Episode 18

Published on:

31st Jul 2022

018: Tatiana Tsoir - Dream Bold & Build a Business That Changes Your Life

Visionary accountant, empowerment speaker and author, Tatiana Tsoir brings her years of experience as a serial entrepreneur to the show today. Tatiana coined the term, ‘almost- preneurs,’ and helps artists, moms, creatives, and freelancers figure out how to make a living doing what they love.

Today, Jonathan and Tatiana discuss the freedom that entrepreneurship offers, business resiliency, price psychology and the importance of truly understanding your value and worth as an entrepreneur.

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Key Takeaways

01:09 – Jonathan introduces today’s guest, Tatiana Tsoir, who shares early lessons she learned about entrepreneurship

10:31 – The inspiration behind Tatiana’s book, Dream Bold, Start Smart

12:19 – Validating your idea before launching your business

16:06 – Learning to delegate

17:42 – The importance of knowing your numbers

22:11 – Price psychology and understanding your value

24:09 – The direct correlation between personal goals and business goals

26:30 – Business resiliency

31:27 – How Tatiana has pivoted in her own business

35:09 – One piece of financial advice entrepreneurs should heed and one piece of advice to ignore

37:34 – The last thing Tatiana changed her mind about and one thing that she would like people to know about her

39:58 – Jonathan thanks Tatiana for joining the show and let’s listeners know where to connect with her

Tweetable Quotes

“I didn’t realize that I was running a bookkeeping business until my dad said that phrase, ‘I’m an entrepreneur at heart.’ And I thought, ‘Wait a minute. I’m doing the same exact thing. It’s just a different service.’” (09:10)

“I wrote the book for someone who has a business idea but cannot afford to fail. And so, when I was writing the book, I had moms and creatives in mind. This book came as a result of fifteen years of experience working with small businesses and seeing their ups and downs. I was privy to the most intimate part of it all, the finances. Seeing how people make decisions, how small businesses decide to move forward, I realized that a lot of it has to do with emotions. A lot of it has to do with emotional decisions, which is not always the right choice.” (10:42)

“A lot of people are intimidated by numbers. So, I say that it has to be at least a ‘back of the napkin’ calculation. What’s the initial investment? Do you have that money? If you don’t, how do you get it? Do you look for an investor or a bank loan? Also, every investor or bank loan would ask you, ‘What’s your business plan?’” (17:53)

“Once you understand what your line expenses are, you understand how much you can afford, what you will do if there are zero sales happening, and how you will cover that expense. And you’ll also need to know how to price your product or service to cover your expenses.” (21:31)

“What we do personally directly affects our business. I believe that business is personal. You don’t build a business just for the heck of building a business. You build a business so that you can have a better life. And so, there’s a direct correlation between personal goals and business goals.” (25:29)

“It’s my personal belief that too many entrepreneurs build on just the vision alone and don’t support it by numbers. So, the one thing that anyone can and should do is don’t fake it til you make it when it comes to money numbers and taxes. The earlier you face it, the better and the quicker you’ll go.” (35:32)

Guest Resources

Tatiana’s LinkedIn

Tatiana’s Website

Tatiana’s Instagram

Tatiana’s Book

Great bookkeepers make a range of hourly rates, from $25 to $150 an hour and work from anywhere.

Let Tatiana show you how: https://programs.tatianatsoir.com/bbawebregigm 

Books Mentioned:

Get Paid What You’re Worth

Mindful Money Resources

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Jonathan DeYoe: Hello. Welcome back. On this episode of the Mindful Money Podcast, I’m chatting with Tatiana Tsoir She is a CPA and an MBA, and she’s the author of Dream Bold. Start smart, be your own boss. Make money doing what you love. She coined the term almostpreneurs and helps artists, moms, creatives, and freelancers figure out how to make a living doing what they loved. And this is just perfect for this season of the Mindful Money podcast, where we’re talking about earning. We share this belief that freedom lies in entrepreneurship. Tatiana, welcome to the Mindful Money podcast.

Tatiana Tsoir: Thanks so much for having me on.

Jonathan DeYoe: I’m excited to have you here. So, where do you call home?

Tatiana Tsoir: I am in New York, in the suburb of New York City.

Jonathan DeYoe: You want to tell us which suburb?

Tatiana Tsoir: Westchester.

