Bookkeeper for Small Businesses in Albuquerque - Beekeeper - Mom - Woman
Today is my first feature profile on an amazing woman entrepreneur. You may be wondering what this has to do with boudoir. Well, it doesn't. But it is about empowering women, teaching women and giving you a glimpse into the perspectives of these fabulous business owners. Each month on Woman Crush Wednesday, I'll continue to feature a woman who is killing it at life.
So without further adieu, I introduce you to the lively, passionate and brilliant, Meghan Cross of Freeform Finances & MJ Honey Enterprises.
Pulling your hair out over tax season? Contact her directly: email@example.com
Tell me about your business! What makes yours unique, what inspires you, what keeps that passion in your alive?
We have a few family businesses, however mine is Freeform Finances, offering bookkeeping and accounting for small businesses. My niche is to work with each client’s communication and timing styles, going with their flows, while providing guidelines to help keep everyone on track.
I thoroughly enjoy helping to make my clients’ lives a little easier. Organizing and tracking the finances comes easy to some, however most would rather spend their time and energy doing what they do best. I love numbers; they center me. The rest of my life is not so organized, so my job is what keeps me grounded.
My husband and I also own and operate, MJ Honey Enterprises. We are local beekeepers who sell raw, unfiltered and delicious honey by zip code! And he owns Abraxas Electric, which I also help support by doing the accounting and some administrative work.
Would you do it all again? What have you learned along the way?
I would. I believe everything in life provides us with moment-by-moment experiences to unfold our ongoing perfection. If my life were different, I wouldn’t have this awesome soup of my personal existence, that keeps getting better with each spice and variation along the way.
You’re a mom. Tell me about your family.
I am a mom to two amazing boys, ages 3 and 5. They are part of the reason that I have come to be so passionate about life, partly out of survival and partly out of inspiration!
How do you try to maintain a balance between building or maintaining your business and raising your children?
I stay home with the boys part of the week, and feel really blessed to be able to tailor my work to their schedules and needs. Most days when I’m home with them, I try to do very little if any work at all. Other than that, I oftentimes work at 4am, occasionally at 1am, and most of all, don’t have a TV. Probably like most readers here, rarely stop.
Are you able to carve time for your husband and yourself to just be a couple and keep the spark going?
I am so grateful that my mom lives here, and my mother-in-law visits every 6 weeks or so. We have every-other week breaks for a night or two. In the past couple of years, we have made an intention to go out, get a beer and just play. Oftentimes we also work, but definitely take some downtime with each other.
If you had twenty-four hours and a teleportation machine to yourself (no kids, husband or work), what would you do? Where would you go?
A couple of years ago, I would have had some fabulous ideas. But now, I really get a perfect blend of me-time. I go to the gym a few times a week after dropping the boys at preschool, and we spend so much time outside with our garden and chickens; I feel at peace with things as they are. Now, if you hear me scream outside when I’m going nuts on certain days, then perhaps, you can ask me this question again!
You are an accountant, and I’ll get to that in a moment. But you believe in self-love and have incredible optimism and kindness. What inspires that?
For over thirty years, I spent life in a sort of low-grade anxiety and pretty much felt like my life was not worth anything beyond trying to please other people. Through spiritual and personal explorations, and tuning into the suffering in others, I have experienced huge transformations in past few years. Although always challenging, my life feels easy, in the flow and seated in gratitude. Everyday, we can focus on the difficulty of our lives. Or, we can be always perched at the beginning of opportunity. And if I can be a light of peace and ease for others throughout my day, I have lived another 24 hours to the fullest.
Do you think that women who work or run businesses treat themselves the way they need to be?
As our generations continue to be leaders and business owners in industry outside (or frankly, inside) the home, we mature in amazing ways. And I think many women are couched in extremes, of either being rough, or being passive-aggressive. We are nurturers, and we like to please others, however we do not want to be taken as sensitive or weak. Just like in a marriage, I think that if we state our needs, very clearly, briefly and with kindness, and we follow-through on our intentions without letting emotions derail us, we can be super-effective at what we do. We are beautiful, amazing women, and do not need to be men. There are enough, wonderful men in this world. We offer a different kind of emotional insight and organizational approach, which, if harnessed with firm-yet-kind power, can keep companies grounded and our own lives and minds balanced.
We’ve chatted a bit about living a life of abundance and how that’s not something to bring on guilt. How do you define an abundant life and make strides towards your goals?
It took me until later in life, about the same time as self-love started to kick in, when I could peacefully accept a gift from someone, or charge a client what I or anyone else is worth. We don’t serve anyone when we play small, believing that the world’s resources are limited and we should be martyrs in this life. I believe the more that we truly enjoy the friends, family, home, money, whatever that we receive in this life, more will show up for us. And through that receiving, giving becomes so fluid. It’s like your life becomes one opportunity after another for giving, but not necessarily what you seek out. Opportunities will present themselves and if our eyes are open, we can give of ourselves and this world’s resources, without a second thought.
Abundance, I believe, it being a joyful conduit of the ebb and flow of everything that we as a community need.
We’re approaching the deadline for taxes. Many women have already filed and if they weren’t outsourcing, they are probably wishing they had better systems in place. What do you recommend doing on a regular basis to make things easier at tax time?
For someone who has a computerized system in place (e.g., QuickBooks or Excel), sitting down maybe once a month or once a quarter. Clear your space, put some flowers or something pleasing in your space, make a day or half-day out of it and know it will feel better come year-end. Or at a minimum, constantly put everything that you know could be either receipt-or tax-related into a tub or filing cabinet, or file from your email’s inbox.
They say that they cobbler’s kids have no shoes. This is so true for me because I spent my time focused on my clients’ books. For Freeform Finances, I put all of my paperwork in a plastic filing bin and then organize it all within a few hours at year end. I don’t recommend this approach at all, but it’s certainly better than needing to pull everything in haste come April 10th!
Speaking of outsourcing, what do you suggest an entrepreneur look for when hiring a bookkeeper or accountant? What’s the difference?
Bookkeepers organize and maintain your books. Accountants ensure that special entries to the books, tax filing and in some scopes of work, tax planning is maintained. Freeform Finances is a one-stop shop for small businesses. I charge a flat monthly fee for most clients, in which they can come to me at any time of the year with ideas and questions, and know that they won’t receive an extra bill for that five-minute phone call. And come tax time, we’ve already addressed the issues needed in remaining compliant and making bigger decisions about business and strategies, etc.
My recommendation is that you feel comfortable with your financial person or people. Not comfy in the sense that it’s a party every time you get together, but that you trust they have your best interest in mind, and that you can ask them any question. Like a good parent, they won’t always tell you “Yes”, but they will certainly take the time to listen to your question or ideas and give it their best shot to explore alternatives if their answer is a “No” or a “Maybe”.
Any final words of advice to all those hardworking moms and business women?
I am preaching to myself as I say these words: Our kids will grow up faster than we could ever expect, so enjoying them while we are with them is priceless. And, keep on doing your best as a working mom without guilt! It seems like we are not giving out kids what they need with our time, but if we continue to model ethics and the harnessing of opportunities, while devoting quality of time when we are home with them, they will benefit from our efforts.
Wow, that was just amazing. If you want more information on this incredible woman's work (or some of her delicious honey), please e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org