Leslie Smith is the Managing Director of Silver Hill Funding, a small-balance commercial real estate lender that focuses on serving the needs of small businesses that may not meet the traditional borrowing requirements of banks. Leslie explains how her services differ from that of banks, who her ideal clients are, and why she takes on loans that banks usually aren’t interested in providing. Leslie also shares more about how she reaches the people who need her loans, and how helping others grow their business has helped her make significant gains in her own business. Tune in to find out more.

Key Takeaways:

[:18] John introduces his guest for this episode — Leslie Smith.

[:40] What does Leslie do?

[2:05] Who are the typical clients that Leslie serves?

[4:20] Leslie explains the two main ways her company is different from a bank.

[6:40] How does Leslie help people who didn’t think they could own real estate get into this space?

[8:33] Leslie considers different numbers when evaluating a borrower’s ability to repay a loan. She explains why this is important.

[13:10] Leslie also takes on loans in areas that banks traditionally don’t like to take on. John and Leslie discuss why that is.

[16:04] On the commercial and wholesale perspective, how does Leslie manage the borrowers she gets?

[17:43] How does Leslie reach the people who need her loans?

[19:32] Leslie explains how helping others grow their business is helping her expand her own business.

[22:06] What else does Leslie do that sets her apart from the others in her industry?

[25:40] Get in touch with Leslie via Silver Hill Funding or Commercial Direct.


Mentioned in This Episode:

Leslie Smith on LinkedIn

Silver Hill Funding

Commercial Direct

Brian Bradley is the Founder and CEO of Bradley Legal Corp and an attorney in the area of asset protection. Asset protection is something that everyone should be taking into consideration — if you have assets, they need protection to safeguard them from potentially disastrous future situations. Brian explains some of the ways he helps his clients protect their assets, through exemption trusts and asset protection trusts. He shares some examples and case studies of situations where these may come in handy and reveals some key professionals who would most benefit from his services. Tune in to find out more.


Key Takeaways:

[:18] John introduces his guest for this episode — Brian Bradley.

[1:26] What does Brian do?

[1:50] What does it mean when Brian says he helps people find missing dollars?

[6:10] What is an exemption trust? Brian shares some examples of how it can be used.

[11:27] Not a lot of people are aware of how exemptions can be used to protect their assets.

[14:49] What is Brian’s response to people who argue that keeping assets in a trust makes it faster through probate?

[16:12] John explains how he is set up in terms of asset protection.

[18:19] What is an asset protection trust? Brian explains how to choose a jurisdiction and some of the pros and cons of offshore jurisdiction and local jurisdiction.

[24:15] Brian recommends a hybrid foreign and domestic asset protection trust for most of his clients. He explains why.

[27:17] When would clients choose to go completely foreign with their asset protection trusts?

[28:41] John and Brian explore some hypothetical situations.

[31:19] Who are some high-risk clients that Brian takes on?

[34:54] How did Brian end up in this business?

[36:55] John shares his own personal negative experience with predatory lawsuits.

[42:07] Brain has some thoughts on the importance of being proactive and having systems in place to avoid situations like John’s.

[43:22] Why are real estate investors such a target for litigation?

[47:23] Get in touch with Brain via his website and check out all the great resources there.


Mentioned in This Episode:

Brian Bradley

Kilker vs Stillman, California Case Law

Florida Homestead Exemption

California 704.115 (Exemptions)

Bill Bice is the CEO of boomtime, which focuses on Word of Mouth Marketing and getting clients referrals through building an audience and helping people stay top-of-mind. Bill explains why marketing isn’t really about good brand images or fancy logos — it’s really all about collecting, analyzing and using data to understand the customer journey and filling in the gaps. Bill shares how boomtime helps clients create consistent content and cultivate personal relationships at the individual level that turn into referrals. Tune in to find out more about how you, too, can set your business up for success with word of mouth marketing!

Key Takeaways:

[:18] John introduces his guest for this episode — Bill Bice.

[:53] What does Bill do?

[2:58] Marketing is more about data than other peripheral things like icons or logos. What has Bill learned just from studying data?

[5:38] John and Bill discuss the customer journey and how data can help identify gaps in the journey that need to be addressed.

[8:15] Why are websites no longer brochures for the company and more of landing pages that walk potential clients through the sales process?

