Are you sick of your corporate job? Michelle Weinstein welcomes her masterclass student Devin Whyte, who went from $3500 to $30k a month in his firm. Devin shares how thinking things through is a good move. But at some point, you’ll need to make a choice, stop procrastinating, and step out of your fear. Making choices when you’re afraid is not the best way to go. To overcome your fear, you’ll need firsthand knowledge that your business idea works. The best way to do this is to find your coach and community who will help you succeed. If you want to know more about how Devin skyrocketed his firm revenues, tune in!
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Devin Whyte Quit His Corporate Job And Now Earns $30k A Month In His Own CPA Firm. Here’s How He Did It!
Our special guest is a student and a client of mine. He started his career in Idaho in a regional firm where he got experienced five tax seasons. After this, he worked in two different corporations and became a tax manager at the second one at Albertsons Safeway. He wanted to escape the corporate routine and grind and be his boss. He started his CPA firm and he wished he would have done it years sooner.
The experience has been incredible and he loves the work that he does and the clients he works with. Before we invite our special guest, Devin, I want to share with you that if you are sick of grinding fourteen hours a day, sacrificing your time with your family and friends or postponing those long overdue vacations, then I have the best opportunity for you to put a halt to all of that.
You can step up and take control over your firm or even your side hustle firm and quit your job. You’ll have profitability and can double your firm revenue with ease. You can start feeling confident about charging premium fees to those clients who truly do appreciate you for the value you provide so you can finally get paid your worth.
If you’re stuck in your firm and you want to get to the truth of what’s keeping you stuck and if where you want to be in your firm in your life is to get paid first and avoid all the pitfalls along the way and save a ton of money in the process then head on over to TheAbundantCall.com, where we can pull back the curtain to get to the truth of what’s holding you back from your dreams so you’ll have more financial freedom like Devin’s about to share with us. Let’s welcome Devin to the show.
Welcome to the show, Devin.
Thanks for having me.
Thank you so much for taking out the time to be here with us. We’re sharing your story and how you got to where you are. Devin is a case study. He is part of the 8-Week Sales Mastery Training and ongoing coaching that we have here at The Abundant Accountant Empire. Devin, why don’t you share with everyone where you are, what your firm is, what you do and a little bit of your background?Get to know your customer and develop a fun relationship with them. Click To Tweet
I’m located in Scottsdale, Arizona, originally from Idaho, but I’ve been in Arizona for several years. I run a firm, Devin Whyte CPA, here in Scottsdale and so far, I’m loving it. It’s been an amazing switch since leaving the corporate world. I focus on tax planning, mainly with small businesses and bookkeeping for them, which doesn’t sound that glorified but it gives you a great opportunity to get to know their business and the customer and develop a fun relationship.
You’ve been having a lot of fun since leaving corporate but I do want to touch on that because there are a lot of people reading who might be in corporate and might feel like their ankles are tied to their office, cubicle or desk. They’re sick and tired of slaving away for someone else, grinding all these hours when realizing, “I could do this on my own.”
It was on October 7th, 2021 when you and I had our first chat. You were sharing with me that you didn’t like corporate and some of the things that you had wanted to create and the vision you had for the firm that you had on the side for a little while. Can you take us back to, when first you decided to start your firm on the side? That was a couple of years ago. After that, we can get into what had you cut off the ties with that glorified paycheck that you were getting every couple of weeks and having that security blanket. Maybe you could share what had you started your side hustle firm and what that was like for you?
I had been miserable in corporate land for a couple of years. I was a manager in a tax department with thirteen employees. The pay was maybe $1,000 to $2,000 more for each employee, which felt not valued. With all the politics and hours, it’s not even enjoyable. It’s the same boring monthly work. I got pretty miserable before I decided to start my firm. I finally did it. I took that jump and tried to start the firm.
When did you start it?
