I have always wanted to own my own business. So CPA Site Solutions is my dream come true.
As a teenager I read Inc. Magazine instead of Sports Illustrated. I preferred books such as “In Search of Excellence” to those assigned by English teachers.
When it came time to apply to colleges, I applied to only one… Babson College. At the time, US News and World Report rated Babson the #1 College for Entrepreneurial Studies. I was so convinced that it was the only college right for me that I decided I would either go there or start my own business, at 18. Fortunately, I was accepted.
On the first day of freshman orientation, I met the love of my life, Kathy, and we have been together ever since. She has always been a good influence on me. She kept me in-line all through college and she is still keeping me in-line today.
My First Venture Failed
Like many new graduates, I thought I was the smartest business person in the world. I was excited to be partnering with my stepfather in developing a Real Estate Trade Journal in the Boston area. After 18 months of losing money, striking out with advertisers, and struggling to build our readership, we closed the business.
I was emotionally crushed. I began to doubt my business savvy and I decided to try working for someone else. That was an even bigger mistake. I ended up getting fired as a Telephone Equipment Salesman after only 3 weeks.
By then, I was totally humbled, I decided to attend a “Self-Improvement” seminar run by Tony Robbins. After a long weekend of getting my brain washed – I mean totally scrubbed, I became convinced that the secret to business success was Constant and Never-ending Improvement. What Tony calls CANI.
Excited about this new secret to success, I talked my stepfather into trying another venture. Luckily, my stepfather – a chronic entrepreneur – always had a new business idea in the waiting.
Sold the Second Venture
We started a company called County Data Corporation, in which we compiled and sold lists of new homeowners to Realtors and appraisers. The business grew rapidly and after a few years we decided to compile lists of new businesses as well.
The new business list business unit called The Lead Sheet accelerated our growth even more. We doubled our revenue for 4 years in a row. In 1996, we sold the business to InfoUSA for $10 million.
Too Young Too Retire
I was now convinced that Constant Improvement was the key to success. And, since I certainly was not ready to retire at 35, I started my own business, ClientSource. ClientSource provided telemarketing appointment setting services to Accounting firms. The business lasted 10 years and in that time we set 7,851 appointments for 837 accounting firms that resulted in $9.7 million in annual revenue for our clients. It was, by all measures, a successful business.
CPA Site Solutions Was Born
The idea for CPA Site Solutions came in 1998. I was looking for ways to improve ClientSource, and had noticed that business owners often asked us to “send them information” (about the accounting firm) when we had them on the phone. I decided that it would be great if we could simply direct them to the accountant’s website, instead of mailing them a firm brochure.
The websites worked. Our clients saved money because they no longer needed to mail expensive brochures and we set many more appointments.
I’m still brain washed (thanks, Tony) and Constant Improvement has become a core part of who I am. It’s also the core of CPA Site Solutions. Every month we get better. We’ve been doing this for 11 years. That’s 132 months of small incremental improvements.
With a goal of Constant Improvement, one improvement builds on the next and before you know it, you’ve got a great business on your hands.
I recommend giving Constant Improvement a try in your accounting firm. If you have any suggestions for how we can improve our service to you, please let me know. My personal email address is email@example.com.
Thanks for reading my story.