GAIN THE PASSION
GAIN THE PASSION
Sept. 9, 2022

Joe DiChiara - Being Committed to the Process is Much More Rewarding than Focusing on the Result

Joe DiChiara - Being Committed to the Process is Much More Rewarding than Focusing on the Result

Joe DiChiara is an entrepreneur with a CPA license. He has worked with thousands of business owners over a 35 year career. Eager to help people succeed, it troubled him that most new businesses fail and was determined to find out why. 

Success starts with Mindset and Intention, subjects they don’t teach in CPA school. Joe learned that this was the true culprit in business failure on top of an overly complex tax and compliance system making it nearly impossible to start a business and stay in business. 

His primary purpose has become teaching entrepreneurs the fundamental principles of success combined with the practical knowledge acquired as a CPA.

Learn more and connect with Joe DiChiara:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bedrockbizbuild

Website: https://bedrockbusinessbuilders.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bedrockbusinessbuilders/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/BEDROCKBUSINESSBUILDERS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joeydcpa

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bedrockbusinessbuilders

Episode Transcript
https://www.gainthepassionpodcast.com/joe-dichiara-being-committed-to-the-process-is-much-more-rewarding-than-focusing-on-the-result/#transcript

Find out more about GAIN THE PASSION Coaching
https://www.gainthepassion.com
Access past episodes and more of the GAIN THE PASSION Podcast
https://www.gainthepassionpodcast.com

Transcript

Voiceover:

Welcome to GAIN THE PASSION with hosts Todd Foster, Alyssa Stanley and Kelley Skar.

Alyssa Stanley:

Today we have the opportunity to sit down with Joe DiChiara. He is the chief Small Business architect at Bedrock Business Builders where he helps solopreneurs build their business foundations on bedrock, through business consulting, management, consulting and tax advisory. Thank you so much for sitting down and chatting with us today about your business and your experiences within a 35 years of your profession Joe.

Joe DiChiara:

Thank you so much for having me, it's an honor, I always love to get a chance to talk about Bedrock and how we might be able to help the small business owner.

Alyssa Stanley:

And I think you have so much to offer small businesses and just your knowledge within this field in the last 35 years. And those are definitely things that I want to dive deep into later. But first, let's kind of go back to the beginning. How did you even get started in this field? And stay this long with? I mean, it's an ever ever evolutionary field.

Joe DiChiara:

