There is a popular old adage: If you carry on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll carry on getting what you’ve always got. Its origin is unknown and it is typically attributed to either Henry Ford, Tony Robbins, Susan Jeffers or Jessie Potter.
Typically the statement is used to discourage people from repeating foolish, ineffective, or self-destructive behaviours. The inference is then made that if you want things to be different, you need to do different things.
Some years back I would put the quote on a slide towards the end of a talk. I then asked who believed it. Most hands went up. I then explained why, in our world, it’s false.
However, to this day, many accountants implicitly adopt this mindset when they resist the opportunity to do things differently in their practice. This is most often clear when they resist new technology, refuse to change their systems or avoid adopting modern new processes.
The world is evolving, clients’ attitudes are changing, digital natives are replacing older people who resist change and your competition are upping their game. As I explain in my talks about the future for accountants, this will all combine to reduce the income and profits you are able to achieve. Unless you change too.
Chances are that, if you carry on doing what you’ve always done in your practice, sooner or later you will start getting less than you have ever got. You may be happy with your salary, annual turnover, profits and drawings, but I’d bet that, if you do nothing differently, these will all start to fall in the near future. And, if you resist the march of progress you will end up with much less – if not within the next couple of years, certainly within 5-10 years.
The truth is that if you carry on doing what you’ve always done in your role or your practice, you’ll be very lucky if you generate the same rewards into the future.