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It's Not Who We Are, It's How We Are of Service

Have you ever heard that Maya Angelou quote that ends with, “…people will never forget how you made them feel?”

A lot of genuine soul-searching, and deep meaningful feeling went into the decision to change the name of our relatively-successful company on our 4th birthday.

We have been announcing a change coming, and as of yesterday the 26th we made it official.

The company formerly known as Owings Tax & Accounting LLC is now:

Owings LLC

Today, I share the naked and transparent thinking behind the decision to drop “tax & accounting” from the name of the business.

It started in late April of this year, actually.  The idea of shortening and focusing the brand to one short word.

That word being the name given to me by the grace of a loving God and a series of ancestors that I am grateful to be able to trace to 17th century Wales.

That’s right!  Somebody in Mississippi in the 1980’s literally wrote the book on Owings, or more exactly began a genealogical record with the immigrant Captain Richard Owings of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, born circa 1662. 

It’s a respectable-sized hard-cover book with three editions, and having discovered my father’s family in the second edition my aunt wrote to the editors and provided them information all the way through my now-adult daughters for the third edition. 

Have you ever heard of Owings Mills, Maryland?  It comes up in the bottom half of the first page of any Google search of my last name, and I’m convinced to a near-certainty this is Captain Richard’s legacy, or at least one of his children or grandchildren.  He had quite a few of both.

I know of a major league baseball player, a mixed martial arts fighter, and one of the architects that designed the Sears Tower in Chicago that share the name.  So…I looked into it, and I cannot find a single soul that has used just “Owings” as a business name, at least on LinkedIn. 

There are none with the Colorado Secretary of State Business Division, either. 

Until now. wink

I went off on a bit of a tangent, if you will, a justification that I would like to circle back to the reason why I started thinking about it.

Simply, in late April, before the crunch of an extended tax season was over, we made the decision to no longer accept any new business specifically serving what I call the “one-and-done” tax preparation model.

I have grown this business like a dentist up until now. 

Being here for you that one time a year you can no longer avoid the fear, loathing, and pain of whipping out your personal income situation for the government’s greedy clutches.

Like a trip to the dentist.

Best avoided, until it no longer can be.

It hit me, not without some outside counseling and internal soul-searching, that our year-round loyal monthly fee clients deserve my fullest attention all 12 months of the year.

I never sunk to the level of making excuses, but I did find myself having to schedule everything with one to three days lead time to accommodate everyone.

My loyal year-round clients deserve my best.


Work ONLY with loyal year-round clients.

Now, if you’re reading this, and you’re one of my dozens of clients for whom I have filed an extension and committed to completing your return this summer?

That’s still happening!  No fear!

But, once the sun sets on the final annual obligation I will be working with as many people as I can from this group year-round, as well as the well-loved clients I am so grateful to have had up until now.

What’s the point?


I simply thought first, “hey, if I drop the words ‘tax & accounting’ from the business name won’t we be presenting ourselves as more of a business-wealth and tax strategy firm, and less of a tax prep sweat shop?”

I liked that idea enough, but another even better one followed, naturally: how many of the really big firms have “tax & accounting” in their name, like it has to be spelled out?

Not the “Big 4” accounting firms.  Not H&R, or Jackson Hewitt.

Big change in the business model.  Ergo, big change in the business name.

I had yet another thought. 

It came from a memory of a magazine interview with Jimmy Page, the iconic guitarist of Led Zeppelin.

Somebody had asked about the specific origin of the band’s name (which is pretty cool, with the whole heavy metal connotation, you know).

He denied it was adapted from a Keith Moon anecdote about the band (in it’s infant stages) going over like a lead zeppelin with the listening public.

Then he went on to say that they could have called the band The Potatoes, and it wouldn’t have made a damn bit of difference.

Because it’s about the music.

Can you dig it?

It’s not about the name.  It’s not about branding either, though Madison Avenue has spent millions upon millions on this for over half a century.

It’s not about who the hell you are.

It’s about what you can do for people.

It’s about how you made them feel.

Owings LLC will never “hit it and quit it,” as the young people say.

It’s not who we are, it’s how we are of service.

But that’s not even the whole story, either.

By declaring, quite loudly and clearly, to the world that we are more than just an ordinary tax & accounting firm, we are declaring that you will be able to expect an unforgettable experience.

A business transformation.

This business is never afraid to go into chrysalis mode, and evolve with even bigger and brighter wings.

A new model, like nothing we’ve ever dared before, is looming on the near horizon.

More, as they say, in a future installment.

But, let me leave you with a small spoiler alert.

What if you were able to come to one person, and have ALL of your business AND personal financial needs met?

Tax Planning.  Retirement Planning.  Investment Strategies.

Made possible by a network of capable venture partners working with us, making us better.

You work with us.

We get you whatever it takes, and deal with whatever outside expert necessary to fulfill your need that might be outside our particular service niche?

A one-stop shop for holistic wealth-synergy.

Well…we are entering the cocoon. 

And when we’re ready, you’d better believe we’ll be announcing it to the world!

Our firm enters its 5th year in business, and the first year as Owings LLC.

It is going to be epic, and one hell of a ride.

Buckle up!

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