Yeah, well I've tried to get out of it a number of times. Actually, I'm an entrepreneur that happens to have a CPA license. And I see Todd chuckling, you know, I've learned in the last three or four years that I was actually born to do what I'm doing right now. I've been blessed. So my first business was when I was 10 years old, I did a casino in my driveway. And I remember specifically, yep, and that came from we had a carnival two weeks earlier. And I loved it. It was for charity. And I said, Oh, I want to do that. Again. I invited a bunch of my friends over. We had all you know, dice cards, roulette. I made like three or four bucks, which that was a lot of money for a 10 year old 1970. My parents shot me down. So it was only a one night thing. They didn't like the fact that I was doing, you know, casino. But I remember specifically asking my mother I said, why do people get a job when they could just make money and have fun, you know? And when I was 17, you know, kids, I grew up with a I grew up in a pretty rough neighborhood, we were wearing leather jackets, my friends, were getting tattoos. And my grandmother looked down and said, You know, I don't like the kids that you're hanging out with. And I didn't understand what she was saying. But, you know, I was going down the not a good path. So we were at a family picnic. And my father said, you know, he pointed to one of my cousins and he said, That guy's a CPA. Like, that's great dad, what the heck is a CPA? And he said, Well, they run businesses, they start businesses and business owners go to them for advice. So I was like, then I'm going to be a CPA. I never thought twice about it. All my friends in college would change in their majors. I'm like, I'm going to be a CPA. I actually didn't know that that meant I was going to be an accountant. I thought I thought, well, if you're a CPA, you're going to run just like my father said. And I resented my father for a long time. Because I said, Now I'm doing bank recs, payroll taxes, how am I going to change the world and become a multi, you know, billionaire doing this. And so like I said, I'm an entrepreneur. I've had my share of failures, some successes, but I always got drawn back into accounting because I have a as as you see, you know, my experience is pretty broad. And I love what I'm doing now. So thank you, Dad, thank you for tricking me. I want to go back to the casino in the driveway. So you're 10 years old. You don't get shut down by the police. You get shut down by the parents. And then after that, you thought you wanted to be a CPA, yet, if you look back at 10 years old, you'd like numbers back then. I mean, a CPA is all about numbers. What made you decide not to get into the whole gambling thing? Or are you? Honestly my father was a gambler, and I saw the bad bad side of that. And you know, that just again, that was another thing that Thank you, Dad, for showing me what not to do. And, you know, that's that's the truth. You know, I just didn't I didn't like losing money. Okay, I don't like lose. I don't know who does, but I didn't like risking money. I'm not in the stock market. I just invested like 500 bucks in crypto and I'm checking it out. The next day it was 700. And I'm like Oh my god, this is great. And then went back down to 400. And I'm like, Okay, I'm not I'm not doing this. I just don't like be in the house, the casino the house, the house always makes money so that that was good. I grew up in Long Island. I was born in Brooklyn. Most of my family came from lived in Brooklyn. So I have, you know, we traveled back and forth. I have a lot of cousins that lived in Brooklyn. Now. They all live in Staten Island in New Jersey for some reason. So what took your family from Brooklyn to Long Island? My grandparents when this was wow, like 19 I was a baby. I was like two years old, and my grandfather built a house. He was a trendsetter. No, but they wanted to be out in the country. Okay, that they liked growing vegetables. And they bought land out in Bay Shore. And, you know, that's when Long Island was all woods. It was all, you know, undeveloped. And they built their own house. And my my mom and dad, follow them. And that's what brought us to Long Island. And now if you know anything about Long Island, there's no more it's all developed. The, you know, it's changed a lot. Was your father also a CPA? Or was he number numbers? Okay, now. All right. So you're the first one that really likes numbers and the family that's making some money doing it correct. I was the first one, you know, my family, you know, we're electricians, plumbers, union people, but for some reason they put in my head that I could do anything. From when I was a little child, you could do anything that you put your mind to. And they just told me I was gone to college. Nobody else in my family ever went to college. So like, you know, like a good boy, I just listened. And, you know, most of my friends didn't even graduate high school, they all dropped out. Most of them didn't go to college. And I remember set, telling them I'm like, What are you going to do with your life? You know, don't you have a plan? And no, they did. And, and that's what my grandmother meant when she said, You know, I don't like the guys that you're hanging out with. So, you know, I went off to college to be a CPA. And, you know, early in my career, I got the shock of my life. That business was not as easy as I thought it was, you know, that casino was was so easy than I, you know, I did. I was always making money shoveling snow mowing lawns, whatever I could always, you know, trying to make money on the side, however I could. I'm an entrepreneur, you know, when I saw a problem, it was like, I could fix that. And so, before I graduated, I leased an ice cream truck, which I had done summers before. But, you know, it was more like Cheech and Chung's nice dreams. You know, my friends? Oh, yeah, my friends still remember that. So the last time I said, I'm going to run this, like a business, and I'm going to prove that I'm an entrepreneur. So I kept books and records. You know, I signed documents. I didn't even know what I was signing at the time, but it was all legit. And I made money I'll never forget, it was August of 1984. And I remember turning down this tree line Street, it was right waters part of Bay Shore. And I was going to this little private beach to sell ice cream to kids. And I was like the hero. So and I made a lot of money at that time, more than if I had a job. And I'm like, who's better than me? I'm making my own hours, I could take off, I made money. This is going to be easy. So I graduate, I get my first CPA job six months into the job. I get a letter from New York State. I open it up. It's got a big red stamp on it that says tax warrant. And so now I'm working at a CPA firm and I'm like, my career is over. I need a tax attorney. I don't know what I was like, was I doing money laundering tax evasion. I don't know. You know, I must have done something to get their attention. And you know, I still remember it because Is it was real fear. Three days and nights I tortured myself. I, I didn't have the courage, I was embarrassed to ask why now I'm working at a CPA firm, the CPAs. All I had to do was ask them, but I was embarrassed. Finally, I showed the letter to some, like, what do I do? It's like, why don't you try calling the number on the ladder. So I call doc, and it was frightening. And they were like, Oh, you were an ice cream guy. And so one of the forms I filled out was to register as a sales tax vendor. That's what the truck leasing company made me do. There was no sales tax on ice cream. I wasn't I wasn't involved in any criminal activity. And all I had to do was fill out a form saying, I was only in business for for three months, and I'm out of business, no penalty, nothing. But that opened my eyes. I was like, Oh, my God, there's more to business than than just doing business. You know, there's this whole other side of you know, now you got to answer to people, there's I gotta fill out forms. It was all unknown. And I took that experience. And unconsciously, I applied it to what I did in my, in my job and my business. Because all of the clients that came in most of my career I spent with small business owners, you know, I did do you know, a large company accounting, I didn't like that it was boring, I didn't make a difference. So I always gravitated towards the small firms with the small business owners. And they would get letters. And I would say they would come in, like, Why does ghost and I knew how that felt. So it became my job to help them it was less, and this was shocking to is less about the numbers, and more about the psychology of money, the