Brett Fellows Welcome, Jordan Ilderton, to The Retiring Entrepreneur podcast.
Jordan Ilderton Hi, Brett, thank you so much for having me. This is great.
Brett Fellows Absolutely. I’m excited to have you on today. You’re our second CPA guest, and we actually met through a mutual friend, Nikki Hinske. But, I think what’s unique about you and why I wanted to have you on was, you’re not a CPA doing taxes. You are more of a holistic CFO, and you also have some other services that you offer. So, I think this would be a great, unique business to learn about.
Jordan Ilderton Yes, thank you, everybody hears CPA and they asked me tax questions, and I have to refer those to my friends because I don’t feel qualified to answer this.
Brett Fellows So, the name of your business is Ilderton Bookkeeping. As we’ll talk about, you do a lot more than bookkeeping. But tell me, how did you get started? What brought you to this place?
Jordan Ilderton Well, growing up, I always loved creating businesses. That was my favorite game, to make businesses and I had my little fake- and I’d be like: “Oh, look how much money I made renting my sports equipment”, or whatever. We lived out in the woods, and we made our own fun, and that’s what I liked to do. And when I went to college, I went to commerce college, and it was all girls and liberal arts.
Jordan Ilderton And so I kind of dabbled in everything. And I was like: “Oh, I love every class, but I know I like business.” And so, I had to take accounting principles 101, and I just felt at home immediately. My brain was like: “Oh my gosh, where have you been all my life?” Debits and credits, everything has to equal, it all has its place – I loved it. So I majored in accounting, and just went the accounting route, kind of like everyone does.
Jordan Ilderton I worked in public accounting. It was a small firm here in Charleston, Pat, Thomas, and [inaudible]. I was in the small business department, so we did QuickBooks Desktop, doing the bookkeeping. And then it was bought by Dixon Hughes, and I moved to Charlotte and did tax. And that’s when they had the big layoffs in 2008. Everyone on my level was let go. I went into industry, and didn’t really like it. I was in general ledger. Just not very happy with that, and didn’t want to interview for another accounting job.
Jordan Ilderton So as we talked about, I went to nursing school. I had my quarter-life crisis and did that, and worked in NICU and dermatology. And those were very detail-oriented, So it was right up my alley, you know, just a different scene completely from what I was used to accounting. And after that, we moved to Charleston, had kids. [inaudible] a few weeks old, and I was just like: “What am I gonna do? I don’t want to go back to the doctor’s office, I don’t want to send her to daycare and have someone else, take care of her.
Jordan Ilderton And I’m working just so I can send her there.” It was just this Catch 22. So, I never had the courage to start my own business. And that’s when a friend was like: “Why don’t you do your thing?” And this is the catalyst I needed. I would have never had the courage without my kids to do that. And so that’s how it started. And I love bookkeeping. I feel like I was really helping business owners with that, taking that weight off of their shoulders every month. They don’t have to worry about reconciliations, or paying sales tax…
Jordan Ilderton And, you know, that just made me happy. I felt like I was contributing to them. And it worked with my schedule, and so that’s kind of how it started and evolved, and it’s grown as my kids have grown. As we talked about, you know, just offering these different services, when I realized that some of the business owners- you know, I’d send them their p&l and their balance sheet, and they were like: “Great, I don’t know what to do with this. I don’t know what this is. I don’t know what these words mean.” And so that’s when I incorporated the advisory stuff and working with them more one-on-one.
Brett Fellows That’s great. I definitely want to talk about this. But I want to go back a second. So, when you hung out your shingle to do bookkeeping, what year was that?
Jordan Ilderton That was in 2015.
Brett Fellows And how did it progress? Were you advertising? Was it just word of mouth? Is there that much demand? How did you get clients when you started?
Jordan Ilderton My very first client, I was in a shopping center in South Windermere and I saw that a new business was opening, and it looked like a business that I would want to shop in. And so I cold emailed her I was basically like: “Hi, I’m a bookkeeper. It looks like you’re starting a business. You might want some help. Let’s talk.” And it was a match from the beginning.
