"I'm so tired and I don't know why I'm crying." An Entrepreneur's Journey

entrepreneurship Jan 07, 2020

The birth of Freebird, behind the scenes.

Many moon ago, I was managing multi-million dollar operations when my curiosity about “the numbers” got the best of me. My then employer’s corporate accountant was in San Diego and I requested a meeting to grill him about the profession.

It was not long after that I enrolled in an accounting class at the local community college to test the waters. I had a great professor and enjoyed her perspective on accounting as it relates to business.

I then was committed to going all in. I started looking for a job in accounting and was prepared to start at the bottom of the totem pole. Insert HUGE paycut here.

In addition to making way less money, I was also committed to furthering my education and began an accelerated program to earn a Master of Accountancy.

I worked full time at my barely scraping by accounting wage and slowly worked my way up to earn something livable. I attended classes for 5 hours, twice a week and one weekend a month. Shit was intense.

Oh, did I mention I was also bartending to stay afloat and pay the $1200/mo tuition. There were several years of working overtime, picking up shifts, saving every penny and sleeping 4 hours or less. I often brought my laptop to friends houses to study and do homework and wouldn’t drink for fear of sleeping through my next shift. I was a zombie woman on a mission.

Looking back, I think the plan was to work in hospitality accounting as I excelled in the bar and restaurant industry. It was only natural to just slide into the corporate office and handle the back end. But something happened…

I received my first bookkeeping client as a referral from one of my classmates. He apparently thought I knew more than him, so I should take the client. I’m so thankful he did. It’s been the most wonderful relationship and I cherish them so much! Everyone always remembers their first! 😊

I eventually completed my Masters and immediately started studying for the 3 part, all tax IRS Enrolled Agent exam. I’m a glutton for punishment and continued to work, learn, work, sleep a little for several years.

My little growing business NEEDED me, but I needed my 9-5 to pay the bills. I was calling the IRS at 5am before I went to work (my Michigan cell routes me to the east coast office which is open!) and rented an office space near my job to step out and meet clients during lunch. I missed countless events, hikes, bike rides and exciting things because I had shit to do. My freshly post-op eyes grew accustomed to starring at a computer screen for 16+ hours a day. I survived on sour candy and caffeine.

After a year or so of side-hustling, I had real proof of concept. My niche was setting in and the female entrepreneur community really embraced this nerd. I was so ready to go whole hog into Freebird Financial. But something was holding me back…

If you’ve ever met me in real life you’d know I’m sarcastic, intensely curious and strive to be financially independent ALWAYS. The idea of causing a financial burden to anyone else if my business didn’t cut it was not an option. My goal was then to pay off my Masters degree so I could quit. So I did what I always do, buckle down and boom…mission accomplished.

Freebird Financial is now rocking and rolling and bringing on it’s first employees. I couldn’t be more proud of myself and this brand. I look back on all those years of fucking insanity and appreciate the sacrifice I made then and will continue to make to grow this company.

Entrepreneurship is a LONG journey. It takes grit, determination and unwavering support from your loved ones while you work your body to the brink. (Thanks babe for always believing in me, feeding me and letting me cry it out on the “I’m so tired I don’t know why I’m crying” days!) Business ownership is not for the faint of heart.

If you have unwavering passion you can persevere. Be smart, be efficient and do what’s right for you. There is no one size fits all recipe for success. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves, get dirty and do ALL the work. It's a rewarding roller coaster of emotions.

My passion for business and numbers led me to create Freebird Financial for you. Our mission is to serve entrepreneurs and help them succeed through tax, business and financial mentorship. To provide professional services with a side of education.

Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk.

**A huge shout out to my mentors and colleagues in the tax and accounting industry for the immense support. It means the world that you exchange your knowledge, time and expertise with me. We are all growing together.**

Photo from my very first photo shoot with Meg Marie Photo. I appreciate you and everything you do for your clients!