Hey there, New Friend 👋
My name is Susan Boles, and I'm the CFO behind Beyond Margins.
I spent 20+ years neck-deep in productivity and achievement culture as a CFO and COO for a huge variety of organizations – from major universities to small retail shops and marketing agencies. I loved so many aspects of my work, but something always felt really off.
I hated working at companies that prioritized the minutes my butt spent in a chair over my results.
I hated working at companies that saw me as a number, not a person.
I hated being forced to work in ways that were frustratingly inefficient and mind-numbingly dull (meetings about meetings, anyone?)
So, I decided to leave and build my own consulting business -- where I got to decide what work looked like.
And it went great...until the pandemic hit.
My son was in 2nd grade, and childcare ceased to exist. So, I gutted it out through what ended up being two years of virtual homeschooling, with no breaks, no summer camps, no babysitters...while also trying to run my business solo.
Big surprise: I burnt out.
Like, can't-get-out-of-bed, can't-think, can't-function level of burnout. The kind of burnout that becomes a chronic illness.
And that was the turning point.
For someone who prides themselves on designing efficient, profitable businesses it was tough to realize that's not enough. You can be efficient and profitable and still be thrown into chaos.
And it's really hard to take care of your clients if you're not taking care of yourself and your team first.
I needed to build something more resilient, more sustainable.
I needed to build a business while prioritizing calm.
So, I wondered... what would it look like if I used my CFO superpowers to design a business full of margin?
Not to be more productive but to be more...spacious.
- Prioritized rest. (3.5-day workweek, 8+ weeks off per year)
- Created a single offer (my CFO intensive) that was designed to be easy to deliver MAJOR impact. And I sold only that one offer - for 2 years.
- Researched and experimented with the ways my brain and body prefer to work - and designed my systems, capacity, and offers around that.
- Paid attention to my margins - profit, capacity, and emotional.
- Built systems for my own business that are automated, but still deliver an empathetic and customized experience for my clients.
My business is calmer, easier to run, more profitable, and more resilient. My clients and my team feel taken care of - and so do I. My chronic symptoms (and my burnout) subsided, and my creativity came back.
And as I shared what I was doing with other service-based business owners in my community, I realized that there are a lot of us out here who are sick and tired (literally) of running businesses like the 10x-ers and VC unicorns tell us we're supposed to.
Many of us are desperate for calm businesses that allow us to take care of our families, our teams, our communities, and ourselves.
Most of the finance and operations advice out there leaves our well-being out of the conversation. You'll find strategies galore to:
- Boost your sales
- Raise your rates
- Do more in less time
- Just use this one new, shiny tool/tip/template to streamline your operations
But no one's guiding service-based business owners on how to do all of those things without panic, overwhelm, and burnout—which are almost inevitable if we follow the conventional methods.
So I created Beyond Margins, a human-centered approach to operations & finance for service-based business owners who crave calm.
At Beyond Margins, calm is our KPI.
Because, despite what you've learned and experienced, business and calm can co-exist.
I'll show you how.