Last week, I got a letter in the mail from the IRS. The dreaded letter all business owners never want to see. It informed me that I was being audited for my 2012 business expenses. They were not auditing one or two categories. Nope. I was being audited for all 23 expense categories for that year.
The good news is that I keep very good records of my business and I’m very, very honest on my taxes.
The bad news is they want all this by September 30. The same date my book manuscript is due to my editor. The same date I set a deadline to have my business financials up to date using new software. One day before I leave for a 25 day ‘off-line’ trip to Nepal to trek to basecamp on Annapurna. All this with a week in Philadelphia for business in the month of September!
People said I could ask for an extension for the tax audit, but I just knew I couldn’t have this hanging over my head in Nepal.
I was ready to just copy all my receipts and throw them in a box and let them sort it out, but my higher, better self (and my tax accountant) helped me to see the possible error in my ways. I needed to make it as easy as I could for the auditors. What I did instead was get a binder and 23 dividers. I labeled each of these dividers with my expense categories. That was all I did and then I returned to my other work.
A part of starting to get the Gutsy Women Win movement running is the offering of no charge teleseminars on various topics. As I turned my attention to working on the content for two of these teleseminars before the end of the month, I could feel my brain go dead, my body tense up in all the places it can tense up, and the stress come in full force.
Then it came. That voice in my head. That voice that started out really quiet and said, “You can’t do it, you can’t move forward. You need to get those taxes done.” Well this quiet voice in my head very quickly started screaming, “YOU CAN’T DO IT ALL. JUST ADMIT IT. YOU ARE NOT PERFECT. YOU CAN’T DO IT ALL”
I took a deep breath and after I told that voice in my head thank you very much, I knew it was right. I can’t do it all, I can’t get these teleseminars off the ground before I leave, and you know what? It was a relief to admit this.
I decided I needed to communicate this to the other Gutsy women who supported the movement and I sent out a notification to them saying this.
Guess what. Nobody was disappointed. Nobody said, “See, we knew you couldn’t do it.” Nobody said, “You have disappointed me in ways I have never been disappointed before.” Nobody said, “You stink.” Nobody said, “Failure."
Nope. No one said any of these things. Amy said, “You're amazing, especially when you admit you can't do it all.” Kimberly wrote me, “Yah, I'm in the midst of such a string of deadlines, too . . . whew! Good to recalibrate - prompted by your message.” And Jeannie told me, “Dear Pat, this message is wonderful. I think I breathed my own sigh of relief as I read it.”
Once that message was sent, I knew I had to get back to my taxes. I shut all my tech off, completed my audit in a little over two days, and mailed it to the IRS today.
So now, I won’t have this hanging over my head in Nepal.
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