EP10: Heather Weiler - Mindset Is The Determining Factor In Your Success


Heather Weiler is exactly that.

She is the owner of Weiler Bookkeeping Services, but more incredible is the journey she travelled before becoming a business owner.A few years ago, while she was 7 months pregnant with her third son, her husband died in a car accident.

For many, it could have broken them forever.

Not Heather.

It was a heartbreaking moment in her life, but she kept moving forward.

Through sheer courage, determination, perseverance and conviction, she found a way to support her kids and create a great business that continues to grow every day.

During this powerful episode, you'll learn...

  • How your mindset is the determining factor in your success especially during challenging times

  • How the power of community can help you in your darkest hour

  • Why it's important to have grit, focus, a willingness to learn and a great work ethic to achieve your goals

To find out more about Heather, visit http://www.weilerbookkeeping.com/meet.html.

This episode was voted as one of the Top 10 Recommended Interviews to Inspire You to Build Systems into your Bookkeeping Business


Michael Palmer: 01:01 Welcome back to The Successful Bookkeeper podcast. I am your host, Michael Palmer and today I am joined with an inspiring bookkeeper who has succeeded despite facing some intense challenges in her life. Her story is a powerful one and hopefully, it will uplift and motivate you as you go through your own challenges as a bookkeeper. Our guest runs Weiler Bookkeeping Services in Paris, Ontario. And I am happy to have her on the podcast introducing Heather Weiler. Welcome, Heather. 

Heather Weiler: 01:20 Thank you , Michael. 

MP: 01:25 Uh, yeah, and thank you for being here on The Successful Bookkeeper podcast. I am excited because we, we met about a year ago and so I've just been watching your business evolve and I'm excited to be sharing this with our community. 

HW: 01:48 Thank you. 

MP: 01:50 So let's give everybody a little bit of a background story of you. Can you tell us, you know a little bit about your bookkeeping history? 

HW: 02:01 Okay. I took business administration in college so I've always kind of done, you know, took accounting and bookkeeping all through high school and college and things like that. My grandfather was an accountant, so I guess it's kind of in my blood. Um, I did ended up doing insurance, working in the insurance industry for a number of years after I finished college. And then I stayed at home with my kids for a few years and my husband was a self-employed commercial industrial plumbing contractor and the plan was for me to do his books for him so I could work from home and support him in his business and things like that, except that he died in a car accident when I was seven months pregnant with our third son. So that kind of didn't pan out a doing books for him, but I decided if I could do, I ended up getting a, as doing a filing or something like that for a friend of ours, just one day a week just so that I could sort of get out there and start doing something. 

HW: 03:08 When my youngest son was one and a half, so they had a contract bookkeeper that did their bookkeeping for them. She was showing me how to put invoices on and how to do payables and things like that. And I gradually took on more and more of the work that she was doing and then she moved away. So all of a sudden I was the bookkeeper for this place and they had eight employees. So I did the payroll and like the whole thing. So over the course of a couple of years I took courses at community college, like night courses to learn about bookkeeping and the software and things like that. So I was learning and working at the same time. It was all part-time work and they really, I was maybe 15 or 20 hours a week I was working at this place and that was kind of all they had to offer me. So I thought, well if that other lady could do contract bookkeeping and do books for lots of people, maybe I could too. And then I could work from home and do all the stuff that I had planned to do all those years ago. So I went out on my own. And you're, I am 

MP: 04:19 wow. 

MP1: 04:20 Doing bookkeeping for other companies. 

MP: 04:22 Wow. I mean, that's a tragic story. I mean, it's both the classic story of getting into the, how you got into bookkeeping, but not a classic story around how you lost your husband with, with such a large family, um, that would be difficult at the, at the best of times, but yet you still were destined to be a solopreneur and, uh, an entrepreneur business owner and you did that, which I, my hat is off to you. That, that, that is, it's exceptional. It's exceptional. So I can't even imagine what that would have been like at that time in your life. How did you move forward from that situation to actually still going off and being in business for yourself? 

