Jaimie: Well my guest today is Erin Davis and straight out of high school Erin jumped straight into her accounting career grinding her way up the corporate ladder for 26 years. In one firm dedicated, I know 26 years these days is unheard of. Even though Erin's Accounting and Advisory skills were top notch skills, Erin battled with self doubt in what was mostly a male dominated industry. For years. Erin was loved by management team and clients though she wasn't able to see or acknowledge the impact she was making every day. Juggling motherhood brought a new level of self imposed guilt expectation and exhaustion and Erin is a mom of three teenagers. So to Erin needs idea of being successful meant having to do all the things though the reality was she was left feeling unfulfilled, emotionally depleted and like she was just failing at everything. Can relate to that. The turning point came when Erin decided something needed to change and fast. So Erin experienced her own life changing breakthrough and for the first time she acknowledged her contribution, feel calm and believed in herself. Since then Erin has switched jobs, started trail running, and has even completed two Ultra Trail 50 Kilometre marathons and now Erin exudes confidence and is passionate about inspiring other women to feel the same. Erin Davis, welcome to Pitch Perfect.
Erin: Thank you. Thank you.
Jaimie: so much in that so I guess I'll just start off by saying what is it you do like you know, you want to help people having gone through that experience that I just described? What is it that you do is you know you are a coach and so who are your people and what do you help them do?
Erin: So I as you said, I'm an accountant. So I love being in that financial space, the women that I want to help. I want to help them build their financial confidence because I know when you build your financial confidence that means understanding what your financial statements mean. Being up to date with things and just just having that whole confidence around understanding the numbers because I know for a lot of women that feels like it's, they just don't get it. They just don't understand it. It's all too hard and scary. So I really want to connect with those women and build their confidence, build their confidence around that financial aspect, but then also the personal confidence because when you have the personal confidence, you can then make the decisions, you can step out, you can be sure of yourself and not hesitate and not be not be worried about being judged by the decisions that you make. So I think that the financial confidence building the financial confidence comes with building your personal confidence as well.
Jaimie: Yeah, I love that. And so why do you think though that women generally are prone to not having financial confidence, why is that?
Erin: I think we just we have this huge amount of self doubt. And the whole saying of “fake it till you make it” is very, very prevalent across everything. And I think we just think that we should know all of this stuff. And traditionally, it has been a very male dominated space. The men have tended to look after this like as you're growing up that type of thing. So a lot of women just don't have the knowledge they don't have the understanding. They don't have the confidence to then ask the questions. And I know that women, a lot of women do have those, but the women that I see in my accounting space, they just don't understand it. They they don't know what they're looking at. They are great at their business. They thrive in that space. But when it comes to the numbers or that they're just like, “Ah, I got no idea what's going on” And I just don't get it. So being able to explain and break it down, just then gives them the confidence to know what it is that they're looking at.
Jaimie: What do you think they get stuck on? Is it sort of they don't know what they're looking for, or they focused too much. I know as a business owner, I used to focus so much on the income rather than the expenses. You could be earning a million dollars a year but if you're spending $1.1 million a year it's not really a million dollar profitable business. So you think they kind of have a lot of the unknowns?
Erin: I think a lot of it comes from the social media space that you know, people are talking about these million dollar launches or billion dollar businesses. They think that they need to be in that space. You know, comparing yourself to other people is just huge because it's really hard to stay in your own lane and focus on your own thing. So we're comparing ourselves to everything else that's out there. And when people I suppose million dollars means different things to different people. It's like Kate Toon’s book Six Figures in School. Hours is six figures of what like six weeks six figure revenues, six figure profit. You know, it all means different things. And I think we get caught up in the well that's what they're doing or that's what they have, and we don't really know what we should have. So I think a lot of the comparisons.
