If you’ve been doing something for a very long time, it can feel like you’re stuck on a hamster wheel. If you’re a tax practitioner, you’re already worrying about the next tax season. This was the life of Peter Mitchell, the Managing Principal at Tax Pro Advisor, LLC. He was unhappy until he found Michelle’s 8-Week Sales Mastery Program. Ever since then, Peter has found a new purpose in life. He is no longer thinking that he is worth less. His work-life balance is perfect. Join Michelle Weinstein as she gets Peter to share how he generated $240k in revenue in 3 months without any stress! Discover what Peter learned during his 8-Week Sales Mastery Training. Find out how he discovered his value again. Know that if Peter can do it, so can you! Listen to his story today!
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Case Study | How Peter Mitchell Of Tax Pro Advisor Generated $240k In Revenue In 3 Months While Cutting His Client Load By 50%
In this episode, we have a very special guest as always. Our special guest is a dedicated and highly skilled tax consultant with many years of experience in tax planning and financial advisory services. He is the Managing Principal at Tax Pro Advisor LLC, which is a boutique tax and accounting practice based in the Austin, Texas, area. He has devoted himself to special expertise in representing his clients before the IRS and various state taxing agencies. He obtained his EA designation in 2006 and is also federally authorized to represent any US taxpayer before the IRS.
He is well-versed in IRS examinations and collections procedures. He has represented clients at both audit and appeal levels. He also has an in-depth experience in international and US ex-pat tax, and he now can constantly say that there are no unexplored areas for him in his sector. Before we welcome our special guest to the show, if you are a tax and accounting professional, I know you are sick of grinding fourteen-hour days, sacrificing time with your family and friends, and postponing vacations.
I imagine completely exhausted from being on the daily financial rollercoaster because of discounting your fees, then end up resenting the work you do for your clients and only being seen as the commodity. None of this is your fault. I know nobody is training you on how to fix these problems and how to connect the dots.
If you want to step up, take complete control of your firm’s revenue and profitability, double your firm revenue this 2022 with ease, and feel confident to start charging premium fees to your current clients who appreciate you for the value you provide. Also, get paid your worth, and start firing those who suck away your time and energy, and no longer serve you without any fear, guilt, or anxiety. Here is what I have for you.
My team and I have set aside the time to speak to you personally about how you can apply these ideas from what you’re going to read in this blog. Head on over to TheAbundantCall.com to book your call and explore. Whatever your biggest challenges are, we’ve seen them, and we know how to overcome them. On our call, we will spend 45 minutes together and get crystal clear on where you’re at now in your firm and the things that are keeping you stuck.
We’ll identify what you want and where you want to be in your firm and your life to ensure you’re paid first, avoiding all the potential pitfalls along the way, and saving you a ton of money in the process. We will plan out the exact next steps you can take to double your firm revenue now. Head on over to TheAbundantCall.com. Spaces are limited, so make sure to grab your spot now. Let’s welcome one of my very own awesome clients, Peter Mitchell, to the show.
Welcome to the show, Peter.
Thank you, Michelle.
I’m so happy to have you here. I’ve done your intro, Peter, but why don’t you share it with everyone and tell them a little bit about your firm and your background? Peter is a student and client of mine. He’s going to be sharing his experience and successes that he’s had going through the Eight-Weeks Sales Mastery Program and ongoing coaching here at the Abundant Accountant empire. Before we start, Peter, why don’t you share a little bit about your firm and your background too?
I have been a tax practitioner for over many years. This is my 28th tax season without interruption. I am an enrolled agent. I have about four staff members in my firm who help with the administration, preparation, and review of the tax returns, bookkeeping, payroll, and things like that. I live in the Austin, Texas, area and work out of my home office. Everything I do is 100% virtual. I won’t say 100%. There are a few people that I meet with face-to-face, but that’s an exception. It’s 95% virtual. Even with some of my clients who are within driving distance, we still tend to do most of our stuff through Zoom and things like that. For the past years, I’ve been getting to the end of my rope when it comes to doing the tax season because I’ve done so many of them.
What was tax season like before months ago or last tax season compared to what it’s like now for you because you were at the end of your rope?