Jordan Ilderton And then someone I went to high school with saw that I started my business, and so she hopped on. And after that it was just referrals, basically. A lot of the CPAs that I worked with, from my first clients, when they found out I was a bookkeeper, they would send work my way. So it was very grassroots. I just redid my website and had it done professionally. Because for the five years before that, it was me doing the website. So yes, it’s definitely grown, and it was very grassroots there in the beginning.
Brett Fellows Yeah, your website is great. I was gonna note on that, by the way. We put a link to it in the show notes. So how did that go? I mean, you’re raising three- Well, eventually, we have three children, and you’re doing the bookkeeping – you had to have hit some sort of ceiling of capacity where you couldn’t handle all of that. How long did it take to get to that point?
Jordan Ilderton Longer than it should have. You know, I recently… I love the idea of “what got you here won’t get you there”. Rhat’s one of those things, in hindsight, I would have told myself. Everything doesn’t have to be me doing it. So I just brought on some bookkeepers last May, when I kind of evolved in this whole advisory services. From the end of my first clients, who were in January 2016, to May of 2021, it was just me. So it took longer than it should have. But it, it felt so good, and the people I found have been amazing. So it was just such a relief to find them, and get that help that I should have gotten a long time ago.
Brett Fellows And there’s a bunch of different ways we can go with that. I you’re heard of the rule of threes, once you go from one to three, three to six, six to nine, you’re dramatically changing the way in which you must communicate things. So, I guess, first off, how did you find those two that you brought in? And are they employees? Are they 1099? What do they look like?
Jordan Ilderton They are 1099s, and I thought I was just gonna hire one. And they work other jobs and do this nighttime, and on the weekends, in their spare time. And that’s what I did for five years. It was during nap times, and night times, and four o’clock in the morning. But it was my business. So at first it was just gonna be one person, and then she was at capacity, so the other person that I had already interviewed came along, and we actually just brought on a third.
Jordan Ilderton One of the girls, it’s her mom, because her mom does the same thing. So it’s like I’m at a family meeting when we have team meetings. I’m the oddball out. But it definitely forced me to get on a platform. So we got on teamwork. I really started documenting my procedures, which I had not done before. So this past summer was just crazy with the amount of change that was going on, and it was great. But now I just need a little lull, because it was a lot.
Brett Fellows And did you move existing clients to those new team members, or were they bringing on their own clients? How did that transition go, especially when you’ve worked with some clients for a while?
Jordan Ilderton Yes, it was hard. It was very much like I was handing over my baby. It was a rollout. So I started with certain clients that were either newer, or more straightforward, and saved the ones that were a little more involved for, you know, once I felt that comfort. And I’ve talked to all my clients, and the feedback has been great. The team members are very responsive. I feel like we got in a good place with the teamwork platform so that we can all see what’s going on. There’s checklists, there’s due dates, so I feel really good about the flow of deadlines and how we’re all communicating. That was a big learning curve for me, to set that up, but it’s been great.
Brett Fellows I’m sure. And so what does the business look like now? So you have three team members. Do you do it by how many businesses you work with, or individuals? How do you count your client base?
Jordan Ilderton What do you mean? How many bookkeeping clients?
Brett Fellows Yeah, exactly.
Jordan Ilderton I mean, the bulk of it is the bookkeeping that was grandfathered in. I did let go of a few that were too difficult to kind of transfer over to someone else. Not like they were difficult clients, but just the work wasn’t really transferrable. At one point, I had a lady that still gave me a folder of receipts every month, and I can’t hand that over someone else. So, you know, situations like that. It was kind of like: “I’m not the best bookkeeper for you anymore.” And so we grandfathered in the bookkeeping clients, and now the work that I take on is kind of this whole, holistic approach.
Jordan Ilderton So the bookkeeping will be part of it. With some people – I have a client now that she still likes to do her bookkeeping. It’s very simple. So we don’t do it, but I do the advisory work with her every month. So, you know, it’s kind of a whole package, and depending on what they need, we can tailor it to that.
[12:50] The additional services Jordan Ilderton offers that distinguish her from a traditional bookkeeper.
Brett Fellows Yeah, I saw that on your website. You’ve got some different things: profitability coaching, money management and business intensive. So would it be fair to say the profitability coaching might be your advisory?
Jordan Ilderton Yes.
