How to price for profit, set up for lower taxes, and become your cash flow master.
How to price for profit, set up for lower taxes, and become your cash flow master.
As an author, podcaster, and business owner, Tatiana Tsoir, CPA and founder of Linza Advisors is much more than an accountant.
She’s a numbers expert with over 16 years of experience helping entrepreneurs and business owners become the boss of their bottom line.
Tatiana is now committed to sharing her expertise with a broader audience to empower those overwhelmed and confused with running a business so they can make money doing what they love.
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Grow from potential versus growing from profit. Grow from potential seems faster on the surface. Oh, I'm bringing in a million dollars a year in revenue, but I'm losing money on the back end. That's not a successful business.
Welcome, everybody. I'm excited today to have Tatiana Tsoir with us. She's going to share with us how to be the boss of your bottom line and make money doing what you love. And that's going to have a lot to do with you being able to dream bold, but start very smart. So thank you so much for joining us today.
Tatiana, thanks so much for having me on.
Absolutely. Tatiana is an author, podcaster, and business owner, CPA, and founder of Linza Advisors and a numbers expert with over 16 years of experience helping entrepreneurs and business owners become the boss of their bottom line. She helps people empower themselves to get over the overwhelm and the confusion and run a business so they can make money do what they love. This is something that I run into a lot with entrepreneurs. I'm sure you do. Tell me a little bit when you and I talked to the pre interview, I'm very interested in the fact that you have multiple business models, multiple revenue streams.
And would you share a little bit about what those are and how you got started helping people and then how that relates to the people you help?
Yup. So initially to kind of take you back a little bit. I wanted to be an attorney for as long as I could remember when I was a teenager. And so when I moved to the US, I wanted to still pursue my legal education and stuff. But compared to the country where I'm from, legal education in the US is a graduate program. And so I had to complete my bachelor's first, finished my bachelors first, and kind of went to College that had a strong nursing program, but also their accounting Department was pretty cool because really, once I decided to major in accounting to have a skill to support myself through College and then through law school, the accounting Department brainwashed you, pretty much every professor would mention if you're majoring in accounting, you might as well sit for the CPA exam.
I thought, okay, so kind of somewhere down that road, I fell in love with accounting because studying at night, applying the knowledge at work as I was working as a full charge bookkeeper at the time. And so for me, it was a constant connection with theory and practice. And so I think that was what really made it magical for me and free for many years since then. So I graduated College. I graduated during the 2008 recession where most accounting large accounting firms were on a hiring freeze.
And so I decided to just continue on with a few clients that I have bookkeeping clients part time once a week or whatever. And basically PC for the CPA exam, pass the exam within a year, found a job with a very small accounting firm in New York City. And the great thing about small accounting firms is that you get hands on experience when you work for a large firm. Your a little link in the chain huge chain of an operation. So you get to learn to do excel really well for your experience.
Where I joined a company and I got to do tax returns on the second day, business returns that I've never seen in my life. The third day of me starting to work for them. So it looks really cool. So in three years that I've been with the firm, I really got a lot of good, solid experience, preparation experience and taxation. So I already had some bookeeping experience before that and really wanted to basically do my own thing. I knew that I was an entrepreneur at heart.
I knew that as soon as before that I was managing my own schedule. I was doing full time school with schedule wise, full time work. But it was working for five businesses at a time, one day a week or once every two weeks or whatever the schedule was for me, it was really like I was my own boss. If I needed to go to travel, I could. And so that was really, like changing for me. So as soon as I started working for a tax form, I realized that I'm not meant to be caged.
And so I knew that eventually I would quit and I would start something of my own. And so when I got pregnant, I realized that it was just before the tax season. I realized that that's not the stress that I want to put my child through. And I quit. And I was like, okay, this is a good opportunity for me to just start and start slow. And we could afford to not help me bring in a paycheck. So I slowly built the business up, started with a bookkeeping and add taxes and CFO services and things like that.
And for many years since then. And I know it's a long answer to your question, but I think it's kind of cool how it progressed. For many years, doing taxes and accounting was the only thing that I wanted to do. And then I got a chance to work with some really cool clients, some really cool people, CEOs of their businesses. And one of them is a very visionary person guy. He has a very unique niche business. And so we've worked together for some time. And one thing he told me once and something that stuck with me for a while was he said, accountants don't start businesses, visionaries do.
And at first you sounded great, whatever good line code. But it really dawned on me a couple of years ago that he's absolutely right. And the reason is that accountants don't consider even sometimes our own business is a business. And I was certainly in the same space. And so we also run the numbers really quick. And, like, okay, that's not going to work. It doesn't make sense. And that's it. We kind of abandoned the idea, whereas visionaries have the vision have this idea. They're excited about it.
And oftentimes that's what really drives the entire process. So I always wanted to write a book, and I kind of had all these different ideas of how to do it. But if you know, like Mallets, the author of Profit First, he had an event for author is a couple of years ago. And at that event, he basically supports authorship. He thinks that being an author is cool thing and stuff. And so he endorsed my book, too. And so he had this event for authors. And before I came to that event, it was a like, last minute thing.
