️Episode 055 – Best Practices for the Consulting Business Back Office with Sara Conde

For your Independent Consulting business to properly function, you need to have a back-office that supports the client-facing tasks that you are working on. The stronger your back office is, the more mindful and empowered you will be to make strategic decisions. And, the more structured and repeatable your back office is, the less worry you’ll have trying to keep up with business bookkeeping, business taxes, invoicing, collections and insurance.

Our guest today is Sara Conde. She has two decades of hands-on experience in the independent consulting world and she shares strategies and tips regarding your IC back office and the future of independent consulting. She shares an insightful behind-the-scenes perspective on what it means to run a consulting business versus to be a consultant and just have a business.

This conversation will help you to get further into that business owner mindset that we talked about so frequently on this podcast. Press play to listen now. 

  • [01:57] Meet Sara Conde
  • [03:18] What the Collective is and how it helps ICs 
  • [07:05]  Staggering statistics of the average time that business owners spend on back-office admin tasks
    • Businesses of one are consistently under-served
    • There are 57 million freelancers in the country contributing $1 trillion to the economy globally, and in 2019, 53% of Gen Z workers were self-employed. And yet…
  • As a business-of-one, self-employed workers don’t have support from teams to get some of their admin work done.
  • [10:27] A missed opportunity that most consultants overlook
  • [12:16] What it looks like to be empowered in your business without doing it all by yourself
  • [15:33] How to find affordable insurance as an IC
  • [22:36] Some challenges that ICs are facing right now and how they can overcome them
  • [32:14] Free Tax Calculator that shows the advantages of being an S-Corp (visit  www.collective.com )
  • [32:47] Want to try Collective at a discount.

Sara Conde, Head of New Business at Collective
Sara’s bio: “With two decades of hands-on experience in the exciting (and exploding) gig economy, focusing on freelancers, independent consultants, small businesses, and their impact on the future of work, there’s been no shortage of opportunity, growth, and innovation at Sara’s fingertips (and she wouldn’t have it any other way!). Today, Sara serves as the Head of New Business at Collective, a fintech start-up that provides an all-in-one financial solution for independent consultants.”


LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/saracasoconde/
EP. 050 – 5 Methods To Uncover If You’re Undercharging as a Consultant
EP. 051 – 4 Root Causes for Undercharging as a Consultant
EP. 052 – The 5 Steps to Overcome Undercharging

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**note: This is an automated transcript, so please ignore spelling errors and grammar mistakes*


Welcome to the Grow Your Independent Consulting Business podcast. I’m Melisa Liberman, a fellow IC and business coach. On this podcast, I teach you to become a consistently booked independent consultant without becoming a pushy salesperson or working 24/7. If I can do it, you can too. Listen on To find out how. Today on the podcast, I’m so excited to share with you an interview that I recently did with Sarah Conde, she is the head of new business at collective. And they are a financial platform that is designed to help self-employed people to take the burden of the back office off of your business. She’s been in this space for 14 years helping independent consultants in one way or another. And over the course of her career, she’s amassed so much knowledge about best practices as it relates to running a consulting business. And she shares those with us today. So I’m really excited to dive into this with you, she’s going to share back-office financial tax insurance best practices, what she sees as the future of independent consulting, and gives a really important perspective on what it means to run a consulting business, versus to be a consultant and just have a business. There’s such a difference there. So this interview will hopefully help you to get further into that business owner mindset that we talked about so frequently on this podcast. And I look forward to you being able to hear the resources and the strategies and the tips that she has to share with you today and go put those in place in your business. So with that, let’s dive into this interview. Sarah, thanks for joining us today. Let’s start off with you introducing yourself.


Well, Melisa, thank you so much for having me. It’s lovely to be here. My name is Sarah Conde and I am the head of new business at collective we are a company based out of San Francisco, we help independent consultants with their back office, from everything to bookkeeping, to entity formation, to payroll to filing their taxes, and, and back-office services. And I’ve been working with independent consultants for over 15 years now. It’s my passion. I’ve gotten to know wonderful people like you, and supported them in their business. So I’m just thrilled to be here to speak to your community and offer any guidance and tips that I can.