Brett Fellows Money management is more the bookkeeping. And then, what’s the business intensive? what’s that?
Jordan Ilderton It’s 90 minutes. Sometimes I talk to people that aren’t ready to get a bookkeeper, or they don’t know what they need, and they really just want someone to sit down either- we screen share and look at their books, and they ask either QuickBooks technical questions, or setting up their business, and they just want some advice on setting it up. Maybe they’ll come back later as a client, but they’re just not ready for that ongoing monthly work. So that’s what that’s for. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it does come up. I just want to have that available for people, if they want something like that.
Brett Fellows Yeah. And the newest part is the profitability coaching, the business advisory?
Jordan Ilderton Yes. It’s a lot of fun. We do budgets and projections, and, we are digging into the numbers, and then we’re also just talking about… Most of them are parents, you know? They’re just busy. So it’s talking about how they’re showing up in the business, if we need to possibly get someone to help them, or take over these certain aspects. Sometimes we’re talking about maybe getting loans and what that looks like, or a line of credit, or, some kind of equipment term loan.
Jordan Ilderton So it’s all over the board. And it’s just fun. Every client is different. And one of them were like, eyeball deep in cost of goods sold, and digging into that. It’s not the same thing over and over, which is fun, and it feels fulfilling. I’ve had really good feedback with these business owners. I want them to feel peaceful and to feel profitable, and to be profitable. So, you know, this kind of goes hand in hand with that.
Brett Fellows And did you find that- on your website, I noticed on the homepage, you’re talking about a different way to look at growing and expanding, from a tax standpoint, let’s say. My issue has always been- and I’m married to a CPA, so I can say this. They’re always, for the most part, backward-looking. They’re making sure that the client was compliant, and tax returns are done, and debits equal credits. But the hard part is looking forward, you know, the strategy and the planning and your Budget to Actual, and holding people accountable for what they want to achieve, especially if their business is going to be as profitable as it can, and ultimately sold. Do you agree with that?
Jordan Ilderton Yeah, I totally agree. And you know, when I was just doing the bookkeeping, it was me doing my role of bookkeeping, the tax persons over here filing their returns, the CSP persons over here. So, we all needed to come together. And with the advisory, I’m not doing the CFP, I’m not doing the tax stuff, but I love communicating with those people that they have so that we can all work together. Because I don’t know all the answers.
Jordan Ilderton Like I said, with the tech stuff, I cannot keep up with that. I can’t pretend to keep up with that. So I love to reach out and have that conversation, and especially to let the business owner know: “ Your CPA is going to be busy soon. So why don’t you contact them now and see what they need from you? Or open the door and have the conversation with them, because they’re waiting for the CPA to do it.” So, you know, just reminding them that it’s about to get busy, so let’s figure out what needs to be done, what needs to happen, or whatever kind of planning we need to do.
Brett Fellows And so for all these books that you’ve looked at, and counseling you’ve given, are there some general ‘hidden in plain sight’ cash opportunities that you can find that business owners miss?
Jordan Ilderton A lot of them just don’t know where their money’s going. So we’ll just kind of dig through it. And I don’t like to go in and say we’re gonna cut costs, you know, because that’s not really building a business. So unless you take that money and reinvest it back in the business, you’re not going to grow. Sometimes software is a really big cost for a lot of people. So, we’ll dig through that, and go: “Let’s see. Is this an annual fee? Do you need this?” We’ll have those conversations.
Jordan Ilderton But you always want lower expenses, higher [inaudible] or whatever. And there’s no thing where I’m coming in, and I’m like: “You need to do this.” It’s more about what kind of [inaudible]. If that software helps you get home earlier to have dinner with your family, or that team member helps you have Saturdays off, then it’s worth that expense. So it’s all about building the business that you want. That’s what I did with my business. I knew that if I’m going to work, it was going to be for my dream, and for what I wanted to create.
Jordan Ilderton And so that’s what I want for everyone else. It doesn’t have to be what you see online, or what you see somebody else doing. It’s just, for you, for your family, your income goals, your work life, you’re balance. I just needed that kick in the pants. And so, I want to help people do that. I know on one of your podcasts recently, the lady was- both of her parents were entrepreneurs. And I heard that and I was like: “Wow, that’s amazing.” Because no one in my family was an entrepreneur. Everyone was very educated, they had lots of letters after their names. We’ve got MBAs, PhDs, attorneys- everything. All the letters, but no one owned their own business.
