Two Guys Making $50K Chose Different Paths. 5 Years Later

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Early on in my CPA tax practice, I had 2 very similar clients.

Both were in the construction trade. One was a painting contractor. The other was a general contractor.

They both worked hard, hands on, bidding jobs, overseeing crews, picking up supplies and collecting money.

They both made approximately $50,000 per year from their businesses.

The first guy, I’ll call him Larry, was the painting contractor. He was usually mad at someone, the customer, the paint store, his employee, it seemed to him that he spent all of his time running around putting out figurative fires. And for his long days and 7 days a week work week, he just wasn’t paid enough. He figured out he could go to work for someone else and make a whole lot more with a lot less headaches.

So that was his question that he asked himself almost daily, “Is this worth it?” along with questions like “Why can’t anyone do their job?” with a few colorful adjectives.

And then come tax time, he complained about the IRS and I suppose he probably complained about me too, just out of my earshot.

For all the complaining, nothing changed. He was so busy that he never was able to give me financial statements until long after the tax year had ended. At that point, all you can do is scramble to find deductions. There is no way to plan anything and so he always ended up paying more taxes with an “If only you had…” kind of warning that he always ignored.

The second guy, we’ll call him Ray, had the same type of issues. But his question was different. Instead of “Why can’t anyone do their job?”, his question was “How can I change this?”

Now THAT I could work with.

We did a couple of things. One was get someone to do his bookkeeping. In the end, it actually was cheaper because he was able to get it done as the year went on, when bookkeepers aren’t as busy. As a result, he got a better rate than when he dumped his disorganized papers and receipts on an overwrought bookkeeper at year end.

And with those current financial statements, we began having quarterly meetings. He learned about financial statements and how to read them. He learned about critical financial ratios and together we put together his own Key Performance Indicators (KPI). A KPI is critical for any business that intends to grow bigger. It is a first alert system for both a potential problem and the low hanging fruit of opportunity. The KPI foretells your future, or rather your possible future. You can still have time to change it, reduce it, or enhance it. After the fact is simply too late

Ray paid less tax. With that extra cash, he built out systems so that he didn’t have to be hands on with every stage of the operation. He was able to still keep good control because he had numbers that told him when something wasn’t quite working.

And then 5 years later, our first guy, Larry, was still very unhappy in an IRS audit and making about $50,000 per year. He was no longer my client but I heard from him about his audit. He blamed his latest accountant for causing the audit, but I knew the real issue was that Larry had fudged on some of his numbers in an attempt to reduce the taxes he paid.

I declined the engagement, no matter how much money he offered.

Five years later, Ray was making $250,000. He had crews and systems. He knew how to read financial statements and as his business grew, he put the proper asset protection in place. He built smart, both his wealth and his cash flow, and invested for passive and recurring income, while he protected his asset base.

The difference between Larry and Ray was that Ray wanted education AND professional tax strategy and implementation. Larry wanted after-the-fact tax preparation. Ray needed tax preparation too, obviously, but by the time it came to his tax return, it was really just a matter of reporting what had actually happened. There was no need for doing anything that was even remotely grey. He knew what he would owe and he was prepared for it.

That’s when I began providing two different services. Sure, I do private consultations. We help with implementation and of course, we do compliance work.

But where my true passion is, I also offer coaching which is very specific education for real estate investors and business owners. It’s not just vague arm waving ideas, but very specific strategies and help with implementation by someone who really has walked the talk.

I’m not telling you to do anything I haven’t done. That’s why this works. I have my own experiences and the experiences of my clients. I know what works and what doesn’t.

There are times, though, when only a private consultation will work. There could be confidentiality concerns or maybe you just don’t feel comfortable asking your questions in a group environment.

It’s obviously more expensive, but I also do private consultations.

So here’s the deal. I know what’s going to happen starting in November, maybe even earlier this year. I’m going to get slammed with requests for consultations and then everyone is going to want to book them in December.

I have holidays with my family as well and long ago I learned that last minute tax planning rarely works, so I don’t add on extra days to accommodate the consultation requests.

Instead I do this.

I raise the price.

For now, the month of September, the price for consultations is the same. On October 1st, the price goes up 50% and it stays up through the end of the year.

I’ll continue selling, but I’ll tell you right now, the appointment slots are going to go fast. I have 4-5 appointment spots per week. Once those are filled, that’s it. I also take the week of Thanksgiving and the week of Christmas off. I take those 4-5 appointments spots that aren’t available and spread them to additional days.

In order to claim your spot NOW before they fill up, you need to do the following:

  • Pay for a consultation. You can go to to do that.
  • Complete the Questionnaire and submit paperwork as appropriate. For example, if you want to talk about last year’s tax return, I need to see last year’s tax return.
  • I’ll review the paperwork, generally within 2-3 business days I’ll let you know if there is anything else that is needed, otherwise, we’ll send you a link to grab a spot.
  • You book your own appointment from the available spots.

That’s the process. You can’t book an appointment spot unless you’ve first completed the paperwork. You don’t even need to complete it ALL, but I can tell you that if you don’t, I can’t give you a full review. The more info you give me, the more complete the consultation will be.

Got a question? Contact Us. to start the process.

If you’re interested in education, then please jump on the next coaching call at

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