It’s that time of year. The time when you have to tally up all your hard-earned bucks and shovel part of your income to Uncle Sam.
And even though this virus business might delay the normal regularly-scheduled file date, you eventually have to pay the tax man.
And who does my taxes but my best friend’s wife (From high school).
And she’s great. She’s done my taxes since I graduated college, and one year she really saved my ass…
I forgot to report a portion of my income one year and the tax man sent me a bill for $3,000. I paid them, but then about 3 months later, they sent me ANOTHER formal letter asking for MORE money.
Well, wouldn’t you know, my crack accountant sent the IRS a series of “hand-holding” letters politely and diplomatically letting them know the error of their ways.
After a few months of worrying and handwringing… I got a check for $7. I texted her that I was annoyed because I only got $7.
She said, and I’m paraphrasing, “More often than not, the end-result is people just have to suck it up and pay regardless of whether they’re right or wrong. I would put that $7 in the Win column!”
Talk about golden.
The following year, I was talking with a friend of mine, who also hired my same friend to file his taxes. But then I uttered the following sentence…
“And the best part is, she’s free.”
And then my friend looked at me.
“Uh, she wasn’t free for me! *Nervous Laughter*” he sheepishly said.
Which meant for years, my friend, who was doing my taxes wasn’t charging me, even when she was charging everyone else.
So after my return was filed, I asked her how much she wanted.
She was completely taken aback by this. She responded with the usual line that friends give each other. The “Oh, you don’t have to pay me” line.
That’s when I wrote her a $100 check and told her to just take it. And I also told her, if the day came when she wanted to charge more, she was welcome to increase my bill.
Who even says that?? Nobody.
Which brings me to my point. Nobody wants to pay their rent, their mortgage, their water billl, electric bill, or their car loan, but people will gladly and willingly pay for people they like and trust.
At one of my old jobs, I brought in 2 boxes of Girl Scout Peanut Butter Tagalongs. I bought them, but quickly changed my mind deciding I finally wanted to lose those extra 20 lbs for good.
One coworker took a few cookies, but then handed me a single dollar. I told her, “Hey, Thanks a lot but I don’t need this. Just go ahead and take as many cookies as you want.”
She replied, “I was going to give this money to the vending machine anyways.”
What that meant was, she was gladly going to hand her money over to a stranger, but she’d much rather give that money to me.
The moral of the story is, offer something of value and importance, whether it’s a product (Girl Scout cookie) or a service (Tax Prep). If people like you, and you offer them a solution, they’d rather pay you than someone else.