HW: 05:09 Well, my church community was a tremendous help during the first year. I had someone come to my house pretty well every day between seven and 9:00 PM to wash dishes or fold laundry or bounce the crying baby so I could bath the other two boys or whatever needed to be done so that I could stay thing. And that was, that was a huge, huge help. So by the time my little guy was like one or one and a half, that's when I started this little job. And again, I had some, I've had friends from the church come and stay with whoever was home at the time cause my middle son was in junior kindergarten I think. So he was here some days and some days not. So they would stay with the boys so that I could go and work over there and do this little filing or whatever stuff he needed me to do. 

HW: 06:03 And then, you know, the kids got older and got into school and I was able to take on more work. It just kinda, it just kind of gradually grew. It wasn't anything that I decided what I'm going to do this. There were, there were a couple of points where I thought, okay, I need to either get serious about this or just keep puddling along. And that was about three, three years into it, you know, when I was working there and doing the bookkeeping, I thought, okay, I need to just take a course so that I really, really know this software. And really take this seriously and really do this. So there were a couple of times, like last year when I went to the pure bookkeeping system seminar to meet you and hear about the system, that was one of those times I thought, okay, if I'm gonna do this, I gotta take it to the next level. And, um, so I, I w that was a decision I made. I'm just going to go there, I'm going to buy this program, I'm going to learn this, I'm going to get some support and I'm going to grow this business. Cause like, I met, I have to provide for three kids, so I have to, this has to work, I have to be successful. And failure is not an option kind of thing. 

MP: 07:19 Wow. Well, you know, I remember hearing that story when you did start working with us and it was, you know, it was a lot on my shoulders because I felt like we, uh, we, we owed you everything that we possibly could to make sure that you were successful because of your situation. And, and, uh, I think it's an incredibly inspiring story. And I think there's so much that we can learn from yourself and, and, and, and what you've gone through. And I don't think people have to go through a tragedy like you fortunately, to, to get that what you're saying here is that you got clear that you're the one and that you were responsible for actually going out there and whether it was going to be a bookkeeper or whatever it would be, you were going to be successful at it because you were committed to being successful. And that's why you are successful. Whether it would have been us working with you or whatever it is, it, no, I get that you're the type of person that's just gonna make it happen. So I remember that day clearly out in Burlington and meeting you and having you sign up and, and let's go through a little bit of what that was like for you to make that investment. You, you went home and were you worried you wouldn't be successful at any point? 

HW: 08:43 No. Um, I had decided in my mind, but like I, I think I learned about the whole concept through the IPBC, which I also became a member of before I even started my, because I thought, I don't know, I'm not a CGA or anything, so I need to have for my own sake to have some kind of something that makes me look credible, you know. So I, I did the IPBC and um, that was fine. So it was through that, that I learned about the Pure Bookkeeping System. I think I was reading the MS bookkeeper and then there were notices about the seminar in Burlington that I ultimately ended up going to. But in the meantime, I was doing research because that's what I do. I do research. So I would research the, you know, the website and learned about the program and learned about everything and I saw the price and I thought, oh my gosh, that's a lot of money. 

HW: 09:37 So I thought, I've been to lots of seminars because I'm always wanting to learn and grow and you know, become more than I was before kind of thing. That's sort of my approach to life. So I thought, well, I'm going to go to this seminar and I'm sure they're gonna try and sell something. And I decided that if, if the price at the seminar, cause they always offer a crazy price at the seminar, right? If the, if the price at the seminar is half of what it was on the website then I'll, I mean I'm all in and as soon as you did the spiel and said, this is the price, it was half, I'm like okay, I'm in, I'm all in. And it was a no brainer and I knew that this was for me and that this was going to be the, you know, the help and support that I would need to, to continue to grow my business and make it something more than it already was. 

MP: 10:27 Hmm. So the, you know, if it's a great, a great story, a very interesting perspective to hear it, to hear it from you and to hear the mind process that you went through to make that decision. Now you, you did it. What's the journey been like? 

HW: 10:44 It's been very interesting. I not on the community as much as I would like. And I spend a lot, a lot of time learning the system and I was so thrilled and happy when I was learning the system cause most of what the system is is what I already do. So it wasn't really much of a leap to, to learn the system cause I already, I already do it that way, you know, 90% I sort of already do it that way. So it wasn't hard to learn it at all. And I think the thing that changed most for me was my mindset. You know, I sorta had had, well you know I'm just, I'm just mom in the basement doing some bookkeeping here and I'll get these piddly little accounts that are a disaster and are always a disaster and always will be a disaster no matter what I do. 

