Scott Cytron of Cytron and Company Joins Dawn Brolin

March 8, 2022

Listen to the episode here!

Episode Summary

Scott Cytron of Cytron and Company sits down with Dawn Brolin to chat about how he went from struggling to find work as a writer shortly after college, to now owning a successful PR company that’s been in business for over 26 years. Listen now to find out how Scott finds motivation, how important networking is for your business, and how doing what you love can bring you more joy in both your professional and personal life.

Show Notes

Scott’s Introduction

Scott Cytron discusses his early beginnings as a Journalism major at the University of Missouri, and how he struggled to find work shortly after graduating. Scott talks about how difficult the job market was at the time, and how even after countless interviews, he was not finding any work. He then started working as a volunteer writer for United Way, and how even though he was not making any money, this allowed him to gain the networking skills that he would use in the future. Because of his work with United Way, he eventually landed a job with the American Red Cross.

And yeah, I mean, it was like, joke pay, but it was a job and I was glad to have it.” Scott says in reference to how much he made at his first job. 

Scott also shares how he found his way into the accounting industry; he was recruited for a position at the Texas Society of CPAs, a position he held for 9 years. 

Being Laid off and Starting His Own Company

Scott shares that he was laid off from his position, and talks about the grief he struggled with following the lay off.

Shortly thereafter, he was contacted by a few vendors he worked with while he was at the CPA society. He was asked to teach the sales people how non-profits thought and operated so they could sell more affinity cards. With Scott’s experience working with nonprofits, this ended up being a great gig for him, and with more vendors starting to contact him, this eventually led him to start his own business.

Importance of Networking

Scott then shares how important networking was when he started his business.

“And one thing led to another and I networked. I really, I let absolutely everybody I know, I told everybody, I know what I wanted to do, and what I was doing.” Scott shares. 

Dawn agrees and says networking is key when trying to gain clients and being “loud and proud” about what you do will help you reach more people who are in need of your services.

Scott also shares how as a business owner or accounting professional, you can always be doing something to increase your reach with new clients. He encourages people to take their clients out to lunch, schedule “coffee talks,” and how developing these relationships can lead to not only more work in general, but meaningful work as well.

Keeping The Client and Yourself Happy 

Scott and Dawn also share how important it is to maintain a good relationship with your clients, and while it’s important to make them happy, it’s also important that they make you happy.

“And I at this point, if I’m not having fun, or Brian isn’t having fun working…I’d rather go do something else. Yeah, because life is too short,” shares Scott. 

Scott then shares about how important it is to maintain integrity and honesty with your clients, and says,

“My best day is when a client will call me up… and say, ‘I’ve got a problem. Can you help me fix it?’ Because to me that says you totally believe in my integrity.”


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Dawn Brolin 0:05
Hi, I’m Dawn Brolin. I’m a certified public accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner, and the author of the designated motivator for accounting professionals.

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If you know anything about writing articles or information about accounting Scott’s your guy, he just that’s what you do. Scott, you write and you do amazing things. So hey, everybody, welcome to the DM Disruption. I’m here today, really excited about our guest today, Scott Cytron. He is an amazing writer, he puts the junky words that I throw to him. And he makes me sound like I know what I’m talking about. And so I love working with Scott and work with him for a long time if you know, he writes, you know, all of the Intuit articles, but he does so much more than that. And we’re going to get into that today. So Scott, thank you so much for coming on today.

Scott Cytron 2:28
Well, thanks for having me.

Dawn Brolin 2:30
You know, I thought about this when I saw you on the schedule, and I said, we don’t know anything about Scott. He’s like in the background all the time doing writing and stuff like that. It’s just your articles, and your information is so phenomenal. But we don’t know about Scott himself. And so I was like, we’re gonna get to know Scott on this episode of the podcast today because I think that, like it’s so much more cool to read an article when you learn a little bit about the guy who’s right now. Right So, Scott, we’re gonna talk about your history in the marketing world, where you came from, where you were motivated in a certain way to get yourself to go out and start your own prep your own business and for writing so tell us who you are. What do you do what’s going on? You got a fractured foot what else is happening? Yeah, I