Thanks for being here. I was trying to think back to how long we’ve known each other. I think it’s been at least three years, at least three years. Yeah, we met over LinkedIn through a run by an introduction by someone I had met on LinkedIn and just really have formed a relationship. And you’ve been such a great resource, as I am an independent consultant. And also, in the help that I do with coaching independent consultants are so happy that you’re here on the podcast today to share your knowledge and expertise with the community. They’re in for a treat.


Thank you. Let’s start off in


tell us about the collective and how it helps independence what you’re doing there.


Yeah, so I think I kind of start because it’s a startup, I want to start, why it was started up and the driving force behind it. And that’ll help me to kind of frame what drew me to the company of a very mission-oriented person. And like I said, I’ve worked with independence for a long time. So when I saw this business, I wanted to maybe kind of share, like why they created it, which will help you to understand maybe what we do and the problem we want to address. Perfect. Yes. So businesses have one as you know, they’re consistently underserved. We have 57 million freelancers contributing a trillion dollars to the global economy. And in 2019 53% of Gen Z workers were self-employed. When we think about that, that’s nearly double the number of freelancers than all the employees at Fortune 500 companies combined. So like we often think about our workforce as the fortune 500 employees. That’s what comes to my mind. And I’ve even worked in this segment for a long time. But when you think about there being double that amount of freelancers, I thought that was a really interesting perspective. And you know, as you know, Melisa, when you go to start off as a business of one, you don’t have a team that you can really go to to help you to know what to pick. There are so many great tools and self-service out there. But it’s hard to know which is right for you and how you should do it. And then if you find the right thing, then you’re spending non-billable time doing those things. And, you know, people go independent because they have a passion and something that they’re really good at delivering. As you know from your clients. It doesn’t know to mean that you’re made to do sales or to run your business, you have to learn all of that much less the admin. Right? So there’s a statistic from Forbes that says freelancers waste 30 days a year doing back-office activities. This was, namely billing and bookkeeping and filing taxes. And then, you know, to do that correctly, both on the federal and state level, it’s quite a lot. And then the tools out there, it’s getting a little better. But a lot of them are designed for enterprises, right. They’re not designed for businesses of one or small businesses like they’re either priced to not appropriately for like your margin, or they’re very heavy-handed for what you need, which is much more simple, or they’re just not sophisticated enough. It’s like this weird line to try and get that. So it’s hard to balance the work-life integration. So collective, what we do, what we’re all about, is to give people the time and freedom to focus on what matters by taking care of everything from you know what I was saying, from their business, incorporation to accounting, bookkeeping, and tax services in one platform. So we want to just take care of everything for those businesses. So they feel less alone and more empowered because we believe that this is the future of the company. And one of the things that really got me was everybody on our executive team of our founders, all of them were self-employed previously. Yeah, so I think the best businesses that I’ve worked with in my career, and my clients and customers are people who are solving a problem that they had, they understand it, they can speak to that segment. So that attracted me. And then all of them are immigrants. So they also have the lens of what it was like to be a self-employed person, in the United States as an immigrant. They’ve had parents who were all self-employed. So they really were bringing kind of a different lens and perspective and very mission-oriented. It got me very excited.


That is a staggering statistic that you shared, we waste 30 days a year on admin functions. Yeah, that’s right, double. This is a little bit off the cuff, Sarah, but I’m just curious, do you have a perspective on how much that might be just to at the back office side of it versus other types of admin dirt?


So in this, and I can share the article, it was something that was posted, this was just on billing? And let me see it was billing and back office, like expense, finally, tax side. So it was not anything to do with selling? Yep, it was bookkeeping, and filing taxes and billing. And that’s not even to, like, optimize it or anything like that best keeping the lights on? Yeah, not so much in like, yes, sell yourself, none of that stuff. Yeah, that’s incredible.


We’ll put the link in the show notes to that article. Yeah, really, so important to take a step back and see, you know, we just keep powering through so often and meeting the, you know, the IRS deadlines, or whatever it is, or our own billing deadlines. And sometimes it’s hard to take a step back and say, how much time am I really spending on this? And what is it taking away from me being effective in my business, either selling new work, keeping my pipeline full, and our client delivery? A crazy month back? It’s incredible, right?


