Episode 61: Wize Factor Chat: Leah Hall
“If I hadn't started with Wize, I wouldn't be happy exactly where I'm at right now.”
In this episode of The Wize Guys Podcast: WizeFactorChat with one of the WizeTribe members, Leah Hall, the Founder of Player Hall.
Leah shares that she started her business in October 2005 after quitting her job and acquiring a few clients. She talks about merging with a business partner and how their different views eventually led to them going their separate ways.
Leah explains that before joining Wize, she faced challenges in her business, working long hours and handling everything herself. She desired a change and, luckily, learned about Wize through a local accountant colleague. Joining Wize allowed Leah to make progress and envision a different future for her business.
Also, Leah emphasizes the importance of learning to delegate and empowering her staff to communicate with clients. She acknowledges that although she hasn't fully withdrawn from her business yet, she is excited about the prospect of stepping back and regaining more control over her time.
Tune in to another inspiring episode to learn more about Leah’s success story, the importance of delegating and managing her team, and the value of support and inspiration she receives from the Wize community.
0:00 - Intro
0:34 - Leah’s Wize journey
2:54 - How Wize Philosophies has helped Leah in growing their firm
7:24 - The importance of having more free time
11:08 - Listen to Leah’s Wize words
GET IN TOUCH:
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Wize Claudia: Thank you, Leah, for making time to meet with me.
As I was telling you, we are very proud to say that you are a really great member at Wise, and we appreciate you for engaging with all of us and all of our programs, training, resources, and everything. So we want to meet more people like you. That's the reason why I wanted to ask you a couple of questions to get to know Leah and how Player Hall came into the picture and how Wize has been in that journey. So first I wanted to ask you, when did you start your business?
Leah Hall: When I started my business? Player Hall started in October 2005. Oh. I went out on my own in July 2004. But then I joined with my business partner at the time in October 2005. So 18 odd years.
Wize Claudia: Yeah, that's quite a long way. So I'm curious, did you always know that you would have a firm or that you would be running a firm? Or did you have it through family inheritance? How did you decide to come up with Player Hall?
Leah Hall: I don't know if I ever, always thought that I'd have my own firm. I don't think I ever put that much thought into it. Cause I was quite young. I fell pregnant and decided to quit my job and bought a computer and got a few clients from a bedroom in my house. That's how it started on July 2004. So, still, a young person who thought I could control children was that she would sleep every four hours or whatever they're supposed to do that she never did. And I book clients around what her sleeping pattern was supposed to be and all my clients still ask me, how's my little girl with all the hair? ‘Cause she had heaps of hair when she was born and she is now 18 and still has a lot of hair. Doesn't quite the same. She slept.
Wize Claudia: That's so sweet.
Leah Hall: That's pretty much how I started. Then, so I was tiny, tiny of course. I met an amazing lady called Carrie. I actually took one of her clients and we got chatting and built a relationship and we ended up merging not long afterward. So that was the beginning of Player Hall. Let's just say 2005, October 2005.
Wize Claudia: A very long way and a very exciting start. So that's a great story.
Leah Hall: Silly start.
Wize Claudia: I love it!
So when you decided to join Wize, which was around a year and a half, something like that. Before that, what was something that was keeping you up at night, if anything regarding your business? Like were there any challenges you were facing that were kind of affecting your life or not making the business as likable as you wanted?
Leah Hall: Hmm, a hundred percent. So the business was going along fine if we can say that again. Business partner and myself. Two to three staff, but not many staff. I was sick and tired of sounding bad, but working so hard. I was sick and tired of doing everything. So we were doing really big hours and just doing everything from the ground all the way through to all the presentation meetings. I knew I wanted it to change. I approached my business partner to change and we had very different views on that, but we decided to go our own ways.
Then very luckily, I heard about Wize, actually through a colleague, another accountant locally. He had actually found you guys. I was just having a little bit of a chat with him one day and he was like, maybe could look these guys up. I guess what I found is they just articulated everything that I didn't even know how to articulate. Straight away in.
