BBW MEMBER INTERVIEW: Kaela Coble, CEO of KPC Bookkeeping

What is your name?

Kaela Coble

What is your title?

CEO

What is your business name?

What is your website URL?

www.kpcbookkeeping.com

What is your Instagram handle?

What is your LinkedIn URL?

How long have you been a Boston Business Women member?

8 months

Where are you based? How did you end up there?

Vermont - lived here all my life except for one year living in Boston

Tell us more about your company! What do you do and what pushed you to start?

We are a team of three (me and two bookkeepers), who serve women-identified solopreneurs and microbusiness, typically in the first five years of business. In addition to the normal bookkeeping services most people seek, I am a coach and advisor who helps women solopreneurs build healthy businesses, pay themselves, make better business decisions, and feel the relief of having a (non-equity) partner in their corner. I will also be launching an online, self-paced course this fall for women business owners who aren’t yet able to hire a bookkeeper, to teach them what they need to know about doing their books, and all the things I talked about above.

What is your definition of success? How do you know when you’ve reached it?

I've learned that the true measure of success is joy! By focusing on what fires me up and ignoring or outsourcing the rest, I consider myself wildly successful even though I haven't met my income goals yet.

Tell us about your most transformational moment as an entrepreneur?

The first time I offered a free consultation, even knowing the woman was not going to be able to hire me, I was able to provide answers that left her feeling relieved and excited about moving forward on her own. I realized two things: 1) ``Wow, I actually know what I'm talking about,`` and 2) Not everyone knows what I know, and I can be a great help to women especially in the first few years of their business.

What was one of your biggest challenges in business?

I suffered an enormous period of anxiety - not just feeling nervous and doubtful but actual painful, crippling anxiety, for the first few months after I announced my business. It was really rough, and sure I had some moments of weakness when I thought it was all too much and maybe I wasn’t cut out for business ownership. But deep down, I knew this was my path and I just had to keep showing up in whatever way I could. Piece by piece, day by day, things got easier, then harder again, then easier, then harder again. It’s a roller coaster I had to get comfortable riding, because if it becomes permanently easy that means I’m not challenging myself, and then there’s no excitement and no growth.

How do you handle the harder days? The struggles? Those moments when you feel like giving up?

I met a woman through networking that quickly became my ``business bestie.`` As much as I love my husband and best friend, and supportive as they are, they just can't understand what it's like for everything to fall on your shoulders. She and I text each other almost daily, supporting each other and holding each other accountable. I highly recommend networking and finding someone you click with that can become that person for you. We keep each other sane.

And the other thing, that I alluded to before, is that business ownership has ruined me for any other kind of job. I can’t imagine going back to working and hustling for someone else, to having to play nice (or battle) with people I don’t agree with or respect. To having rigid parameters for what I do and how. So when I think about giving up, I think about what that would actually look like, and that tells me that I need a break from my business, not a break up. :-)

How has being a Boston Business Women Inner Circle member positively influenced your life + business?

I just joined, so I'm excited to see where it takes me!

Tell us about your most proud moment in your career.

This is going to sound weird, but my proudest moments have been the times I decided clients who were good on paper (or monetarily) were ultimately making me miserable, and disengaged from them. I was proud that I made these difficult decisions based on joy and flow instead of purely on money, and that I maintained my commitment to creating a business that makes me excited to get up in the morning.

Who is the woman behind your business? What does she like? How does she spend her free time? What does she value?

I like organizing and giving my opinion - haha - which makes me a perfect fit for this business. I also love home decor (my bins of Christmas decorations are rapidly multiplying...it's kind of a problem), painting, baking (I had a small cookie bakery running out of my home for a short time), and writing (I have a published book called Friends and Other Liars). Other than that, I am a homebody who loves puttering around the house and snuggling on the couch with my two dogs and my husband, not necessarily in that order. I value authenticity, humor, kindness, and passion.

What makes you stand out from others in your field? What do you do differently?

Although I love the nerdy organizing and categorizing of bookkeeping, the most important thing I bring to the table is my advising. I help business owners figure out how to pay themselves, how to know how much they should spend on operating expenses and how much to save for taxes, how to know when to scale, etc. I approach all my clients with kindness and humor - no shame in not knowing what you don't know here! Additionally, every new client gets homemade cookies delivered to their front door as a welcome gift. I make a mean brown butter bourbon pecan cookie. ;--) And I like when my clients reach out to ask me random questions, like “I’m thinking about getting a membership to a coworking space, what do you think?” And I can say “How about getting some day passes first to see if it really helps your productivity or mental health?” I never think just about the numbers, I work with my clients’ individual goals and values to build a joyful business that is also profitable, rather than profitable alone.

Where can we keep up with you? What social media platforms do you use the most?

KPC Bookkeeping is on Facebook, but I do most of my interactions on Instagram. You can find me @bookkeeperkaela.

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