An Author, an Accountant and an Introvert

AN Author, an Accountant and an Introvert is part of ‘Let’s Talk with the Authors’, a series of interviews with authors who have worked with editors4you or WriteDesign Publications. The promotional opportunity is also open to other authors (contact us for details).

An Author, an Accountant and an Introvert: Lynda Steffens

Promoting Your Books

Around Christmas 2019, I offered my authors a simple way to promote their books through an author interview.

As we writers know, it’s one thing to write a book. It’s quite another to promote it. Writers tend to shy away from promotion, but it’s vital to kick the shyness habit and get our books out there in the big wide world.

In this interview, the featured author is Lynda Steffens, an author, an accountant and an introvert from the Gold Coast whose book Accounting Revolution is a guide for accountants. Lynda describes the profession as ‘overworked’ and accountants’ efforts as ‘undervalued’. As she herself has done, Lynda encourages accountants to go beyond being ‘bean counters’ and evolve their current business model to run a powerful high-level accounting and business advisory service.

lynda steffens books for an author, an accountant and an introvert
Lynda Steffens, an author, an accountant and an introvert

About Lynda

In her own words, Lynda ‘lives and breathes’ accounting and is passionate about the industry that has shaped her career. She is the founder of The Small Business Project, a three-phase program that incorporates Business Metamorphosis®, Leading Edge Business™ and Ready Set Coach™ workshops and programs. Lynda has more than 25 years’ experience as an accountant, business advisor, practice manager, speaker and coach.

Lynda, did you always want to write a book?

I never saw myself as an author but the universe had other ideas, lol! I was developing workshops to leverage and scale my coaching and consulting business when the universe kept sending me hints about writing a book. For example, in a professional speaker workshop I attended they advised ‘writing a book’ was recommended. Next, a very well respected coach and friend of mine said ‘writing a book’ would take my business to the next level. They recommended a trusted friend who could help me with that and then this friend’s workshop just happened to be coming to the Gold Coast. I kept blatantly ignoring all the hints, mainly because I never thought I could write a book. Then one day, after being doggedly stalked on social media by book writing courses and offers, I found myself in a book writing information session and discovered to my horror that I really needed to write a book! I’m sure the universe was sitting back and having a good old laugh at me for having this grand epiphany, and the rollercoaster of feelings that followed.

What was the hardest thing about writing your book?

As a first-time author and a recalcitrant one at that, the hardest thing was getting started. I needed accountability. So in true ‘me’ style, I announced it to the world via social media that I was writing a book and well … then there was no turning back. I had to make it happen.

I found the process of writing somewhat difficult to begin with and had to try a few different methods until I settled on just typing out the manuscript.

As an introvert, I found the speaking and transcribing method recommended to me just didn’t work. For me, planning was super-important and I mapped out the entire book before starting any of the content. I also didn’t follow the most logical sequence but instead jumped around a bit if I got stuck on a chapter. 

Lynda Steffens photo for an author, an accountant and an introvert
The author of Accounting Revolution, Lynda Steffens

What kept you going on writing your book?

I just knew that I had to get my message out and support accountants to grow and transition their businesses. I often talk about my love affair with the accounting industry as having all the hallmarks of a trashy soap opera. Starting out as a 14-year-old girl with rose-tinted glasses, to a somewhat more jaded 20-something-year-old who flirted with other careers, to having a business divorce in my 30s and falling completely out of the love with accounting altogether, I’ve come back full circle in my 40s to be more in love with the accounting industry than ever. This is because I see the fathomless potential of the amazing people and professionals in the industry, who can bring so much to a business relationship if they just learn how to connect and engage with their clients.

You describe accountants as overworked and undervalued. How can accountants communicate their value to their clients?

That’s a great question. You have to communicate your value to your clients in a way they understand. You have to change the conversations you have with your clients.

The two biggest concerns for the accounting industry today are the impact of technology, and adapting to the rapid pace of change while remaining relevant. If accountants don’t change the way they engage with clients, then they run the very real risk of completely losing their relevancy.

So Accounting Revolution gives accountants the tools, steps and actions needed to venture beyond the traditional realm of the accountant, into the role of esteemed business advisor.

You mention you are an introvert. I imagine it’s a trait shared by many other accountants. How do you see an introvert taking the leap from a behind-the-desk role to an in-front-of-a-workshop-audience role?

Ah, the million-dollar question. To us as introverts, the world simply seems set up for extroverts always playing to their strengths and not ours, but that’s simply not true. You just need to scratch the surface, look a little deeper, learn about yourself, and you’ll find it’s as simple as finding your way, not an extrovert’s way but your way. For accountants that means structure and process. By using structure and process, I show accountants that they too can advise, consult and coach their clients with confidence and that the transition to an in-front-of-a-workshop-audience role as you put it is actually not that hard, it just takes some time and practice.

In what ways have you used your book since publishing it?

I’ve now been able to use my book as the foundation for workshops and it’s become the central feature of my business marketing. My book helps me to get speaker engagements and media attention that I could have never achieved without being an author.

As a business person writing a book to support your business, did you seek testimonials before publishing your book?

Yes, I did, and in my view, it’s really important for this type of book. I sought testimonials from a number of sources including clients and other accounting colleagues and included them in my book.

You also self-published your book. Can you tell us (1) why you chose to self-publish, and (2) how that looked for you?

For me self-publishing was the simplest and easiest way to get the result I needed, which was a book I could sell and market using my own business contacts and channels. I had heard plenty of horror stories about self-publishing, finding out you signed over rights to your book and generally just getting yourself stuck in agreements you couldn’t get out of, so I made sure I did my research. I interviewed a number of author services businesses before I made my decision, and based my choice on how well they explained their packages, how easy they were to talk to and finally on the recommendations of other authors before me. Thank you, Gail, for your advice and assistance in this area as it was crucial.

click here to watch Lynda’s video

Find out more about Lynda and her book Accounting Revolution at these links:

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