During the week of September 5, 2016, I decided to make the biggest decision of my life. I put in my two-week notice at the only company I ever desired to work for, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC). PwC is the number one public accounting/professional service firms in the world today. One might ask: why would I make such a foolish move? And the answer is very simple. “Why not?” I seen an opportunity to really chase my passion and do what I’ve always wanted to do. This article will go in depth as to exactly why I decided to make the move and how you too can become an entrepreneur. The purpose of this article is not to talk negatively about my previous employer in any way, shape, or form as I still have a very strong relationship with PwC.
I decided to pursue a full-time career in entrepreneurship. It is something that I’ve always wanted to do and I’ve always had an entrepreneurial mindset. Both of my parents are entrepreneurs, although this is not the main reason why I pursued a career in it. Believe it or not, I came to PwC as an entrepreneur. I was the partial owner and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of an online fashion company that I unfortunately had to part ways with due to independence issues with PwC and wanting to further my career in accounting. I started getting involved with PwC during my freshman year in college and thought it was where I was meant to be. My ultimate goal was to become a Partner at the firm, just like any other accountant. Fast forward to my junior year of college and I started building a business plan as a “back-up plan.” My business plan was to someday launch my own tax firm since I love taxes and have been doing it ever since my freshman year in college. Everything was going well at PwC, but the reality of starting my own company became even more realistic as time went on.
Fast-forward to graduate school, where I started taking the Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam. I started evolving my business plan even more and developed some other business plans. I managed to pass all of the exams and that day is when I realized, I will be an entrepreneur and someday own my own CPA firm. I continued working at PwC and the week of September 5, 2016, I decided to capitalize on the opportunity to branch off on my own. I knew I had the knowledge, credentials, and experience to do something that I truly love. Not only did I love to do taxes, but I also love helping people develop financial knowledge. So I found an opportunity to not only provide people with tax services, but also give them sound financial advice/recommendations at the same time. It gave me the opportunity to take financial literacy to the next level and to work more closely with my clients. The CPA/tax firm is set to launch in January of next year (2017) that will provide tax preparation, tax planning, and tax representation services to individuals and businesses. The financial advisory component will be fully integrated in the very near future (although tax planning will be implemented immediately by the launch date of the tax firm). This is my passion and I knew that working for PwC would not allow me to fully pursue this dream. There will be other businesses that I will launch in the future, but the CPA firm will always be my primary focus. I also work very closely with other business/financial professionals (especially minority business owners) to help people gain access to their products, services, and other offerings. But let’s take a step back for a minute and talk more about entrepreneurship.
What is an Entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur is not just someone who starts a business and starts making a profit. An entrepreneur is someone who sees a problem in society and finds solutions to solve it. I’ve seen far too many problems and the main one that I’ll be focusing on in life is financial literacy. Studies show that far too many people are financially illiterate. As a financial professional who’s learned a lot about finances throughout his time, it was only right that I stepped in to help solve this problem. So that will be the primary focus of the CPA firm; not only filing people’s taxes, but really enhancing their knowledge on financial topics and taking action to enhance their wealth. Another problem that I seen was too many people not liking what they do. Far too many people are caught up with societal influences of go to school, get a job with a pension, and retire. I believe life has much more purpose than this. I personally didn’t enjoy what I was doing at PwC and although I could’ve switched roles within the firm, I wanted to lead by example and allow people to see how someone can branch off on their own and become an entrepreneur. If you like your job, then stay there. But if you don’t and you see opportunity, then capitalize on it. Life is too short to not do the things you truly want/love.
One way of solving this problem is to help potential/current entrepreneurs/business owners develop their business plans and ensure their business(es) are successful. I assist people with helping to register their business and other solutions such as finding funding, developing marketing strategies, and overall financial management. I also understand that a person might come to me to do their taxes, but they might also own a business or two. This is why I will provide tax services to both business owners and the entities they own.
There are so many people in the world that want to start a business, but simply don’t know how to and/or take the steps necessary to start one. Understand that entrepreneurship is not for everyone. You have to be self-motivated, a go getter, a hard worker, have the ability to step out of your comfort zone, and be willing to sacrifice. Ultimately, you should do what makes you comfortable, happy, and what you’re passionate about. With that being said, before you start a business, you should know exactly why you’re starting it. Is it something you’re truly passionate about? Chances are, your business will be more successful if it’s something you’re passionate about. Once you figure out why you want to start a business, start drawing up a business plan. This plan has many components including a budget, the type of entity your company will be, what the company will do, and other very important things that need to be laid out before you launch. Once you develop the plan, develop action steps that will ultimately lead you to a successful launch. If you need help with any of these steps, I would be more than happy to assist you. Sometimes it does take working a year or two or more for a company to build your capital, network, and experience which is completely fine. As long as you don’t stick around longer than you need to and you make the move once you feel ready, you’re bound to be successful. Lack of capital is probably the biggest reason why a lot of businesses don’t launch.
Understand that you might fail. Failure should never be an option, but anytime you change something in your life, there is a possibility that it won’t work. If this happens, then either adjust the business plan or try to venture into something else. Just don’t give up and remember why you wanted to start your business in the first place. Keep fighting for what you want/love. My next recommendation is to be patient. Businesses don’t just boom overnight. Owning a successful business takes progress and time to really develop. Just remember to continue working on your business. It has to become a part of you.
Benefits of Being an Entrepreneur
One of the major benefits of being an entrepreneur is the freedom you have. This doesn’t mean lay in bed some extra hours than you normally do, however. Every day you wake up, the first thing that will be on your mind will probably be your business. You must continue working to make it better each and every day. The ability to continue working on something that’s yours is truly a beautiful thing. There’s also no better feeling than waking up every day actually loving what you do and being proud of the person you are.
Another major benefit is the ridiculous amount of tax benefits you’re entitled to. From the ability to write off your medical insurance premiums (without having to itemize) to having your own 401(k) in your own company’s name is truly beautiful. From the meals you have with your clients to the new Lexus you bought to be used for your business, the tax system is truly in the favor of business owners. I can go on and on about the different tax benefits for business owners. As a matter of fact, that will be the topic of one of my next articles. Once you become an entrepreneur, you’ll probably never work another day in your life. Every day will be such an inspiration and you will be looking for ways to progress each and every day. Things in life will start making more sense and time will be so precious to you that you simply can’t afford to waste it. You will begin attending every networking event you can to progress yourself and your business. Life and the relationships you build will simply seem more meaningful. You will continue spending time with family and enjoying your hobbies. You will no longer have to think about that boss that you truly disliked.
So the purpose of this article is to not get you to quit your job, but to simply realize that you have options. You have the opportunity to truly do what you love and that’s what entrepreneurship is all about. My desire to help people has turned into a career and as such, each and every day of my life will have meaning. I will continue to help as many people as possible, especially the people in my community. Are you up for the challenge?
As always, please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions. My phone line is virtually always open. I also look forward to working with you as a client someday.