My family had a firm. My grandfather was a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and an attorney. There was a firm that his father had started, and when my grandfather passed away the accounting firm slowly dwindled and never regained its size or stature.
My mom always told me that he was really thought of as a trusted advisor. He wasn’t just sitting and doing tax returns all day—people would come to him for 20, 30 years because they trusted him; he was integral to them being able to make decisions. That was something that really inspired me.
My mom suggested that I take a look at some accounting 101 books when I was starting to think about schools. I basically took myself through the entire text-book and did all the exercises — and it was fun, which sounds super dorky and nerdy. I’m a self-proclaimed nerd and geek because…I know I am. Accounting definitely appealed to my interest in math and logic, and it came really intuitively to me.
No matter which way you go with accounting, you’re always going to work with people. That’s something that’s really important to me. I love working with people—that’s really my favorite part about the job.
For all of [my clients] I have, to some degree, a personal relationship with them. I’m invested in their success nearly as much as they are. That’s one of the things that make me somewhat unique. Even if I’m just doing bookkeeping for somebody…okay fine. But it doesn’t exist in my DNA to just sit here and do data entry. I want to understand their business.
We work to live, we don’t live to work, which especially when we’re starting our own business can be tough because we put our blood, sweat, tears—everything into it. But ultimately at the end of the day, we’re working to live. It’s a business and the bottom line goal of business is to make money to be able to afford to live — and hopefully we’re doing something we enjoy so that we’re not miserable. But we shouldn’t come into work to live; it shouldn’t be our entire existence. We as entrepreneurs are fortunate to be doing something that we love.