I wanted to write a Profit First derivative book. So, like, a Profit First four X. And so he invited me to this event, and I came to the event thinking, okay, I want to do something Profit first with something, maybe tax reduction, maybe something else. And so at the event, as he was talking about kind of how what an author journey is, I found myself thinking that, yes, I do love what I do. I love accounting in Tact. I love complex situation. But that's not something I want to do.
That's not the only thing that I want to do for the rest of my life. And that was kind of a revelation, a moment for me, where I realized that there's so much more to it, that so many accountants are just accountants. And I was on my way to be the same as I always try to stay true to myself, in a sense that I encourage my clients to have multiple streams of income. I encourage my clients to find different ways to have both recurring and one time revenue from different sources and different things, so they don't keep all the rest in one basket.
I decided to apply the same concept to myself. And so my business enterprise, I guess I kind of developed into a three prong journey or three part journey for someone. And so the first part of the journey, now that the book is out, is really for someone who wants to start a business, someone who is thinking about, where do I even begin? And so the book came as a result of watching so many entrepreneurs make mistakes and lose money and lose time and be disappointed and abandoned their ideas or mess up some compliance part of stuff, filing and forms and things like that and really suffer financially because of that, whereas they start a business to be free financially and time wise.
So it was the opposite result that they were getting. So I basically saw an opportunity to really share best practices, mistakes that I've seen Wade, and how to avoid them, how to anticipate them, and how to see them coming. And so that's kind of where the book idea is initiated. And that's the first point of connection for someone who's just listening and wants to start a business. Dream Bowl Start Smart is for you. If you're looking to start a business or early into the business, and you want to make sure that you have your bases covered when it comes to money, numbers and taxes.
So that's really the first step. Then people who want to pursue their ideas, people who want to grow and develop their businesses, they're welcome to become a part of my business where I'm a course creator and also a Pivot coach. Basically, I coach moms and women on how to take their businesses to the next level, because what I found is that women usually are more reserved when it comes to taking a risk. And starting a business where it doesn't have to be that way. It doesn't have to be risky.
It can be a smart start, but it can be a step by step and so that there's no anxiety and fear associated with it. So in that stream of income business model, I coach women, and I also provide tools like a class, of course, that we recorded with support membership program so that they can get their questions answered and supported by me. And then finally, when the business owners grow, let's say they started a business, they're moving fast. They've done it right. Their business model works well.
Then they can potentially work with my advisory firm to really help them to take it to the next level scale it make it smarter. Or when they're at the point where they just have a solid business and have a significant amount of revenue and profit, really take it off their hands and create a dump for you. Service account to your service, essentially. So that's kind of the journey for someone who works or connect with my brand.
Awesome. One of the things that I really like that you've done is you've gone a step at a time. You've taken what I would call progression, maybe a natural progression. Everybody's got their own way of viewing things. I know I've seen courses or teachers that will talk about, well, okay. Go right into selling big ticket items or go right into creating a course and making money. And statistically, that might work for a small percentage. In my experience, a very small percentage of people. But most people, if they already had those skills, they'd already be doing it.
And so there needs to be something that you kind of launched from. In my case, I went from working with a company to consulting with people who I just worked with. So it was a smooth transition. Even though I had other plans, the other plans fell on their face first. And then I went to something that was steady, and I maybe wasn't my dream or my end result of what I thought. But to your point, I think there's so many people that are having these expectations put in front of them or these ideas.
That okay, it can be easy. I mean, I remember one guy saying, you can tell any online course you want. Just tell people it's going to be easy. And just as long as you tell them, there's really not a whole lot of work involved, which, of course, there always is. What would you say when you work with people that are saying, okay, I'd like to start something. What are some of the either the misconceptions they have and or what are the things that if they don't address, end up kicking them in the butt or kicking them out of the game very quickly?
So my book, Dream Bolts Are Smart is split into two parts, and there was a reason behind it, specifically kind of answering your question. The reason was that first, you need to make sure that the foundation is solid and part of the foundation. I think the first and most important step that a lot of people miss is making sure that your business model is solid. What does that mean? Most of the time, people come to me and say, well, what type of entity should I be? I mean, it's no longer happening because I don't work with startups, which is why I wrote the book.
But they come to me and they focus on something that's an important part of the process. But it's not the first step at all. And so I've had clients or prospective clients come and say, okay, we have this idea. We want to launch a platform, and it's going to do this and that. And I would ask them, okay, how are you going to be making money? Who will be willing to pay for this? And they couldn't answer the question. And so making sure that your business model is solid, which means, you know exactly why people will buy do you provide value?
Do you provide a low price or what it is that you're doing? What is your strategy? What are you selling them? Because people rarely buy what you're selling directly. They buy the value that that product or service provides. That's kind of the part that I think is so fundamental. And so many people just write on that idea. Oh, there's so much potential. I can make so much money on this or whatever. They forget to do the due diligence and really understand. Okay. How can we make this happen?