I don’t know if last tax season was the best one to use as an example because there were a lot of unique, exceptional things going on in 2021 and 2020. In general, I was pretty stressed out not having the time I wanted to spend with my family or doing some of the other things outside of work, different hobbies, exercise, and things like that. I was spending a lot of time in front of screens. I had just a grind. It’s a big grind.Make sure that you're getting paid what you're worth and being adequately compensated for your time. Click To Tweet
I enjoy the aspect of being self-employed. I would not choose the alternative of working for someone else, but I felt a little bit out of control and not having real direction on how I was going to get out of that situation of doing that constant grind. It was not just during the tax season. It was almost year-round because there were extensions and other things going on throughout the year.
What had you decided to say, “I need help and make a change?” What had you come to the idea realization?
I was ready to make a change. It was primarily from hating life. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I didn’t necessarily know how to do that in a practical way. It wasn’t until I heard of you. I wasn’t aware that there was anyone out there working specifically with accountants and accounting firms because there are a lot of common things that I experienced and other firms experience and coach them through getting out of that black hole and into a much better place. When I heard about you initially, I thought, “That might be something to look into.”
It wasn’t until 8 or 9 months later that I started tuning in to your show. I heard one of the people you interviewed that I was interested in learning how to become part of that group because there were some things that intrigued me there. That was not targeted at simplifying life or anything. That was just more on enhancing my technical skillset. That’s where we transitioned straight from a conversation about joining that group and talking about what you do and how you help people. I was primed and ready to go.
You were fed up and were in the black hole. I caught you at the right time.
I was seeking a way out. You helped open that doorway and shed some light on things. A lot of the selling points of what you do resonate very closely with me.
Do you want to share some of those with someone reading who also might be fed up in a black hole, not wanting to do a tax season, like they have been for the last years, especially the 2020 and 2021 with all the changes and the chaos that the world was in?
One of the big points was getting paid what I’m worth, or at least feeling that I’m being adequately compensated for the time. Also, reducing the number of people that I’m working with, the people that I have to answer to, and keeping happy to some degree. Fewer people generally mean fewer headaches. I’m able to cope with and manage it a lot better. Those were some of the things.
Can you quantify that for us? What was your significant jump in the value and worth resulting in the revenue? Also, how many less headaches you get off your shoulders if you could share that with the readers?
If I break it down to the tax preparation clients that I was working with, in 2021, I prepared somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 to 600 returns, both current year and prior year stuff. I don’t know where that’s going to end up this 2022, but so far, after implementing some price increases, I probably am going to cut that in half.
You’ll end up with 250-ish clients on the compliant side and revenue.
My revenue for 2021 ended up being closer to $325,000. That’s because we had started working together, and I started implementing things already before the end of the year. Some of that includes Sales Mastery. I was probably on target originally for about $300,000. This 2022, I’m targeting $450,000, and that’s with 50% fewer clients.Developing your expertise translates into value that you deliver to your clients. And the people that you interact with will recognize that. Click To Tweet
Where are you at to date to quantify it?
I’m at $240,000. Part of it consists that there’s more revenue at the front end of the year because of that. Here’s another big component of that, and this is one of the things that has helped me to break away and be able to say, “I’m doubling or tripling my prices in many cases, sometimes quadrupling for some people if they’re wanting to continue to work with me.” One of the things that have helped me to get to that is I provide different services on a monthly basis advisory, bookkeeping, and tax planning.
Before I started with you, I was at about $7,000 a month in recurring revenue. Now I’m at $15,000 a month. I’ve grown that over $8,000 monthly. That in and of itself, if I wanted to reshape what I’m doing and severely reduce the number of tax returns, I’m doing and not deal with deadlines and all of that, I could do that and focus on those monthly recurring clients.
It was $96,000 of recurring revenue on an annual basis. The fact that you’ve done $240,000 in 3 months versus the $300,000 that you did in 12 months before, I don’t know the percentage increase. I can’t do the math that quick, but we all get the point. Peter, thank you for sharing. I would love if you could share what you feel was the most transformational thing you have gained being in the Abundant Accountant empire, going through the Eight-Week Sales Mastery Program, and you’re doing the ongoing coaching as well. What was the most transformational thing on your journey thus far to generate these types of results that you were stagnant for quite a while prior?
The single biggest transformational thing for me was identifying what my value and worth are. That’s all I needed. I just needed to go through that exercise you have us go through. It wasn’t something that I did in a real scientific type of way originally, but with the numbers that I started coming up with, it resonated.
