Episode 209 – Jeremy Wells

Jeremy is an Accountant & a Star Trek Fan

After a decade in teaching & researching international politics, Jeremy realized he most enjoyed consulting with students about their career, business, & financial futures one-on-one. Now he works with clients, advising them on small business & personal finance through his accounting practice. An Enrolled Agent, he handles tax preparation, tax planning, & accounting for realtors, freelancers, & families. He lives in St. Augustine, FL, with his wife Halley & daughter Cora.

Jeremy Wells, owner of JWellsCFO, talks about his passion for Start Trek and how it has played a role in establishing ‘first contact’ with new clients and students, as well as teaching him an important lesson in humanizing himself in his profession!

Episode Highlights

Getting into Star Trek
Social commentary of Star Trek and how it still applies today
Establishing new relationships with students every semester
Spock compared to the average professional today
Using pop culture sci-fi in the classroom
Dealing with rejected advice

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  • Read Full TranscriptOpen or Close

    Welcome to Episode 209 of What’s Your “And”? This is John Garrett. Each Wednesday, I interview a professional who, just like me, is known for a hobby or a passion or an interest outside of work. To put it another way, it’s encouraging people to find their and, like the things that go above and beyond your technical skills that you do at work every day. These are the things that actually differentiate you when you’re in the office.

    But first, I’ve got quick favor to ask. If you like the show and are listening on iTunes or your favorite Android app, don’t forget to hit Subscribe, so you don’t miss any of the future episodes because I love sharing such interesting stories each and every week.

    This week is no different with my guest, Jeremy Wells. He’s the owner of JWellsCFO out of Saint Augustine, Florida. Prior to that, he was a senior lecturer at Texas State University. Now, he’s with me here today.

    Jeremy, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?

    Jeremy: Thank you for having me. It’s great to be here.

    John: Now, I’m so excited. This is going to be so much fun. First, you know the drill. We got the 17 rapid-fire questions, get to know Jeremy out of the gate. So I’ll start here with a super easy one for you. Star Wars or Star Trek?

    Jeremy: It’s Star Trek, no doubt.

    John: There you go. All right, we’re out of the gate. Your favorite color?

    Jeremy: Blue.

    John: Blue. Okay. How about a least favorite color?

    Jeremy: It’s something along the red-orange-ish spectrum. The actual colors are fine. I don’t know. It’s just when they start all blending together, it just looks messy.

    John: Yeah, it gets weird. Yeah, stick to the primaries, right?

    Jeremy: Yeah, that’s right. Exactly.

    John: How about more cats or dogs?

    Jeremy: Oh, definitely a dog person. I got him in the booth with me right now.

    John: Oh, sweet. Very cool. Very cool. How about chocolate or vanilla?

    John: Oh, definitely chocolate.

    Jeremy: And when it comes to puzzles, Sudoku or crossword?

    John: Crossword. I grew up doing crossword puzzles with my dad.

    John: Oh, very cool.

    Jeremy: When I was young, I would start them and he would finish them. And then by the time I got into college and grad school, he would start them and I would finish them.

    John: Nice, came full circle like that, huh?

    Jeremy: That’s right. That’s right.

    John: That’s neat.

    Jeremy: Same thing happened with monopoly. He used to let me win and then I would beat him.

    John: Exactly. That’s so funny. How about a favorite actor or actress?

    Jeremy: Man, probably, you know, and this will come back up later probably, Patrick Stewart, honestly. He’s just so diverse. He’s great.

    John: And really good. How about when you travel, planes, trains or automobiles?

    Jeremy: It depends on the distance. I love being behind the wheel. I love being in control and being able to pull over to the side whenever I need to, but I don’t want to be in the car for more than a day at a time.

    John: Right. Yeah. Now, that could be a long time. How about your computer, more PC or a Mac?

    Jeremy: Oh, God, 100% Mac?

    John: Oh, really?

    Jeremy: Absolutely. I thought it was a bit of anomaly in accounting. In fact, one of my accounting professors told me that I just needed to get rid of it, but I’ve stuck to it.

    John: They’re certainly adopting the accounting profession, that’s for sure, or vice versa, I guess. Do you have a favorite ice cream flavor?

    Jeremy: Mint chocolate chip.

    John: Oh, wow. That’s super popular lately. Classic, though. It’s really good. Would you say you’re more of an early bird or a night owl?

    Jeremy: Oh, definitely an early bird.

    John: All right, more of suit and tie or jeans and a t-shirt.