Jonathan DeYoe: Okay, cool. My son is actually at NYU right now at a music thing, putting on a show, so tonight is the big show, so it’s pretty exciting. Did you grow up in New York?

Tatiana Tsoir: I didn’t grow up in New York, but I’ve spent most of my life, actually, at this moment, uh, most of my life here. I, uh, originally came from Belarus, and I was 19. So now I’ve gotten to a point where over half of my life I’ve spent in the United States and New York City suburbs.

Jonathan DeYoe: When you were growing up, was there entrepreneurship in the family? I mean, what did you learn about entrepreneurship and business growing up?

Tatiana Tsoir: So, both my parents were doctors by education, but, um, in the Soviet Union, because it was socialistic medicine, doctors were making less than janitors and so my dad quit and basically started his own thing. And he actually founded quite a few new concepts in law, which is really cool. He was neither a lawyer nor an economist, but his business was built around sort of these concepts of collateral. So when you have collateral, whether it’s property or whatever, for a loan or a debt that you have or whatever, and so similar to kind of like a combination of repossession and lending kind of thing. So he actually developed that concept from zero in Belarus, and he built a business around it. And every, pretty much every few years, he would start another direction and another thing, and maybe importing something or helping somebody import something. And actually, a couple of years into me being in the United States, he came and he said, I’ll never work for somebody else because I have an entrepreneurial spirit. And that’s when I realized that I kind of was pushed into entrepreneurship by the circumstances, and I kind of like it, too. And I think that I kind of got into that because of him. So he was definitely an example for me for that.

Jonathan DeYoe: I’m curious, do you think coming from Belarus, do you think that gives you an advantage in entrepreneurialism just because there wasn’t really a choice from the socialistic.

Tatiana Tsoir: Perspective, definitely have some advantages. I have a different perspective because, you know, in the former soviet countries, small, uh, business is not, as I guess, promoted or cherished as it is in the states. The United States has basically built itself on entrepreneurs. The biggest employer is still the mom and pop shop. And so in Belarus specifically, but other former countries, the Soviet Union as well, um, have a similar setup where most people work for somebody else. Most people work for either the government or some government, uh, organizations or factories or whatever. And a small business is not discouraged, but I would call it sort of what would be a great explanation or portrayal of that. It’s really. They’re stripped down of every profit they make. So, in the United States, the typical audit rate for a business, depending on the type of structure of the business that you have, is under 4%. So sole proprietors actually get audited, 3.4% versus s corporations, partnerships, and c corporations get audited at about ten times lower rate. So less than 1%. In former soviet countries, 100% of the businesses get audited every single year. So when you file your reports, you actually go to the, uh, internal revenue service equivalent and basically defend every expense that you have. So I think because of that and other laws, um, entrepreneurship in general is not very supportive. But people get creative. People find ways to make money. A lot of cash transactions, of course. And I definitely think that it gave me a little bit of an advantage of understanding of if I encounter a problem, I would think, okay, how can we solve it? How can we go around it? Not break the law, but how can we go around it and actually get what we want anyway? And so I think definitely yes.

Jonathan DeYoe: Is that what drove you to be a CPA? I mean, it sounds like the rules. The idea of overcoming these rules as a kid, uh, that’s amazing. I’ve never heard those kinds of stories. But is that what, how do I figure this out in the US?