That was June of 2019. In 2019, we had 3 or 4 clients and then I got serious about it in 2020. It was a little bit of slow growth. Partially because I was doing the firm and the corporate job thing, once it started to gain some traction, 2021 was pretty okay. I was loving the work I was doing but I was working all the time as a manager in corporate plus trying to do the firm. About the time that I started looking for you, I was thinking the number of clients I have and the amount of monthly work I’m doing, it makes sense to me that I should maybe be a lot closer to leaving than I am.
“What am I doing wrong?” You don’t know what you don’t know. The best way to relate that for some of the tax repairs out there is people that come in and it’s like, “I realized that you can do this for $70 on TurboTax but TurboTax isn’t going to save you the $12,000 by restructuring your entity that I might.” Realizing you don’t know what you don’t know and it’s good to build a team of professionals in the areas you don’t know to help you grow.
When you say you were looking for me, what were you looking for? Seeing 2021, you thought, “I could make this leap of faith, quit my job and go all into my firm but I need X help.” What were you in search of?
I was doing a lot of research trying to figure out what other firms might be charging. I wasn’t sure if maybe I wasn’t charging enough, so I was trying to do as much online research there as I could. I tried to find some firm consultation type of stuff and I was also looking in general in advertising and marketing. Maybe I wasn’t marketing enough but I didn’t feel like that was quite it because I knew I should have enough to be further than I was. I can’t remember specifically but somewhere along the lines of, “What are people charging? What should I be charging?” That type of stuff is where I found you and watched some of your videos.
When we had met, you were struggling to offer a potential client. It was about $2,300 and you were going to save about $22,000 on some planning ideas and you’re having a hard time with that. What do you think were some other challenges that you didn’t even know you didn’t have that you would share with others reading, who might be thinking of going all-in on their firm? Maybe even have a firm but you’re struggling around what am I doing wrong or you’re not sure and you don’t know what to charge. You were researching what to charge and others might be too but what are some of the other things that you overcame since October 2021 so far?
The top two would be understanding my value and breaking the hourly billing concept. I was trying to pick an hourly price. If you get more efficient, you’re going to bill less, what if I get a quicker year, the bill is going to be less. Realizing that, it doesn’t make sense. How do you price that if you have a staff member? Remembering back when I first started some of these returns that I’m doing, I couldn’t finish them in my first year. I would get them 85% of the way done and a partner would finish it. I’m able to do it and I’m like, “How long did I spend back then?” I’m so much faster.
Breaking away from that hourly thing, what is it worth and what’s the value that I’m providing? That’s the top one. The second part is knowing your value. Why is it worth that value? Why is my time worth the value that I’m going to assign? It’s all the years of struggling, learning, the degrees and all of that stuff. Understanding the real value behind it and breaking that hourly mindset was pretty huge.
Before we dive deeper into when you quit your job, it’s good to share with everyone reading to some numbers to see how far you’ve come. What did you end revenue at the end of the 2021 period?
At the end of 2021, I ended revenue at $59,000.
It was December 15th, 2021 when you quit your job?
December 11th or 15th, 2021, something like that.
Your goal was to quit sometime in 2022 when we first met and then do your firm 100%. What are you on track for the first month of 2022?
If I can go back, to put the $59,000 total for 2021 into perspective, October through December was $27,000 of it. When did I engage with you?
October 7th, 2021, was when you enrolled in the 8-Week Sales Mastery Course.
To answer your question, in January of 2022, it’s close to $30,000. It might be $27,000.
You’re about equal or a little more in 1 month of revenue and what you did in 3 months when we met. In 3 months, $27,000 was almost 50% of your total revenue for 2021. Not too shabby. When we met, you had a lot of fears. I’m not sure what you thought about our conversation, maybe you could share with the readers but you had a lot of fears about paying your bills. You had a steady paycheck. You had the fears of not having the right type of clients to do these higher-value services with or where you were even going to find them. Can you share a little bit about what you were terrified about before turning in that two-week notice?