How do we set up a business model? So that not only do we make money, but we have several streams of income where at least one of them is a recurring stream, which means you have a set up where you make money. You can count on your revenue or at least part of your revenue, because one time project is great. But then you can never be sure you're always in the Hunter seat. And that's not a great feeling for anyone.
Yeah, I think that's one of the things that so many people miss out on. My father happens to be an insurance agency owner, so I was raised with the idea of, look, if you want to go be a doctor, be a doctor. You want to be a teacher, be a teacher. But if you're going to be in the business world, do something that's going to have a repeat income. So you're not always looking for for employment. Now, one of the things I find as somebody who is a squirrel chaser, who loves the newest latest shiniest idea, and many entrepreneurs have that one of the things I found is especially if we're looking to have more quality of life.
The things that are the most exciting don't always pay the bills. And the things that pay the bills aren't always the most exciting. One of the things that I love about what you've done, which just reminds me of the movie Cocktail with Tom Cruise, where they're talking about all these entrepreneur see those little things on the end of shoes. There's a guy or a Gal that made up the thing on the end of the shoe. And that person has made, like a gazillion of them in their multi millionaire because of that.
And it's usually some sort of boring, quote, unquote idea. And yet the fundamentals in your case from an accounting is such a there's a solidity to them that there's PC, of course, as you've said, there's accounting for taxes, and then there's visionary and they're starting a business. What have you found from a standpoint of timing is realistic, because, again, some people want three months, six months. My father always told me, Wade, it takes three to five years to start a business. So this was 2030 years ago.
But a lot of people have these expectations that something's going to happen very quickly. And while, yes, like a rock group, you can have a one hit thing that it takes off, but an actual career, it usually takes more than that. How long would you say, in your experience, maybe just in your business, but also in the people you see, does it usually take? How long should somebody be prepared to say yes, I'm willing to invest this much amount of time. And maybe after this amount of time, after five years, ten years, 20 years, it's not working.
Okay, maybe I go do something else. But I find that people have this very quick turnaround, and so they're jumping so quickly. What have you found?
What I found is now, especially in the past five to ten years, the everybody wants to be the next Facebook. People want a quick turn around. A lot of people, not everyone, but a lot of people want a quick turn around. The quick success to feel good about themselves. The problem is it rarely works that way. And even people who are super successful have gone through just never see that PC period leading up to the success. And so I think that's kind of one thing that I would say people should really get rid of in their mind is not even focus on any specific timeline, but not expect a quick success because there's no such thing as something for nothing.
And so I think that at least from my perspective, if your business model is solid, let's say if you have a service or whatever, you could potentially be up and running in a month, it takes two days to form a Corporation in New York State or whatever. And so it's really quick if you want it to be. I think the most important part is to not really focus on the timeline, because for me, someone told me in ten years, you're going to have a really solid business, you're going to turn away clients, I would say screw it.
I'm not doing ten years. And so I think that for me, at least, it worked this way the best. When I'm very goal oriented person, I can't stand still. I always keep learning new things and applying and seeing what can be done with them. But also for me, and it's something that came up with in the life coaching session where I was studying to be a life coach, to be able to coach women better. And something that came up was I felt like an imposter in one of my businesses because I didn't have that goal.
And so for me, like tax business, I know I have specific goals, smart goals, specific measurable attainable or whatever relevant. But because it's easy to put a number on it for another business, it was really hard for me to focus on that. So I didn't see that light at the end of the tunnel. And for me, I can persevere, and I can endure when I see that light at the end of the tunnel. And now in one of my programs, actually have the light of the tunnel at the end of the tunnel exercise, where it doesn't have to be that in ten years you'll have a farm.
Let's set a Lite for the next year. What is it going to look like? Where do you want to move forward? And especially the women and moms that I work with typically are looking for and mom specifically don't have time to do to accomplish something by a specific date because you could get sick. That's it. You're out of the game for two weeks. And so that's something that is important to also realize, understand where you are, what season of life you are now in now and then respect that.
Respect that you maybe not necessarily have the time to do it, or some people come and they say, okay, I want to get pregnant. I have a year to make something happen to make a lot of progress. And so let's do it. What do I do? And they can make it happen. It's all about motivation and internal goals. The worst thing is when people don't have a goal, just move kind of through this river of life just wherever it takes them. And that's where I think it could take forever to get to somewhere because you don't really know where you're going.
That's so interesting. You say that because when I explain to people in the courses I have and say, look, it took me 22 years to get to you know what? I just use the phrase an abundant and sustainable three day weekend lifestyle. Okay. I don't want to take 22 years. And I wasn't planning on taking 22 years. Now, along that way, though, I also Wade choices, knowingly, for example, my father from the insurance industry, I chose not to go in that industry. That is a pretty solid path.
If, you know, the industry, which I was blessed to be raised and mentioned by a lot of people that if that was my only goal, unless I really mess things up, could have done that in a short period of time. But the other thing I was doing was looking at different challenges, ended up getting a degree in psychology, ended up moving back and forth to brew with my wife, because that's where she's from. And we live there at times. And to your point about being a parent for us as a couple, my wife and I our thing is, okay, we really want to be present as parents.