A month back? And it’s also just like, you know, you think about it from an employee perspective is how productive are your employees? What is their time of productivity, you really have to be thinking about that like an independent as well? Because even if you have a margin that saves 10 days off of those 30 days or something that could be time with your family, that could be another project, that could be some time to do something fun and take a break. You know, independents are notorious, like, always working because they have to be running the shop. So I think it’s important to find any edge that you can because so much falls on your plate when you run your own business. Yeah, I was working with


my fractional CFO the other day, and we were talking about something in my business. And he said, you know, if you do this most it’s going to increase your margin, and it wasn’t really financial related. So he’s like, Do you know what I mean by that? And I said, No. And he said your life margin. And I found that was such a great way to describe it like you’re just talking about, even if you work through it for 10 of these 30 days upon the back office and invoicing side, it could just directly impact your life margin, even if it’s not your business margin, which I think is such a good app. Yeah,


yeah. Another like kind of simple way to think about it is like, you know, you’re focusing on the passionate side of your business, why you bought there, not just your paperwork because that can just pull you in. And it’s important. You want to make sure you’re taking home the right things you want to make sure optimizing, but I think no matter what services you use, and you got to find the right ones that are right-sized for your business, there is no one size fits all. But it’s important to outsource noncore capabilities because every moment that you have to use Your business is precious. And we’re not even getting into how do you scale that? I’m just talking about how do you just make sure that you are putting your time and attention and prioritizing the most important things that only you can do. And it’s, it’s hard, especially when you start out because you’re on a budget, right? Like, usually people are starting, you know, they’re not going to get paid for a couple of months, you know, it’s a big week. And so it’s hard to spend money on outside things, but it really pays dividends in the


end. Yeah, absolutely. Kind of along the same lines, Sarah, tell me what you see as the missed opportunities that you see most consult independence overlooking,


I see people going to the extreme ends of this. So I see people kind of check out and just give it to a CPA or financial advisor and not really understand the business. And I really recommend, you know, you don’t have to be your accountants, you didn’t go into business to do that. But there’s a difference between being financially empowered and being an expert in tax law and finance, right. So I want independence to be financially Empower, I want them to understand their business, I want them to have a command of it. And I want them to partner with experts, but still, have ownership of it. Because in the end, nobody cares more about your business than you. And it’s important that you understand, and can take experts’ advice, but evaluate that and really understand it. And then on the other side, I see people, because they’re so smart, and they’ve gone into independent business now, and they’ve had a lot of success, they have this, I can do it, I can do everything on my own. I know it and you know what, they’ll do a pretty good job. I mean, they’ll get in there, they’ll read all the articles, but then that goes into a kind of what we were talking about before they can’t let go of control. And then that stifles them from growing and scaling their business because they have to control every piece of it, it gets hard to maybe bring in a vendor to help them a subcontractor to do any of this. And it’s all in their heads or it’s not documented well. And then they run into trouble. So I would say there’s a balance, and you want to find that way where it’s your company, you’re in charge of it, you have control, but you’re putting in strategic partnerships, that tools, technologies, services, to really make a platform for your business, but you really want to be clicked in but also accept help.


Yeah, who do you think that looks like? Ideally, as someone who’s financially empowered, but not owning it all? Like, what does that give us an example of what that might look like for a console? I


would? Yeah, I would say like you are reviewing the reports that your CPA gives you, you’re asking questions when you don’t understand something, you’re meeting with them regularly, you’re engaged, you’re not just kind of saying, Well, I’d like I’ve heard so many people say, Oh, I don’t know my CPA, because I don’t know anything about that. So I think that is too extreme, I think you should know something about it, you should be asking questions, you should be understanding and repeating back and making sure that you at least understand the one-on-one parts of it. Like I said, you don’t have to be an expert in tax law or all the rules. But be engaged, ask questions, and have somebody who’s going to treat your business like a priority as well. I see a lot of people where they’ll meet with a CPA for once a year, who doesn’t know them doesn’t know their business, they just kind of throw some stuff at them, they throw some stuff back, it gets done. But there’s a lot of stuff that gets lost in the wash in that in that kind of a setup. Like there’s when you’re not in a posture to hear opportunity or ask about it, you’re not going to see the kind of growth that you want. If you’re just going through the motions, then probably the people you’re working with are as well.