I knew that I am worth a lot more, and I’ve put a lot of time into developing my level of expertise and ongoing with continuing education and things that I study and read, webinars that I attend, and things like that. That translates into the value I deliver to my clients and the people I interact with. For the most part, a lot of them recognize they were getting a good deal before. Now they’re paying a little bit more of a premium for that value, but I still feel that the value I deliver is still well exceeding whatever I’m charging them.
You made a huge transformational jump right after that. I can’t wait to even see what happens. You’ll probably be doing $500,000 in 6 to 9 months. We’ll see. If you had to share a brief overview of what you’ve learned so far in class and the group coaching calls, what do you feel were some of the experiences you’ve written down or thought about from how you felt before to how you are now? What are some of those things that you’d want to share with someone reading who might be stuck up against a wall or in a black hole like you were that you would want to share?
I’m trying to think about where I was before starting the Sales Mastery process with you and what I would essentially say to myself months ago. I knew that I had come to the end of my rope. I could still keep squeezing out another couple of tax seasons, but I was getting tired. My happiness level, what is that worth?
Where’s it at now? What was the happiness months ago versus the happiness now if you had to rate it on a scale of 1 to 10?
My happiness before was a 4, and my happiness now is 8. I’ve doubled my happiness if I put it in that context. My wife mentioned it to me. I don’t know what we were talking about. Maybe it was when we had our meeting or after I’d had our meeting. I was making some comments anyhow. She made the observation that I seem a lot more relaxed than I did this time in 2021 or for the last years that she’s interacted with me during this time of the year.
That’s what I wanted. I wanted to get away from the continuous hamster wheel I was on. I wanted to get off of that. I was willing to make the changes that I needed. To somebody who is maybe feeling that way, they feel like, “I’m so done with this,” I was ready to sell my practice and do something else. I might end up selling off a part of it in the future. I was ready to sell it at a discount and walk away from it.
There would have been a lot of lost value there because of my complete frustration. Being fed up and then at the same time being coachable, willing to learn, make some changes, and have the courage to make those changes, that’s what it takes. It’s not a single event. There are some single points where you make different decisions. Before I have a call with a prospect or with an existing client, sometimes I have to still myself like, “You can do this. You can get through this.” It’s not like I’ve just clicked a switch.Start to strategize more instead of always being behind the 8 ball, constantly trying to stay on top. Click To Tweet
It’s not a light switch. It’s the process.
It’s more like a dimmer switch, whereas you’re gradually turning it up, and the light is getting brighter .
Your bank account is getting fuller and fuller, and your happiness is going from a 4, 5, 6, 7, to 8. I can’t wait until you tell me it’s a 10, and your wife is like, “What just happened?”
She doesn’t even want to talk to me most of the time about all these things. She’s like, “That sounds great. You’re doing great. I’m so happy.” She realizes a lot of the benefits and the fact that we’re able to help out our kids if they need some help. We’re not stressed out about how we’re going to pay our bills. There were times there were little dips. There are ebbs and flows in being self-employed.
I hadn’t broken free of that until I did Sales Mastery. What that means is that there will still be times I have payroll and pay my staff every two weeks. There were times when it’s like, “I’ve got to figure out how I’m going to budget for that and still have some money for some of the other things I need to pay for.” I am now free from at least that sense of urgency and stress that is accompanied by that. That’s huge.
That’s a lot of weight off your shoulders that we don’t even sometimes think about. You were courageous and coachable. That’s one of the hardest to face when you’re like, “I’m going to make this investment and trust this process, even though what Michelle has me do might be a little cuckoo.” I’ve been told that, but you were courageous and set any fears or whatever might have come up to the side. It’s the fact that you don’t have to worry about payroll and that you have plenty stashed away in the bank.
If you want to sell off a part of your firm, you can for probably a much higher ROI, especially with having an additional $8,000 in recurring revenue and having an extra $96,000 coming in a year consistently where it’s not cyclical. It’s not like you have the peaks and valleys that traditionally if you’re just on compliance work, that’s what it is. It’s like big mountains of revenue up and then down and slumps in between. Kudos to you for the work and the effort that you put in.
I’m curious. What fears did you have? I don’t think you had too many, but what fears, obstacles, or hesitations did you have maybe prior that you’ve thought about? Someone reading also might have those fears. A big one I hear is, “If it worked for Peter, how’s it going to work for me? This works for so many, but what about me?” What were some for you?
