Hands up everyone who hates July
Prepare yourself. I am about to drop a truth bomb. I love my job and my practice. I love everything about Appy Books, and I am proud of what
I have built. From our wonderful stable of clients, to our KPI dashboard, to my network of clever peers, to the actual work I do every day. I
get to be the boss and I am using my lifetime of experience to make a real difference to the hip pocket of fifty different small business
owners daily. What’s not to love? It is rewarding, interesting and fun. Ok, I admit I am a numbers nerd, but it is fun.
But, if someone asked me what I dislike about my work, I would answer immediately, loudly and with one swear word. JULY!! If it were drawn
as a Venn diagram, it would show month end, payroll year end, financial year end and a couple of other compliance reporting period ends all
intersecting, with advisors just like me plopped right in the middle of the intersections. There is no way to sugar coat it, July totally
sucks! We do our best with early preparation, time management and checklists (I do love a good checklist), but it is the volume of work that
brings us to our knees. And it is not getting any easier. Every year, the ATO seem to shift additional compliance tasks back to advisors.
The pressure just keeps on building.
I am a member of many social media industry groups and the most common thread of discussion at this time of year is talk of retiring.
Advisors are walking away from practices they have built with years of sweat and determination because the pressure has just become too
much. I am certainly not immune to this feeling. During July 2022, I think my only conversation for the whole month was a Lethal Weapon
impersonation, “I am too old for this $#!%”. But July is kind of like childbirth. It is really painful, but over time, you forget that and
find your happy again.
Anyone that has met me knows I am my own worst critic. Where I am forgiving of others, I am harsher on myself. But in July, there is no time
for self-flagellation. The work just has to get done. This year, I was determined to do things differently. My complaining does not change
the timelines, but what I could change was my attitude.
Welcome to the “2023 evolution of Trace”. This year end, I was determined to cut myself some slack, build in down time, set achievable
targets, and rejoice when I hit them. I even went as far as to stick a post-it to my desk saying, “Be kind to yourself.” And do you know
what? It has actually worked. It is the end of July and I feel great. I am 81% done with all the EOFY work (I know this because of my fancy
checklist), and I have not pretended to be Murtagh from Lethal Weapon once. I even had a couple of days off last week to relax with my
bestie. And I have all of August to finish that last 19%. I am calling that a win.
I don’t think I am quite ready to not hate on July all year just yet, but we certainly have progress. I am planning to have those post-its
professionally printed and sent to every advisor I know next June to share the joy.