And so that is really our first commitment. So there are certain projects I have that I know they're on my list. And it took me a really long while to get okay with. Okay, well, they're not going to necessarily happen in the time you want or if you push in to the time you want, but you still don't have control anyway. Per saving. If you think you do that, you might then mess out on certain things. And so definitely the stage of life, the season of life a person is in, I think, is so huge.
And like we said about people having an idea of having the vision, having the dream, getting excited about that, we need the fuel. But to your point. Yeah. If you Wade told me. Yeah. Okay. Wait. It's going to take this amount of time at something short and almost find myself. And it's funny mentioned the shorter mindset almost find myself apologizing to people that it might take them longer than twelve weeks or twelve months to get to three weekend lifestyle. It's like a slow down. Most people aren't doing that.
Most people aren't entrepreneurs. Most people aren't making income they want and combining all of those. And so I even find sometimes as a course creator for those who listings course creators, I think sometimes when we present a path that is not too idealistic, but perhaps it just sounds too good to be true. Some people actually some of your best clients. I know I actually don't want that because I know it's going to take longer. And there's that thing that happens a lot in course, creation where a person well, okay, let's say to use an example, person might be an accountant for 1015 years.
And then they write a book and they wrote the book in six months, and they say six months, I generate a no, no, no. You were 15 years an accountant. And then you tap that off with but it wasn't a six month journey. And so I think a lot of people have this unrealistic expectation. Like you say it's it's kind of dangerous because the parent, especially as a parent, you might say, well, gosh, maybe now is not the time. Maybe especially right now. What's going on the world?
Maybe now is a great time to get a stay from home job where a lot of the women I know that are really talented and have not that you need a degree, but they also have degrees. They've all these credentials where they've done awesome work, and they've been paid at a high level, and they chose to be a stay at home mom, let's say. And up until maybe about a year ago, the market said, well, no, then you're completely out of the game. And now it's like, oh, well, yeah, we'll take you for 10 hours.
20 hours. Oh, you're worth let's say the person is worth 50 an hour. To use a simple concept, the organization might pay them 75 an hour just to know that they can have them for 10 hours a week. I mean, I know you know, this, but this idea of there's so much opportunity out there. And I think sometimes that's the part where if you have a realistic timeline, you can sub a big dream. And I think a lot of people have forgotten that being present for your kids as a parent, male or female is something that's a huge thing, and that can be part of your dream.
And there are certain things that you get a stage for a season in life and that shift. I think that's so awesome to get people excited about the dream. What do you find happens when you get to the starting smart part? I imagine that's a little bit of a buzz kill. It's a little bit of a okay. Now there's math and Baha and bring math into it. Now, Tiana, what do you find usually happens with people and how many people or if the people that drop out, what makes the person drop out versus what keeps the person say, no, no, what do they need to understand and say, okay, it might not be the complete dream that I thought everything was in the exact way I want.
But how does a person stay engaged to be able to reconcile the fact that, yeah, it might take a while.
So the Start Smart part is actually more of an action step. So there are five chapters in that part, which really are more like, here's what you do, and here's what you look at. First, 2nd, 3rd, fourth. And typically, by the time they finish the Dream Bolt Park, they either know that they should proceed or they need to go back and reevaluate restart, maybe redo, go back to the drawing board, potentially completely to the fresh piece of paper and rethink their business. And so that's really what it was I created that set up specifically so that before they get to the Start Smart part, they can actually already have something very solid.
And so the Start Smart part is the first chapter talks about the right entity for you. And that's kind of where I've seen the most mistakes. In a sense, that not necessarily mistakes. I chose LLC or Corporation, but more like it's costing you tax money every year because you didn't think it through. And what's interesting, what I found interesting was that the reason I included that chapter into the book was because I saw people refer to, like Google or Legal Zoom or one of those websites where you get free advice instead of paying for it.
So choosing your entity is probably one of the most important decisions you can make as a business owner. And there are ways to create kind of like, I don't want to say inexpensive, but it's sort of inexpensive, but also flexible choice. So one of my beliefs in life is that when you make a choice today, you should leave yourself a choice for the future. And so this really goes well with that, because there are ways to set up an entity today so that you can convert it to something else, potentially in the future, knowing certain thresholds that you need to meet.
And so I talk about those things in one of the chapters in the Start Smart part. I actually go in depth of that chapter on entities is the most involved and most extensive, and that specifically applies to only US entities. But I also talk about the fact that you should look for an accountant who applies the same analysis to your business. You know, it kind of becomes universal. And then if the book is translated to different languages, that specific chapter will be adapted to the country or the region where it's going to be sold.
And so I also talk about things like pricing your product or service. I've done a certification in price psychology. It was mind blowing, and I've certainly applied it to my own business. Several businesses, actually. But price ecology is huge. A lot of people don't know how much to charge. And I was in the same boat myself 1012 years ago. And so I wanted to give someone who's already who knows what their business model is, that they're going in with a partner who knows exactly what how are they going to make money and where what entity they're going to be?