Scott Cytron 3:19
Yeah I have a fractured foot, yeah, that’s been a lot of fun or not. Yeah, and I’m usually used to you know, being really active like exercising and and you know, not not running but like doing your swimming and walking and all that and it’s been it’s been a journey but I got out of the booth this morning. So life is good. Finally out of the blue so now…

Dawn Brolin 3:43
You can itch, well the boot you could take off to itch, but…

Scott Cytron 3:47
Yeah, yeah, at least I didn’t have a cast that’s for sure. No, I It’s interesting career if he would said to me years and years ago when I started my career that I was going to be doing this I would have absolutely laughed in your face because I was like what is that I don’t even know what the heck that is. You know I I went to journalism school actually have a journalism degree from University of Missouri which is still the number one top school in the nation for journalism and ere we go numbers and football sucks though the basketball student okay but football is not great. Yeah, but I you know, I knew I always wanted to write I was a very good writer in high school. I loved writing you know, the remember the old blue books I don’t know if the students still right in blue books or not. They probably type it online now like for…

Dawn Brolin 4:37
Well, are they blue? Are they the black with the white? They look like cows.

Scott Cytron 4:40
I could if if right took a class and the professor said, I need you to write a, fill up your blue book about this topic. I can actually sit down there and write extemporaneously for hours about that topic, which was, I thought a real gift that I had, I didn’t know anything about anything else. I knew how to write. So I pursued journalism and graduated with a degree and a Bachelor of journalism with a specialty in magazine. And I was going to be a magazine editor when I graduated, okay. And I decided I want to eat. So, because eating is a good thing. So, I went to where I actually went into PR and kind of stumbled into it. I mean, they had one PR class at Missouri. And it was like this joke class, like you took it, if you couldn’t make it at anything else, this was way back. And now, you know, of course, it’s a very respected thing. But back then, you know, I, I had this, my mother refer refer to that as my interview suit, I had this blue pinstripe suit, that it was on and off my body three times a day. And of course, I could never gang the interviews. They were like back to back. They were always like, early morning, get home, take the suit off, put it back on, go back out. I was getting lots of interviews, but no bites. Because the job market this was, I’m telling you, it was the early 80s. The job market was pretty tight. All over was tied, and couldn’t find a job. And so I was active in a communicators organization at the time, which is still around. It’s an international group. And I went to a couple meetings and met this man he was with he worked for the United Way. And he said to me, why don’t you come see me United Way their office was downtown. He said, Are you interested in doing some volunteer work? I was like, Well, yeah, I got nothing else going on. He said, This could lead to something if you came and like showed your face got to know some people. In other words, network when I didn’t, you know, you’re not taugh in College how to network. I mean, nobody says, you know, this is what you need to do to find a job. And sure enough, I went down and volunteered my time writing articles for some of the agencies that belong to United Way and my mother and father, thought I was absolutely nuts. I mean, they were like, Why are you spending your time volunteering, when you should be out interviewing. It’s like, well, this is what I’m doing. So shut up. This is what I’ve got going on. Sure enough, it led to my first job, which was with the American Red Cross, they, the fellow I worked with the United Way knew there was an opening. And he said, go interview. Here’s the name of the number of the person need to call, got the job. And I was there about a year and thought, Well, okay, this is interesting. I was making $12,000 a year. Oh, wow. Wait a minute. Now, it turned out after taxes to be $765 a month. That was 300. And whatever it was $332 a check. And I would sit there all the time going. Okay, this is how much I have coming in. These are my bills. Do I really have enough to pay my bills? And yeah, I mean, it was like, joke pay, but job and I was glad to have it. And that led to some other things. So basically, basically, I I stayed in PR, I studied nonprofit PR and went from there. Actually, I went from there to an agency that recruited me fly knew we had a PR agency. He said, Why don’t you come work with us. I was there about a year and a half decided, okay, the PR world is I guess it’s for me, I’m going to stick with this. But I really wanted to do content. I really wanted to do more content. I was doing a lot of press releases, I was doing a lot of media contact. But I really enjoyed writing. So I was kind of the writer in the agency was a small agency at the time. Now it’s still around much larger. But I actually went back in a nonprofit, which was kind of unheard of I went back and worked for big brothers and sisters, and learned about it because I was in charge of fundraising. And really wanted to learn how to raise money in a nonprofit, and eventually led actually to a position a United Way. And from there I was recruited with from a woman who used to work there to the Texas Society of CPAs. So that’s how, when people say, “What’s your accounting background?” Well, I worked there for nine years. And I was head of all the internal communications the member communications, membership programs and learned just a heck of a lot about a lot of stuff and met some really great people. I liaised like I was head of the volunteer groups for the map, which was you know, management and accounting practice. Yeah. So they were all the public practitioner, and I still actually keep in touch with a few of those people.