Yeah, one of the ways I’d like to think about it just from a mental construct perspective, is that you have a periodic meeting with your CFO, you know, as if you’re running a business, that’s not just a business of one, you’ve got a lot of, you know, other support staff. And that includes a CPA or a bookkeeper or something like that. And you’re having those periodic Yes. Just as if you would incorporate.


Exactly. It’s about being intentional. Yeah, if you’re passive, and you’re allowing kind of your books and your entity status and how you’re running, pay all this stuff, if you’re allowing that to just happen to you. Like anything in life, right? It’s much better when we’re intentional versus being reactive and just kind of allowing that, like, you need some time to just sit with the financial big picture and make empowered decisions based on data. I don’t know any job where like, I’ll tell you, our CFO doesn’t let me just like chill for years and see what I’m doing, I guess. So it’s like important to have the ability to do that. And this stuff isn’t a one-and-done either. It evolves. It’s not like yeah, I talked to someone a year ago, or two years ago, and got my tax strategy, tax laws change your business changes. You really want to so have someone evaluate like, what is my reasonable compensation if you’re an S corp? Or if you’re not an S corp? Do you need to be an LLC? The answer can be different at different times in your business lifecycle. And it can change throughout the year like you might have a really big success, where it’s cost me money not to be incorporated, or you made that might be heavy-handed for you right now. But if you’re not thinking about these things, you’re just not going to be set up to take advantage of all that there is out there, because there are lots of programs out there that independents can take advantage of. But they don’t happen by just kind of happenstance or getting somebody who’s just, you know, going to file your taxes quickly and not really understand the business. Yeah.


That’s so helpful. Sarah, let’s switch gears a little bit. One of the questions that I get frequently is how to find affordable insurance as someone who’s employed, what would you recommend around that topic?


Oh, well, it’s a legislative issue. It’s something that we have all over the country. I haven’t seen one company solve it. But I have seen some exciting things happen. So out of the horror, that was COVID. One of the things that were really important for independence that happened during those relief packages was that self-employed individuals were able to claim and get unemployment insurance that’s never ever happened before. So I think that was the first time where you saw the federal government in a big way, say that this population is important. And they need protection as well, not just traditional employees. So I thought that that was a very cool silver lining to come out of that. I think there’s a real movement to decouple not just for independence, but also for employees to decouple things like 401k plans, health insurance, and all that kind of stuff on unemployment from an actual job, because even if you’re not independent, you know, with great resignation, everyone’s going all over the place all the time. Right now, I tell people, there are three things you can do. One, you have a spouse that has employer coverage, and that’s always going to be your best option is to go with the employer plan that maybe your spouse has, or your partner has. So that’s number one. Number two is to continue with Cobra, which is what you used to have from your employer. So it’s the employer and the employee side of the Premium Plus that 2% charge for the maintenance of that and you can keep that for 18 months, there’s a lot of ways to write off those expenses, again, if you’re working with the right person really understands independent consultants. And then the third is you can go to the exchange. We all know that there’s an exchange, right, so that’s the federal or state Marketplace. But then there are also some really cool disruptors that are coming up in this industry. It’s hard and it’s taking time. And I can put this in the show notes. One that I love it. I met the founder A while ago, and his passion, his parents were doctors and his passion was just wonderful. It’s called decent, DMC on T decent. And there they’re in Texas, they have any listeners in Texas area, but they are specifically doing plans for independence, there’s freelancers union, and then you can get like coverage or catastrophic coverage, just from like, you know, the big where you would think to go like health insurance online or, you know, just look for policies. But I would say don’t spend too much time on it, because you have to charge to cover this because the news is not great right now. So the most important place to think about this as factoring into your bill rate in the first place, because it does fall on you in a way that it does not for employees, and even for employees. It’s not always that great. But for independence as a whole other thing, I’d say that’s probably the single biggest issue for independence that can really be a game-changer. I think the first game-changer we saw was when I started working with independence in 2008, it was hard to form a business, it was hard to do the invoicing, it was hard to do the timekeeping, and there weren’t all these tools and platforms available for you. And so I do think like the cost for starting a business is reduced significantly, the knowledge needed has reduced significantly, there are fewer ramp and upfront barriers, which is great, it’s a lot more accessible. But the insurance is quite a challenge. Like you have to make sure you can charge to cover it or it’s not the right time to make the leak. Yeah,


I think that’s such a good perspective, right? Because a lot of times you think, is this going to be viable for me as a consultant to run my own business and pay insurance. And you can make it viable if you’re not kind of thing into your bill. Right?