Tatiana Tsoir: So I personally did not have a business because I left when I was 19. But I actually wanted to be a lawyer for probably, I don’t know, many, many years. Since I was, I believe, 14, I found out what the word, uh, lawyer means. And so I thought that’s exactly what I want to do. So when I came to the US in Belarus and former soviet countries, uh, same kind of setup, you pick your future profession when you’re 16 or 17, that’s it. Like, you make a decision, oh, I want to be an economist, or I want to be an accountant, or I want to be a lawyer. So the school, uh, is typically a five year program for doctors. I believe it’s seven. And you go in and you study specifically that profession. You don’t study any liberal arts. You don’t have the electives and music and all the other stuff that I had to take m to get my accounting degree here. But I finished two years of law school there out of five. And I came to the US having the same dream. I want to be a lawyer, but in the US, I had to finish the bachelor’s first so I could go into law school. And kind of, as I was picking a major during my bachelor’s, I thought, okay, what major will allow me, will give me a skill and will allow me to support myself financially? Because there was nobody to support me. My parents couldn’t afford to support me from Belarus. So I had to kind of find my own way. And I decided, you know what? I’m already doing some bookkeeping tasks. Why don’t I pick accounting? And it will give me a skill and it will carry me through my bachelor’s and law school financially. And so I can live and not have a ton of debt because I went to a, uh, city University of New York school. So I had very little debt. I got a lot of scholarships and other stuff. And basically, what was beautiful about that journey, I think I was studying at Hunter College. And Hunter College is a part of Cuny. Typically, if you want to be an accountant, you go to Baruch. And at some point, I wanted to switch to Baruch, uh, college, but I didn’t. And I’m actually glad that I didn’t, because at Hunter, professors were really invested in your journey, your life journey, your career journey, and they brainwashed you. They said, well, you’re already majoring in accounting. Uh, you might as well sit for the CPA exam. And I thought I might as well. And so kind of somewhere in the process, I was working with small businesses. I was working with probably four or five businesses at a time. One of them needed a bookkeeper once every two weeks. The other one was two days a week. And so I filled up my schedule but built it around my school so that I could take the professors that I wanted and stuff. And kind of somewhere along the way, I fell in love with numbers with small businesses, and I saw how powerful bookkeeper and accountant can be as a support system for the small business and kind of abandoned my dream of going to law school because there was no point anymore. I love what I do.

Jonathan DeYoe: So at what point, or it sounds like you’re 19, you’re in college, you’re studying to be an accountant. At what point did you go, oh, I’m running a business.

m building this practice in:

Jonathan DeYoe: That’s a perfect segue into the book. So who did you write the book for? And then when you hear people that have read the book, how are they using it? The people that buy it and read it, how are they use the book?

Tatiana Tsoir: I wrote the book for someone who has a business idea but cannot afford to fail. And so when I was writing the book, I had moms and creatives in mind, even though there are many other people, working women, who want to be their own boss or whatever, who can use it. And the idea was that this book came as a result of 15, at the time, 15 years of experience working with small businesses and seeing their ups and downs. And I was privy to the most intimate part of it all, finances. And so how people make decisions, how small businesses decide to move forward, and a lot of it has to do with emotions. A lot of it has to do with emotional decisions, uh, which is not always the right choice. And people who really have this idea of, I don’t know yet what I want to do. Maybe I have a few ideas, maybe I have a few thoughts, but I really am scared that I’m going to invest my money into it if I have any money, or invest my time, and I’ll fail. Because the statistic, 50% of businesses eventually fail. 20% of businesses started every year. A million businesses get started every year. 20% of them fail within the first year. And so everybody knows that. And so that actually creates fear of failure, which is legit. And so my book was developed for that, to address that fear, to give you a roadmap of, uh, step by step what you have to do. And when do you actually start with an entity? Because a lot of people call me and say, I want to start a business. What entity do I need? And I’m like, wait a second. Let’s first talk about the first basics of the business, and then we’ll talk about entities when the time comes.

Jonathan DeYoe: So let’s deal with, um, a fictional almostpreneur. She’s got an idea, or maybe she’s got a few ideas, and she’s got to pick which one to pursue. You talk about validating your idea before launching the business. So can you walk us through what those validation steps are?

Tatiana Tsoir: So, the validation purpose is to make sure that you know that people will buy from you, who will pay you and why? And why you. And the idea here is, I’ll give you an example. I had a, um, couple. There were not a couple. There were two business partners. And there’s a separate chapter on partnerships, uh, that I’m not going to dive into. But there was a partnership, and they decided, okay, we’re going to provide catered lunches to this daycare because their kids went to this daycare. My kids went to that daycare, and they didn’t offer a food service, so everybody had to bring their own lunch. And so it’s a great idea on the surface, but the problem is that if they calculated, if they spent the time calculating what it would cost, what the time investment would be every week to cook those lunches, to deliver those lunches, they would have never started that business. Eventually, they did kind of wind it down, and what they realized was that in two years that they’ve been working, sweating in the professional kitchen, because you need a professional kitchen for the food permit. Um, they actually made $3,000 each for two years of work. And so had they done that work ahead of time, this, um, wouldn’t have happened. Yes, the business wouldn’t have started, but it also wouldn’t have failed. So they just spent the money, spent a lot of their time, created a lot of stress for themselves for nothing. And so a business model talks about kind of how your business is making money, how an accountant, for example, having a practice, you sell your professional time for money, and that’s it. But it’s not really a business. A business is you hiring a number of accountants who serve your clients where you can get time efficiencies and money efficiencies, and people buy it because they need an accounting service.