Wize Claudia: That's first! So did it save your business partner and your relationship kind of?
Leah Hall: No, we still went out separate ways. So before I found my eyes, we decided. She's much older. She retired in June 2021.
So I started with Wize as we were still together in the March of 2021. She left in early July 2021. If I hadn't started with Wize, I wouldn't be happy exactly where I'm at right now. But I still would've been back where I was feeling twice as much. Because she would've walked out and I just would've picked up her load. So, of course, I know that I see that for sure. If I wasn't Wize, I wouldn't be any further ahead than I was.
Wize Claudia: Yeah. Okay. Got it. That makes perfect sense because it's an important step. Like mindset is also a big game changer once you join Wize. There's lots to learn and of course, business is going to be different. So I wanted to ask you kind of related to that, do you feel like there was a mindset shift once you started Wize?
Leah Hall: Yeah, a hundred percent.
Wize Claudia: So in terms of management, how you thought about staff? Like what was the biggest breakthrough?
Leah Hall: Delegating. Okay. Mm.
Wize Claudia: Learn how to delegate.
Leah Hall: Like actually just delegating. Just keep reminding yourself, it's gonna take me longer now, but then I don't have to do it again. I feel like I have a little Jamie on my shoulder half the time.
Wize Claudia: I have that one too.
Leah Hall: Yeah, I think that's made the big. I think that probably the first biggest step was just passing work to staff members and also training them to talk to clients. Historically, only my own business partner and I spoke to clients and then staff sort of sat there in the background, whereas I've done a massive flip around on that.
Wize Claudia: That's awesome.
Do you feel like you've stepped back from some divisions? Do you feel like you've stepped back from some work?
Leah Hall: Yes. A hundred percent. Still, still really, really, really busy, but I, I haven't processed a tax return or I'd lie. I did my tax return on the weekend. I haven't processed client tax returns or financial statements this whole financial year. So that's a good thing, right?
Wize Claudia: Yeah. That's, that's a start. That's a great thing.
You know that sometimes we talk about withdrawing from the business, like having a business that runs without you. Is there something that motivates you, excites you, or scares you? Because that's valid also. Like how do you feel about having a business that runs without you or partially without you?
Leah Hall: I feel super excited and I just want to be there. But I'm still apprehensive and I feel lost sometimes on how to get there. That's where I find those monthly classes and things are just, they're just good to bring you back in as much as sometimes you're there thinking. I've heard this a hundred times, but it just brings you back on track. I always walk away with like a couple of pages of notes of things that I can then go and start doing. I think it just focuses on you.
Wize Claudia: Yeah, I think it's not from one day to another, of course, it's a process. But it's exciting to think about it. Like I know some people are scared of it because they love their business and it's like their baby. So I wouldn't be surprised if they'd say like, ‘No, I don't wanna withdraw.’ But if you see it as getting back to a hobby or anything that you find exciting and that you no longer have time to do, or that you would have to completely be off of your business to be able to do it. Like something that takes lots of time during your day or anything like that. I think it's exciting to go back to that or just family. I think like something so simple to just wake up and stay in bed with kids and everything.
Leah Hall: Yeah. Just slow it down a bit, not having to, or what did I say before, ‘What I've done this morning. I've been up. I've gone to yoga, I've gone to the beach and I'm at work at eight o'clock,’ really nice to maybe get up at 7 o'clock and do that, not at 5:30.
Wize Claudia: Yeah. Actually, that's pretty much a mix of little steps.
Leah Hall: Just little steps.
I feel like I've probably lost that detachment to say that I don't want to, I hundred percent want to be able to step back. I still think it's a pretty long journey, I gave myself. Before I even met Wize, when I decided to keep the business, when my business partner retired, I gave myself five years to get to a lifestyle that I was happy with. I'm gonna stick to that plan. So that's when I think if I have an achievement, I'm like, five years is a decent amount of time. Just keep chugging away.
