Building confidence when you’re brand spanking new

I get asked time and time again what my “secret sauce” is for starting out in the bookkeeping biz. While I wish I could give you a precise recipe for success, it’s not that simple! Every person’s journey is different so give yourself permission to go slow and make mistakes. 

That said – I have been around a while 👵 so I CANNNNNN share a few of my top tips for getting started. 

#1: Take a Class

Bookkeeping 101 is officially in session! 🍎

If you haven’t already, look into what learning opportunities are out there for new bookkeepers (trust me, there are lots). 

No one knows your style of learning better than you. So figure out what works best and get to Googling. From the searching I’ve done, most colleges and universities offer affordable bookkeeping programs both online and in-person. If going back to school isn’t your jam, find a format that works for you.

For those who like to go at your own pace, a self-guided course could be a great fit! But if you’re like me, maybe you learn best in an interactive environment (and hence why I teach LIVE to my students and in my free FB group)

Some companies offer certification programs that are perfect for getting your feet wet. Take Intuit, for example, they recently launched their Bookkeeping Professional Certificate program. Quickbooks also has its own set of training and certification programs, which I definitely recommend checking out.

#2: Start Part-Time

I really, really want to say to you, “YES YES you CAN have a six-figure career in bookkeeping TODAY! 🤩🤩🤩”

BUT that’s probably an unrealistic expectation. What can I say? If anything, I’m honest (ughhhh). 

When you’re just starting out, it’s pretty unlikely that you will make 7 figures out the gate, but honey it’s DEFINITELY possible with a little grit and work. 

And remember any business—bookkeeper, influencer, baker, flame-thrower—takes time to build. Be like Dory and just keep swimming.

Find a part-time job that lets you learn from the ground up.

Every good leader and business owner knows that you can train for the job, but you always hire for personality. If you’re able to knock the socks off someone during an interview, your lack of experience shouldn’t keep you from landing the gig. Heck, my most successful employees started with me when they had Z-E-R-O bookkeeping experience. 

Go slow, learn the basics, grow your knowledge—THEN the $$$ will come.

#3: Use Your Circle of Influence

*tap tap* Is this thing on? 🎤

That’s right, it’s time to get your microphone out. You’re hitting the streets, babyyyy. Well, not literally. Most of this can be done over the phone, at your local book club, on Facebook… but you get the point.

It’s time to tap into your circle of influence. 

My what?

Your circle of influence is the social sector of your life that could have potential customers. 

This could be your church, school PTA, exercise group, kid’s soccer team, you name it. These are the people who already know you and may have people in their life who could use your services.

Say your walking buddy’s brother-in-law is starting a bakery and wants to outsource his bookkeeping. You’d never know if you didn’t put yourself out there first! It’s amazing how effective it is to just let people know you’re available for hire.

Pro tip: We, as a species, kinda suck at listening. So be prepared to spread the word over, and over… and over again. In fact, people need to see or hear something seven times to remember it. So don’t be afraid to keep putting the word out that you’re open for business.

#4: Go Slow

A little while ago, I talked about the chicken or the egg problem. Get too many clients at once, and you’ll drown in work. But, of course, onboarding new clients is critical to growing your business.

Starting out slow will keep your stress levels low, and allow you to build systems (crucial to a sustainable business that can scale!). Let’s say you try to onboarding 10 new clients at once (plus do the work) it’s going to be insanity, trust me. Give yourself some breathing room and stick to a more realistic number, like one new client a month or quarter.

Overall when people get overwhelmed, we tend to check out.

That means…

🤦‍♀️ Sloppy work

🗓️ Missed deadlines

😡 And upset customers

Trying to juggle too much too soon is a no-go.

#5: Ask Questions!

When my kids were in nursery school, my oldest went to a Montessori school. What I love about this teaching method is that they didn’t group kids by age. Instead, all the kids stayed in the same classroom and learned from each other. Older children instructed younger ones by example, and younger kids helped the older kids further learn from their work. It was a true example of peer-led learning.

I’m a full believer in building a community of trust, knowledge, honesty, and helpfulness. Tapping into the insights of other bookkeepers who’ve been in your position is one of the greatest ways to learn and grow your practice.

Never be afraid to ask questions. Even if it sounds silly to you, there’s always someone out there thinking, “Yeah, I was wondering the same thing!”.


I’m going to give a quick shameless plug for my free Facebook group, which has steadily grown into a community of uplifting and knowledgeable women. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I highly recommend heading over there. In my (pretty biased) opinion, there’s no better place for new (and not so new!) bookkeepers to ask questions, vent frustrations, and share their victories.

I hope you found my top #5 tips helpful. If you have your own advice for beginners, I’d love to hear it!

Until next time,


P.S. Say something seven times, remember? 😉 So here I go again… I’d love you to join us over in the free Facebook group if you haven’t already!