Jonathan DeYoe: So it’s like, uh, you’re validating the potential outcomes based on reducing your input, increasing your time, using capital resources, using other human resources to measure. So when you think about that, what sort of time frame do you put that in? Because starting a business is risky. You’ve already said that. Do you want to see some kind of, uh, hiring path or understand that hiring path up front? Because I didn’t build mine that way. Like, I didn’t build mine thinking I was going to hire, I ended up hiring. Ah. And you’re right. You get the leverage from hiring. It’s much better when you hire. But when you’re thinking about launching, are you actually thinking about hiring and when that’s going to come?

Tatiana Tsoir: It’s part of the process, but it’s not the first step. It’s probably like the third or the fourth step. And the reason, sort of an exercise or an idea for an organization chart in the book where I talk through why you need to think about it. And it comes from my own experience. So my, uh, husband has had his career track where he worked for large companies, telecommunications. He was a manager. He was promoted three, four times a year. Had, uh, 200, um, engineers working under him. But he said that when people work for you, when you have people working for you, their problems become yours intuitively. I thought, you know what? I don’t want to hire ever. Nobody. I don’t want it. And so, for many years, I’ve ran this practice, basically killing myself, doing everything.

Jonathan DeYoe: Me too. Done that.

Tatiana Tsoir: And it sucked. I mean, it kind of didn’t suck because I didn’t have to manage anybody, but it kind of sucked because I was never free. And so I was reading this book for accountants. Um, it was called get paid what you’re worth. Phenomenal. Author. She has a tax planning institute where I got trained and stuff, and she wrote this phrase that if you never delegate anything, you will never be free. And I thought, damn it, I will never be free. But that’s the opposite of what I want. And so that’s when my mindset shifted, where I decided that I need at least an assistant, potentially trainee, so that they can learn some of the things like bookkeeping, like maybe some data organization, like document organization or whatever. And that’s why I actually created that exercise, because I was going through business coaching and technical tax planning coaching at the same time. And the business coaches gave us this accounting firm work chart, and they were like, okay, write down which tasks do you want to keep doing and which ones do you want to delegate? And when I wrote it out, I was like, okay, I like to do tax planning, but that’s about it. And so for me, it was like an eye opener, because I realized that, uh, first of all, I’ll never be free also. But second of all, you have to think about it, even if you’re just one person, because if that’s what you want, you can end up hiring a bunch of people for different things just because you need to plug the holes instead. If you have a system and you know exactly what you want to do or keep doing and then what others can do, then it’s a much better approach.

Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah, for sure. I mean, I identify with everything you said there. It took me a while to hire that first person, and then I did it wrong, so I had to hire somebody else so that yeah, totally. Once you have your idea, you talk about needing to know your numbers. Is that something as simple as what gets measured, gets done, or is it more than that?

Tatiana Tsoir: I think it has to be. At least a lot of people are intimidated by numbers. And so I say that it has to be at least a back of the napkin calculation. What’s the initial investment? Do you have that money? If you don’t, how do you get it? Do you look for an investor? Do you look for a bank loan? What’s the process there? And also every investor, bank loan or whatever, or even yourself would ask you, what’s your business plan? How much do you expect to generate monthly, best case, worst case scenario, that kind of stuff? And what would the expenses be? And it has to be fairly granular for you to get somebody else’s money. But people don’t do it for their own money. If they have their life savings and they want to invest it in the business, they don’t run this calculation, which is something I want to change, because it doesn’t have to be calculus. You don’t have to know high end math, the stuff that I’ve learned in high school. You don’t need to know that it’s done for you by a calculator or computer. You just need to understand whether you’re going to be profitable or not, and also whether you’re going to be able to sustain yourself on that profit. If the profit is $50 a month, then for me it’s not worth the effort. One bad decision, one bad month, and that’s it. You’re in the negative. So that’s kind of where the run the numbers comes into play.

Jonathan DeYoe: And are there specific metrics that you recommend for a general metric for every kind of business? Or. I mean, you talked about the business that’s doing lunches for the school. You also talked about a tax practice or a professional practice. Are there different metrics that fit different businesses or what do you recommend there?