    Jeremy: Shorts and a polo.

    John: Oh, okay, kind of down the middle. I see what you’re doing there. I have to ask you, as an accountant, more balance sheet or income statement?

    Jeremy: I need the whole trial balance. But if I had to pick, I’d say the balance sheet.

    John: All right. I’ll give you a trial balance. I’ll give you all of it. Yeah, you greedy, greedy, greedy.

    Jeremy: I’ll make the adjustments myself, but I need all the data.

    John: There you go. How about a favorite cereal even when you were a kid?

    Jeremy: Reese’s Puffs and they’re dangerous.

    John: Okay.

    Jeremy: I don’t actually like the Reese’s the candy, but I love Reese’s Puffs for some reason.

    John: Those are the cereals were at the end the milk is just the best.

    Jeremy: Yeah, it just soaked up all the flavor.

    John: All that sugariness.

    Jeremy: Yes, exactly. It like transforms into something beyond just milk.

    John: Oh, totally. Yeah, I mean it’s magical. We got three more. Favorite number?

    Jeremy: I guess 21, my birthday.

    John: Okay. All right. That’s a good enough reason for me. Absolutely. Here’s an important one, toilet paper, roll over or under?

    Jeremy: Over, no doubt.

    John: Okay. All right. I didn’t want you to lose any friends here. And the last one, the favorite thing you own or the favorite thing you have?

    Jeremy: As far as have, other than my family and my dog, probably have to be my business right now.

    John: Yeah, that works. What kind of dog do you have?

    Jeremy: He’s a rescue. He is like a Lab mix. When I first got him, I showed him off to half dozen different friends, and every single one of them had a different theory as to what he was. But I adopted him as a rescue from a shelter when he was about six months old and he just got — to me, just looks like that classic yellow dog with a little bit of black and white in the snout, white chest. To me, he’s just an awesome dog.

    John: Yeah, he’s 100% awesome. That’s what he is. That’s what you tell people next time.

    Jeremy: Exactly. Exactly.

    John: Very cool. So let’s jump into the Star Trek. How did that start? Was it up since you were little?

    Jeremy: Yeah, absolutely. I’m going to preface this with I don’t consider myself a full-blown Trekkie. I don’t do the conferences. I don’t do all the dressing up or whatever. But some of my earliest memories in terms of watching TV and starting to figure out what I wanted to watch on TV and being bedtime but I had a TV in my room so I could stay up past bedtime just watching TV on my own was when Star Trek: The Next Generation was in syndication. Every night at like 10 o’clock, it would come on. So I would make sure I was in bed by 10 o’clock, and I’d turn that on. That was usually the last thing I did before I go to sleep at night.

    John: That’s awesome.

    Jeremy: I just kind of grew up watching Monday through Friday night every night that I was home watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. So Picard, Riker, Troi, Data, all of them, they were almost like friends growing up.

    John: No, I could believe it. I mean, absolutely. I’m a little older, so for me, it was more like Dukes of Hazard, stuff like that. But the Star Trek is much deeper story lines. It’s not just like, someone stole your car, and then you got it back, a bunch of stuff.

    Jeremy: Well, when I was that young, it was just flying around in space and shooting lasers at each other and weird aliens that even as a kid, I knew they were costumes or whatever. But now being an adult and going back and re-watching a lot of it is socially minded, that kind of thing. It’s really interesting how much social commentary is built into that franchise. I know with a lot of you guys, you ask them that Star Wars or Star Trek question. To me, it’s not even a contest because Star Wars is a few good hours of entertainment. But if you look at the storyline of that, it’s really copied off of a lot of familiar stories. The rise of Palpatine is the rise of Hitler. I mean, in fact, he called his friend Guard, the Storm Troopers, right? That’s where that comes from. It’s not bad. I watch him, of course, but when you look at Star Trek and you actually start watching what’s going on and thinking about what’s going on a lot of those plot lines, there is a lot deeper meaning, a lot deeper messages going on there.

    John: It survives the length of time as well. I mean, both franchises do, obviously. But those deeper social commentary, as you called it, they still are alive and well today. It’s not like it’s dated information that it’s like, oh, wow, that’s a weird time.

    Jeremy: Yeah, absolutely. I got really lucky a few years ago when the new round of movie started coming out. Netflix went back and they put all of the series all the way back from the original series, Kirk and Spock and McCoy and those guys, they put all of those series on Netflix. So my wife and I, we just started watching through them starting from the very first episode.

    John: Oh, wow.

