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IAM2155 – Consultant Empowers Businesses to Understand their Financial Health

Podcast Interview with Natalia Zacharin

In 2019, after years of working for other firms, Natalia opened her firm, Zacharin Consulting, a firm dedicated to empowering businesses to understand their financial health and give clarity so that they can significantly improve their bottom line.

Using a blend of personal service and expertise, Zacharin Consulting's mission is to bring meaningful experience and knowledge to our clients. Zacharin Consulting offers strategic bookkeeping, monthly accounting, remote CFO services, tax planning, implementation, and financial intelligence programs to help businesses thrive.

Natalia discusses the importance of understanding compliance and the need to translate financial data into actionable steps for entrepreneurs. She also highlights the importance of protecting time for working on the business and never stopping lead generation and sales.

Website: Zacharin Consulting
LinkedIn: Natalia Zacharin – Zacharin Consulting
Facebook: Zacharin Consulting

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Transcription:

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Natalia Zacharin Teaser 00:00

So because I was doing mass now, I started seeing patterns of what people really needed. And the pattern was always, I need this to be accurate and correct. That's compliance. And I also need to understand what I need to do with these, with this information, because they weren't getting any information on how to better their business.

Intro 00:20

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:48

Hello, Hello, Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO Podcast and I have a very special guest back on the show today. I have Natalia Zacharin. Natalia, excited to have you on the show.

Natalia Zacharin 00:56

Thanks Gresh, I'm super excited to be here as well.

Gresham Harkless 00:59

Yes, I'm super excited to talk about all the awesome things that Natalia is doing. And of course, before we jumped in, I want to read a little bit more about Natalia so you can hear about some of those awesome things. And in 2019, after years of working for other firms, Natalia opened her own firm, Zacharin Consulting, a firm dedicated to empowering businesses to understand their financial health and give clarity so that they can significantly improve their bottom line.

Using a blend of personal service and expertise, Zacharin Consulting's mission is to bring experience and knowledge to our clients in a meaningful way. Zacharin Consulting offers strategic bookkeeping, monthly accounting, remote CFO services, tax planning, implementation and financial intelligence programs to help businesses to thrive. And I'm super excited, as I said to have Natalia back on the show. She was on episode number 610 of our I AM CEO Podcast. I'm super excited to hear about all the awesome things that she's been working on.

And I really hope we get to delve into, she has such an inspirational story. And one of the reasons I love having previous guests on the show is because we get to hear about all her growth. She's now a 7-figure entrepreneur has been done doing a lot of awesome things. And I think she told me that she made a lot of mistakes and took a lot of messy action towards where she's being able to go. So looking forward to delve in a little bit deeper into that. But Natalia, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Natalia Zacharin 02:18

I am ready.

Gresham Harkless 02:19

Awesome. Let's get it started then. So to kick everything off, let's rewind the clock a little bit. Here a little bit more on how you got started, what you've been working on, and what I like to call your CEO story.

Natalia Zacharin 02:29

Sure. So I got started in my business. My story's a little bit intentional. Started my business because I really needed cash quickly. I was not doing well in the corporate world. I was a single mom. I needed to have some flexibility and freedom. I was in my middle age, in my late 40s, so I wasn't really considered to be at the level that I needed to be at. And so I was looking for other work, couldn't find it. And someone, actually my boyfriend, he's still my boyfriend, still in a relationship, said, why don't you just start your own business? And that's where it all started.

So I had no desires to start a business. I had no idea about what it would be like to start a business. I started my business in accounting, which was also his idea. No prior experience in accounting, but I just know that it's very lucrative and everybody needs it. And so it just morphed from, hey, I'm going to figure this out and get a couple clients so I can make ends meet to understanding that I can actually build something out of this, create a community, really help myself and my life and my child, help other entrepreneurs have employees and build a sellable asset for retirement and get out of poverty levels, which is where I was at. So that's kind of how it all started.

Gresham Harkless 03:49

I appreciate you sharing that so much. And so many times we don't hear all the behind the scenes of business. We just see the business to see what they do. But we always hear like that journey of what has taken you from there to where you are now. And so I wanted to drill down a little bit more, hear a little bit more on how you're working with serving your clients, how you're making that value. Can you take us through a little bit more on what that looks like?