fear, because that's it, they were just afraid they didn't know what it was, a lot of times they would wind up paying the tax notices when they didn't even owe money. People still do that to this day. And you know, that's why, you know, and I mentioned before I was born to do this, this is what we do we educate people about these situations, how to deal with the government, you know, the importance of having a professional. And you know, it's lonely as an entrepreneur. You know, you've heard it's lonely at the top. Well, when you're an entrepreneur, you're at the top, like it or not, and you take all the responsibility, including the financial responsibility. And most people they're great at being a carpenter. They're great at painting, the graded consulting, but the if they were good at accounting, they'd be accountants. Right? Absolutely. And one thing that probably was the best thing ever happened to you was that you received that letter at a 21 year old, 22 year old self, because I know of many people out there small business owners and nine contractors who have no idea what their taxes are, because as soon as they get that lump sum, it's all mine to spend. And so when you think about that, I My question is, first of all, what happened to ice cream truck after that? Oh, you want to know something? I dream about going back to that sometimes. It was probably the best besides the casino, but the casino comes with legal issues. But the ice cream truck I look in them. The only thing that's changed is is a snow cones like five bucks now. It was 50 cents when I but you know it's one of the only businesses with technology it you don't use you can't use a debit card in the eye. At least I don't think so. I haven't seen one with a with a credit card machine. But it's the same it's it's peaceful. You know, to me, it's it's, it was simple. It's still a simple business. It's probably one of the only truly simple businesses that are out there. When it goes back to supply and demand. Like you said snow cones are now $5. And the reason why it's sure cost of goods have went up it also supply and demand. I mean, if you had your ice cream truck out right now today, in February drumroll on Long Island, you're probably not going to have as much demand as you would for the same product in July at the beach. Right? Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. You know, that goes without saying. So I love that you said small business owners and entrepreneurs must take responsibility, especially for their financials. Can you tell us more about exactly what a person should be looking for? At their financials? Because most people, it seems like correct me if I'm wrong. Small business owners have one checking account, personal business, everything goes in the same thing, then they have no idea what they owe the government. And then they get this huge bill at the end of the year saying, by the way you owe such and such money, then it goes into quarterly payments or monthly payments, or fees, interest fines. Can you go into that and tell us exactly what we should be looking for out there? That's a great question. You know, any successful entrepreneur will admit that they've made all the mistakes. Any mistake that could be made, I've made with the exception of the accounting, obviously. But when it came to marketing relationships, you know, I'm still learning you, I don't think you ever get it all. And I thank God for that, because it keeps it interesting for me. But every really successful entrepreneur will tell you that you need to know your numbers. Okay, now that scares people, most people are afraid of numbers. And I understand that. And when you start a business, the first thing you're thinking about is how can I make money, you need two things to be successful in a business, you need to have something that somebody will pay for, and you need cash flow. Okay? So what does an entrepreneur do, they go out and they try to sell ice cream. If I didn't sell any ice cream, the first week, I would have got a job at McDonald's. So if they're lucky enough, they start making money. Most entrepreneurs do not make money, it takes a long time. The people that start out making money right away, are lucky, okay? Or they had a big client from a job and they followed them, you know, so it happens. It happens rarely, though. So they're out there pounding the pavement. So assuming that they're good at what they do, okay, they already got one, you need three things, you need to have a product, you have to be able to sell it. And you need to have the administration. Well, if they start out with the product or service, they're good. If the if they're good, they're probably selling it, even if they don't know how to sell, you know, the word will get out. So they got the first two covered, it's the administration that comes last. They might buy insurance because they know they need insurance. But when it comes to the accounting, they're like, and this is the the mindset which we are trying to change. I'll get an accountant, when I start making money. That's the mistake. Now use, you should get an accountant. Before you even start, you should consult with an accountant. Okay, now there's issues with that, which which I'd like to cover. But you asked me, you know, what should they know? So the basics, you got to know what a balance sheet is? You got to know what a profit and loss statement is. You should look at your tax return and where those numbers go on your tax return and also how the accountant gets them. These are the questions nobody asked me. How do those numbers get on the tax return? It doesn't they don't just appear magically. And unfortunately, what you know, I started with the lead pencil and an adding machine. Okay, I had to actually read the tax laws, put them manually on a return add them up. Somebody checked my work before it went out. And that's how and we did 1000s of tax returns. Unbelievable that you could actually do tax returns like that. And then they they created the computer and QuickBooks and it ruined accounting for small business owners. Because Intuit tricked people into thinking they could do their own bookkeeping and save money. Now, now what it did was it destroyed 10s of millions of businesses, because they thought they were doing bookkeeping. QuickBooks is not a bookkeeping program. It's a toll. Okay, so they need to know the Enter work. They don't need to become a bookkeeper or an accountant, but they need to, you know, I know that a car needs an engine and a transmission and you got to have oil in the engine And you got to know where to put the gas. And you got to know where to put the transmission flow ID. Because if you don't know those things, you, you're gonna destroy your car. So I don't know how to fix a car. But I know those basic things. So when somebody goes into business, they need to educate themselves on the basics. Okay, they need to know what to ask their accountant. And I just did a video on this, I said, don't assume that your accountant is doing a good job. We make mistakes, we miss things. You know, I've had clients that were doing hundreds of 1000s of dollars in business through Pay Pal, and they forgot to tell me, and by doing my job the way I did, I would say what are these Pay Pal? Transit? Oh, we didn't know we needed to tell you. Oh, you forgot? Okay, well, that's part of your business. You know, well, they wouldn't have forgot if they knew that all of the transactions that they do, are going to wind up on the tax return somehow somewhere. And if it's missing, your your all if your numbers are suspect. Suspect I should say, okay, so you need to have the at least a minimum of knowledge, you need to be familiar with the tax return. And the you know, the tax forms, and I do this, I teach it, I do it on on YouTube, I say, look, the tax return is not going to bite you. You're not going to get the Omicron virus by from touching your tax return. Look at it, it's pretty simple. The numbers there, there's only a couple of different tax returns that we use. Get familiar with it. So you know, I love it when I get a client and says, you know, can we go over our financials? Because I love expired. Love Sharpie, Les, I know what I'm doing. You know, challenge me ask me something that I don't know. You know, I'm looking for the people that I can say, I don't know, I need to get back to you. And you know, this Soma, taxes are complicated. There's credits. There's it's changing all the time. It's changing all the time. And I reach out to people, I have other accountants, I talk to groups, I need to keep my sword sharp. And if I know people are asking me questions, I'm gonna I want to make sure that I have the answers.