    Jeremy: So to be able to go back here in the 20 teens and watch what was an issue, what was a social issue, what was a political issue, what was controversial that that show did 50 years ago, you got the kiss between Kirk and Uhura, which is the first kiss between a white and black person on TV, and just things like that. It’s really interesting, like I say, now as an adult, to go back and kind of try to put myself back in that timeframe.

    John: Yeah, that is interesting. Does Netflix still have them out there?

    Jeremy: Yeah, yeah, they’re still on. So this has been the thing. It’s pretty much been our hobby, I guess, for the last few years now is just like back when I was a kid. Most nights during the week after my wife and I put our daughter down, she will have actually just turned two. So after I give her bath and put her down for the night, we’ll get ready for bed too and then we usually end the night with going back and watching an episode of Star Trek. And so we’ve just been watching it starting from, like I said, the very first episode all the way through. So we watched all three seasons, the original series, all seven seasons of the Next Generation. We went through all of Deep Space Nine. So I think we’ve got about one season left, the Star Trek Voyager, and then we’ll be finished with that series too.

    John: Wow. Oh, my gosh.

    Jeremy: This has probably been over — when we started this, maybe about like four years ago or so. I mean, if you figure, each season has 20 something episodes. The original series was only three seasons, and most of them have been six or seven seasons since then. So if you add all that up, about 20 something seasons times 20 episodes, and —

    John: This is definitely a passion, man.

    Jeremy: Yeah.

    John: There’s no beating around the bush on this, like you’re all in.

    Jeremy: You watch that much of it, it ends up being, a few days later, something will happen. I’ll be like, that’s just like that episode we watched the other night.

    John: That’s awesome. That’s very funny. So just out of curiosity, do you feel like anything from watching Star Trek gives you a skill at all that you brought to whether as a lecturer or now doing taxes?

    Jeremy: Ultimately, you’re talking about this sort of military exploratory expedition kind of thing. So there’s always questions of leadership. There’s always questions of morals. There’s always questions of interacting with people that you don’t know, making first contact, those kinds of issues. So I actually started off out of college going to grad school. I got a PhD in political science and taught for five years at Texas State, taught political science, international politics. So my whole working life was every 15 weeks, it would be a new semester. So you’d have to meet a whole new group of people. They had no idea who you were. They had no idea what they were getting themselves into. They had no idea. So every 15 weeks, it was this new sort of first contact, getting to know each other, figuring each other out. And after 15 weeks, you would feel like you were just starting to get to know each other. You were just starting to get into a flow. You’re just starting to remember some of the names and associate them with the faces. And then those people would go on and do their own thing. A few weeks break would go by, and then you’d have a whole new group of people to do it all over with.

    So how do you engage these people? How do you start to earn their trust? How do you move beyond sort of coming in and saying, “Okay, this is what we’re supposed to do today. So let’s do it,” and actually turning this into an enjoyable experience for everybody involved. When you go back and you watch these episodes, it’s a similar kind of situation. That’s their job. They’re explorers. They’re exploring the galaxy. So every episode, they meet this new race. They find this new planet. They’re on the brink of war with this new empire that they’ve just discovered. How are you constantly balancing the diplomatic approach with the aggressive approach? How are you negotiating these things out?

    Going from higher education and thinking about those sort of context now in business over the last couple years, I went from a place where I was in charge of the room and the 20 people or 80 people or however many people had in that class, I came in on day one and I told him what had to happen, and they had 15 weeks to do it and that was it. It was up to them whether they were going to do it or not. Now, I’m in this field where you really have to sit down and negotiate with people. You can’t just tell a client, “Okay, go do this, this and this other thing, and then report back to me in two weeks.” They’re paying me. I’m not running the show here. It’s their business. It’s their lives. It’s their money. All I can do is help them and try to get them to follow my advice, but it’s so much negotiation.

    And then, of course, every time there’s a new referral, there’s a new prospect, it’s that same process. Just instead of trying to do it with a room full of 50 people, now I’m trying to do it one on one is figure out how do I introduce myself? How do I establish that trust? How do I get all that sensitive information out of them that I need in order to decide if this is going to be a good relationship or not without pushing them too far and scaring them off or whatever? It’s a lot of these similar kinds of issues.

    John: That’s incredible. I didn’t even think of that. Was it Spock that could read minds, or somebody that looked like the mind reader guy?