Dawn Brolin 9:42
Oh, that’s cool.

Scott Cytron 9:43
Yeah. So I was. I was there for about nine years and then I was the one that thought I’d never be laid off. I was like, my job is solid. Hey, look at me. I’m tougher than this. I got laid off. laid off because that was one of the higher salaries and they said, you know, we love you, but we don’t want you anymore. And I, I cried.

Dawn Brolin 10:08

Scott Cytron 10:09
I cried for a couple weeks. It was right when Rosie O’Donnell Show was on the afternoon, like when she was starting her show, so I can see all the Rosie O’Donnell Show.

Dawn Brolin 10:17
Yeah! (laughs)

Scott Cytron 10:19
My son was five at the time. And I, you know, like I had to do something to earn money. And they gave me a little bit of severance they gave me they like they placed me with one of those agencies, which where they teach you how to find a job, rewrite your resume. I did all that. But what happened to me was, you talk about inspiration about being motivated.

Dawn Brolin 10:42

Scott Cytron 10:42
What happened was, I was contacted by a couple of vendors that I worked with while I was at the CPA society, because I headed up the member affinity program, which was the program like the credit card program for the members, the banking, the mortgage brokers, all the member benefits. I was contacted by this company, that was the financial arm of MBNA, America, which is now Bank of America more Bank of America years ago. They were interested in getting into the AICPA to switch them from first USA to MBNA. America, okay, they knew that I people involved, but trying to make this long story shorter, they brought me up to Boston once a week for six months. And they want me to teach the salespeople how nonprofits thought and operated. So they can sell more affinity car. So it was kind of the sweet little gig that I started out with, I was like, Well, if I can do this, maybe I can continue to do my own thing. And I got a call from another vendor I used to work with, I’m the one that set up the original website for the CPA society. So I got called by that company which was out of Seattle. And then one thing led to another. And I ended up really trying to make a go of it. I thought, well, that was in like November. And I thought if I could just be busy through the spring and just pay bills. Yeah, I’ll give the no and I always wanted to start my own thing I really did. I actually had a dream because I worked so much a nonprofit to actually do an agency a PR agency, that was only nonprofit clients, and I got some real pop back. But I said, you know, you’re going to have to have a certain number of clients to make that work because nonprofits couldn’t pay as much as for profit clients. And that’s true. That’s very, very true. So I ended up going out on my own. And one thing led to another and I networked I really, I led absolutely everybody I know, I told everybody, I know what I wanted to do what I was doing. That was during the age of dial up, I know I’m dating myself, but dial up computers, I typed out my, my letters on a typewriter, I mailed them every day to people. This is what I’m doing this what I want to do, and one thing led to another and you know, now 20, almost 26 years later, I’ve still got my own business.

Dawn Brolin 13:11
You know, and I love that because I think a lot of times people will ask and you see it over on social media all the time in a lot of the various groups, and I’m gonna log the accounting groups, and you watch them, they’re like, how do I get clients? How do I, you know, grow my practice? How do I do? And it’s not any different than what you did? Really, it’s like, be loud and proud about what you do get a little more specific, right? You don’t want to be just, oh, I’m an accountant. Well, you know, what? Accounts are a lot like attorneys. There’s very different types of accounting services that are provided. Attorneys, you know, their bankruptcy attorneys or their family attorneys. Usually family attorneys aren’t doing bankruptcy at the same time. Usually, there’s different partners that are doing really focus things. That’s how you become the best. Like when you think about somebody who writes somebody that is out there in publications that is doing amazing writing, Scott Cytron’s at the top of listening accounting field period. Right. And so, and you did that, and you did that work, Scott, all yourself, man. Right. And your motivation, I think a lot of our motivation, I mean, you know, you got laid off, right at the end of the day. I’m not saying it’s bad to be an employee. That’s not what I’m saying. But you don’t hold your own fate in your own hands when you work for someone else. And if you have the drive, and the commitment, the passion, the focus, to go out there and do it. What you’re doing is exactly right. You’re out there you’re networking, you’re letting people know loud and proud this is what I’m doing. And one thing leads to another Oh yeah, you know what, oh, you need an article written call Scott mean he’s your guy that’s so and that’s how people will start to grow their practice and that’s what you’ve done for your business, is grow up.