Alyssa Stanley:

Yeah.

Joe DiChiara:

That makes sense.

Alyssa Stanley:

Yeah. When an entrepreneur goes to start a business, and they sometimes there are no expenses, and they can just get going, especially if it's not a physical product. But you had mentioned the money mindset, there really is a huge block there. And the first thing entrepreneur has to figure out is okay, so if I do have to invest in something, where am I going to put that money? So how would you handle the objection of a new entrepreneur saying, Well, Joe, I know I should have an accountant, but I, I don't have the money for that right now. It's not, not somewhere I can invest?

Joe DiChiara:

Well, then I would say if you think you don't have the money, you're you're correct. Okay, who was that? I think Henry Ford said, If you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right. So if you start out saying, Oh, I'll hire you. When I have the money. That's never gonna happen. It's not because in my experience, small business owners usually wind up hiring an accountant when they've gotten into trouble. They got some kind of notice they got a ha You know, if they have to hire somebody, they can just easily go to a payroll company. When they start getting notices, or they or they go to h&r block, or somebody or they do that. A lot of them wind up doing their own return. And then they get oh, you owe us $30,000 And then the light goes off. Oh, now I need an accountant. Now I have less money than what I started with. And the IRS owes me money. So the first thing is to get out of the mindset of I don't have the money. When you buy a car. Do you say I can't afford the insurance? It's the same thing. It's like you don't have a choice. If they if they looked at it like that. They would change their mindset. Now I did say there are obstacles to this because for for practical purposes, you know account Let's charge money. And unfortunately, there is a huge shortage of good accountants out there. There's a huge shortage of good tax preparers out there. In fact, there's a lot of criminal tax preparers out there. And there's a lot of incompetent tax preparers, you can't take an h&r block course, and put up a shingle that you need at least five or 10 years experience working under a either an enrolled agent, which is somebody that's, you know, took a very hard test through the IRS, or a CPA that's that deals with small business owners. So when you go look, so now there's a whole thing, well, how do I find a good accountant? Well, I could tell you how to find a bad accountant. If they don't answer their phone, if you go into their office, and it's all messed up, if the people that are working for them are all angry and upset. You don't want to work with somebody like that. Okay. Any accountant should give a free consultation. Okay, you have to first of all, you got to have the chemistry, you know, you got to know them. You don't have to be their friends. But you know, anybody that you're working with, you got to have some kind of chemistry, right. They should have an introductory price for for newbies for people that are just starting out. Now, unfortunately, if that, you know, you said about supply and demand. Well, right now, most accountants aren't looking for new clients. It's the middle of tax season. Okay. I'm always looking for new clients. Yeah, like I said, I'm an entrepreneur, I'm running a business. Most accountants don't be they run a practice, they own a job. Okay. And that's what sets us apart. We have an onboarding process, we have a system. A lot of accountants, unfortunately don't have that. Okay. But regardless, you know, I tell people, when I get a new client, and I tell them my experience, I said, if you think this is going to be easy, maybe you shouldn't start a business, I try to talk a lot of people add to going into business when I'm like, listen, you're delusion. Entrepreneurs are delusional. To begin with, we're crazy. We do stuff that defies logic. Look at Elon Musk. Guys, like, oh, I want to go into outer space. You know, Thomas Edison, I'm going to make the light bulb that wasn't easy that were so I say, Listen, if you're really an entrepreneur, you're gonna find a way. Don't let the lack of money stop you. It never stopped me. You know, I figured it out. So the very least they could do go on YouTube, educate yourself, that's free. You just got to spend the time. You know, educate yourself on some of these topics. And as you're educating yourself, if you have the right mindset, the right person will appear. You know, you ask your friends, your relatives, people, you know, in business, most of my clients come from referrals. So, you know, that's, that's my story on that you got to educate yourself.

Alyssa Stanley:

When you're looking for an accountant. Are there specialties, for example, we're an ag family, we have we farm, we ranch. And then I have my coaching company, something distinct like that, where it's not, you know, your average small business? Do you find someone ag related? Or is accounting accounting as long as the accounting you hire is proficient in what they do?

