Hi Joseph, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I am a New Jersey native that had a pretty bumpy introduction to adulthood. I grew up in northern new jersey in a small town called Nutley. When I think about being young – my strongest memories always those of being bullied in elementary and middle school for “being gay” or “acting like a girl.” Although there are definitely more terrible trauma stories, this deeply, deeply affected me. I was beat up multiple times, even had my nose smashed completely in. I had so many experiences of humiliation as a kid at the hands of other kids. Kids can be really cruel and I wrongly learned that being myself was NOT OK. I determined that being my authentic self meant experiencing pain. I came from a great family, so aside from my emotional transgressions, I made friends, went to college, typical NJ stuff.
However, I always had a sense of disconnection from LGBTQ community, and the constant looming feeling of inevitable failure. I had absolutely no drive to succeed and no self confidence. When I got to high school, I covered all this up with a period of heavy substance abuse that eventually lead to opiate dependency. I carried this on through college, and after graduating, my life literally exploded. Car accidents, theft, escorting. I eventually sought out help and moved down to FL about 7 years ago with no money, no family, and lived in a halfway house until I got on my feet. With no true work experience, I felt I would never accomplish anything. I felt I could NEVER amount to anything greater than the boy who was bullied in elementary school. I slowly began to work my way up in retail jobs. I maintained integrity in my work and my life and things improved.
I started to do things to improve myself both spiritually and professionally. I saved money and moved to an apartment, and then a better apartment. I met a nice Cuban boy. We moved in together. I did a lot of personal work to connect with myself and determine how to be my most authentic self on a daily basis. After promotions and job changes – I now find myself a staff accountant for a nationwide healthcare company and just opened my own bookkeeping/payroll company with one of my closest friends. In early 2020, my partner and I purchased our first home. I constantly am taking a step back and thinking “Wait, am I an adult now?” I am currently in the process of enrolling to go back to school for a masters in accounting, balancing work, my personal business, and home renovation. Life is BUSY but I couldn’t be more proud of myself. I feel my personal story is a testament to the idea that “It Gets Better.”
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
It has NOT been a smooth road. I experienced a LOT of failures and have definitely felt like I would never be able to have a career, a business, or even be financially independent. I think part of the passion behind Prime Accounting is that both of us (the owners) have built ourselves up from very low places. We want to help other people succeed.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Prime Accounting and Payroll?
I started Prime Accounting and Payroll LLC alongside my close friend and co-worker, Thea. We are a gay and female owned bookkeeping company local to South Florida. We have collective 10 years of experience in the finance industry. We both have golden reputations as detail oriented, experienced, hard workers. We had so many outsiders handing us side work that we decided to create a small business. We have been incredibly successful in our first few months of business. We offer remote, individualized, professional staff to take over the financials for small to medium sized businesses. This includes everything from bookkeeping to budgets to payroll – whatever the needs are. We are set apart from other outsourcing vendors because of our desire to connect with our clients. We love to get to know our clients and become a part of their success! Your success – our success.
Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
Always look to someone who has the things that you want, and ask them how they obtained it. Always ask the business owner how they obtained their business. Always ask the happiest person in the room what their secret to happiness is. For myself, I have found that in order to succeed, ego must be removed. Anyone and everyone can be a source of mentorship.
- Monthly Bookkeeping Starts at $99
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @primeaccountingteam; @jerseyjoey
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