Okay, now what are we offering? What is our product or service, and how do we package it into three? And there's a whole thing about menu pricing and kind of creating different levels of service that I used to say. I used to present this topic to students, and I used to say it's really hard to do a menu pricing for a product. And I used Apple SaaS an example for that. But since then, actually, Apple changed their approach, and now they have three options on their website for each product, so you can apply successfully to both PC or service.
So I talk about that and think that at the point of starting smart, you're already kind of know. Okay, am I doing it? How am I doing it? What's the business model? So it's solid. So there was really no turning away at that point. At that point, it's like, okay, I need to learn quickly what I need to do first and second, and I need to learn it in plain English. And that's what the book is providing, actually.
Awesome. One of the things I know with the pricing I share with you something I had read years ago. I also feel like aging myself or talking myself as being a SaaS. I read a book, the Wade. No online courses at the time. This is 2000. But I read this book on consulting, and I literally remember one idea from the book. But it was such a huge idea where the person said, look, you're only going to be billing, if you're lucky, 20 hours a week. Let's say it's not average concept times 50 weeks.
Let's say called 1000 hours. You're not going to be building 40 hours times 50. We should not be willing 2000 hours. And so even that hit me between the eyes because my first thought was, okay, I'll charge $50 an hour times 2000 hours is 100,000 a year. And I wasn't making hundred thousand. And I realized, wait, wait in billing. And then that idea of including all the expenses because, of course, and then they said that's about as much as you can be doing realistic might be your billing.
Let's say 600 to 800 hours in your first year. And then there's, of course, your expenses. And then do you want to be able to have a team? And then do you want to run this like a self employed person where there's no profit left, there's no money to put away, there's no R. And for research and development, there's no money set aside for taxes. Or do you want to do this more like a business owner? And that's the part where I think people quickly realize then if you only want to, let's say, for example, coaching takes energy when people say, I'm a coach for 30, 40 hours a week.
Okay, then you've not been a coach because most coaches don't mean 20 hours of live coaching. Usually at least it's in. What if you're coaching for now? It's about another half hour of follow up of notes and something to that. And then you have research, 30 clients, 40 clients would be like a 60 to 70 hours week job, at least until you get really down patent. Then you start realising, no Kai can coach in less time and all these different things. What do you find? People most often make mistakes on from an expense standpoint.
That again, especially. And sometimes it relates the pricing where they almost put themselves into a corner, as opposed to starting strong and more quickly finding out if it's not going to work out. Because that's the other thing when I coach people in recruiting, if you set up a great situation and you hire somebody and they feel miserably. But you know what it looks like when somebody fails miserably at two weeks, you can say, hey, you know what? It's not working out. And in fact, you can ahead of time before you even hire them say, hey, here's where you need to be by week one, two, three, month three, you can create this picture, but obviously, as entrepreneurs, when we're starting, we're not aware of that.
What do you find? People usually struggle with? And how can they perhaps prepare for that? So it's less likely that they're just going to kind of hit a wall or end up spending a bunch of money and then realizing that they have to start all over.
So what I found to be true is a lot of people who start businesses or they don't even consider sometimes at a business, maybe it's a side gig or whatever should be treated as a business. Just a side note. But a lot of people grow from potential versus growing from profit. Grow from potential seems faster on the surface. Oh, I'm bringing in a million dollars a year in revenue, but I'm losing money on the back end. That's not a successful business. And so what I found was that and I certainly had some clients that still have some clients who have that mentality and work with them to help them change that.
But that's really the most important part, I think, is to really understand that it's either or either you grow from potential. You burn quickly and you go out of business potentially, or get into debt and then go out of business and get in trouble. Or you grow from profit. You grow slower, more step by step, but you grow a much more solid business than you could have grown otherwise.
Thank you. I know that's so huge. I think there's this idea and you and I talked about this, of being told that you present a certain image. There's the old saying of faking it until you make it. And I think that kind of goes right into that concept of not so much smoke and mirrors, but like, what could be or what could possibly be. And it just feels to me like you're constantly chasing something that's elusive or constantly as opposed to being able to. I mean, I think most entrepreneurs know this feeling of when you finish a date and you have cash in the account and you have money in the account and, you know, okay, I can literally turn off my computer, whatever it is and go to sleep and get good sleep versus the nights you have when you're like, oh, Gee, I didn't get this done or this invoice just came to where there's not enough there.
And that second feeling, I don't know if it's masochism that some of us keep going when we first feel that or what it is, but some of us just develop this ability to almost I guess, technically, at the end result in a somewhat healthy way say, no, no, I got this. I'm going to get this. I can take care of this. And yet, to your point, that's a very dangerous thing to go off of what could be or what you think you're going to be or even confidence because there's still seven and a half billion people on the planet.
You might think you're the greatest at this. That and the other chances are there's somebody who's better at it than you or has figured it out. Or whatnot. How have you found that grounding and accounting and numbers and having a person dream, but at the same time, have some some meat to that dream, some substance to it. How do you find that helps people get a little more grounded in their planning?