Scott Cytron 14:51
That’s absolutely the case. And you know, I get kind of perturbed, well, I don’t get perturbed I get pissed off. Yeah. When I hear good I hear from an accountant or bookkeeper or anybody in the profession. Oh, I just don’t have enough work. I don’t have enough business like, well, you’re not trying hard enough. My God, look at the number of companies and businesses out there. When was the last time you’d network with somebody? Oh, right now Well, COVID is going on? I can’t possibly do that. Yeah, you can. I met a pro advisor, or I guess last year who, this was brilliant, she scheduled coffee talks. And it was a 15 minute thing. Yeah, schedule a coffee talk with me. And yeah, okay. We can’t, you know, there was a long time where we couldn’t see each other in person. But you could still waste a network and waste to get the word out about what you’re doing. But I completely agree when a when a person in PR and marketing communications calls me or sends me a note and says, I need, I need some referrals I need to network with you. I understand, you know, some people, can you help me out? Like, what do you what area do you want to work in? Oh, I do everything? Well, no, that doesn’t help me because I need to know what you either niche in. I people know, for me, I niche accounting and finance. Now we have other clients outside of that. And I tried really hard over the years to diversify. I did a lot of healthcare. Like when I started, I did accounting and finance and I actually did morphed into healthcare, and did a lot of that. And then did some B2C work. I did some work for Blockbuster in Pizza Hut and some really great fun projects. But I always said like, it was like the God Father, I got pulled back in. And around the seventh or eighth year, I thought, well, okay, I just, I’m gonna stick with this, but was with accounting and finance. But I still want to try to find gigs outside of that. And we do we have some, but you know, there’s a group of interesting, there’s a, there’s like a handful of us across the nation. That niche in this area, and we all know each other, and we actually exchange work.

Dawn Brolin 16:55
Yes, absolutely.

Scott Cytron 16:56
Which is great. You know, if you know, Betty can’t do something, she’ll say, Scott, can you pick this up, or, you know, whatever it is, or they’ll refer what we’ve heard each other. And that’s what makes it really fun. You know, so no, we trust each other enough to get the job done. But we’re also great to work with, you know, we love we love what we do.

Dawn Brolin 17:15
Yeah, and that’s important. I mean you could to do for the rest of your life, basically, You should probably find, I was telling kids you’re like I work with, you know, I teach at the local university, I’m not right now because of the book. And I’ve got too much going on. So I’m not doing it this semester. But it’s like, I try to tell the kids like, listen, you’re going to work for forever, okay? So I encourage you, number one, find something that you’re good at, but you’ve got to enjoy it, because it’s a long road, there’s gonna be ups and downs, and sideways and backwards and all this stuff. And you’ve got to be able to get up every single morning and know why you’re doing it. And remembering that you do love it. And, you know, I want to switch a little bit of gears in that conversation about the industry right now. Now, you obviously you see it from a 30,000 foot view, and sometimes a 10,000 foot view, you know, you’re you can sometimes just have a broad conversation or write an article that’s a little bit more general in nature, or you may jump into some more deeper scenarios. So are you You know, as far as the practitioners out there, are you seeing what I’m seeing in this really tough 18 months, almost coming on two years now of, of really, in the accounting industry, specifically, where people are just struggling. I you know, and I don’t know about you, but I think sometimes it’s the people who don’t have systems and processes in place, that are able to handle either volume, or like we were talking about just being able to do that coffee time, coffee talk and just being able to, like, you’re gonna have to bring yourself into this into this timeframe of technology, I think is maybe one day is right.