Jaimie: Yeah, I mean, gosh, comparison syndrome, whatever the term for it is, is so real, especially in the course creative space. And I think you're right, people do really get hung up on that six figure, sort of term. Don't say I want to do six figures even myself. I'm about to do a launch the time this record is goes to a hopefully I would have just done a six figure launch but in my head. That's one of my goals. And I wonder why do you think it's just because of what you said, everyone's just branding that term around left, right and centre?
Erin: Yeah, and it's and it's really hard to stay in your own lane and focus on your own thing, because we feel like we should be doing something else you know that which should brings a huge amount of expectation with it, that we should step up and we should be doing this rather than doing what feels right and doing it within flow and in that feminine space. We tend to stay in that masculine, you know, very linear, very linear, very structured rather than in flow. And we get caught up in all of these things that we should be doing or we think we should be doing. But we really have no clue exactly what it is that we truly, really, truly deeply want.
Jaimie: Yeah, I mean when I saw you around, so you're in PR club and you also are a Paid to Speak alumni. And I had a look at your speaker bio today and there are so many meaty topics on there, too in particular, so grow your business by doing less and navigating the corporate world as a working mom are ones that really sort of sparked my interest. How do you grow your business by doing less? Please explain that to me.
Erin: I think it all comes back to reducing the overwhelm. It comes back to how you reframe things. It's automating systems, it's understanding your numbers. It's not feeling overwhelmed with all the things that you have to do. And it's being in flow. As I said before, as females, we tend to just go go go go go and we keep pushing through and we don't listen to our bodies and we don't slow down because we have this expectation that we just have to keep going and we have to get it all done. So if you actually slow down, prioritise what it is that you need. Focus on those really big important things that you have to do. And just enjoy it. It takes away that heaviness and when you're in amongst the heaviness, you really can't see any other way you that's just who you are and that's how you be but when you remove the heaviness and you're able to just show up and be present with what it is that you're doing, enjoy what you're doing feeling flow. It may be still the same amount of work but the energy that brings with it and the way you feel about it totally changes.
Jaimie: Yeah, absolutely. And you know, managing in the corporate world as a mum of three kids, I’ve got two kids and I've got my business and many other different hats and it's a struggle, and you are filled with guilt all the time even before my other half sent me a photo of our two little boys. They're at home right now with him and I'm here in the office. You know, how do you navigate whether you're running a business or in the corporate world? How do you navigate motherhood amongst all of that?
Erin: For me it was resolving the deep seated issues of guilt that I had. And that is through the work that I do is resolving those deep underlying self beliefs that we have. Because when when I was at work, I felt like I should be at home. And then when I was at home, I felt like I should be at work. So I could never switch off from wherever I was I needed to be in the other place and being able to resolve my issues about how I felt about myself had changed. It changed. Everything gets, as I said that heaviness that we feel because we're in amongst it. You just you can't see a way out and you just think that this is everyday. This is just what I have to do. But it's not it actually doesn't have to be that way if you don't want it to be. It's about resolving those deep underlying issues that you have, in a way that you need to hear it because whatever you need to know you already know.
Erin: To hear it in a way that you need to hear it. And so what I know about guilt is totally different to what you know about guilt because you've got your own filters, your own expectations, your own experiences, which are totally different to mine. So I can't teach you how to stop feeling guilty. You have to learn yourself. Because, you know, it's all about you. It's not about me. So it's about tapping into that internal wisdom so you can hear exactly what it is that you need to hear.
Jaimie: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, gosh, in the intro to talking about you switching jobs after 26 years, I can imagine that would have been a really hard decision. Is it something which you now look back on and think oh, I should have done it years earlier? Because I mean, look at your life now. And you see you I follow you on social media and you're just out there, you know competing in these marathons and doing park run every week. Is it something that you have regret over for not doing sooner or are you just kind of grateful that you did it in the end?