Tatiana Tsoir: I recommend starting with at least a profit and loss statement split by month. How do you see bringing money in? And what expenses do you see coming out of your bank? And some businesses have less of an overhead, some have more physical stores and storefronts will definitely have much more of an investment. You will need to invest in renovation or whatever, plus potentially a, uh, security deposit for rent. But if it’s a, uh, coaching business or a, uh, professional service business, the investments aren’t as high, but there still are expenses, especially related to marketing and everything else. And software. I mean, software, everybody is a software as a service now. So running those numbers and understanding what would your nut be every month in accounting and, um, economics, it’s called breakeven point. How much do you need to really bring in of cash every month so that you can pay your expenses is just the basic calculation first step that you need to know whether it will make sense and is it realistic.

Jonathan DeYoe: And what goes into that calculation is a projection of sales, which means there’s a projection of the number of potential contacts you have and sort of a percentage close ratio, and all of those sorts of things. And do you actually recommend mapping all of that out before you invest and before you open the door?

es and sell ten for whatever,:

Jonathan DeYoe: You talk a lot about price psychology, and that’s important in everything, whether it’s a service business or a product business or a retail business, that, uh, price psychology matters. So do you find that many entrepreneurs just starting off the moms and the Creatives, undervalue what they create or what they provide?

Tatiana Tsoir: 100%. And I was one of those people, too, when I started my own practice. So I worked for a CPA firm because I needed the experience and the license. I worked for them for about two and a half years. And then when I got pregnant, I decided that I don’t want to put my child through the stress of tax season. And so I quit. I started my own thing. I started offering tax service, and I asked a mentor of mine. We worked together at this firm, and he’s still a very good friend. He’s retired now. I asked him what I charge, and so he said something like, come up with an hourly rate that would cover not only the cost of your time, but also the overhead and profit, and then estimate how much time it will take you to complete a tax return, for example. That was terrible advice. It’s a terrible way to price or look at what other people are charging or try to compete with them. But here’s the thing. There are car washes that cost $15 with the tire shine. I know because I get those more often than others. But there are car washes that cost $5,000. And the reason that they cost $5,000 is because if you own a car that’s $500,000 car or a million dollar car, do you care about spending five grand on detailing of your Lamborghini? No. So there is the right offer for the right client. And I think that pricing is a concept that most, um, first time entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs in general struggle with the most. And that’s the most important one, because that’s directly affecting how much money you’re taking home.

Jonathan DeYoe: And also it affects who you target for potential clients and customers. Because if you’re charging $5,000 for a car wash, you’re not washing Toyotas.

Tatiana Tsoir: Correct.

Jonathan DeYoe: Even the highest end Toyota, you’re not washing it. So you actually write a lot about starting. Right? So you have somebody, they’ve selected their business idea, they’ve run the numbers. But then you talk about things like entity selection and operating strategy, and I think you touch a lot on tax strategy. Can you explain why these are so important to get right out of the gate?

Tatiana Tsoir: In terms of tax strategy, it’s important to at least start with the right, more or less, uh, right entity. But also keep in mind that there could be more than one entity involved. Generally, when I consult clients, I typically work with at least two or three entities in the mix, depending on whether they have children, whether they have other directions of businesses, because there’s a direct effect of a tax strategy on how much money you’ll have left at the end of the day. And so, for example, you can have a goal of selling a business maybe five years, which can change. So I’ve had a client who, when I was deciding whether they should be an s or a c corp, I asked them, what do you want to do? Do you want to keep running it for life, or do you want to sell it in five years? And the answer was, I want to keep running it for life. But then things changed. And so I can’t undo that particular setup because the goals have changed, desires have changed. But at least when you think about it, you know, okay, I’m starting this other business. What do I do? And all of this depends on personal situation, because what we do personally affects directly our business. I believe that business is personal. And an example of that would be, if you have actually, an example would be, you don’t build a business just for the heck of building a business. You build a business so that you can have a better life. And so there’s a direct correlation between personal goals and business goals. And you can’t ignore your personal goals or set business goals that, uh, ignore your personal goals. And for someone, it can be for someone who wants to have a family and have children, the goal would be to set money aside for their own retirement, to potentially create college savings for their kids. But for someone who is not going to have kids, the goals and business, I guess development and growth is completely different, because maybe they just want to have more time off and travel the world. Whatever that goal is, business is there to support it. And the structure will be drastically different from someone who has two kids and wants to have more and a house on the beach or whatever.