Scott Cytron 18:45
I think that’s absolutely right. And yeah, yeah, you know, when you own your own business, you’re your own helpdesk. Yes. Your own IT , support your own helpdesk. Yeah, I think what’s interesting about about that kind of conversation about accountants and bookkeepers, networking is, most of the ones I know, you definitely excluded. You’re not in this camp at all. They’re afraid to ask for referral. They’re afraid to ask their clients for referral. I had this one client who was a Sage provider, they did manage services through Sage, and they had a very successful business. And they were like, well, we don’t seem to be getting any new business. I said, well, I said to the owner because I work directly with the owner. But when was the last time, this is why before COVID, I said, When was the last time you took a client to lunch? Oh, I don’t know. I don’t you know, I don’t really do that. Or do you go to lunch every day, knowing that he did? Well, yes. I said, so why don’t why don’t you take your best clients to lunch, make a rule that you don’t talk about busniess, and but you talk about not, not your business, but just business in general? How you can help each other out? Oh, I don’t have time for that. Right? But you go to lunch every day. He goes I get your point. But he said I’m not going to go do that. I’m like Why are you so afraid to ask a client for referral? What are you afraid they’ll say to you? You’re being too forward? I said they need referrals from you just like you need referrals from them exact. So why don’t you you’ve got a chemical company you’re representing, you’re doing the books for chances are they know other people, maybe in similar industries that are competitive, or whatever the case is, you know, ask, ask for help and helped them.

Dawn Brolin 20:29
Exactly. And, you know, I also some of the other things I think of is, you know, if I get a particular client that I’m like, Yeah, you know what, I’m not really your fit, but I know somebody who is, right, or if someone that comes to me that is predominantly Spanish speaking, I know exactly who I’m referring them to. And that’s because Mariette and Hector Garcia, you know, those guys are all out there, loud and proud about what they’re doing from a bilingual perspective. You know what, that helps me? Because, you know, I just had a client this morning even emailed me, she’s like, I’m in New Jersey, we have called, she actually a new client. She called me last week, we had a nice phone call. And this morning, she email she said, Listen, I’m from New Jersey, I had an accountant from New York, and I felt like I never could get in touch with him, or I couldn’t go to his office, blah, blah, blah. And I said to her, I said, Well, Jackie, here’s the deal, kid. Listen, if you want somebody local, just say the word. I’m sure I can find you somebody in New Jersey, that would love to be working with you, whatever. I said, but listen, at the end of the day, I’ve got Tracy in my office, who you if you call our office, if she is working with she, you know, sometimes she goes on vacation whenever she’s really kind of part time. If If she calls you she doesn’t answer that phone call, I promise you within 24 hours, you will get a call back, because that’s just the way she rolls, right? And so what I said to her, I said, Hey, if you want some from New Jersey, I’m happy to refer you like, I want what’s best for the client. Because it’s like happy wife happy life. It’s happy client happy business. Like, you know, I don’t want upset clients. I don’t want those people. So if I feel like, you know, this isn’t a fit for me, you know.

Scott Cytron 22:05
But you know, at the same time, like I’ve had cases, like locally, I’ll give you an example. I worked with a financial management company here. For we worked together 12 years. And the owner was a heck of a nice guy, the nicest guy you would ever want to meet. If you said, Bill, give me the shirt off your back, he would take it off and give it to you. I was at his wedding. I mean, that’s how that’s what a great relationship. Yeah, I know. That’s what a great relationship, we had. This PR I did his newsletter articles, whatever. And, but he could not make a decision to save his life, he could not make a decision. He managed, he wouldn’t work with anybody unless they had more than $2 million in assets. I mean, that was his sea level practice. So when he was very good at it, but he couldn’t make a decision. And I finally, you know, like, probably the fifth or sixth year like this is all like this is not working? Well, I really tried to resign twice. He kept throwing more money at me. And I was like, okay, well, I guess I’ll continue. And finally, the third time I just said, Bill, you’ve got to go find this somewhere else. I said, I’m sorry. But why would you pay me? You know, like, he was a happy client. But sure, I wasn’t happy working with him, because I didn’t feel like I was helping him. You know, and I feel like in the, in the accounting profession is kind of the same thing. Why would you continue working with a client, you don’t think you’re helping just to make the money? You know, and, and to me, it’s the whole story. It’s the whole advisory services conversation that some accountants still cannot wrap their arms around, they cannot figure out like, oh, you know, they can look at the tax return and figure out that they have stocks, they have other assets they have. I don’t, you could look the return. I don’t know, you know, I’m not a tax guy. But I know how to do that. And to have that conversation with your client, I don’t know if they’re afraid that the client will leave them because it’s going to cost them more money. But you know, if I had a client that I knew, had this issue, I would certainly bring it up. And that’s where you make your clients happy. Like you want to, but we do in PR we say we anticipate what you’re going to need before you need it. That’s that’s the whole crux in a nutshell is we want to make we want we want to know what you need before you realize you need it. And that’s that’s where we have happy clients and communications with clients is key like they you know, the worst thing I would want to happen at the end of the month is for them to get my invoice and say what did he do for that? Well, no, that never happened. Because we’re constantly in touch. We’re constantly you know, doing stuff back and forth. They know exactly what’s going on. So…