At that point, I was a little less terrified because I was already working with you and already seeing some of this come together. It was so fast. It was like, “Is this sustainable?” That was one of my fears. Maybe I got some weird clients and I had a bunch of year-end work that typically should be done at the beginning of 2022 but the more I think about it and the more I see more clients, I’m like, “No, you’re going to have your good portion of people that are never going to get it done until October or November of 2022.”
I had to look at the numbers and realize what they were telling me. My brain was telling me to step past that fear. One of the guys I met with is a CPA, who’d run his practice for years. He was about to retire. He helped me with that too, without even knowing it. He told me, “You need to start a practice already and quit thinking about it. You’ve thought long enough.” I’m a fan of thinking things through thoroughly but then choosing to stop procrastinating and step out of my fear. I forced myself to step out of my fear when I knew the numbers made sense.
A lot of people and some reading, the fear creeps in, especially if you’re in a job like, “How am I going to pay the bills? How am I going to invest to grow my business and make hefty investments like working with me or software and other things that you need to invest in?” I hear a lot of times, they say, “That’s a big cost. That’s expensive,” but in reality, it was costing you more to be at your job.
Realizing that other fear too of, “Can you stay in corporate?” That helped.
That fear is an energy suck for a lot of people. I didn’t even know you were getting paid less than some of your employees and that’s pretty demoralizing.
I wasn’t getting paid less than them. Before being a manager to being a manager of 13 people, I was only making maybe $1,000 more per person. It wasn’t worth it.
Take us to the day when you decided to say, “I’m going to quit.” I remember you told us in class but maybe share with everyone where you were, what you were feeling and what had you decided, “I’m going all in, do this, take that risk and go all-in on my firm?” You’re doing $30,000 a month. If you keep up this rate, which will increase, you should do about $360,000 minimum of revenue in 2022. When we met, your goal was maybe $150,000 to $200,000. I don’t know if you remember what your goal was but that’s what you told me.Think things through, make a choice, stop procrastinating, and step out of your fear. Click To Tweet
I was on my couch staring at a printed profit and loss statement for the numbers that I’d run for the 3rd night in a row at 10:00 PM after staring at it for 2 hours and realizing, “You know what your brain is telling you to do and stepping past that fear.” That’s where I was at multiple nights in a row on my couch with a printed-out statement because my back hurt from sitting in my office chair. I was excited when I finally accepted it and decided I was going to do it officially. I knew I was going to put the notice in. I had such relief and I knew it was the right thing to do. When I put my notice in, I’m not good enough with words to describe how relieved I was to be done.
It was like a balloon that got popped. All that air got sucked out and you were able to breathe, relax and not stress. Sitting on the couch, looking at your statement for three nights in a row, the thoughts and your conversations with your inner critic committee, those voices that talk to us in our head, it was going crazy. I’m sure some people reading have had those conversations with themselves, especially for those that have a side hustle firm.
You shared a little bit about what you tried to fix around your pricing and that you would research what other firms were charging and what you should charge. If you had to share with everyone what you’ve learned since October 2021, without sharing the exact techniques but overarching concepts, how you feel about what you do every day and how you communicate to clients once you get the lead when you talk about the conversions, what have you learned that you could attribute to some of these short-term wins that you’ve had?
I have learned first off to charge something that I’m happy with and not feel bad about that but to feel good about it. I’ve had enough time to see that people are happy to pay that if you then provide the service behind it. When you’re charging something you’re happy with, you’re going to provide better service than they’ve ever seen before. It then becomes a great relationship with the client. They’re happy to pay it and you’re happy to do it because you feel valued.
I’ve learned that and also how to talk to people better. Not necessarily in a sales type of a way, but how to explain things better, put them at ease about some things without making it overly complex and connect with them, in a way that’s not sales. It’s just connecting with them, what they have going on and being able to relate well with them.