Erin: I think there's that we all get to a place or a time when when the time is right to do it. And we stay in doing something while it's uncomfortable until it gets to the point where it's too uncomfortable. So I think there was there was definitely a transition space there. But for me it, it had to be the right time. So those last 26 years were just brilliant. Like I have lifelong friends there. I have lifelong friends and clients and staff. And it was just a beautiful place to work but I needed something different for me but it wasn't until I was ready to accept that and was ready to change that I could step up and step out and I think that's a process because you just for me I couldn't just go one day, yep decision made. It was a process of making the decision.
Jaimie: Absolutely. Yes, gosh, good on you. That's the headspace you're in now and helping others to think being by working out and really taking that time to just have time for yourself and you can see yor I've only been following you for a really short time probably less maybe 12 months. You can really see the difference in your own personal transformation you need beaming with energy and happiness and it looks like you've gone through a bit of a self discovery journey yourself. Do you credit a lot of that to exercise like is that been a real key ingredient in your mindset lately?
Erin: That definitely and I think it's been an evolution of growth. It's probably the last five or six years for me has has been the evolution. But for me, it's really about connecting into what's important to me and making sure that I schedule that time and I don't feel guilty about it, because I've resolved those guilt issues. So I know that I can show up as my best self. If I look after myself, and for me that is walking, running, going to the beach. I love just hanging out at the beach and walking. There's something just about being by the water. I don't know what it is but I love being there. But yes, definitely. The more I commit to my exercise, the better I feel and the and the better relationships that I have with everybody. I'm able to show up so much better for myself. which then impacts everybody around me.
Jaimie: Yeah, absolutely. I love that. Just finally, what questions should we be asking our accountants I know that's one of the things that you talk to a lot of women about. I have no idea I have no idea I just do whatever is asked of me in my account and and trust the process. What questions should someone like me or any woman be asking if their accountant?
Erin: I would be asking for monthly reports or monthly catch ups? That's a part of having your systems up to date as well. I would get them to teach you how to run those reports and how to analyse them. So looking at your average weekly sales or looking at your average weekly, monthly. If you pay staff what is your turnover? You know your KPIs in relation to staff and sales. What are the variables? Also looking at the cash flow? So cash flow is very different to profit. Making sure that you understand well just because I have a million dollar profit doesn't mean I have a million dollars sitting in the bank. It's like well, what did I actually do with the money? And I think that that is really crucial because a lot of people make this profit but then they say well where's the money? Where's, I don't have it. So I think getting clear and asking questions about well, when is my tax due? What's coming up? What do I need to plan for? What's the budget? How do I need to, where do I need to focus my cash flow? Does it need to go to debt reduction? Do I have a different purpose for that cash? Is it you know, debt, debt reduction is great. If you don't want to use that cash for something else, maybe you've got it lined up to do something to purchase something. So you know, it's it's all about just having the conversation and the connections I think with your accountant so they understand your business understand you and understand where you're not understanding if that makes sense.
Jaimie: Yeah, no.
Erin: So it's conversations it's getting to know it's more than just having here's my tax once a year, you need to have the conversation. It's about connecting. For me everything is about connection. It's about understanding what it is that you want, what's important to you, making sure that you're communicating that because I can give you a whole heap of reports but if that means nothing to you, and you don't care about it, then that just waste your money. I would much rather have a conversation, well, what is it that you're looking for? What information do you need? And that all comes through the conversation. Once you have the conversation, then you can tailor that solution I suppose to whatever it is that you're looking for.
Jaimie: Yeah, I love that. Gosh, thank you so much. I know you clearly have so much value to offer women out there and it's great following you. It's great having you in my world and I know you're just one of those people that soaks up all this professional development and you practise what you preach you just continually evolving into, you’re in Tina Tower’s program with me now as well. And other programs you've invested in and we had a photoshoot the other day. I remember which is always reinvigorating for your brand, just you know mentality. So it's great to kind of be walking alongside you in our businesses and thank you so much for coming on today. Erin,
Erin: Thank you. Thank you for having me. I just really want to connect with women and show you that there is a different way to be if that's what you want and when you resolve yourself confidence issues and the self doubt. The opportunities are just endless.