    Jeremy: That’s always an interesting plot twist, right? They bring in these characters that have these sort of superhuman abilities. So Spock is one who’s super logical. My wife will tell me a lot of times, “You’re being too Spock-like. You’re just being too logical.” Because that was one of the issues he dealt with throughout that entire franchise that he was in it was he was this half-Vulcan, half-human. So the Vulcans, they’re this incredibly logical race. In fact, over their evolution, they figured out how to completely get emotions out of the equations.

    So part of the attraction to accounting for me was the more I listen to other accountants talk, I don’t think this is as abnormal as I thought it might be. But it’s this idea that you’re going to go into this field where it is just concrete. It’s black and white. Here are the numbers. Yes or no? Did you follow this rule or not? It should be straightforward. And then you get into it and you realize, no, it’s not about the numbers, it’s about the people. People aren’t black and white. People aren’t numbers. You’ve got to be able to work with them. You got to be able to treat them and deal with them on a human level. So sometimes you have to set the numbers aside. This was something that Spock was constantly struggling with was getting more in touch with his human side and having to work and deal with other humans.

    John: Yeah, man, that was so perfect right there. I mean, just that whole Spock himself is probably a perfect analogy for what professionals are today where you’re part Vulcan and logic and everything’s clear black and white and this is what it is, but then there’s the human side, they’re conflicting. Sometimes you got to lean more to the human side than you thought. That’s pretty simple, and it’s pretty easy. Almost anyone can do it, really. But when you’re meeting a new client, it’s like, well, what are you telling them that’s different than everyone else has already told them? It’s not the number stuff. I mean, they’ve heard that a billion times.

    Jeremy: There’s a bunch of other accountants out there. There’s a bunch of other attorneys out there. There’s a bunch of other dentists out there. Why did they come to you? And what’s going to make them want to keep coming back to you? Getting them the best deal you can on their tax return or charging lower than everybody else, you can try that but that only lasts so long. It will only get you so far, right?

    John: Yeah, you’ll be out of business.

    Jeremy: Exactly. You’ve got to figure something else out. So whether it’s Spock in the original series or Data, which was more the one that I grew up with that’s this walking computer type deal. It’s funny because now we’re talking more and more about AI and machine learning and how these are going to affect accounting and all these different aspects of our life. It’s just interesting that you watch Star Wars and, okay, they’re running around swinging light sabers and shooting lasers at each other, whatever, right? But you go back and you watch Star Trek. In the late ’80s, early ’90s, there was this walking computer going around, trying to figure out how to make decisions, more like humans. Today, we have AI and machine learning, and how do we make this reality? You see people walking around with these flat pieces of plastic that have screens on them, and they’re tapping them and touching them and making them do things. Now, today, we have cell phones and iPads and all of these. So like, you go back and you watch the show that was now 30 years ago, and so much of what they foresaw on that series now we’re doing.

    John: Is this something at all that you talk about when you were at work or with clients or what have you?

    Jeremy: Back in my former job, when I was teaching international politics, the new movies were starting to come out. This wasn’t just me. There were articles published in papers about not just the research being done on international politics and political science, in general, but how to teach it better, how to teach it more effectively. So looking back and using Star Trek and Star Wars and at that time, it was also things like the Hunger Games and Game of Thrones and how to bring all this pop culture sci-fi, all this kind of stuff into the classroom as examples for the students. So let’s look at all these pop culture and sci-fi examples as analogies and ways of interpreting real historical events and this kind of stuff.

    So anytime I could bring in a Star Trek example, for sure I did. It was always interesting to see how much of the room would actually pick up on what I was putting down because pop culture is always a difficult thing. You’re talking to an audience that you don’t really know because you don’t know who in that room is really going to pick up on it. So you’ve got to be sure that most of the people in the room are going to understand it. But now, yeah, for sure, in business and accounting, thinking about these analogies, thinking about just the lessons that can be learned and the impact on society.

    I mean, you’re talking about, in the Star Trek universe, there’s no money. So this is an issue that comes up every now and then is how do you have a functioning economy? How do you keep inspiring that sort of entrepreneurial spirit? How do you deal with other groups that are still wanting to negotiate, wanting to barter, wanting to exchange when you have this moneyless society and all this kind of stuff? So yeah, there’s definitely still a lot of carryover, a lot of examples to think about. Just trying to bring in examples into the classroom, into the teaching and so now being in business, being in accounting, just still trying to think about how those analogies play out. The whole Star Trek universe, there’s no money anymore.

    John: That’s a good point.