HW: 11:32 And that was, that was hard. I did get a referral for an account, which is fantastic and I love it. And I wanted to get more accounts like that. And the pure bookkeeping system. What it did for me was gave me a lot of confidence to sort of put myself out there. I've worked with accountants, referred clients to them and things like that. And shortly after, a few months after I started with the pure bookkeeping system, I was reading about the presentations to accountants and things like that and I put mine together and bounded at staples and the whole thing. And then, um, okay. Accountant referred me to a tax accountant to hadn't somebody that needed my services and what, what I meet with him. So I went and met with him and he took me out for lunch and I showed him my presentation and we talked about things and he thought that I would be a perfect fit for this client. 

HW: 12:32 And then I went and met the client and got the job and I've been working there since December and they had their year end in August and their account has been there. I was there yesterday and they said that that was the smoothest year end they've ever had in 15 years. I thought, well that's fantastic. But mostly, it was my mindset because I thought I have, I have support, I know that the way I'm doing things is good. I know that my work is good and I know that I, there are people to talk to if I have a problem, like what should I do about this or what should I do about that? There are resources, there are people there that understand what this is like and they have on the ground experience to offer, you know, try this or try that or whatever. So I just felt like I wasn't out there all by myself. 

HW: 13:22 So I think that's the best thing that has come out of that so far for me is just the change in mindset. And you know, when I'm more, more confident and more out there, then things just sort of come to me easier than they did before. I, I have more referrals than I can take right now. So I need to figure out what kind of accounts I want to take on and learn about the whole hiring-process thing. So I'll be probably on the forum in the next while looking at people's posts and talking to people about what they've done with hiring and how they've structured that. Cause I don't know how to structure that, but kind of my next piece that I'm gonna work on. 

MP: 14:12 Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. 

MP: 14:13 And that's the higher hiring system will be fantastic for you at this stage. What I love about what you're saying is you're following the process to the t. You know, it's first to get your, your house in order and you did all of the, the, the training and development around standardizing, systematizing your own system and hey, guess what, it was 90% of what you were already doing. So you're already, so why we say it's, you know, we help great bookkeepers grow their business, uh, because we, we want great bookkeepers. It's if you're not a great bookkeeper, that's the first step is to become good at what you do. And we help people do that somewhat. But you did that, you implemented that, and you realize that the most powerful piece to success is your mind. It's your mindset. And I mean, here's the thing, right? The backstory that you told us, you're already a person that has, has figured that out around mindset and you figured it out that you didn't, you've never done it alone. 

MP: 15:16 You've always had people around you and you've accepted. You see, everybody has access to incredible resources. If only they allow those resources to enter into their lives and you and your situation allowed people from your church community to give to you. Many people say, no, no, no, I'm okay. I'll do this on my own. I don't want to let, I don't want to put anybody out you. It takes courage. It takes courage to actually allow people to help you and you are very good example of allowing people to come into your home to help take care of your children. When you're going through something like this and then you found your like, okay, well I have a community that has helped me here in this situation. Now I'm going to find a community that can help me grow my business and help me with my mindset and give me what it is I need to be successful because nobody does it alone. 

MP: 16:11 And that's such a fantastic example, Heather. And the last point that I want to make there that I thought was really was really great is that you actually did the work. You see there's a lot of people that go and take programs and I go, okay, bought the program, and they just think that the buying the program is what makes the program work. You went and put together all of the resources for a presentation, the very best possible presentation you could build for accountants and you got it all bound and that's you putting energy into your business. I just love that you put all this energy into the business. I guess what he probably didn't even look at that binder now he didn't. It didn't even look at it, but here's the deal. You know that that's not a signal to not build the binder in the future. 

