Ben Robinson, CPA is all set to launch the first public release of his course, Bookkeeping Business Academy Course (now known as Bookkeeper Launch). The students who took his first run of the course, that started in June, have graduated and are moving forward. A question on some people's mind is: Is this Bookkeeping Business Academy course worth it? By the end of the 10-week course are you really in a position to start your own bookkeeping business? Is it worth the money and the time?
Callie Sitek was one of the students of this first class. Two weeks after completing the course, she already has her new business website up, is building a web presence, and is about to meet her first prospective client. In this interview, Callie talks about the course and how it is affecting her life.
Callie, could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a stay-at-home mom of an almost 3-year-old boy and a 3-month-old boy. Before I found Bookkeeper Business Academy I was working as a Virtual Assistant, way undervaluing my services, and doing some other odd and end jobs like typing for Virtual Bee. After my expenses, I was never making more than $5-7/hr. I started getting really frustrated and burnt out because I would work for hours and make nearly nothing.
So had you dealt with accounting, finances or bookkeeping as a VA?
Bookkeeping was not one of the services I offered as a VA. My only experience was doing my own books, poorly, and I helped with my dad's business' books when I was a teenager.
What attracted you to Ben's Bookkeeping Business Academy course?
I think it's the fact that I had tried to learn bookkeeping on my own about a year prior and failed miserably because I had questions, but no one to ask. I watched his three free training sessions and just knew that I had to jump. I knew that I had to invest in myself if I was ever going to be successful.
What were the best aspects of the course for you?
The people. Ben was so helpful and his teaching style is really easy to follow. Our Facebook group was also really nice – having others to talk to about questions and for support was so helpful.
In your opinion, do you need to be a whiz at math to be able to be a great bookkeeper?
This is a hard question for me because I am a whiz at math. It has always been my favorite subject. To me it doesn't feel like difficult math, but I would say basic algebra skills would be all you need.
How much time were you spending on “homework” during the course?
There really wasn't a lot of homework. In the beginning, it was mostly wrapping your head around accounting theory. As we progressed, we got into the action of bookkeeping. On average maybe 2 hours tops and that was mostly learning software and studying for certifications.
I've understood that Ben has you actually working on real aspects of developing your business even during the course. What did you have in place by the end of the course? What had you accomplished?
That's true. He encouraged us all to get started before we felt ready. By the end of the course I had my website up (The Smart Keep), been blogging for a month, my opt-in freebie finished for list building, and I was actively marketing myself on Facebook and Twitter. I veered from the course a bit to find my target clients, but Ben really gave the blueprint.
How long has it been since you finished the course? What stage are you at now?
The class has been over for almost 2 weeks now and I have my first consultation call with a prospective client tomorrow! I'm super excited and scared all at the same time, but thank goodness I have a set of questions ready to ask, courtesy of BBA (Bookkeeping Business Academy).
What previous skills of yours are helping you make this work?
I would say my experience with technology has helped me the most with learning quickly and getting my name out there.
And most importantly, how is this all working with your aim of being at home for your family?
Right now I am working more than I ever have from home and it is really hard, I'm not going to lie. Most days I just want to sleep – haha! But I know that once I get a few steady clients, I can slow down on the hustle because my clients will be with me on a continual basis. My eventual goal is to have enough clients to hire my husband to help so he can quit his job and we can have more time and money for family adventures!
Would you recommend this course to other work-at-home moms?
Absolutely! I have seen so many stay-at-home moms working so hard for so little, just like I used to do. Something that changed it all for me was the saying you can make more money, you can't make more time. Your time is your most valuable resource and it is worth more than $2 an hour or even $10 an hour! This is an opportunity to invest in yourself. It won't be easy and it isn't for everyone, but you owe it to yourself and your family to at least see.
Do you have any tips for those who are thinking of taking the full course?
If you are thinking of taking the full course PLEASE watch the free classes to see if this is right for you. It is not for everyone! If you can't motivate yourself, believe in yourself, or stick with things that are hard work you should probably look elsewhere. BUT if you have the characteristics of a great bookkeeper and you are ready to work your butt off (at first) so you can coast later with a great income, you need to do this for yourself. Also, if your family depends on your current income stream I would advise you keep working until you get enough clients to replace that. It will take a bit of time.
Thank you, Callie!
UPDATE: Callie recently updated us on her progress – take a look!
Have you taken the course? Are you interested in taking the course? Either way – comments or questions – just start typing below!