Relationships In Business Matter

2016-09-27-11-50-03About twenty-five years ago a very young creative girl walked into the office of a man who would soon become a bit of a thorn in her side. You see, this young girl was running a business. A business that had sales, inventory, purchase orders, receipts, deposits, and profits. It dawned on that young girl that she should probably hire an accountant. Never having  hired an accountant, this young girl thought that someone who was older and wiser might be a good start. This young girl looked to her older friends who had success in business and asked who they might refer her to. There were three choices to make that day. But as a busy entrepreneur only time for one call. That call was made to Joel Shaw, CPA.

First let me explain the “thorn in her side” statement. That young girl was me. I was busy running my store. It was growing at a rapid rate and there was hardly time to pay my bills on time, let alone organize, file, and set up systems. I had four files. Each was labeled “week one, week two, week three, week four.” Invoices would come in and I would look at the date due and drop it in the correct week to be paid. After bills were paid everything was dropped in a box to “FILE” and well who has time to file as long as you pay your bills on time. Upon meeting Joel Shaw for the first time it was first things first. He needed this and that and all these specific documents. Oh brother is what I thought. You mean I have to go through that “FILE” box. What a thorn in my side. Especially for this creative designer of kids room fun. This was NOT going to be fun.

Joel managed to teach me how to put systems in place to not only save on his fees, but to allow my accounting to be put in excellent order. I have to admit that in those earlier years there was something quite scary about it. He was firm, and may have had to get on my case many times over the years to make things on my end a priority.  He was helping me learn how to manage my company and the financial piece to it. This IS NOT my skill set at all. And the scary part was I felt that I should be good at this accounting thing. I should be good with numbers and balance sheets. I can read them, put them together and analyze and assess but actual execution of building out this part of my business is not my skill set, and as I began to grow up  and accept this about myself. Joel was no longer scary to me, but became a colleague who cared about the success of Skip To My Room and my other business endeavors.  Joel understood back then, and even today what my strengths are. Being an entrepreneur I value his experience and am willing to pay for it. In general I think as entrepreneurs we will often cut corners on the very business that can help you succeed. One should never cut corners on the accounting process. You will thank God every day for having your books and accounting in order.

2016-09-27-12-23-01Fast-forward to this morning, and last Monday.( Important to note that cool pens are a must and I did not realize I had this many between our last two visits.)  I had moved away from the Portland area. My business suffered to the degree of pretty much starting over. I am now back in the Portland area. Operating Skip To My Room in Sherwood, OR. and rebuilding my consulting base of clients. Sitting in Joel’s office all over again with the hope of success in my business endeavors.  I feel like that young girl over twenty-five years ago handing over the start of my business all over again. Tracking down and trying to piece things back to as they were. And this man, Joel Shaw, CPA sitting across the big desk. Telling me what he needs, assuring me that, “We are going to get you back on track” because I did get off track.  And to be sitting across from a man who knows me, and having that relationship gives me peace of mind in a turbulent time.

Relationships in business matter. I appreciate that I am in the company of a firm that has been part of my growth, part of the ebbs and flow, and a HUGE part of my success. Gentle and firm guidance and direction. I have always said that Joel directed me on business decisions that grew my business into the millions. When you are are the creative designer, you do not have to understand all the accounting. That is why people go into the kinds of business they do. I get hired to design kids rooms from people who do not know how to put a kids room together. I get hired to help develop brand and marketing strategies for companies who do not have that skill-set. My lack of Accounting savvy does not take away from what I am good at.


If you are a business in need of having your accounting put in order then you know who to call. If you are a business that is growing, it is even more important to have your accounting, your books, your balance sheets and your operations in order so you can move into that next level of growth. Developing relationships with the people who care and can help you get there is a priority.  As I am writing this, about “Relationships In Business Matter” I am sitting in my Skip To My Room showroom and looking at manufactures that I have relationships since I first started this journey in 1993.  Even when furniture was shipped in error, or damaged, we worked it out and valued the relationship. Even with Joel Shaw, CPA when I have not been as timely, or did not have what he needed, we worked it out because at the end of the day, relationships matter and are important long-term for the growth and development of business.


Disclaimer:  This is not a sponsored or paid for post. Unless you want to count the bling I took off his counter this morning. I mean really who can not use a mini key-chain flashlight, extra pens and notepad?  I high recommend Joel Shaw, CPA. Please refer to his website for services.






Interior Designer, Consultant, Artist. Which is it they ask? All of the above. God has blessed me in ways that words cannot describe. Doing what I love and making a career out of it all. Starting with a beautiful designer showroom. Decorating homes and specializing in kid's spaces. Magazine covers and spreads, then show homes. Adding in business consulting. Working alongside my clients to develop a strategic plan to design and market their product or service in the correct markets. Then one day, after years of painting for my clients, a few gallies, my hobby business I decided in the second half of my life to bring Elizabeth Harris Art Gallery to life. I took my paintings to the streets and flipped my website into my "Art You Love" business. Do what you love and love what you do. Adding Elizabeth Harris Art Gallery and creating artful pieces for your home, office, business. An empty wall invites art you love by Elizabeth Harris Art Gallery. Your Dreams & Passions, My Experience & Help. Let's work together and build something beautiful in your home business, or on your walls.

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Posted in Business Spotlight, Portland

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