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Welcome to episode 23 of The Morning Upgrade Podcast. Today, I have the pleasure of speaking with Anna Masker, who runs an accounting and advisory company. For fitness and fun, she enjoys rowing.

Top Talking Points

  • The benefits of doing rowing as a sport.
  • The need to innovate as a company in order to stand above the clutter of other businesses.
  • Peer advisory groups and masterminds can help you learn things that other avenues can’t.

Resources & Links

Share Link for this episode

Connect With Anna at Profitlinq or on Linkedin.

Find The Books Mentioned on Kindle or Audible

10% Happier by Dan Harris

The Gift of Imperfection by Brené Brown

Subscribe to The Morning Upgrade Podcast Today

I’m glad you followed along today with Anna and I. If you like what you heard, please subscribe to the podcast by clicking the link below. You can also show your support for the show by leaving a review!

Transcription of The Episode

Ryan: 

Hey morning upgraders it’s Ryan. Before we get to the show, I have a quick question for you. Do you want to start a morning routine, but you don’t know what to do or don’t have a lot of time? Well, I have an exciting announcement. I just launched my first product called the morning upgrade cards. It’s a journal type product, but in card format, and they help anyone start and stick with a morning routine. And you only need 20 minutes every morning to take a card pen to paper and answer the questions and follow the prompts. The morning upgrade cards make it easy to build what I consider to be the number one habit and that’s investing in yourself first thing in the morning with a morning routine. To learn more, go to morning upgrade.com forward slash cards. Thanks for letting me share and now on to the show. 

Announcer: Welcome to the Morning upgrade podcast with Ryan cote where we feature casual conversations with entrepreneurs about personal development and growth.

Ryan:  

Hey, everyone, this is Ryan cote from the morning upgrade podcast today I’m excited to be speaking with Anna masker. Hey, Anna. Hey, how are you doing? Right? Doing good. Excited to speak with you. And we had a great conversation before we started recording. I said I wish I’d start recording because that could have been the episode. And you also give me additional things to ask beyond my normal questions that I like to pull from. But why don’t we start out by you telling everyone what you do and then what your interests are.

Anna: 

So I along with my business partner run a CFO Accounting and Advisory company called profit link. And we do budget forecasts, financial modeling, accounting, bookkeeping, KPIs, that sort of thing for small and growing companies, particularly in the creative agency and technology, Blockchain crypto space. One of my interests. Well, I have two kids, so they take up a lot of my time. And I also have rode in college road crew in college. And he recently started a program here in Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey, row, New Jersey for Master’s program. And so we row three days a week, early in the morning.

Ryan:

Yeah, that’s super interesting. When you mentioned that to me rowing crew in the morning. I was like, that’s the first time I’ve definitely heard that as a form of exercise. That’s pretty neat. What does that look like? And you said early morning, kind of paint a picture? What are the What time do you get up? What time do you get there? What is it what is the morning look like?

Anna:

So we are on the water by by six. So we’re out of bed by five after 10. And then after time, I was on the water this morning. So by this time, I started to like disintegrate. I’ve already today the full day. Anyways, they were on the water by us. There’s about 12 of us. And we take out a boat that holds about eight that hold eight. And PacSun was the person who drives and then you know, there’s people who are new to rowing. So it’s a lot of training and practice with them. And there’s some of us who are road before and but it’s just nice. You know, we’re up with the stars. And you get to see the sunrise every morning over the water. Most days. We’ve been very lucky the weather’s been good. Days like today, it was a little overcast. There have been days we’ve been out there when it’s raining. But you know, it’s still nice to start your day so early.

Ryan:

Did you compete? Or is it more just for exercise? And you said you also do it with your daughter, which is a nice thing to do together. But is it do computers are just more like exercise

Anna

this year, this season in the fall. We’re just somebody new rowers, and there’s not a lot of competitions because of COVID. We’re just rolling. It’s just practice. I did rope in my daughter and also one. One of the benefits of COVID is been my daughter is 17. She’s got a hybrid schedule with school. So she’s in school two days a week and remote three days. Actually, you know, I asked her if she wanted to come and drive without and be the Coxon. And she agreed and so she’s been coming out on the water with me, she can make it two days a week the other day, she’s gonna be in school. So two days a week, she’s out there, she’s back with me at five and we’re on the water by six. And it’s been very, very cool. So it’s definitely been a plus of COVID being able to spend more time with her. But as far as competition probably in the spring, you know, we’ve got enough season growing quickly. And there are competitions, hopefully, races, we will be able to do that then.

Ryan:

That’s pretty neat. Do you notice a difference tying into your business? A lot of entrepreneurs exercise as their secret weapon or part of their morning routine. Do you notice a difference? Maybe in your productivity or your mindset with your business when you’re rowing versus not?