Jonathan DeYoe: Right. Uh, I want to talk about business resiliency, because I’m sure your business went through changes in the last few years. I know my business went through some changes. And if you’re in a retail space right now, supply chain issues are still there. And now there’s all this talk about inflation and possible recession. Before you start a business, how can you make it so that your business can thrive through what is really just an unknowable future, and you’re sort of piling on risk? When you start a business, how do you make sure that you make it?

Tatiana Tsoir: I think it’s important. That’s why I talk about it in the book. I think it’s important to incorporate tools and strategies to have reserves built. But more than anything else, you have to realize and understand that the world is an ever changing setup. And so you don’t know when to expect the next kick or strike, which is okay. The idea here is to be ready to pivot. And I used to be a profit first professional. I, uh, used to be a part of the organization. And Mike McCallow is a friend. He’s endorsed my book. He really supported my authorship. He believes in authors who write their own books. And he really stepped up. When the pandemic has started, he stepped up and he started coaching additionally profit first professionals and provided us with the tools so that we can support our clients. Because even though most of my clients were not negatively adversely affected, some still struggled in a way. We had to apply for the PPP loan and renewal and second batch or whatever, because there was a lot of moving parts and it made the business owners nervous, uh, understandably so. Some of them are retail businesses. I’ve had a clothing business that, a clothing brand that sold primarily to wholesale. And when the pandemic started, many of their clients canceled orders for the next collection. And so this actually turned out great because it prompted them to start their website faster. And now their website is making a ton of money and their wholesale business has now become a much smaller part of their revenue. But Mike, um, McCallowitz M talks about something called a recession response curve. Recession response curve basically is a curve that kind of starts up high and then it goes down, kind of flattens out, and then trends back up. And the reason I like this approach, and I think that people who want to start a business before they even start understand that curve, because once you know it, you know that what you have to do next, and the curve goes like this at the top, you start with a shock. So when the pandemic happened, everybody was shocked. Everything shut down. What do I do? How do I pay my employees? Do I have to lay people off or whatever? So a lot of really back and forth, especially for retail businesses, but also obviously restaurants, and have suffered tremendously in gyms and other services. I mean, some businesses have thrived, but some businesses haven’t. And, uh, the next step down that curve kind of comes down to desperate action, and it’s not yet the bottom. And so that’s when people, some people, some business owners started taking actions that were out of desperation, maybe laid people off, maybe whatever. Even though I think the US government has come up pretty quickly with, uh, the Cares act, um, I think it was the cares act that did that. The world shut down on the 17 march. By the 27th, they’ve accepted a stimulus program for businesses. I mean, I think it’s pretty fast, even for us government, to get it done. But the idea is that you’re in shock or in desperate action that’s not helpful to your business. You’re still going down. And so the bottom of that curve is sort of called an evaluation stage. This is when you evaluate what options you have, what’s going on, what form of help is available, or whatever, and then slowly, you kind of start moving up to deliberate action and then eventually coming back up to where you were. So the idea for anyone starting a business is to skip the shock or I guess, move through the shock stage and the desperate action stage as quickly as possible to the evaluation stage, because there were restaurants even in New Jersey, which I’m not in New Jersey, but Mike McKallowitz is. So that’s how I know restaurants who said, okay, we cannot have people in the restaurant, but how can we deliver the food? The next step back of that would be, how do we give them the recipes and maybe do a cooking class over Zoom? How do we still stay in business and make money despite what’s going on with everything?

Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah, I love that. And some might call that. I might call that the mindful response curve. The whole idea of let’s reflect and think this through and then make intelligent decisions instead of just the knee jerk, terrified response decisions. Yeah, I think that, uh. Well, maybe I’m wrong here. Are you pivoting your business? I mean, have you gone through some changes in your business because it looks like you’re doing more content, you’re writing more, you’re building some courses, and is that like multiple sources of income? Is that the goal? Is it flexibility? What is it you’re trying to create?