Dawn Brolin 24:56
I love that conversation about like you’re saying like keeping a client, like you were saying that just because you’re you’re making money from them. And that’s great. Sometimes it isn’t the best fit I, we had a client just here in the last few months he had whatever issues he had, and we just it was the last straw, we were making a lot of money. It was a great project, it was a fun project. But we were just, we just got to the point where we’re gonna keep this guy, we’re gonna actually be able to intercept this audit was a criminal audit, we had all the i’s dotted T’s crossed, he had his record keeping was terrible, his prior account just really did a major disservice. So we were going to go after the, ENO, for that, like, we had this whole plan, but he just became like, he was mean. And a girl on my staff was kind of mostly dealing with them. And, you know, she called me at one point, she’s pretty tough. And she was like, I just don’t know if I can handle this anymore. I said, then that’s the end of it, we’re done. And so I fired the client, I was like, I don’t need to, I don’t want to make money off those people. And then on the other flip side, I have one of my best friend’s real really great, another couple that my husband I’ve been friends with were that the God daughters, one of his godparents, and one of his daughters. Just we love Him. And so what we he owns his own security system business. And we would chase him and chase and chase him for information. And it was like, just became painful. So finally, his kid, actually my goddaughter graduated from college with an accounting degree. And I said, Kyle, your daughter is doing your accounting she’s doing all your sales tax returns, go figure out your tax return, because we’re done. Like, it wasn’t even it was about just, this isn’t worth it. And you know, we’re friends, and I would love to help my friends, but not at my, you know, at my cost, if you will, of having to chase them constantly. And you know, at that point, where’s the value anyway? There isn’t any.

Scott Cytron 26:42
The one thing, the one thing I dread is firing clients, and I’ve had to do it. Luckily, I’ve never been fired by a client. But I’ve had a power plant. And I mean, the financial planners, one example. But you know, there have been other examples. And I at this point, if I’m not having fun, or Brian isn’t having fun working, you know, working on this, my son works with me, as you know, if we’re not having fun. I’d rather go flip burgers at the Burger King. Well, hopefully not there. But you know what I mean? I do, I’d rather go do something else. Yeah, because life is too short. And, you know, when a client gets ornery with me, or starts questioning my integrity, we can have a conversation about absolutely, I’ve got a very thick skin. But you know, at the end of the day, is this really worth it? And it’s it’s a tough thing, because, you know, I mean, when I first started my business, it was absolutely all about the money. I had to make money. I mean, let’s just face it, I had to do it. And then on the seventh, eighth, ninth year, I was like, okay, it’s less about the money and more about the quality of the work. Unfortunately, I’m not…

Dawn Brolin 27:53

Scott Cytron 27:53
Yeah, it’s now all about the work. And I, you know, I feel like the the pay is going to be there, the money is going to be there, hopefully. And will last I’ve been very fortunate people have been incredibly kind to me, over the years and generous. And, you know, I know we work hard for what we do. But at the same time, I never, never think that something’s an absolute, I absolutely am grateful for everything we get. But sometimes you have to fire a client and that’s not easy. I always feel like, Oh, my God, this whole door is going to shut and not open. And the moment you do it, you know, as a business owner, like this weight comes off of you. And a window opens and something else happens. It always works like that. I don’t know why, I don’t know if that’s fate, I don’t know what it is. But it’s just weird.

