Your “Nevers” Are Your Opportunities (Inspiring Women, Episode 51)
As host Betty Collins explains in this episode of Inspiring Women, what you say “never” to may represent a life-changing opportunity for you.
The host of Inspiring Women is Betty Collins and the show is presented by Brady Ware & Company.
Betty’s Show Notes
The “nevers” became my opportunities once I chose to consider them.
Why do we say “never” first?
- Youth and inexperience
- Lack of confidence
- Easy is easier
- No guidance
- Fear is paralyzing
My “nevers” included:
- Never – going to use my accounting degree
- Never – going to be a CPA
- Never – going to be the employer, content with being an employee
- Never – going to merge
My “never” became “Maybe, OK, Probably” and finally “Yes” due to influencers and facing my challenges.
What are your challenges?
- Do you value who you are – no one will ever value you as much as YOU
- Are you leveraging your uniqueness?
- Are you paralyzed by fear?
- When and how you do say NO – that is not a never!
“Nevers” just may be your opportunities. Be more aware of the people in your life. Ask more questions versus acceptance. No one will value you more than you. Paralyzed by fear, you will miss your moment. Leverage your uniqueness, it is your journey.
This is THE podcast that advances women toward economic, social, and political achievement. Hosted by Betty Collins, CPA, and Director at Brady Ware and Company. Betty also serves as the Committee Chair for Empowering Women, and Director of the Brady Ware Women’s Initiative. Each episode is presented by Brady Ware and Company, committed to empowering women to go their distance in the workplace and at home.
For more information, go to the Resources page at Brady Ware and Company.
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[00:00:06] Betty Collins
So here I am 30 years later and I’m a shareholder and a director of a CPA firm. We’re regional with about 20 owners. We hover in that area. Probably 150 plus employees. I’ve been elected to the board of directors in my company by my peers. And then a year ago I was appointed to be lead of one of our offices. So we have four of those people in our office. But the fun thing probably the energy that fuels me to do what I do is I get to direct a Women’s Initiative. 60 percent of our employees are women in Brady Ware.
[00:00:56] Betty Collins
And so it’s not about entitlement, it’s about empowerment. So that’s why I get a lot of energy from that. I love what I do every day. Probably what makes the “Why” for me is I’m a business owner advising business owners. I wish I would have had that a long time ago in my own life as a small business owner. So it’s really my passion because I believe that the marketplace is huge and the business community plays a role in making sure that employers have employees who are families and households. And so I get to do that every day. And then I get to give back. I support a really great organization, the WSBA, which is about women in business.
Small, accelerating, moving along. And then I’m the president elect for NAWBO, which is the National Association of Women Business Owners. And the Columbus chapter is the largest in the country. So that’s 30 years later. So I go “Wow, how did I get here? Why am I here?”.
[00:02:04] Betty Collins
And here’s my story. And really it comes down to all the “Nevers.” Everything I said never to really became my opportunity. And if it would have not been open after I said “Never” I would have never been where I am right now. So what I want to do is is kind of go back 30 years ago and talk about the process of those “Nevers.”
[00:02:30] Betty Collins
You know I’m a practical thinker. My world is really small which a lot of us live in. But the greatest thing along the way was others saw in me what I didn’t see. And that’s a good thing. And it’s a bad thing. But I’ll talk about that later. But generally I would start a sentence “I would never do that.” Now any time I say never I go “I shouldn’t be saying never. What am I missing?”
[00:02:56] Betty Collins
My “Nevers” were this. I was never going to be an accountant. Even though I had a college degree to do that. I was never going to get a CPA. It was “Who cares about that? Right?” I don’t want to takea test and go through all that agony. Let alone own a CPA firm or stay in public accounting or now go to a big company merge into a company. Every one of those things I said no to. Never an accountant. Never a CPA. Never an owner. And never going to merge. And those four things were the catalyst to all my opportunities.
[00:03:34] Betty Collins
So “Never” going to use my accounting degree. I chose accounting because I had to choose a major. It was not a passion. It was a good way to get a job, right?! Fortunately, I did find that when I was 50 that accounting can be passionate and I can be passionate about what I’m doing. I definitely see that in my two kids who at 20 chose college majors because it’s what they wanted to do in life. I didn’t do that till 50. So I took the first job, of course, that’s offered to me. Now I have a job and I have that paycheck every two weeks. And it took me to an upstate New York town called Rochester. And I loved it. Except I was a Buckeye at heart and want to be back in Ohio. So I came back. And how I came back was, my neighbor of my parents owned a CPA firm and said I can give you a job tomorrow. But I go I don’t want to be an accountant. But I need a job to get back to Ohio. So my second choice was that I would come and be an accountant. But I said I’m only staying for a while. This is not what I want to do. So no passion, no dream, everything was logical. Those types of things.
[00:04:40] Betty Collins
So I came back, started working there and I actually kind of liked it. But I was “Never” going to be a CPA. He challenged me over and over to do and I didn’t want to do it. And then he moved on and another owner came into play. And he said, “You act like an owner, why wouldn’t you be one?” I said, “Well, I don’t want to be a CPA.” I didn’t really want to be an accountant. I’m “never” going to be a CPA because I “never” want to own the company. And so he made me a great offer and said, “You act like an owner. I’ll make you one immediately if you just get your CPA.” How do you turn that down? Because most people had to have clients and build rapport. I didn’t have to do that. So I said okay fine, I’m going to be an accountant for a little bit longer and I’ll go get my CPA and maybe become an owner. And so in 2009, I became that owner. And for 10 years we built an amazing business. I was content. It was a good thing.