Joe DiChiara:

No, that's that's a great question. And yeah, absolutely. You would want to find somebody that's familiar with the agricultural business, because there are definitely nuances. There's probably credits out there that I'm not aware of. It's not only federal, there's also state credits, state and local credits. There's also state and local registration and licensing requirements. Okay, now we do all 50 states. We happen to have a team where we we can research every state, every locality. We've been building up a database for years on all the requirements. But you know, if you came to me and say, Oh, we have a farm, you know, yeah, I would, I would take you I would learn everything I need to, but honestly, you're much better off if you find somebody that already has, you know, they have 20 foreign clients. Yeah. And the way you do that is simply you go to the farmers around you and you say who's? Who's your accountant? You know? So yeah, there's basics that are gonna run a p&l is a p&l. But you if you're in a in a specific niche industry like that, you definitely want to find an accountant in that industry.

Voiceover:

If you are enjoying this episode, please leave a five star review at your favorite podcast provider.

Alyssa Stanley:

What are the other industries that you can think of that are niche like that, that you would you would recommend finding someone proficient in that specific industry?

Joe DiChiara:

You know, so if you're a larger business, you know, you could get into like manufacturing, which has nuances cost accounting. We don't do tax. We don't do financial audits or reviews. For every state has, you know, a specific and I'm happy about that, because this should have been some quality control before, you know, it was like maybe 10 years ago, anybody if you're a CPA can do an audit? Well, I don't know how to do an audit. I, I worked on them, but I didn't spend I didn't like auditing. So you know, if you're a client, you got a big line of credit with a bank, you need an audit. That's one, particularly now auditors, people that do tax, financial audits don't necessarily know taxes. Okay. People in the financial industry, because the financial industry, if you're a broker dealer, a financial advisor, they have some regulatory issues that you're on, I happen to be aware of them. Because I've had clients in that industry for a long time. You know, stuff is coming up. Now we're crypto. Well, nobody's really an expert in crypto yet. I mean, anybody can be because the IRS doesn't even know how they're going to do it. But there will be people that emerge as extra I see them on YouTube already talking about what's what's going on. But yeah, that's, that's an emerging niche, niche field, but for the most part, you know, we deal with consultants, attorneys, professionals. You know, small businesses, that's our niche.

Alyssa Stanley:

Okay.

Joe DiChiara:

I like how you said that CPAs are Oh, you didn't really say that yet, the way I took it as that CAAP CPA should be almost viewed as being proactive and said, a reactive thing. And when you think about CPAs, it's not sexy, or fun when you think of numbers, like many things in life, yet, it's one of those things that as a business owner, you must have. I've always said that if you don't have someone who's watched your books better than you are, you will be out of business soon. There are so many things that can happen. So my question for you is this when you have a new company, and let's say I'm going to go sell some widgets? What should I expect to really have in my relationship with my CPA, when I first start off, is it a weekly? Is it a monthly? Is it a quarterly, a yearly meeting? What exactly am I looking at? You know, I could just tell you what we do. And the people that come to us what they had, because they're not coming to us, if they're happy with their accountant, they've either had a problem, the accountant isn't picking up the phone now. Or unfortunately, maybe maybe the accounting retired or moved away that you know, so. So what we do our processes we want to know as much as we can about the business and their personal finances before we start, we actually developed our own internal software, we have a questionnaire. We also have a secure portal where we we set them up. So before we take take them on as a client, I'm looking at the last two years business returns if they've been in business, and their personal returns. This gives me a history. And then we have them fill out a questionnaire how many you know, how long have you been in business? What are your you know, what do you want to do with the business? So before I've even met with them, I have a good idea of what's going on. Okay, I ask a lot of questions. Have you ever been in this business before? What do you expect? You know, so especially when I get somebody No, I try to brace them for for what's about to happen. I say, listen, be careful, we asked for, you know, if you're good at what you do you get a mock, the worst thing that could happen because it happened in May, is your marketing works. And you don't have the infrastructure to handle it. And then you see all that time and effort you spent building this, it collapses, that implodes. So you know, and also I tell them business is one problem after another, it's never going to be a smooth ride. So, you know, just expect that, if you think you're going to quit your day job, and you're going to have freedom, you're going to work more than you have before. Okay, and I encourage them to ask me questions, all of my clients, I say you have unlimited access to me for as long as I can, you know, be unlimited. But we've also as a business, we've handled that because, you know, we have so many clients now, I couldn't be available to everybody. So we we weed out the simple questions that everybody asks, like, how do I find, you know, my tax refund? Well, everybody on my team knows that we have frequently asked questions, you go to the IRS site, here's a link. So instead of me spending my time with them, but I tell them at least, at least at the midpoint of the year, I want to have a discussion with Yeah. And if they're not making an appointment with me, I'm looking at their financials and I'm sending them questions. It's up to them if they want to follow through or not. To me, I'm like, it's like, if I wanted to learn accounting, what fascinated me was I said, Oh, I could be a CPA and then I don't have to ask somebody all these questions. So you know, yeah, yeah, we we are proactive if you get it. So if you're looking for an accountant, here's a tip. And they say, Oh, you just give us all your numbers at the end of the year and we'll do your taxes. That's not somebody that's a tax preparer. That's not an accountant. Okay, h&r block. I mean, I love them. It's a great company. I remember Henry block growing up, you know, the 10 reasons why you should use h&r. That was brilliant, brilliant. But they're tax preparers. You go to them with your data, and they fill out a form. You're not gonna get tax advice. They'll give you a little bit of direction, but they're not doing tax minimum that they're closed after tax season. So, you know, do you want an accountant or do you want a tax preparer? Well, the first, you know, like I said, the first thing is you have to educate yourself. If you look lucky enough to find an accountant that wants to educate you, you pick their brain, ask them questions, you know, ask them as many questions as you can. You want to know, don't ask them what can I do docked? Everybody wants to know, what can I do docked? And the way I answer that is, it's easy to tell you what you can't deduct. You can't deduct your haircuts, even though Donald Trump tries to you can't deduct your your family meals, your family vacation, you can't deduct anything that's personal in nature. Okay, but if it has any connection to your business, and it's ordinary and necessary, you can deduct it. I just did a workshop on strange deductions that the IRS didn't like them, but the Tax Court did. Okay, for instance, there was a stripper that deducted breast augmentation surgery. The IRS did not like that. The the Tax Court said it was a depreciable asset Believe it or not, there was a woman that was deducting cat food and vet bills, and the IRS didn't like that she wants to tax court. And it turned out that she owned a junk yard and the cats were keeping the rats and the snakes out so the Tax Court allowed it. Okay. So if it's related to your business, it's deductible. Okay. You also want to know how do you get the information Listen to me, okay? The smart clients say, Okay, I have all this information that's gonna go on my tax return. How do you handle it? How do you want me to give it to you? Do you want me to email it to you? Do you want access to my bank account? How are you going to? What are the mechanics behind you taking my information and putting it on my tax return? That's what you want to ask people. If they look at your cross-eyed, then they might not be for that. So let's go to your current company Bedrock. First off, my question for you is I know you weren't around during the Flintstone era. How do you know?