Natalia Zacharin 04:09

Sure. So I think at first it just started with normal bookkeeping and lower level things because I was learning as well. I did a tremendous amount of learning. I had to teach myself how to be a business owner, how to work with clients, how to sell, how to market myself, and actually how to do the work. So, because I didn't know a lot of people start a business and they're really good at something. Apparently, I'm good at numbers. I didn't really know. I was, I had a sales background, to be honest. So I was never really in accounting. I was my last job working for someone else. I got, I hadn't been working as a single mom for a couple of years.

So when I got that job, I was in the financial department, but I was an invoicing clerk. I didn't really have any prior experience. There's a lot that you can learn. I used YouTube a lot. I learned who were like the really good YouTube teachers, Books Online, and I took all the pick books courses and I taught myself and then I started buying just a tremendous amount of books. So I started with bookkeeping, like more compliance things, and then most accountants stop there with compliance. And I realized what, because I was doing my own sales and I really believe in an owner doing their own sales for a while, because it really puts you in touch with what's needed and what the demand is.

So because I was doing my own sales, I started seeing patterns of what people really needed. And the pattern was always, I need this to be accurate and correct. That's compliance. And I also need to understand what I need to do with this information because they weren't getting any information on how to better their business. So that morphed again a couple of years in, I think in 2021. So I started in early, early 2019, was my first client in January 2019. By 2021, I realized I need to offer CFO services. Again, had no idea what I was doing to a certain extent. But by 2021, I joined a mastermind specifically for my field, which was really helpful.

And I started learning a lot of podcasts, a lot of books, tremendous amount of reading. And I started learning of what it takes to translate the data in the financials to actionable steps for the entrepreneur. And then figuring out what are those deliverables look like. So that was another really big year. Every year, I can't say that was another really big year. Every single year is really big. But that translated into an additional higher level value added service of really understanding. And because I'm an entrepreneur, also, it really helps me to understand how that person on the other side of the client meeting really feels and what they need.

Gresham Harkless 06:54

Yeah, that makes so much sense and it's so awesome for you to be able to have that awareness and that curiosity or even just I want to call it hunger. It sounds like hunger to learn and to continue to level up. Because I think something that you said that really stuck out with me, which I not sure if this is part of your secret sauce, what you felt that's your part of making unique is they always say it's never crowded along the extra mile, but very few people want to go that extra mile.

So as you said, as you start to learn and you start to become an expert at that craft, you start to see that the people that are going along those extra miles are starting to drop off and say, hey, I'm comfortable here. I just want to do that. But you seem to have that desire to continue to make that impact and provide that value, continue to improve the value that you're providing to the marketplace.

Natalia Zacharin 07:37

Yeah, I really started feeling I just wanted to do what made sense and what people needed. I don't wanna just, I don't wanna have a business, and I know this is part of your questions. What do you believe is CEO? And we'll talk about that later, but I really feel like this is an opportunity for me to build something that was meaningful and mattered.

Gresham Harkless 07:55

And that makes so much sense. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be for one of the books that you read, it could be an app, a book, or even a habit that you have. But what's something you feel like you lean on that makes you more effective and efficient?

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Natalia Zacharin 08:08

Two things. So first of all, the learning, the books, reading, podcasts, reading just constantly. But my new thing now, because we're hitting multiple 7 figures at this point, is my new hack is my calendar and protecting my time so that I work on the business. And also one more hack actually, so protecting my time to work on the business, but part of working on the business is to make sure that lead generation and sales never stops. We can't let that stop. It cannot dry up. That's the first thing that entrepreneurs do when they get busy is they let that go. And that's the last thing you should do because it takes a lot of time and momentum to build that back up.

And so I've seen folks drop their focus. We see this all the time. It's an ongoing pattern that I see with a lot of businesses is they'll drop the marketing, or they'll drop the sales or lead gen, anything in that space for the pipeline, they'll drop that because they'll get busy, they'll be overwhelmed, something happened, they got pulled in different directions and they'll drop that first and then a big client of their leads and they're in trouble. So you actually can't ever stop that.

Gresham Harkless 09:19

Yeah. I appreciate you so much and sharing that. So let me ask you this, this is a little bit more of what I like to call a CEO nugget. This could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. You might've already touched on this, but it might be something you would tell your favorite client, or if you were to hop into a time machine, what might you tell your younger business self?

Natalia Zacharin 09:36

Again, that you are responsible for your own success. You are responsible for the success of your company, and you can have a million excuses, and you just have to figure out the excuses don't matter. And never, ever, ever stop selling. Even if you're not doing it, and you have a sales team, don't stop the sales.