I always try to bring my clients back to black and white reports. So many visionaries, and I work primarily with visionaries, because if you're an accountant, you don't really need my service necessarily. There are accountants that don't do what I do. So those are exceptions. But most visionaries prefer some sort of a graphic presentation of data. I love the little pie charts and the little charts and things like that. And so actually, my top clients, who are I want to say, the best CEOs that I've ever worked with.
They're all comfortable black and white reports. They are comfortable with looking at numbers comparatives. I'm the one who's doing the work. Like, I download the reports, I highlight different things, but they're completely comfortable with looking at the numbers and understanding. Okay, this is what that means. And honestly, I have this one client, same client who talked about visionaries versus accountants. He actually was in a more, I want to say defensive position to a certain maybe until a couple of years ago, maybe until four or five years ago.
So every time we would review a month, he would say, oh, okay, so I know why this happened. Let's look at that. I'm going to work on that and things like that, then it wasn't like a flip switch or anything like that. But it kind of felt like that for me because he's the one who went through the whole process, and he's the one who has done all the work on the back end. But then we would come and I would be concerned, oh, you know, you didn't make your goal.
And he'd be like, oh, don't worry. I'm already working on it. That mentality anticipating. He knew his numbers even before we talked about them. He looks at certain numbers that work for him. So sales increase in sales year over year, that kind of stuff. And so it's really great to work with people who take charge of their numbers to take charge of their business, who don't wait for somebody else to come and fold their problems. And that's kind of where I think a lot of business owners, especially starting out or early into their businesses, struggle with they typically think, oh, you know, I don't need to get involved.
I'm going to hire an accountant or somebody else to do it. And I'm like, no, no, no. That's the mistake you're making. You need to become the true CFO of your business first before you can delegate some of the compliance work. But you're still on top of your cash flow. You're still on top of your money. It's your responsibility to make sure you don't run out of money for payroll and things like that. And so there are very few business owners. And I've worked with people for 1516 years.
And in my entire career, having over 120, 50 clients and reducing the number two under 100. We're actually working on that. I can say that it's been maybe five that are that way that are taking responsibility and, like, not waiting for the miracle to happen.
Yeah. That's something that's I know I found my business. At times, I would get I used to be completely on top of my numbers. Then when my business grew at a faster pace, I was able to handle I knew I was selling enough that I had enough. It didn't mean the numbers were working. I just knew I had enough. So I kind of got out of that discipline. And then later came back to bite me at times when things weren't selling as much. And so now there's such a com I have when I go over my numbers and I agree with you, it's almost like asking somebody to write a Valentine's Day card to your spouse.
There are certain things you just you don't really necessarily want to delegate. And so I think at least knowing your numbers, sure. Having somebody prepared the numbers, having somebody track the numbers. Absolutely. But being able to know at least on a month to month basis here's where we are here's where we're trending, I think, is so huge. Now, something else you and I talked about about, which I think is awesome, is that you've been able to in your business, start transforming your business to work less, make more, take more time off.
And a lot of that had to do with you being clear about what you will or will not accept. And your value is a business person. And then knowing that somewhere in there also is a corporate belief for you that family is very important. Wade, you share a little bit about that.
Absolutely. So I think that it's important to note that many accountants, at least I can speak from experience because I'm an accountant, don't really, ever stop and think, who do I want to work with and who do I not want to work with? And what do I want to do? And because of technology, I think accountants were able to take on more work and do it more efficiently and use software and all of those things and get on more clients. We've forgotten somewhere between those in that growth or in that development, we forgot to really stop and say, okay, it's much more than just doing a tax return for someone, because when someone hires you to do their tax return, they really think that you're supposed to answer all their questions, and it's all included and stuff like that, and people complain.
It's interesting. I've had a prospective client who said, you know, for the money that I'm paying now, he screwed this up and do it. And I'm like, how much are paying that? $2500 a year. I'm like, seriously, for $2500 a year, do you think someone is obligated to be at your back and call, like, how does that work? And so there is that perception that accounting has been commoditized, but I think applies to other industries, too. It applies to legal industry, I think applies to really service industries.
And so I didn't do this on my own, in a sense that this transformation in my mindset was I sort of brought it on myself. But it was forced in a sense that I hired a business coach because what I noticed was that I'm very busy. I'm getting busier, but my bank account is not reflecting the proportionate amount of money with the business. And so I thought, something has to change. And I was fortunate enough to get into business coaching when I didn't have too many clients.
I've gotten into it where I've had a lot of the once a year people. But I realized how much value I provide and how much people really want much more than what they need. What they need done is tax returns and bookkeeping, but they hate thinking about it. They hate having to deal with it. He paying someone to do it and hate paying taxes. And so there's hate around and you as an accountant or offering them a service that they hate or don't even want to deal with and you're forcing them to deal with it.