MP: 17:06 It's not about the binder. It's the work you did to build the binder that made you prepared and gave you the confidence to actually do and be present yourself in the past possible way. And now here it is. You've got more people wanting to work with you then you can deal with. I just love that story, Heather. It's such a perfect example of just do the work. It's not about what you buildout of the work, it's the impact it has on you as an individual and building your character as a business owner and your confidence as a business owner that actually makes a difference. I just love that. 

HW: 17:40 Well, one thing that I've always really remembered is a quote from Henry Ford and it says whether you believe you can or you can't, you're right. All around mindset, right? If you believe you can do it, then you'll, you'll do it. If you believe you can't, then you won't. 

MP: 17:54 Exactly. And you came with that mindset right out of the gate and then you took the actions and that's, that's done. There are a million great quotes around just doing the work. 

HW: 18:05 Well, sometimes being completely desperate helps because you don't really have a choice. 

MP: 18:10 It helps. Absolutely you had conviction as what when unfortunately when we're in a hard place in a corner, that's when conviction becomes easy. I guess you could say is because you don't have a choice now. I don't want you to think that you need to be in a tough spot or a hard place. You can create conviction through the community that you're in as well and that is making declarations and asking people to hold you accountable to what it is you're up to and that might be the next step for you is to actually have conviction around doing it in in a, when your life is in a powerful state. 

MP: 19:00 Such a great, such a great story. Heather. Now I, you know, want you to share some of the things as well, like when you're, when you're out there building your business and working with customers, you, you came into when we first met you were at a certain price point and you've started to increase the prices. Tell me a little bit about that journey. 

HW: 19:23 That was pretty scary. So I really appreciated the opportunity to speak with you and, and um, just the things you said and encouraged me to just go do that. So I went and did that and I as in you were 100% right. I sent the letters out, I increased the price and I lost, you know, one account or two, but I wanted to get rid of them anyway, so it was perfect. And then the people that I was working with already didn't bat an eyelash, didn't say a thing. They were just more than happy to keep paying the invoice and that was fine. And when I start with people that are new, they don't say anything about it at all. I just say, okay, that's great. When can you start? And it really has improved the quality of the people that I work with because they understand the value of this type of work. When it's done well, it makes a huge, huge difference to their business and it's worth paying somebody who knows what they're doing. So I've learned that firsthand because of the help that you gave me. So Wallet while was scary. I still did it because I had some help. And that would be you and your encouragement and wisdom to just go do that. 

MP: 20:46 And what was it? So when in your conversations now with new customers, what, what do those conversations sound like now? 

HW: 20:56 All I tell them what I'll do for them. Well, first of all, I asked them what do they need and what do they want to accomplish and what are their sort of difficult places that they're having to deal with. And they're always the same because when bookkeeping isn't done or it isn't done well, you have the same problems. So I explain how, how I work and what I do and what results they can expect as a result of that work. And um, this is my price and it should take me approximately this many, this much time depending on what goes on. If, you know, if there are processes that are causing problems, then we'll need to change some processes to make it more efficient and these types of things. And they're fine with that. And they're just looking for the getting the results that I'm telling them they'll be able to have and they're happy to pay it because they want those results. 

MP: 21:59 It's beautiful. It's a thank you for the acknowledgement. I, I always, whenever someone says, Oh, thank you for the help, I always think, well, you're the one that went out there and did the hard part. We simply had a conversation. But I do appreciate the acknowledgement and I love it when people take the knowledge and the coaching and they go and do something with it and produce the results like you did. So, for me, when you called me up, uh, just less than a year and said, listen, I want my businesses making more money than I thought it would and wanted to pay off your license in full and all that good stuff. It was, I mean, that was the thank you right there is that, wow, you went and did something with all of the tools that we gave you and you made it way more valuable than we gave it to you. So bets. That's what we want. That's why we're in business. Oh, that's a good partnership for sure. Yes, yes, absolutely. And we want to see that continue. So we just continue to watch you make the magic happen out in the world. So I love this. I love the conversation of value with customers. When does it not gone well? 