Wize Claudia: Yeah. You're completely on track. Do you feel like you're on track with everything that you're learning?
Leah Hall: Not really. I feel like I'm a bit slow, but hopefully.
Wize Claudia: I think it does take time. But the ideas like, to begin with, the end in mind, as Ed says. I find myself quoting Ed sometimes. Yes, I do. I've watched so many videos. I do think like Ed's beginning with the end in mind. It's simply relatable.
Leah Hall: Yep. A hundred percent. I have been guilty of saying that to clients as well.
Wize Claudia: Now that makes you of us.
I wanted to ask you about what I said earlier, like, I know that you go to the beach in the mornings now. But do you have any hobbies or any activities that you'd like to spend time on?
Leah Hall: I like to be out on a boat or paddleboard. I like to be around the water, obviously. So I think my draw card, when you say what's that thing that I'll do when you can release yourself from the businesses, I just would love to travel, like even just within my own country. Be it in a caravan or something. I'd just like to go away for a couple of months, not a week, and be rushing around sort of thing. If that means, do jump on a laptop into a meeting once a week to touch base, that's okay. But not be, I have to be at this desk ready to speak to clients day in and day out. I'm finding myself getting very, I'm having to dig deeper.
Wize Claudia: Yeah, that's a great point. Patience is so important.
Leah Hall: I don't know. I think as you get more time, you find more hobbies. My hobbies have been raising children and raising a business. That's pretty much what I've done for 18 years. So, we'll see. We'll see what's next.
Wize Claudia: Yeah. You raised your kids and then your business at the same time.
Leah Hall: Pretty much, yeah.
Wize Claudia: Congratulate yourself.
Leah Hall: Yeah. Cheers. Been a wild ride.
Wize Claudia: That was my last question, and I thank you so, so much for joining me, for answering all these questions, and for giving your opinion. I don't know if you wanted to share anything else that I didn't ask you or that you felt like Wize changed for you in your mindset in your life, or anything that you would like to just like a breakthrough moment, anything that you would like to share?
Leah Hall: No, I was thinking when you asked me to do this, I'm like, ‘Oh, what am I gonna say?’ ‘Cause I feel so inspired by so many people that are in those sessions and I'm like, ‘Oh, I don't feel that I'm as inspiring as some of them that have just achieved so much, but still a lot to learn, I guess. Yeah, just a journey.’ It's good just to have them there, but yet the group, be it your own mentor, just to redirect you on the path because we're all creatures of habit and fall back into old ways.
Staffing is probably the other really big breakthrough they've helped me with is just having that confidence to have staff. ‘Cause we had me, my partner, and two staff members for 13 years and that was us. In the 18 months, we've now got a team of, ‘Oh, I'm starting my 10th on Monday,’ and lost a couple along the way there just knowing they weren't the right people.
I guess it's been a lot happening.
Wize Claudia: It's scary and exciting, but wish you the best on that. And growing the team is always something that excites you, and scares you, but I hope that it goes for the best always.
I also wanted to say something regards to what you were saying, that sharing, your time with so many people and so many other practice owners, I actually didn't know it was called that, but the rule of 33%. I didn't know it was called like that, but I did feel something when I spend my time with people who know more than I do, and then with people who know less than you do. You can see people who don't have that many years into the business, they know less than you as Leah Player Hall and you can see their journey and say like, ‘Hey, I was that person sometimes.’ That's also inspiring because you, you look back and you see that you've come to this point, but you were there.
Leah Hall: Yeah.
Wize Claudia: That's the fun thing about the groups.
Leah Hall: Yeah, true. They are good. The group sessions are great.
Wize Claudia: Thank you again…
Leah Hall: Thank you.
Wize Claudia: … for sharing that. We really appreciate you. We really hope to get two more Leahs, because I think you inspire us, and make us be better for our business. So you think that we are good to go along with you and that we can join you in your journey? So yeah, basically, that's it. Thank you so much.
Leah Hall: Thank you. Have a good night!