Anna

Yeah, I mean, I think that that early starts. The day where you can check something big off the box, you know, like exercise is really good. It also puts you in a really good mindset. So when I start, I start my day, typically around 830 workdays around at 30. Like I already feel like I’ve already accomplished a lot, and so to rowing requires a lot of thinking right of just of the strokes, it looks simple, but there’s a lot of complexity to it’s almost like golf, right? There’s a lot of nuances to it. But I think being outdoors, you just get that freedom. And as a business owner, I don’t know about you, but I feel like sometimes it’s all-consuming, right, you’re always thinking about business, only thinking about business, just as just connect on, like, just be present, you know, for me, you know, being on the water much of the sunrise, and I’m gonna say that like 100 times, I’m sure, but it just is like that being centered at that moment has been really good for me, so that if I’m having a stressful part of my day, I can go back to that moment on the water in the morning, watching the sunrise. And, you know, it’s been good for me too, I mean, and then also exercise, it just takes all that energy that’s like swirling in your brain and, you know, give it an outlet. And so you’re kind of going into your day a lot smarter, a lot calmer, and a lot more, you know, with a lot more clarity in your head.

Ryan:

Yeah, I can relate to that. I mean, when I started doing a morning routine pretty hardcore. I decided to do boxing as a not like fighting people, but like, yeah, heavy bag work, mitt, we’re gonna be back. And yeah, I feel the same way about that. And COVID Obviously, you know, I think they’re starting to open up but I turned my garage into like a mini little boxing gym. And when I say mini boxing gym, I mean literally just like a little bob rubber thing I hit. So it’s nothing, nothing fancy. So let’s talk about morning routines, which we already kind of have been but the other days that you are rowing, our maybe I guess the winter, what is your morning routine look like, then.

Anna:

So I do work with the personal trainer two days a week. So we go to actually and my husband comes with me. So it’s actually good bonding time for the two of us. We do that in the morning, two days a week. And then if I’m not doing rowing or personal training, we live on a lake. So I’ll walk around the lake. In the winter, we have a couple of pieces of equipment, so I’ll work out downstairs. Or sometimes I’ll just kind of, I don’t drink coffee, but I’ll grab something warm and you know, sit outside even as a cold just think it’s like being outside is that especially with COVID I feel like we’ve been indoors for so long, and cooped up for so long. So just that break of being outside and getting fresh air is always clearing for me and kind of reset my mindset.

Ryan:

The morning upgrade podcast is that personal development one routines. And so obviously, when I asked all my guests what their morning routines are, and it’s always a little bit different, which is really interesting. For me, I like to hear what other people do for their mornings. But I was gonna say for you definitely seeing a trend or hearing a trend in fitness and fresh air. So I think that’s a trend. That makes a lot of sense. That’s really cool. So let’s talk about your business. What’s the hardest thing about your business? And what are you doing about it?

Anna:

I think one of the biggest challenges that we’re having in our business, the hardest thing at this point is marketing and getting through the clutter. So for our business, we do a lot of content. So we do blog posts, we do newsletters, we do webinars, we do different content-focused marketing efforts. And since COVID Hit like it’s just been, there’s so much clutter, right? There are so many more messages coming out and people are just numb to the inboxes like being overloaded with content. So for us, our biggest challenge is trying to cut through the clutter, and be innovative in the way that we do things, and try to rethink how we get our message out there. So, you know, we’re experimenting with a couple of different things. We’re doing some SEO roundtables to create some dialogue within the community of the clients that we’re serving. It’s a good lead generation for us, but also it creates some, you know, sense of community and has people allow people to interact with us, which I think makes a big difference because we’re not your typical, you know, being the counter type of accountant. So yeah, I think really cutting through the clutter in a market that’s so overwhelmed, and just doesn’t have a threshold for any more content because it’s just been overwhelmed. So being innovated with getting to the market getting our message out there and building awareness about our firm.

Ryan:

Yeah, as you mentioned, you’re mixing up the type of content you know, so balancing Is My Business with my two brothers? My uncle, as you know, and I agree is a lot of content being pushed out. So, you know, the roundtables that you’re doing, it’s this different type of content is gonna stand out from all the noise. I think that’s really good advice for listeners is content creation is very important, like podcasts, blog posts, white papers, videos, infographics, and etc. So what can you do that’s a little bit different, and mix it up so that, you know, your content rises above the rest? I think that’s really good advice for everyone listening.

Anna:

Yeah, it is a challenge because everyone’s innovating at the same time, too. So you tend to have to continue and test different things out. So you know, that, that we’re experimenting with a lot of different forms we’re doing, we’ve got some videos in the queue, that we’re going to be rolling out and even, you know, the way that we’re doing our proposals, we’re incorporating some video content into it, which is something we’ve never done before. Because I think people are just tired of reading or they don’t, they just too many words, too many words. So video, I think is a little bit more digestible.