Gresham Harkless 09:56

Yeah, and that makes so much sense because I imagine that you find this, that a lot of times businesses will, once you get X number of clients, and once they get that X number of clients, like you said so well, you lose one of those clients and then all of a sudden you have to go back to prospecting and people think that okay I just hang out my shingle and people just knock on the door and that doesn't always happen. You have to literally go through a process for most businesses. It doesn't just knock on your door all the time.

Natalia Zacharin 10:22

I would be remiss if I didn't say you have to know your numbers. Cause I'm an accountant. That is the foundation of all of your decisions. You really have to have, use a good accounting software, make sure it's accurate, it's up to date, and evaluate your profitability. And if you don't know how to do that, either learn or hire someone that will do it with you, because you need to constantly be translating that data. If that tells you everything, it tells you how profitable you are, how successful you are, if you have enough money, if you're choosing the right services or products for your business, if you have enough people, if you have the right people working for you, who is the next person that should work for you? It answers all of your questions.

Gresham Harkless 11:01

Yeah, and that makes so much sense if you have that greater awareness. And I know you mentioned that's a lot of the conversations you're having when you work with your clients. Do you find or do you see that most people don't know their numbers so they aren't making the best decisions that can increase their likelihood of succeeding?

Natalia Zacharin 11:17

Yes, I would say 95% of who I meet has no idea. They have never even looked. Only 5% look, but they don't know how to translate that data into actionable steps.

Gresham Harkless 11:30

Yeah, that's a huge number. And I imagine like accounting, finance, economics, all those are probably really great kind of things to make sure that you are aware of and paying attention to.

Natalia Zacharin 11:41

Yes, you should be paying attention or hire someone that does. It's really never too soon to hire someone to help you with your accounting. And it's not necessarily something as an entrepreneur, if that's not what you're good at and if that's not what you're doing, to take the time to do that because your job as an entrepreneur is to put the business together and drive revenue and then bring someone to make sure that they do the accounting because we specialize in QuickBooks, and QuickBooks is really not intuitive. They say that it is, but it's totally not and it's not supposed to be. And so we get business owners that have been doing their own accounting and it's completely wrong because they were trying to work on it.

And they're just spinning their wheels and wasting a lot of time and spending a lot of time doing it. Just like I don't always recommend doing. I recommend figuring out and doing your own sales at first, because you can't really hire someone unless you really know how to sell, because no one's going to have more skin in the game than you do. But I don't know if I would run off doing ads, Google, and marketing ads, and paying all this money. Because I don't know all of these tips and tricks on how to make that valuable, so I probably lose a ton of money. And I don't have time to spend to hire or to do it myself. So I would hire someone. So I feel that's the same way with accounting. It makes sense to hire someone.

Gresham Harkless 12:55

Yeah, absolutely. And as you said, so one of your hacks is being and then paying attention to the hours and how we're spending the hours, the calendar, and all those things. And a lot of times we sit down and even calculate what our hourly rate, quote unquote, would be. And we're spending time not doing the things that are most impactful for the business. A lot of times will make sense to at least have some awareness or knowledge of it, but to make sure that we are finding the right person to be able to partner with.

Natalia Zacharin 13:19

Yes, exactly.

Gresham Harkless 13:20

Awesome, awesome, awesome. So now I want to ask you my absolute favorite question, the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And our goal is to have different quote unquote CEOs on this show. So Natalia, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Natalia Zacharin 13:30

Yes. I don't know if it's really changed too much from the last time I was on the show. I really believe, except maybe I can define it a little bit better, but I really believe that being a CEO allows me to be the alchemist, basically creating something out of nothing or building something. So if you even buy an existing business, but building it and scaling it into something completely different. So being an alchemist, creating something out of nothing.

And then the biggest thing is to live life on your terms. It allows you to build something and write your own story. And that, for me, that's been what's happened in my life from basically poverty levels to owning a 7-figure firm. It has allowed me to write my own story. And I don't know, I didn't mention it. I mentioned that I was a single mom, middle age. I was 50, the year I started my business was the year I turned 50. So it's never too late to rewrite your story.

Gresham Harkless 14:26

Yes, I love that. Thank you so much for sharing that. And I think so many times when we go through life, we don't realize that we have the pencil or the pen, and I'll say pencil because a lot of times we have the opportunity to take that eraser and rewrite it. But we have that in our hands when we're pointing and saying it's because of this, that, and the third. We have that right in our hands to be able to create that opportunity for the marketplace, but also for our own lives where we forget about that human part of business.