It’s all about the bill. Right? You know, you got to kind of hold your nose and know that it’s coming, but it’s the way it is. It’s kind of I liken it to like if you’ve ever had a high deductible insurance plan, you know, you know, when you go to the doctor, it’s gonna be like $400 And you’re just like, plan that into your budget. That’s the plan you go so it’s kind of the same thing you know, every month you’re gonna pay Oh, geez, like if you have a family like $2,000 Plus for insurance. There are a lot of feelings about that that I have but that’s the reality right, those feelings are going to change it. So how do I back into a bill rate? That’s still Within the market that covers those costs. And if I can’t, then maybe I need to wait until a different time or start, you know, Melisa, it used to be two, it was like this all or nothing thing, a great way to start independent consulting is do a side gig, do some stuff on the side, like, try it for a little bit, get your feet wet a little bit and work enough to keep your policy until you can start charging that or research the market like you can go back and forth. What’s changing so much now is that people are hiring a person, and the work arrangement is coming second. So it’s really going to depend on every state down to the municipality has different rules. So I think people need to have an open mind and be flexible about what makes sense for each project for their life stage and realize that if it didn’t work out this time to be independent. That’s okay. Like there’s the next project or something else you can do, what’s most important is that you really sit down and understand the financial impacts.


Yep, you know, what I find so often is we talk ourselves out of things like, I’m not qualified yet to charge this amount, or I’m not qualified yet to do value-based pricing or all of these things that we have these internal dialogues going on. And really, at the end of the day, it’s that self-doubt running the show versus Yes, really looking at yourself and saying, What do I have to offer? How can I help these clients and give yourself the benefit of the doubt to keep moving forward? So I’ve done a few episodes on that, I think they’re 50 through 52. So if you’re feeling like you don’t know what to charge, or you can’t charge enough to cover insurance, go back and listen to those because you’re probably undermining your own worth


100% your experience and what you bring is a great way to look at it and listening to someone like you and having someone evaluate having a third party evaluate your bill rate when I went out to do my first bill rate, you know, Melisa had helped hundreds and hundreds of independence of their own if it’s very different once it was mine, with my LLC, and I found that I really needed to kind of benchmark it work with my coach and work with people in my network to say, Okay, how does this feel about right? Can you help me because it’s emotional, you know, you’re very exposed, and you’re putting yourself out there? And I think we tend to be, especially women, we tend to say, Oh, well, I can’t. And really, it’s like, no, no, you are, you’re going to be fine. You just need to have a little research behind it. So you can validate it. Once you do, you’ll see that you are worth it. Yeah, and you can get it. So yeah, definitely would recommend those episodes. But something I see a lot, for sure.


That’s amazing. Tell us, sir, are there any other challenges that you see independents facing right now and what they might do to overcome those,


I think with not knowing where to go to get the right help. So CPAs are wonderful. And they can be very helpful, but they are expensive to keep on, you know, someone you can call all the time. Some people can’t afford to have that really high-end, personal touch, they may have other assets, they may work with a financial advisor, that’s part of their network. And that’s great, right? However, if you can’t afford that, it’s hard to find, and you don’t have a lot of assets for someone to manage on a percentage basis, it is sometimes difficult to find that right level of care. And to find somebody who actually works with independence and understands it, because it is different. There’s a lot just like there are lots of types of consulting, there are lots of types of CPAs, that focus on many, many different things. And it’s important to find someone who works with independents. And one of the things that I really loved when I worked with collective because again, it was different from that history that I have. I’ve been used to working with hiring management consultants, and I love them. That’s how I got business. And it was so cool. But a lot of these types of folks have access to financial professionals and they can kind of build that. But if you want to kind of democratize that access and get someone who is going to really look at your books to understand it all they’re working with all day as independent consultants, they’re giving you monthly reports, the collective has a monthly fee, there’s no transaction fee on buildings or anything like that. So it’s the same price no matter how much you make. And that was another thing that really attracted me to the company because I’m like, oh, like, this is a really great way for people to kind of get that right size, access no matter what their billing.