Tatiana Tsoir: I’m actually trying to create too many things at once. But I think it’s okay because I’m kind of now identify as a serial entrepreneur. But first of all, I now believe that having more than one streams of income, more than one stream of income, more than one business, is the best. Even if you work full time for somebody else, having a side hustle that brings you extra cash is great, because you don’t know, again, what the next day will bring. And we’ve already seen through the pandemic that things have shifted so much that it would be silly not to take advantage of the opportunity that you have to own another business or whatever. My second business, beyond my tax practice, tax and accounting advisory practice, has been the author business. And I’m working on a second book. I have ideas for a third and a fourth book. And so that’s an ongoing thing, and it’s not something that happens in a month. And this first book came out. It, uh, took me three months to complete a first draft. And the reason it was so fast is because I’ve had by that time, 15 years of experience and 15 years of client stories. The second book, I don’t have that anymore because I’ve kind of already created or put that all in the first book, but the next one is the next step. And so I’m working on that. So that’s the second business. And then third business is what I found. I found a couple of needs in the industry, and also in just generally, people can read my book and have a roadmap. They don’t need anything else, but some people need extra support. And so I offer coaching as a separate business because actually what I found more recently, as I went through business coaching a couple of years ago, what I found was the few things that I wanted to do was tax planning and coaching clients. Those are the only things that I was interested in doing because they’re fun. I have so much experience. I’ve seen businesses from a variety of industries, and I’ve seen how decisions were made and how those decisions resulted in positive or negative consequences. And so because of that, I already have a sense of where this is going. When someone tells me, oh, I want to open a business, that’s this. And then I ask the right questions. And people really either abandon that idea or they actually go through it. But it’s in a more intentional way, I guess. So that business is the one I’m growing, actually launching a training for women to get trained as bookkeepers. The reason is that, ah, because I found in my practice, I started out as a bookkeeper, and then I became a CPA. And I know bookkeeping really well. But the problem is that people who learn the software think they’re bookkeepers. And then people like me have to curse through tax season because the Bookkeeping is bad. So I decided to fill the void and create a training that trains them on exactly what I think they’re missing. Because I remember when I was doing it, I was also learning accounting. And so for me, it was a direct connection between theory and practice. And so that’s kind of also a personal passion and a pain point, too. I would love to hire these people to be bookkeepers for me, but the problem is there’s no great bookkeepers out there.

Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah. So, by the way, three months, even with all that experience. So I wrote my first book. It took me, I kid you, not, five years to write it and then two years to edit it, and then I published it. And I have the same sort of a path. I’ve got one I’m writing now, and I got three in front of it. I hope I get them all finished before I’m 90. You’ll be done much more quickly, I think. Very impressed, because it’s a great book, by the way. It’s a great book.

Tatiana Tsoir: Thank you.

Jonathan DeYoe: So, one of the things we do on this podcast is I try to make it really simple for people. And so what is just one action step that, you know, you’ve got lots of experience, that, you know, that if they just take this seriously and do this simple thing, will improve their personal and financial outcomes. And then the flip side of that is, what is one thing that we’re told to do or social, uh, media tells us is important, that we are just better off totally ignoring. We just don’t do that thing. Something that we should do and then something we should stop doing.

Tatiana Tsoir: It’s my personal, I guess, belief, um, that too many entrepreneurs build on just the vision alone. So just the right side of the brain and don’t support it by numbers. And so the one thing that anyone can and should do is don’t fake it till you make it. When it comes to money, numbers, and taxes, the earlier you face it, the better, and the quicker you’ll go. I truly believe in that to my core. Even my TEDx speech is written around entrepreneurship being a whole brain craft. Because it is a craft. You can learn the skills to get it going, and it requires both sides of your brain. And it doesn’t mean you have to know calculus. The thing that you shouldn’t do, that everybody else tells you to do, is don’t do your own books. It’s a personal pet peeve. I’ve seen too many badly done books, and then it costs you in the end, it costs you a lot more to pay someone to clean it up, because you can end up owing a lot of money in tax that you didn’t actually make, because you have no idea how to set up the right accounts, how to record the debit and credit. You have no idea what’s going on in the background, but absolutely don’t. No matter how intuit or other entities give you the ability or make you believe that the software can do it for you, you still have to know some of the basics. You still have to know some of the basic concepts of accounting.