Natalia Zacharin 14:51

Yes, exactly.

Gresham Harkless 14:52

Perfect, perfect, perfect. Well, and that's how you truly appreciate that definition. Of course, I appreciate your time even more. So what I wanted to do now is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know, and of course, how best people can help you find about all the awesome things that you're working on.

Natalia Zacharin 15:07

Yes, so we're Zacharin Consulting. We are bookkeeping month-end. We call it month-end close accounting, APAR, payroll, and CFO services. 10 staff members currently, 2 CPAs on staff. And you can find us on LinkedIn under Natalia Zacharin or Zacharin Consulting. We're also on Instagram, growyourbottomline, and on Facebook, Zacharin Consulting, and just www.zacharinconsulting.com where you can fill out a calendar link to get a free financial consultation. And that's, and I would recommend everybody to know your numbers because that's the most important thing you can do.

Gresham Harkless 15:45

Yes, I truly appreciate that, Natalia. Of course, we're going to have the links and information shown us as well too, so that everybody can follow up with you. But truly appreciate you for all the awesome work that you're doing, the time of course you took today. I think so many times we try to make sure that we're going to be successful in our life, in our business, and along those journeys.

We sometimes forget that we can't necessarily control all the things, but there are things that you can control. There are things that you can pay attention to to increase your likelihood of success, to not just know them, but know how to actually put them in action so that you can see that success. So I appreciate you so much in sharing that. And of course, doing that so many times with the clients you work with. And I hope you have a phenomenal rest day.

Natalia Zacharin 16:23

Thank you so much.

Outro 16:24

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by CBNation and Blue16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co. I AM CEO is not just a phrase. It's a community. Don't forget to schedule your complimentary digital marketing consultation at blue16media.com. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless Jr. Thank you for listening.

00:00 - 00:18

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Natalia Zacharin: So because I was doing mass now, I started seeing patterns of what people really needed. And the pattern was always, I need this to be accurate and correct. That's compliance. And I also need to understand what I need to do with these, with this information, because they weren't getting any information on how to better their business.

00:20 - 00:47

Intro: Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.

00:48 - 00:56

Gresham Harkless: Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and I have a very special guest back on the show today. I have Natalia Zacharin. Natalia, excited to have you on

00:56 - 00:59

Natalia Zacharin: the show. Thanks Gresh, I'm super excited to be here as well.

00:59 - 01:28

Gresham Harkless: Yes, I'm super excited to talk about all the awesome things that Natalia is doing. And of course, before we jumped in, I want to read a little bit more about Natalia so you can hear about some of those awesome things. And in 2019, after years of working for other firms, Natalia opened her own firm, Zacharin Consulting, a firm dedicated to empowering businesses to understand their financial health and give clarity so that they can significantly improve their bottom line. Using a blend of personal service and expertise, Zacharin Consulting's mission is to bring experience and knowledge to our

01:28 - 02:00

Gresham Harkless: clients in a meaningful way. Zacharin Consulting offers strategic bookkeeping, monthly accounting, remote CFO services, tax planning, implementation and financial intelligence programs to help businesses to thrive. And I'm super excited, as I said, to have Natalia back on the show. She was on episode number 6, 10 of our IMCO podcast. I'm super excited to hear about all the awesome things that she's been working on. And I really hope we get to delve into, she has such an inspirational story. And 1 of the reasons I love having previous guests on the show is because we get to hear

02:00 - 02:17

Gresham Harkless: about all her growth. She's now a 7 figure entrepreneur has been done doing a lot of awesome things. And I think she told me that she made a lot of mistakes and took a lot of messy action towards where she's being able to go. So looking forward to delve in a little bit deeper into that. But Natalia, are you ready to speak to the IMCO community?

02:18 - 02:19

Natalia Zacharin: I am ready.

02:19 - 02:28

Gresham Harkless: Awesome. Let's get it started then. So to kick everything off, let's rewind the clock a little bit. Here a little bit more on how you got started, what you've been working on, and what I like to call your CO story.

