Success loves speed

For pretty much any rapidly growing business, the secret behind that success is speed of implementation.

This mantra is most commonly associated with the Silicon Valley tech bro culture. In the early days of Facebook, for example, it was common for new feature releases to break something else on the rapidly growing social media site. Mark Zuckerberg famously embraced this concept, saying, “Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough.”

Speed breeds success in other ways. It means launching new services before your local competitors do. It means implementing marketing campaigns in new types of media before your competitors do. It means accelerating your prospect follow up efforts so that you close new clients before your competition does.

Speed implies taking decisive, immediate action. The tax firm owner that attends a conference and purchases a marketing widget, but leaves it sitting on the shelf, would have been better off not buying the marketing widget at all. In contrast, the tax firm owner at the same conference, buying the same marketing widget, but that implements it right then and there, before even leaving the conference, will be the winner that sees the results.

If you’re the tax firm owner, you need to move fast, and not be timid about taking action if you want to grow your business. As Zig Ziglar once said, “Timid sales people have skinny kids.” (And yes, if you own the tax firm, you are a sales person, whether you like it or not).

This is why I created my 60-day tax resolution firm startup plan.

It guides you step-by-step, through specific actions, each day for 60 days. At the end of that 60 days, you have multiple marketing campaigns going on at the same time.

And even if you don’t like a specific marketing tactic I mention in the 60-day arc of things, that’s fine — swap it out with something you do like. Heck, the core of the whole 60-day plan is tax lien marketing. Since ACS isn’t recording NFTL’s right now, it’s kinda hard to implement the low hanging fruit new lien marketing tactic. OK, fine, do something else (such as mining the PTIN list for professional referral sources).

Point is… Do something. Do it every day. Implement. Quickly.

The sooner you start…the faster you implement…the more you do in parallel… The faster you’ll see results.

All of … Continue reading

Do I need to be a CPA, Enrolled Agent, or attorney in order to do tax resolution work?

This is a very common question that I get from unenrolled preparers, particularly those from states like Oregon , California, Maryland, and New York that have their own state-level tax preparer licensing in place.

Short answer: Unequivocally YES, you need to be an EA, CPA, or attorney in order to represent taxpayers in IRS Collections.

In order to sign a Form 2848 and represent somebody in front of IRS Collections and/or Appeals, an individual must be an EA, CPA, or attorney. Under current IRS regulations, this is non-negotiable. The IRS does not recognize any of the state-level preparer licensing programs for representation purposes.

Connecting with an EA, CPA, or attorney is a great way to be engaged in this work, but the unenrolled preparerer is limited to the tax prep and bookkeeping in support of the case. We have plenty of preparers that attend our classes in order to better understand the process that they’re supporting when working with an EA/CPA/JD on IRS Collections representation cases. In fact, many CPAs and attorneys send their admin staff to our classes in order to learn how to work cases.

But never forget that the tax prep and bookkeeping is the lower dollar value work, compared to the actual representation component. It’s the most labor intensive component of tax debt resolution, but it’s the lowest value work for the client case.

I personally encourage all unenrolled preparers to simply go take the Special Enrollment Exam (SEE) to become an Enrolled Agent. Most preparers can pass Parts 1 and 3 with limited or even zero study, and Part 2 is passable by most folks with a few weeks of intense study. Becoming an EA literally doubles your earning potential overnight, plus it’s also a hedge against the inevitable passage of a bill by Congress to give IRS authority to regulate preparers. Become an EA now, and you’ll bypass any impact of future legislation in this arena.… Continue reading

The Hero’s Journey

I’m currently engaged in a personal academic study of Homer’s classic Greek works, the Illiad and the Odyssey.

What? What??!!??! It sure beats my other recent academic inquiry into Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight saga. Yeah, you read that correctly.

Hey, I’m a twice divorced, middle aged, American, male. I…I….I kinda like the idea of an attractive, female werewolf that could rip my head off. Team Leah Clearwater, FTW!

Didn’t see that coming, did you? Actress Julia Jones, 38, is of Choctaw, Chickasaw, and African American descent, studied ballet from age 4, and is a graduate of Columbia University, for any of the other 54% of readers that are men. She recently portrayed the character Kohana in the HBO show Westworld, and currently appears in the Liam Neeson flick Cold Pursuit.

Ahem. 🙂

Wait, what was I talking about?

Uhhh, let’s see… Team Jacob, Team Leah, Team Quielute, Greek literature, Sirens, right, right…

At their core, both the modern literature of Twilight and the 8th century BC literature of Homer are about the hero’s journey.

That epic journey from nobody to somebody. From worthless to priceless. From peon to super-hero.

The generic story is as old as recorded history itself. It’s the basis of entire movie franchises, and, at risk of offending countless readers, the basis of entire religions.

From Abraham to Odysseus to Jesus to Muhammad to de Broglie, The Hero’s Journey is an integral part of what makes us human. In truth, it’s the very story of the human condition. And, it’s a story that will play out into the future as we colonize the Moon, Mars, Proxima Centauri b, and encounter extraterrestrial species that throw our entire concept of being into utter chaos.

But here’s what excites me: No matter what changes in the world around us, you, too, can have your own hero’s journey.

Maybe you want to pull a Jassen, and rise from American poverty to the American 5%.

Maybe you want help ensure a drought-free future to thousands of Eritrean farmers.

Maybe you want to ensure the economic survival of your rural town of 50 people.

Maybe you want to ensure your own child receives a college education.

Maybe you want to ensure that your own family has a meal tomorrow.

No matter where you start, and what your objective may be, there is a Hero’s Journey to be had.

I obviously don’t know who you, dear … Continue reading