Interview - Meredith Rines
Q: What do you do? What do you provide to the community?
I help business owners with their bookkeeping so they can get back to doing what they love. I provide bookkeeping, tax planning and tax preparation services to businesses. As an Accountant and Certified Financial Planner, I can provide holistic tax and planning advice to help business owners grow profitable and sustainable businesses.
Q: Have you always been entrepreneurial? What led you to taking that first step and setting up your own business?
Yes, I have! I have been an online business owner for over a decade now. I first started out in my early twenties with a lifestyle blog. I shared recipes, DIY projects, and clothes. As I got older my business shifted to personal financial planning by helping new mom’s with budgeting and paying down debt. About 5 years ago I joined my family’s tax, accounting and financial planning firm in my hometown so my online business has shifted again to be more in sync with what I do every day. My business has pivoted a lot over the years, but I absolutely love being my own boss.
Q: If any, what challenges have you experienced as a woman in business during your overall career? What have been your biggest challenges?
I have faced challenges with some individuals not wanting to take a woman seriously when it comes to finances, especially a younger woman. It’s always a little frustrating when something like that happens. My parents raised me to believe that I can do anything I set my mind to and there was never a question or doubt to it. So when I face someone who doesn’t want to listen to a woman then I simply cut ties with them. It hurts having to walk away, but I know my worth and my expertise.
Q: What has been your greatest reward?
Being my own boss has awarded me the freedom to take my son to school and pick him up every day. I wouldn’t have been able to do that at a typical 9-5.
Q: What are the most important things to progressing as the owner/Director of a business? These could be characteristics, values, skills etc.
You have to be willing to adapt to whatever life hands you. As a business owner you never have the same day two days in a row. So you have to be prepared to pivot.
You also have to be able to delegate. It’s hard finding someone you trust, so I encourage business owners to start small and then work up from there when it comes to delegating tasks. But one thing is clear - no one can do all the things inside their business if you are wanting to scale.
It’s important to learn how to get over being a perfectionist. One of my favorite thoughts is “progress over perfection.” Realizing that trying to be perfect is actually stalling growth can be hard. But every decision, mistake, and celebration is all part of your business - so you just have to keep moving forward.
Finally, I believe in investing in yourself. When it comes to learning new ways to market your business, become more efficient in your processes, or just brainstorm ideas. You need to work with someone who is a few steps ahead of where you currently are - either by investing in a coach, a mastermind, a program or even a mentor. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Q: What have been some make or break moments in your career? Important client meetings, presentations, procurement pitches etc.
Deciding to move back to my hometown was pretty scary. I never imagined myself back in a small town, but in the end it was the best career decision I could have made. It really helped me marry my two passions together - helping business owners and crunching numbers.
Not long after that move, I landed my first client. It was a pretty surreal moment. I couldn’t believe someone wanted to work with me and trusted me with their finances. It was a pretty humbling experience to say the least.
Q: If you could change something, what would it be?
I would love to educate business owners on the importance of understanding their numbers. It’s not just about affording a bookkeeper to do it for you, but it’s about finding someone who fits in well with the way you run your business. I love making sure my clients understand what their numbers mean and how they impact their business now and later down the road.
Q: Social Media - Yes or No?
Love social media. I get 70% of my clients from Instagram. The rest are from referrals from my existing clients or from another social media platform - like Pinterest or Youtube. Social media can make a big impact on your business if you know how to use it correctly. For me, that means staying professional while sharing money tips, bookkeeping advice, and bits of my life to really connect to my followers.
Q: What is unique about your or your business?
I’m not your average accountant. I’ve had an online business for over 10 years, so I understand what the online space is all about. Running an online business isn’t like running a traditional brick-and-mortar business. So having a trusted professional in your corner that gets that is a pretty big deal.
Q: Is now the best time in female history to be an entrepreneur and why yes?
Absolutely! Women are extremely capable of anything - I mean anything. So why wait?
Q: What one piece of advice would you give any aspiring female business leaders reading this?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! I was terrified of what people would think and how they would react, but that definitely limited my first few years. Own who you are and don’t be afraid to put it on blast! Your gifts are unique and you are the only one who can serve your clients the way you do.
Q: How can people get in touch with you? What’s your website url and contact information?