If you could change one thing, what would it be?

This would possibly cost me some business, but I still think Form 1040 for an individual tax return is twice as complicated as it needs to be. In fact, I think for regular working folks who have a single job that generates all of their income, there should be a way for their returns to be generated almost automatically with information updated from what was provided in previous years and what’s supplied to the IRS by employers.

            Maybe it’s just my drive to reduce the discomfort of the filing process for people, but interacting with the federal government in this way should be a seamless process for most people that for some could even be accomplished with the click of a single button to confirm their data.

            Wouldn’t that be nice?

Chapter 12 — Conclusion: Donald’s Goals for Himself and You

            As we pull up to the last station on the track, let’s look back and see how far we’ve come. I’ve shared some of my stories, the problems I’ve faced, and some of my triumphs. There’ve been hot takes, deep reflections, and soulful ruminations about the things we do to try to make a living for ourselves.

            My goal has been to mix the inspiration and the excitement I feel about entrepreneurship with a portrait of working life for a business owner that’s not at all sugarcoated. How’d I do? If you feel like you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and attack your work with renewed vigor, and you’ve got a couple of extra tips in your pocket to help you do that better than you did before, then this whole exercise will be completely worth it for me.

            But what happens next, and where do we go from here? As you can probably tell, I’m the kind of person who likes to reflect deeply on the past and look as far into the future as I can. Until we draw our final breaths, I’m of the opinion that there’s always another chapter to be written and another memory to make. The goalposts might change as we get older, retire, and wind down our lives, but straight through to our final days it’s possible to carry the kind of entrepreneurial spirit that put us in this game in the first place.

            For me, when all is said and done and I’m looking back on my career, as you might have gathered I’m not going to be focused entirely on how much money I made or what things I have. There are a lot of excellent financial services professionals in the Atlanta region and throughout Georgia, but I’d love for Williams Accounting & Consulting to be seen as the gold standard in the area and still going strong even after I’ve handed off the reigns.

            We’re great at a lot of things, but we’re not there at the pinnacle yet. There’s still room to grow, still ways for us to build and burnish our reputation. That’s what keeps me going after all these years, the idea that this business is what’s going to represent me and leave a legacy even after I’m gone. “They did right by us and did it the right way.” A wide sentiment like that would go a long way to putting me in a place where I could truly relax.

            Many of my business goals intersect with my social goals. Was I a good boss who looked out for my employees and tried to build them up? I’ll be thinking about how the business I created helped influence the relationships in my life that matter. I want my family life to run just as smoothly as my job, my friendships to be rich and fulfilling, and my reach through charities and community organizations to be positive and more significant.

            I’ll never forget the experience of starting my business when I didn’t know where else to turn, so it won’t surprise you to know it matters to me that I’m able to be there for others in the way that I benefited from. My mentors transformed my life, and there’s no way I’d turn up my nose at the opportunity to do the same for someone else. There are so many hours in a day, and that’s largely what this book is for, passing along what I’ve learned and doing what I can to lend you a hand to the best of my ability.

            I’d love for some folks out there, wherever you are all around the country or the world, to feel like I gave you a leg up or had an idea or two that made a difference for you. Having that kind of human impact is what lasts in a much more profound way than anything else.

            And that brings me to my goals for you, beyond just having some food for thought in whatever happened to catch your eye among these pages. One thing I want to get across is that a successful business is overwhelmingly a very deliberate act that comes from a very delicately ordered state. It’s not something that happens by accident or appears out of thin air. Take some time to reflect in silence and solitude on where you are and what it’s going to take to get you to the next level.

            Often we spend so much of our time rushing around and trying to do as much as we can that we forget to pause now and then to really immerse ourselves in the question of if what we’re doing is the best way or if it reflects our values.

            If you’re considering going into business for yourself, take a clear-eyed look at the pros and cons of this kind of life, and see how well that matches up with an honest assessment of your personality and work ethic. Carry out the research necessary to give yourself an informed opinion about if your idea is worthwhile to pursue. Talk to people who know, and start the conversation about what the path ahead looks like. Mostly, overcome a common sense of self-doubt, take the first step with gusto, and see where it leads.