[12:53] How does Bill make the transition to word of mouth marketing referrals?

[17:03] What are Bill’s thoughts on leveraging personal branding, rather than the brand of the company?

[19:36] Bill explains how he helps companies create those individual-level relationships.

[24:26] How does Bill help clients set up for success with word of mouth referrals?

[31:35] It’s crucial to identify your niche of who your best customer is, their pain points, and to speak to that.

[37:16] John shares an anecdote to show how sharing great content can get him referrals.

[41:10] Doing business with someone is all about building trust and credibility.

[42:36] Get in touch with Bill via Linkedin, his website, and check out his podcast.

[44:55] Bill and John discuss why it’s so important for you to lean into your superpower and unique ability and allow others to fill in the gaps in your business.

Mentioned in This Episode:

Bill Bice on LinkedIn

Email Bill Bice


B2B Word of Mouth Podcast

Brent Buchanan is the President & Founder of Cygnal, an award-winning polling and research firm. Brent uses his extensive 11-plus years of experience to help solve critical problems in business and in the political space. Did you know that research can help answer problems like high turnover and actually save you money on tedious split-testing work? It can also help bridge the gap between finding the best clients to work with. On today’s episode, Brent dives into what he does, how it can help the average small business owner, and some of the key benefits owners are missing out on by not tackling the data first.

Key Takeaways:

[:20] John introduces his guest for this episode — Brent Buchanan.

[:58] What does Brent do at Cygnal?

[1:20] Is customer research expensive?

[2:15] Decisions are a two-step process and people leave out the first step — gathering information.

[9:25] Back then, gathering customer research was either extremely expensive or incredibly inaccurate. Brent strived to get it right at a price point that made sense.

[12:04] Brent discusses AI and how it helps his business.

[19:53] How many data points does Brent need before he determines something as ‘accurate’?

[26:58] Brent explains the types of marketing problems and confirmation biases his company can help solve.

[36:11] Research can help you figure out why you have such high turnover rates.

[38:59] Brent shares an example of certain data points and discoveries that shocked him.

[43:39] By analyzing how your audience is going to react, you can make your split tests much more effective.

[45:41] Everything comes down to it being a communication problem.

[54:14] Afraid to make the leap on a big decision because you don’t have the answers? Brent’s company can help!

Mentioned in This Episode:


Brent on LinkedIn



Bob Riley

Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will,
by Geoff Colvin

I, Robot

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business, by Gino Wickman

The 12 Week Year: Get More Done In 12 Weeks Than Others Will In 12 Months, by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington

Culture Index

Hannah is a CPA and also a member of the Tax Master Network. Today’s show is slightly different because Hannah currently works for a major tax preparation firm, and during tax season, she worked as a remote CPA for them. She’ll be revealing some interesting facts and statistics about the industry, however, we’ve kept her identity private for the show. Hannah also will be sharing ways you can leverage the new tax changes to your benefit depending on which state you’ll be residing in and things to be aware of when you’re working with tax preparation software.

Key Takeaways:

[:18] John introduces his guest for this episode — Hannah.

[1:44] Hannah shares some numbers about tax returns.

[6:25] TurboTax and H&R Block have between almost 45% of the market.

[10:14] There was an overall decrease in debt because H&R Block had fewer itemized deductions returns.

[13:24] CPAs were expecting a decrease in their 1040 practice, but that hasn’t been the case this year.

[15:04] Hannah believes all CPAs need to get better at fully understanding their individual state tax laws.

[17:39] How do big companies like TurboTax connect you with a CPA in your state?

[20:44] There are about 11 states that won’t let you itemize on your state unless you’ve itemized on your federal.

[21:17] Hannah explains why she recommends the 529 plan to her customers with children.

[26:54] Hannah shares insight on the lawsuit in New York with TurboTax and H&R Block.

[33:44] Lots of things are changing. Hannah talks about QBI deductions and what you need to be aware of.

[34:56] What do consumers have to say about these tax software programs?

[39:08] It drives John nuts that none of these accounting programs have Open APIs.

[42:58] CreditKarma is trying to get into the tax space, but their service is just error-ridden.

[46:04] People lie on their taxes forms all the time! CPAs know when you’re lying.

[54:34] How long does Hannah spend with each client?