Jordan Ilderton And so it really was a big step for me to do that. And I knew that when I did it, it just had to be for me. And so that’s, that’s what I’m here for, to help other business owners really evaluate that. So it’s hard to say that it’s one thing across the board. But it’s always that they need to look at their numbers more closely, that’s for sure.
Brett Fellows Yeah. But back to you for a second. I mean, that’s almost a different side of your brain, from an accountant or a nurse, that you liked or was drawn to it, because debits had to equal credits. I mean, now you’re saying that you’re actually talking about the client’s values, what’s important to them. That’s a different type of communication style. How did you learn to do that? Or does it just come natural to you?
Jordan Ilderton I am working on it, of course, more and more. I felt like, last spring, with my kids being home, me working at home, my time was just so spoken for. And I was like: “Okay, get this done, check it off the list.” And then, when my youngest daughter went to school and COVID got a little bit better, I kind of felt like I was coming out from under a rock. The sun was out, and I’m coming out squinting, like: “Oh my gosh, what have I been doing?” And it just felt really good to use my brain and talk in different ways that I wasn’t used to.
Jordan Ilderton Because before, when the kids were home, I couldn’t even schedule client meetings. That wasn’t even on my radar. And so, to be able to have the time and the mental capacity to think differently, that really changed as they got older, and I just had that opportunity more. So I’ve just been seeking more instances where I can do that. And I’m definitely learning along the way. And with different clients, it’s different. Their learning style or communication style is different.
Jordan Ilderton Both my parents were teachers. My mom’s a professor. So I feel like I have that part of me that grew up seeing them educate, and so I love that too, educating them. And so that’s what it feels like it’s coming from, like an education. Let’s do this together, not just me standing up and pointing at a PowerPoint presentation.
Brett Fellows And I would imagine your business is all virtual?
Jordan Ilderton It is.
Brett Fellows Do you go to clients? Or do you have to go to clients a lot? To pick up receipts, let’s say?
Jordan Ilderton No. They would leave the receipts in my mailbox. And then at one point, I had a client who had desktop, and once a month I would go and do all the reconciliations. Even during COVID, I would go on Saturdays, when nobody was in there and do it. And then I finally drew a line in the sand and said I’m not doing desktop ever again. Never say never, but you know…
Jordan Ilderton And I know online isn’t right for every business, but I’m not taking the clients that do desktop. I’m not doing that anymore. But it’s funny, I think about that client – I mean, I was there, even after I had my third child. I fed her in the van, I put her in the little [inaudible], went in and did my work till she woke up again, went back in the van again… That was mayhem. What was I doing? I was dedicated, that’s for sure.
Brett Fellows That’s funny. And what does a typical week look like for you now?
Jordan Ilderton Typically, on Mondays and Fridays I have some time blocked in the middle of the day to do discovery calls and new client conversations. And then, I usually have client meetings, either first thing in the morning or midday. Those last one to two hours, depending on how they want to set up. And then I do some networking through ProVisors. I try to do those a couple of times a month. And I really enjoy doing stuff on social media. Recently I started doing reels.
Jordan Ilderton And that’s a fun creative outlet. So I’ll spend 15 minutes in the morning doing one of those. It’s kind of silly, I know. But it’s fun, I can’t help it. It’s just part of trying to make accounting more accessible and not so scary, to make people laugh and educate them at the same time. Because a lot of business owners, I can see when I meet with them, they just feel so anxious.
Jordan Ilderton And this is something that everyone who is a business owner has to deal with, so let’s talk about it, get the elephant in the room out of the way. You know, I’ve seen everything. I’ve seen office supplies set up as a bank account on the books. You don’t have anything to be embarrassed about. Let’s just normalize this conversation, and move forward.
[23:44] The metrics Jordan Ilderton tracks to gauge how her business is performing.