            If you’re at the pre-launch stage, reflect on the team you’ve assembled and the capabilities at hand for when you make your market debut. Make sure the plans you have in place for your launch are both thorough and creative. Feel like you’re breaking the mold and heading into uncharted territory, while also taking advantage of all of the tried and true marketing methods out there. If you’re not already, share the journey of your development as much as you can so that you can start gathering email signups, pre-orders, or funding pledges as soon as you can responsibly do so. Even if your product isn’t ready yet, you can start building buzz around it and positioning yourself for success.

            New businesses fighting for early sales and seeking stability should begin solidifying a track record of success, working on testimonials, gathering feedback, and eagerly searching for opportunities. This can be an exhausting time for new entrepreneurs who have to wear a lot of different hats and work long hours to get everything done. Do yourself a favor and begin expanding your team as soon as revenue allows so that you avoid burnout or get into a position where fatigue or being overwhelmed could lead to mistakes. Refine your sales pitch and optimize your marketing.

            Business owners running established operations that have been in business for a few years should look to spend an increasing amount of their time and attention on developing internal aspects of their building, such as managing hiring practices, company guidelines, and various workplace policies. At this point in the journey, it’s definitely not all about you anymore, so begin expending more effort empowering your employees to handle more responsibility. Leverage your experience and success to get bigger contracts or scale your production capabilities. If you’ve been there for three years, act like you’ve always been there.

            After ten years of running a business, you’ve already reached an incredible milestone that should bring a deep sense of satisfaction, but the story is far from over, if your intent is for this business to span the length of time we’d commonly consider a career. We want to be looking outside of the business more to achieve goals of community involvement or passing along what we’ve learned, but don’t take what you’ve built for granted and expect it to work forever without consistent revisions and innovations. Avoid complacency and getting into a rut with bad habits. Also, make sure you’re properly attending to that retirement account.

            And later on, whether it’s fifteen, twenty, or thirty years in business, take stock of what you’ve accomplished and once again be deliberate about how you want the rest of your story to play out. Have a succession plan in place, or perhaps depending on the nature of the business you feel like you’re ready to wind it down and move on to a new business idea, perhaps a job with the right organization, or a leisurely retirement. When the time comes to move on, you need to be able to do so without regrets or too much looking back. Where it goes after your time is over isn’t up to you anymore, and particularly if you’ve completed a sale of your business to a new owner, you may find that your business takes a much different direction than one you would’ve ever wanted.

            We haven’t discussed the prospect of selling your business much, but this close to the end might be the most fitting place for that. Building a working operation, trying to assign a value to it, and then selling it to someone else so that they can run it can be a challenging proposition, but when you’re able to value your business at two to three years’ revenue the numbers can get big fast. Just remember that like with any other market, you’re in a much stronger position if someone comes knocking and says they want to buy what you have, as opposed to you taking your business around and announcing you want to sell.

            No matter what stage you’re at in your journey, what I want to leave you with is the feeling that the timing is always right for a brilliant new idea, a clever move, a shakeup, or tapping into a new revenue stream. The same brainpower and ingenuity you display when you start your business and envision your plan coming to life can serve you all along the way to surprise your competitors and delight your customers.

            When it comes to having new ideas, keep going to the well; it’ll never be dry, and you’ll always be able to come up with something to get you through a jam if you have the passion and dedication for what you’re doing.

            The chance to do something incredible, significant, and lucrative with your life is right there with you every day.

            Now let’s get out there and show them how it’s done!


How Becoming Unconventional Transformed My Life & Business

The Suitless CEO

Don’t dress for the job you want. Create your own job and dress in a way that matches your personality.


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A visionary. A wealth builder. A money expert. Donald Williams is passionate about helping individuals, small business owners, and entrepreneurs find and build the financial foundation they need to succeed. Founder of multiple successful businesses and nonprofits, he understands the struggles of small business owners.


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