I want to get real with my CPA (Chartered Professional Accountant) friends for a minute.
How many of you out there are killing it at corporate budgets and forecasts, analyzing financial statements and helping your clients make better business decisions… but are hiding a dirty little secret about the state of your own financial affairs?
I know you’re out there!
I met many of you this year at my group workshops and in private Clarity Calls.
I heard the hesitation in your voice as you asked me about how much you should be saving, if you should use a TFSA or RRSP, or the difference between an ETF and mutual fund.
I saw the embarrassment on your face when you admitted that you’re stressed about your money and know you could be managing it better.
I felt the vulnerability of that moment when you came clean about your lack of investment strategy or retirement plan.
I know these things not just because I have experienced them through you, but because I have experienced them myself.
Let me explain…
I have told my money story a number of times over the past year at these workshops.
I love to hear your knowing laughs when I share my financial mistakes – you think “phew, me too!”
That is the power of connecting – knowing that you’re not in this alone. That there is help when you’re ready for it.
As CPAs, we are seen as experts on all things money. For that reason, it can be really hard to admit that we don’t have all the answers. It’s called the impostor syndrome – the fear that by admitting to what you don’t know you will be exposed as a fraud.
What’s even scarier though is the thought of keeping this secret for twenty or thirty years, waking up in your fifties and wishing you had done something sooner.
(Sidebar, I felt this way too. Read about it here)
If you’re feeling this fear, I have a message for you:
In today’s world, successful professionals are not necessarily the ones who have all the answers. (We have Google for that! :-P)
Successful professionals are the ones who know when to ask for help and are comfortable building a network of people to support their growth and advancement.
I’m not the only one with this message for you …
I faced my impostor syndrome when things got serious with my boyfriend (now husband!) and we decided to buy a house together. Combining our finances was scary for me because I did not want to keep secrets from him but I was also afraid of losing his respect.
It turns out that by admitting my financial imperfections I created the space I needed to ask questions and to learn (and oh, how I love to learn!).
Fast forward to five years later.
Not to brag, but I now know quite a bit about personal finance.
I still have my own struggles, though. While I don’t always practice what I preach (for example, right now I am looking at a month’s worth of business expenses that I haven’t entered into my bookkeeping system), I’m no longer afraid to admit it.
My imperfections are what help me to understand your struggles, and I’m a better financial coach because of them.
So to all my fellow CPAs out there leading “double lives”:
You’re not alone. We’re in this together!
Lisa Zamparo is a financial strategist and lifestyle optimist, as well as a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), business coach and personal finance expert in Toronto who helps people make intentional decisions with their money.
As a one-on- one coach, her personalized approach to financial planning helps her clients achieve their goals by aligning their spending with their priorities.
As an inspirational educator, Lisa leads workshops that infuse mindfulness principles with financial concepts delivered in a fun and approachable style.