Todd Foster:

In terms of at least living there. Where did the name bedrock come from?

Joe DiChiara:

I was looking for a word that that people could get a visualization of a firm foundation. So I had a company called cornerstones cornerstones of business. And that just didn't fly for me. And then somehow, I've, you know, I was doing research on this. And I was like, I came across bedrock. It's like, what's, what's better the build something on bedrock? You know, that that's the drawback is, you know, so bedrock Business Builders, a lot of people mistake us for a construction company. Yeah, I get once in a while, I get people asking me for a quote, to build a building or something. But the people that know that, you know who we are. I think it works. So that's where we got bedrock from. And I did think about using the Flintstones, but then I have a friend that's a marketing expert. And I said, I don't want to get sued by Hanna Barbera are a lot bigger than me. So we're not going to use the funds bonds. So you have bedrock? At what point did you say, wow, I've made it because if I recall you saying earlier? You've been doing this for about 35 years? Yeah, you just realized, like four years ago that you're doing what you've always should been doing the first place. I'm so glad you asked me that. Because there's a time and I talk about this. When I got my first office in 1994. I remember, you know, I just gone out on my own. I rented an office. I didn't have enough business for full time. But I had enough business to keep me busy for three or four days a week. And I worked per diem for another firm. But I remember sitting at my desk, saying I've arrived, I've done it. And then I lasted for about 30 seconds. Then it was like, I needed a bigger office. I needed more clients. So that I use that as I'm like you never arrive. You know. You never actually look at billionaires. You ever wonder why somebody like Elon Musk keeps Bill Gates like they keep creating things. You're an entrepreneur, you never arrive. Okay. But, and I share this with my team on like, I'm blessed on white because all these years I've been trying to build something that was special. That's what I was trying to get out of accounting. I was like, I'm, I'm limited. I tried hire and staff. I didn't do it. Right. One of my mistakes. I tried all the things that people do to build a business, I built a nice job for myself, I was very profitable. And I spent most of my time trying to figure it out. To be honest with you, I traveled a lot and educated myself. Like what what am I not doing right? And my clients actually helped me I got sick and tired of people asking me to commit felonies to commit insurance fraud. Okay, because that that's the kind of people I was attracting. I always got clients, and I always fired them. Because I'm like, Listen, I don't I'm not committing crimes for myself, why do you think I'm going to commit a crime to you? And if you're an account and you know, they all eventually put you in that position. Okay. And I said, this ain't working for me working for you know, established business owners that they they don't listen. They think they know everything unfortunate. I said, I want people I can teach. And I did some research and my, my best client, actually my most profitable client was my smallest client Never heard from she never complained always paid her bill. She did what I asked her to do if she she always called me and asked me questions, and she listened to me. So when I when I was re reorganizing, I said I need 1000 of lenders, I need 1000 lenders, low maintenance, she wants to learn, she's hungry for knowledge, she listens. And she's, she's successful. She's not a multimillionaire, but she she had to raise two autistic children. So being able to work from home and running her business that that made all the difference for her. Now she's part of my team. She builds software, she built the software for my team. So I said, well, and this goes to the to the price, you know, accountants are expensive. And I said, How am I going to attract all of these people? Because they're just starting out? They have the mindset that, oh, I'm gonna hire an accountant, when I start making money. How do we overcome those obstacles? Because to me, that's all it was. It's an obstacle. So, you know, we came up with a system. We call it our CFO package, it starts at only $57 a month. So I'm like, if you can't afford to start your business at $57 a month for the kind of service that we provide you, you know, come on, you spend more than that at Starbucks. So I took money out of the equation as being an obstacle. Okay. We designed education programs that they can join for free, we have a monthly a weekly mastermind meeting is free. You come in, you could ask me any question you want, not only me, we have other clients, other entrepreneurs, it's unbelievable. We have a monthly workshop, it might wind up being twice a month, we're going to do something for our clients, once some once a month and one for the general public. I mean, very easily in social media, just Google my name Joe de Chera. Or you can go to bedrock business builders or if you want to take me up bed dry business builders.com. Or, very easily, you can sign up for our mastermind, it's mastermind with joe.com. We meet every Friday and I want to add, we have a CFO in our in our company, the chief fun officer. That's one of one of my my assistants, Elizabeth, she's brilliant. She runs she created this game game called your party, which we play during the mastermind. But one of our core values is fun. I have a woman I was introduced to a very successful entrepreneur, and she introduced me to, to a prospect and she's like, she's like Josie only accountant. I know that actually has fun. That said, I'm like because one of the things if you're in business, I'm not here to be miserable. I'm not on this earth to be miserable, to trudge along, like whatever I'm doing, if I'm not having fun. I don't want to do it. And part of everybody in our team, I said, if you're not having fun, then Elizabeth's not doing her job. Because that's her. She's a chief fun officer. I love that position that as especially when you are in a business that is known for being kind of... dry?