Dawn Brolin 28:41
Well, and I think one of the things that I want to Well, this is going to be the kind of the last week well, we usually go 25 minutes or so. So we’ll but I want to finish with this part. Because you know, you submitted we always have people submit to us some information so that I don’t, you know, ask you questions that make no sense to you. But the I think the most impressive thing that I read about kind of your art are written conversation about what you do, why you do it, what you’re motivated for, and what makes you happy. And the number one word that I that just pulls right out is honesty. And I think at the end of the day, if you can be honest with yourself, and be able to say, and there are situations where I’ve seen practitioners work, and it’s garbage. I’ve seen it. I’m like, How is this client paying $65,000 in self employment tax? Why are they not an S-Corp? Like, I look at this stuff, and I’m like, I wonder because I don’t know, how do you look in the mirror or send an invoice to a client and take their money when you did such bad work? Now I will say for myself even if I make mistakes or I you know I dropped the ball on something. It will not cost the client anything because that’s my integrity, my ethics and my honesty that I know I jacked it up. It’s my fault. And so I don’t feel comfortable and I can’t sleep at night, if I know that I’ve done dishonest, right. And so I know honesty for you is one of your biggest things. And I agree with you and you can’t look yourself in the mirror. Or you know, what’s worse is if you can, and you’re being dishonest, that’s even worse. But tell tell me about that honesty thing, because I really, that really spoke to me.

Scott Cytron 30:21
Well, I just feel like you have to be genuine. I mean, you can’t, people are gonna play games are going to play games until the world is over, which hopefully, isn’t anytime soon. But you have to have integrity and honesty. And I think along with incomes trust. And I will tell you, you know, I always ask I ask a client two things. I asked them if they’d rather be rich or famous. Because I don’t whenever I have a new client, I say what would you rather be rich or famous? Or what do you mean? What do you mean by that? I said, Okay, if you want to be rich, it’s all about PR is all about getting your company’s name in the paper. If you want to be famous, it’s about getting your name in the paper, or the media, whatever it is, but that’s always a good question. The second is, you know, just you want to at the end of the day, you want to absolutely be honest with what you’re doing. I have done crisis communications in my time, and which, which is basically if a client was imperil, for some reason, let’s say they had somebody on their staff that embezzled money or somebody went to jail, or there was really a big problem like that, I’ve done that kind of work. I now outsource that, like if I have a client that has that, because there are people to do a way better than me. But I always say what, at the end of the day, my best day, I always say what is your best day? Like? What makes you the happiest? What is your best day? My best day is when a client will call me up. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a client will call me up and say, I’ve got a problem. Can you help me fix it? Because to me that says you totally believe in my integrity. Now, you may not always take my advice, which is your deal, you know, and I’ll never tell somebody their baby’s ugly outright, probably sandwich that in something. But I always tell by clinets by saying, you know, and if you don’t feel like you’re going down a rabbit hole with something? I’ll let you know. Because why would you want to hear me say, oh, everything’s great. I want to be a yes, man. You know, what good does that do? Anybody? You know, we’ve had several recently, you know, like, with COVID, going on, we’ve had a couple of instances. And I’ll give them my opinion about what I feel like they should be doing and whether they again, whether they choose to follow it or not as their deal. I can’t control that narrative. But I know for my off, yeah, I can look in the mirror every day and say I really did the best I could.

