Six things I forced myself to do – to become a magazine centrefold!!

Be careful what you ask for – it’s going to make you grow.

Can I share with you an amazing journey I took over the past year, and the guiding lights that saw me through it?

Early in 2015 I discovered an award program specifically for accountants. Almost magically, one of the categories sounded like it was written specifically for me, and I began to imagine … the glittering award night, a dazzling room full of accountants, and me stepping up on the stage to be recognized as a Thought Leader! “Wouldn’t that be some amazing exposure”, I remember thinking to myself.

… And then the sun came up, and the normal buzz of business and family life took over, with its usual full-on race of deadlines, meetings, household matters and kids.

Before I knew it, the deadline for submissions was looming … and doubt set in. “When am I going to find the time?” “How am I going to get this done?” I couldn’t let it slide, but I just didn’t see how I could manage it.

Sound strategy had to take over, and this was number one on my list:

#1: Don’t let day-to-day craziness – and ‘impossibility’ thinking – keep your precious goal out of reach.

What pulled me out of the spiral was the calm, supportive voice of my mum, encouraging me to do my best and not stress about getting my submission perfect. “Just get something in; monkeysyou never know what may happen.” Simple words of wisdom that always worked as I was growing up. Wherever we may find them, I believe such reassuring messages need to be stronger in our mind than the doubts.

#2 Don’t get hung up on “perfect”; rather reach for “progress”.

Somehow, I did get my submission in, and it was good enough! First, though, I had to let go of my quest for perfection – and that was really the toughest battle. I just needed to keep reminding myself what I was really aiming for. In other words, pick your race, and stick to running that.

Fast forward a few months, and the email arrived: “Congratulations – you are a finalist”. Yay! Huge pat on my own back for not bowing to doubt or perfectionism.

But a quest is a quest, and my next temptation was “Do I really want to go to all the effort and cost of the trip to Sydney for the event?” I mean,

  • Firstly, I’ll be on my own, no husband to hold my hand or cheer me on …
  • Secondly, the chances of winning, of getting that stage time, are just so slim….. After all, I’m up against some seriously experienced, leading accountants: one is a tax advisor to ATO ; one is a TV personality; and another one has developed some seriously awesome software!
  • Thirdly, the cost! Flights, accommodation … and what about the logistics of being away from home?!

How to resolve that lot?

#3 Always show up! (It’s what heroes do, after all, win or lose.)

Cut to the chase – I went. And, no, I didn’t win. But wow, what an amazing night it was! (Including the after pub tour with my brand new besties from our table.)accounting awards

So many highlights – the big one: being sought out for high praise from among hundreds of significant industry leaders. My own little moment of glory, conferred by a top level member of my institute, the IPA,

Shoving myself onto that plane? Soo worth it!

And another day dawns… When you’re on a quest, things you need do turn up, apparently. You just need to …

#4 Believe in “the law of attraction”

(which means taking inspired action, like swapping your old cash cow for …)

While reading the IPA magazine, “Public accountant”, one morning, I tossed a few magic beans out into the garden and wondered “What if I could be profiled in THIS magazine? Wouldn’t that get me known to lots and lots of public accountants – who, after all, they are the people I most want to help?”

Was Wayne from IPA reading my mind even then? Because we were chatting soon after the awards night, and he asked me, “Hey – would you like to be profiled in the IPA magazine?”

Hmm, those beans turned out to be a pretty good trade.

And then you have to …

#5 Be prepared for the unexpected.

Well then the nerves set in as I thought about climbing that beanstalk stretching into the clouds.

It was arranged that I’d be phoned for the “interview”, and there were so many things to make sure I would remember to say and to stay focused on.

Such an amazing opportunity – you’d better be well prepared, Girl Guide Tracey! So I made my notes on vital points and possible curve balls, and put myself through trial runs with my imagined interviewer – until I was ready for whatever he might throw my way.

The only thing left to do then was:

#6 Have fun … and be yourself.

The big day arrived. Mitchell Turner was on the line, and we agreed I’d “just be me” and “touch on key points”.IPA mag pg1 img

The scheduled 20 minutes turned into a full hour of exhilarating conversation that I really enjoyed. Hardly any forcing at all to do there!

Would you like to know the interview and photo shoot turned out?

I’d love it if you took a look at my four-page member profile here in “PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT – The official journal of the Institute of Public Accountants”, a magazine that’s read Australia wide.

Your comments on my journey stages and strategies would be most welcome.

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