Mentioned in This Episode:

Tax Master Network


H&R Block










Michael Rozbruch is the Founder of the Tax and Business Solutions Academy and is a CPA who specializes in the tax resolution market. He discovered his niche in this industry after being fired from his corporate job and built his business in tax resolution from the ground up to a multi-million dollar company through marketing and sales. Today, he teaches other professionals in the accounting industry not just about tax resolution, but also how to market themselves and run a successful business. Michael shares his insights on the industry, the need for marketing and focusing on a niche, and other lessons from his entrepreneurial journey. Tune in to find out more

Key Takeaways:

[:18] John introduces his guest for this episode — Michael Rozbruch.

[:55] How did Michael get into the business of tax resolution?

[6:29] Most accounting type products are products themselves, rather than teaching you how to make the sale.

[9:08] Most CPAs are terrible business people.

[12:22] Michael shares his biggest takeaway from figuring out his marketing.

[16:50] Why did Michael decide to create the Tax & Business Solutions Academy?

[19:55] John and Michael discuss why people fear competition without considering the size of the market.

[23:36] How can people create authority for themselves?

[24:44] What was Michael’s experience with packaging his service and getting it out to the marketplace?

[30:03] What services does the Academy provide?

[32:56] Michael has taken the opposite route of many info-marketers.

[34:27] Michael and John discuss why it’s important for professionals in the accounting industry to lead with the result, not the product.

[38:56] What’s next for Michael?

[44:51] John makes a prediction for the future of the industry.

[50:34] Find out more about Michael and his work at his website or on YouTube for some free training.

Mentioned in This Episode:

Michael Rozbruch, Tax & Business Solutions Academy

Tax Resolution Domination System and Toolkit

Strategic Coach

Michael Rozbruch’s Tax and Business Solutions Academy on YouTube

Premiere Networks


David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, by Malcolm Gladwell

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

H&R Block



Drake Software

paying taxes

Taxes and patriotism have been wrapped up together pretty much since the Boston Tea Party. The consensus has long been that while paying taxes is a patriotic act, overpaying on your taxes is not. The United States has one of the highest rates of tax compliance in the developed world, and while a majority of taxpayers in the United States see taxpaying as their civic duty, there is no reason to overpay what is legally, ethically, or morally owed. A basic business fundamental is to maximize money coming in and minimize money going out. The easiest way to increase profit is to ensure that you aren’t spending money unnecessarily. A strategic tax plan from Financial Gravity is the business fundamental you are missing to make sure you aren’t paying more in taxes than what is required.

Read more

The Infinite Monkey Theorem holds that if you sit an infinite number of monkeys down at an infinite number of typewriters, eventually one of them will bang out the complete works of William Shakespeare — or, at the very least, Hamlet. But do you know what those monkeys are banging out when they’re not banging out Shakespeare? The Internal Revenue Code, of course! (Sadly, the Infinite Monkey Theorem will probably never be more than just a theorem. For starters, can you imagine the smell in that room?)

The tax code may look like 70,000-odd pages of monkey-banging gibberish. But there really is a twisted logic to it. Think of it as a series of red lights and green lights. Red lights, like Section 1 (setting out rates), Section 1401 (imposing the net investment income tax), and Section 1432 (imposing employment taxes) make you stop and pay tax. Green lights, like Section 105 (making employer health benefits tax-free), Section 162 (making “ordinary and necessary” business expenses deductible), and Section 170 (making charitable gifts deductible) let you go without paying tax.

Last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act added a new red light. Specifically, it capped deductions for state and local tax deductions at $10,000 per year. That’s an obvious blow to the states that reach the deepest into their residents’ pockets. In New York, for example, one-third of taxpayers claimed the deduction, averaging more than $20,000. In Alabama, just one-fourth claimed it, averaging just $6,000.

But the new limit hits taxpayers all over the country. Microsoft founder Bill Gates lives in Seattle, where there’s no state income tax. (Washington has one of the highest sales taxes in the country.) But last year, he paid $1,024,292.55 in property tax on his 66,000-square-foot mansion, “Xanadu 2.0.” It used to be that Uncle Sam picked up 39.6% of that bill. Now Gates has to cover it all himself.