Dawn Brolin 32:47
Yeah, and I think that that’s, you know, it’s that’s an amazing message. And I guess that would for me, that is what when I read the the information that you had sent over, and I’m just like, every bit of what it sounded like in what you wrote, and what you sent over was definitely coming from your heart. And you can, you can read the honesty, you know what I’m saying? And I think this episode is about honesty and integrity. And if you can be honest with yourself, and you have an integrity, things will always work out for you. Because you are being asked, like you said, is it fate? What is it when you close that door? And then another one, probably for open? In some cases? Right? And I think that comes down to at the end of the day that that ability to have that honesty, integrity, you’re trustworthy. People are comfortable around you because you, you know, you’re not sugarcoating things you’re telling them. And like you said, Let him take the information in and do what they wish with it. But you always know you’re giving the people I mean, you know, as an accountant, people always say, Well, what do you think? Can’t I you know, what if I did this, and can I do that? And I’m like, Okay, listen, I’m going to tell you what you should be doing. And then you’re going to go ahead and do it or you won’t do it. You know, Oh, should I go and buy this truck at year end, because I just want to reduce my expenses? I think that’s stupid. I think that that would do really need that. Like you need it. Like I’m always very open with them. Not gonna, I’m not gonna Yes, sir. them and be like, oh, yeah, that’d be awesome. We’ll get yourself a truck like, and you know, you’re on the phone. And you’re like, I just got to tell you, I just don’t think that’s the right answer. It could have been, it would be very easy to go. Oh, yeah, go and get it. No problem. We’ll just make sure you send me the paperwork, so I can get it into your books. Like, that’s too easy.

Scott Cytron 34:29
I love that.

Dawn Brolin 34:29
Right? And it’s like, I got to have that conversation with them.

Scott Cytron 34:34
Don’t you wish that they would teach this at school? Don’t you wish they would teach you something like, like, from an early age? Even like preschool. And I don’t know that they do. It’s been years since my son was in school, but I you know, I just don’t know. If it’s if that’s something that’s being taught. I you know, I’m afraid that’s probably not. I

Dawn Brolin 34:54
I mean, to think about, like a course on decision making. Yeah, right. Right. Like okay, you, we’re giving you information and you read the and then you interpret the information, and then you use it or lose it. And teaching them how to work through that would be really awesome. Maybe we can get, you know, they’re doing education reform, if we can slip that in somehow..

Scott Cytron 35:13
I’ll get it on the agenda, how’s that?

Dawn Brolin 35:17
On the agenda! Well, Scott Cytron. I really, I’m and I’m being as genuine as I am always very honest and open. And I wouldn’t say these boastful things about people if I didn’t believe them, but I’ve really appreciated you. You’ve helped me in my career tremendously. Just through the work we’ve done with Intuit, of course, with writing and different things that we’ve been doing. And I just want to thank you, from my side of the industry from from being the accounting side, you know, you’re you’re out there giving us the information that we need to make those good decisions. And I don’t know if anyone thanks you for that, you know, a check isn’t thanks enough for you. But I just personally have appreciation for what you’ve done for me. So I want to thank you for that.

Scott Cytron 35:55
That’s really, really good night. Like, that means more to me than I can tell you. Thank you.

Dawn Brolin 36:00
Oh, Scott. I mean, we really go way back, man, we really do. And, and I wouldn’t, you know, I want to have you on again, I’d love to talk more. You know, this, the DM Disruptions about just where I’m trying to disrupt the industry in a positive way. Right? So helping people to take like you’re saying, take the information on what you shouldn’t shouldn’t be doing as a practitioner, and interpreting it, but not just sitting there and thinking about it, but doing something about it. We want people to do things, right, we got Scaling New Heights coming up, don’t just go to a conference or watch a webinar to just be present. You know, just be there as a human. Be there with purpose. And then take whatever you learn, even if it’s just one thing, and make a change in your day in your life, and I promise you, your practice will change. And that’s what we’re trying to do. So, Scott, you’ve been awesome, and I appreciate you. And I’ll be looking for you if you’re if I see you as Scaling and be out the ball. I know you’ll be the slowest guy walking, but I’ll be able to find you I’m sure!

Scott Cytron 36:58
Thank you, I will.

Dawn Brolin 37:01
You take care and say hi to your son for me because I do remember meeting him I think it was at QuickBooks Connect event we sat together towards the front I think but I do remember him and I wish you the best and I know, I know We’ll be talking again soon.

Scott Cytron 37:14
Sounds good. Thank you!

Dawn Brolin 37:16
All right. Thanks everybody for listening to DM Disruption Dawn Brolin here with my man Scott Cytron love him. This episode is sponsored by ADP my favorite payroll processing company you know why cuz I don’t like process payroll. So Amen. For ADP. I just have to say that. Scott again. Thank you so much. You’re wonderful, and we’ll talk again soon. Sounds good. Thank you. Alright, take care. Bye. Bye, everybody.

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