Yeah, absolutely. And a repeatable process. Yes, yeah. Reviewing the data, whether it’s through the collective or through others like you were saying, yes, you’re just getting that repeatable process down for the financial side of your business. Yes. And not least monthly, at least monthly,


at least, that you want to be getting reports. You want to be looking at your profit and loss statements. You want to be looking at how you’re spending your time. You want to maybe it shouldn’t just be you you want to be held accountable because we always do that. better, you know, when we’re held accountable when we’re maybe paying someone to look at it, and we know Oh, I better do that I’m paying for that service. It’s building those good financial habits, they will really pay off in the end, and they’re vital to having a successful practice. Yeah, absolutely.


I think it helps also just to have that kind of cadence going. So you’re not, you’re starting to think about your business as a business and really building up that side of your mindset, versus the way that you thought about money as an employee and the paycheck we’re getting regularly and that kind of thing. It’s just such a different beast, as we’re consultants and dealing with ups and downs and cash flow. And yes, you’re able to have the proactive line of sight that can help with much more powerful decision making versus just kind of in the moment, how are you feeling about your bank account balance?


Yeah, you want to be, again, just being mindful, and making those strategic financial decisions, you can’t be strategic if you’re just surviving every day and moving on. And let’s be real when we get onto our client projects, we start sometimes we can get it twisted and think that their company is more important than ours. But it’s not because we’re so used to that as an employee mindset, we always have to be thinking about it as like, this is my client, it’s of course, important that I give excellent service and that I’m building reputation because referrals are still the best way to get business. But if you’re sacrificing your own business, his health, and books to put an extra time, it’ll just by you in the long run, like you have to prioritize your business ops, your finance, your workflows, and all this, I know, you’re really good about this, too, like investing in the right suite of services, tools, technologies, because it does make a big difference. And so if you’re going to have clients that like no, I worked with a lot of proposal writers who they would do, like, I mean, 80 hours in, like over two weekends, right? That was just like, it was crazy because the federal government needed something. But they knew that was coming and they would plan other times. Like there are ways you know, you have that kind of ebb and flow, then in a time of the slower season, faster time to get your infrastructure in place. So not wait till you know tax season. You’re like trying to set like little mini goals, bliss. I know you’re so good at this. I’ve seen some of your guides to make this can feel so overwhelming, just to make it a little bit bite-size, one piece at a time. I think the last thing I would say about independence is to know how valuable you are. Melisa, tell me if you can remember this, it used to kind of be like, Oh, they’re an independent consultant what they couldn’t get a job. Right? Do you remember that mindset, Lee?


It was like a pillar of filler for your resume. So there wasn’t a gap? Totally.


Yeah, totally. And now it’s like, it’s completely fit flipped, where people like, oh, wow, they’re independent, they must be really good, because people will buy their services. And because of that companies like collective, and many, many others, like listen, collectives, mystery oriented, but we’re business and there’s a market like this, we showed some of the numbers 57 million freelancers. This is a huge, huge market. So I think the independent should be empowered that they’re going to find more and more businesses and services out there that are customizing for them. Because they are driving the biggest economic change in this country. And globally. It’s just an amazing thing. So they are the hotness, everybody wants to figure out how can you get a segment of that market? How can you help them? How can you solve these problems? So it’s a great time to be independent. And you guys are really valued. And a lot of companies would love to take your business and work with you. And a lot of them including collective, we’re working really hard to say, how do we service this market and really provide like a game-changer experience. And there’s everything out there from business insurance to health insurance disruptors. I mean, this is where a lot of money is being infused into our economy. People want to know, like, how are we going to do this because all the numbers show this just going bonkers by like 2030, even. And it’s already surpassed everything. And then COVID was such an accelerator. So I would just say, do your research, look around, talk to your friends, come talk to me or Melisa will point you in the right direction. And no matter what, honestly, collective or otherwise, Melisa knows, like I love to help independent consultants. Always be honest with you. That’s one of my favorite things that we do is our team. We empower people to make the right choice, even if it’s not us. And sometimes it’s not the stuff is nuanced and complicated, right? So make sure you have a good network of people you can trust and take care of yourself and know your value to this market because it is powerful. It is powerful.