Some of the natural fears might offend people. They might say, “If you’re going to be charging me that, I’m going to go somewhere else. I wouldn’t have enough clients to support my business. People were going to get mad at me.” In a lot of ways, I don’t feel like I’d bend over backward to please people. For the most part, I try not to cause people to get unhappy or angry. Especially before Sales Mastery, when I was considering how much I was going to charge somebody for something, I would think like, “What price can I give them so that they are not unhappy with it?”
I pretty much had a very high success ratio because of that attitude of people saying yes and like, “Sure, no problem.” Now I have people who say, “I can’t pay that. That’s outside of my budget.” I get it. I understand. That’s fine with me now if they decide they need to go somewhere else or don’t perceive the value that they’re getting that it’s not worth the amount I’m charging. I don’t even stress about it. I don’t try to convince them. My prior self would have been like, “Maybe I can do a discount.” I don’t do discounts.
Here’s a great analogy. You go to the gas pump, “I can’t afford this right now. Can I get a discount?” There are things that, at least for what I do and the value that I’m delivering, I’ve decided, “This is where I’m setting the bar. This is where it needs to be.” As I said before, it’s where I was feeling fed up, and the huge eye-opening experience of recognizing that I’m worth a lot more. That is going to solve a lot of the reasons why I feel so fed up. I’ve done it, and I’m still doing it. This is a journey, not a destination.
Now I’m starting to strategize more. Whereas in the past, I was always behind the eight ball. I was constantly trying to stay on top of keeping clients happy and getting things done in a timely manner and things like that. There’s still some of that, but I’m at least getting paid what I’m worth to do. I’m able to have the time to think about, “What is it that I want to do?” I have the financial freedom to do that.You can get off that hamster wheel but you have to be willing to take that step into uncertainty. Click To Tweet
The key is when it’s almost like the teeter-totters. When you’re a kid, you’re on the bottom side, and you keep feeling like, “How am I going to get over to the other side and bounce myself up?” There’s the tipping point, where you can feel what it’s like to be on the other side. Peter, what’s in store for the future with you from what you see it as? I know you said you might sell a piece of it. What else do you see is in store for the future?
There’s a lot. Outside of work, I feel like I haven’t achieved, but I am achieving a much better work-life balance, where I’m better at myself. I’m treating myself better in the sense that I’m getting more exercise. I’m being more mindful. I’m even thinking more about how I can help somebody. That’s always been in my nature to how can I help somebody.
From a service standpoint outside of work, it’s how can I be more helpful to other people and help real basic things. Maybe I put away my neighbor’s trash can for them or something. It’s an outward by-product of the fact that I have a little bit more time to think about those things. It’s also the direction that my attitude is heading. I envision doing more traveling. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do.
Where are you going to go first?
I took my wife to New York City for her birthday in January 2022. which in and of itself is a huge accomplishment because generally, in January, I’m already starting to feel stressed, and people are contacting me and stuff. This January, it’s zero stress.
I always talk about everyone who attends the Eight-Week Sales Mastery training and ends up going on vacation during tax season.
I mentioned that because we loved it so much. We decided, “Let’s go back and take our kids this time.” We’re going back to New York City in April 2022. We’re doing it as a celebration of my son’s birthday. That’s very exciting, and it’s great to be able to say, “Let’s do that. I’m going to pay for that. No problem.” I’m even thinking more about this now. I’m already thinking about where else we want to go this 2022.
We’re probably going to go to a national park, like Glacier National Park in Montana. We’ve wanted to do that for a long time. We’re looking at doing something outside the country now that with pandemic rules and things. Travel restrictions have eased up. That’s going to be a huge milestone to be able to start doing those things more regularly and start thinking and looking forward to those things.
You were able to do it because you were courageous and took out the time to invest in making these shifts even though some of it might have been uncomfortable, and being brave too. This is not only from a coachable standpoint but taking brave steps because otherwise if it were that easy, everyone would do it. It takes someone with grit and determination. That’s who you are.
Now, you have this freedom that you probably haven’t had in years, then you’re like, “Where can we go next? What can we do?” To wrap up and some final thoughts, is there anything else you would want to say to another tax or accounting professional firm owner who’s reading this who is struggling like you were, feeling like they’re on the hamster wheel and wants to get off? What would you want to say to them?