    Jeremy: At least for the human, there’s no money anymore. So every now and then, you’ll see this discussion of what does business look like? Do you even still have business? What makes people get up in the morning? If it’s not the paycheck, then how do you keep people motivated? How do you keep that entrepreneurial spirit? And those kinds of things. So every now and then, they’ll bring in a new group, a new civilization, or a new race that still uses money. The Ferengi are an example that they’re hardcore capitalists. Their entire political system is based purely on the concept of profit. So they’re pretty big in the Deep Space Nine. They’re a lot more active in that series. So when we were watching that, my wife would always go back and sort of — she has an MBA. She went to business school. So she would always talk about how she knew so many people that were like that through her business school program and all that, that they woke up and the first thing on their mind was profit. They went to bed and the last thing on their mind was profit. Everything else in between was making money.

    It’s just funny to still to see that push so hard for that reason and to a point at which you really start to dissect it and think about how that motivation factors into so much of what we’re doing day to day. We have to put food on the table. How much further past that you take it? Yeah, it’s definitely something to think about. Sometimes you have clients that their motivation is to make enough to take care of what’s going on. Obviously, everybody would like to have a little bit more. But I’ve got some clients that they’re perfectly happy to cash their paycheck every two weeks or every month, keep their family going. Yeah, they want to save on their taxes. Yeah, they want to put more into their retirement accounts, but that’s it. Then I’ve got some clients that are out there. I mean, every few days, I’m getting a text from them with a new business idea, asking me if they can deduct this. Can I deduct that? They’re just constantly moving and shaking.

    John: Do you feel like one is, I don’t want to see better than the other, but I mean, I feel like if you’re all business all the time, I think you miss out on some things in between.

    Jeremy: Yeah, one client in particular, they’re married couple and they’re realtors. They live and work in a hot market, so they are just constantly at it. They’re closing houses left and right. They’re starting up side businesses that are in that same field, staging business, all these different kinds of sort of ancillary and related businesses. They’re always coming up with new ideas. They’re always pushing me as far as how can we make more money? How can we save on taxes? How can we do this and that? They’re fun to work with because they make a lot of money, and then I watched them spend a lot of money because I also do their books. I see everything coming in; I see everything going out. So I see that they’re taking big vacations a few times a year. I see that they’re also enjoying themselves.

    Obviously, right, there’s some advice that I’ve put out there that I wish they follow a little better, but that’s going to be true of all of my clients. My clients that aren’t movers and shakers, sometimes I look at them and I’m like, you’re really good at doing this thing, and I don’t know if you’re making enough doing that. What if we started you a little side gig so you could see and build up your confidence? This kind of stuff.

    So I don’t know. I think there is a happy medium talking to the client, getting to know the client, realizing which ones maybe have a little bit more in them than they know and trying to push them a little bit, and then looking at the other ones who, my grandmother used to always say, they get more money than sense, and maybe try to reel them in a little bit and say, “Okay, that’s great, but what if we took a little bit of this money and set it aside over into this retirement account? That might be a good move, right?”

    So again, it just goes back to just knowing the client and realizing that it is a constant process of negotiation. Sometimes those negotiations are a little bit easier, sometimes a little bit more difficult, but I can’t make them do anything. It’s ultimately their money and their life. That’s the flipside of it too is is something that I learned both when I was teaching and now in business is when you’re teaching, especially at that kind of higher ed level, is the program itself, the department you’re working in, or the university you’re at, they’re constantly under assessment, evaluation for accreditation, and all that kind of stuff. So all the way down to the level of the individual student, is this student happy? Is this student going to drop out? Is this student going to fail this class and bring the GPA down, and that’s going to make the whole program look bad because now we’ve got students failing, and all this kind of stuff?

    So it’s this constant sort of negotiation of wanting people to do well but also not taking it personally when they’re not following your advice, when they’re not doing as well as you hope they would and saying, yes, I know, at the end of the day that I tried to help you as much as I could. I gave you the best advice I could. But ultimately, you are the one responsible. It’s up to you to make that work out. It was hard enough teaching not to take it personally when students would not do well in the course just because they didn’t show up and they didn’t do the homework and they didn’t show up for the exam. And now, in this field, education is important, of course, but money, I mean, dealing with people’s money and that’s their livelihoods and if one of my clients asked me for some advice that’s going to be a relatively big move of money for them, should I pay off this big debt? Should I make this big investment? They want a straight up answer from me, and I want to give them that answer. But at the same time, I also don’t want to feel like maybe I just ruined them.