02:29 - 03:02

Natalia Zacharin: Sure. So I got started in my business. My story's a little bit intentional. Started my business because I really needed cash quickly. I was not doing well in the corporate world. I was a single mom. I needed to have some flexibility and freedom. I was in my middle age, in my late 40s, so I wasn't really considered to be at the level that I needed to be at. And so I was looking for other work, couldn't find it. And someone, actually my boyfriend, he's still my boyfriend, still in a relationship, said, why don't you just start

03:02 - 03:35

Natalia Zacharin: your own business? And that's where it all started. So I had no desires to start a business. I had no idea about what it would be like to start a business. I started my business in accounting, which was also his idea. No prior experience in accounting, but I just know that it's very lucrative and everybody needs it. And so it just morphed from, hey, I'm going to figure this out and get a couple clients so I can make ends meet to understanding that I can actually build something out of this, create a community, really help myself

03:35 - 03:49

Natalia Zacharin: and my life and my child, help other entrepreneurs have employees and build a sellable asset for retirement and get out of poverty levels, which is where I was at. So that's kind of how it all started.

03:49 - 04:09

Gresham Harkless: I appreciate you sharing that so much. And so many times we don't hear all the behind the scenes of business. We just see the business to see what they do. But we always hear like that journey of what has taken you from there to where you are now. And so I wanted to drill down a little bit more, hear a little bit more on how you're working with serving your clients, how you're making that value. Can you take us through a little bit more on what that looks like?

04:09 - 04:36

Natalia Zacharin: Sure. So I think at first it just started with normal bookkeeping and lower level things because I was learning as well. I did a tremendous amount of learning. I had to teach myself how to be a business owner, how to work with clients, how to sell, how to market myself, and actually how to do the work. So, because I didn't know a lot of people start a business and they're really good at something. Apparently, I'm good at numbers. I didn't really know. I was, I had a sales background, to be honest. So I was never really

04:36 - 05:07

Natalia Zacharin: in accounting. I was my last job working for someone else. I got, I hadn't been working as a single mom for a couple of years. So when I got that job, I was in the financial department, but I was an invoicing clerk. I didn't really have any prior experience. There's a lot that you can learn. I used YouTube a lot. I learned who were like the really good YouTube teachers, Books Online, and I took all the pick books courses and I taught myself and then I started buying just a tremendous amount of books. So I started

05:08 - 05:41

Natalia Zacharin: with bookkeeping, like more compliance things, and then most accountants stop there with compliance. And I realized what, because I was doing my own sales and I really believe in an owner doing their own sales for a while, because it really puts you in touch with what's needed and what the demand is. So because I was doing my own sales, I started seeing patterns of what people really needed. And the pattern was always, I need this to be accurate and correct. That's compliance. And I also need to understand what I need to do with this information because

05:41 - 06:18

Natalia Zacharin: they weren't getting any information on how to better their business. So that morphed again a couple of years in, I think in 2021. So I started in early, early 2019, was my first client in January 2019. By 2021, I realized I need to offer CFO services. Again, had no idea what I was doing to a certain extent. But by 2021, I joined a mastermind specifically for my field, which was really helpful. And I started learning a lot of podcasts, a lot of books, tremendous amount of reading. And I started learning of what it takes to translate

06:18 - 06:53

Natalia Zacharin: the data in the financials to actionable steps for the entrepreneur. And then figuring out what are those deliverables look like. So that was another really big year. Every year, I can't say that was another really big year. Every single year is really big. But that translated into an additional higher level value added service of really understanding. And because I'm an entrepreneur, Also, it really helps me to understand how that person on the other side of the client meeting really feels and what they need.

06:54 - 07:18

Gresham Harkless: Yeah, that makes so much sense and it's so awesome for you to be able to have that awareness and that curiosity or even just I want to call it hunger. It sounds like hunger to learn and to continue to level up. Because I think something that you said that really stuck out with me, which I not sure if this is part of your secret sauce, what you felt that's your part of making unique is they always say it's never crowded along the extra mile, but very few people want to go that extra mile. So as you

07:18 - 07:37

Gresham Harkless: said, as you start to learn and you start to become an expert at that craft, you start to see that the people that are going along those extra miles are starting to drop off and say, Hey, I'm comfortable here. I just want to do that. But you seem to have that desire to continue to make that impact and provide that value, continue to improve the value that you're providing to the marketplace.

07:37 - 07:55

Natalia Zacharin: Yeah, I really started feeling I just wanted to do what made sense and what people needed. I don't wanna just, I don't wanna have a business, And I know this is part of your questions. What do you believe is CEO? And we'll talk about that later, but I really feel like this is an opportunity for me to build something that was meaningful and mattered.