Sarah, you give such an optimistic and grounded view of the future of consulting so it’s big. Yes, it’s such a great time to be independent like you said it’s not something that is filler anymore. It’s a true business model that really where the sky is the limit at the moment. So, so excited to hear your viewpoint on that, because you’re doing this every single day. Yes,


it’s a pleasure. And well, the sky is the limit and things, I would say the concept is you need to focus because there’s so much out there, you know, so try to find it’s like, and you find a doctor that you like that you’re like, Okay, there’s all these WebMD articles, but I like this doctor, and I’m going to go with them for a while because you can kind of get analysis paralysis with all the tools and resources out there. So just kind of like, it’s okay to take it a bite at a time. And don’t feel like you also have to be changing things all the time either, like, just take that step back, because there is a lot of advertising and a lot of urgencies. And sometimes I just want independence to know like, it’s okay, right? Work with a coach, find what works for you work with their suite of tools. And don’t drive yourself crazy, because you’ll be researching all day long.


Absolutely. I think for some of us, we love solving problems, we love kind of this shiny object and this new fun technology or whatever the thing is, and, you know, for me, especially just looking at what is my business plan for the year. And just taking a step back and saying, okay, q1, I’m going to really focus on the back-office infrastructure, for example, and getting my financial house in order, and then tackling it that way, versus just letting you know, whatever the shiny object is that catches your eye drive your business plan can also be a great way to constrain,


yeah, it’s hard, like you see all this cool stuff. And like you said, if you have a plan, you’re like, Okay, that’s interesting, I’m gonna file that. Here. I’ll link to it and my business plan, because I have a plan to look at that in q2, when I’m in my slower season, I said, that’s when I was going to look about optimizing my invoicing, or whatever it is. So you can kind of stay grounded and just take the information you have like, just make a bookmark folder, put things away to read for later. Don’t feel like you have to get wrapped up at that moment. And just like kind of protecting your mind and your priorities. It’s something I struggle with. And I have to like, constantly go back to that every day and say, no, no, no, like, what’s your priority? Right?


Yeah, absolutely. Sir. It’s been so fun to have you here. We’ve covered a lot today.


And yes, yes. You know, I mean, you know, Melisa, I could talk for hours here, everybody that I would just encourage if anybody wants to come and check out Collective, we have a tax calculator on our site. Whether you choose to select or not, it can help you to understand if an S corp, which is what we do is right for you. So it’ll show you how much money you could save in taxes by being structured that way. And it will talk to you a little bit about the full-service bookkeeping that we do, and others also, there’s just lots of great resources and articles there. Melisa, I have a code to share with your audience called new business 22. And I will share that within the show notes. And if folks who listen to the show want to put that in, they’ll get two months at 50% off if they’re interested in using collective so definitely want to put that out there. But either way, love to connect with anybody out there. Just say hello. Thank you to all your audience and to you for having me. It’s been so much fun to be here. Thank you, sir. I


appreciate you sharing that code with everyone. Yeah, in the show notes. And yeah, so can people find you if they want to look up more about you and the collective?


Well, let’s see. I’m on LinkedIn.ford/SarahKayConde cases, my maiden name. And then Collective is just collective calm. So you will find us there. Again, we’re based out of San Francisco. We are a startup. We’ve been around since 2020. Very exciting. Lots of fun, super intense, and fun for me to come on the show and kind of lift my head up from that a little bit. Remember what it’s all about. So thanks for that opportunity.


Yeah, thanks for being with us today, Sarah, and we’ll talk with you soon.


Absolutely. Take care. Bye.


Thanks for joining me this week on the Grow Your Independent Consulting Business podcast. If you like today’s episode, I have three quick next steps for you. First, click Subscribe on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to make sure you don’t miss future episodes. Next, leave me a review in your podcast app so other independent consultants can find a benefit, and finally put the ideas from today’s episode into action. Head over to Melisaliberman.com for the show notes and more resources to help you grow your consulting practice from your first few projects into a full-fledged business. See you next week.

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