[00:05:38] Betty Collins
Well then people started calling saying “Hey, would you like to merge?” Of course I “never” going to merge. I’ve got a nice little gig. I know my next 10 years. I live in a small world. Remember I’m a logical person. And so I said this is what I’m going to do. I don’t want to merge. So my partner at that time said I think you need to meet Brian Carr of Brady Ware. I said bring him on. I will be glad to meet him. I’ll see what he’s like. And we immediately had this synergy.
[00:06:08] Betty Collins
And so I said I guess I could merge. I mean, if I can be a CPA and I can own a business, I guess I can merge. And so that’s what I did. So it was those “Nevers” that was like “Wow.” But I didn’t want the pressure of making payroll. I just wanted to be paid. I didn’t want to take risks. That isn’t comfortable for me. And I wanted to work for clients not find clients. That’s two very different things. So all of this went against my little small world. All of this went against the things I didn’t think I wanted to do. But yet I started this podcast with “This is what I’m doing today.” So I’m certainly glad that I now can look back and think if I would have said never and stuck with that I would not have this opportunity that I have right now.
So you have to go. What are the things I’m saying “Never” to? And I don’t care what age you are. Because the “Maybe,” the “OK,” the “Probably,” and finally the “Yes,” may really just turn into something that’s amazing.
[00:07:14] Betty Collins
So how did that happen for me? Because I look at this as I just evolved into this and now hindsight shows me this along the way. So I want to make sure people know you don’t have to go and evolve and hope it all works out. So influencers are the biggest thing about your “Nevers.” Because there are times you need to say no. There are times it’s just absolutely no.
[00:07:41] Betty Collins
But I have great influencers. So Jane Davis was probably really my first mentor. And she, in the 70s, went through things, like divorce, when it wasn’t popular. And she married a guy named Randy Nipps. He was the first accounting firm that I worked for that merged into Nipps Brown Collins, eventually Brady Ware. But Jane was a big huge influencer. And when you look at the influencers right now in your life. what are they influencing you in?
[00:08:12] Betty Collins
So my first boss was Austin Swallow, who showed me that integrity and faith could be drivers and you could still be a business person and make money. So it’s all OK.
[00:08:24] Betty Collins
The second one was Randy Nipps who showed me the value of your employees. You don’t have that, you can’t continue to grow, you can’t grow at all. They’re your biggest asset.
[00:08:36] Betty Collins
Gary Brown showed me loyalty and focus. Those are the things that drive you to next levels. And he had a passion for his client which are people with disabilities. That was always the underline of everything he did.
[00:08:49] Betty Collins
And then Brian Carr, who is now the CEO I work for. He’s a person of vision. He’s always thinking about something bigger and that there’s always more. And I worked for each one of these men. And I was always the “Never.” And they were going you need to say yes. So I was lucky that I had that. They saw in me what I didn’t see. And while that’s all sounds great, what if I would have seen it? Then I could have had maybe a little more control of my destiny. Not that I needed to but you have to look back and ask that, right? So if I would just say yes on my own instead of yes to maybe what somebody else was saying I should be, I might have gone further and farther. I don’t know. So I look at that and say great, I had these influencers and these were the different things. However, I needed to see in me that I could do this. They saw it. But there were challenges with like anything in any career. And now I want to make sure that people don’t go through the challenges, the things that I went through.
[00:09:55] Betty Collins
You have to value who you are. It can’t be somebody else valuing you. You have to do it. You have to leverage your uniqueness. I’m surrounded by experts. I’m surrounded by technicians. I’m surrounded by people with really big careers. Yet I have things that they don’t. Which is I’m very personable and very passionate. I make sure I find the right technician because they’re everywhere. And I have a relationship with a client because I’m a business owner helping business owners. And I can see that the business marketing community has to have us in order to have those households that form communities. So I have a uniqueness of looking at things differently.
[00:10:44] Betty Collins
Paralyzed by fear will get you nowhere, even if you say yes to your opportunity. When I first came to Brady Ware, the first day I was downtown in my big office I could see The Scioto Mile on one side and the Capitol on the other. And I had the same computer, the same mouse, the same software, the same employees. And I sat there having no idea what to do. I was paralyzed by fear because I’m surrounded by experts and big career and now I’m in a big company. So I said yes but yet I’m paralyzed for the opportunity. So I left that day knowing what to do, which was go to lunch. And I went to lunch and I came back, because I talked to my husband he said, “This is your moment don’t miss it. Are you kidding? This is your moment.” So I didn’t. I did not let fear paralyze me once I said the “Yes.” And so again the opportunity came out. But there are times you have to understand there’s a “Yes” which promotes the opportunity but there’s “No” which means you didn’t go down the wrong path. And sometimes you just need someone to help you understand which ones those are.
[00:11:51] Betty Collins
So hopefully what your takeaway is today from the things of my story to you, because we all have a story, is “Nevers” just may be your opportunity. So take a mental note of when did I say never today. Or just even how many times you’ll say “Never” and “No” in a day. You’ll be surprised.
[00:12:13] Betty Collins
You have to be more aware of the people in your life, the influencers you are with right now. How are they influencing you? Are they the things you really believe? Are they the things that want to drive you? I mean I had great people of integrity and loyalty and vision and big picture. You have to ask more questions before you accept something. And women don’t do that. They just accept the circumstance. Men always ask questions.
[00:12:39] Betty Collins
No one will ever value you more than you. Don’t let somebody dictate your worth. And don’t let somebody take advantage of what you’re worth. Because they will.
[00:12:51] Betty Collins
Don’t be paralyzed by that fear, because you’ll miss your moment. And others saw my value and directed my path. My next 10 years I’m directing my path and I’m never going to say never. Ha. It’s a mindset. I only want opportunity if I choose to take it.
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