Of course, human nature being what it is, we don’t always want to stop at those red lights. So society has developed an entire profession, called “the law,” dedicated to finding ways around them. (Even Pope Francis, when he announced the church’s opposition to capital punishment, left exceptions for people who drive the speed limit in the left-hand lane or bring Popeye’s fried chicken on an airplane.)

So it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that officials in some states are working to let residents turn right on that red light. New York and New Jersey have set up so-called “charitable” funds to pay for essential services like schools, then authorized dollar-for-dollar credits against their own taxes for contributions to those funds. Just like magic, your state tax bill transforms into a charitable contribution, not subject to the new limit. (We think Harry Potter would call this spell a “sketchius loopholius.”)

Of course, our friends back in the Home Office in Washington aren’t stupid. Last week, the Treasury Department issued proposed regulations effectively eliminating charitable deductions for gifts tied to state tax credits. But will that be the end of the story? Not if the states have their way, and they’re sure to take the Treasury to court. Round and round it goes . . . and now you know why tax lawyers drive Jaguars!

Bottom line? Most tax professionals focus on the red lights. That’s important, because blowing through them gets you in trouble. But that’s also where most tax pros stop. We’re different. We focus on finding the green lights that can save you thousands. So call us when you’re ready to go, and we’ll help take your foot off the brake!

Americans love a champion, and every year, sports fans get to see new champions crowned. We’ve got a World Series, a Super Bowl, and NBA finals that drag on for months. We’ve got the Kentucky Derby, the Indianapolis 500, and the Nathan’s Famous National Hot Dog Eating Contest. And every even-numbered year, the Olympics bring us more exotic champions in curling, synchronized swimming, and dancing horses.

But there’s one event that mobilizes the rest of the world in a frenzy of competition: soccer’s World Cup. A billion people watched France defeat Argentina, 4-3, in a perfectly ordinary first-round-of-finals game. And more than three billion will watch the final match on July 15 in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. That’s almost half the population of the globe.

Tax collectors across the world will join their countrymen to cheer their countries’ teams. But they’ll have another reason to watch. It seems the folks in the soccer world don’t like paying taxes any more than the rest of us. And there are nearly enough tax cheats in the sport to fill out an entire bracket’s worth!

In 2011, IRS investigators used tax charges to “flip” Chuck Blazer, a member of soccer’s international governing body, into wearing a wire to help indict 14 corrupt officials on charges of racketeering, wire fraud, and money laundering. Blazer, a 450-pound Falstaffian figure, lived large on his share of those bribes, keeping two apartments at Trump Tower: an $18,000/month three-bedroom for himself and a $6,000/month one-bedroom next door for his cats.

IRS Criminal Investigation head Richard Weber couldn’t resist some obvious puns after the eventual arrests, announcing “This is the World Cup of fraud, and today we are issuing FIFA a red card,” he said. But really, the jokes just write themselves. How about “Corrupt soccer officials couldn’t keep hands off the cash”? Or maybe, “Prosecutors score GOOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLLL against corruption”?

In 2013, Spanish authorities accused superstar striker Lionel Messi of using companies in Belize, Uruguay, and Switzerland to evade €4.1 million in tax on endorsement earnings. Messi, an Argentinean who plays professionally for Barcelona, said he wasn’t involved in the details. (Like a player faking injury for a ref, he said “I just played football,” and claimed he signed whatever his father put in front of him.) Nevertheless, he made a €5.3 million “corrective payment” equal to the tax plus interest to settle the charges.

But prosecutors insisted on penalty kicks, and in 2016, a court found Messi and his father guilty on three counts of fraud. (Clearly not Messi-ing around, right?) The court imposed a 21-month prison sentence (which was automatically suspended under Spanish law) and fined the pair another €3.1 million.

Not to be outdone, Messi’s arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who plays professionally for Real Madrid, just announced he would pay Spain €18.7 million to settle tax charges centered on his endorsements. Now, fans who bicker over who’s the better player can start bickering over who’s the better tax evader.

What kind of football do you prefer, the kind with headshots or the kind with helmets? Either way, we’re sure you’d rather follow your favorite team than spend time looking for missed opportunities on your taxes. That’s where the Financial Gravity team comes in! So call us for a free Tax Assessment, and see where in the world you can go with your savings!Let's Talk - Has your CPA Warned You about the Self-employment Tax?