Since I was 16 years old, I knew that I was an entrepreneur and that one day I would be in business for myself.
The first summer after graduating high school, I started a lawn mowing business. The first and second summers were very successful, earnings were over $30k each summer. This success encouraged me to obtain a business degree and learn more about business.
Northern Arizona University – college of business, is where I sought and earned a bachelors degree in finance. While attending the university, my part-time job as a computer network administrator and web developer, enabled me to explore a love for technology. This job coupled with my finance curriculum took my level of knowledge, development, and skill-set with technology to first in class. Our curriculum required us to know how to use the latest software systems at an advanced level. This paid-off in the future.
Through my academic training, I found an interest in analyzing situations, data, and circumstances. This desire drove me to want to become a financial analyst for a large company or become an individual managing portfolios. However, these kinds of jobs didn’t pay well at entry levels or were commission based to share earnings with someone else. The analytical jobs of interest that did pay well, required 5 to 7 years of experience in public accounting. My path was set. I went back to school to obtain a masters in accounting and started working for “a public accounting firm” (tax and consulting work for multiple clients).
While working for various public accounting firms, I built my own empire of real estate and became addicted to buying, renting, and selling real estate. I didn’t become a Realtor, I just liked real estate. Being an investor and a venture capitalist on my own, helped me better understand how taxes and entities should flow and work on paper and in real life. I have first hand experience with both sides – tax preparation with real estate partnerships, and being an owner of a “Partnership”. Beyond real estate, I am an owner of several other entities such as a “C’Corporation”, an “S’Corporation” and “Trusts”. My personal tax return is one of the most complex returns I have seen and have ever done. It takes over 60 hours just to prepare my business and personal tax returns.
Everything finally came together in my life after observing how other accounting firms distant their employees from clients and using antiquated processes and systems. My academic career gave me the tools to use the best processes, systems, and software. I wasn’t afraid of change like many of the local Denver and Boulder tax preparation firms were. The experience I gained from working with other public accounting firms and being a vital partner in business ventures has educated me and prepared me to be self-employed and handle many transactions correctly for my clients. By-the-way, I am well versed with tax credits regarding alternative fuel and 100% electric vehicles. I drive a Nissan Leaf and a Chevy Silverado Hybrid and have had to file for those federal and state tax credits for my personal tax returns.
None of these accomplishments were easy to come by for me. My parents didn’t fund my ventures or give me a down payment for a house, I didn’t have a rich uncle lend me money, nor did I have a trust fund to give me a start. I did it with faith, perseverance, sacrifice, hard-work, and the emotional support from my family.