Brett Fellows Now, I know also from your website, you’re a fan of tracking? So let’s pick on you a little bit. So what items do you track? And I guess what made me think about that, as you said, if you’re onboarding a new client, do you have a goal? Do you know how many clients you can onboard in a given month? What are you trying to achieve? What would be ideal for you?
Jordan Ilderton Ideally, I would have a waitlist, and I would onboard, once every six to eight weeks, and phase out some of those bookkeeping clients. So I don’t want to let everyone go, and there are some that I’ve worked with from the beginning, so I don’t even know if I would ever lose that. But definitely, my goal would be- and I love time blocking, just to make sure that I still have a few clients that I do their bookkeeping.
Jordan Ilderton But I would hand those over, because I still haven’t done that yet, and really clear up my time to focus on the meetings and preparing for the meetings. So I still have a little ways to go with all that. I’m not there. But owning a business is always a process, and there’s always something that you to strive for, and reach for. And I would also love – now that I’m talking about this -do a partnership model. So, when you work with businesses, you have a base rate that’s very low and accessible, and then do a 10% revenue share of new revenue they get after working with me.
Jordan Ilderton So it feels more like a partnership. And I’m obviously invested in them doing well. That way I can keep the base rate low, and then as they grow, that would be the natural progression. So that’s something I would love to do one day. It would be a lot of education for clients. Down the road, I think that would be a good way to implement, keeping your fees from getting high, but you can still have room to grow.
Brett Fellows And the bookkeeping versus the advisory, are those silos, treated separately?
Jordan Ilderton Well, they’re included. So when they do advisory, it’s included. And then the advisory the whole package, it’s the same. Every month it’s agreed-upon procedures. Anything outside of those is a separate engagement and pricing, if they need catch-up work or something. But it’s really hard to price something without knowing their books, because it depends on the number of transactions, how many accounts we’re doing, if we’re filing sales tax, you know, those sort of things. So there’s kind of a general range, but we have to know that information if bookkeeping is going to be included.
[26:33] The one thing Jordan has implemented in her own business that’s generated the biggest results.
Brett Fellows Yeah. You mentioned time blocking and planning. I’m curious, though, what’s one thing that you’ve implemented in your own business that’s generated the biggest results?
Jordan Ilderton It would definitely be having the team and having the checklists every month. I mean, when I first brought on the team, when I did the work, I kept everything in a spreadsheet. Each client had a tab, and I checked off what I had reconciled, when I’d reconciled it, and highlighted in yellow what still needed to be done. And when I tried to hand that off to the team members, that was just mayhem.
Jordan Ilderton And so having that platform and setting all these project lists, and deadlines, and who’s going to do it, that really made the biggest difference for growth, because it just it simplified everything, kept everyone on the same page. The clients liked it because they knew who was doing what, and it gave them deadlines. So for sales tax, we need the client to maybe enter some things, we’ll send it to them, they approve it, and it really simplified things and made us able to move forward faster.
Brett Fellows If you could walk out that door and go into a time capsule back to 2015 Jordan Ilderton, What would you tell her?
Jordan Ilderton A couple of things. I thought about this. Trust yourself, it’ll all work out. And what got you here won’t get you there. I think, being the performer, if you will, in your business, and doing everything, being the person, I look back and I’m like, yes, that got me to this year, but where I want to go, it’s not going to get me there. And I think that’s true for a lot of people. The business is our baby. At the time, it was next to my literal baby.
Jordan Ilderton So it was very much a connection, and now just kind of stepping back, and looking at it as a business, not me… You know, instead of thinking what does my business need for me today, just think like, if this was someone else’s business, what does it need for me today? Like I’m showing up, I’m the CEO, what do I need to do? Even if it’s uncomfortable, or maybe not my favorite thing, just looking at it from more of a third-party standpoint, and not so like: “I don’t really want to do this. And what if they reject me? Or they think I’m silly?” So that would be something I would tell her.
Brett Fellows That’s great. And then if we jump back in that time capsule, but we move forward five years, and we’re looking back over the last five years, what has to have happened for you to feel happy with your progress? And that can be personally or professionally.