Ryan: 

Yeah. And you can always just create the video, then you transcribe it and create that create content, create written content of that. So you can kind of check off multiple boxes with that one piece of video content. That’s actually a great transition for, you know, the content side of this as part of your personal development Habits. Habits are another thing I’d like to talk about in this podcast. You mentioned self-education, books, and podcasts are a big part of your life. You also mentioned the book, specifically, which we’ll link up in the show notes called 10% 10%. happier with happiness. So you know, it’s a great topic, too. So yeah, some podcasts Can you recommend any that you really stand out top, your mind is like the best book, so the best podcast that you’ve listened to or read.

Anna:

Okay, so I’m a huge fan of Brene Brown. That was everybody. I think, Brene Brown has a great TED talk on vulnerability, which kicked off my interest in her and her work. And she rate wrote a number of a really good book, one is the gift of imperfection. On the other, she wrote a leadership book, gosh, I’m drawing a blank on the name right now, but a great book on leading in organizations. So she’s one of my favorite authors. And then Seth anon is not only like personal development, but for me, it’s like keeping up with what the trends are in business. And also, so I’ve listened to a number of different podcasts in the morning, as well as they’re talking about morning routines. You know, when I’m getting ready, I’m listening to a podcast or two, depending on the topic, I need to, I’m interested in that morning, whether it could be personal development, or, you know, business podcast, there’s probably too many to mention.

Ryan:

Yeah, I try to prune the podcast I listened to and, and audio audiobooks, because after a while it becomes you, it becomes not a burden. But you think like, man, I’ve got to get so much I need to listen to how am I gonna listen to it. So every once a while, I’ll do pruning of all the podcasts I’m subscribed to and, you know, the audiobooks I’m downloading, I think it becomes it can become too much. But yeah, I’m a huge fan of the stuff, which I think it’s really important to give as formal education and self-education, your formal education. And if you go to college ends when you’re 21 or so. Yeah, there’s so much more beyond that.

Anna:

The other thing outside of books and podcasts, as I belong to entrepreneurs, organizations, and their accelerator program, I think being part of a peer advisory group, where people are sharing their experiences is so critical, right to your own personal development, because there’s only so much you can do with books and podcasts. Right, but that experience share and somebody commiserate with and for me, yeah, I was in your shoes and to empathize with you, allows you to kind of like learn from their challenges and also be able to, you know, up your game at the same time from personal development, and a lot of times closed down business, right is that, gosh, you know, when you’re having conversations that are ShopRunner and they’re like, you know, they’re going through the same challenges that you are so it’s great to have that resource available and I highly recommend that anybody who’s a business owner to be part of a peer advisory group or mastermind whether you comment on your own your use something more formal.

Ryan:

You’re gonna send me down a rabbit hole right now what I will say is that yeah, masterminds and peer groups have a huge fan of those. I 100%. Agree. I think it’s a game-changer. If you find the right one. Of course, it’s gonna be a game-changer. I’ve got one more question for you. And then you can tell everyone you know, what’s the best way for them to connect to reach out to you if they want to learn more? What’s the perfect day look like for you?

Anna:

The perfect day looks like okay, so it would be a day that we have a crew so it would be on the water by six good weather Sunrise, you know, rowing until about 730 getting back in the car with my daughter, she is the best car DJ ever there, she was a huge playlist. So a perfect day is getting back in the car with her jamming out to whatever, she’s just gonna play less than home. And then workwise, you know, mornings or I’m a morning person. So connecting with people, whether it’s new meetings or phone calls, emails, and then blocking time to write. Writing is how I process things. So writing so I write, rewrite a lot of content, we write blog posts and things but it also allows me to kind of process hard things and as we’re learning them, sometimes we’re writing them so we did a lot with like the PPP program. So a lot of our content was around with me writing and then ending the day either on the field with my kids, they are, you know, athletes, so they’re in field hockey and football, or, you know, ending the day. One of our favorite family things is to Now curl up on the couch and watch Big Bang Theory. So you’ve been binge-watching that. It’s the only if you’re reprogram all four of us can agree upon, but that is you know, the Capstone at the end of the day. So a perfect day for me is starting with exercise and summary. being out in nature, ending it surrounded by my family, doing stuff that we all love, and doing some good work in between. That’s a perfect segue for me.

Ryan: 

Awesome. Sounds like you’re living your perfect day. Love it. Really enjoyed this conversation. What’s the best way that people can connect with you? They want to learn more.

Anna: 

I am on LinkedIn so you can find me at Anna master or email you can email us a master a ma s k er, at profit link.com p r o si t li n q.com. Those are probably the two best ways to reach me. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. I’m always looking to expand my network.

Ryan: 

Great. Thanks, everyone for listening. Thanks, Anna. 

Anna: 

Thanks, Ryan.

Ryan

Thanks for listening to the morning upgrade podcast. Please subscribe and review. And don’t forget to visit us at morning upgrade.com for more content.

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