You’re reading this because you like the idea of using tax planning to grow your business. You think it will be terrific “bait” to attract prospects and keep clients. You think you’ll be able to charge more for it than for accounting and tax prep. And you think it will give you a way to explain your value in a way that sets you apart from all your competitors.

Well, guess what. You’re absolutely right.

But that doesn’t mean you can just dive into the tax-planning business and count on the water being nice and refreshing.

Most of you, coming as you do from a black-and-white, debits-and-credits background, want to do a little due diligence before you commit. This is especially true if you’ve never done formal tax planning before, you’re not sure you understand some or all of the strategies, or you’re not sure you have the resources to actually implement them for your clients. Most of all, you want to be sure you aren’t about to make a bunch of promises you can’t keep.

As is so often the case, when it comes to these sort of dilemmas, there are two different and contradictory approaches. On the one hand, there’s the “he who hesitates is lost” crowd. On the other hand, there’s the “look before you leap” club.

(I’m proud to count myself a card-carrying member of the “he who hesitates is lost” group. If we’re meeting at 8am, I’m out the door at 7:55. But I’m not here to say there’s anything wrong with the kids down the hall who are looking before they leap. The trick is to look once, maybe twice, then get on with it. The problem comes when you’re too obsessed with looking and never actually leap. That’s a topic for a different day.)

So what does it take to get over the hurdle and start? I think, more than anything else, it’s confidence. We can give you all the tools you need to plan. We can give you the best hammer in the world. But if you don’t have the confidence to swing it, nothing gets nailed into the wall. (Conversely, once you have that confidence, it’s like rocket fuel for your new business.)

I’ve run across this very legitimate dilemma several times in the last few days, both in and out of the Tax Master Network. So let me share a couple of stories.

On Tuesday, I spent an hour on the phone with a member who came home from vacation to find a $10,000 check waiting in her office. It’s a deposit on a $17,000 engagement, and moves her nicely forward towards her goal of $100,000 in planning revenue. We spent much of the call talking about how to get new TMN members to make the leap so they can share that same success.

She introduced me to an interesting concept that I’ve already shared a couple of times since then. She said that we Americans tend to live in a do — have — be world. We do the things we know we should do (like learning new planning skills) so we can have the results we want (like $17,000 planning engagements) so we can be the kind of people we want to be (like tax planning professionals, not people who spend all day putting little numbers in little boxes). The problem comes when we look at what we have to do, and think, “wait a minute, that’s not me.”

What if we could turn that paradigm on its head? What if we switched to a be — do — havemindset? By being a tax planner first and foremost, you can do the things a successful tax planner does, and have the sort of new success you joined Tax Master Network to enjoy!

The problem, of course, is that many of you can’t just start out being a tax planner yet. You don’t have the confidence.

That leads me to the second story. This morning, Alyssa spent some really productive time on the phone with a member who finally “gets it.” He sees TMN as a way to get his business from an unsatisfactory place where he is today, to an exciting vision of where he really wants to be. But he had some questions about the process. How, specifically, could he use the new Quote Tool (available on the TMN portal) with confidence? How could he know the tool wouldn’t be proposing exotic strategies like captive insurance companies for clients who just don’t qualify?

The answer is to take advantage of TMN help and resources to answer those specific questions for the first plan or two until he becomes more comfortable with the process and the strategies. Make plans to attend the next Certified Tax Master® “Green Light Academy” and spend three days immersing yourself in the strategies.

Take a (tiny) leap of faith. We’ll be there for you. Kinda like this guy:

Interesting Image

Ok, there’s a lot more we can discuss to fill out both of these areas: 1) developing professional confidence, and 2) understanding and taking advantage of TMN help. Over the next few weeks and months, you’ll see all sorts of resources to help you develop both. So strap your seatbelts on and get ready for some rocket fuel!

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