HW: 23:07 Um, usually it goes not well when, when the business is more of a hobby than a business, you know what I mean? There's some little weed company and they are looking to have their, their bookkeeping done for free or whatever. You know, they're not really that serious about their business or their business isn't going that well or things like that. So at the end of the day, I don't really want to work with those types of clients anyway, have already done that. I'd like to move, move past that to, you know, companies that make good money and employee lots of people and make a difference in the community and things like that. And they're not just spinning their wheels doing silly things. As I say, I have more referrals than I can handle. So if I have ones that I check into and it doesn't pan out, I, I'm not sad because there's plenty of work out there and most of the time the people that don't want to pay that price, I wouldn't want to work with them anyways. 

MP: 24:12 And what would you say to people who said there's not enough work out there because there are people that are struggling to find business. 

HW: 24:21 Well, I say for the community of 10,000 people and I have more work coming to me then I can handle. So I mean, I'm sure there are places that are more remote and smaller than this and that certainly is a factor. But every business must do their bookkeeping. They must, whether they do it themselves or they hire somebody, it has to be done because they have HST that needs to be filed and payroll taxes that need to be filed if they have staff. And that's like, that's just the bare minimum. So there's every business must do it on some level. 

MP: 24:57 You're absolutely right. 

HW: 24:58 There's lots of work out there and some of the companies I work with, they have their, their own in house people doing the data entry. Then I'm just sort of more doing reconciliations and overseeing the procedures. So they have, you know, their data entry and then they have me and then they have their accounts. So they have a whole team of people that are making sure their work is processed accurately and efficiently. Those are the types of ones I, I like to work on. But there are all levels of people that need work. There are little stores and little self-employed people that are doing some kind of a consulting business and they need to have that done. So they need it for their income tax. They need to know if they're a sole proprietor, they need to have their income from their business when they're filing their personal income tax return. So anybody that's doing any kind of business must have some bookkeeping done. So there's plenty of workouts 

HW: 26:05 and you have created customer standards for yourself as well, which is, you know, what kind of customer that you want to work with. And that you have, you can hear the conviction in your language and in the tone of your voice around who you want to work with, who you will work with. And then on this other side of clients is your mindset. It is simply there are business out there, I'm going to go out and get the business because it's the only way to do it is you're putting yourself out there. And for people that I've worked with that have been in the situation where they don't have enough customers that they, they think there's not enough business out there is simply their rights. Like you bring you back to that great quote you used of Henry Ford. If you think there are business out there, there is. And if you think there's no business out there, guess what? There's no business out there. 

MP: 26:54 That's right. 

MP: 26:55 So great example, and you're in a small community. Uh, you're in an area in Canada for the, for our international national listeners, you're in an area that has had economic challenges through the shifting or evolution, I guess, of the industry from, you know, challenges in the auto industry. So it's not like it's been rosy and there's just booming businesses everywhere. You're just out there getting the business that's out there already and it will only get better as the economy improves and these sorts of things and whether they are economy goes up or economy goes down, people still need to do their books and they still need to make profit and they still need to find a way to be more successful. And so that's what your job is, to help business owners be more successful through their finances. So I love it. So we're gonna, we're gonna wrap this up. You've given us so much gold already, Heather, but I'd love to hear a couple of success tips that you would provide to the listeners. 

HW: 27:53 I'll do the program for one. I love the mastermind, the monthly mastermind meetings. I try to make it to those no matter what because it's just a very inspiring experience to be sort of with other people who are doing the same thing I'm doing and having the same challenges I'm having. And do you hear people that are further down the road, you know, they've been in business longer or they already have staff and how things are working and things like that. So just, I really think it's important to be part of a, be part of the community that you're, that's the same as you, you know, so you can see how you can reach forward and see what's possible and how you can move forward. And at the same time when there are people that are just starting or they're, you know, not as far down the road as you are, then you can think, wow, I used to be there and I'm, I'm here now. I mean, not that we've arrived or anything, but it's just nice to see the progression. It's hard to sometimes see how far you've come when you have to see how far you have to go, you know? So it's nice sometimes to look back and say, yeah, I've, I really come a long way. I've really, I've really grown and learned and changed and it's been, it's been good in the mastermind. Does that for me. I love that. 

MP: 29:10 Excellent. Well, I've heard a few here that I'm going to uh, recap, but first, so give people an idea. How has your, how much has your business grown in the last year? 

HW: 29:20 I would say in terms of revenue, about 35%. 