Jordan Ilderton I think, professionally, it would definitely be to appreciate where I’ve been, and let some things go that I’m still doing. That would be some of the bookkeeping, or just some of that day to day stuff that I still get caught up in that, five years from now, I don’t want to be doing, or if I’m at this income level, or meeting this many clients a week. I can’t do that. And I’ve thought about VA, or whatever. And I haven’t figured that out yet, exactly what that role is. I need to sit on it a little more, and I know the answer will come. But it has to be something that’s, like I said, just showing up as the owner. So that’ll be something I need to work on. Does that answer your question?
Brett Fellows Sure. And with all that’s going on, how do you avoid burnout, especially being a mom?
Jordan Ilderton Fortunately, I have my days where it’s like… I think last Friday it was cold and rainy. Fortunately, the end of the month is a little slower, and I just want to sit on the couch and watch a Schitt’s Creek episode or something. And so I’ll allow myself to do that. It just kind of comes in ebbs and flows. And I think just being a business owner, your motivation is here some days, and then it’s down here some days.
Jordan Ilderton And I think just recognizing that and going with it and not fighting it… I mean, obviously, you need to show up and do things that maybe you don’t feel like doing, but just giving yourself the grace to, take the weekend off and step away from your computer and close it at this time. I think that’s just the most important thing, to schedule that and have clear boundaries with your clients and team members. You know, always give them certain deadlines. Like, if we’re going to file this on time, it needs to be by this date, or we can’t promise anything. So I’m not scrambling to file something at the last minute. I think that’s been the biggest help for me, to listen to my body and, you know, go with it.
Brett Fellows And does it get to the point- does it tug at you? I’m sure you have to have clients that say: “Can you just file this tax return for us? Why do I have to go get somebody else?” Is that easy to say no to, or is that difficult?
Jordan Ilderton It is so easy. I tell them, you don’t want me filing your tax return. There’s so many rules, and with all the COVID stuff, I can’t keep up with that. You’re crazy. If you want me to do it. I appreciate it. And it’s so easy now. I’ll send them the directions of how to add their CPA as a user to their QuickBooks, you know, let them contact me if they have questions… But it’s out of my wheelhouse. I’m not gonna pretend. That’s why it’s good to know Nikki, and other people
[32:25] How Jordan helps her clients build their net worth from the cash flow of the business.
Brett Fellows That’s right. We sit, in some regards, on the other side of the table with the client, doing their personal planning, but trying to weave in their business on top of that. And we mostly work with business owners, and I would say 85% of them – confidently – that the business is their largest asset. How do you work with clients about, I guess, the best ways that they can build their net worth from the cash flow of the business?
Jordan Ilderton What I usually do is definitely get in a conversation with their CFP, or whoever’s doing it and find out what they recommend that you put money into, whether it’s a [inaudible], or whatever that technically, logistically looks like. And then we come back on our end- so, I like to put things in buckets. So we’re gonna have this amount for the operating expenses, this amount for your draw, or owner pay, this amount for tax savings, this amount for profit, and we finagle the percentages, and based on the cash, we put it and funnel it to those buckets.
Jordan Ilderton So it’s really working with someone who knows their situation and knows so much more than I do, and then I just help them on the logistic end. Because, they can leave a meeting with you or somebody and they’re like: “Okay, I need to do $6,000 in this account, but I don’t have 6000, how do I…” And then they forget about it, and don’t do it. And so it’s like, we need you to help us know how much and where to go, and then we’ll make it happen.
Brett Fellows We’ve also found it’s hard to find- business owners have become very accustomed to running through the business: A, lot of stuff for them personally, B, they end up taking too much out of the business, and just spending it. Do you get that? So it’s hard. It’s not too often, I guess, to get the right client where there is an abundance of cash flow still leftover that you can use for other things.
Jordan Ilderton Yeah. And it’s the question that I’m sure you and other tax CPAs get: Should I buy this so that I don’t have to pay as much in taxes? Would you buy it anyway? Because, you know, that whole conversation, I’m pretty conservative in that area. But yeah, it’s really- and then I have clients who have a ton of cash in their business, and it’s because they have subcontractors, and they want to be sure they can pay the subcontractors.
