, jump out of my car, and run up to him gush about my next great idea or goal I have for my life and business. After doing this at least once a week, he's used to it. He knows that the next great adventure around the corner keeps me going.
What can I do next? What will help me grow as an individual? As a business? As a mentor? As a mother? What experience will stretch me into that slightly uncomfortable feeling of fear where I know I will not be the same after?
Working in so many businesses, jobs, and positions in my career, I discovered I thrive without a challenge. Ideally, a BIG challenge.
Starting EA was one my biggest life dreams. In this way, I know how intimidating it can be to make the decision to quit a salaried position with "job security" while at the same time, you're dying inside every day knowing you are silently selling your soul.
And I know too well what it's like to really step out on your own. (Ridiculously scary.) It's that feeling of not knowing if it will be a step up towards freeing your true self, or if it will be a step down — into possible public failure and ruin of everything you have. (It's usually almost always the former, isn't it?)
This Fear has been by my side every day since I took that leap, and over the years we have developed somewhat of a relationship. In those moments when Fear lurks a little too close, I ask myself, "Where would bravery and courage be without fear?"
Just this last year I pushed myself even further and decided to pursue a second dream of mine: Becoming a yoga teacher. I've always been slightly envious and awestruck by “the yoga instructor.” She's confident, yet carefree, bendable yet strong... they are the directors of peace and vitality. Colorful. Warm. No stress. All ease. Then one day, I was asked by my friend, Mollie Busby (owner of Yoga Hive) if I had ever considered taking a 200-hour teacher training. I said yes without thinking. And then later, after making the leap and committing, I thought, “I hope I'm in good enough shape for this. I better start running!”
I did not expect to be thrown into a completely different world!
Turns out the fitness aspect was the least of my challenges throughout the training. It was my old friend in a different wardrobe... Fear. He was sitting beside me the entire time poking me, asking, Who are you to be able to think that you could be an instructor? You aren’t like anyone else in this training. You don’t even like public speaking! You aren’t as experienced as everyone else.
Turns out, after all those yoga shapes, classes, poses and lectures, I discovered Fear is what makes me a dreamer. And being a dreamer keeps Fear in check.
This is what I see in my clients' faces, day in and day out. I hear Fear in your voices when you call. We talk about the intricacies of your business, you bounce ideas off me, you trust me enough to ask how to handle employees and their complaints of wanting raises and health insurance. I love being this person. And some days the Fear gets pushed back when a goal has been attained, but we both know he is always there, ready to wiggle in beside you, put a hand on your back, and whisper, “Who do you think you are?"
Opening a business is quite an adventure — as is becoming a yoga teacher... as is anything that pulls us away from our comfort zone. The struggle is real. The learning curve is great. At times, it feels isolating to be the one on top, looking down, and trying to manage…everything. But despite Fear, this work has brought amazing, courageous, and empowering people into my life. Knowing I can help is what fuels me. Knowing I've been there too — I'm there still from time to time. Relating to you and helping you through the financial woes is what I love.
So I guess I just want to say thank you. Thank you for allowing me to be your trusted business adviser, and for collaborating to live from a place of adventure — without fear!
My kids asked me what my biggest fear is, and they give me quizzical looks when I utter those dreaded three letters: "IRS". Thankfully they are too young to understand that there is more to fear than spiders and monsters.
In the same way, a question I get asked most often by my clients is, "Do I have to keep a copy of my receipts?"
My biggest fear in life and my answer to this question are intrinsically linked... YES!
Now I'll be the first to say I'm not the best at getting receipts for every business purchase — I'm human, just like you. My filing system up until recently — albeit functional — was not perfect. Honestly, I would just throw them into a folder and pray that I will never have to search through it again. Even with this "catch all" system for receipts, many paper copies will fade over time and they can't be read. What do we do then?
Honestly, I was just crossing my fingers and hoping the detail on my bank statement would be sufficient if that time ever came. Unfortunately, a retired auditor from Colorado just moved into an office down the hall from mine and we were having a conversation about this subject. She recommended to always have a receipt. THAT is what the IRS looks at.
BOOM. (I actually was thinking a slightly stronger version of this word).
My intention isn't to put the fear of the IRS in you... if you know me, you know my main focus is efficiency — for you, and for me and my team. I was ready for a better system, which led me to some research on different software technologies that could take some of the burden.
I have had trainings on the system, I tested it on my own business, and have implemented it for a number of clients to test drive it... the overwhelming feedback? I am blown away at what this can bring to my ease of mind as a business owner. No more receipts floating around in every corner of your car, your office, your bedroom, or your wallet!
Here's how it goes: I make a business purchase, take a photo of it in my app on my phone (I can even make notes and label certain things at this time), hit OK, and the app uploads the photo to Receiptbank where I can view it on their website. All of your QBO accounts and customers are synced with Receiptbank so they are directly matched with vendors and customers in your books. Receipts that are emailed to you can easily be forwarded and magically entered that way as well. If you use Dropbox to hold receipts, you can even link Receiptbank to that folder.
One of the other benefits of this would be accuracy of your books. EAS would now be able to view your receipts in real time and categorize expenses with additional accuracy and less questions to you at month end... all you need to do is take a photo with your phone when you purchase something, or forward a receipt for an online transaction.
If you're ready for this stress-free system that allows you to FINALLY toss those mountains of receipts sitting around, reach out. We're excited to have added it to our software partners! And maybe you — like me — will start telling your kids "spiders" instead of those dreaded three letters.