We had the good fortune of connecting with Dede Wells, MBA and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dede, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
While I was working on my undergrad degree, I worked for a local CPA that did both Bookkeeping and Tax Preparation. It was there that I fell in love with the industry and the day to day tasks associated with my field. Accounting and Taxation are composed of basic mathematics but the regulations and actions that take place requires knowledge and comprehension. It’s the best of both worlds. And to add to that, the freedom and flexibility that comes with being your own boss was very appealing to someone such as myself that never appreciated the glass ceiling placed on us in Corporate America.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I own two businesses. One is a Virtual Bookkeeping Firm where I handle all things financial for my clients from Georgia to California. My other business is a Virtual Tax Preparation Firm that prepares and files Tax Returns for clients all over the world. I even have teachers working in different countries that look to me for their Tax Preparation. I think what sets me apart from my competitors is ME! My personality… how I engage with my clients… how I teach my clients… and the lengths I will go for them. I come from a large family so everything I do is built on the foundation of Family. My entire Tax Team is family, starting with my brother being the 2nd in command and his wife overseeing all things administrative. I said that to say this, when you become a client of mine, you become family. I will always have your best interest at heart. I will go out of my way to stay up to date on the latest tax matters to ensure I am providing the best results for my clients. And if there is something that they may need assistance with and I am unable to help, I will put them in contact with someone that can! I am most proud of the fact that I did things my way. I did (and still do) my research and talk to other professionals in the industry. But, I understand that someone else’s story is not my story. So I do not look to someone else and their path to be a blueprint for my own. I gather pieces of knowledge from everyone I look up to, I do my own research, and I take my own experiences and I put that all into the pot. I then use those ingredients to cook up a plan that works for ME! And I am proud of that. I got to where I am today by not giving up. It has not been easy. I’ve quit what some would call “great jobs” in Corporate America and in the Government sector, only to go back to job hunting because things weren’t coming together as quickly as I had hoped and planned. If I would have allowed that to deter me, then I would still be stuck in an office somewhere, unhappy and unable to maximize my full potential. I had a plan and I didn’t give up. I am NOT a go with the flow type of person. Whenever things took place that were unexpected, it frustrated me and still does from time to time. But, after I get over myself, I revisit my plan and sit down and decide how to pivot to account and overcome those obstacles. One of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned is, “you get out what you put in”! If you are a part-time employee to your business, then you will receive part-time money, part-time support, and part-time results. It’s simple… you get out what YOU put in. As I continue to journey through this thing called life, building my brand, I want the world to know that I don’t expect anything to come easy to me. I want the world to know that I am (and will continue to) working towards my goals and Family will always be what keeps me grounded.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If I had a friend from another location to visit me for a week, we would probable spend most of our time indoors, relaxing. I love being home, working on a master plan and netflixing. I would definitely go for brunch because you cannot visit the area without going to brunch. No restaurant in particular. Just a place with good music, good vibes, and good food. I would want to go walk along the Atlanta Beltline because it is so relaxing and peaceful and a great opportunity for the world to slow down and allow us to really connect the way people use to. I might recommend we check out a book store because I definitely enjoy reading a good book relating to business or bettering yourself. And because I am a junk-food fanatic, we would have to go get some sweets… Ice cream or doughnuts or something of the sorts!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to my grandmother, Annie Webb. Growing up, she was always very vocal about me believing in myself. She always told me, “You can give out… you can give in… but, never give up!” She motivated me during conversations where she probably didn’t even know I was listening. When other saw me and judged me based on my actions, she loved me and motivated me based on my capabilities. She always saw more in me than I saw in myself and it is because of her that I am who I am today!