Last month, I shared some exciting news -- Cocoon Business Solutions, the business I founded over twenty years ago has joined the Larkin Group, a boutique accounting firm. This acquisition represents a new evolution of Cocoon, a metamorphosis if you will. It also represents a metamorphosis of myself, Julie Doyle, professionally and personally. As my professional role shifts from being Cocoon founder and owner to being an employee of the Larkin Group, my personal brand, Julie Doyle – It’s Not a Hobby is also coming to life.
If the events surrounding last year’s pandemic taught me anything, it was a need for greater in-house expertise beyond what the Cocoon team was able to provide as bookkeepers. I’m incredibly proud of what my team achieved last year- it’s no exaggeration to say we played a part in keeping many businesses not only afloat, but in some cases actually thriving. That said, the impact of the pandemic on our clients’ businesses showed, with complete clarity, that our existing structure simply didn’t allow us to provide seamless and integrated specialist support and advice internally. Our acquisition by Larkin Group will now provide a depth of specialist know-how, giving our bookkeeping clients access to a one-stop shop for every aspect of their business. The team and I are thrilled to be working with the Larkin team, providing our clients with a seamless experience across their business.
An evolution of this scale gives rise to much reflection. Our Communications Manager, the lovely Holly Cardamone from Blue 51 Communications tasked me to write ‘a love letter to Cocoon’.
The other day, as I was walking my dog, Harry – who gives the best OMG side eyes going around - I had the opportunity to listen to a Radio National segment that made me weep (thank goodness for dark sunnies).
The conversation was with an architect, and she spoke about falling in love with a space before she planned out her design for that space, the people who use it, its purpose and its interaction with its surroundings.
And I cried because it hit me that this has been my business life for over 20 years now and it very much feels like ‘my space.’ I have had the honour and privilege of working with clients (many who have become friends) and getting to know their what and why, journeying with them throughout the how part of being a growing business success story.
This work will only amplify through my own brand, Julie Doyle – It’s Not a Hobby. I’m taking it to a whole new level. My signature programs, courses, services and events will help people confidently reimagine their measure of professional success, transform their businesses and even reshape their lives. They’ll help business owners know their numbers, their business and their drivers, deeply and intimately. It’s this knowledge that allows people to shape their business, to live their lives by design to move from surviving to thriving.
Three and a half years ago, I started stalking a Business Coach through Instagram, as her messages were resonating with me. Two and a half years ago, I decided to join Emma McQueen's Thriving Women tribe and ever since I have connected with some truly incredible and inspiring women. With Emma’s involvement and the community of Thriving Women in my world I learned a lot, and realised that I have more to give – lots more.
Through being in this group of women and hearing their stories, I was finally able to articulate in my brain who the hell the ‘professional’ in me really is, because I don’t think I had given myself the space to find out over the past 20 years. It’s this awakening that’s propelling me into the next chapter, one where every day I can continue to help people in business grow and thrive.
So, thank you to that group of wonderful women and an even bigger THANK YOU to you, the Cocoon clients, who have made these past 20 years unforgettable. While it’s pretty much BAU for Cocoon’s clients through our acquisition, the team and I couldn’t be more excited to have access to Larkin’s expertise to help our clients beyond their bookkeeping requirements. Personally? I couldn’t be more grateful to have you along on the journey with me.