Kindness is the key

Listen to this episode here: Kindness is the key

On the latest episode in TALKING NUMBERS with Paul Jansz, we have Taryn Holman, the National Sales Marketing Manager at Seamless SMSF. She shares some inspiring stories and how they are trying to make a positive impact in the accounting industry.

How have you found the last few months? Has it been a bit disruptive for you?

2020 has been an interesting year. It has been disruptive from a work point of view, but personally I’ve loved it. I’m always looking for the silver lining. I loved the slower pace. I’ve been doing more exercise, enjoying more family time with my hubby and kids. It isn’t often that people around the globe are going through the exact same thing at the exact same time.

I’ve registered for the virtual summit with Anthony Robbins and Richard Branson. Would you have ever thought about it three months ago?

Probably not. All of a sudden, local businesses are all going virtual. One perfect example is my Pilates studio, they’ve got three little locations and now they’re streaming it live. And there’s people from New Zealand, there’s people all over Australia and they’re making more money than they ever have. So, I think all the really innovative things that come out of this pandemic are exciting.

Could you please share some of your stories?

I spent 16 years running a national collection agency.

When I became a mum of two beautiful little girls who are now seven and five, my priorities changed just like a lot of mums, and I didn’t want the pressure of being a partner anymore. I just lost my mojo and it was time for a new challenge and that’s when I joined the Seamless SMSF team who were called Super AA at the time. And I’ve been working as the national sales manager for them for the past four and a half years.

I’m also the co-founder of a business called Pure Little Hearts. That’s just my side passion project that’s been bubbling along for about five years. We are an organisation that exists to sprinkle confidence on every girl everywhere, helping them to develop their inner cheerleader.

What is the motivation behind that

There are so many social issues that concerned me: domestic violence, anxiety, the pay gap/ gender inequality…and it all starts with confidence and self-belief. I’m a mum of two girls and an auntie to eight nieces. I’ve mentored lots of girls my life. It’s really a gift that I want to give to the world.

I think we need to live for a “why” every day, and my “why” is positively impacting people. And I get to do that through both Seamless SMSF and Pure Little Hearts, because helping people create capacity can improve their lives.

What led you into the accounting industry?

I met Mike McHenry who’s the principal of Seamless SMSF. He used to run his accounting practice called McHenry Partners, and they were a client of my old firm. When Mike left his private practice to set up Seamless SMSF, he approached me and discussed his new business venture. And I’ve always really enjoyed doing good business with good people. I got incredibly positive, objective feedback from people before I started. Joining Seamless SMSF was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I absolutely love the accounting industry and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it.

Why was there a need to rebrand Super AA to Seamless SMSF?

We are not really super advisors, and everyone knows that supers is only relevant to Australia, so we just didn’t feel it was a good representation of who we are and what we do. Seamless stands for the experience – it’s easy. And we just felt it was a better representation and reflection of what we do and how we do it.

Seamless SMSF – who are you and what do you do?

We’re an outsourcing solution for accountants and financial planners of their self-managed super funds. We can assist people with an admin-only component. You can order the compliance work that needs to be done, or admin function only. People can choose to use this for the whole solution. For the financial planners, we can also be the lodging tax agent and ASIC agent.

What makes Seamless different?

It’s the value and the people. It’s not just the admin and audit that we offer people. It’s the value around; we are your SMSF partner, we give you total support and we create efficiencies. We want to support you in any way that we can. We connect you with our awesome network. We run lots of technical training, webinars that allow people to get CPD points throughout the year. If there are any legislative changes, we get right on to it – we provide you with that support.

There’re also loads of great networking functions. Every time we host a function, we make connections and learn from incredible minds. You can’t put a price on that.

Now people want that added value and the connections, and I think that’s the big difference we provide.

Are there any new things that you’ve learnt over the last financial year that you’ve taken for the new one?

I just think we’re in it for the long game. We don’t play the short game. We genuinely love our clients, and we put our people and our clients first.

And when you put your people and your clients first, the business just takes care of itself. We had huge organic growth. From 300 funds, next year we’ll be processing 11,600 funds. In just seven years, we have been able to do that.

We’ve got a mission to be outstanding, to provide an exceptional quality service for our clients, and to never let them down. We take that really seriously. We will just continue to take that approach, and we’ll continue to grow.

What can you tell us about Mike?

He’s an absolute legend. He’s actually one of the most genuine and authentic individuals you could ever hope to meet. And once you get to know him, you can see why he’s so wildly successful. He’s the sort of individual that just loves system, process and culture. I think when businesses focused on those three things, you are able to scale the business quite quickly.

When I started working for Mike, there’s a few things that he gets you to do, which I haven’t seen other organisations do. You need to sign a cultural agreement. It’s not just a work agreement, it’s a cultural agreement that we agreed to display the values that we’ve got all day, every day.

I think you’ve seen the different triangle in our office – it’s not hidden in a desk. It’s up on the wall in plain view for us all to see every day. You’re smashing your targets? That’s great. But you haven’t been very respectful to either your colleague or a client, and that’s not cool! Because you signed this cultural agreement. So, it actually lets you speak about people’s behavior as opposed to just the figures. It’s not just his vision and his goal. It’s all of us.

What do the growth plans look like for this financial year?

Very aggressive growth targets. You need to have that point and work backwards. I think that’s something that I’ve always done in sales. Let’s shoot for the stars. And if we miss, at least I’m running really high. It’s better than setting the bar too low and achieving it because it’s too easy. Without compromising our service and our existing clients, we still do have very aggressive growth targets over the next three-year period. I’m looking at 30,000 funds.

What’s one piece of you can share with our listeners?

You just always need to be kind, full-stop. People might not remember what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel. I would say if I can leave you with any parting words, it is “just be kind”.

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