Why do you keep hitting yourself?

I’ve always thought that The Offspring hit the nail on the head back in ’94:

Now I know I’m being used
That’s okay because I like the abuse
I know she’s playing with me
That’s okay ’cause I’ve got no self-esteem

I think we all do things that aren’t necessarily good for us. Some of it is subconscious, some of it we’re fully aware of.

For example: Just three weeks ago I promised myself that I was going to take a 9-month break from the stress and anxiety of hosting CPE seminars on the road. A nice little vacation from the frustration of dealing with hotel contracts and sales people. A short break from the financial pressure and marketing challenges that go with filling a live event. And most certainly a holiday away from the extreme social anxiety that I have to slog through when doing public speaking.

But, of course, this morning my brain said, “Oh come on, Jassen, you’re going to be in Seattle for a week anyway, why not put on a tax resolution boot camp?”

And then, I suddenly found myself calling hotels, scrambling to put together a marketing plan, contemplating curriculum updates, and placing print orders.

Why would I do this to myself?

Maybe I’ve got no self-esteem, and I don’t feel “alive” without something to stress out over. I’m sure there’s something to that, but I’ll play Internet psychologist another day, because I know there’s another answer.

It’s quite simple, really: I love sharing the gospel of tax resolution with my colleagues.

That’s it. Pure and simple. All the stress and anxiety is worth it, because I literally have the best job in the world. I get to share a subject I’m passionate about with people that genuinely want to learn about the subject, and then YOU take those learnings and help save jobs, save small businesses, save families from the wrath of the IRS.

That’s why I keep hitting myself.

What about you? Why do you keep hitting yourself?

Here’s an even better question: What work are you slogging through that frustrates you, annoys you, and stresses you out — but that you don’t have a passion for?

On Tuesday’s levy release webinar, I gave the example of no longer accepting clients that come in under active levy, because of the inherent frustration and annoyance that it creates for *everybody*. So, I just stopped accepting those clients.

What … Continue reading

The benefits of being a weirdo

“Normal is a setting on your dryer.”

Normal is also something I’ve never been accused of being, and I’m proud of that.

As a kid, being a strangeling was certainly not pleasant, especially during recess. But as an adult, I’ve come to realize that it’s a strength, not a weakness.

Going against the grain…seeing the world from a different perspective…asking different questions…doing things differently. Those are the hallmark traits of every successful entrepreneur.

If you’re in private practice as a CPA, EA, or tax attorney, you’re automatically part of the weirdo camp, too. Welcome to the club!

Yes, I just called you a weirdo. Wear it with pride.

Why are you and I a bunch of weirdos?

Because we’ve eschewed the cultural norm to just get a job, put in our 40 years, and then die.

You’re a weirdo because you’ve taken the risk of starting your own business.

You’re a weirdo because you going against the grain of the normal tax/accounting career trajectory.

You’re a weirdo because you’ve even chosen to operate your business differently. Different pricing, different service offerings (tax controversy??? are you insane?!?!), different types of clients.

Well guess what?

Normal people obtain normal results.

They have normal, average lives. Mediocre careers. And median incomes.

As this strange, abnormal creature called a “business owner”, you don’t have to settle for average or mediocre anything. Rather, you set the rules. You decide what your income is. You decide the kind of lifestyle you want to live.

I’d like to encourage you to do one more weird thing. It’s one of the weirdest things that any business owner can do. So it’s weird, even in the land of oddballs like us.

I want to encourage you to start turning away business. Start saying “no” to prospective clients that don’t fit YOUR criteria. Become the niche specialist across all the services you offer — tax prep, payroll, bookkeeping, taxpayer representation, advising, the whole nine yards.

Our August issue of “The Profitable Accountant” is focused entirely on this concept. In order to get it, you need to become a Gold member ASAP. Here’s the link:

https://TaxMarketingHQ.com/goldContinue reading

The simplest way to attract better clients

Last week, we discussed how some clients just plain suck, and need to be thrown back.

One of our Diamond members even reported back that he fired FOUR clients last week as a result. A Gold member fired one long-standing client that (until they became a problem child) used to represent 10% of their annual gross revenue.

Kudos to those of you that took action and got rid of the weakest links in your clientele.

That opens up room in your schedule to attract better clients.

Over the past few days, I gave you some simple exercises to complete to help you identify who your best clients are so that you can go out and replicate.

But, there’s an even simpler strategic move you can make to attract better clients.

It’s not only simple, but painlessly easy to implement.

Even better, by doing this one thing, your marketing costs will drop and your conversion rates will improve.

What is it? Niching.

That’s right: Pick a niche, and dominate it.

That’s what I did when I made the decision to focus most of my marketing efforts on small, mom & pop trucking companies in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. After making one particular observation, it became a no brainer to focus my marketing efforts here and utterly dominate this tiny sector of the tax resolution market in these particular states.

It’s the principle of becoming a “big fish in a smaller pond”.

The exercises from yesterday and Friday will help you choose a niche based on whom you’re already serving. But don’t forget to take a look outside your existing clientele and ask yourself, “Is there a better market that I could be serving?”

What exactly do I mean by a niche? Basically, a niche is a business category, occupation, hobby, special interest, or pooled affinity.

Examples of niches:

-medical practices
-electricians
-real estate agents
-lawyers
-golfers
-Care Bear collectors
-furries
-Burning Man attendees

Each of these is a special type of niche. If you want the dictionary definition, a niche is “denoting or relating to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population”.

The best niche for YOU to serve may not necessarily be the best niche for ME to serve. In fact, two CPAs with offices right next door to each in the same office building could best grow their practices in totally different ways. One … Continue reading