07:55 - 08:07

Gresham Harkless: And that makes so much sense. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be for 1 of the books that you read, it could be an app, a book, or even a habit that you have. But what's something you feel like you lean on that makes you more effective and efficient?

08:08 - 08:42

Natalia Zacharin: 2 things. So first of all, the learning, the books, reading, podcasts, reading just constantly. But my new thing now, because we're hitting multiple 7 figures at this point, is my new hack is my calendar and protecting my time so that I work on the business. And also 1 more hack actually, so protecting my time to work on the business, but part of working on the business is to make sure that lead generation and sales never stops. We can't let that stop. It cannot dry up. That's the first thing that entrepreneurs do when they get busy is

08:42 - 09:14

Natalia Zacharin: they let that go. And that's the last thing you should do because it takes a lot of time and momentum to build that back up. And so I've seen folks drop their focus. We see this all the time. It's an ongoing pattern that I see with a lot of businesses is they'll drop the marketing, or they'll drop the sales or lead gen, anything in that space for the pipeline, they'll drop that because they'll get busy, they'll be overwhelmed, something happened, they got pulled in different directions and they'll drop that first and then a big client of

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09:14 - 09:19

Natalia Zacharin: their leads and they're in trouble. So you actually can't ever stop that.

09:19 - 09:35

Gresham Harkless: Yeah. I appreciate you so much and sharing that. So let me ask you this, this is a little bit more of what I like to call a CEO nugget. This could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. You might've already touched on this, but it might be something you would tell your favorite client, or if you were to hop into a time machine, what might you tell your younger business self?

09:36 - 09:55

Natalia Zacharin: Again, that you are responsible for your own success. You are responsible for the success of your company, and you can have a million excuses, and you just have to figure out the excuses don't matter. And never, ever, ever stop selling. Even if you're not doing it, and you have a sales team, don't stop the sales.

09:56 - 10:20

Gresham Harkless: Yeah, and that makes so much sense because I imagine that you find this, that a lot of times businesses will, once you get X number of clients, and once they get that X number of clients, like you said so well, you lose 1 of those clients and then all of a sudden you have to go back to prospecting and people think that okay I just hang out my shingle and people just knock on the door and That doesn't always happen. You have to literally go through a process for most businesses. It doesn't just knock on your

10:20 - 10:22

Gresham Harkless: door all the time.

10:22 - 10:50

Natalia Zacharin: I would be remiss if I didn't say you have to know your numbers. Cause I'm an accountant. That is the foundation of all of your decisions. You really have to have, use a good accounting software, make sure it's accurate, it's up to date, and evaluate your profitability. And if you don't know how to do that, either learn or hire someone that will do it with you, because you need to constantly be translating that data. If that tells you everything, It tells you how profitable you are, how successful you are, if you have enough money, if you're

10:50 - 11:00

Natalia Zacharin: choosing the right services or products for your business, if you have enough people, if you have the right people working for you, who is the next person that should work for you? It answers all of your questions.

11:01 - 11:16

Gresham Harkless: Yeah, and that makes so much sense if you have that greater awareness. And I know you mentioned that's a lot of the conversations you're having when you work with your clients. Do you find or do you see that most people don't know their numbers so they aren't making the best decisions that can increase their likelihood of succeeding?

11:17 - 11:30

Natalia Zacharin: Yes, I would say 95% of who I meet has no idea. They have never even looked. Only 5% look, but they don't know how to translate that data into actionable steps.

11:30 - 11:41

Gresham Harkless: Yeah, that's a huge number. And I imagine like accounting, finance, economics, all those are probably really great kind of things to make sure that you are aware of and paying attention to.

11:41 - 12:08

Natalia Zacharin: Yes, you should be paying attention or hire someone that does. It's really never too soon to hire someone to help you with your accounting. And it's not necessarily something as an entrepreneur, if that's not what you're good at and if that's not what you're doing, to take the time to do that because your job as an entrepreneur is to put the business together and drive revenue and then bring someone to make sure that they do the accounting because we specialize in QuickBooks and QuickBooks is really not intuitive. They say that it is, but it's totally not

12:08 - 12:34

Natalia Zacharin: and it's not supposed to be. And so we get business owners that have been doing their own accounting and it's completely wrong because they were trying to work on it. And they're just spinning their wheels and wasting a lot of time and spending a lot of time doing it. Just like I don't always recommend doing. I recommend figuring out and doing your own sales at first, because you can't really hire someone unless you really know how to sell, because No one's going to have more skin in the game than you do. But I don't know if

12:34 - 12:55

Natalia Zacharin: I would run off doing ads, Google, and marketing ads, and paying all this money. Because I don't know all of these tips and tricks on how to make that valuable, so I probably lose a ton of money. And I don't have time to spend to hire or to do it myself. So I would hire someone. So I feel that's the same way with accounting. It makes sense to hire someone.