Jordan Ilderton And so it’s kind of working with them… I love that you’re conservative, and you’re thinking this way, and you want to have a lot of cash. But do we really need this much cash? You know, what would be your comfort level? What do you think this job is going to cost? You know, an exaggerated- let’s not say worst case scenario, but let’s say an exaggerated scenario, so that we have this number here, here’s your base. Can you move some of this somewhere else, so that it’s not just sitting there doing nothing? And then I’ll have people that will have like an influx of $75,000. I’m like, okay, you’re just dumping that as an owner investment in here. Can we have a conversation about this? So, you see everything.
Brett Fellows I’m gonna change direction here, just for a second. I’m interested in your thoughts on bookkeeping. So, you’ve been through this, and I even hear you saying you’re graduating to more of the advisory, and more of your time as in the advisory, and some of the bookkeeping may go away. Bookkeeping as an industry – A good bookkeeper is like gold. But it’s amazing how hard they are to find. What will happen to bookkeeping in the future? Because I don’t really know. I guess there can’t be a way where it’s automated, where artificial intelligence can do your books for you. I don’t know maybe that could happen.
Jordan Ilderton And QuickBooks, I love to call it ‘trick books’, because you can set up rules, and that doesn’t mean they’re going to be bright. Yeah, you still have to pay attention. And my heart really goes out to people who want to do it themselves, and they get in. And I couldn’t imagine not knowing anything about accounting, getting in there and not knowing how it was affecting the debits and credits, just not having that background and jumping in. It would be very confusing. With the technology, I’m so out of the loop.
Jordan Ilderton You know, they’re making self-driving cars… But definitely right now it is… You know, people will come to me and they’re like… And I will say the big whatever that you could find, that have advertisements online and stuff, but they don’t get that communication that they need too. Most of them need someone asking the questions. Was this meals, or meals and golf…?
Jordan Ilderton I don’t know how that company or that set of books is going to differentiate that, because they need to be split. And so it’s just finding someone to do that that you connect with. Because I’ve had people come to me, they switched bookkeepers, and their bookkeeper may have been lovely, but for their personality, they needed a little more hand-holding, or someone that’s very friendly in the emails. You could tell that they value that. And so, I’ve definitely seen that too. They just need someone on their side.
Brett Fellows Yeah, that’s great. Jordan, as we start to wrap up, tell me, who do you look up to? Who are some of the people that inspire you?
Jordan Ilderton There’s a lot. They’re all different. I have some friends that own businesses that, I look at them, and I’m like: “Wow, how did they do that?” Because back when I was a nurse, and I’d see high school friends start businesses, I would get triggered. “How did they do that?” So I know people personally that inspire me. And I think my grandparents. They didn’t own businesses, but they were just so happy and so grateful.
Jordan Ilderton That really inspired me. My grandmother did so much volunteering. She was a busy lady, she worked back with the moms didn’t work outside of the home, and she had an MBA, and I’m just like: “How did she do that?” She didn’t have a cell phone to pick up and see if someone’s gonna give her a ride home. So I think my grandparents are probably the most inspiring, that really made a difference in my life.
Brett Fellows That’s great. I love it. Thank you for sharing. Jordan, this podcast is about successful business owners, and so I’m curious, what is your definition of success?
Jordan Ilderton It would be sending my kids to the schools that I want them to go to. It would be being able to drop them off and pick them up, go get my haircut and a nice place, get a facial once a month, save for retirement, and get to go to the beach and go kayaking when I want to. If I have a slow day, I get to go and look for shark’s teeth. So I feel like I’m successful in that already. I’m not the richest, I’m not with the most followers on Instagram or anything, but I feel like I’m very happy with where I am, and I love that.
Jordan Ilderton You know, I feel like I’m in a good place to keep moving in the right direction. I love the team that I have now. I really work with a lot of women. And so I love working with those team members and paying other women for their services, and the amazing stuff that they’re doing. The girl that did my website… I love paying all these smart, amazing, talented women, and growing their business as well as mine. So that’s what success looks like to me.
Brett Fellows Yes, I love it. And I’m so happy to hear that you’re in that place, too. You don’t hear that very often. So thank you very much for sharing. Well, Jordan, thank you very much for being a guest on the Retiring Entrepreneur podcast.
Jordan Ilderton Yes, thank you, Brett. That was so fun. Thank you.
Brett Fellows Have a great day.
Jordan Ilderton You too.