Todd Foster:

Just ugh.

Alyssa Stanley:

Yeah. Wow. Yeah. I mean, you think about it, people dread numbers. And then you attach those numbers to their bank account. And it's, but you add fun to it, and education and mean, I, I want to take a minute and shift to the entrepreneurial mindset that you have, because that has preserved you for 35 years. Congratulations on that number one because that I mean, that's quite the accomplishment. And I have been thinking about your story where you are going to be a CPA, and then you realize, oh, crap, I have to stare at accounts all day like, well, this is not quite what I thought. You know, it would have been that would have been a good time to go back into day work, shift work, things that you were, you know, raised by those kinds of positions. But you were able to shift yourself and figure out okay, well this is not the way of me Is this I thought it was going to be, but how can I make it my mission and my purpose? What was what was your mindset to get you through that?

Joe DiChiara:

Well, I did make it clear that I tried to get out of it for a while, I could tell you some of my crazy entrepreneurial endeavors, I did try to sell insurance at one price, and I'm going to use my financial knowledge to sell insurance. And then what I realized was my bosses were trying to get me to sell expensive insurance that nobody could afford. It's like, I don't want to do this, you know. So I went back into accounting. And every time I went back, I learned another aspect of account there. So you know, this is all divine intervention, some odd an entrepreneur, but all the position, I look at every position I had, like, Oh, my God, I spent a year at a firm that was actually a criminal enterprise. They were a CPA firm that wasn't a CPA firm. I didn't know this. My job was to handle all of the tax problems, tax audits, criminal investigations, offers and compromise. Anything that had so I got a real education on how the system really works, is it don't work the way they want you to think it works. Okay. A couple of our clients started getting the letters saying please contact special revenue officer, so and so six of them. So it came on my desk, I gotta find all here's another tax problem. I found out they were investigating the firm. They had a massive charitable deduction scam going on, it was going on for decades. Oh, my God, it started it retired and sold it to two of his employees, neither of which was CPAs. But there was still operate. They were still signing off on finance. I had no idea. I was only there for nine months. And I was the only one the FBI and the IRS did not interview. And I was thinking I'm like, Oh, my God, they must be targeting may. But the truth is, they didn't need me. I wasn't there long enough. I wasn't doing and and most of the people that I would just workers, you know, and even the people that were helping them, I mean, they were doing money laundering. These were just people that had a job. You know, it was the two people in charge that that did everything. And so I left that firm. So a bunch of my clients came with me, they didn't know what was going on. They were legitimate business owners. And that's when I started my first firm in 1994. I was like, oh, and all I did was tax problems. I specialized in tax problems. I did that for a while. And, you know, when you're dealing with just people that all have problems, there's a reason why a lot of them got into problems, and they I would fix the problem. They would wind up in the same place. And I get this disenchanted with that. So believe it or not, I sold my accounting practice. This was like six years later, I sold it to become a web developer, a data bill, a database web developer, because it was no, it was exciting. And again, I went I learned all about that. And I came to the realization I said I'm never gonna make money at this. It was more of a like a hobby. I was like, I loved this. But that experience helped me in everything I do now. That programming, you know, it I can't even explain how it helped. But you know, I just I learned stuff that regular accountants don't know. And I tried a jewelry business. So I you know, like I said, it was all divine intervention, I wound up exactly where I'm supposed to be, which is helping people people need the most help people who can't afford it, but need it. I woke up and I said, Oh my god, we're building something here. You know, I have 9 team members. I'm like, we have hundreds of clients. We get new clients all the time we get people signing up for the work so you know all the YouTube videos. I'm like, oh my god, people are watching them. What did I create? And I was like, You know what, this is exactly what I've been trying to do my whole life. And I realized I said, You know what, all this stuff I went through. I had to go through, you know, the scanning business, I bought a scanner of $30,000. You could, you could buy the same scanner for $400. Now, I was going to make everybody paperless. Well, I learned about paperless. It cost me a lot of money. I could have done it cheaper. But I was like, You know what, thank you, God, thank you. For all the experience, it was painful. A lot of it was self imposed pain. I don't think there was would have been any other way. But what I learned is, pain is inevitable suffering is optional, if that makes sense. It's like, you know, a friend of mine puts it, right. He's like, when a baby is born, they don't come out last one. Right, they come out, it's painful for the mother and for the baby. But if they don't go through that pain, you don't have life. That's how I look at businesses. I'm like, business at this is my baby bed rock is my baby. Now. That's how I looked at it.

