A small business owner accountant shares her personal story of how to get over perceived limitations.

My freshman year of college. I needed to prove that I could make it.  I was the first from my small school to go away to college.  I couldn’t fail.

I needed to prove that I could do this.

College was different from high school.  I got a 60% on my first quiz.  Shocker. I needed to think differently, I needed to approach school in another way.
My freshman year I had to take Principles of Accounting I.
It was challenging.
New material, different from anything I have been exposed to.  Students were struggling.  Through prayer and lots of hard work I got an “A-“.
I asked my professor to write a  recommendation letter for me as I was planning to transfer colleges.  He wrote that I got an “A-” in his first class and he expected me to do the same in Principles of Accounting II.  My second semester was more demanding and was having a difficult time with Accounting.
I studied, studied and studied more.  Did the problems, checked the problems and did them again.
I didn’t feel confident when I took the final and didn’t feel confident walking out.
Back then you had to give your professor a self addressed stamped postcard if you wanted to know your final exam grade. I never did because I didn’t care enough about the final exam grade to pay for a stamp.
Incidentally the girl who graded the exams was on my floor in the dorm.  She walked over to my room after she graded it and said, “Guess what you got!”  I didn’t want to know.  She proceeded to tell me I got a 97% on the final exam.  I could not believe it!!
 I ended up with an A in the class which was higher than my professor’s expectations.
I called Dad to tell him and his words shocked me until yesterday when I understood them.
His words: “I knew you would.”
Seriously. “Dad, do you know how hard that exam was???? How could you say so calmly ‘I knew you would’.”
The words stung. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t say “Great job. Fantastic Let’s celebrate!”
Yesterday, several decades later, I realized why my father said those words.
He saw my potential and wanted me to see it.  Other kids could drop the class.  Other kids could fail.  But he knew if I worked hard and stayed dedicated to the goal of doing well, I could.
Why did I realize it yesterday?
Maybe it’s because I have a teenager who spends a lot of time on YouTube. And I know if he could spend a little more time on the piano, on the drums, doing woodwork, playing basketball, he could get better. The potential is there. It needs to get tapped into.
The lesson doesn’t end with my teenager.
As a small business owner, I don’t have to limit myself to what I’ve always done.  I could learn more. I can do more. I can challenge myself to learn a new concept each week, to spend more time ready business articles, to seek out new clients.  And when the business grows, I will hear my father’s words ringing in my ears “I knew you would.”

Shanthini is an accountant specializing in non-profit accounting. With life experiences from New York City to Columbus Ohio and missionary experiences from Nigeria to Uganda, Shanthini enjoys helping people see the stories financial statements tell.  Spending time with family, writing cards and connecting with people are some of her favorite things to do.


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