At the end of a phone call, instead of feeling nervous about your fee, you’ve realized, “If I charge them what I’m happy with and I’ve already connected with them, I can provide the service they need. They already feel so much better after talking to me and they’re going to feel good about paying for that so long as they get what I say they’re going to get.” They will because I’m loving what I’m doing, because I feel valued and I’m happy to do it for what I’m asking for.
Those are some of the wins that you’ve had because you’ve put in the work and done all the different assignments and exercises. Someone might be thinking and you reading might be like, “How did he do that?” The how is the process. How you said you did it with ease is critical because a lot of people think, “I’m going to feel salesy or pushy. I’m going to be annoying to them.” Have you ever felt that?
Not at all. Not even a little bit.
What would you share with someone who’s in your shoes? They’re in corporate, have a side hustle firm, maybe it got started or in a while but they know they want autonomy. They want freedom, more money to go and travel and not have to put in a notice to get some PTO days off and just go. Your couch example, coming past that fear and honoring that you sat there for three days looking at it is great but is there anything else or any other stories that you have that help you overcome and make that transition to letting go of the safety blanket of that paycheck, the benefits, the retirement account and all the other things that come with a corporate job?
I’ve learned a couple of things from my personal experiences. For me, making decisions out of fear has always been a horrible choice. It has always gone bad for me. I’ve learned that some of the worst decisions that we make are when we make them out of fear, which is part of how I’ve learned to step through that fear. It wasn’t easy. I was up until 10:00 PM, multiple nights in a row, staring at it. Making choices out of fear is not the best way to go.
It’s achievable and there is help out there. There are systems and ways to do it. It’s almost the same thing that I would tell someone that’s thinking about engaging with me but they’re not sure. TurboTax can help them. Smart and successful build that team around them. Build your team and acknowledge that you don’t know what you don’t know and get that help. We, accountants, are not all that great at sales or we would do sales.
You’re getting pretty good at it. It’s working out for you, $30,000 a month. That’s going to be your low in the future. I want you to share, if you’d be open to it, your fears around enrolling in the 8-Week Sales Mastery course when we had our conversation. I remember one of them vividly where you’re like, “I wish I knew someone that had worked with you,” or something along those lines.
To share with others that might be considering enrolling with me or even anything in general. Smart and successful people have a team. You could have figured this out on your own. You would still be in your job. Your revenue monthly in 2021 before our meeting, if you do the math, it was $59,000 and then less the $27,000 you did in 3 months, you did $32,000 over 9 months. You’re averaging about $3,500 a month in revenue.You’ll want firsthand knowledge that your business idea works. Click To Tweet
Then you’re averaging about $30,000 a month in revenue. You might still be doing $3,500 a month in revenue if you didn’t take that leap of faith but you had fears about enrolling and it would be great for you to share with others. It’s not only about enrolling with me. It’s in anything you invest in your career and your business because that’s what it is. You invested an extremely high ROI.
I do remember saying, I wish that I’d known somebody that had done it and that’s because I felt knew that I was going to do it but you want that firsthand knowledge that works. At the time, it felt expensive but then I would say that it’s been worth it. At the time, you’re trying to get this firm off the ground, get out of your corporate job and be nervous that it’s going to be one more thing that, if it doesn’t work, it might keep you stuck in your corporate job longer. That’s what I was afraid of but I had watched the videos and all the testimonials on your website. I had a good feeling about that.
Talking to you, I got a good feeling. The whole fear thing, learning to stop making choices out of fear, made sense to do it and I knew that I needed help in some of these areas. I’ve spent a good chunk of change on some advertising and a new website that’s more expensive than most that I’ve looked at but it’s the same principle. He has good reviews on his website. People don’t sign up to do that type of stuff. I wouldn’t be here doing this if I didn’t believe in it. The data is there to see it. You can tell that it’s there. It’s your fear holding you back and stopping you.