Jonathan DeYoe: I’m laughing because I did my own books for ten years, because I never wanted the bookkeeping expense. The minute I hired a bookkeeper, I got 10 hours a week back. I made more money. It was such a ridiculous waste of time for me to do my own books for all those years. And that’s, like, one of the decisions I regretted more than any other decision was doing my own books, because I didn’t do them right. They were all gross. Uh, so you’re totally right on that. Hey, you know what? Just a couple of sort of final closing questions. First of all, thanks for coming on. This has been a very valuable conversation for myself, uh, and our listeners. What was the last thing you changed your mind about?

Tatiana Tsoir: So many things that I’ve changed my mind about, I’ve changed my mind about. And I’m the type of person, I’m very decisive. I make decisions like that. But I used to call myself, because English is not my first language. I used to call myself a bad writer. I used to call myself a, ah, bad. Not creative, a, uh, bad creative or whatever. But over the last three, four years, I’ve completely destroyed every one of those beliefs. And the most recent, I guess, uh, mindset shift that I’ve experienced is I always supported following your heart and following your passion. But I’ve had this guest on my podcast who said, screw passion. Start with what you know best first. It doesn’t mean that you never get to pursue your passion. It just means that you start first with what you know best and then build a segue into your passion. And even though I still believe that you can be your own boss and make money doing what you love, it doesn’t mean that your first business should be your passion business. It means that it could be something that you know best because you’ve worked in the industry or whatever, and then you use that money to fund your other passions.

Jonathan DeYoe: Right? Yeah, actually, I love that. I think that’s really important. Is there anything that people don’t know about you or often don’t remember about you that you really wish that they knew?

Tatiana Tsoir: I often come across as a. I told my coach, I often come across as a heartless, cold hearted bitch, but I actually am not. I’m very empathic. I just think that once you’ve decided, you have to go all in, and that’s kind of how I am. And sometimes people see that side of me because I’m in the mode of going after what I want. And so I may seem not empathic, but I actually help a lot of women for free. I actually support and guide and advise and coach women for free because I feel for their situation, maybe their goals, or anything in between.

Jonathan DeYoe: That’s a great point. That’s something to highlight, because I think there’s a lot of people that are very, very successful and very, very driven that you don’t know what they do, you don’t know the people that they help for free, you don’t know. And for years and years and years, we’ve done that. And I, uh, really appreciate that because I think I had a coach once tell me that if you want help, ask someone that’s really, really good at it and probably they’re going to give you some time. Right? That mentorship thing, that’s a real thing. So thanks so much for coming on. How do people connect with you? If they want to connect or seek out your coaching, the best way is.

Tatiana Tsoir: To, if you want to chat, just reach out. Uh, as a DM on Instagram, that’s where I live. I’m present in all of the social media, but I live on Instagram. And also my website has a lot of information about what I do, my podcast, my free resources that are available. And, uh, that’s at talktotatiana.com. Easy to remember. Forwards to my website. This way I don’t have to remember my last name, spelling.

Jonathan DeYoe: We’ll put the links in there so no one has to remember anything. So everyone can just go straight to the links. Thanks so much for coming on, and maybe we’ll have you on again at some point. This was really good conversation. I appreciate it.

Tatiana Tsoir: Thanks so much for having me.

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About the Podcast

Mindful Money
Do you struggle with money? You’re not alone.
Money is a means, not an end. It’s a necessity of life for sure, but more money does not always guarantee a “good life”. Money enables many aspects of modern life, but as a dominant consideration it becomes destructive. 
The paradox is that more time and energy spent on personal finance does NOT create better outcomes. Unlike many other parts of life, we can’t create better outcomes by being smarter, spending more time, or putting in more effort.
Join Mindful Money author and experienced 40-year investor Jonathan DeYoe as he shares stories from artists, authors, entrepreneurs, and other advisors about how they mindfully minimize their need to think about money and get more out of life.
If you aren’t happy with your finances, feel like money takes more time that it should, or want to place your financial decisions into the broader context of your life, this show is for you. 
Each episode will draw the line between the “enough” activities that the academics tell us are additive to family outcomes, and those “little bit more” efforts that take time and sap energy, but do NOT improve outcomes.

About your host

Profile picture for Jonathan DeYoe

Jonathan DeYoe

Jonathan DeYoe is a best-selling author, speaker, financial advisor and angel investor. He is a husband, father and a practicing Buddhist. His simple underlying message brings a welcomed sense of order to financial chaos and restores a calm center to your financial life.