You can get off that hamster wheel. You can do it. I know that if I was able to do it, I believe anybody can do it. It’s achievable. You have to be willing to take that step into a little bit of uncertainty or unknown. By doing so, the rewards can be exponential. It depends on how badly you want it. I wanted it really badly. I was primed and ready to make that change. I realized there are times and seasons for everything. You have to plan it out when you’re going to make that change. Don’t let too much time go by. Don’t let too many more experiences pass you by before you make that decision. That’s what I would say to myself months ago.
There’s never a good time, especially in this industry.
There’s never a convenient time. There are probably some times that are a little bit more convenient than others. I’ve made so many observations and different things. The value of plugging into a network of other like-minded people through your group has helped me measure where I’m at. I feel like I’m doing pretty good, and I’m not alone. It helps the synergy, comradery, and all of that. It has hugely benefited me and continues to benefit me.
Peter, we’re going to have to do another one of these case studies, part two. To summarize the numbers on what you created, it’s an $8,000 increase in monthly reoccurring revenue. You’ve done $240,000 in 3 months versus $300,000 in a 12-month period. You have your work-life balance. You went to New York. You’re taking your kids to New York again. You’re going to go to Montana. You’re going to keep traveling. Having that financial burden off your shoulders and creating this process that you’re still creating is freeing, and the happiness meter going from a 4 to an 8 is incredible.
You’re an inspiration to many who are reading. Thank you for taking out the time to share your story and share that you can make a change. Even though you have been doing the same thing for so many years, there’s always, “The time is now.” If someone wants to make a change, it is possible. All you have to do is reach out for help, admit it, and say, “I can’t do this on my own. It’s not working the way I thought.” Thank you, Peter, for taking out the time to be here with us on the show.
Thank you for having me.
Thank you all so much for joining Peter and me on another amazing episode. I’ve been doing more case studies because I feel like I would be doing you a disservice if I wasn’t sharing these stories of other people who were on the daily roller coaster or the hamster wheel couldn’t get off, feeling like they were in a black hole, resenting the clients, giving discounts, trying to get a yes, and to have everyone work with you, but you’re tired. You are in this vicious cycle of pleasing clients, losing sleep, being exhausted, like Peter, not having his wife want to talk to him, and being burnt out. He was at the point he wanted to sell his business and his firm at a discount just to do something else. Honestly, it’s not your fault.
I know that nobody is training you on how to fix these problems that we spoke about and how to connect the dots to get to the other side. If you want to step up and take control over your firm, over your revenue, double your firm revenue, and increase your reoccurring, just like Peter did by $8,000 a month. Not only that, but to get his revenue to $240,000 in just a 3-month period, when all in the last months, he did $300,000, and you want to feel confident to start charging premium fees like Peter did and have clients gladly pay you for that value and admit that they were getting a good deal for so long, here’s what I have for you.
Denise and I have set aside the time to speak to you personally about how you can apply these ideas from what you read in this episode. Head on over to TheAbundantCall.com to book your call with us. Whatever your biggest challenges are, we have seen them all, and we know how to overcome them. On our phone call, we will spend about 45 minutes together. We’ll get you crystal clear on where you’re at now with your firm and the things that are keeping you stuck.
We will identify where you want to be in your firm and life to ensure you’re paid first, getting your happiness meter from a 4 to an 8, like Peter has in just four months, and also saving you a ton of money in the process. We will also put a plan and map out the exact next steps that you need to take to double your firm revenue. If you have a firm or you’re in a corporate job, but you have a side hustle, and you’re ready to quit that job, then head on over to TheAbundantCall.com and book your call with us. We look forward to speaking with you, and I will see you in the next episode.
About Peter Mitchell
Peter Mitchell, EA is a dedicated and highly skilled Tax Consultant with over 25 years of experience in tax planning and financial advisory services. He is the managing principal at Tax Pro Advisor, LLC, a boutique tax and accounting practice in the Austin, Texas area. He has devoted himself to special expertise representing his clients before the IRS and various state taxing agencies. He obtained the Enrolled Agent designation in 2006 and is federally authorized to represent any US taxpayer before the IRS. He is well versed in IRS examination and collections procedures, having represented clients at both audit and appeals levels. He also has in-depth experience in international and US Expat tax, and now he can confidently say that there are no unexplored areas for him in this sector.