I don’t know if it was this for you but it’s the fear of, “Will this work for me? I see it work for 100 other people,” or however many videos you watched and testimonials you read. You could talk to a bunch of other people but it’s the commitment to the work that you do and the effort that you put in, which is why you also got the results. That speaks a lot to it as well.
It does and some of the training is group-based, which is great because you learn a lot from everybody in the group but I can tell at least, from the group that I’ve worked with, it’s working for everybody.
It is working for everybody but it’s hard to believe. Did it ever cross your mind that this sounds too good to be true?
What were your thoughts when that came up?
I didn’t think that as many people would leave an online review or a video or engage in podcasts and that type of stuff if they weren’t happy. I wouldn’t be here doing this with you if I wasn’t happy.
Full-on case study, you get to read all the awesomeness from Devin. I love it. Thank you, Devin, for taking out the time to share your experience and where you’ve come from. Kudos to you for going from an average of $3,500 a month to $30,000 a month. It’s phenomenal. One of the things you are committed to changing is financial freedom and you’re on your way to that.
I don’t know if you recall but you do have a revenue goal that you shared with me of about $45,000 a month for March 2022. You could hit that for the new goals that you had for 2022. Keep up the great work. Are there any other last words or anything else that popped in your head that you would like to share with our readers?
The only thing and I honestly believe this, is just do it. Michelle helps a lot. It’s worth every penny. It’s going to provide me with a much more successful and happier life with my firm moving forward. I’ve heard person after person say that in some of the group stuff that we do. My firm was pretty new and when I came in some of the people that had been in the group portions of it for a while are like, “We are so jealous of you. We wish we would have done this when we were where you’re at.”
Some of the people that have their firm for a while wish that they were in your shoes doing it from the start because then you don’t get any bad habits. Kudos to you. I’m grateful for the kind words, as always. It’s an honor to be your support and be part of your team of what you’re building. Thank you again. I will see you all in the next episode.
Thanks, you too.
Thank you all so much for joining Devin and me on a wonderful case study interview with him about his journey from going from $3,500 a month to around $30,000 a month in his firm. I calculated that and that was about an 850% increase in revenue monthly. Some of you might be thinking, “Will this work for me? I got burned by other programs before. I want a guarantee,” or something along those lines.
At the end of the day, I do want to share that you are your guarantee. If you don’t do the work, you won’t get results in anything that you do. If you’re in a corporate job, you’ll stay there. It’s a great safety net. The real question we all need to ask ourselves when fear comes up or you want to make a big investment in something is, “Are you willing to show up for yourself and do the work?”
All the testimonials Devin saw were great. I can show you what and how I’ve helped other people get the results that he and everyone else has. However, all of that is meaningless if we don’t put the work into it. Transformation and making a change are acts of courage. What I want you to think about is that me, other coaches, other programs and everyone are here to help you walk over that bridge of fear but you have to show up 100% in whatever you choose.
I can show you a way but you will get the results that you’re looking for. It’s important to take away from what Devin shared that you have to get true with yourself. He sat on the couch for three days, staring at us P&L thinking, “Should I quit? Should I not? Should I go all-in on the firm?” Your inner dialogue and that voice inside your head will talk you out a lot of your goals and dreams.
If you would like to pull back the curtain, get to the truth of what might be holding you back from getting to those dreams, quitting that corporate job or doubling or tripling your firm revenue, then head on over to TheAbundantCall.com and book an appointment with myself or my partner, Denise. We know that you might want to transform your firm and we are here to discuss and see if it’s a good fit for both of us. Thanks for being here.
About Devin Whyte
Devin started his career in Idaho in a regional firm where he got to experience for 5 tax seasons. After this, he worked at 2 different corporations and became a manager in the tax department at the second one, Albertsons/Safeway.
He wanted to escape the corporate routine and be his own boss so he started a CPA Firm and now he wished he would have done it three years sooner than he did!
The experience has been incredible owning his own firm and he loves the work he does and the clients he gets to work with.