Linda Owen

linda owen

It was great to talk to Linda Owen. A very proactive person, that is always looking to grow and improve both personally and in business. She has been running a bookkeeping company for the last four years, having been in finance for around 7 years. She really enjoys helping people to get on top of their financial processes, but also understanding their businesses and helping them grow. Her goal now is to grow her own business through more remote work and through added value work and maybe one day be working from a Caribbean beach.


What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life? 

The book I’ve given out the most is The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson. To children of course. I love the concept of the small mouse, overcoming the big bullies and challenges with its wit and cleverness and the help from a (big) friend. It’s a good message for life. 


What purchase of £100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)? (Brand and model, where you found it?)

I bought a page a day diary to help me plan my time and tasks. It makes a big difference to me to have somewhere to record the things I need to get done and get them out of my head. I prefer having something physical, rather than a virtual one, I love ticking things off the list.


How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favourite failure” of yours? 

It was hard to answer this question, I couldn’t really think of anything. Not that I haven’t made mistakes or failed, it’s just that I don’t dwell on the past. I own my mistakes, I try to fix them and learn from them and then I move on.


If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it —metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? It could be a few words or a paragraph. (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)

The most important person who must like you is you!  You don’t have to be liked by everyone – the people who like you are your people and there’s plenty of them out there.


What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)

In business it’s the colleagues I’ve hired. I’ve been able to pass on some of the work I do,  which has  given me freedom and headspace to do other work. I’ve been lucky because they both really seem to care about the work they are doing for me.

Personally, my paddle board brings me a lot of joy. It’s my driver to be fit and healthy. Being on and around water is really calming for me.


What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?

I am an eternal student. I love studying and learning, mostly for my career progression and professional exams.

Next year, I’d like to do some business and leadership courses.


In the last five years, what new belief, behaviour, or habit has most improved your life?

Making time for podcasts seems to be a good way to learn new things. The three I like the most are Stephen Bartlett’s Diary of a CEO, Jay Shetty’s On Purpose and Helen Calvert’s The No Bullsh*t Guide to Happiness.


What advice would you give to a smart, driven student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?”

Rather than focus on the big goal, look at people you admire and see how they started out. 


What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

Don’t listen to ‘Dave’ down the pub. People are full of accounting advice, like “Put your new designer outfit for that event through as a cost in your company.”  But they don’t know what they are talking about, you can’t just cheat the system. If you want good advice, go to a professional.


What frustrates you the most about your industry and the way companies are run in it?

People who ghost me when I chase for receipts. This is often the case with new clients. I have to educate them about how to manage their financial processes. Sometimes it’s about meeting them where they’re at and then slowly training them into a process that works for me and so ultimately for them.


In the last five years, what have you become better at saying no to (distractions, invitations, etc.)? What new realisations and/or approaches helped? Any other tips?

Saying no to my self doubt.

I don’t feel comfortable selling myself, but I know I have to take myself out of my comfort zone. I have a few methods for getting me through my nerves. I give my kids a big hug, or  I take three deep breaths which takes away that fight or flight impulse. It’s important to do it though, every time I take myself out of my comfort zone, it grows a little bigger.


What does a balanced life look like to you? Has a work or a project you have been focused on caused you to neglect other areas of your life?

For me balance is calmness in my life. I like steadiness, so if something is out of balance and becomes a pressing problem, I work on it for a while to get it balanced again and bubbling along nicely again.


When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? (If helpful: What questions do you ask yourself?)

First I focus on my basic needs. What can I control and not control?

If a goal is particularly difficult or feels impossible, I break it down to the next three simple tasks and then just get started. Then I reward myself afterwards.

Sometimes I’ll simply go for a walk, which helps me get some headspace.


What does leadership mean to you?

A leader is someone who sets goals and makes sure that things get done.


Which people have most inspired you in your life and why?

Beyoncé. She is so powerful. Where she’s come from, what she’s achieved and the influence she has is amazing, but she also has boundaries in place which means she still has a personal life too.

Also, it’s my parents because of who they are and how they are. Family is at the heart of their (and my) existence, and the community around them. They have always been so kind to everyone in their life. I am still very close to them, emotionally and in terms of where I live. Every weekend I have a walk and catch up with my Mum. We spend lots of special times together.


What do the words principles and values mean to you?

Principles and values are the core of you – they’re the reasons for being who you are. They’re personality traits, but more than that they’re the rules you live by…. Hopefully nice ones haha!

I think we’re naturally attracted to people with similar values and it’s interesting to see how they can align. I think the three which are most important to me are Kindness, Accountability and Compassion.


If you had a forum to speak to 50 leaders, what question would you pose to them, to get them thinking about and being better leaders?

What’s been your biggest success so far and did you believe it was possible before you started? What helped you get there?


What one thing could you do that you aren’t doing now, that if you did on a regular basis, would make a tremendous positive difference in your personal life?  What one thing in your business or professional life would bring similar results?

In my personal life: This is  bad to say as a bookkeeper, but I’m not great at saving. So to build a bigger financial cushion.

At work: More in-person networking. I can create more of an impact face to face and I’ve given myself a target of doing one a month. 


Have you ever engaged with self-help, mentoring or coaching? If so, how?

I have. I have a coach, Helen Calvert, who is fantastic. She mainly focuses on helping women. She’s a big inspiration and has helped me a great deal with achieving what I want with my business.

During lockdown I engaged with Calm Connections which helps with overwhelmed parents and kids. It was a hard time and that really helped.

If you would like to learn more about LMO Bookkeeping check out their website.

Topic: 50 in 50