12:55 - 13:19

Gresham Harkless: Yeah, absolutely. And as you said, so 1 of your hacks is being and then paying attention to the hours and how we're spending the hours, the calendar, and all those things. And a lot of times we sit down and even calculate what our hourly rate, quote unquote, would be. And we're spending time not doing the things that are most impactful for the business. A lot of times will make sense to at least have some awareness or knowledge of it, but to make sure that we are finding the right person to be able to partner with.

13:19 - 13:20

Natalia Zacharin: Yes, exactly. Awesome, awesome,

13:20 - 13:30

Gresham Harkless: awesome. So now I want to ask you my absolute favorite question, the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And our goal is to have different quote unquote CEOs on this show. So Natalia, what does being a CEO mean to you?

13:30 - 14:02

Natalia Zacharin: Yes. I don't know if it's really changed too much from the last time I was on the show. I really believe, except maybe I can define it a little bit better, but I really believe that being a CFO allows me to be the alchemist, basically creating something out of nothing or building something. So if you even buy an existing business, but building it and scaling it into something completely different. So being an alchemist, creating something out of nothing. And then the biggest thing is to live life on your terms. It allows you to build something and

14:02 - 14:26

Natalia Zacharin: write your own story. And that, for me, that's been what's happened in my life from basically poverty levels to owning a 7 figure firm. It has allowed me to write my own story. And I don't know, I didn't mention it. I mentioned that I was a single mom, middle age. I was 50, the year I started my business was the year I turned 50. So it's never too late to rewrite your story.

14:26 - 14:49

Gresham Harkless: Yes, I love that. Thank you so much for sharing that. And I think so many times when we go through life, we don't realize that we have the pencil or the pen, and I'll say pencil because a lot of times we have the opportunity to take that eraser and rewrite it. But we have that in our hands when we're pointing and saying it's because of this, that, and the third. We have that right in our hands to be able to create that opportunity for the marketplace, but also for our own lives where we forget about that

14:49 - 14:50

Gresham Harkless: human part of business.

14:51 - 14:52

Natalia Zacharin: Yes, exactly.

14:52 - 15:06

Gresham Harkless: Perfect, perfect, perfect. Well, and that's how you truly appreciate that definition. Of course, I appreciate your time even more. So what I wanted to do now is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know, and of course, how best people can help you find about all the awesome things that you're working on.

15:07 - 15:45

Natalia Zacharin: Yes, so we're Zachary Consulting. We are bookkeeping month-end. We call it month-end close accounting, APAR, payroll, and CFO services. 10 staff members currently, 2 CPAs on staff. And you can find us on LinkedIn under Nathaniel Zacharin or Zacharin Consulting. We're also on Instagram, growyourbottomline, and on Facebook, Zacharin Consulting, and just www.zacharinconsulting.com where you can fill out a calendar link to get a free financial consultation. And that's, and I would recommend everybody to know your numbers because that's the most important thing you can do.

15:45 - 16:09

Gresham Harkless: Yes, I truly appreciate that, Natalia. Of course, we're going to have the links and information shown us as well too, so that everybody can follow up with you. But truly appreciate you for all the awesome work that you're doing, the time of course you took today. I think so many times we try to make sure that we're going to be successful in our life, in our business, and along those journeys. We sometimes forget that we can't necessarily control all the things, but there are things that you can control. There are things that you can pay attention

16:09 - 16:23

Gresham Harkless: to to increase your likelihood of success, to not just know them, but know how to actually put them in action so that you can see that success. So I appreciate you so much in sharing that. And of course, doing that so many times with the clients you work with. And I hope you have a phenomenal rest day.

16:23 - 16:24

Natalia Zacharin: Thank you so much.

16:24 - 16:53

Intro: Thank you for listening to the I am CEO podcast powered by CB Nation and Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at imceo.co. I am CEO is not just a phrase. It's a community. Don't forget to schedule your complimentary digital marketing consultation at blue16media.com. This has been the I am CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless Jr. Thank you for listening.

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Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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