Just a few years ago I got a call asking me to join XPAC (The Xero Partner Advisory Council). My first thought was... "What the heck is XPAC?"... Boy was I happy when I realized that XPAC is filled with the greatest accountants and industry leaders around. Seriously.
Here's the scoop... Twice a year Xero gathers 12 or so accountants and boatload of Xero staff to chat about the important stuff- product development, customer service, industry changes, marketing/branding- the works. We dig into the big challenges and collectively work to make a better future for accountants and for Xero. It is so cool to see the wheels turning in the minds of both Xero and the accountants they call upon- it is pure magic. In the space of just a few days I get to share my experience, but more importantly, I get to learn from others and grow as a businessperson.
I am in awe when I hear about all of the great things these "Accountants of the Future" are doing. Some have a large client base spreading over many industries, while others are super focused on serving their perfect client. I've learned about why it is important to niche, how to say no (I'm terrible at it!), and new ways to bring more value to the table. I've spoken up for not only myself but all of the accountants in my network, giving them a voice and sharing their struggles. In speaking up, I've allowed myself to be vulnerable and have shared not only my best practices but my biggest blunders. I've learned the power of networking, that building at tribe is imperative, and to look at "competition" in a different light. Since being a part of this amazing group, I have fully realized that while competition is how some businesses are built, coop-etition is the way to thrive. What the heck is coop-etition? It is working with your peers, fully knowing they are going to use your best practices in their businesses and you will use theirs in yours. Why? When you create an environment where nothing is proprietary, everyone gets better. Also, when you are armed with the knowledge that there isn't a finite amount of success going around, you create abundance for all. This new, open way of doing business lifts everyone up and makes every day a lot more fun!
Thank you Xero and thank you XPAC for allowing me to serve on such an awesome board. I've learned a ton, made some great friends, and am better person for it.