And also, most accountants, the traditional firms take it to the next level, and they even make you feel like an idiot because they speak language that you, as a business owner is not account one don't understand. And that's something that I've been kind of fighting, not fighting against. Babbling is a better word with some of my team members who came from a traditional background. One senior person emailed in he said, Well, should I give this to clients to fill out? I'm like, no, no, no. This is a concierge service we don't give people work with when they have a ton of questions.
And so when I went through business coaching about three years ago, I had a complete mindset shift. And so my time is very valuable. But also, I knew that the most important part for me was sending off the kids to the school bus in the morning, picking them up in the afternoon and feeding them with home cooked meals. And so there are certain things that I realized were non negotiable for me, some of which in accounting is great because summer is generally not busy, but I wouldn't be able to reconnect with kids.
And we haven't sent them to camp pretty much for six years until this year, which was just a couple of hours a day camp. But basically that's really what I realized. It was more important for me and one of my culture students. I was just thinking about joining coaching. She had many more clients that I did, and she was burnt out completely. Like I was burning out. But I wasn't completely burnt out at that point. And she said, you know, I feel bad for people. And we as accountants, we care about our clients.
We don't just drop the ball most of the time. And she said, Well, you know, I feel bad for them. But then as work and I worked with Chalk, who's the coach? She was like, I realized, who's going to feel bad for me? Nobody cares that I miss the time to take my daughter to her damn Lesses. And so it struck me that, oh, my God, like, I'm in the same boat. My clients, although they love me and I love them. They don't care about my time with my kids.
And so it's up to me to make it happen, just like with your own health, it's up to you to make it happen. And so for me, I said boundaries and not something that accountants are generally not great at because we have egos and we want to grow and more have more money and more clients and stuff. I said, boundaries, communication, boundaries. I also said time, boundaries. I work. I only have meetings on two days a week, and if you can't fit it, I'm sorry, unless you're super VIP clients, we're not talking on any other day.
And so that came as a result of hard work. It was a lot of breaking the set, I guess. What the word stigmas in your brain? And so it's been a lot of work, and it's been a little painful. But then I kept reminding myself, but who's going to feel bad for me? Are they going to feel bad for my kids not seeing their mom? No. So it was an easy decision. But family for me, for us, actually, just like you said, you and your wife, your kid, your family is a priority.
And for us, it's the same way. And my husband was a huge influence for in our family because he was raised in a Jewish family. And Jewish families love their kids. They cherish them. They cherish time to spend with them. Whereas I was raised in a slightly different family where parents who are working. But the quality time was more talking to other adults as opposed to spending the time learning what your child is like. For me, I was very I know it's a long answer to your question, but I was very career oriented for many years.
And I thought that my husband was not ambitious for some time until we had children. And I saw, oh, my God, his ambition is to be present with the kids. And that is something to be admired, not locked. So it really was a mindset shift also for me, because I saw that it could be different. The family kids can grow up in a happy home and really love spending time with their parents, and we love spending time with them. And that's really the driver behind everything that I do.
That's so awesome. I think that two thoughts come to mind. One, I think I don't know if there is one, but I'm thinking you should write a book that has something to do with let me give you another assignment here that has something to do with, you know, the accountant who got along with the business owner, because what you just described is what I've experienced with at least two accountants I've worked with. And as I shared with you, one of the worst things was there were not expectations set.
And so I've learned this. I know what in Tim Ferriss book, The Four Hour Work Week, he talks about pricing, and he says he talked about selling this thing called a mute, something that people won't bother you for. And he says, look, once you charge over $199, people feel entitled that it's supposed to be exactly where they want it. They spend $10 or $50 is not now, whatever. And I found this in my coach, and you probably find this in your account. I mean, but this way, thousand $500 is not a small amount of money per se, but depending on what you're asking for.
So in my case, I've come to realize with my coaching clients, they're coaching clients, and you probably accounting clients like this that they'll write a check, and once it's over a certain amount in their mind, you owe them everything. And in my case with coaching, I'm supposed to implement it for them somehow I'm supposed to magically make stuff happen. And so you come to realize that, oh, wow. I need to make sure that either I'm pricing at what some would call a big ticket or premium level where I really can do that done for you.
I'm following up with you. Yes, I can do it. But that's a much higher price, because I'm basically, like, a part time employee, a fractional employee. How do you want to work that versus. And then all of a sudden you realize, well, okay. 1012 15 20,000 is not a crazy number, depending on what you expect from me versus you simply want me to do a 1040. And I'm an employee. I have no deductions. I don't own a house. Okay, well, yeah, that's something that you charge.
Whatever the 255. I don't know the fees, but yes, but when you start getting into advising and consulting and doing things where you you're really looking out for them, that thing where you're really on their side, that takes more. And I think that's the piece that I've learned with pricing, that as much as I wanted this sort of nice pricing that would help everybody afford my service. Not everybody wants that. And then I have clients that really value the higher level than, like, wait, I need you to charge me more.
I wouldn't hear this from my clients. I need you to charge me more so that when I ask you for such and such, I don't feel bad asking you because I know what I'm paying you. I know that it's not enough to keep it. So will you please create a higher and that's when I started creating a higher price point. And then sometimes you just have those clients where you say, okay, I work in an hourly where there's that trust level bill. We say, hey, good, reasonable hourly.