Alyssa Stanley:

I want to know if when you were an accountant for this scam place, if when you got those notices on your desk, you're like, well, crap, they're finally coming after me for my casino at 10 years old. Here it goes.

Joe DiChiara:

I knew that the statute of limitations had already run on the casinos. They couldn't get me on that. Oh, no, you know, I had a job to do. I looked at every time a client had an issue. Because when I walked in there that all the everything was in disarray. That department was just it was a nightmare. So I came in there with like, 50 cases that were in all different levels of of WoW, of the system. And, you know, I got I got some really, really interesting audits. And, you know, I learned that the IRS does not like going to tax court, and that you have all kinds of appeals available. So when people tell me, they're afraid of the IRS, I'm like, unless you're actually committing a crime, there's nothing to be afraid of. If you are committing a crime, then you need a tax attorney, not me. And I do I do get clients like that. I'm like, I'm not doing your stuff. You need a tax attorney. But yeah, it was another another project. It was actually exciting. Because I was like, Man, I never I never saw a letter like this. This is interesting,

Alyssa Stanley:

Boy they really messed up this time.

Joe DiChiara:

And then when I found out I was like, I'll never forget when I went to my boss, he was like, Joe, what's going on with that case? I'm like, Well, it's interesting, because they're investigating you. And he turned white. Yeah, so... That's a great story. I mean, I all like of course, you know, Midwest boy here, all you see is like Tony Soprano, leading the whole church. And you're going, I'm out of here, like, now, I would like to make a point because we're on. So I do do a thing on, you know, criminal, because unfortunately, a lot of the tax scams come from accounts, there's a whole thing with earned income credits. Were accountants used to actually sell other people's dependents. They were like, Oh, he's got six kids, you can buy three of them and use them on your return. So it became a whole scam. There's all kinds of telephone scams now. But what happens is people unknowingly can get caught up in somebody else's scam. So if you suspect if you go to with an accountant, and they say, Oh, I can get you back, you know, all kinds of money. Nobody can can promise that. So stay away from them. If you and if you suspect something. You could tell the IRS Listen, there's something shady going on. And one thing one way to definitely identify them is if they don't sign your return, they call them ghost preparers, who those people are a problem because the IRS knows this stuff. They were doing algorithms before Google, those guys were even born. They and that's why the IRS is hiring over 80,000 revenue agents. They're hiring auditors and collection agents. Okay, because they're like they know who's cheating and they don't have the manpower to Get them all. So this is part of what's the new economy so there's no more hiding. There's no more under the table. I call it you got to hide in plain sight. Do everything that they do and run a clean business.

Voiceover:

Thanks for listening to GAIN THE PASSION. Please rate review and share the podcast and don't forget to hit the follow or subscribe button.

Joe DiChiara Profile Photo

Joe DiChiara

CEO and President

Joe DiChiara is an entrepreneur with a CPA license. He has worked with thousands of business owners over a 35 year career. Eager to help people succeed, it troubled him that most new businesses fail and was determined to find out why. In 2010, after reading “The Science of Getting Rich” by Wallace Wattles and “Law of Success” by Napoleon Hill he got his answer.

Success starts with Mindset and Intention, subjects they don’t teach in CPA school. Joe learned that this was the true culprit in business failure on top of an overly complex tax and compliance system making it nearly impossible to start a business and stay in business. His primary purpose has become teaching entrepreneurs the fundamental principles of success combined with the practical knowledge acquired as a CPA.

New business owners start out with the odds stacked against them and the solution is education and guidance. Joe provides affordable business training and guidance through www.bedrockuniversity.com. and a full range of accounting services at a fraction of what most CPA firms charge through www.bedrockbusinessbuilders.com. You can book a free chat with Joe by visiting www.timewithjoe.com