    It’s a hard place to be in sometimes, but at the same time, when I’m dealing with clients one on one and you can see within a year, I can do their tax return and I can see if some of the advice I gave them and that they followed, I can see whether it had an impact. With students, if they even kept up with you, which 99% didn’t, for the few that would keep in touch with you, it would take years before you would see how everything panned out. So there is a level of just being able to see some real tangible impact of what I’m advising and what they’re doing, and being able to celebrate some victories.

    I’ve got a client that a couple weeks ago, he’d always filed his returns with the Schedule C and was getting killed with self-employment taxes. He came to me and I helped him get set up with an S Corp. So we started saving him some taxes. I set him up on payroll. I started estimating his estimated payments for him, and he started getting on top of that. After three or four years of just getting slammed with big bills this past year, he actually got a little bit of a refund back. So a couple weeks ago, he sent me a message saying, we’re paying down all this debt to the IRS. We’re paying down our mortgage. We’re paying all this stuff off. It’s just a huge weight off. It’s a little bit of a victory that I get to celebrate with that family.

    John: That’s really cool. This has been so fantastic. Do you have any words of encouragement to anyone listening that thinks that their passion or hobby, whether it’s binge watching Netflix or going all in on the original Star Treks on DVD even, whatever it is that people love to do they think that it doesn’t impact their job?

    Jeremy: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you can give these sort of pop culture fads a hard time, but somebody came up with these storylines and they had a real meaning in their head when they started writing these stories out. Just be open minded to what that story is, and be open minded to the fact that there are a lot of other people out there who can relate to those stories. Those stories, they’re meaningful. They tell us something about ourselves as human beings. At the end of the day, we’re all just human beings. We’re all trying to do the best we can.

    John: I love it, man. It’s so great. So since I started out rapid-fire questioning you, it’s only fair that I turn the tables and let you rapid-fire question me. So if you’re ready, let it rip.

    Jeremy: I just got one and it’s kind of a big one. I kind of came into accounting backwards. I was already in another career, and I just kind of jumped into this one. So it’s one that I’ve always asked anybody who’s been in the field for a while that I come across. When you were first getting started in this, if you could do something differently, what would it be?

    John: Oh, wow, that’s interesting. I mean, I got really lucky because when I started with PwC, they had a rotational program through the audit and advisory service lines. So I was able to do about every three to six months internal audit, then merger and acquisition stuff, then computer controls, then external audit, which I only did three weeks off because I couldn’t do it for more than that, and then internal audit. It was fantastic just to see all the different sides of it. I guess, what would I have done differently? I guess I would have just been more confident in myself and in my abilities from the beginning. I mean, you got hired by a company and are getting paid good money for a reason. I was second guessing myself like, do I deserve this? Do I belong here? Do I? Yes, you do and so does everyone else around you. Just step up and do it. Own it and be confident in it. That’s what I would say.

    Jeremy: I’ve got a mentor. He’s been a CPA for about 15 years. Couple years ago, he’s the one that I reached out to, and he helped get me started. He’s the one that told me, “Hey, go take these exams, and you’ll get this thing called enrolled agent, and then I’ll start sending you work.”

    John: Oh, that’s great.

    Jeremy: Yeah, I had no idea what he was talking about. Once I told him, “Yeah, I’m pretty set on. I want to do tax. I want to help people.” He said, “Okay, go become an enrolled agent, and I’ll help you.” So I passed the exams over the Christmas holiday break, and then he started sending me returns. I just finished passing the exams and a few weeks later, I start getting returns assigned to me. So every now and then I’ll write up this big email and just send it to him. Basically, the gist of it is “I don’t know if I’m doing this right. I don’t know what I’m doing.” He’ll always just say the same thing back like, “Look, impostor syndrome is nothing new. We’ve all got it. We’ve all got it. Just get over it and do the work.”

    John: Exactly. I totally agree, that impostor complex is deep, man, and it can ruin people. That’s for sure. But thanks so much, Jeremy. This was really, really awesome. I appreciate you taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?

    Jeremy: Absolutely. Thank you for having me. It’s been fun.

    John: If you’d like to see some pictures of Jeremy outside of work or maybe connect with him on social media, be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. While you’re on the page, please click that big green button and do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture. It’ll really help for the book that I’m releasing in October.

    Thanks again for subscribing on iTunes or whatever app you use and for sharing this with your friends, so they get the message that we’re all trying to spread, that no matter our job or technical expertise, there’s always a human side to all of us.


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