It might not be your top hourly, but it's somewhere a little bit south of that. And you say, Great, whatever you need, you just let me know. And, yes, now I'm looking out for you. But in the sense because we really are looking at for each other, and those are those few people that it's worth that. But it's so interesting, because when you and I talk to me, gosh so much, I should do my frustrations with my two accounts I work with, and so much it was they simply didn't communicate the expectations.
And so I said, yes, I'm giving you multiple thousands of dollars. Anytime I give multiples of thousands of dollars, I expect something. But it wasn't clear. And so, yeah, I don't know if like I said, if it's a communications manual or something, but I think if you write that would maybe, like, little flash cards. I'm thinking of, like, group therapy, like we have little flash cards and tell me how your day went. Tell me how your day went. Tell me how do you feel about your 1099 or you even 20?
Oh, I hate that. Okay, what's that feel like? And how is that fee? Okay, wouldn't it be great if somebody took care of that? Yeah. How much would you pay to not have to do it? That's not what you're paying me, are you? So, yeah, I don't know. I think there's so much meat in that, because almost until the person realizes, oh, wow. That would take me, like 20 hours to do or to learn how to do it. Right. If you ever done the DIY thing on your taxes of something that's more complex when you got picked to your account or you relate and you're like, oh, wow.
Yeah, I'll pay that. So I think there's so much there. I'm curious to see what you could do with that.
Yeah, absolutely. And price psychology phenomenal. And like to your point of creating a higher ticket item, I think that there will always I don't think I know there are always be people who want an all inclusive resort and five star resort. There will always be people who will want a good deal, who don't mind spending money, but they want to to spend potentially a little less. But there will always be people who want to work with you and move your brand and won't be able to afford, let's say, middle package.
But for them, an entry level package that should be priced at price that makes sense for you in your walk away price. If you don't get it, you walk away. That's it. And so that's something that I think is important to note. So like PC psychology and I talk about this in my book. A little is all about is a lot about menu pricing, which is three different levels of service not to not four, three. And so businesses who take that and apply that to their businesses are become a lot stronger.
And my business has transformed because of that.
That's awesome. I think especially you and I both have podcasts. And podcast is one of those things where it's like, okay, this is what I'm willing to give for you as whoever it is that's out there potential client to hopefully learn something, hopefully apply something. And I encourage you if you're somebody listening to a podcast or getting free content whenever it's like video content, PDFs, giveaways whatever it might be that's that person's attempt, in essence, to say, look, if there's a concept gentleman, my name Frank Kern would talk about you talk about results in advance, which is basically, look, if I told you something and that helped you save $500, and then I ask you for 297 for a course, that's the whole idea.
I just Wade you like to get that. And that's where I think some people miss out, and they say, okay, well, I really wasn't free. That was them trying to say. And as you and I both know, that's how people who listen to our content will then say, oh, you're the person I need to deal with. I trust you. All those different pieces. Wow. This is awesome. Like I said, there's so many things you could talk about. You said that in your pet eat. There's so many things I can talk about.
I know we've got a lot of different things. I'm really excited to learn more about your book. Where can people find out about your book and about your work?
So I think the best way to connect with me and my brand on my website to talk to Asana com that's forward to Tatiana Sawyer. So you don't have to remember how to spell my last name. And the link to buy the book on Amazon is also on the website, so it's the best place to find it. There are some resources. There are some freebies on the website that you can check out and just read about what I do and kind of my work and my goal.
And my goal is to change the world. And so that's kind of the best place to connect and social media first.
Awesome. Yeah. And we'll put those links in the episode. Note, So if you list on a podcast or watching somewhere you'll see somewhere below, they'll be the able to do that. Thank you so much for joining us. I'm really I'm really excited to help people will reach out to you with the context of understanding that there there is a more realistic path than what sometimes being advertised. There is a steadier path that perhaps it's not as exciting. It doesn't sound as sexy, but it's much more likely to work.
And I found if you think about a goal that trying to get done too short of a time sounds impossible. But if you give it more time, it's much more likely. And it feels like that's something that you could offer to people. So thank you so much again for coming out and helping us today.
Thanks so much for having me. It is been a pleasure.
Absolutely. And as always, for those your listing look forward to helping you help more people and make more money in less time. Don't you do best so you can better enjoy your family, your friends, and your life. Thanks for listening.
CPA/ Author/ Speaker/ Breakthrough Advisor
Tatiana Tsoir is a Business Breakthrough Coach, empowerment author, and speaker and helps women go after their bold dreams so that they can be their own boss and make money doing what they love. In her signature mastermind program ‘Something That’s Yours’, she supports women in learning to color outside the lines (except for the financial ones!) and re-discover that warrior girl she always had inside.
Tatiana is CPA and a Numbers Expert and helps small business owners take charge of their numbers, take back their time and work less, make more, and take more time off. In her book “Dream Bold, Start Smart”, Tatiana provides the reader with simple and actionable steps that help take the anxiety out of starting a business.