The Interview — Darell Brown

By Christy Knell
January 23, 2022

When you start your own business, there’s a freedom you feel from not having a boss, doing what you love, and setting your own schedule. But other difficulties arise that you likely don’t anticipate—you have to find clients, market yourself, and, arguably the most painful, you have to handle your business finances. (🤮)

So when we discover members who provide services that help with these tasks, we want to make sure you know they are around! Darell Brown joined us not too long ago, and she’s one of those magical people who can make your small business life much easier via her work at ProProject Bookkeeping. Plus, if you’re into sci-fi, y’all can dive deep into theories about what Dolores will do in season three now that she’s escaped Westworld …

Tell me about the moment you decided it was time to launch ProProject Bookkeeping. What made you take the leap?

The leap to freelancing started as I helped a few businesses set up accounting systems and gave bookkeeping advice which helped them. I lived in Bedford-Stuyvesant (Brooklyn) at the time and would talk to owners of local businesses that I frequented. I would give bookkeeping tips without really thinking much of it. I had a few who offered to pay me or give me goods in exchange for additional help. I realized it was something I could do on my own. I gave myself some financial and client goals for the year and reached my goals within and months. I launched ProProject Bookkeeping after one year of successfully freelancing.

What has been the most rewarding part about your work and running your own business? 

When I made the decision to start freelancing, I imagined I would be working primarily with small local mom and pop businesses. I never could have imagined some of the businesses I have worked with, connections I have made, and experiences I have had since I took the leap. 

It’s always a learning experience and a hard aspect initially was learning when to ask for help. As my clients grow, taking classes and asking for help to put structure in place has been vital to my success. I have worked with business coaches and consultants over the years to help refine my business. I have relationships with a few CPAs and CFOs I can call for advice as well.

I see you also have a podcast! Tell me about what you talk about there, who you have on your show, and who should listen. 

I started The ProProject Podcast to give some quick tips to common bookkeeping and accounting questions. I have had various business owners, CPA’s and hedge fund managers as guests. Business owners looking for tips on their business finances should listen.

What podcasts do you listen to? And what TV/movies do you like to watch? We need new ideas!

The McKinsey Podcast is one I regularly listen to. It has great business insights especially pertaining to the shifts we have seen in business the last 2 years.    

I usually love anything sci-fi, Star Trek Discovery and Westworld are my favorite shows.  

How do you take care of yourself mentally and physically?

I love going for walks, it clears my head and keeps me fit. Lifting weights at the gym is also great exercise and a nice stress reliever for me. I take regular mini vacations and staycations with my wife whenever we can.

What’s your work/life balance like—how do you separate your business and pleasure?

 I always keep balance in mind as I take on new clients. Time management and boundaries have been vital to my work/life balance. I set expectations with clients around time, structure, and workflow in our initial consultation.

Any given week I can usually predict the time commitment I will need to give to each client. I can plan my workday, breaks, personal activities and final stopping point based on this. 

What can your business do to support your fellow HudCo members?

ProProject Bookkeeping provides virtual bookkeeping and project accounting services to project-based businesses. We specialize in creating workflows to constantly monitor your project and overall business finances. Visit ProProjectBooks.com to get your bookkeeping resolved once and for all!

Find out more about Darell’s offerings at www.proprojectbooks.com.