MP: 29:27 Amazing. That's fantastic. And what's the future look like? Where are you taking this business? 

HW: 29:33 Well that's the part I'm working on figuring out right now. Cause I do like those really big accounts where I'm in between data entry person and the accountant in doing reconciliations and analysis and recommendations and all that. But that's not really something I can hire people to do. So I don't know how I'm gonna work that. I got a call yesterday from a gentleman who has an account from you, which I think would be a perfect size to have somebody, you know, hire a staff person to work on that. So I'm just trying to figure out how, how am I going to hire somebody and I probably can't hire somebody full time. It might be a day a week and they can work on this and that. And then once I have somebody in and see that it's working well then we can add more accounts that they can do and things like that. So I have to just keep in mind that it's not going to be, I'm hiring somebody full time and they're going to do all these accounts. It's not probably going to be like that. I'll have to just gradually build my way up. Like I've gradually done everything else. Just going to have to start small and grow. 

MP: 30:38 Well, definitely you're at the stage where you're at the research, is it going to be into the hiring system that we provide and there's a whole structure there and reach out. Like you're in a great spot to reach out to Debbie who's been there, done that and let her know where you're at. And she'll be more than happy to, to give you a little bit of mentoring to see you through to this next stage. Cause it's you're going to figure this out and all the tools you need are there. So it's fantastic and congratulations on the growth of your business and you know, we've been, we're honored to be a part of that journey. And so recapping a couple of those that I want to point out, you know, for sure, becoming a Pure Bookkeeping licensee is a great idea. By all means. 

MP: 31:20 We love to have all the listeners come and join us. But I think what's inside of that is that you searched out a community and resources to help you figure out your business. And so that's success. Tip number one is don't try and reinvent the wheel. Don't do this, don't do this alone in a vacuum. And then the other piece is go out and surround yourself with successful people. That's what you did. And my recommendation to everyone listening right now is find someone like Heather Weiler, who's a bookkeeper, who's ambitious, who wants to be successful, is committed to being successful and is doing the actions and taking the steps to be successful and spend more time with people like Heather because Heather is a person who will bring energy to you and, and, and you then will be the type of person because you're the same type of person, ambitious and committed to being successful. 

MP: 32:15 That will bring energy to Heather. And that's what makes a great community. So whether it's the IPBC, the Institute of professional bookkeepers in Canada, whether it's your local chamber of commerce or a business networking group, or your own I institution institute or Association, whether you, wherever you are in the world listening, you got to, if you want to be successful, it's almost a prerequisite to belong to one of those associations. Not Any association, but a successful association. The power of association is by far one of the most powerful pieces in business. It's always been that way. It's who you surround yourself with is what is going to contribute to your future success. So some great stuff, Heather, and a great conversation today and I've just, I'm so grateful to have people like you in my life that I get to wake up every day and serve people like you. Youth to me is a hero. You are the person that out there helping small business owners despite the challenges that you've faced to help our country and our community be stronger. So thank you. I love working with you. 

HW: 33:27 Thanks, Michael. I've, I really appreciate the Pure Bookkeeping System and the changes it's bringing about in my life as well. I'm so glad I found you. 

MP: 33:36 Mmhmm. So the feeling is mutual and much more journey to take and we'll be doing it together, which is, which is exciting 

HW: 33:45 Indeed. 

MP: 33:46 Well that is another episode of The Successful Bookkeeper podcast. You can find out more information about our podcast at Thesuccessfulbookkeeper.com and please leave us a review on iTunes. Everything you need to do is all in the website. You can find out how to leave a review. You can ask us questions, you can listen to other episodes and please subscribe on iTunes as well and download and listen to all the episodes that we've put out there and share it with the bookkeeping community. Get these, get this podcast into the hands of bookkeepers. We need more bookkeepers to be empowered, to be inspired and to take the actions that are going to help their business be more successful, but as well, help all of those small businesses and medium-sized businesses out there be strong so that our economy can grow and families can get fed and people can be healthy and educated. And that's, that's what we're up to and that's what this podcast is all about. So thank you all for listening. 

MP: 34:38 Until next time we will speak to you then.